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What to look for in an inflatable dinghy as a yacht tender?

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alloy doesn't need paint for protection, it forms a natural barrier. Paint is for aesthetic reasons only.


Not necessarily true. Green zinc chromate primer is often applied to alloy boats and most often planes to reduced long term corrosion. Its that opaque green stuff you'll often see on alloy plane interiors.

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alloy doesn't need paint for protection, it forms a natural barrier. Paint is for aesthetic reasons only.

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Still using my nutshell pram, ply glassed, it has to tow in all conditions carry the whole crew and sail around the bay for social visits as well

G'day Cousin Prammer, I'll race ya.


I do love a nice evening social sail around the bay. Only had the D's come to tow the somewhat intoxicated boat and crew back to the mothership a few times :)



That is the sort of dinghy I'm thinking about.

What length is yours, and do you know the weight?

The key question for me, how tippy is it when stepping in from the boat? And for people (kids and mums) moving around to sit down after stepping in?


The skylark 8 ft indicates a weight of 27 kg, which sounds good, the 9 and 10 ft versions are 36 kg. Load carrying sounds good, 2 adults 3 kids in sheltered water.

I built the 4 ft version for the kids, very pleased with it. I would post photos but its too damn complicated.


Mine does look very much like the Skylark but I reckon it would be more a 7 than 6 or 8. I must measure the little bugger.


I would think the 8 could be build for less than 27kg, if you wanted to make it lighter.......but at the possible expense of tuffness.


Opps, mine does float high so when one up is a little tender but when loaded with 4 people it sits low with what appears not much free board. But it is stable and we've had no issues with the lower free board.

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Those skylarks are all takes on the original nutshell, designed by Joel White. Unfortunately like the local copy dont quite look as good.

For our Nutshells we did a bit of FAA  and reduced the thickness of most bits knowing that they would be glassed with 6oz .

So built out of Gaboon  ply  the hull glassed without paint is under 20kg . they are meant to be 7'7" long -though mine ended up as 7' 8" .

Because of the hull shape she stays dryish inside except for extreme conditions, I have seen her clear the water in 45 knots on the nose but never flips, likewise with our keels they tow straight. Rowing ashore she takes four 100kg plus males and you arrive dry!

I may still have the laminating jigs at home and building frame.   

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When the garden ornament returns to being a boat I'm going to take a mold off mine and bang out a carbon foam one. Mainly just because I can but it will be interesting to see how light I can make one. I did a quick work out at got to about 10.5kg. If I can do that then I'll have enough spare weight to kick Motorbikes arse even with a 4th Unicorn installed.

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I built a Pelin Gemini 7'3"  close 17 years ago that's spent most of it's time outside. It's 3mm meranti and has been painted in 2 pot urathane with no glass or epoxy. Weighs 18kgs and still gets used over the winters when it's just two of us cruising and the outboard gets left at home.

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