8 Tips to Choose the Best Dinghy for Your Boat

Does it cross your mind that picking the proper dinghy for your boat will give you the best times on the waters? But what should you consider when buying a tender for your craft?

Well, you are about to get the answers. We’ll talk about eight tips to choose the best dinghy for your boat.

There are many dinghy models and types. Some will impress you by their looks or size. You won’t have a good time when you pick the wrong tender.

So, you can decide to get a dinghy but don’t know where to begin. Ensure you look up to the following tips.

8 Tips to Choose the Best Dinghy for Your Boat

1. Where You’ll Use the Dinghy


Different dinghies suit various types of waters. You should know the waters where you’ll sail your tender.

You can use some dinghies on fresh or salty waters, inshore or protected waters, or the offshore and strong waves. If you pick a tender because of the looks and yet it won’t fit the seas, you’ll make losses.

Some dinghies can work on both salty and freshwaters. You can also use them in places with mangroves and rivers. Remember, you’ll need excellent sailing skills to sail them.

The ones you can use on many waves and waters are costly. Remember, you’ll get value for your money.

Also, these tenders have great specs, and you can also use them for racing. It’s because they cut through many waves.

Pick the lesser ones if you’ll use them on freshwaters with calm waves. You’ll have an easy time using the craft without losses.

2. The Use


After understanding where you’ll use the dinghy, you should know what you’ll use the crafts for in the waters. You can use a dinghy for cruising, swimming, fishing, racing, relaxing, and even storage.

Remember, the reason for buying will determine how often you’ll use the tender. The usage will show you how long you’ll use the dinghy before servicing it.

Also, if you use a dinghy for the wrong purpose, you’ll lose its great specs. For example, when you use a cruising dinghy for racing, be sure it won’t last.

Sometimes, you may be the only one who has bought a racing dinghy in your area. Yes, it will be nice, but you won’t have friends to race with on the waters.

If you want one for many uses, choose the cruising-racing dinghy. You’ll be able to tour places with large water masses and even use them for racing. So, you won’t make any loss.

You may also want a dinghy to transport items and go to dive spots. Ensure you buy one with ample space.

Pick a more stable craft when you want to check your boat’s hull. It will give you an easy time on the waters.

3. Stowage


Ensure you buy a dinghy that will be easy to move and stow. Some tenders will always give you extra costs when you want to keep them.

The small and inflatable ones are easy to handle while on your boat or when storing them. It’s because you can deflate and keep them easily.

Also, the inflatables are easy to wash and repair. But it doesn’t mean the other ones will give you a tough stowage time.

These dinghies with an aluminum body may be bigger but easy to stow. So, you should be careful not to destroy your sailboat’s hull when moving these dinghies.

Here, your boat and sailing skills matter. If you are less experience, go for the small and inflatable ones.

If you know how to handle a dinghy on the boat, go for any type. The stowing options will help prevent any losses.

4. Size


Before choosing any tender, it’s safe to know the sizes of your sailboat and dinghy. You can pick from the smallest to the biggest dinghies.

The tender size you’ll choose will vary with why you want it. When you pick a small dinghy, it may lack balance if you put much load on it.

Many dinghies with an aluminum hull are broader and heavier than the inflatables. So, the crafts will have an easier time as you row, even in strong winds.

These bigger tenders will also allow you to move on the waters with a few people. You can also keep various items on such a dinghy.

Today, many large boats are doublehanded. They’ll give you much balance. For example, the Wayfarer or GP14 tenders have this feature.

When you are new to sailing, choose a lightweight inflatable dinghy. This tender will be easy for you to ride.

It will also be easy to transport on the sailboat. Choose the one that can fit on the deck.

Would you want a dinghy that will risk your life and your friends? You should pick a safe tender that can hold the number of people you want and keep them safe.

At some point, you’ll get some visitors on your dinghy. It will be mainly during various boating adventures.

So, if you want the best dinghy, pick the big and powerful one. You’ll sail faster and easier with various adults onboard. Remember, big tenders have powerful motors too.

5. The Comfort and Engine


Besides the size, look at the comfort you want on your dinghy. It will be a waste to buy a tender and change the whole inner material or the motor.

The sitting place can be a bench or fiberglass. You can also choose an inflatable that doesn’t have proper sitting places.

Remember to look at the type of engine on your tender. Sometimes, you can choose an inboard motor for your racing dinghy. Yes, it’s nice, but you’ll later on realize that an outboard would do you well.

Also, you can choose between a tender with a pull start or an electric starter engine. Pick on a motor that will give you an easy time to ride.

6. Your Budget


Your funds will play a big role in the dinghy you’ll choose. So, before buying any tender, ensure you know how much you can spend on buying.

Once you understand your ability, you’ll have many dinghies within your budget. Also, look at the other costs that come with buying a tender.

It would help if you first viewed the insurance costs of that dinghy. Some models will make you dig deeper into your pocket to cater to the insurance costs.

Remember to also check for the costs of the sailing material, trailer, sailing membership club, and other fees. If you can pay for these items, go ahead and buy the tender.

Sometimes, you should consider the budget when it comes to sustaining it. Buy a dinghy that will be easy for you to pay the care costs.

Things will be hard for you when you pick on one that you can’t afford. You’ll end up selling the dinghy at a loss.

7. Attend the Boating Shows


If you are pretty new to boating, you should attend the boating shows to learn more tips. These places have fun, but you’ll also see many dinghies.

You’ll also have a chance talk to the builders of these crafts before you buy them from here. Designers here always offer free advice that you can apply.

These shows also give you a chance to buy dinghies at cheaper costs. So, before choosing one, ensure you attend some shows to see what you may be missing.

You may get other dinghies that you haven’t seen anywhere else. Boat shows have a world full of many crafts waiting for you.

8. Have a Checklist


Once you decide on your favorite dinghy, you should view it before buying it. So, before that, ensure you have a checklist to guide you.

This list should have the things that shouldn’t be missing on your tender. Ensure you check the state of the hull, sails, mast, and rigging.

Your tender’s hull shouldn’t have any deep scratches or damaged signs. It shows that the craft is in stable condition as you buy it.

The sails should be stiff and have a proper shape. If you pick a tender with the wrong sail, it shows that it’s old and won’t perform well.

Mast and rigging should also be in good shape on every dinghy. When that mast isn’t in a good state, it will affect your dinghy’s performance.

Also, see if it’s new or used. It’s safe to go for a new boat rather than pick a used one.

You can go with a pro dinghy sailor as you buy the tender if you know one. Remember, there are some things that only the sailor will see that you can’t.


Choosing the best dinghy for your sailboat can be difficult. You can spend your money on a tender that won’t suit your needs.

If you follow these tips, you’ll make the best choice when buying a dinghy. All these tips are important, so never miss to look at any of them.

The area where you’ll use the craft will determine if it will last for a long time or not. Also, never ignore the dinghy’s budget aspect. Go for something that you can afford.

So, did these tips seem helpful as you plan to buy your dinghy? Please let us know your thoughts.

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