Topic: inflatable tender

Any suggestions regarding an appropriate inflatable dingy that could be stored on the fore-deck would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Re: inflatable tender

I'm also looking at suggestions for an inflatable to fit on the foredeck of a Contessa 26. My experience with inflatables has been that the airdeck style are lighter than a boat with floor boards. I found about 75 lbs was about all I wanted to deal with. I've had good luck with Mercury inflatables. I bought new boats that were 3 years old for a large discount off the list.
The problem I found is water collects under the inflated floor and it becomes very heavy. The only way to empty it is to go ashore and roll it upside down.
I'll watch this thread !
good luck, Bob

3 (edited by and4ew 2017-02-19 11:46:18)

Re: inflatable tender

There's a small company in Nova Scotia called Seabright Marine.  He has designed a few tenders of different styles and gets them made to his materials and specs.  Worth checking and also the prices are good.

Re: inflatable tender

This probably depends on your jib as well.

We have an 7' inflatable, and, well, it's a pain in the arse.  We almost never tow it because it costs us 1+ knots of speed.  We deflate on every trip, fold it, put it in its PVC carry case and then it has a spot on the cabin floor where it is terribly in the way.

We probably could lash it to the fore deck, but the visibility obstruction is annoying and it would foul our larger genoa's as we tack.  I prefer to have a clean fore deck on the boat mostly for the ability to tack cleanly.  I can't imagine how much worse it would be if you had an inflated one up there... yikes.

If you do, like we did, and deflate it every time you haul anchor, then also be prepared for the circus shenanigans of inflating a 7' dinghy in a 6' cockpit.  If you do it poorly, it's entertainment for the onlookers, if you do it well you'll get some amazed nods and thumbs up... practice first or have some fun.

Re: inflatable tender

I also have an inflatable which I hate and therefore never inflate.  Mine lives in the V-Berth lockers adjacent to the hanging locker.

For our little boats I think a folding dinghy is the answer.  A Portabote tied to the lifelines would be perfect in my opinion.  And I have had plans for Fliptail from WoodenWidget for ages.

So many projects and so little time!

Good hunting.

Re: inflatable tender

Just saw that West Marine will be offering their $900 roll-up dinghy for $499 as a Black Friday special.  Iā€™m thinking about getting this and possibly hanging it from some davits on the stern that would clear the rudder. ā€¦ --14272488

Re: inflatable tender

I was thinking about a DIY pushpit mounted type like this one. As long as the transom light is visible, it would work.  Of course if I mount windvane steering, then all bets are off.

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Re: inflatable tender

Always remember (I tell myself thisall the time!) that the Contessa is a scale model of a real boat -- she is easy to overload and gear like a heavy boat on davits rarely fits properly.

Here is a question -- were you planning to carry an outboard for the inflatable?  If so, it might have more power than the 6.5hp diesel in my boat!

If not planning on a separate motor then what about an inflatable canoe?  Relatively inexpensive, easier to propel and takes up less space on deck.

Re: inflatable tender

No outboard, just oars. The boat itself only weighs 53 pounds, so it may work out.