We live on a boat, some folks who read this do, or have too. Ours isn’t a big boat by many cruiser’s standards but too big to take to the dock all the time and stay within our budget. So we also have a small boat, a “dingy”, to get to-from shore with stuff and us of course. You know laundry, groceries, rum, boat parts, walks and all those kind of things. And there are “dingy” docks, some owned by cities, some marinas, restaurants etc.

    Generally cruisers spend enough $$$ locally that it makes good sense to have a “dingy” dock. Generally at busy “dingy” docks, folks use long painters so everyone can maneuver in and out regardless if the “dingy” is double/triple parked. Generally if you have a big boat you either hire/pay for a slip or get a “dingy” to get to and from shore. And there is my rub.

Dingy to the left (blue/graythird row)
is our 8 1/2 footer for comparison
We DO have a Tiller extension though!
    At what size is it no longer a “dingy”? Perspective perhaps…if the mother-ship is 36 feet a big “dingy” might be a six or eight footer. But if the mother-ship is say 100 feet will a 12 footer suffice?  It doesn’t seem to.

    We’re in the USVI’s right now and even for this 24+ year US Air Force veteran who’ has witnessed a few big “dingy” contests, it’s a bit overwhelming. I mean damn, some of these really qualify as mother-ships. Every day there are a ½ dozen plus rigid and RIB boats with outboards exceeding 40 horsepower, several in the 14-18 foot, 100-140 hp range, electric start, integral navigation lights and GPS/chart plotters. Is that a “dingy”?  This more rigid platform, convenience, and additional size could be an offset for the effects of age and lost dexterity allowing people to do things they love much later in life. (Pfizer analogy SO tempting here) Mostly though it seems they are young crews, owners, and guests of very large and quite expensive yachts.  So it’s probably big and fully outfitted just because it can be.

     While there are rarely hard rules there are conventions, like the long painter I talked about. It’s just being considerate of others so most people do it. But not everyone, so sometimes there actually are rules. Annapolis for example has a rule for their “dingy” dock limiting size to (hope I remember this correctly) 14 feet. Oh that’s right, there are rules here too. Limit is 12 feet, no locking, and no overnight. Hmm.

    Options: the “dingy” dock could get bigger; “dingys” could get smaller; or maybe those non-“dingy” i.e. pseudo mother-ships could hire slips. Meanwhile our painter keeps getting longer and the off-loading more challenging as we climb over and through the “dingy” mass/mess.  Good news—Lynn has only gone in once. Not here.


Barb said...

Nice one, Steve. I understand that there used to be yet another dinghy dock on the town end of Yacht Haven Grand. Would be nice of them to re-build, and allow locking for folks who work. The docks at both marinas are nearly full by 9 -- and at YHG by 7. Cruisers work here. Ah well. Keep Lynn dry, will you?

Anne and Chris said...

If you get to the dinghy dock before 7am, you can usually get in pretty easily. Getting out when you get back, however... We were at YHG a few days ago and someone chained their dinghy so it was much less than 1' from the dock - so rude.

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