Dinghy Poll

What do you have for a tender?

  • Solid Dinghy, Less than 10'

    Votes: 82 22.9%
  • Solid Dinghy, 10' or Larger

    Votes: 14 3.9%
  • Inflatable, Less than 10'

    Votes: 164 45.8%
  • Inflatable, 10' or Larger

    Votes: 65 18.2%
  • Kayak or similiar small boat.

    Votes: 14 3.9%
  • I don't have a tender.

    Votes: 46 12.8%
  • I use an engine with my tender.

    Votes: 97 27.1%

  • Total voters


Inactive Member
Hello everyone - I'm curious about what people have for dinghys.

Please vote for the Poll and then maybe post what you have for a tender if you have the time.



P.S.- Please select one type of boat --- the one you use most --- and then check off whether you have an engine or not.
Last edited:


Inactive Member
I feel kind of dink(y) ( :esad: ) being the first to reply to my thread, but here I go.

We tow a Caribe L-11 with a Johnson 8. Used to have a Dyer Dow, but it was stolen... :boohoo:



Member III
I didn't read your post before voting and missed the engine thingy! Dohhhhh! We use a 2hp Johnson on our 10' Zodiac with wood floor.

Tom Plummer

Member III
My dink dosn't fit any of your choices. I use a 12' Port-a-bote with a 6hp Johnson. I sometimes tow it and sometimes I fold it up and lash it to the liferails. It is a lot faster and dryer than my inflatable was and is unsinkable.

Sean Engle

Your Friendly Administrator
I dated lots of dingys over the years...

I had a nice old Zodiac with an inflatable floor and ribs. The sun was tearing it apart, however - everytime you would bump up against someone's boat it would live a red mark (it was red). I made a nice little float (with rodamold floats, no less) for it to sit on - very easy to launch.



  • OB Dingy.jpg
    OB Dingy.jpg
    45.4 KB · Views: 2,625


Inactive Member
I think these pictures are kind of cool... this happend about two weeks ago, before we got the 2.5 feet of snow followed by another 10"....

The dinghy is fine!!! It's amazing that it is not leaking any air. I would reccomend Caribes (and good luck) to everyone!


  • d1.JPG
    26.5 KB · Views: 1,111
  • d2.JPG
    85.4 KB · Views: 1,127
  • d3.JPG
    42.1 KB · Views: 1,077
Last edited:

Chris Miller

Sustaining Member
RIB is perfect for dogs

We have 2 greyhounds that go cruising with us, so we got an Avon RIB and a Yamaha 4hp 4 stroke. Love the 4 stroke and the RIB is great other than the fact that it's not exactly easy to move around or store.


Member III

We tow around a Walker Bay 8, no engine. The first summer we used it, we anchored out near my wife's parents and their friends (non blow boaters), rowed in to see them, and my father-in-law and 2 of his big buddies swamped it and tried to sink it. They managed to get the gunwales a couple of inches below the surface, but couldn't get it on the bottom (in 3 feet of water). It tows well, and tracks well even in 6-10 foot waves. My only gripe is when rowing with 2 people aboard, the oarlock position isn't the best, and with 1 person in the stern and 1 amidship, you buck knees, and the stern squats. Solution, I sit in the stern and row facing forward, with the other person in the bow.



Inactive Member
Clayton - They can't handle much weight from what I could tell when I was in one a year or two ago... Do you have any problem with that? I guess its not a huge thing if it won't sink... but I like to be dry...

Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
Lil' Cuc

I have had my 8'6" 2003 Achilles inflatable tender (Lil' Cuc) for two years now. She's the daughter of the mother ship, the "Pride of Cucamonga". She's powered by a 2002 Yamaha 4hp 4 Stroke long shaft. She has a inflatable keel and will get up and plane with one 200 lb person. She's been very reliable! :egrin:


  • LilCuc.jpg
    78.9 KB · Views: 2,440

mark reed

Member III
Inflatable and kayaks

Our boat came with a West Marine inflatable (actually manufactured by Zodiac) that is about 9' long and has a rollup wooden floor and an inflatable keel to help make it more rigid. Original power was a 4hp Merc, and performance was not great. The Merc died, so now we have an 8hp Yamaha, and the dinghy flies! It will easily plane with 2 people. One advantage to this type of dink is that it can be rolled up and stowed in the lazarette during ocean passages. Drawbacks are PVC construction, which does not hold up as well to UV as Hypalon; the wooden floor, which tends to abrade against the tubes while under way; and poor rowing characteristics, common to most inflatables. We have had several minor leaks due to wear and tear. When we replace this dink in a few years, we would like to go with something like the Avon RIB Lite, which has a rigid floor but a folding transom. It can be deflated and stowed on deck during passages, in a package the size of a sailboard.

Actually, when just two of us are on board, we hardly ever use our tender, but instead use 12' long collapsible kayaks that we found used on the Internet (pictures below). There are many models out there, but these Feathercraft K-Lites are among the best we have seen. They paddle just like regular full-size boats, are very durable, and can be carried on deck or folded up and stowed below for passages (35 lbs, about the size of a medium backpack).


  • kayak1.jpg
    56.2 KB · Views: 1,021
  • kayak2.jpg
    63 KB · Views: 1,008

Davis Modlin

Inactive Member
I have two dinks.
One is a 10'4" Achilles with a Mriner 5hp, The other is a West Marine 10' w/suzuki 8hp

Holy Guacamole

gareth harris

Sustaining Member
Mark - I like the look of those kayaks. Which model are they? How do you rate their longetivity, and ability to take beaching on pebbles etc? And do you know of anything similar that might be a bit cheaper?

I use an inflatable, which works, but is not a good paddler.

Freyja E35 #241 1972

mark reed

Member III
Feathercraft kayaks

These are K-Lites, manufactured by Feathercraft in Canada. We like them particularly because they are only 12' long but perform like full-size yaks, and are extremely portable. They pack into 35-lb backpacks. Feathercraft dropped the K-Lite model a few years ago and came out with the Kahuna, which is 2' longer but the same weight as the K-Lite. Feathercrafts have Hypalon hulls and are as durable as any Hypalon inflatable. They can beach on most surfaces (not barnacles) without any damage, but we try not to drag them. I expect they will last 20 years or longer with reasonable care. Before the full-size sailboat, we sailed a Klepper folding kayak for more than 20 years, and took it by plane to the Bahamas, Alaska, Belize, etc. The biggest downside is price. We found ours used and they were still $800/ea. There are many other less expensive brands out there. I have no personal experience with any others, but several friends are happy with the Stearns 1-person kayaks which are about 9' long and sell for around $275 (pump and paddles extra). Sailnet has some reviews posted.
Happy paddling,

gareth harris

Sustaining Member
Mark - I am very glad you responded to this thread, as, when I can afford one, I think I will get a lot of use out of such a boat - I had never heard of them before. Belize must have been great.

If anyone else is interested, there is a non-profit information site at:


which talks through the basics.


Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
How do I set up a Poll on this web site!


How did you set up this Poll on this web site!

I am trying to set up a Gathering of a group of Southern California Ericson owners and I would like to set up a simple Poll that posts the following questions:

1) A choice of Dates for the Gathering.

2) A choice of Catalina Locations for the Gathering.

3) A choice of Activities, if any.



Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I found a used 9-1/2 foot fiberglass dinghy, made by The Dinghy Co. (either Arlington or Mount Vernon, WA). We row it. It's not really rated for a motor according to the manufacturer. We are casually shopping for kayaks, though. We think a couple 9 or 10 footers would be fun for short distance anchorage and island exploring and could replace the dinghy on certain trips.


  • RedDinghyOct2003-small-reduced.jpg
    267.5 KB · Views: 765

Geoff Nelson

Member II
Motor choices

I use an Avon inflatable about 10 yrs old (bought it rebuilt from the Dinghy Doctor here in SD- they were great) and a new 8 HP 4 stroke Merc that is awesome for getting 2 people on a plane no problem. It is also super stealth- almost silent which I and people around me I am sure appreciate. The downside is it is heavy (89lbs) and hard to manhandle, especially in a rolly anchorage. I also recently came upon a 2 stroke 5HP Tohatsu for near free. It struggles to get two people on a step but can do it in flat water but it is so light (44lbs) it is a breeze to hook up and it fits nicely in the garage (the stbd lazarette) standing up. Downside- LOUD! There will be no stealth missions with this engine, that's for sure! So basically I decide what type of engine I will be wanting and take that one. For single hand trips or ones with close access to shore, the 5HP is fine. For an anchorage mid isl in Catalina with lots of shore trips to Avalon, the 8HP is the way to go.

I do like the look/idea of the folding kayaks and can see the obvious advantages of a hard dink for rowing, makes me want to have them all but then the beautiful Ericson lines look like a gypsy wagon carrying an armada of hangers-on. The Mother Ship... if you will. I guess we all make compromises!!!