We bought a new RIB with 15 hp outboard to replace our existing tender. Due to my torn tendons in my arms, I needed an electric start engine. We could not add electric start to our current motor because it’s max hp capacity is 6 hp, and the lowest hp in electric start is 8 hp. This resulted in realizing we not only need another outboard engine but also another dinghy.
We decided on West Marine’s Zodiac hypalon 310. (http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine–rib-310-single-floor-rigid-inflatable-boat-gray-hypalon–14982094 ) It’s white, which won’t get so hot in the tropics ( even light grey can become too hot to touch). We also went for the RIB, which is a fiberglass bottom with inflatable tubes. This has great stability and can carry over 1100lbs in people and cargo. The tubes are 16″. I like the smaller tubes because it makes it a little easier to get into from the water. Brian loves the space of the new dinghy, he is 6’1″ and can sit like a civilized person without the pretzel or yoga positioning he had to endure to fit wife, dog, and gear onboard our old dinghy.
Specs of new WM 310 hypalon RIB
The first thing we do to a beautiful brand new RIB is to “uglyfy” it. This makes it blend in with the other boat tenders tied up to the docks. A nice white shiny inflatable screams to be stolen and Key West’s crime rate is staggeringly high. I painted on our boat name for insurance purposes, theft deterrent, and for easy ID. I will make a canvas flap that will flip over the bow to cover the name when we wish to remain anonymous. Some believe that if thieves see your dinghy at the dock with the boat name on it, the thieves are able to ascertain the mothership is empty and ready to plunder. But Brian and I are not totally on board with that logic, at least, not for the environments we have encountered.
I picked a nice lime green color to paint our logo on the stern port and starboard tubes, on the outboard cowl and add a few touches here and there. This will hopefully prevent theft and help us retrieve our dinghy easily if it is somehow separated from the mothership unintentionally. Also, I’m placing a laminated card attached to the stern, this will have our names and emergency contact numbers in case the tender was ever found adrift. All gear, oars, ggas tank etc will also be labeled with our boat name. All this work will hopefully be unnecessary, but if it is ever stolen, or more likely, gets away from us and is found adrift or on a beach, there will be several clues (including name and phone number!) to get this wayward tender back to the mothership.
We’ve had the boat and motor a week now and are very happy. We get around quicker and easier and best of all I can start the motor with a push of the button! this should help my arms heal up. Still need to install the battery box, I’d like it to be mounted next to the Racor. Brian bought a U1 battery for starting the motor.
Today we needed to run to the grocery store, hardware store, and west marine.
Tonight I will finish up the stencils for the dinghy and motor paint job. we will land over at rat Key to do the paint job.
Hope this isn’t too boring but the sunrise was so pretty, thought I’d share.
Today is rest day. Well, mostly rest, I will paint the motor cowl and do some light sewing. Brian has some Parks and Wildlife calls to make for the dinghy paperwork. Brian strained his back so he is on strict light duty boat work :-) per Rain Dog’s onboard Nurse. He is not happy about it but as an RN I’ve dealt with ornery patients before.
Have a wonderful day.
We are at the city Marina for a day or two to pick up the new dinghy, top off the tanks, deep charge the batteries, and enjoy the electricity by sewing on my sail rite. I also scrubbed Rain Dog’s decks nice and clean :-).