Searching for a Dinghy

Dinghy in Place

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

May 27, 2019

We decided to find a dinghy to put on the back of our boat.

One reason is that we plan to anchor out a lot so we will need a way to get provisions or visit a new place.

We started out looking on Craig’s List, and then on to West Marine, and finally ended up at Intercoastal Marine.

How to Buy a Dinghy

A dinghy is made up of some type of boat and a motor.

So, buyer beware.

You might think you’re getting a great price on a boat but find out there is no engine.

What good is that?

Craig’s List

Well things are always interesting when you are wheeling and dealing with the general public.

We found a really great deal at a marine store.

An almost too good to be true price.

You can guess what happened.

This “like new, no owner, never used” dinghy was five years old and had been inflated in the yard year round.

It had been through rain and shine, snow and sleet. And boy, did it look like it.

But the most interesting part was the sign on the inside to inform you that the capacity was 3.5 persons.

Do you know a .5 person?

I guess a child would qualify but come on!

Craigs List Dinghy
Do you see it there in yellow? 3.5 Persons

West Marine

Wherever there is boating, there is West Marine.

It’s a “big box” store compared to other mom and pop shops, family-owned boat accessory stores.

You can spend a lot of money there, real fast.

So we looked at a few new models and motors to get an idea of what we might like.

West Marine dinghys
West Marine – Row of Dinghys

But as with every purchase, we have to keep looking and then compare.

So the search continued.

Intercoastal Marine

We then went to Intercoastal Marine, a family owned boat store.

We found exactly what we were looking for – an 11 foot, inflatable, fiberglass bottom, with a 9.9 engine.

It was love at first site.

As much as you can fall in love with a dinghy.


Our boat is registered in Maryland and also documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.

We also had to get the dinghy registered.


Can you believe that?

A little boat has to be registered just like a car. You pay money to get a unique number and sticker.

Just one more thing.

Putting It in It’s Place

We experienced some repairs which required that our boat had to be hauled out of the water a couple of times.

When we got the call that the dinghy and motor were ready to be delivered, we weren’t ready for it.

After the repairs were completed and the boat put back in the water, we had to get ready for the dinghy delivery.

We have a FreedomLift on the back of the boat. We had to attach the arms, change the batteries in the remotes and then made sure that it worked.

Freedom Lift on Back
Freedom Lift – Arms On
Freedom Lift on Back
Freedom Lift Ready for the Dinghy

The day finally arrived when they could deliver and we could receive.

Dinghy Delivery
Dinghy Delivery

I had mouthed off a few times that “I want to be the dinghy captain!” But when it showed up I was terrified.

I am so out of my element with all this stuff.

It’s unnerving at times.


All the time.

Sam had never started up or driven a dinghy before but he bravely moved it from the dock over to our slip.

He learned quickly that if you sit on the back of the dinghy with a heavy motor, a battery and full gas can, tipping over is in your immediate future.

Sam didn’t flip over but it was close.

When he got to the big boat, he soon discovered that our new dinghy wouldn’t fit between the piling (post) it was tied to and the Here’s To Us!!

Why does everything have to be so hard???

I had to go over to the sailboat that was docked next to us and remove their fenders and pull the sailboat as close to the dock as possible.

This allowed Sam to motor between our neighbors’ boat and their piling.


Kind of.

We finally got it in it’s place.

Dinghy in Place

What Should We Name Our Dinghy?

The name of our boat is Here’s To Us!!

We didn’t name it but we are OK with it for now.

I think we need to name our dinghy.

But what?

What do you think we should name it?

We would love to hear your suggestions.

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  1. Great post Rev! Just the right combination of fact, pictures and light hearted humor. Well, if I were the owner of “Here’s to US”, I would logically name the dinghy “Here’s to Rus”. I thought of “Michael” but obviously you do not want to ‘row the boat ashore’! How about a name that is based on an old nautical term and also includes the intended use of the dinghy? “Shuttlebutt” would fit the bill.

    • Here’s to Rus! That’s hilarious. Love it!

  2. I vote for Love and Devotion or Don’t rock the boat

    • Both fantastic choices! Love these.

  3. What about ‘Us ‘n’ Them’ as a name for your dinghy? ?

    • Very clever! Thanks so much.

  4. Since the big boat is Here’s to Us!!, the dinghy should be Cheers!

    • What a great idea! Love it.

  5. What do you think of “Here We Go” – shuttling away from Here’s to Us?. I love your description of the search for the dinghy?. I’m still looking forward to the next edition for the first excursion on the dinghy.

    • That’s a great name! Yup. I gotta write about that experience. Soon. 🙂

  6. All In

    • Love it! Funny, accurate and a command all at the same time.

  7. In my first marriage, I had purchased one. My Former Wife asked me to name it after her….. so….. I did.
    When she got to see the 9ft, fiberglass wonder with 5hp engine… it was christened “My Wife.” SHE: ” Why isn’t my name on it?” Me: “you wanted your Name on it? You should have said so, I named it after you just as you requested.” SHE: No one will know you named it after me… it’s like you’re ashamed of me or it!” Me: “Oh now, EVERYONE will know I named it after you! YOU are My Wife….. and it’s a little dinghy….a PERFECT Parallel!”

    I’m currently 18yrs and going strong with Wife Number 2…………………………

    • I just spewed my morning coffee all over my computer screen! Hilarious!

  8. Just a note of caution on dinghy names: Folks making their yacht/dinghy names identical or super obvious association with the mothership could make it easier for potential bandits– Knowing that the dinghy ashore belongs to the yacht on the hook may allow clever thieves to monitor when you’re away from your home on the water.
    I’ve also heard of folks unrolling and inflating their little secondary roll-up dinghy as a decoy to float behind their boat when the owners leave for an extended period (in an area where dishonest people frequent).


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