What do you keep in your dinghy?
For those of us who live at anchor, the dinghy, also referred to as a tender, takes the roll of the family car. It is our only method for getting to and from shore* and because of its important role, we tend to look after it pretty carefully.
As I was making a minor repair on our inflatable yesterday, reattaching a bit of the rub rail that had come unglued, I took note of the various objects that were inside it. The following is a list of the items that essentially live permanently in our dinghy, removed only when we are making a passage.
- Fuel Tank – with external fuel filter inline between it and the engine
- Oars – telescopic aluminum type
- Anchor – a small anchor with 6′ of chain and 30′ or so of line
- Piston Pump – for bailing out water
- Chain – 12′ of 10mm stainless steel chain to secure the dinghy once at shore
- Lock – a super strong Kryptonite one to secure the chain
- Flip Flops – It is really annoying to get to shore only to realize that you don’t have shoes with you
We also almost always carry a handheld VHF radio with us when we leave the boat but we don’t leave that item permanently sitting in the dinghy. If we think there’s even a chance that we’ll be out after dark, we also bring a flashlight with us.
What don’t you see on that list? Life jackets and a sound signaling device. Those of you cruising in areas where the Coast Guard officers actually care about things like that might want to include those items as well.
*We do now have a kayak which could get one of us to shore. Using it to get both of us from the boat to land might be a bit more challenging.