Family Car? Folding Dinghy.

When your boat is your home, and your home is constantly floating in anchorages to save on marina slip fees—I mean, to enjoy the undisturbed tranquility of pristine nature—it is not practical to pull your grocery-laden Subaru into the driveway next to it. Largely because there is no driveway.

That’s why most cruising sailboats carry a dinghy. And now, we do too. After all, until I can train her to take potty breaks on the boat, we need something to get my wife Pam ashore. Oh, Honey the golden retriever also.

Dinghies come in many types and sizes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. On Meander, we decided to go with a folding dinghy, which, we’ve read, promises the durability and the smooth, fast ride of hard dinghies on one hand and the space savings of inflatables on the other.

And in deference both to Meander’s name and to Austin Powers fans everywhere, we’ve decided to christen her Mini-Mea.

Is a folding dinghy the best possible choice for us? Who knows? Life is in the living, and dinghies are in the, uh, dinghying. And we are content to allow the profound mysteries of liveaboard cruising to reveal themselves to us one day at a time. Because we have no other choice.

Here are some photos from our first day with Mini-Mea.

Where do you sit?

Where do you sit?

Pulling it together: No sweat.

Putting it together: No sweat.

Half an hour later, all is revealed.

Half an hour later, all is revealed.

But what does Honey think?

But what does Honey think?

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Doesn’t matter. She’s coming aboard anyway.

Hey, she floats!

Hey, she floats!

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Does this guy know what he’s doing?

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Maiden voyage.

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How do you steer this thing?

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Didn’t wreck it.

Pam’s turn.

Pam’s turn.

Victory No. 2: Back safe and sound.

Back safe and sound.

And so, Day One with the new family car ends on a high note.

And once we teach Honey to row it, we’ll be as golden as she is.

 

 

 

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