On dinghies, kayaks, scooter and bikes

These are extenders and how many you carry is determined by space, time and budget. While a sailboat can get pretty close to the forested shores of the coast islands, there is always some water to cross.

Fitted out with the inflatable Dinghy Dogs, T/T (ie Tender To) Aurora is serving us well this year. A product purveyed by one of thousands of entrepreneurial, problem-solving, nautical inventors, Dinghy Dogs have bridged differing views the Skipper and the First Mate.

When the Skipper steps off the deck and into the dinghy he wants a fairly solid landing, not the teetering of a canoe. In fact, he long made the case for buying a bulky, expensive inflatable. As for the First Mate, she wants something she can actually row, particularly on longer excursions, when the electric motor runs out of juice. And she’s always liked the traditional rowboat design and the way the existing dinghy fits perfectly on the deck.

Enter Dinghy Dogs, inflatable hotdogs six feet long. They simply lash on to gunwale cleats and are kept from popping up by a slotted band at the waterline. Jack the Skipper can actually relax on excursions into the nooks and crannies of the coast and the First Mate still has her classic (if plastic) rowboat.
A lot of cruisers haul a dinghy and have kayaks on deck. The kayaks may be rigid or inflatable. The simplest inflatables resemble blow up lounge chairs. A couple of sailors in this type paddled up just we we squeezing into a particularly tight anchorage and poked around with their paddles to confirm we had the necessary depth. Then they left on wind power: each put up a folding umbrella!

Our decks are uncluttered with extender paraphenalia but stowed in the port lazarette is my everyday bike and in the starboard one, Jack’s scooter. The bike is a folding Dahon and the scooter breaks down into five easy pieces so they both can be transported in the dinghy, though not necessarily at once.


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