Wednesday, September 12, 2012


 Most boat owners are proud of their boats and may be willing to polish and maintain their boat to a much higher degree than they would their own home. Boats are a matter of pride and for some, the boat you own reflects who you are ... or at least who you might think you are. Big or small, classic or new, each boat owner gets a great amount of joy and self satisfaction with owning and pampering their boat. But you know what is even more important to most boaters at the anchorage or in the marina – their dinghy ... or as the British would say, the “yacht tender”.

Dinghy's are a badge of honor and they tour the anchorages and marinas as ambassadors to the main boat. They almost always have a a name or share the name as a sibling of the parent boat. The more equipment on the dinghy and the more horsepower the tender will carry the better. In fact many boats in the quest for a bigger better dinghy don’t have the capacity to carry it on the boat so it must be towed everywhere.

Boat owners go to great lengths to house and launch their dinghies. For maximum wow factor the dingy is launched from a tender garage at the stern of the boat. Next down from that would be a deck crane, maneuvering the vessel from an upper deck to the water. And then there’s hydraulic swim platform launches that lower the dingy into the water or perhaps a Sea Weed davit system where you winch it up or down into the water from the swim platform. Some dinghies suffer the indignity of being turned on their sides and hooked up to Weaver davits. Whatever the methodology of transporting the dingy, one thing is for sure – not many boats travel without their dingy and one of the first things that happens when the anchor drops is the dingy gets launched and there is the appropriate tour of the harbour. A proper dingy cruising expedition of the surrounding area and neighboring anchorages usually ensues at a later time, once the yacht is put in order and has adjusted to it’s new surroundings for a respectable amount of time. Obligatory nods and waves are traded among boat owners during the dinghy expedition and each pay their respects ... and perhaps even a comment or two if you have a really nice dinghy! On return to the big boat, the dinghy crew feels well satisfied with their explorations and usually deserving of a cocktail or a dive off the swim platform. Such are the rituals and formalities of boat owners with their dinghy's.

Of course long distance cruising yachts have a greater functional requirement of their dinghies and it is more than just a shiny tour boat. Cruising boats haul groceries , drop off and pick up crew, take the dog to shore and they have a more working relationship with their dinghy. Looper dinghy's tend to have a lot of black streaks and wear and tear and you may notice that well travelled experienced dinghy's may forgo the initial obligatory nod or wave ... because they have the status to do so (although they probably will always return a courtesy acknowledgement wave). I guess it’s just like Harley riders – if the bike is well used and experienced chances are the flash wave does not come when a Honda comes down the highway the other way. Such are the idiosyncrasies of human psychology and yes I LOVE my dinghy. LOL

Posted by at 2:46 PM