Tin­nies right for a trip

NT News - Motoring - - MARINE GUIDE -

SMALL, cheaper, open-style dinghies again have dom­i­nated boat reg­is­tra­tions in the past year as more re­tirees join the car­a­van life­style.

A car­a­van ad­ven­ture is not com­plete with­out a light­weight car-top­per boat.

De­sign changes by the man­u­fac­tures of Sea Jay, Stessl, Quin­trex, Stacer and Blue-fin dinghies have led to strong, light­weight boats that eas­ily can be loaded and un­loaded.

The style is a mat­ter of per­sonal choice, with the Sea Jay No­mad and the 3.4m Stessl Ed­getracker more pop­u­lar mod­els.

De­spite their short wa­ter­line length, both baby boats are very safe, with the Stessl Ed­getracker hav­ing a slight ad­van­tage over all other 3m to 4m dinghies with su­pe­rior buoy­ancy.

The unique un­der­wa­ter hull shape al­lows the Stessl to spread the dis­place­ment of crew body weight which is cru­cial to the over­all per­for­mance.

The 3.4m Stessl Ed­getracker, pow­ered with a 15 hp Mariner two-stroke en­gine, has proved the ideal fish­ing pack­age for many and is per­fect for shal­low water fish­ing.

The snub-nose Stessl be­comes a lit­tle wet mo­tor­ing into a choppy sea but over­all is a very sta­ble dinghy. An­other mighty mid­get is the Stacer Sea­sprite 399. This tough-skinned open boat is great for tak­ing out in dif­fer­ent water con­di­tions. There is no miss­ing the per­fect catch when you are rid­ing in one of these sta­ble craft.

The per­for­mance on the water al­lows these baby boats to mea­sure up to all tests of be­ing a safe and eco­nom­i­cal per­former in light and heavy con­fig­u­ra­tions.

They also have the space to carry crab pots on the floor, as well as hav­ing safe stowage space for fish­ing rods, tackle box and a bucket of yab­bies.

While the ‘‘Baby’’ dinghy is rel­a­tively safe for its size, it should never be used be­yond a shel­tered in­shore environment.

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