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If the roof height is a fear factor, and the swim platform blocks more than it helps, then you may consider storage high off your transom. Sailors have used this process, like the St. Croix model, for years, and occasionally, we see trawlers with a dinghy hanging off the transom though roof storage is still the most popular trawler choice. Because the trawler owner has so many opportunities for dinghy storage, we also have many options for dinghy design. RIB, Hypalon, PVC, inflatable deck, tiller outboard controls, center console steering, portable gas tank or A six-position electro-hydraulic dinghy boom makes launch and recovery very built-in—the thoughts just keep popping up. simple. Want the exercise offered by a true rowing dinghy, or is the stability of an inflatable more what you desire? RIB means Rigid Inflatable Boat, which usually has an inflatable collar around a fiberglass hull. The rigid hull gives you better tracking than an inflatable keel and a more solid platform when beaching the boat on gravel, rocks or Neptune forbid, oyster shells. This type of hull saves your air bladders from being shredded. The Hypalon inflatable tube generally comes with a 10-year warranty while the PVC often has a 5-year warranty. The Hypalon is glued together while the PVC is plastic-welded (heat-melted together). Both types are allergic to barnacles, oysters and rusty nails on pilings, all of which are not covered under a warranty from defects. Once you’ve decided on the hull construction and design, then you have to choose how you’d like to drive your dinghy: with a tiller outboard motor, or a steering wheel on a center console? A This RIB is lifted by davit onto an aft roof deck that has short rails around the roof center console is the big daddy of dinghy luxury, ledge, offering those who have height issues something to grab on to. but the additional weight of the console must be considered as well. Can your roof handle all the extra weight? The tiller control is fine and does the job well, but the center console with a windshield makes driving easier and more fun. Best of all you’re sitting in a real seat instead of riding shotgun on the inflatable air bladder. This alone makes long distance dinghy rides more comfortable. No dinghy butt! (Translation: wet pants from splashing sea water, which is a chronic condition of the avid cruiser with a basic RIB.) So consider your dinghy’s mission, check the prices, decide where to stow it and make your decision. A very smart cruiser once said that the closer the dinghy is stored to the water, the more you will use it. Wise words indeed. Now let’s go ashore. (If you have any ideas for future topics, comments about this article, or comments about trawler coverage in SOUTHWINDS, email them to editor@southSwim Platform hinge with a rotating outboard bracket keeps the motor upright. windsmagazine.com.) News & Views for Southern Sailors

SOUTHWINDS April 2013

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