Searching for ‘Imi Iki (Our Dinghy/Tender)

Our first tender? Of course we knew this was not an option, it was left over from our lake trips and car camping days.  Sold on Craigslist.

Another leftover from lake fishing, still not an option.  It only seats one, and is difficult to row in the wind.  Sold on Craigslist.

The Javelin, a 14 foot ODay fiberglass sailboat we bought off Craigslist to learn how to sail.  This is a great boat to sail in light, moderate, and really any constant air.  We figured out the boom rolling reefing for the main sucks, we ended up either dropping the jib or main depending on our direction of travel.  We tried an electric motor, but added oars and never looked back to using the motor as an option.  We learned so much.  Alas it is still a bit large to fit on the deck.  Sold on Craigslist.

Our first real try at buying in the Portland market.  We tried out a 6 foot wood dinghy, about 4 inches of freeboard, very nervous in calm water so we declined.  The next day this El Toro 7 1/2 foot pram sailing dinghy came up on Craigslist.  We quickly purchased it, stripped, sealed and painted it.  It is stitch and glue, no tape.  Of course it leaked, and with two of us in it, it was scary in the channel with 10 knot winds.  We quickly sold it on Craigslist.

We had to drive to Seattle to finally find something we feel comfortable with.  7 1/2 foot Orca Camden II sailing/rowing dinghy made by the Dinghy Company in Washington.  Fiberglass lapstrake with positive buoyancy flotation compartments.  With both of us, it has good freeboard (we took on the wake of a couple of powerboats).  We figured out the sail rig, it’s a loose footed sprit rig.  This means no boom to watch out for, and less heal.  It sails/rows great up and down in light and strong wind.  We had to buy oars and locks, the sail rig was unused until we tried it out.  The empty boat weighs about 50 lbs, and it fits on the deck.

Finally, we can stop looking for awhile.

The only drawback is:  stored on deck the forward hatch is covered.

We might saw this boat in half and make it a nesting dinghy.  Or we might tow it awhile, keep searching, and finally sell this one on Craigslist.

Such is our habit . . .

For now we name her:  ‘Imi Iki


4 thoughts on “Searching for ‘Imi Iki (Our Dinghy/Tender)

  1. Having a dinghy that we could sail would be awesome. Then again, so would having one with a nice fast outboard. Right now we have neither.

    • We have twin outboards, six feet out on each side with manual control. It’s slow but good exercise.

      The sail option is cool, but we think the priority is to make sure you can row her. We do not want to rely on an outboard, even in heavy seas. (yes, we will have an outboard. we just don’t want to rely on it)

      Hope you find a dinghy that makes you happy!

    • Absolutely, please do. We can’t take the credit though. We originally got the idea from Glyn Judson, a frequent contributor on the Ericson owner’s association website:

      One of these days we’ll get around to doing the write up on the composting toilet installation and you are welcome to post that as well if you would like (probably the single best improvement we’ve made or will ever make to our boat).

      I took a peak at your boat projects blog and I think it is a great idea, I’ll definitely be spending some time there in the future 🙂

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