Coconut is our “Car”. We use it to go back and forth from the Unladen Swallow when she’s on anchor (AKA the hook) or tied up to a mooring ball. A cruising yacht tender needs to be lightweight, stable, nimble and tough. Coconut is an APEX A-10 Rigid Inflatable Bottom (RIB) dinghy. It can carry 6 people or roughly 1,000 lbs of payload. Swallow’s previous owner gave us the 25HP 2-Stroke Mercury outboard motor that he used while circumnavigating to use with Coconut.
The motor is fitted with dolphin wing that allows it to get up on plane quickly and once on plane, Coconut flies along at speeds that make Unladen Swallow quite jealous. In fact a 2 or 3 mile one-way ride in Coconut in reasonably flat conditions only take 15-20 mins.
Coconut is stored upside down ahead of the mast while we are underway and it spends nights when we are at anchor or on a mooring hanging from a Spinnaker halyard against the hull of Unladen Swallow to ensure it doesn’t break free and to make it more difficult for someone with bad-intentions to mess with it or the engine.