View Full Version : Dinghy Dragging, and More Cheap Paint
04-15-2011, 01:54 PM
A few years back two mighty beaurocracies decreed that dinghies could no longer be stored on the beach, as had been the practice for decades. Racks were provided above the beach, atop a small bluff. Numbers were assigned, ramps to ease access up and down the bluff were purchased, but never installed. This left aging sailors scrambling to find lighter dinghies, and means of moving them up and down the soft bluff (perhaps 6-10 feet high). At low tide one must first cross 40-50' of sand and mud. I bought two successively more expensive carts. A half measure, since getting the dink securely onto the cart at the mucky water's edge proved challenging. Ideally a dinghy could be dragged across mud, firm sand, soft sand. Except that this severely abrades the dinghy bottom. Worse, if she's v-bottomed with a keel and skeg (mine is) she digs into the wet sand like an anchor. I've bought a roll of that orange mesh fence to lay out, hoping to keep the keep from digging in, and protect the bottom (somewhat). While in the box store looking for Rustoleum marine paint, I saw Rustoleum epoxy appliance paint. $14 a quart, hard and glossy. it's on the dinghy bottom now. Doubtless some will note that this paint is designed neither for immersion nor exposure to sunlight. True, but with the expected abuse, I plan to repaint annually anyway. It went on easily enough over old paint, old varnish, and bare glass. Time will tell, and I'll report back.
04-15-2011, 03:35 PM
From the Defender catalog since I've no pix - maybe do will look - these things are about $150 and worth every penny. They fit with two fast-pins in a channel that has three holes, so you can flip up or flip down moving only one pin per wheel.
Ah, here we go. Also showing off my folding cart. Really takes the curse out of crossing the sand. I should have also snapped my folding bike that can tow the folding cart.
Since I store the dink upsidedown anyway, I almost never flip the wheels down for dragging on the sand, but rather flip the dink over. There's a smaller version that I don't consider worth squat as the wheels are too small for getting over sand or shingle - works fine down a dock or paved ramp but useless on real ground.
04-15-2011, 03:42 PM
Take the skeg off, it makes a heckova difference.
04-15-2011, 05:11 PM
Thank you both. I've thought of cutting off the skeg, but the boat would still have an external keel which is structural.
04-15-2011, 05:48 PM
If the dink is round or transom bowed, it's often easier to drag her from the stern, skeg or no skeg. Admittedly for me the wheels are more valuable than for most since I am dragging it a couple hundred feet each way at least daily. Doesn't take long for the paint and a layer or two of glass to wear right off. (Like, that's where I got the insight that glass is not all that great for an abrasion shoe.)
04-15-2011, 05:58 PM
An epoxy/graphite bottom coat is popular among my crowd. You can get graphite powder from the epoxy supplier (I got mine from RAKA), and mix it 15% by volume with the epoxy, then roll it on. It makes the bottom very slick, and touch-ups are easy. I think on a dinghy that's stored upside down in the sun, you might have issues though.
04-15-2011, 06:08 PM
Graphite in epoxy is slick, but you can still sand it smooth or even sand it off. Dragging the dink is just sanding.
And you only want to store the dink right side up if the local bird life needs a rain cachtment.
04-15-2011, 07:31 PM
Graphite is sold for lubricating seed planting. About $40 for 10 lbs.
Search for Seed Slik Graphite
04-16-2011, 07:31 AM
Thanks Jim, the boat is stored upside down. Ian, I do drag from the transom, but that small keel still digs in. I'll see how the plastic fence works. I think I'll stick some lengths of pvc through crosswise to help it stay down.
04-19-2011, 08:14 AM
Tried the drag yesterday. The fence may have helped, but not much, the keel stiil digs a long furrow. The paint is ok so far.
04-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Tried rolling it on a small cylinder fender? I do not use this technique, but my "old" friend does. Plows are for mules.
04-19-2011, 09:04 AM
Is the dink a sailor (pintles on the transom)?
If so, could you rig a wheelbarrow wheel(or similar) on a post to slip into the pintles to roll it down the beach? Seems a lot cheaper and simpler than Ian's method and no permanent attachment would be necessary.
When you get it to the water just lift the stern and the wheel drops off.
04-19-2011, 09:04 AM
If the boat has well-mounted gudgeons, you can get two beach trolley wheels and mount them on an axle, then hook that to a 'rudder head' with inverted pintles. Build it light as you'll have to carry it up and down the beach to the boat.
04-19-2011, 09:07 AM
Beat ya' to it Thorne:D
Except I said pintle when I should have said gudgeon.
04-19-2011, 10:14 AM
Damn! Serves me right for surfing the web to find just the right photos for the trolley wheels.
Here's what I set up on my Cosine Wherry before mounting gudgeons, but larger wheels with fatter tires would be needed for beach use -
04-19-2011, 01:09 PM
Some folk have clad the bottoms of drift boats with HDPE or UHMWPE and say it'squite tolerant of rocks.
How about replacing the skeg with solid?
As a very cheap experiment, a skeg of trex decking would be worth a try.
04-20-2011, 07:54 AM
I used to use fenders on my old dink, my dad used pvc pipe (but he had a dory, flat bottom). It can be a bit of a long drag, requiring shifting rollers. I have a wheeleez kayak dolly, I may try to adapt those wheels, or modify the it to fit better.
04-20-2011, 10:20 AM
Just thinking out loud--maybe a four wheel cart, like a wagon without side rails? I have a two-wheeled dinghy cart and I know what you mean by having to wrestle the boat onto one of those at the water's edge. But with a four wheeled cart and a platform, you could stand in front of the cart and pull teh dink up on it by it painter. Maybe easier. Do they allow you to store the cart on site?
Agin , just thinking out loud.
04-20-2011, 11:34 AM
Probably too pricey and would have to be locked to something -
04-20-2011, 12:50 PM
Yeah, that looks pricey. I had in mind a shop-built one: constructiion lumber flat deck, all-thread axles, barrow wheels, etc. Basically a soft-sand-capable version of these things I've seen used at nurseries, but with a flat deck with no side rails.
100 bucks at northern tool, but need bigger tires for the sand. I know this cause I pull my two kids to the beach, about 90 pounds total on something similar, but once we get to the soft stuff, the wheels dig in and they have to walk.
04-21-2011, 07:14 AM
The high density plastic strip they sell for trailer slide boards is excellent along the keels of dinghies.
04-21-2011, 08:20 AM
Kevin, I see there is a garden cart locked onto the dinghy rack, someone might be doing it. One of the things I like about the kayak dolly is that it fits in the trunk. I'm thinking it might be more stable If I attach planks to the top lengthwise. I did this with a prior dolly and it helped.
Thanks Typhoon, I still think that I'll need wheels.
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