Cruising

Just Say "No" to Inflatable Dinghies

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Why we chose a Dyer Dinghy over an outboard motor

Take one look at a typical dinghy dock and you’ll see inflatables with outboard motors have won the popularity debate. But we use a hard Dyer Dhow dinghy with oars and a sail and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I concede, there are disadvantages. Sometimes it is hard rowing against the wind, or you might not want to row at all, especially knowing that a powerful motor could get you there. As for launching, putting a hard dinghy over the side in a strong wind can get hairy.

Whether rowing  or sailing the benefits of an engine-free dinghy are many

But here are the pros: we carry no potentially dangerous gasoline. We don’t have to do annual outboard maintenance. We make no noise. We get exercise. Our dinghy doesn’t fall apart in the sun. Our dinghy doesn’t mind getting scratched on rocky beaches. And she sits very well overturned in front of the mast and provides a spray and rain cover for the open hatch below.

The Dyer is a good dinghy because it is light and rows well. We row with good long pine oars, which are amazingly useful, especially if you’re used to struggling with the little toy oars that come with most inflatables. Best of all, in the right conditions, we can put up the little sail and actually go as fast as a motorized dinghy, using just a fraction of the effort.

Photos by Sebastian Smith

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