Best rowing tender/dinghy with passenger.

I thought this might be a place to grab some anecdotal advice.

I'm looking to change my dinghy game. Parameters:

10ft or less, no exception
Durable, as it will be tied alongside many other dinghys in all weather
Efficient rowing as chop and current can be excessive
Dry as possible (see above)
Rows comfortably with 130lb passenger in stern

Weight doesn't matter - lives in water all season
Will not be sailing
Will not be towing
Less varnishing the better

I have a Portland Pudgy, that's a great boat, but in the end isn't the speediest of hulls. Also have had 8'6" Puffin that is brilliant solo, but with a passenger and any sort of following chop... a wet shorts is a sure thing. Don't suggest a Walker Bay, you'll lose all credibilty.

Looking at Dyer Dhow. There may be one at the anchorage I can test drive. There are a lot of dinks out there in the world. Focus is on ergonomics while having the weight on the rear bench.
I thought this might be a place to grab some anecdotal advice.

I'm looking to change my dinghy game. Parameters:

10ft or less, no exception
Durable, as it will be tied alongside many other dinghys in all weather
Efficient rowing as chop and current can be excessive
Dry as possible (see above)
Rows comfortably with 130lb passenger in stern

Weight doesn't matter - lives in water all season
Will not be sailing
Will not be towing
Less varnishing the better

I have a Portland Pudgy, that's a great boat, but in the end isn't the speediest of hulls. Also have had 8'6" Puffin that is brilliant solo, but with a passenger and any sort of following chop... a wet shorts is a sure thing. Don't suggest a Walker Bay, you'll lose all credibilty.

Looking at Dyer Dhow. There may be one at the anchorage I can test drive. There are a lot of dinks out there in the world. Focus is on ergonomics while having the weight on the rear bench.
It would be nice to know what is being replaced. It is not clear if it is a Walker Bay or not.
 

Maldwin

New member
30
21
FL/ME
I thought this might be a place to grab some anecdotal advice.

I'm looking to change my dinghy game. Parameters:

10ft or less, no exception
Durable, as it will be tied alongside many other dinghys in all weather
Efficient rowing as chop and current can be excessive
Dry as possible (see above)
Rows comfortably with 130lb passenger in stern

Weight doesn't matter - lives in water all season
Will not be sailing
Will not be towing
Less varnishing the better

I have a Portland Pudgy, that's a great boat, but in the end isn't the speediest of hulls. Also have had 8'6" Puffin that is brilliant solo, but with a passenger and any sort of following chop... a wet shorts is a sure thing. Don't suggest a Walker Bay, you'll lose all credibilty.

Looking at Dyer Dhow. There may be one at the anchorage I can test drive. There are a lot of dinks out there in the world. Focus is on ergonomics while having the weight on the rear bench.
What is the Portland Pudgy like? They have always intrigued me.
 

Jangles13

Anarchist
785
12
Maine
I currently use the Pudgy.

I like it, really is a cool boat. Mine is an early hull, actually a "defect/second" as the floor got overfilled with foam and has a crown. I have had for over 10yrs. It's stable as can be, nearly indestructible (no maintenance) and works fine.

I used to run it with a 2hp Honda, but because of it being stored wet at a dinghy dock without any organization I always took the engine off. That has become enough of a hassle that I just end up rowing.

It's an exposed mooring field and my spot is about a 15min row (1/4mi?) With the tide (12ft) there is significant current, wind, and chop at times.

As such, the Pudgy does well, but I can't help but notice the plastic bottom and hull form (and weight) is not as easily driven as some others I've used. Also, if my stern passenger, that happens to be mostly leg, doesn't sit correctly my oar handles strike her knees occasionally.

I previously (still own it) used a 8'6" Puffin which is a standard round bottom dinghy. Pretty, light, goes well with 1, drags ass with 2 and causes it to take water over the stern... tippy as can be.

The club has a couple 10' walker bays. The oars and locks have been replaced with proper gear and I find them functional but bottom shelf. The only thing they have going is being big and light.

I did note 2 owners of 9' Dhows, so I need to track them down and ask for a sea trial.

Otherwise mostly inflatables here. One interesting Landing School dory, 2 MK 9, and a few other random/old designs that I can't identify.

I will in all probability just keep using the Pudgy. Might be easier to get a closer mooring than find the "perfect" dinghy.

For those who are on the DIY path... I'll just say this about recreational carpentry projects in my world: The cobbler's children have no shoes.

I've been fantasizing about an electric inboard...
 

pjwalsh

New member
My 2 cents,
My first dinghy kept dumping me out much to the delight of my spouse!! When I ask an old time boat builder( Stu Smith) ,his comment was "the faster they throw you out the better they row?"

many decades later, I got a fiberglass Whitehall skiff. Looked great, Stable....but when second old time boat builder (Michael Jones) saw it. He lifted one end and said, " Get rid of it way to heavy to be useful"

and now several decades later, found my current dinghy, Joel White ( EB White's son) Nutshell pram 10'.
Attached are photos , one for show but look carefully at the second one. There are 4 big boys in her, Michael Jones rowing. Rows well but what do I know:)

Good luck!!

View attachment 539409

View attachment 539410
A real masterpeice.
 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,106
793
Oregon
The external frames at bow and transom still make no sense to me... Not finished but not bad for four hours work:

A group of Oregon Boating Foundation volunteers, otherwise know as the Old Retired Guy Sailing Club joined together at the Port of Toledo Community Boat House to build an Elegant Punt. This is a short video of the work they accomplished in just four hours.
 

Leeroy Jenkins

Super Anarchist
1,562
619
Vancouver
Have you considered the B&B Spindrift 10'?
https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/s10https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/s10

Another option, out of left field, is Mark Gumprecht's 10' version of his Glider (12') and L'il Nip (8') catamaran dinghy. There is a link to download a PDF of the 10' version on the Lil Nip page here. Apparently the cats row REALLY well, and have the added stability of two hulls, and can be pushed right up onto beach or dock to provide a stable bow to step down onto. Worth contemplating...

https://duckworks.com/lil-nip-plans/
Do you have experience with the Spindrift? All the pics I see show only one person/rowing station.
 
Do you have experience with the Spindrift? All the pics I see show only one person/rowing station.
My wife and I cruised for 2 years in the late 90's with a Spindrift 10 as our dinghy. It would happily carry 2 adults all day, and we regularly put 4 adults in it for short trips - 1 rowing, 2 in the stern, 1 in the bow.

img-96-051.jpeg
 

eastbay

Member
389
18
Oakland
Ability to plane, and weight.

I’ve got a Trinka 10 and it is a very good dinghy. It won’t plane either by motor or sail power so we can’t go anywhere fast. It weighs something like 135 pounds so it is cumbersome to lift.

Is there such a thing as a hard dinghy that planes? If built with quadraxial foam core vacuum cured epoxy could it weigh 80 pounds? Kind of like an RS Aero with sides and a transom I guess…. What comes closest to that?
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,269
9,611
Eastern NC
Ability to plane, and weight.

I’ve got a Trinka 10 and it is a very good dinghy. It won’t plane either by motor or sail power so we can’t go anywhere fast. It weighs something like 135 pounds so it is cumbersome to lift.

Is there such a thing as a hard dinghy that planes? If built with quadraxial foam core vacuum cured epoxy could it weigh 80 pounds? Kind of like an RS Aero with sides and a transom I guess…. What comes closest to that?

An RS Aero.... just kidding, I think one of those would make a rather poor tender.
This is why I built my own dinghy. There are a number of kits where you can produce light, fair, stable, rowing dinks; but they tend to fade in & out of availability as they don't seem to be appreciated by the market.
 

Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
1,695
1,300
Port Townsend WA
Ability to plane, and weight.

I’ve got a Trinka 10 and it is a very good dinghy. It won’t plane either by motor or sail power so we can’t go anywhere fast. It weighs something like 135 pounds so it is cumbersome to lift.

Is there such a thing as a hard dinghy that planes? If built with quadraxial foam core vacuum cured epoxy could it weigh 80 pounds? Kind of like an RS Aero with sides and a transom I guess…. What comes closest to that?
Here's one that planes. Weighs 90 lbs.
 

JohnP

New member
If you would like to build your own 8 foot plywood tender that can be rowed, sailed or motored the award winning design at this link could suit you: https://www.hostellerssailingclub.o... 'Pram' Dingny Design Document - Issue 01.pdf

The file at the above link is a detailed description of the design with diagrams, for easy construction you would need the .dxf files to cut out the plywood parts, I believe these belong to the Junk Rig Association but if you join that group (not expensive) I expect they will let you have them.
 

Tightrope

New member
2
0
Seattle
Given your constraints you cannot do this under ten ft. A fat hull section never carries well through chop, this is a fact, try it out. Each wave slows the boat and makes things wet and miserable.

If ten ft is a hard limit it is worth looking at a two piece nesting dinghy. It adds greatly to the build or buy cost but the performance of the hull massively improves over 12 ft. Longer hulls with finer shape carries through the chop between strokes. I spent decades rowing ashore daily, under 12 ft is always wet and slow with any load. I have seen so many short tubby rowboats traded in for inflatables because they are miserable to row long distance.

Long well-shaped spoon oars, and sliding seat will make rowing a true pleasure, not a slog. The boat, seat and oars need a careful match to your strength and skill.

A note on dinghy design- rowing skiffs hit their peak way back in the 1930's (before the outboard came along). A proper long keel rowing skiff from 1930 will be as good a design as can be found for what you want to do.
 

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