Updated:
Original:

Just Say "No" to Inflatable Dinghies

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.

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.

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

Related

01-LEAD-IMG_1002

Cyclone Season in Polynesia

Thinking of spending cyclone season in the South Pacific? Plenty of sailors take the chance every year, with the recent travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic making this an especially popular option in 2020. Cyclone season in this part of the world runs from November to ...read more

01b-LEAD-INSET-Kirby-IMG_0077

Eight Bells: Bruce Kirby, Creator of the Laser

With 2021 drawing to a close, Laser sailors find themselves reflecting on both their class’s 50th anniversary and the passing of the man who made it all possible: Canadian designer, sailor and sailing journalist, Bruce Kirby. Kirby, who died this past July at the age of 92, ...read more

2021ROLEXIC_DF_0061

Southern Yacht Club Wins Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Newport, R.I. -- The 7th Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup wrapped up on Saturday after five days of highly competitive racing in an international fleet that saw the Southern Yacht Club (SYC) of New Orleans best a fleet of 19 teams from Europe, Canada, Bermuda and ...read more

DUFOUR-530_NAVIGATION_009

Boat Review: Dufour 530

Dufour Yachts seems to have shifted its strategy with the introduction of the new 530. Previously, the French builder maintained two lines: Performance and Grand Large, with the latter targeted at the cruising crowd. With the Dufour 530, however, Dufour decided to combine the ...read more

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more

5ae5b8ce-3113-4236-927b-f795be4ae091

Bitter End Yacht Club Announces Reopening

Four years after being decimated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Bitter End Yacht Club is set to reopen for the Winter 2022 season. Hailed as one of the best anchorages in the Caribbean and built by sailors, for sailors, this island outpost in the BVI has been a favorite with ...read more