We have some big news; Delos has a new addition in the family! I know what your thinking and NO! Nobody is pregnant! Meet Maggie. She weighs 75 kg, is beautiful and shiny, and laughs at the thought of carrying 10 people or the sight of a rocky beach… We just got new dinghy!
After using our 2.9 meter (9.6 feet) AB (dubbed “the AB” for lack of creativity) for 5 years it was about that time for an upgrade. She had been patched over 20 times and was beginning to give in to old age. Surprisingly over the years we grew quite a strong emotional attachment to her. She survived being flipped twice; once in Mexico and once in Vanuatu, both due to large breaking waves near beaches. She was able to stay afloat filled with water in 2 meter seas while we pulled another boat off a reef in Tonga. She was even able to hold 5 adults all with dive gear. Not to mention the times she was filled with 20 or so villagers on their way to Delos for a movie night. Yea, she will be missed….But she will love her “retirement river” in Queensland that she will spend the rest of her days cruising with the young couple that bought her.
What do you think of when you hear the name Maggie? Maybe your first thought is the Simpsons? Or maybe a person you know named Maggie? If neither of these are the case then you probably thought similar to us. If your name is Maggie and you are reading this, no offense, I’m sure you are a beautiful women and this does not apply to you…….but when we think of what represents a “Maggie” we think of a tough rugged mountain-man of a woman…Brian seems to think of a non-existent company called “Maggie’s Meat Pies” and we all agree to the thought of a burly hardcore lady that drives a truck.
Our new dinghy is the epitome of a rough-hardcore-tank of a women. She is 3.3 meters (about 11 Feet) and 75 Kg. Maggie is a crossbreed between a traditional RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and an aluminum boat or “tinnie” as its called here in ‘Straya. She is entirely Aluminum including her pontoons which are slightly pressurized.
We have been talking about getting a new, bigger tender for a few years now but they were all a bit expensive or not tough enough or not dry enough. The search continued for a dinghy sponsor as Brian and I got Delos ready for the current season. As we were in Bundaberg a few good tender options popped up including the polycarbonate Polycraft, the Achilles and the Barefoot…. But none really paired well with Delos and her needs
I happened to come across Ocean Craft one night after drinking a bit too much rum (nonsense, you can never drink too much rum) and doing random Google searches. After e-mailing Mike Jessop, the owner of Ocean Craft, about sponsorship opportunities I didn’t receive anything back so Brian and I gave up and decided to make the AB last one more season.
A few weeks passed and I received a reply from Mike asking if we were still interested in one of his tenders. We had been checking out the specs and videos of his tenders online and were still very interested.
Everything worked out perfectly and a few weeks later our baby was delivered to Cairns. Brian and I watched with our mouths open as Maggie was lifted off the truck by crane and lowered into the water.
There were definitely a few moments where we looked at each other and back to the Aluminum UFO floating through the air and thought “Oh shit, I really hope she fits on the bow of Delos”
-Our new baby towing the poor old AB-
This dinghy is different from conventional tenders due to its pneumatic tubes. When it is in water, its phenomenal buoyancy and stability can support up to twice as much weight and up to twice as many passengers as a tender of similar size. We are able to plane with our 25 horsepower no problem. Even with 4 adults and 4 full dive kits. Pretty impressive for a 3.3 meter tender. When you step into her you can really feel how stable she is, the tube you step on doesn’t move more then an inch or so. In 2 meter swells and 35 knots of breeze she feels safe, stable and comfortable- even returning from a dive fully loaded with sopping wet gear.
Our biggest concern was the rigidity of the aluminum tubes and them coming into contact with us or the hull of Delos. Mike had just the answer; Ocean Craft’s foam fender. Its basically 2 inches of foam wrapped in UV resistant outdoor vinyl and then sail tacked onto the aluminum tubes. Not only does it provide cushion and act as an all around fender but can be flipped vertical, adding another 6 inches to the gunwale, to make this dry dinghy even dryer!
Mike has really paid attention to the little things to make this tender ideal for cruisers. The painter attachment has two reinforced eyelets which is cool because you can keep your painter attached and still have a lifting point. Not to mention the hydrodynamic properties of Maggie that allow her to plane very easily saving saving fuel and money for more beer and rum. Mike even thought to put small outriggers below the hull to increase stability both at rest and when turning at high speed. She’s super comfortable and a smooth ride even while planing through big swells. She also has an anchor compartment in the bow keeping it in place, organized and stable. And if storing her on deck is your concern, those foam fenders can be flipped all the way up and act as a pad for the tender to sit on when upside down.
With a few modifications of our newly made mounts, Maggie fit snug on our foredeck.
If you are considering a new tender or are tired of yours we highly recommend Mike Jessop and Ocean Craft. They make amazing boats! They are even able to ship world wide. And be sure to tell him Delos sent you!
0416 293 686
Ocean Craft House PO Box 3791 DC . Caloundra . QLD . 4551 .
Australia ABN 9250 4677 321
For more sailing adventures check out svdelos.com