Dry Feet

There are special moments in all of our lives. Special days we remember fondly. Sometimes with a smile and maybe a bit misty eyed as well. Your wedding day, the birth of your children, all special days.  Yes, it is true. We had one of those days recently. We have a new dinghy. Tissue please.

Albeit a new to us dinghy. It was on its second owner, we are its third. It has its marks of age and issues. Don’t they all? But we are thrilled to have it. Here is our story.

As you might have heard we are not happy with our dinghy. I know, we so rarely complain about it but it is true. 🙂 Whenever Mark comes across a dinghy that strikes his fancy he will chat with the owner to get their thoughts on their dinghy. If Mark receives good information he researches the boat on the internet. It is interesting just how often people don’t like the dinghy. They often covet another and steered us in a different direction.

Mark read about Porta Bote awhile ago. It is a folding boat that we can use as a dinghy. We liked the idea because it gives us more options of where to store it. We had even measured to see if it would fit and which size would work best for us. We put Porta Bote on our short list of possibilities. We ran into a few boaters who own Porta Botes and so far the reviews have been positive.

Walking down the dock recently Mark saw a Porta Bote on davits at the stern of a Catamaran. The owner was up on deck so Mark stopped to chat with the owner, Rick. It turns out that after cruising single handed for awhile Rick determined that the size Porta Bote he owned was too big for him to handle alone. The boat is twelve feet and weighs almost seventy pounds.  Rick was looking at maybe buying a rubber, inflatable dinghy. Mark told Rick about our dinghy and our reasons for wanting a new one. To Mark’s surprise Rick asked if we wanted to trade dinghies. This simple conversation changed the rest of our day.

All of a sudden we were moving dinghies around, transferring fuel tanks, hoisting outboard engines and going for test drives. I am pretty sure the ability to plane was involved as well. The dinghy is bigger than we wanted. We were thinking about a 8-10 foot not 12 foot but the price was right. We each kept our original outboard engines. The frugal side of Mark is giddy with happiness. We even threw in the bailing bucket.

Each dinghy has its own little issues. We all exchanged full disclosure about our dinghies so there would be no surprises by either new owner. I felt a little like Goldilocks. “Ours is too small”. “Mine is too big”. “Ours leaks”. “Mine is too heavy for me”. “Wow! This one would work for us!” “Wow! This one is just right for me!” Both parties agreed if the dinghy trade did not work out at least we are not out anything and we can still buy new dinghies later. The saying goes that a good deal or trade is when everyone walks away happy and we were all happy. It is far from perfect, it needs a bit of work and is not exactly what we wanted but it will be fine for now.

The new size and dry ride will give us more options of places we can visit because we can anchor farther away in deeper water. It has already proven to be a better fit for our outboard and is easier to use. We have not taken it apart and folded it up yet. We hope it works as easy and quickly as we have been told, we’ll keep you posted.

While we are on good news; the repair of the outboard engine finally made it to the top of the list. Mark did a minor overhaul on the outboard. It is purring along fine now. We have a better dinghy and a sound outboard engine.  We have been having fun zooming around the islands with new confidence that we will not be rowing back to the boat and we will have a dry ride. Ah, the little things in life.

Goodbye Old Leaky! Hello dry feet!

Mark checks out a dinghy that is available to trade

Mark checks out what became our “new to us” dinghy. Better pictures to come as we have some fun.

Categories: Shorts and Musings

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