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Here are a couple of Saturday morning tips for you, and a small request.

First, given just how important the dinghy is to a cruising sailor, whenever you tie yours to your boat or to a dock, use two separate lines. This tip was shared with us by a long-term cruiser who adopted the practice himself after observing just how many dinghies have a tendency to go astray. The basic idea is that while one line may work itself loose, the chance of 2 separate lines doing the same is next to nil. We know multiple people who have had their dinghies drift away and in fact, without naming names, we know someone whose dinghy went walkabout just yesterday! The strange thing is that this particular sailor subscribes to the two-line suggestion that I just mentioned. He always ties his tender to the boat with 2 lines, except just that one time! Fortunately we were on the trampoline when it went walkabout and thus noticed it drifting away. We were able to retrieve it for him before it went too far.

Which brings me to my second tip. After several rescues of people in dinghies that had run out of gas or had engine troubles, and towing misc. tenders, I installed a small cleat on the back of our dinghy. I picked up the cleat for a few bucks at a chandlery and after drilling a couple of holes in the fiberglass, through-bolted it to the transom. The entire job took about 10 minutes. Although I don’t think I’d rely upon it to pull a water skier, I have used that cleat to pull a 40+ foot sailboat sideways in Cumberland Bay when they were having difficulty getting a stern line to shore. It makes the act of towing something a lot easier, especially if you are alone in the tender. We also use that cleat whenever we set a stern anchor out to keep our dinghy away from a not-so-good dock.

As for my request, if you read this blog consistently and have clicked on any of the product links that I provide in the posts, you likely have observed that they take you to our Amazon affiliate pages. If you were to purchase one of those products after clicking on the link, Amazon gives us some “coffee money.” Because shoppers can now purchase just about anything through Amazon and their network of companies, we have on occasion had some of our loyal readers message us privately because they wanted to purchase something that we had not yet linked to but wanted us to get credit for the purchase. To now make this process easier, I just added a small search box to Amazon in the right hand sidebar here. My request is, if you enjoy this blog and are going to purchase something from Amazon anyway, please consider beginning your shopping from this search box. Doing so certainly will not cost you even one cent more but it does help us out. Thanks in advance!



    The search box for Amazon will get it’s share of use on this end.

    Nicely done,

    Jim and Judy

  2. Great tips Mike….we will most certainly use your search box when we need something first and for most!


    Dave and Alex

  3. Can the search box also work for

    • Hi Gary. I’m not sure. I just did a product search with the box and didn’t see how to switch to the UK site. You might have better luck that I did. Thanks for at least considering it!

      EDIT: Now there is. Check the sidebar for separate search boxes.

  4. Does the searchbox work for, if so i will deffinately use it for sure when i order.


    • Apparently the answer to this, and the previous one about Amazon UK, is no. From what I read they are different companies and I would need to sign up for affiliate accounts for each of them and create separate links, etc. to go to those sites. πŸ™

      EDIT: Just registered for an Amazon UK account and added a separate search box for it. Thanks for the support everyone.

      EDIT: And now one for Canada too! πŸ™‚

  5. Sure, no problem. I don’t use it much now, but will be in the future. I’d prefer that whatever you prosper from my purchases goes to beer instead of coffee.

  6. I have the same question as Gary. I can’t use, it throws me out because my account and payment basis etc is in Β£stg.

    Can you not give the choice in your search box to go to either amazon site? Also, if I use it for Β£stg purchases do you still get your “coffee money”?


  7. good post…i find in my area that dinghy’s go astray because people undo your line to the dock to untie theres and just don’t care and/or don’t tie it up right…….I like the cleat idea….I also like a rod holder on the dink…..

    • We have had people untie our line just as you suggest! Fortunately the dinghy was still LOCKED to the dock. We always lock AND tie the dink to the dock, just in case we had a brain-fade with either one.

  8. Hey, everyone has a momentary lapse in judgement once in a while. (and thanks for the rescue!)

  9. Well, one friendly click deserves another, don’tcha think? I’ll be taking care of Jim & Judy’s cats ‘n’ stuff while they go sailing across the swamp with ya’ll, so make sure they come back. I already have 2 cats and lots of stuff. πŸ˜‰ Sail safe.

  10. I have an Amazon associates account as well but I can’t buy anything through it and make money so I will start to use your link. I wish I’d thought of it sooner. I have bought so many books and a few other items. If you don’t have someone who you link through, perhaps you can use mine?

    • Hi Sandra

      We seldom order from Amazon because of the hassles of getting stuff shipped here. I’ll remember your site if/when we do though. Thanks for the support!

      PS: Wouldn’t it be nice if you could order off your own account?

  11. For those without a cleat on the stern of the dink (great idea, BTW), we found that towing in reverse was a whole lot better than trying to tow going foward. You can actually steer in reverse since the load is centered. Learned this while moving over 100 55-gallon drums to rescue a cruising boat that had gone on the rocks and sunk — cruisers raised it, the owners restored it and she’s out cruising again.

  12. I just placed a small order for some coffee (I grew up drinking instant coffee and it’s still my favorite). Let me know if it worked. Can you see what is ordered or by who?

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