It's for more than a quick trip ashore


Do you use you tender? A silly question I know, one always uses their little rubber ducky to get to the pub – sorry shore and back. But how many of us really USE them?

While the mothership is usually restrained by her draught and manoeuvrability, a dinghy with an outboard and oars is a most versatile mode of transport. Amphibious, well kind-of, if you pick it up.

Comfortable, unless your crew was a bit too handy with the foot pump. It also has multiple forms of propulsion – it can be motored, dragged, pushed, rowed, punted and, if all else fails, carried! It really is a remarkable bit of kit, yet all most of us use them for is going to the shore to eat, drink and spend money.

There are beautiful tranquil rivers out there waiting to be explored, farm butchers waiting to sell you their wares and cook you the nicest bacon sandwiches the world has produced. OK I might have exaggerated there for a moment, but when I had the idea of exploring the River Fowey I didn’t realise what it would involve. Needless to say, two hours later, after going aground, fighting with the outboard and trying to find an almost non-existent channel, I lost my sense of humour trying to row against a howling wind and streaming tide. I was wondering whether my relationship would stand it (it did), and whether this butcher I’d heard about was worth it (she was). So if you do take to your dinghy, wait until it’s not raining you’ll have a lot more fun.