At only eight feet and 105 pounds, the boat hangs nicely on our davits.
One of our requirements for the new dinghy we sought was that it fit in the back of our van, because we did not want to have to trailer it.
very responsive to all of our emails. Ken’s dad designed a custom dolly (Molly the Dolly) for wheeling the boat from the garage hoist to our van. While other boaters at our marina are launching boats over 25 feet with triple-axle trailers, we walk down the ramp with our dinghy perched on a Sunfish dolly. With a quick row over to our sailboat slip, she is ready for hoisting up on the davits. The dinghy has a swing centerboard, which allows for very good tracking when rowing, motoring and sailing. It tracks well even with the board up. The boat has two positions for the oarlocks, giving more options for keeping the boat balanced when rowing. When we spend several days at an anchorage, we sail our dinghy in the harbor. When we sail over to the dock in Pelican Bay, envious boaters admire her. When sailing our Bauer 8, we sit on separate sides of the boat. When we tack, we do not attempt to switch sides. If I am steering, I push the tiller to Ken, and he gives me the mainsheet. The boat sails much better than a flat-front pram, as would be expected. The sail is easily secured by wrapping it around the mast and putting a bungee around it. The mast comes in two parts so we do not have to wield an almost 13-foot pole. The two-part mast also makes storage easier. We ordered canvas covers for the oars and for the mast. We motor the boat with a 1.5-hp Torqueedo electric motor. The motor is easily stored as it breaks down into three manageable parts. We prefer charging the battery on our electric motor over storing gasoline on our boat. The range of the electric motor is displayed in real time on the motor. We are not interested in speed so it works for us. We entered a dinghy poker run with our electric motor. Although we endured some teasing from the fast guys with their 25-HP motors, our electric motor reliably took us around the course. We just smiled as some of the fast guys required a tow back to the dock. The Bauer is surprisingly roomy for an eight-foot boat. She has ample space to store the oars if needed when we motor or sail. It also has a dry storage compartment for
keys, cell phones, VHF radios. The seats even have a nonskid surface. Last year we purchased a larger sailboat, but we kept our Bauer 8. We do not expect to outgrow our little dinghy that can.
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News & Views for Southern Sailors SOUTHWINDS November 2013
Published on Oct 15, 2014