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Pup, Marionette's inflatable tender - updated April 16, 2013  

April 8, 2013. Marionette's first tender was/is an OMC 265 Express inflatable. She is 18 years old and does not get much use. This summer's Maine cruise plans involves more crew than Marionette's other dinghy 'TEER can carry so this dinghy needed some pre-season attention. She passed her cellar air holding test - no leaks!

This is a four passenger boat with floor boards and goes like hell with just me and Marionette's 4 hp outboard. She, and all her gear - floorboards, stringers, connectors, anti theft cable and lock, repair kit, oars, tow line, pump, etc stores in a large rubber bag that weighs in at about 80 lbs - I can barely lift it, never mind over the lifelines and wrestle it down below into the port quarterberth. More on this later....

When towing she will cost close to .5 knots in max boat speed - on a 300 mile trip to Maine that would add almost another day to a week long trip, so she stays in the quarterberth until we get there. And, when we got there it was awkward towing an inflatable around some of Maine's classic boat harbors. So, 'TEER was built. Perfect for a single hander, a squeeze for 2 people - only 350lb capacity, and a boat one rows.....

'TEER weighs only 42lbs, doesn't tow any faster than Pup, but tows majestically thru Maine's classic boat harbors. However, she does not stow well in the quarterberth. So, what to do.

I carry Pup in the quarterberth on long trips so she can double as an 'emergency' life raft, and as a launch to get to shore if a slip is not available. If the plan is leave Marionette at her destination - ie., for a few weeks or all summer in Maine, and then take back and forth trips by car, Pup goes home in the trunk, and 'TEER comes back on the roof.

Not a perfect solution but that's what happens. What follows is a current project to minimize the hassle of handling Pup and all her gear in that 80 lb bag.

That bag, above right, will now carry the basic boat and the inflatable center seat plus the long aluminum parts. All the 'parts' needed are below -what's missing is a scoop and sponge to bail/mop up water.

The bag with only the boat, the inflatable seat, and with the 2 long aluminum stringers and the 2 oar shafts (center), weighs in at about 45 lbs. It is about 52" long, 18" deep and 14" wide - manageable. Another bag about 36" long, 18" deep and 12" wide should carry the rest of the gear - except maybe the wheely thing. Looking for the right bag....see below.

The wheely thing is "TEER's skeg dolly, modified with a bolt-on wood dowel, (copper sheathed bearing surface!) that neatly fits into the drain hole at the bottom center of the boat's transom. This addition to Pup's inventory seemed a good idea as it may be necessary to transport Pup on land to a storage location. This dolly is intended to work like a wheelbarrow wheel so one person can push or pull the boat by holding on to the tow bridle or the hand rope at the front. It is intended to be a quick on and off dolly used by a single hander, or when 2 or more crew are intimidated by the land distance to be traveled, or when there might be a 32lb 4 hp motor on the transom, with a half full 3 gallon fuel tank hitching a ride....

The fastening system is 2 eye bolts, the stud ends of which you can see sticking up - top picture. When the nuts are tightened the eyes pull up against the cross bolts, snuggling the forward edge of the dolly under the edge of the transom. The pad protects the rubber. The bolt in the dowel inside the boat is really just a pin to prevent the dowel from slipping out. The dowel was a bit too small in diameter and, in the parts box, was a copper tube just the right size to make it fit.

The nylon line draped over the top of the transom is tied to the drain plug - not visible.

The picture at left has all the parts needed to convert 'TEER's skeg dolly to Pup's transom dolly - including the little wrench for 'tightening the bolts. The wood block is the spacer that keeps the dolly cheeks separated - necessary since Pup has no skeg.

The assembly was not wobbly in nice smooth cellar floor trials, but field trials may dictate a wider base plate between the dolly and the transom base. Stay tuned...

We felt pretty badly that Marionette's first dinghy never had a name. So, that's been fixed...


Anybody figured out the name connection?

April 16, 2013. The 'bag' solution - will be field trialed this summer....

1) the big bag - the boat, seat, stringers and oars - 45lbs

2) the floor boards w connectors attached - a rope tie 'bag' using the tow rope - 20 lbs

3) a strange, unused yellow bag from under the staircase holds everything else - 22 lbs















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