Things that matter for a Dinghy:
Size: Contrary to the proverbial saying “it’s not the size that counts it’s how you use it,” when it comes to Dinghies size does matter. A Dinghy is your water-based car equivalent and you will want that extra size for anything from groceries to dive gear.
Engine size: You have to have the horsepower necessary to move all that fun stuff and your friends to and from the boat.
Weight: Nobody likes trying to pull an elephant onto the beach or lifting it onto your davits…so make sure your dinghy is slim and trim, if not, better put it on a diet.
Cost: Everybody likes a deal and for most of us, this becomes the overarching factor that determines Dinghy selection.
What we chose and why
We compared multiple vendors and narrowed things down to Highfield and AB mainly for their construction, reliability, and cost. Like many people we went back and forth on the material selection: aluminum or fiberglass. Both have pros and cons but in the end we went with aluminum for that oh so important weight savings. (a comparable aluminum RIB is about 70-100lbs lighter than its fiberglass sibling). Ultimately we chose the Highfield (Classic 340) mainly due to the reviews from others, cost compared to AB, and some of its features.
As for engine size, well to us that was a no brainer. We went with a 20HP 4 stroke outboard. Why? Simply because we want to have enough HP to move 6 people and gear with no problems. Most likely we could have gotten by with a 15HP but the reality is a 15HP and 20 HP outboard have the same motor and weight, they’re just tuned differently so for a small amount of $$$ you might as well get the stronger motor! Oh and why a 4 stroke you might ask, simply put it’s better for the environment and more fuel efficient. Bonus, no mixing oil and gas like in a 2 stroke.