Here’s a nice update from Steve P on Orcas Island, who recently discovered that his beloved 14′ Whitehall Rowboat makes a lovely tender for his 46 Grand Banks. If you’re a yacht owner who loves to row, but thought that inflatables were the most practical way to get from ship to shore, let this be an encouraging lesson for you!

Read on to see what Steve thinks about his Whitehall rowboat as a tender:

I have used you guys many times for advice and parts for my 14 foot Whitehall. I bought it used more than 10 years ago and used it occasionally. When we bought our dream boat a few years ago ( Grand Banks 46 Europa) it came with an inflatable dinghy powered by a 9.9 Honda. It wouldn’t get up on a plane so it was a putt around dinghy. Very stable but hard to get off the beach if the tide went out. I couldn’t stop thinking about replacing it with the Whitehall. Last year I decided to try it and this is what I found.

It’s so nice to row to shore, I can’t believe how fast you get there. Easy to get up the beach. Sometimes we put sticks underneath it to slide it up the beach. I was worried about how it would fit in on the dinghy dock but it works fine. We just tie the bow up and put our fenders out. At first I wanted to side tie every time but it’s not necessary and not going to make any friends. Once we were in a very tight spot, so I backed in and stepped off the stern.

I find I can join my wife when she goes paddle boarding and we both can go exploring. Don’t use a Whitehall as a dinghy if you don’t like to meet new people as everyone wants to ask questions. I was a little surprised how often we hear “ how romantic “.
Getting in and out off the swim step is a breeze. We are used to sailing sailing dinghy’s as tenders. We have had an El Toro and a Ranger Minto with our boats back to 1981.

We sometimes tow it and it tows well at our 8 or 9 knot cruise. Most of the time we crane it up to the Flybridge.
At 67 years old we still feel safe in the Whitehall and it still puts a smile on my face every time I see it.

As Steve points out, our 14′ Whitehall rows so quickly and easily, you won’t miss the motor. (And if you do decide you need one, you can mount up to a 2hp outboard on the transom.) Plus, a fiberglass dinghy weighs significantly less than an inflatable — particularly once you account for the motor — so you can easily move our classic dinghies up and down the beach without worrying about a low tide leaving you stranded.

Thanks Steve for sharing your experience. We’re happy that our Whitehall leaves a smile on your face! (Even if you do find yourself acting as a volunteer salesperson for our boats at the dock.) 😉

Want to learn more about our 14′ Whitehall? Click here for more info.