search for the ultimate dinghy

Our Search For The Ultimate Dinghy (rigid vs inflatable)

There are a lot of decisions to be made when it comes to our new floating home.  Sooo many more than when we purchased our first boat.  Because Curiosity was a 10-year-old used production boat that hundreds before us had already spec’d out.  We had a wealth of knowledge to tap into for almost every aspect of the boat.  Just what we needed as two green tadpoles.

But Curiosity2 is a brand-new design and boat in every way.  She will be hull #3, meaning only the 3rd ever in existence, a blank canvas.  And first up, we need a car.  AKA, a dink, a dinghy, a tender.  There are A LOT of options out there, but we want our dinghy to be much like our boat.  Lightweight, nimble, and powered by electric propulsion.

Luckily, we’re in New Zealand. The island country where there are more boats than people and some world-class marine ingenuity. And we may have just found the last dinghy we’ll ever buy!?

What do you think?  Do you like our top options or is there another tender we should be considering and testing?


Offshore Cruising Tenders

We spoke to the team at OC about the anchor locker cover and adding a false floor.  I have good news and bad news:  They do have a lid and it should be added to their site in the near future.  For the floor, they claim it’s a dry ride and all you’ll need is a sponge to clean up every now and again.  Oh well, fixing 50% of our gripes isn’t bad at all 🙂

Full Details:


Highfield Classic

We’ve had such a great experience with our Highfield CL340 and that is the reason it’s our inflatable rib of choice.  It’s hard to beat their broad range of boats and options.

Full Details:

If you are in New Zealand, contact Jonathan at Aakron Xpress:


🙈🙉🙊Full Disclosure

This video was sponsored by Surfshark VPN and not by any of the boats mentioned or reviewed.  We don’t get any sort of incentive should you purchase.  But if you do, please let them know they should buy us a beer for the recommendation. 🍻


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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (25)

  • Mark Danziger

    Hi Wynns. I’ve been watching your videos since the early RV days. I assume the watches you were both wearing in this video to track speed and distance were Garmin watches. I am also sure they are on your gear list somewhere. Can you please share what model watches you have. Thanks

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Mark! They are Garmin Quatix watches and will even interface with the Garmin instruments on the boat. There is indeed a link in the Gear Store, and don’t forget that shopping through that link will throw a few pennies into the sailing kitty! Thanks for being a part of the crew.
      Curious Minion

  • Hank

    New boat new dingy..what fun: the OC seems to fit with the new boat better

  • Andrew Boyle

    Hi there. Couple of thoughts. How durable are the rowlocks and can they be jury rigged? What about durability of material? You are unlikely to be able to always wash off the seawater, which can ben really hard on softer materials. This might impact how long it lasts . Can components be easily sourced if they need to be replaced? With this in mind simplicity in design and materials might be something to consider. What kind of sea conditions do you expect the tender to be able to handle? There’d be little point having a tender that’s great to paddle but only copes with flat windless conditions.

  • judie st onge

    Those arent paddles… they are Oars! plus you arent Paddling… you are Rowing. big difference please think about correct terms for the subject!!!

  • Steve Gibbons

    Always great content folks!
    Its great to see the progression & really do look forward to the electric motor comments. I am only aware of Torqueedo electric motives and enquired in AUSSIE will poor response from the distributor. Then the concern about Lithium being mini volcanoes just sitting quietly waiting to Erupt SO bring on your observations.

  • Mary Vsn

    Off the wall – like your haircuts! Both of you!

  • Alan Solomon

    Cool video. Great research. I like the Highfield.
    I have to say that in the past 7 years you have been scooting around in your Highfield and you guys have always looked very comfortable in it and you are not getting wet. It gets you where you want to go. It accommodates all your grocery and camera bags as well as 1, 2 or 3 extra people. It has no problem with a rocky shoreline. You have had the Highfield for the last 7 years in the water. In 7 years, I don’t think you ever had a puncture. I may be wrong though. Cute haircut Nikki. 👍
    Happy, Safe 4th and travels to you both,

  • Beth

    We love our current Highfield 360 tender on our 51′ Maritimo, Tangaroa… but really loved our OCTender we had when we lived in, and had another boat in, New Zealand. Spent time visiting OCT’s family-owned & operated facility and can’t say enough good things about these tenders! We found it handy for hauling scuba tanks & easily another couple and loved it’s steadiness, lightweight construction, and ease of handling. We had little fold up wheels on it making it super easy to haul up all above high tide or just schlep down from a parking lot. Fabulous boats!!!

  • Bill Neyer

    Is maximum payload a consideration? The Highfield has 275 lbs more capacity, against a 38 lb weight disadvantage. Also the Highfield can handle 2.5 times the engine power (20 hp vrs 8 hp).

  • Duncan Parker

    One thought I would consider with your choice of tender is where you are going to use it and what obstacles you might find.
    If your planning on sailing in areas with crocodiles like the north of Australia and the surrounding areas then I would definitely choose a ridged body tender.

  • Richard Lumpp

    HIghfield for me …… blessings

  • Sparks

    The OC… lifespan. The wobble getting in and out is a plus for water fun. Much harder to poke a hole in a fiberglass boat. Add a simple slat floor for dryness and still weigh less. But I haven’t seen the second video yet. So motor; durability, maintenance, performance, batteries… quite a significant thing to consider yet for determination, no?
    But so far, my 2 cents, the OC

  • Drew

    I like the stability of the Highfield. However the deep v style hull of the OC might cut through the water better. Let’s face it, in 10 years, you will probably be looking for a new dingy, regardless of which one you decide on.

  • Craig

    Your video posts are always very informative and I enjoy watching them however Nikki you have a great narration voice. I think you should give some thought to perhaps doing voice over children’s books

  • Todd VanderWeyden

    Just a little fun jab….oars and paddles a two different things. 😁

  • Ingham Michael

    You guys are rowing not paddling.

  • John S

    Question: With the OC300 being over 30 pound lighter could you install slats on the floor to keep the grocery and camera bags dry and it still be lighter?

    I’m thinking that the factory could use leftover resin when making a hull to make strips (1.5″ x 0.5′ x 10′) that could be cut to size for making a lattice floor.

    P.S. It’s a small world: I just had coffee with a buddy who has been looking to buy a blue ocean capable cat. He was one of the unsuccessful bidders for your Curiosity. We both agree that the new owners have the most fantastic video library for any maintenance issue. That’s a huge bonus and probably the number two reason why you got what you did. The #1 reason being of all the work and upkeep you did to make all those videos. Congrats on the sale.

  • Brian S


    A real practical comparison of the two with real world situations that I can compare to how I use a tender.

    As I’m tender shopping at the moment and can’t wait for part two.

  • Jaap Visser

    Running cost on fuel vs battery must me a major plus.
    I hope Jason test the OC for the distance or time that you can run the OC on one charge
    You gonna have huge solar, so charging the OC is no problem.
    I just like the immediate responsiveness of electric drives.
    Will wait for part 2

  • oldcajun

    OC was most impressive to me. I love living vicariously through you! You brighten my Sunday’s. I love you kids. Stay safe.

  • Mike R

    I would think the double floor would be a big consideration, given the amount of stuff you guys haul in the dinghy.

  • Walter Gameiro

    Thank you guys. I try to follow your adventures in the far East…but “YOU TUBE” is not making it easy. We have met at the presentation you did at JUST CATAMARANS in Fort Lauderdale…I guess we were the only sailing couple who came out of Fort Worth in that presentation also with the Zatara crew. We have a 12ft inflatable to make sure that even full of water we still are afloat and do not have to swim…until we get rid of that water. We upgraded from the Voyage to a Leopard 46 (Morelli design) a truly offshore cat. Walter


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