My Dingy Dinghy
16 January 2010
So after a peaceful night sleep in Peck Lake, I awake to assess the damage to my dingy. It's worse than I thought and doubtful it can be repaired expediently. The entire transom which I reinforced last year in Georgetown, has rotted and collapsed. It will certainly not support the engine which would run the risk of completely falling off. I'm a bit discouraged but it's the price of boating. So I turn my thoughts to how and where to acquire a new one.
Now that we're on the move I don't want to either backtrack or spend a lot of time looking for a new one so the quickest way is to get to the nearest West Marine store and buy one. Our destination today is North Lake Worth and I know there are several in the Lake Worth/Palm Beach area. It's a short hop from Peck Lake and despite the many bridges, we should be there early afternoon which will allow me to get the new dinghy.
As an aside, as I will chronicle in my next few postings, there is incredible wealth in this area and as we turn into Lake Worth North, there's a mega yacht marina on our way in and we understand this is where Tiger keeps his boat, Privacy. We were expecting an invite for cocktails but expect he was too busy trying to reconcile with his wife and sponsors to have us over; maybe next time.
I decide on a 10 foot air floor inflatable under the West Marine marque although it is likely built for them by Zodiac. It will be available for me to pick up at the West Marine store about a mile from where we land in Lake Worth.
You may grumble about West Marine's prices and the near monopoly it holds on boating supplies but the staff are, in my opinion, almost always very knowledgeable and accommodating. They are sympathetic to my plight (an unexpected expense, the urgency of a replacement and our transportation limitations. They do their best to give me the best price they can and make arrangements to drive us (Roger and I) and the new dinghy to the anchorage. We assemble the dinghy, which looks very good and are back in business.
Well, not quite....what to do with my old dingy dinghy. As we head back out to Sea Sharp in Roger's dinghy with my new one in tow, I spot a cruiser with a really crappy dinghy and ask him if he wants my old one. He follows me back to my boat and when he sees it's condition, other than the transom, he is thrilled. He wants to pay me but I refuse so for the princely sum of one dollar (legal tender) I'm rid of my old and he gets my new dinghy.
I put the motor on this new one and it surely scats. Like all things boating, with dinghies there are many trade offs; weight, strength, price, stability, etc, etc. My new one is exceedingly light and fast but a bit less stable and robust in a big sea.
We have Rog and Jacquie over for dinner in appreciation of their helping with the new dinghy acquisition and bed down for a quiet night.