Inflatable dinghy recommendations

Discussion in 'Catalina 22' started by iamwhatiam, May 13, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. iamwhatiam

    iamwhatiam

    Joined Apr 16, 2019
    14 posts, 28 likes
    Catalina 22
    Redeemed US Bellingham
    I apologize if this has been asked already...tried the search engine but didn't see anything recent. What dingies do you guys use for your Catalina 22s? I'm looking for advice on purchasing an inflatable dinghy. Probably a 3 person one and one that is not too expensive. Are there any brands you've used that you like and would recommend? Thanks
     


  2. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,412 posts, 1,036 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    Purpose and budget? Tow or carry on deck? Enquiring minds want to know.
     


  3. iamwhatiam

    iamwhatiam

    Joined Apr 16, 2019
    14 posts, 28 likes
    Catalina 22
    Redeemed US Bellingham
    Something I could tow or deflate and store on board. $600 or under
     


  4. JRT

    JRT

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    1,169 posts, 389 likes
    Catalina 310
    211 US Lake Guntersville, AL
    So why not a porta boat? Small C22 seems dragging would be a pain. The idea I had is with the kayak rack on my C310 a folded up port boat would be very snug to the bow lifelines yet big enough for use around a marine. All thought experiments for me because we have no need on our lake for the forseeable future.

    https://www.porta-bote.com/
     


  5. Newport Bob

    Newport Bob

    Joined Jun 23, 2013
    256 posts, 41 likes
    Beneteau 373
    US Newport


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  6. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,446 posts, 422 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    The $900 PRU3 from West Marine sometimes goes on sale for as little as $600, but usually more like $700. The lower grade RU250 is normally priced at $600.

    I have used the PRU3 a fair amount. It is a flat-bottom roll-up type that is rated for 6hp & weighs just over 50 pounds. 3.5 hp is more than enough. There is no way to get it to plane & it steers like a beach ball. It is great for storing in small places & I can set it up in under 6 minutes, if I use a battery powered blower to put most of the air in the tubes. It's poor handling while underway has me now shopping for a V-bottomed inflatable. The PRU came with a pump, bag, patch kit, oars, etc.

    I have also pushed the PRU3 with a 30# thrust trolling motor. It was a while ago, so my memory is getting foggy, but I think that I got like 3.5 knots out of it with slack wind & tide, with about a 45 minute run time from a group 27 battery.

    The RU250 is rated for 5hp & looks to be a budget version of the PRU3 with slightly smaller tubes. Both have PVC tubes, not Hypalon.

    Amazon has some pretty cheap inflatables listed. They also have Chinese outboards for as little as $250. I spoke to one guy that says he has had good luck with his Chinese outboard, after proper break in. Apparently, he also knows of other people who have had poor experiences with them.
     


  7. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,777 posts, 1,372 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
    Sea Eagle is worth a look. We have one of their inflatable kayaks. Good quality, hard to puncture, easy to patch: https://www.seaeagle.com/MotormountBoats/SE9

    If you can find a used Avon Redcrest in good condition (discontinued years ago) you'll be golden. They were top shelf. Still out there on Craigslist, etc. We own one:

    [​IMG]
     


  8. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,412 posts, 1,036 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    I too was going to mention Craigs List, but Gene beat me to it. That is what I get for being slow.

    I don't think you will get a quality brand dinghy for $600, unless you find used. People sell inflatables all the time. Just do a little digging around. Visit the marina and look for posting boards. I am sure you will one. Just be patient.
     


  9. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,446 posts, 422 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    I've been looking on Craigslist for a while now. Around me, it's full of problem boats. Some examples include: boat was advertised as Hypalon, but is actually PVC, 8hp rated boat with 15hp motor, guy claims to have title, but actually has a statement of origin with no bill of sale, guy claims that the motor just has a dead battery, so I bring a battery & find that the motor starts with a sprits of starting fluid, but doesn't run after that, guy has title, but with someone else's name on it. Guy has no title. Boat has little wear & is said to have been stored "inside" for years, but the adhesive is cracking & the handles/oarlocks/D-rings are peeling off, Guy claims that motor runs well, but 200 yards into a test ride, the motor overheats & shuts down.

    North of Broward, it seems to be mostly honest mistakes. The boats down around Miami, seem to include more genuine scams. These were boats priced in the $1,600-3,500 range.

    Caveat Emptor
     


    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  10. LakeShark

    LakeShark

    Joined Sep 15, 2016
    415 posts, 166 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Minnesota


  11. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,590 posts, 2,533 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Welcome aboard iamwhatiam. I really like your moniker, akuhkuhkuhkuh[​IMG]

    I've been looking at this problem for my 19 footer and the Saturn seems like a good solution, but more than I can spend. A tow behind kayak with a water tight cockpit cover is an option I'm considering, but bringing it aboard is definitely not an option. For the purpose of just getting from a mooring at destination marina to their dinghy dock, something like a cheap 2 person inflatable from Walmart might be good for a season or two. I like the fold-a-boat concept. If you find something you like at West Marine, search for it specifically on Amazon or Walmart.com, you might find they have the same item at considerably less money.

    It's good to have you join us iamwhatiam, these guys are very experienced and generous with their wisdom. You can't go wrong paying attention to what they say.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  12. David in Sandusky

    David in Sandusky

    Joined Nov 8, 2007
    1,160 posts, 186 likes
    Hunter 27_75-84
    US Sandusky Harbor Marina, Lake Erie
    We enjoy anchoring out away from the crowd in our h27. Occasionally, we need a dink to row ashore, or join friends on their boat. On those few occasions in a year, we pull our deflated Sevylor inflatable, 3 person boat out of storage in a cabin bench, inflate it, put the plywood floor I made in it, and row it ashore or to another boat. The cost is less than $100 plus the $20 boat registration fee we have to pay Ohio every three years.

    Our first boat lasted 8 years until we tore a float on glass buried in a beach in the North Channel. We are 7 years into the replacement with no signs of deterioration. We have carried it inflated in the cabin between anchorages. This solution works for us, and causes no visibility or towing issues under way.
     


    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    greg_m and Will Gilmore like this.
  13. Leeward Rail

    Leeward Rail

    Joined Mar 20, 2015
    1,671 posts, 429 likes
    Catalina 22 New Style
    CA SHSC, Lake Winnipeg
    I picked up the older intex mariner for free from a lady who was cleaning out stuff. It had leaks nut was stored in a closet so ok otherwise. With the leaks patched, it works well enough with oars. I have considered getting a newer model with better floor and keel but haven't had time to keep an eye out. Cabelas and other retailers sell them.

    The cheaper intex models are crap, but the mariner is ok for a budget boat, depending how long you plan on keeping it and the c22.
    When we get a bigger boat a better dinghy will also be in the plans.
     


  14. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,744 posts, 415 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Listen to David, what is the anticipated use for the dinghy? Inflatables offer good stability for getting On and Off but they don't row well at all. They come with floor slats or inflatable floors. In limited storage space the inflatable floor are advisable. Count on having to add an engine. An electric trolling motor with a battery may work where there are no currents or strong winds for short treks to shore. Towing an inflatable can cut up to 1 knot of speed which for a 22' boat can be considerable. We deflate ours for long hauls and may tow it for distances of 10nm or less. If the projected use is light you could do with some of the cheaper models. Look online.
     


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  15. DrJudyB

    DrJudyB

    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    349 posts, 259 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA
    Check out Saturn Kaboats.
    https://www.saturnrafts.com/saturn-kaboats/

    They are narrow, about3-4 foot wide inflatables that you can paddle. The nicest feature is an inflatable rigidfloor. That’s usually not found on inflables in this price range. The hard floor make It stable and easy to get into, but still very light weight and rolls up smaller when compared to inflatables with hard floor boards. You can stand even stand up and paddle like a SUP.

    It has small fins on the bottom that give nice directional control when paddling. Really easy to paddle like a canoe or a kayak. It tows fine.

    It sets up and deflates quickly, because you don’t need to insert for the floor. Just open the valves and roll it up and tie a rope around it and you’re done.

    We ave the smallest model, 12 feet. Weighs just forty pounds, so it’s manageable. It has a 500 pound capacity. It’s comfy for two, with plenty of extra room for a dog or supplies. we have squeezed three medium adults into it. .

    Around $650 for the 12 foot model. Bigger ones cost more, weigh more, carry more people, and take up more space when stowed.
     


    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  16. Newport Bob

    Newport Bob

    Joined Jun 23, 2013
    256 posts, 41 likes
    Beneteau 373
    US Newport
    To add to DrJudy
    I posted a link yesterday for Saturn inflatables. I did not have the KaBoat, but have been satisfied with other Saturn inflatables and the company Boatstogo (have purchased more than once from them) Check out the link - $50 price difference.
    https://www.boatstogo.com/kayaks-sk396.asp
     


  17. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,446 posts, 422 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    Actually, now that kayaks have been mentioned, I have gotten by with them more than once. I find that the sit on top ones tolerate being towed much better than the sit in type. A decent yak can be had for way less than the $600 budget that was mentioned. You can even get a 2-person yak for less than that.
     


  18. Leeward Rail

    Leeward Rail

    Joined Mar 20, 2015
    1,671 posts, 429 likes
    Catalina 22 New Style
    CA SHSC, Lake Winnipeg
    A local guy is selling a NEW hydro-force 7.6 foot dinghy for $350 USD.

    Costco sells the larger model..

    https://www.costco.com/Hydro-Force-Mirovia-Pro-Inflatable-Boat.product.100341175.html

    Imo a 10ft dinghy is goofy for a Catalina 22.
    A small 4 person, off brand, would work fine for most people. especially if you, like many c22 owners, sail on inland lakes.

    If/When we get a bigger boat we will want a slightly bigger and better quality dinghy anyhow.

    Check amazon. Lots of small cheaper options there. PVC.. It is not hypalon but who cares if it spends it's storage time in a bag out of the sun.
     


    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 6:25 AM
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  19. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,446 posts, 422 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    I've had a vinyl dink for a few years now. 90% of the time, it lives indoors. So far, it's still OK.

    Funny thing: if I put my 3.5hp motor on an 6-8' flat-bottomed roll-up dink, I get maybe 4 knots out of it. If I put the same motor on a 10' solid bottom, V-hull RIB, then I can plane with just one 200 pound person on board, if I get my balance right.
     


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  20. Leeward Rail

    Leeward Rail

    Joined Mar 20, 2015
    1,671 posts, 429 likes
    Catalina 22 New Style
    CA SHSC, Lake Winnipeg
    Not surprising that the v bottom.works better. The Bestway Caspian Pro models have a floor you can install along with an inflatable keel. That keel makes a big difference in speed and obviously directional control. The flat bottom boats, especially ones without a floor insert, create a pocket underneath that creates turbulence. That makes the prop much less efficient and the hull harder to move. With a simple inflatable keel the boat can actually plane a bit. Not like a true RIB but much better.
    Aquaparx from Holland, had optional plywood floors and keels for their non rib models. They sell their small 230 pro for $300 USD here in Canada. I don't believe the Canadian model has the optional inflatable keel available though.
    Either way i would make a plywood floor If it didn't have one.
     


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