8ft 10in Dana Review By Ambassador Jamie Fowler
I have a 30ft Newport sailboat and the Dana is the perfect addition! She fits perfectly on the bow. She is super lightweight and I am able to crank her up on my own, place her on the deck or take her off with only one person!
I have had the Newport Vessels Dana for little over a month now and I can honestly say that this little inflatable dinghy has surpassed my expectations! Initially I wanted a sturdy boat to be able to shuttle people to and from the boat from an anchorage, be able to zip around the lake for some sunset cruising and dock up for a dinner here and there at the lakefront restaurants. In my first month this dinghy has been great, keeping me and friends safe, dry, and comfortable while we zip around the lake.
I currently have the Dana outfitted with a small 3.5 HP outboard engine mounted to the dinghy and it works great! I chose this motor to commute around because I live on a bigger lake, if you’re only using the boat to get to shore, an electric motor works great and will save you money. We have even carried four grown adults in the Dana, the dinghy still felt stable, safe, and moved at a good clip! With that much weight and such a small motor, the inflatable dinghy takes longer to get moving, but once you have momentum it moved along nicely. I opted for the second bench seat which has come in very handy, especially when taking people to and from shore or other sailboats, I would definitely recommend always ordering the second seat. Soon I will be ordering two Newport Underseat Bags to store life vests...and to make the aluminum seats more comfortable when riding through wakes or waves.
I recommend mounting navigation or visibility lights, like the Railblaza Bow Lights or Railblaza Dinghy Visibility Kit to use at night, they work great and will keep you safe after the sun goes down. (One Coast Guard ticket and those lights will pay for themselves!)
The Dana is sturdy, durable, fun and does everything I need while still small enough for me to be able to handle on my own. I’ve only had this little tender boat for a short period of time but feel like I have gained all the confidence in her that I need to take her on longer adventures! I plan to use her to crab as well as take her scuba diving this summer. I will be able to use the inflatable boat as a buoy to mark my diving location as well as a tool to hold any diving gear.
These boats really are versatile, durable, dependable and SUPER fun to drive! I can’t wait to get back out on the water and see what adventures we can get in to!