OCC Forums

Dinghy: security thought about inflatables


By Dick - 6 Jun 2022

Administrator: I could find no stream on dinghies, so I started this. Please move if wished.
Hi all,
It won’t happen often, but it is something to think about: if your dinghy is an inflatable and your engine will not start, at what wind speed will you be unable to go upwind rowing your inflatable? alone?, dragging a dead engine? with a passenger? With chop?.
Often the good inflatables nowadays have big tubes which are wonderful for keeping dry when zooming around under engine, but make rowing in wind much more difficult.
My memory is that I could make headway with effort up to 12-15kn alone and after that it was impossible. Two of us paddling side by side were not much better (and it was like a Laurel & Hardy scene for those of us of a certain age).
For those of us who are in remote areas, this can be an issue. At least once, in an increasing wind situation, I almost could not get back to the boat. This really caught my attention as, when things are getting boisterous and the wind is shifting, I want to be on Alchemy and not watching from shore.
This is less of an issue if there are always other boats around who can give a lift.
It is also less of an issue with my hard shell nesting rowing dinghy where I suspect I can row to wind in 30-40 kn.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy