I have wanted to get a Tinker Tramp or Tinker Traveller with the sailing rig for quite a long time. I do not even know that Tinker Inflatables even made a catamaran version of them. I saw an auction on ebay for a new unused Tinker Tinkeress with a new and unused Mariner outboard. I searched online but, was not able to find anything about the dinghy. I decided to bid up to an amount that I would be able to sell the outboard for. I won the item and picked up the item in Doncaster. When I brought the dinghy home I set her up and inspected everything and everything was how one would expect. The seller informed me that the boat was brought with the outboard at the EarlsCourt Boat show and had only been set up three times and had never been used.
The following is from the Tinker Inflatables promotional material that come with the dinghy along with Issue No. 11 of the official magazine of the Tinker Class Owners Association. "The latest design from the drawing board of F. Benyon - Tinker is not only a unique design, subject to a new patent, but the Tinkeresss is the most economic boat in the range. The boat can be assembled in less than a couple of minutes and inflated and ready to launch in another four to five minutes. The Tinkeress will provide a very stable platform for fishermen. The wooden side decks will provide a useful working surface and protect the tubes from sharp knives and hooks. The Tinkeress is a delight to row. The twin tubes providing excellent directional control. She is light and easy. Motoring with a 4HP outboard engine she is fast, very fast, and will carry up to four people. The Tinkeress has a buoyancy of 1425Ibs. (646kgs), she therefore makes an excellent load carrier for use by divers as well as yachtsmen." I have no idea if the patent went though or how many had been made.
I will be taking her out and will provide an update if you own or have any information on the Tinkeress please contact me.
I took her down to slip by my mooring for a test run. As it was very windy I decided to row and motor around. I had got her out of the car and set up in under 5 minutes. I was pleasantly pleased by the ease of launching in such a shallow water with out the need to get any more than my feet wet.
Under oars against the wind and tide was a bit tricky bug, that may have been down to my technique. Although she was easy to row I would not want to row far in her.
I then started the Mariner 2 stroke 2hp that was also new and come with the boat. Wow she was quick very quick exceeding hull speed with ease. She was also very stable but, I did get a bit wet when motoring into the wind.
I decided to take the Tinker Tinkeress on holiday with me down to Manilva in Southern Spain. Some 1600 miles away. I made a bag for the rigging and mast to go into. I was also able to get my other gear in the bag. Due to the lack of space in my car I had no other option but, to put everything on the roof rack. I secured it with two ratchets and a long rope for added security. It was very windy driving down to Dover and the ferry was delayed by two hours due to strong winds.
I drove from Calais to a small village called Chenay where we stopped for the before driving to Burgos in Spain for the last pit stop before driving down to the Costa Del Sol. I had no issues with the dinghy and gear on the roof rack. On my first day in Manilva I had a failed attempt at a beach launch due to the amount of surf. It was not until the third day that I was successful in launching her. It was a bit tricky getting into the dinghy in waist high water. Then I had another challenge getting away from the beach. I rowed hard to get away and into deeper water. The center board is 0.7 meters. I sailed across wind in light winds and she was a pleasure to sail. I found tacking a bit tricky in the light winds and sailing close to the wind was near impossible. This was the first time that I had sailed in a catamaran. I did find her very stable in the waves but, rowing into the wind was quite hard. A beach launch was ok for a short sail in light winds I was out for about two hours and really did enjoy myself. I do wish I had brought the outboard as I would have felt more comfortable sailing further away from the shore and along the coast. I was very pleased with my new inflatable an will be keeping her. I do need to get to know her better and in stronger winds.
As of December 2021 I have yet to find the existence of another Tinkeress and I may have one of the few ever made. I do not know how many were made.
Please note the whole content is from my own blog and I am reposting it on this site.