Don’t skimp on outboard
SMALL aluminium dinghies in the 3.5m to 3.75m range are an affordable way to get into boat fishing, hence their Australia-wide popularity.
Indeed, these lightweight, versatile, durable outfits offer a multitude of local angling opportunities.
But there are some essential factors that prospective buyers should consider before a purchase.
First, aluminium dinghies are designed as planing hulls and in an effort to save a few extra dollars, some buyers make the mistake of choosing an outboard motor that is far too small.
Manufacturers of 3.6m outfits recommend outboards in the 9.9-15hp range for the express purpose of providing scope for operators to scoot wide of the launch site and get back quickly if, for example, the wind springs up.
By comparison, a 6hp engine will generally restrict operations to a slow displacement mode.
Since small aluminium dinghies are extremely sensitive to weight distribution, a 9.9hp may be suitable for lone activities, but found wanting with more than one person on board.
The same factors apply to beamier, deeper and heavier 3.75m dinghies, where minimum 15hp outboards are recommended.
If in doubt, opt for maximum power. Depth, weight and beam dimensions differ between brands, so be sure to check specifications carefully on the internet to get maximum space for dollars.
Most companies offer practical options such as a fuel tank rack, bow storage shelf, side and bow grab rails.
Inexpensive accessories such as rod holders and a gunwale rail-mounted bait board can transform outfits into compact, tidy fishing platforms.