After over a year of deliberation, we finally purchased a dinghy: a nice, shiny, new dinghy. Originally, we were not planning on buying a new one. However, given our landlocked location, lack of time, and and the lack of used boats in the area, Emily pushed me to take advantage of West Marine’s 15% off Thanksgiving online sale (which included free shipping to our local store). After looking at all the options, we decided to go with a Walker Bay rigid dinghy. Our main reasons for settling on a hard dinghy were longevity, weight, rowing capabilities, and price. Walker Bays fit the bill for us in all of these categories. Since they are made of a composite plastic, they are long lasting and can endure more sun and chaffing than their inflatable counterparts. In the size range we were looking at, the Walker Bay actually weighed less than the inflatable, and it can be more easily handled. Additionally, Walker Bay offers an inflatable collar tube kit for added stability. It can be rowed (ours accidentally came with free oars… SHHH! don’t tell!) in the event of an outboard failure. On that note, we also managed to get a great deal on a Yamaha 2.5 outboard via Ebay. We plan on storing our new addition on the fore deck during passages and towing the boat when making short inland trips. Eventually, we will also create a way to hang the boat on the transom similar to some of the power boat davit systems.