Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dinghy dilemma...ongoing

There are times when I get the feeling that I am too close to a problem or situation to make the right call... We've all been there, right?

For some time, I have been trying to back up far enough to get some distance from the dinghy dilemma because I knew there had to be a better way. I knew that what was perceived as all the right answers kept coming up wanting but the answers always seemed clouded by the same old same.

The same old same, of course, being the basic Hypalon dinghy with an outboard vs the hard dinghy and, as much as I'd weigh the pros and cons of the various contenders, there was always something nagging that the real answer meant both looking and getting WAY outside the box. The hard part is just how do you get outside the box when everyone as far as the eye can see is in the box as well?

Every once in a while I'd have a glimpse of things outside the box such as the Hobie Mirage-drive kayaks  or some of the new generation inflatable kayaks such as those available from folks like Zoik and Innova which would make me tingle like the answer was out there but still not quite in focus...

A big part of the problem is that we are so accustomed to badly performing dinghes that we no longer think of them being bad performers we just think of them as "normal" (and wish for a bigger outboard). I once recall reading something by a famous yacht designer about how most decent powerboat design went out the window when cheap HP in the form of engines became part of the equation as there was no need to design a decent hull when you could simply compensate by adding a few more horsepower.

While the answer is still far from being clear I  think when I do reach that Eureka moment the perfect tender will not look anything like your basic Caribe/AB/Avon/Zodiac we all take for granted and more importantly, be a hell of a lot lighter and store in a reasonable amount of space. You'd think that with all the development in materials that we would not be using the same old materials that we have been using for the last 30+ years.

Progress... It's just outside the box!