Dinghies and Mooring Balls

Dear Bear and Wolf Cubs,

Often I hear landlubbers ask what is a dinghy, so here is a quick note telling you about them.  A dinghy is a small boat used to transport people to shore or other boats from their big boat.  Captain James and Mrs. Little’s dinghy is an 8 foot long inflatable dinghy made by Achilles.  They have a 6 horsepower outboard engine that they put on it, or we can also row using the oars.  Like any boat I have to wear my lifejacket, and they are required to carry lifejackets for everyone on board as well as other safety equipment like oars and a flashlight if traveling at night.

When we began our travels, we carried the dinghy on the forward deck.  Now that we are using it often, we tow it behind us with a rope called a “painter.”  They have special words for everything on a sailboat.  As an aside, once a rope comes onto a boat it is not called a rope anymore.  It is called a line.  And when that line is attached to a sail, it is called a sheet.  See, Mrs. Salyer I am increasing my vocabulary!

The dinghy is essential if you are going to anchor out and when want to go ashore for food, showers, shopping, etc.  It is very expensive staying at marinas.  They charge you by the foot.

Now here’s another math problem for you.  At our last marina the charge was $1.60 a foot and our boat is 40 feet long.  How much did it cost?  And then there is tax, so add 7% for the total.  (That was a cheap marina…most of the time it is about $2.00/ft.)

Mrs. Little keeps promising to take a picture of me in the dinghy, but she’s usually holding on to me tightly and is afraid to let go to use her camera.  She thinks I might just pop out of the boat.  It can be a little bouncy, but it sure is fun!!!



Here is a picture of it being towed.


Here is a picture of Capt. James rowing


And here is a picture of a mooring ball.  We often stay on these instead of anchoring or docking at a marina.  They are cheap…about $15-20 a night and you get free showers, privilege to dock the dinghy at the marina, and a pump out of our heads.  (Head is the boat name for bathroom)


One thought on “Dinghies and Mooring Balls

  1. I finally had a day at my computer and caught up on all of your posts. I have loved each time we have been able to talk so am not so far behind on your adventures but loved reading every word of what you have posted. I am so glad your trip is going well – I feel like I am there with you tow. Betty

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