View Full Version : Dingy

08-09-2012, 07:54 AM
We bought a jet ski to serve as our houseboatís dingy last year. After ĺ of the boating season, weíve found it worked better in theory than in reality. Older parents / folks donít want to ride the jet ski and we canít ride it at night. So, weíve been looking into a good used runabout to fill this void now. What type of boat do you guys use to fulfill this service?

My concerns about getting a runabout are:
1) Must have wife drive the runabout out to the houseboat once Iím anchored, so she wonít be able to sail out to anchor with me.
2) Wonít have wife to throw the bow lines at the dock when weíre returning. Could teach my 5 year old to do it, but thatís a whole different problem.
3) Iím already paying ~$6K a year for slip fees on the houseboat, so I will store the runabout at the house in my garage. Iíll have to haul it to / from the lake each weekend, which isn't really that bad b/c our boat is only 15 minutes from the house.
a. Iím asking Sailabration about mounting a 16í runabout on the back of my houseboat, so I could potentially leave it mounted on the back all boating season. Not sure what that would cost, if it could even be done.
4) Between cars, boats, and lawn equipment, I will have 11 different engines I must maintain!

I was thinking of buying a rigid inflatable, but those canít really be used comfortably as a ski / tubing boat.

08-09-2012, 09:17 AM
We use a 11' RIB.. good enough for water fun and ok for the putting on the swim platform for stowage

08-09-2012, 11:54 AM
What's a RIB?

08-09-2012, 12:35 PM
What do you need to do with it? I call mine the dog boat, so I guess you know what I need it for. I have a wave runner, which is great for what it's made for, but no good for taking the dog to shore. I have a West Marine folding floor inflatable with a Suzuki 2.5hp motor.

08-09-2012, 02:23 PM
RIB stands for rigid inflatable boat. They don't break down to suitcase size like a rubber boat, but they handle worlds better. I'll bet you'd get one onto your deck pretty easy unless you went wild with an outboard motor. Trouble is, if the outboard motor is small enough to make it portable, it won't be worth a hoot for watersports. A 17' to 19' fiberglass boat would be outstanding for watersports, but you won't be hoisting it onto your deck. It boils down to one of those boating compromises we all make.

I trailer my ski boat to the lake every time I go, but it looks like I might be in the minority on this board. When I'm too old for watersports, my houseboat will say Carnival or Norwegian on its side.

08-09-2012, 08:33 PM
I don't use it currently but we have a lot of boats in our marina who are on buoys vs docks, which I used to be. Most use Jon Boats to go back and forth. I have a 14ft aluminum v-hull jon boat with a 6hp motor. Wouldn't be good for long runs but is stable and you can have seating for 5 or 6. Mine came with padded swivel seats the guy used it for fishing. I installed a carpeted plywood floor so it's flat and comfortable. A small solar charger, battery and bilge and it was good to go. The other option if you are going longer distances and don't want to worry as much about dings in the fiberglass would be a pontooon boat. Our marina uses pontoon boats to shuttle people around to the houseboats on buoys that don't have their own or are friends etc. They used dock rubber padding for the edges etc.

08-11-2012, 03:24 AM
A pontoon boat should make a good shuttle but how do they tow???

08-14-2012, 02:33 PM
I believe we're going to wait until fall of '13 to buy a good used 18' bow rider. I'm only 15 mins from my houseboat, so I can tow it back and forth each weekend without much trouble.

Frantically Relaxing
08-14-2012, 07:27 PM
We had your basic Bayliner 175 as our "dingy". We tied it to the back of the boat using mooring whips, worked out nice! We used to tow it out like that too. Our 'babyliner" was a great boat, stupendous gas mileage from the little Merc 4-banger, very fast holeshot boat, a little rough riding in the chop though. Very easy to launch & trailer, did it myself for 4 years. Overall, great bang-for-the-buck little boat. Our 16 grandkids got big (BIG!), which is why we moved up to the Chaparral. It's a wee bit big to tie off the stern though! (but that's a compromise we can live with!)


08-19-2012, 08:03 PM
I use a 22' pontoon for our tender, we tie it up to the side of the HB it works fine. We love it, we can throw all or our gear, ice chests etc at home and then just carry or stuff across on the water. We are only 20 minutes from the lake so it is no big deal to tow it to and from.