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Ship-to-Shore Transport for <25-Foot Boats?

Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Putting anything on the fore deck seems impractical. I'm not a fan of towing, because it slows you down and eventually the weather will require you to bring it in, probably at an inconvenient time. You can blow something up, to they are still big below decks and I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. In some cases you can beach the boat, but not always, and you can't leave it like that while you explore (it will get pounded unless you have a way to pull it out).

So what else works? Kayak? Marina hopping?
 
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May 24, 2004
6,752
CC 30 South Florida
Everything is a compromise. I'm in favor of anything that beats swimming. I remember in my younger days not packing enough food and finding myself anchored out about 100 yds. from a restaurant with no means of getting ashore; can still smell them grilled burgers.. Next time I packed a soft inflatable with an electric trolling motor and a motorcycle battery. Years latter we still pack an inflatable now with wood slats and 5HP outboard. We will not tow on passages but once deployed in coastal waters we will either tow or carry up on the bow deck. We do like marinas for restaurants, hot showers and recharging batteries and when towing will walk the dink around to the bow as we dock the boat to stern. The answer to your question is, all of those mentioned utilizing the method that best fits the particular situation. Some outings might call for a kayak while others for towing a dink.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
9,920
Hunter 26 Charleston
That is a great question. This past year I purchased one of those 8' WM dinghies. I was in the middle of a 10 day cruise in the Pamlico sound and was launching the dink.... slipped on the ramp and my leg went down into a crack in the ramp's slab. On the way down, the edge of the crack hit my ankle bone and skinned it. Well my immune system was no match for the green slime on the ramp and a trip to the doctors for antibiotics ended that trip.

So... I don't have a good answer for you. Maybe one of those sea kayaks that can't swamp would be a good idea. But you still might have to tow.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Depends on how far you go and how much weight you need to move.

I keep a high quality 8 foot inflatable dink on BlueJ. Use a 12v air pump to inflate it, it just takes minutes. Two people of reasonable size can easily row it for a short distance. Works great and stows easily.
 

Johnb

.
Jan 22, 2008
1,286
Hunter 37-cutter Richmond CA
How about an inflatable SUP. Put a cooler or folding box on it and sit instead of standing.
Cheap
Stable
Packs small
With a 12V inflator would blow up quickly
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,600
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
We used an 8 foot roll-up Zodiac on our former Niagara 26 for a decade. With all the air squished (!) out of it, it went back in the carry bag. That bag could stow under a cockpit seat.
Good little boat! Oars only, so no motor/licensing/fuel/ storage hassles, either.
We also had a larger frp dinghy, but it had to be towed and was awkward to handle when docking in marinas, so it could not go on as many cruises.
 
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walt

.
Jun 1, 2007
3,440
Macgregor 26S Hobie TI Ridgway Colorado
Most inflatable SUP require high pressure - like 10 to 15 PSI.

Most inflatable kayaks are 1 to 2 PSI.

There is a very big difference in time, power, pump complexity between 1 PSI and 15!!!

If you go inflatable and want easy/ fast.. I would stay with something that only requires lower air pressure.
 
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Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Most inflatable SUP require high pressure - like 10 to 15 PSI.

Most inflatable kayaks are 1 to 2 PSI.

There is a very big difference in time, power, pump complexity between 1 PSI and 15!!!

If you go inflatable and want easy/ fast.. I would stay with something that only requires lower air pressure.
Actually, my favorite is probably a Walker Bay Airis Play kayak. It is higher pressure (5-7 PSI), but because the pressure provides more support, there is considerably less air volume required. Thus, it actually takes less time to inflate, only a few minutes. Bag to water is about 5 minutes, and it paddles a lot like a hard kayak, but only 15 pounds, making it faster than most.

Pumping to 10-15 psi is a different matter. The Airis gets firm, but not quite like a SUP. Doesn't need to, you arn't standing on it, though you can.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,861
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Great question, I have been thinking about that for Dragonfly (19' 2"). I was looking at the Saturn @ 7' 6"

But they are expensive. I'm thinking about building something in the 6' range to just turn upside down on the foredeck, light and easy to handle.

- Will (Dragonfly)
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,747
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I inherited a blow up 8-9 foot dingy. Not yet used. It holds air. Inflated relatively quickly. I’ve stored it inflated on the bow, deflated on the cabin deck. I just acquired a 10 ft kayak. 45 pounds. Hope to use on the boat, more for the fun/explore features than transport. Not yet sure on the fit and where to store.
 
Oct 25, 2011
572
Island Packet IP31 Lake St. Louis, Montreal
Everything is a compromise.

We towed an 8' roll-up inflatable with our Paceship 26 for a decade or more. We'd oput the 3.3 hp 2 stroke on the stern rail and tow the dink right up against the stern on the mother ship. We never had a problem despite some very lively conditions.

Matt
 

Gunni

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Mar 16, 2010
5,937
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
If you can’t stow an inflatable dink (Davits, on deck, on the tramp), learn how to properly tow an inflatable dink. Rig a bridle tied off to your opposing aft cleats to keep it in your wash, use floating line, and have a lot of line so that you can place the dink in the right part of a following sea. I have crossed open ocean, 15’ swell, 25kt trades in this manner and while the inflatable may occasionally swamp it has massive bouyancy and will drain out. A folding transom RIB would be my choice for an F-24, in the bag, lashed to the tramp.
 
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Oct 28, 2013
678
Hunter 20 Lake Monroe
It's amazing all the crap we have stuffed in our little 20-foot Hunter. We keep a 12 foot inflatable sup for Cindy. She loves to cruise the coves on her paddle board in the mornings and evenings after we've sailed. Then I also keep a inflatable fishing float chair stuffed in one of the holes as well. We also have a inflatable 8 foot wood slat boat that we very seldom take with us.
We've been shopping for a larger boat as Cindy really wants the stand up potty area. I really like the first 235 but just don't know where we would store all the stuff that we carry now. I know at the end of each season I'm always amazed at how much crap we unload out of the boat the store in the basement.

Sam
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Putting anything on the fore deck seems impractical. I'm not a fan of towing, because it slows you down and eventually the weather will require you to bring it in, probably at an inconvenient time. You can blow something up, to they are still big below decks and I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. In some cases you can beach the boat, but not always, and you can't leave it like that while you explore (it will get pounded unless you have a way to pull it out).

So what else works? Kayak? Marina hopping?
On our F24 mk1trimaran, we use a 12 foot Kaboat by Saturn . It's like an inflatable, but more narrow. We keep it upside down on a tramp. It's narrow enough to fit flat, so we can walk on it. It's stable.

It's got an inflatable floor, and it's stable, easy to paddle or power, and very easy to roll up. Tracks well. You can stand up to paddle it, but it has more wind age than a SUP.
Only 40 pounds.

In high winds, it's easy to deflate underway, to reduce windage. Then leave it on the tramp, tied down.

Perfect for 2 people with room for a dog, kid or gear. We've put three in it, but it's crowded. For 3 people and gear you'd need the 14 foot version, which would be a bit long for the tramp, but feasible.
 
Aug 2, 2005
1,117
Pearson 33-2 & Typhoon 18 Penn Yan, NY (Seneca Lake SP)
On the serious side (as opposed to my first post in this thread) I have a few thoughts on boats used to get to shore from an anchored/moored sailboat.
(1) We used an older soft-floored inflatable that had small tubes. We spent lots of time getting wet from spray or waves over the tubes.
(2) Soft bottomed inflatables provide a great way to practice your dance steps because wherever you step goes down and other places go up!
(3) Rowing a old soft bottom was a challenge for this same reason, and it was crowded with two of us and any "stuff".
(4) We towed a canoe and a sailing dinghy at different times. Canoe: 17.5 feet and sailing dink: 9 feet with a dagger board slot. The canoe dodged off to the side and the sailing dink took on water through the dagger board slot despite a closure for it.
(5) We tried a tandem kayak. It pulled better than the canoe due to the way we attached it, but both the canoe and the kayak were challenging to enter and exit both at the boat and the pier or dock. However, since we paddled those craft we never had to worry about starting the motor!
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,861
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
For towing, I am interested in preventing collision from following seas and this idea looks good


- Will (Dragonfly)
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
On our F24 mk1trimaran, we use a 12 foot Kaboat by Saturn . It's like an inflatable, but more narrow. We keep it upside down on a tramp. It's narrow enough to fit flat, so we can walk on it. It's stable.
I truth, I'm not really looking for a solution for the F-24. I have a number of kayaks, all of which work well, though the Airis is the best all-around solution for me. This thread was more for some friends and to encourage discussion.

Entering a kayak from a multihull is quite easy, and even easier from a trimaran, even reasonable in waves. This is great deal trickier from a monohull.

In my case, a kayak is quite seaworthy in the hands of an experienced paddler.

A folding transom RIB strikes me as completely off the point. I've had a cruising cat with a larger dinghy and davits, but even then I would not have fooled with the weight of an RIB; too much work for the benefit, for me, and the hard floor inflatable I had would plane with just me. But I seldom went far enough for that to matter, usually a small fraction of a mile. With smaller boats you nearly always anchor quite near where you are going (shallow draft) so there is no need for a dinghy with long legs. The boat is either for fun or just to cross 50-100 yards to shore.
 
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Jul 1, 2010
857
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
We have a couple of solutions we use, depending on the trip. We have an 8' portabote that works well. We can fold and unfold it on the foredeck of our boat and lower it into the water with a jib halyard. We store it up against the stanchions. It does have a noticeable drag on the boat when towing...maybe a half knot.

We also have a Sea Eagle inflatable 2 person kayak that is getting more use than the portabote. It can be stored in its bag on the boat and blown up when needed. Then we tow it behind. No noticeable drag. It tows better than the portabote and is easier to get in an out of. It isn't our choice if the trip requires taking our fold up bikes to shore for some bike riding, as the portabote holds way more and no chance of the bikes damaging it. If they had bags, maybe a non-issue. We've taken the kayak up to the North Channel of Lake Huron, and up to Penobscot Bay Me. It has worked really well, and seems to be very durable (as well as inexpensive). Our friends have one and regularly transport their dog in it.

https://www.seaeagle.com/SportKayaks/SE370