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A dinghy is a type of small boat, often carried or towed by a larger vessel. It is a loanword from either Bengali or Urdu. The term can also refer to small racing yachts or recreational open sailing boats. Utility dinghies are usually rowboats or have an outboard motor, but some are rigged for sailing. Because the smaller sailing dinghy responds more quickly to maneuvers, it is more suitable for beginner training in sailing than full-sized sloops.



Dinghies usually range in length from about 6 to 20 feet (2 to 6 m). Larger auxiliary vessels are generally called tenders, pinnaces or lifeboats. Folding and take-down multi-piece (nesting) dinghies are used where space is limited. Some newer dinghies have much greater buoyancy, giving them more carrying capacity than older boats of the same size.

Most modern dinghies are made of synthetic materials. These require minimal care and do not rot. Inflatable dinghies can be made of fabrics coated with Hypalon, neoprene or PVC.[1] Rigid dinghies are usually made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GRP) but injection-moulded one-piece hulls are also available.[2] Other materials for modern rigid dinghies include aluminum, marine plywood and, with the advent of sturdy, UV resistant urethane varnishes, wood. Some wooden dinghies (especially of classic or historical form) are built using the carvel or clinker methods. Favored woods, in order of rot-resistance, are White oak, Black locust, species of cedar and pine, true as well as African and Asian mahoganies, fir and spruce. Plastic hardware is sometimes used, but bronze and stainless steel are good corrosion-resistant materials for hardware, although stainless steel is subject to crevice corrosion and must be inspected and replaced fairly frequently when used for rigging and some other parts. Working boats may use lower-cost galvanized steel, but the hardware may need to be re-galvanized or replaced eventually.

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