Since our kids named our sailboat Belle, (well, James reluctantly accepted Belle, french for pretty as what he wanted to name her), when we saw the yellow accents and rough condition of our new-to-us dingy we decided an apt name would be The Beast. (Yea, were Disney fans. So what.)
Immediately after acquiring Belle, my facebook marketplace and craigslist feeds were adapted to finding a dinghy to allow us to make shore excursions. We already have a small collection of outboard motors in the family archives so why not. I had seen quite a few rubber dinghies in ill repair for $150-$300. Seemed hard to justify paying as much for the dinghy as for the sailboat. I inquired about a few but made no serious offers.
A few weeks went by and a Facebook add caught my eye. Advertised at $0, yes free, a “Rinken 10.5”. Along with these photos, you now know as much about this as we did.
A quick Google search revealed that Rinken, now owned by NRS, made whitewater style rafts. With no motor mount, it was less than ideal. But I figured, for the price, it would have to do for now. I contacted the owner and made arrangements to pick it up. It was left outside in an industrial park and I grabbed it on my way by the next day.
A Pleasant Suprise
When I got home, I immediately unwrapped the skid and began to unroll the boat to see what we had gotten ourselves into. On top were a foot pump, working, and a Hypalon patch kit. I tossed those aside and set to unrolling the rubber raft. It was a bit heavy but manageable. As I began unrolling, I was quickly and pleasantly surprised to find a transom with engine mount! I think I may have done a little dance in the driveway. I went straight for the USCG data plate for the skinny. 10hp, and 4 persons! Whoot!
Here’s what he looked like when I got it unrolled in the photo.
You can see a mouse next midship and a fist-sized hole in the floor just abaft the nest. I was told it had a slow leak, but that would be a large seawater leak. It turned out to have about a dozen locatable leaks, some stress lines, and some knicks and seams. I used all of the patch material it came with and got it to a state where the port side tube would hold air and the starboard side tube would hold air for several hours.
I scrapped the old lettering off the sides with the blade of scissors and spray painted the areas with Krylon Fusion in a near-perfect matte gray. I then used the vinyl cutting machine we have for lettering my work vans to make spray templates for the lettering and the logo, “The Beast”. We took him out with us for a weekend stay in Portland Harbor (Maine) for our anniversary as a means to go ashore. I was hoping that the 1960 9.8HP Mercury 110 would prove a fine match for her. It probably would have if I had remembered to bring the fuel hose. So, we paddled him into the beach…
The starboard side tube kept going soggy on us all weekend. So, when we got home I grabbed a 1/4 full bottle of Stan’s No Tubes, a latex tube sealer for making bicycle tires tubeless, diluted it with some water to make it run better, and poured it into the starboard tube. I rolled him around the yard for 10 minutes to make sure the latex got everywhere and hopefully plugged any remaining leaks. The next morning, he was still inflated and perky so we will see how well it holds up!