wynns sailing dinghy

Should We Get A Sailing Dinghy?

We’re on the hunt for a new dinghy to go with our 44ft hybrid electric catamaran.  And because our new cat will be loaded with renewable energy (we’re trying to be as self-sufficient as possible) we’ve been exploring the world of electric motors.  But one major downside of most electric boats is the limited range.

Which got us thinking about other alternatives…like a convertible boat. Row it, motor it, or rig it up and sail it. Genius!  Or so it seems, there’s only one way to find out.

Fair warning, this video may cause you to want a sailing dinghy.


Curiosity 2 can hold up to an 11-foot (3.4 meter) tender with a max weight of 440lbs.

Our quest began when we compared our top choice rigid and inflatable dinghies. Which left us leaning heavily towards the OC Tender because of its quality and the potential to be a lifelong boat.

Then, we put the 5 best electric motors we could find to the test. There were two that completely blew us away and one that hit the sweet spot of all our wants and needs.

But now, our decision just got more complicated. If we go for the sailing version of the OC we can’t get the insanely fast & fun electric jet motor, because it gets integrated into the hull. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  If you want to learn more about OC sailing tenders, just click the link below and it will take you there.


This video is not sponsored by OC Tenders nor do we get any sort of incentive or compensation should you purchase. But if you do, please let them know they should buy us a beer for the recommendation. 🍻




Ups, downs, and all around, we share it all. If you like what you see, there are lots of ways you can show your support.

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 (38)

  • Doug Johnston

    Have you seen the tender Leo is using for TallyHo? Very nice sailing and rowing tender. 11 ft. Dinghy that’s stores in 6 x 4 space. Beautiful and functional. I think it’s awesome.
    It’s called the PT11Nesting Dinghy. Take a look!!!!!!!!

  • Keith Gilleshammer

    I’d suggest the electric dingy vs the sailing vessel. Sailing probably the most fun in optimal conditions but electric or gas would probably be better in emergency or stressful situations.

  • Keith Gilleshammer

    I’d suggest getting the non-sail boat. The electric dingy is my suggestion for less than optimal conditions. Looking forward to seeing the new boat. Really like your broadcasts.

  • Roger Brekas

    No sail. I use to race with a Lido 14 and Tacking takes too much time from point A to point B when the wind isn’t cooperating as you well know.

  • Bart Tecter

    My 2 cents worth… sailing a small dinghy in a variety of winds and points of sail, you will learn a LOT that will improve your sailing ability in a larger boat. A small sailing dinghy gives you immediate feedback on even the slightest sail changes or weight distribution. Things you will never even feel on a larger vessel but will make difference. Lots of fun too. Best of luck with your decision. I have very much enjoyed following your journey by motorhome and on the water.

  • Steve Gibbons

    What a great calm water tender. Seems like a perfect day trip boat I don’t see a payload mentioned on the website. Its probably there but I wonder will 2 PAX and groceries fit?
    Checked the Kiwi prices and I gather its pretty good value. Id then add a Torqeedo electric motor to help achieve the environmental standards your seeking. Another great story show casing yet another great product. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dawn Gallagher

    Love the sailing dinghy – Many times we have been in the marina and or anchored at Catalina and the wind was perfect for just sailing around the bay and wished we had even a Sabot (old school). How nice it would be after a long sail the next day just to cruise around in a little sabot. I sailed sabots (small sailing dink) 30 years ago and they were a lot of fun and really teach you how the wind works with the sail. Also, many times my Tohatsu engine failed on me and I had to row a very long distance. SAIL AWAY!!!! Hoping the best for you and your trip to the Philippines -!

    Dawn Gallagher

  • Tjohn

    In my opinion it is a mistake to think that a dinghy aka tender for going ashore or using as a water taxi may also be a sailboat aka sport toy. While the two may overlap, each has it’s shortcomings when used as the other. A good water taxi is unsinkable in heavy seas or when hitting a strange beach. These traits alone hurt sailing ability. While a great sailing dinghy points high and is fun to sail, it fails miserably when overloaded or in big waves. I think all cruisers need both. In the interest of expense and storage perhaps an inflatable makes sense when paired with a great sailing dinghy but not a sailing dinghy as the only shore boat.

  • Lisa

    Is there a vote for both?! 💕
    Thank you for sharing your adventures!

  • Alan Solomon

    Thanks for this video. You guys looked like you were having fun out there.
    I am no expert but, in my opinion this small sailing vessel is great for calm, easy sailing in calm waters, but I can’t help but remember how comfortable you both were in the Minnow! You got to where you wanted to go quick, you could dock most anywhere, you had tons of room for groceries and other things, but sometimes it was a hassle to find gas and when you did find gas, I remember you hauling numerous, big, gas cans when you found gas at a good price, hopefully.
    ⚡In my viewpoint, this electric dingy is in its infant stage and not at all perfected yet to what you are familiar with or used too.
    In the minnow you had one hand steering your craft and that was it. You had the wind in your hair, the sun in your eyes. You made tracks in those waters.
    In this new electric boat, you have to steer with one hand, and hold rigging in your other hand and watch out you don’t hit your head on the mast, or it hits you. In closing, I may be wrong, but it seems the space in this boat is limited if not minimal. Best of luck in your decision. Smiles and laughter. 😊

  • Tony Bennett

    If you wish to be ECO Warriors then the SAIL Version is definitely the way to go!
    Love the show – keep up the great work.
    Fair Winds – Smooth Seas

  • Chris

    Now for my two bobs worth, I suspect most time using the tender is to go ashore whereas the sail version is mostly for the fun side and looked a pain to raise the keel and did the rudder have a pivot point should you wish to wish to beach her? So as much as the sailing looked fun I suggest the motor is the way to go.

  • Kim Biddick

    Hi Wynns-
    We’ve been fans since your RV days-even stayed at a free campsite in BC given your GPS coordinates. We also sailed a 30’ Pearson monohull for awhile. Looking at your recent post, we’ve spent lots of time in cute little sailboats akin to what you just sailed. It’s fun, and might be practical, depending. I’m assuming you can bring the motor along, no matter what. If so, I recommend you go back and review your dingy use posts and determine how many times the sailing dingy would be cool, and not. I think that may give you the answer you are looking for.
    Can’t wait for the next adventure, Kim

  • MarkByron

    Beautiful and fun video. You should get the sailing version with a great electric outboard. The insane fun of the jet is cool and less practical than the combo.

  • David

    If you’re going to have a dinghy powered by an electric motor, IMO it only makes sense to also put a sail on it. There are downsides, to be sure. The rig has to go up and come down on both sides of the trip, and it certainly won’t get you anywhere super fast. But, it does give you options and the potential for a much longer range than an electric motor alone can provide. It may also greatly decrease your reliance on electricity being available to charge up the dinghy battery. It’s also a lot cheaper to replace a sail than it is to replace a motor.

  • Jeanette Brennan

    Loved the sailing dinghy – best of both worlds. What an awesome video it was this week – thanks for a really awesome tour! Stay safe, healthy and happy! You’ll do what’s best for yourselves – whichever way you go – do it for you. 💓⛵️🙏💫

  • Lucille Hjort

    I envision pros and cons. It would be nice that you would not have to worry about having to find fuel when you need it, but if the wind is not blowing much,
    you will not move too much perhaps with a sail. Makes me think it is best to have both and then you can get to shore whenever you want to and or need
    to. I think that would remove a lot of the stress and worries when you need food and water and fuel. Just thinking. Best Wishes for Safe and Fun
    Travels as you continue on.

    • terry sullivan

      They have their own electric generation and storage so fuel is not an issue if they choose an electric motor. On the other hand it’s very nice and fun to just be able to sail the dinghy wherever. I’m thinking a combo of the two would be the best over all.

  • Jon Deck

    If the dingy is big enough to meet your needs I think it’s a winner. The stowage space necessary for the rudder, sail and daggerboard is pretty minimal so I think that argument is weak.

    As far as the argument that because it sails it’s a toy and impractical is an assertion without any argument.

    No less an authority than Larry Pardey maintained that a sailing dingy was the very best lifeboat because it enabled you to move instead of drift. He lived it and never carried an inflatable lifeboat.

    Though not likely it is possible to founder without having time to send out an distress call via EPIRB or inreach and if no-one knows you’ve abandoned ship a dingy that can sail is going to be a very attractive option indeed.

  • Cindi

    The sailing tender looks like it doesn’t have much space for supplies with 2 people in it.

  • Dan S Brown

    Hi guys,

    What I would suggest is to purchase the sailing version and include the electric motor and battery pack. It would be simple to adapt the electric motor mount to the rudder mount and then you would have both options available. I would rig the mast head for a spinnaker as well. If you do an internet search of a 17′ Fireball you could see what you would need to do.

    Cheers from Canada

  • mary van

    Such a great story! I think that even makes your decision tougher!

    Very cool boat! Good luck with your decision!

  • Steve Wolfer

    Gig Harbor boat works, in Washington State, has inflatable pontoons that would fit perfect on this boat and give more stability and provide bumpers like an inflatable on the sides. It would be a huge improvement to this design.

  • Heidi

    We’re getting a hobie pedal kayak for which a little sail can be purchased. The setup seems a lot simpler if you want that little sailboat feel?

  • Bob S.

    It’s a toy for calm waters, not something I’d want to depend on. Quite IMPRACTICAL for serious sailing.

  • Don

    OC Tenders look like a good match for your future Curiosity 2.

  • Michael Wilkshire

    No, I still think you need to get the jet powered tender. It gives you the same performance as Minion but it’s electric, which is what Curiosity 2 is all about.

  • newby46

    Looks Like a lot of trouble to set up for a tender that is used sparingly, for short distances, and to get ashore to get groceries and get nack to your cat when the weather turns.

  • Jimmy Allen

    Inflatable, safe and easy to stow.

  • Jimmy Allen

    Get another inflatable, safety first, and easy to stow etc.

  • Jerry McManus

    Nothing as enjoyable. You’ll be surprised how your basic sailing skills improve by sailing a dingy for a while. Fun. Enjoy! mtsailor

  • Paul Holstein

    It looks fun, but think about how you’d use it. I would want a tender that’s low maintenance and quick to deploy, and easy to dock in unusual places. This doesn’t fit the bill. Where would you keep the daggerboard, sail, mast, and rudder when not in use? You wouldn’t want to keep them in the dinghy. Imagine going into town with this when you don’t know where you’ll dock. Imagine going under small bridges as you did in the Bahamas. Yes, you can deploy and retract the sail as needed, but it wouldn’t be convenient.

  • Jan

    Pretty cool – can’t wait to learn your choice. If the sailing dingy has enough space, do it!

  • Alonzo

    Absolutely yes

  • Jamie Peebles

    If it was good enough for Captain Blie it should be good enough for you. 😝 The wind is free.

  • Ramon

    Simple answer: if you can, yes!

    Let me order first, though 🙂


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