Tractor inner tube tender

sebastiannr

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Good Morning!

Some years ago I read in a book by Bernard Moitessier that he used an old tractor inner tube as a tender. A strong water proof tarp was underneath the tube with its edges tied together over the top. The raft was skulled rather than rowed.

My current boat has limited storage and hauling my Plastimo inflatable up from the fore cabin on deck is a pain in the a$$! The tractor inner tube would be much easier to stow and move about the boat.

Has anyone had any experience of using one as a tender? I will very rarely need to transport more than myself in it, but if it's useless in anything but a flat calm then it's pretty much useless as a tender.

Many thanks,

Sebastian.
 

Seajet

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Tractor Inner Tube

The easiest inflatable dinghies to stow are definitely 'round tails' rather than solid transom jobs, and lots of small floor slats ( or an inflatable floor ) roll up much smaller than a few big sheets of wood.

Round tail dinghies still have brackets for small outboards.

A friend used to have a tractor inner tube for use playing off a beach; the inflation valve was very prominent & caused me quite serious grazing, almost to the point of stabbing, when we had to use the thing in surf to get to someone in trouble; a cheap beach type inflatable would be lighter, no sharp bits, easier to stow & to row, more visible - black is not a great colour-, and dare I say it more seaworthy.

A good manual pump - forget the thing supplied - would be required, with a 12 Volt LVM high speed inflator as 'luxury option' but NOT alternative ( attach to ship's battery not switch panel, high current draw may start a fire ).
 

Searush

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A Tractor tyre would be fine, but slow to inflate, even with an electric pump. The valves are designed for high pressure rather than high volume. As mentioned, the valve will be a nuisance, perhaps look out for a long, angled one that could be tied or taped back.

Moitessier was covering long distances & then spending weeks in port, so the idea worked for him because it was built & left in commission for weeks & then packed away for months. If you are cruising, for a day, then anchoring/ mooring overnight as most shorthanded holiday & weekenders do, it would be a pain to set up & pack away every day.

I'm surprised you have problems getting an inflatable aboard, I am mid-60's & manage without problems with 2.4m hardtail. I strip off the motor, oars & seat then lift the bow vertically against the side of the boat. I then pull the bow towards me, pivoting it over the guard rail. I then slide it acrosss the guardrail onto the boat. I can then deflate it & roll it up for storage, or just tie it down for shorter passages. If the weather is calm (under F5, I simply tow it behind, but winds over F5 tend to lift it & roll it over when the transome maes a fine sea anchor - untill something gives. :eek:

Plastic toys will give you a permanently wet bum & be as hard to row as the tractor tyre, don't expect to make progress against wind or tide in either.
 
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electrosys

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I 'recovered' a tractor inner-tube a year or so ago from the roadside verge - the valve had been cut away and the tube dumped - otherwise it was in good nick. Thinking it would provide a good supply of rubber sheet for misc. uses around the farm, I chucked it in the corner of a polytunnel and forgot all about it.

A year later I needed to make a gasket, so pulled it out to cut up - and much to my surprise, where it had been folded, cracks had started to appear - just as with SCUBA-gear straps left in the sun under tension.

So inner-tube rubber doesn't much like UV when stressed - something to bear in mind if you're planning to work with it.

There are one or two designs on the net for DIY folding boats - they might be worth considering if you're pushed for space.
 
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Allan

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Friends of mine use an inflatable kayak. It is stable and easy to paddle. They say you must get the right paddles ie. one that will link together for when you are on your own but become two paddles when there are two in the boat. It also rolls much smaller than even a roundtail dingy.
Allan
 

Kilter

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Friends of mine use an inflatable kayak. It is stable and easy to paddle. They say you must get the right paddles ie. one that will link together for when you are on your own but become two paddles when there are two in the boat. It also rolls much smaller than even a roundtail dingy.
Allan

A much better idea IMO
 

Allan

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Getting in & out from a boat or dock is very dodgy, do take care & wear a bouancy aid!
I had a play in my friend's one, while at anchor in Oxwich bay. I was pleasantly surprised how stable it was when I stood up. I only went between boats, so I don't know what it would be like on a jetty or the beach. If I buy one, I think I would buy a buoyancy aid and use that instead of my lifejacket.
Allan
 

ghostlymoron

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A Tractor tyre would be fine, but slow to inflate, even with an electric pump. The valves are designed for high pressure rather than high volume. As mentioned, the valve will be a nuisance, perhaps look out for a long, angled one that could be tied or taped back.

Moitessier was covering long distances & then spending weeks in port, so the idea worked for him because it was built & left in commission for weeks & then packed away for months. If you are cruising, for a day, then anchoring/ mooring overnight as most shorthanded holiday & weekenders do, it would be a pain to set up & pack away every day.

I'm surprised you have problems getting an inflatable aboard, I am mid-60's & manage without problems with 2.4m hardtail. I strip off the motor, oars & seat then lift the bow vertically against the side of the boat. I then pull the bow towards me, pivoting it over the guard rail. I then slide it acrosss the guardrail onto the boat. I can then deflate it & roll it up for storage, or just tie it down for shorter passages. If the weather is calm (under F5, I simply tow it behind, but winds over F5 tend to lift it & roll it over when the transome maes a fine sea anchor - untill something gives. :eek:

Plastic toys will give you a permanently wet bum & be as hard to row as the tractor tyre, don't expect to make progress against wind or tide in either.

You could remove the Schrader type valve, enlarge the hole with a pair of scissors and fit a conventional dinghy valve. These are available from chandlers (and elsewhere no doubt cheaper) for under a tenner. They are a compression type fitting so can be easily screwed into place.
 

Lakesailor

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I had a Seahawk 2.
Inflatable tubes and floor, round tail nearly 10ft long.
Fitted in a carry bag.
£50 on ebay.

Bloody awful. Prefer hard dinghy.

dinghyoncar.jpg
 

bikedaft

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we have bounced down some rivers on tractor inner tubes. suppose could be used for a dinghy with a waterproof cover, but take a while to pump (about 10mins with a double barrel car foot pump) or about 20 mins from a 12v compressor. have a cup of tea?

would not be any good to paddle in wind tho

have three in the garage you are welcome to, tho any kwik fit type place will give you seconds for asking.

can see why moitiessier used them, would be good if you didn't have to pump them up often, and stow small. away from uv seem to last forever, ours are about 15 years old, not sure how long they were in a tractor before tho?
 
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