At the time, we had a Bolger Tortoise which, at 6'5", was a bit smaller than most folks dinghies but seemed to carry as much gear/water/groceries as our friends who tended to all have Avon Redcrests or Bombard AX-2's and as our Tortoise rowed well we did not have to use an outboard.
For the record, all these years later, we're using a Tortoise (albeit a slightly longer one) after years of using various inflatable/deflatables and RIBs we were never quite happy with because truth be told I like to row and hate worrying that my inflatable or its outboard are going to get ripped off.
I mention this because if you're in the cheapseats or VolksCruising fraternity what dinghy you choose has a huge effect on your budget as well as your general happiness level. Plus being in the cheapseats mode the only way you're going to have a great dinghy is by getting lucky and finding one cheap or by building it yourself.
So, here's a list of some better than most dinghies you might want to check out...
- Chameleon A nesting dinghy by Danny Greene
- Tortoise & Stretched Tortoise by Phil Bolger
- Ruben's Nymph by Phil Bolger
- Origami & Fliptail two excellent folding dinghies by Wooden Widget
- Deckster a minimal footprint design (utilizes the Hobie Miriage drive)
As it happens, Wooden Widget has just come up with a new larger Fliptail which has me all sorts of excited as a nine-foot folding dinghy has a whole lot to offer. I expect you'll be hearing quite a bit more about this design in the not-too-distant-future...