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Old 21-09-2013, 16:52   #1
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AB vs Achilles RIB

Just came back from a boat show, and looked at RIB's. Our 19 year old Caribe C9X is about done. Chalking, fabric showing in some spots, gave us good service. Asked about AB's, and the dealer is recommending Achilles over AB. Claims, better price and better fabric, which is proprietary. Caribe is facing the situations in Venezuela, so he said they are problematic. Any input? Will not even consider PVC, so not in the equation.
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Old 21-09-2013, 17:04   #2
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

Given your location, I bet you talked to Stephan at Defender? He knows his inflatable boats - probably better than anyone. He like Achilles over AB and has defensible reasons.

From looking around the Caribbean, we have been seeing lots of problems with Caribe inflatables - separating tubes and problems with their double floors.

AB is very popular - particularly the aluminum ones - and we have seen very few problems with AB, other than on the aluminum ones, the paint peels off and looks sloppy (you can order them unpainted).

We see fewer Achilles, but I don't remember ever meeting anyone with one that had a problem.

I think the prices in the Caribbean for AB are better than Achilles, but that may be regional.

Between the two, the decision may be more along the lines of weight and features rather than quality.

Mark
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Old 21-09-2013, 17:26   #3
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

Actually it wasn't Defender, but when the time comes they will be contacted. The Caribe was purchased in Margarita, Venezuela for 48,000 Bolivars, when we changed money on the street it came to about $800 US. At that time, AB had all the problems, and Caribe was the one. I just haven't seen a lot of Achilles , other than the inflatables, that have seen a lot of service, like the Caribes' and the ABs'. Other issue, is I have a Yamaha 15hp 2 stroke that I would never part with, but would like to stay with a smaller boat like the C9, and one Achilles that is 9'6" will take the 15 if it is remote, or 10 if it is tiller. I just wonder what would be on the approval plate.
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Old 21-09-2013, 17:40   #4
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

AB moved out of Venezuela several years ago.

Email Stephan at Defender and ask his opinion. He won't try to sell you anything, and he has a wealth of knowledge of inflatables.

The Yamaha 15hp 2-stroke is on many dinghies of all sizes down here. I doubt you will have a problem mounting it on any dinghy >8.5' - may have to lean forward a bit to get it out of the hole. In fact, many people have a PVC handle extension on theirs just for that purpose.

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Old 21-09-2013, 17:44   #5
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I have a 2006 12 foot AB aluminum bottom with a 25hp Yamaha that we bought new. Best addition to our boat that we ever bought. The high bow makes her ride very dry even in big seas. We have sailed extensively in the Bahamas and chartered many times in the Caribbean, and by a huge margin AB is the most popular dingy. I can't recall seeing many, or any Achilles. On one trip in the Caribbean the cat had a 11.6 ft AB with a Yamaha 15 2 stroke like yours and it would plane my family of 5 no problem. I think the weight of that dingy is only 130 lbs but check the AB website for the specs and capacity.
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Old 21-09-2013, 17:48   #6
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

We love our AB and have had zero issues in 12 years. It has been an absolutely fabulous boat.

That said one of my customers has a six year old version of the identical RIB to ours, and has had a horrendous time dealing with AB. Initially his port tube would not hold air and this took him over two years to finally get made right. Now he has delamination from the transom and he claims he has a waterlogged floor making the boat significantly heavier....

Based on this I may not be buying another AB next time. At this rate I expect at least 18 to 20 years life out of ours, maybe even more. Are the new ones built the same.....????

Unless I hear AB has changed their customer relations issues I will be buying a Defender branded CSM boat or an Achilles, two companies I know stand behind what they sell.......
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Old 21-09-2013, 18:00   #7
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

I just bought the AB 9' RIB. Waiting for Budget Marine Cole Bay St Martin to get it in "along with their regular shipment".
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Old 21-09-2013, 18:16   #8
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
That said one of my customers has a six year old version of the identical RIB to ours, and has had a horrendous time dealing with AB.
AB moved out of Venezuela to Columbia in 2007 - six years ago. Maybe there were some issues in this period?

We know many people with newer AB's that have had no problems at all with them (other than the paint on the aluminum ones - order those unpainted).

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Old 21-09-2013, 18:22   #9
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We have an AB aluminum 11' ( unpainted) only a coupe years in New England but its been great. The high bow does the trick in the chop.
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Old 21-09-2013, 18:35   #10
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

I forgot one thing - if you are looking for a 11' or longer dinghy, AB's Profile series is WAY better than anything else out there. I have inspected several of these and they are a notch above their regular consumer series in both features and quality.

The only problem is they start at 11', which puts them outside many cruiser's size. They are also heavier because of the heavier fabric used and the bow lockers, etc.

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Old 21-09-2013, 18:51   #11
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Re: AB vs Achilles RIB

Keepondancin,
Have you thought about re-tubing your C9x or is it too far gone overall?
I see they're about $3500US 2012 model and they have list of US dealers:
Inflatables Boats
I don't the cost of a retube in your part of the world or even if it's done.
Maybe we only retube in Australia and Britain and ROW can afford to buy new. LOL
Not disputing any other opinions, just suggesting an option for consideration.
Cheers,
Mac
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