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Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby David Mellon » Sat May 09, 2009 2:16 am

After three years with my Sevylor dink I am going to upgrade. While I paid about $220 for the Sevylor during the blowout on the product and was happy with the price, I am not happy with it's size. The length and tube diameter are just too small for 2 adults, especially with cargo. While on our trip to Catalina last weekend I reached the limit of my patience. Hardcrab has a Baltik 9.5' and stores it on the foredeck. The 9.5' has the option of 2 bench seats and looks to have plenty of room for gear. The smaller Baltiks only have one bench seat and the difference in weight is not significant. I understand the material isn't the best for storing outdoors but mine will be protected except when in use. My plan is to install a new gallows with integrated davits strong enough to leave the dink up while trailering. I will deflate it while on the road so it won't be wider than my Mac. Until then I will copy Hardcrabs method of using the jib halyard to lift it onto the bow.
The question here is has anyone had problems with the Baltik or Affordable Inflatable? I have read some positive reviews but am always looking for the opinions of the fine folks on this board.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby Rick Westlake » Sat May 09, 2009 10:57 am

I don't know about Baltik - but have you looked at the Saturn KaBoat?

This is a "Zodiac-style" reinforced PVC inflatable with a high-pressure inflatable deck, but it's built long and skinny like a canoe or kayak. Mine is 12'6" long and about 42" wide. It has a hard transom that'll take a 2.5 HP engine, two aluminum bench seats, lose-proof oarlocks and two-piece oars. It came with a carrying bag, a cheap pump (replace with a Rule ID20 12-volt pump from Amazon.com - Rules rule!) and a repair kit. All-up weight, close to 50 lbs; carrying capacity, 500 lbs (2 people plus cargo).

Price was $500 plus shipping and handling - total, $548 to my doorstep via UPS.

I never learned how to row decently, but I'm comfortable with a canoe or a kayak - so it made sense for me. I haven't had it on the water yet, but I have inflated it and it feels robust and well-made. (Much more so than my Sevylor Tahiti rubber-ducky kayak that I have used as a dinghy for Bossa Nova!)
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby Nautek » Sat May 09, 2009 6:26 pm

David

I'll be interested in seeing photos your davits when you do them.
I have a 9 foot inflatable I am trying to work out what to do with it (see my previous post on davits).
I am not keen to store it on the front deck because of the space it will take up.

Allan
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby Kelly Hanson East » Sun May 10, 2009 5:34 am

At the risk of getting old and crusty I will say I have never found an inflatable that rows well - you should consider these as motor only dinks. When Rich and I sailed together near SLO in CA, the dink motor went out and we had to row a good part of a mile to shore (and he had to do it two more times that day) - I think he went out and got a new motor shortly thereafter (on a cruising budget!!!)

The trip in together was a little easier because we had a nice cadence of "tax-and-spend" going in tandem

I pitched inflatables two years ago for the hard shell Watertender - it really can be rowed and of course it can be beaten onto rocks and stuff with not a tear nor tear shed.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby David Mellon » Sun May 10, 2009 6:38 am

I agree, rubber dinks are no pleasure to row. I would prefer a lapstrake with beer can holders but they are difficult to stow. While I can tow my dinghy when under way the problem comes when I get to the ramp. An 8' dink could be left on the davits while trailering but any longer would not be legal on the roads here. I want a longer tender than 8' so I am stuck with a rubber boat. I will deflate my new 9'6" dinghy so it isn't wider than The Yam.
I use a 40 pound thrust electric trolling motor meant for use in salt water. It is equivalent to a 2HP gas motor without the noise, smell, stowage problems, weight or cost of a gas motor.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby aya16 » Tue May 12, 2009 2:53 am

Hey david sorry I missed you guys at Catalina.
Anyway I own two baltics, the 9.5 you are looking at and the 6.5, some observations.

electric motor might be nice but dont forget the 60 pound battery you have to lug around too, it weighs as much as the whole boat. I would recommend the 2.5 suz 4 stroke at a whopping 30 pounds, its quiet, easy to start easy to stow. Eds marine is selling them for 599.00 plus shipping. Cabelas has them for 699.00, if you catch them when they offer free shipping it might be a better deal.

The baltic I bought had the wood floor in the 9.5, big mistake, its heavy, hard to fit in a tight new boat and a general pain, lucky I found on ebay an air floor for it, what a difference and the boat is a stiff with the air floor as the wood one. Air floor needs to be 11 psi. No dighy pump gets that high so I bought a special dingy pump that is for the air floors.

why I have two baltics, the 9.5 is a great little explorer, safe and lots of room inside, the 6.5 footer is the tender, I dont bring them both. I plan ahead. The evinrude 2 cycle 4hp engine I have that weighs about 24 pounds is good for either boat.

The guy selling the baltics on ebay is in orange county and you can pick the boat up at his house and save shipping. Bid low or make a low offer, dont do the buy it now price. Get the extra seat for the 9.5, its worth it.

I havent read any one else's response yet so If I stepped on some toes sorry.
ohh saturn and baltic are the same boats.
Mike
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby David Mellon » Tue May 12, 2009 3:16 am

Thanks Mike!
I will make that offer and get it direct from the dealer, great advice. I have an old Tohatsu 3.5 hp two-stroke air-cooled outboard, with very little effort I could turn it back into the weed-wacker I think it was designed as. Are they still legal to use in the Catalina waters? I love my electric outboard and use a very small battery right now. Maybe if I start using my dink to explore I'll consider getting a 4 stroke or one of those 60 pound batteries. I do own a 15 hp 4 stroke but it is damn heavy, hasn't been started in 15 years and is serious overkill on a dink.
See you on the next trip? When are you going next?
Dave
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby aya16 » Tue May 12, 2009 9:42 am

In the ocean we can run any two stroke, so no problem there, I have a 15 horse too, old chrisler 1980 era, Just for grins I put it on my 9.5 once, really scoots. That thing is a bit too heavy to be tossing around on the mac though, so it stays home. I love my little two cylinder two smoke evinrude 4hp. It has gas tank built into the engine as well as external plug for a gas tank.

Hey do you fish? lots of times when I go over to Catalina, I get my friends interested in going too, They have a 24 foot power boat and we go fishing in the morning when we stay there.

You saw Bills baltic, I think they are well made and worth the price, they are about half what a mercury or zodiac would cost, being made out of pvc, they will last a long time if we keep them out of constant sun.
Like storing them on top of the boat. I think the 9.5 is a good choice with the air floor, think life raft too, although they are not designed to be life saving device, they will in a pinch work as a extra measure of safety.

We have one of those seat pouches that fit over one of the seats in ours, it stores a couple bottles of water some sunblock, a large piece of pink nylon cloth, and my hand held radio when we use it. I also want to store some medicinal whiskey, you know those little airline bottles of jack Daniels. You know to give me the courage to laugh death in the face, in a emergency situation. 8) :P
The other thing we dont do, is we dont carry a gas can with extra gas for the motor, I just carry a squeeze bulb siphon, some two smoke oil and take the dingy gas out of the main tanks. Main reason Ill probably get that suz 2.5 4 stroke as I wont have to mix the gas.

rowing the inflatable more than a few 100 yards in calm water is tuff, like what was mentioned, but you cant beat the stability of an inflatable. let alone being able to deflate it fold it up and drop it in the front hatch onto the bunk. Thats why I bought the 6.5 it drops right in the mac. In fact the 6.5 is always on the mac now. But thats a two person one and a half dog boat at best. Like Karen says it cute.
I cant believe all the boat junk I have bought over the years, just writing about this stuff makes me realize what a boat junky I have been.

Mike
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby Harry van der Meer » Tue May 12, 2009 11:30 am

The Suzie 2.5 is an excellent choice. Plenty of power for a 9 ft inflatable with 2 persons on board. It is light enough to transfer it to the OB bracket installed on the transom of my mac. I use a simple handpump to transfer gas from my main tanks, so no need for a separate gas tank.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby waternwaves » Tue May 12, 2009 12:17 pm

I have the baltik 8.5 high pressure air floor, and its larger earlier sibling.......Mercury quicksilver air floor 11.5 (330) 1 seat vs. two seat.

You cant beat these things....

I think the 8.5 fits a little better on the bow of the mac than the 9-9.5 neighbors I tried. plus it tows well....

however at anything above 6 kts.....use a short bridle. and I mean short..... like 6 ft. much much smoother and less wear.

I have been singing the praises of the baltik for a couple of years.... I have not found anything better for the price.......however the price seems to have crept back up to 700 or so...... not the 360 when I purchased mine on ebay 3 years ago... But then I check the quicksilver and other brand prices and 700 does not seem so bad.

The quicksilver 330 is due for some major maintenance... I think the SRC tuffcoat is going to be used on it next month.... well see..... 1200 for a new baltik or the canadien import equivalent seems a bit high. I just purchased a new set of oars for it at $50.00 a set....with delivery... maybe that will insprie me to do the tuffcoat earlief.

I am still a fan of carrying the dink on the foredeck. however the the admiral wants the foredeck cleared on the hunter.....

So now I am looking at a two pole and mesh webbing system
(kind of like an old military blanket strether) for lifting 11.5 out of the water and supporting the tubes with mesh....held against the sloped reverse sheer transom. Maybe that will work for a poor mans davits.

those baltiks are great little boats........ have rowed mine a few miles at a time...... however we prefer the lightweight 2 stroke 1984 4 hp. evinrude for obvious reasons..... though I dont like to carry separate gas on the diesel hunter.

one thing is for sure...... in puget sound..... you see them all over. It is the best deal out there now.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby Hardcrab » Tue May 12, 2009 1:06 pm

My 9.5 Baltic air floor is really nice for our use.
Have only ever used the hand pump on the floor.
78 lbs.
2hp Honda 4 stroke.
27 lbs, built in 1 liter (?) gas tank.
Fits fine inflated upside down on foredeck using jib halyard, jib track car, and winch to raise and lower.

Our tow bridle is 40' - 50' long.
I want the dinghy back out of the wake above 7 knots.
Tows well up to the 25 knots I can get, but I stick it on the foredeck for long trips.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby dutchwinter » Tue May 12, 2009 3:57 pm

I've been looking at the 8.5 air floor for as long as I've been considering buying the MAC. Im glad to see theres good opinions of it. I was thinking I might want to make some "chaps" for it, but am also considering making a canvas cover to use to tie it down to the deck, with maybe bungees on the corners, to make is quick and easy. if I get it this year, Ill definatly be keeping it on deck. anyone seen the chaps that im talking about? i got an email from sailrite about some kind of pattern, but havnt seen pics yet.
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby waternwaves » Tue May 12, 2009 4:40 pm

a 9x6 grey tarp with plastic bungies replaced every year is much easier to handle and works just fine......
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby c130king » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:39 pm

For you guys that own a Baltik...

How long does it take to inflate/deflate these things with the pump that comes with it?

By the way, the prices on the affordableinflatable.com website are cheaper than they have on eBay.

Thanks,
Jim
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Re: Time For a New Dinghy, Baltik?

Postby Hardcrab » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:01 pm

c130,
I only inflated it once with the manual pump.
Not fun in the heat and humidity.
I'd figure a good 100 pumps, at least, for each of the three main chambers and floor.

I went with a cheap 115vac Coleman inflator pump from Walmart. (my truck has an 115v inverter built in)
Jury rigged the air hose fitting to change over the pumps.
(If you go this way, get an extra air fitting end from Baltic, $14 or so, and do it right.
A fitting for the manual pump and a fitting for the electric. One of these days, ----.)

It takes everything to about 90% ,in maybe two mins for each chamber and floor, so about 8 min with electric pump.
I top everything off, and do the keel, with the manual pump.
Don't forget to bring the manual pump along, just in case.

All in all, around 15 from start to finish.
Great boat and a great price.
The mark-up for the same quality boat elsewhere borders on the criminal, IMHO.
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