Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Three very different products related with cruising or boat maintenance: A sailing dinghy, a small scuba dive and a mast climber. Why are they  important? The Mast climber importance is self evident. A small scuba diver importance will be evident the first time you have a real problem with the chain or anchor stuck on rocks and a sailing dinghy, even if not indispensable, will add to the cruising fun. Who wants to go around an anchorage, exploring the coast, disturbing everybody with noise? Sure, there were several interesting  products around, but these ones seemed very good to me, for several reasons, being price and usefulness among them.

1 - Mast climber:

I have tried several products, even bought one, but with the age and weight going up I cannot go up the mast anymore with the one I got. Even younger and in a perfect fit it was difficult going up on a flexible ladder that was pulled up by a halyard. On the boat show there was a French guy demonstrating the American ATN system, that his firm imports to Europe, a system that is used by several solo racing sailors.

I was convinced and I am going to get one. The price of the mast climber kit is 280 euros. With the bosun's chair and with the bag, that doubles as tool bag, it costs 420 euros (VAT included). The bosun's chair is a wood rigid one and if you don't have one of those, but a more usually flexible one, get the rigid one since it is much more comfortable.

2 - Small basic diving gear:

I knew that Beuchat had a basic kit for boat use and I wanted to have a look at it and eventually buy it, but even if they said to me that Beuchat was at the boat show I could not find them at the huge pavilion full of diving equipment. Instead I saw what I wanted on a big German diving shop (SF-1) and after a talk with a very friendly and knowledgeable dealer (Thomas), I got convinced that they offered a better kit than the one offered by Beuchat and got one, delivered in Portugal without extra costs (it arrived today). Bought also an extra bottle, to have two on the boat.

Beuchat kit: 565 Euros, VAT included
SF - 1 kit: 435 + 39 Euros, VAT included.

3- Sailing dinghy:

That was a long time dream, to have a dinghy that would supplement the normal dinghy work with some sailing fun, to explore the coast around anchorages without the noise of the engine and with sailing pleasure.

I had not seen anything that had convinced me till now, not in size, weight and practicability. I found a Dutch one (DinghyGo) that probably had already seen on other occasions, but with a much superior weight.

The difference in weight makes all the difference in what regards practicability. They come in two sizes, weighting the bigger one (275 cm - 26kg)) less than the smaller one (220 cm - 28kg). A similar loss of weight is going to happen on the little one that will be considerably lighter than it is now.

Both dinghies look well built, strong, have a relatively narrow beam (both 145 cm) and a big payload (500 / 350kg). They can accept reasonably big engines (8hp / 3.5hp). The sail rig weights 15kg. When folded in bags both boats and rigs have a small dimension, the bigger one (dinghy and rig) : 112 - 72 - 32cm / 120 - 72 - 32cm. The smaller one: 112- 59 - 32  / 125 - 45 - 18cm. The bigger one costs  2899 Euros the smaller one 2398 Euros, VAT included.


No comments:

Post a Comment