We have always thought of a properly prepared dinghy as a better option than the life raft in most situations. Our dink on Wind Horse always has its outboard spares/tools of course, along with ground tackle and abandon ship gear packed in watertight backpacks. There is a five-gallon (19 liter) water jug, and two six-gallon (22 liter) gas cans stored aboard as well. The one weakness has been exposure – to cold and sun. So, this fall we called Ron and Ron’s Custom Canvas in Ventura, California, and put our heads together. You can see the result above. That is a rescue orange Sunbrella fabric “tent” which will provide a degree of shelter from the elements.
The tent “furls” down the side, and will be in place from now on when we are passaging as well as using the dinghy for exploration in remote locales. The same approach can be made to work on larger inflatables with a little thought.
Posted by Steve Dashew (February 28, 2008)