My present thoughts on tenders are:
- tough enough to be beached on oyster shells (this would exclude skin-on-frame)
- light weight (this limits size, although a larger two-piece boat would solve that problem)
- row, tow, and sail well
- able to carry two people plus some cargo in safety.
- and most important, should be good looking!
My favorite build method is still 'stitch-and-glue'.
In the endless search for the 'perfect' dinghy, I'm now looking at two-part 'nesting' designs. This would provide for a larger boat with a smaller deck footprint, and the ability to be lifted onboard in two pieces ... ie. half the weight of a full dinghy.
When I did a Google search for "nesting dinghy" I was surprised at how many different ones came up. Some I found interesting are listed below:
Here's a nice fiberglass model, the NestingLite NN10.
and a pram type: by BATEAU.
The Spindrift is a nice "pointy ended" model.
and a building log of same:
Another nice pram by Offshore Designs Ltd. , CHAMELEON.
The PASSAGEMAKER, by CLC is the same as my Eastport Pram, but a bigger boat. CLC's plans are very well engineered and easy to build. Of my 3 dinghies, my CLC Eastport Pram is my favorite one ... so far!
Another beautiful "pointy ender".
Here is a very basic pram, the Cats Paw, that comes in different sizes.
NESTAWAY, makes several nice fiberglass models.
Here's a skin-on-frame nesting dinghy called STASHA, and although not as pretty as some, I like the concept. Imagine how light each half would be!
and a STASHA build log.
As usual, more research is needed. But I have all summer to ponder the subject, before buying a set of plans and laying in a pile of materials for a winter build. One thing about dinghies: they don't need much storage space!