Probably the most maligned and yet necessary part of our boating equipment is our dinghy. O.K. for some of us the dinghy is the only boat we have or what maybe we have to aspire to, but for the moment let me talk about the dinghy as an addendum to our yacht, cruiser, houseboat or whatever?
Firstly, despite what we would like to believe, it is not our lifeboat! No way Jose. Lifeboats and life rafts are dedicated pieces of equipment and should not be confused or de-rated. Sure the dinghy has been used lots of times in Mayday situations and has handled itself admirably, but it is not a piece of safety equipment.
The dinghy should be our means of transport to and from our main craft when it is on anchor or on its mooring. It lives on the davits on the back of the boat or gets unceremoniously dragged behind on a piece of string. For longer voyages it is hauled up and lashed off on the dolphin or duck board or better still has a designated position on the foredeck where again it is lashed down to be safe from the “Greene” that may wash over the deck.
At anchor or on the mooring it is again left to its own devises dragging to the tide or wind behind the main craft. Dinghies are almost as unique as their owners, no two seem to be the same. Sort of like fingerprints, they are very distinct and despite our blatant neglect we do fall in love with them. They are the quiet achievers of our water wonderlands.