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Old 13-02-2018, 18:13   #16
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Achilles vs Highfield rib

I think everything glued on to the Zodiac was PVC? Rub rails etc?
My rub rails turned to goo within a year.
I was led to believe that the accessories on the AB are not PVC, but Neoprene?
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Old 14-02-2018, 04:17   #17
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think everything glued on to the Zodiac was PVC? Rub rails etc?
My rub rails turned to goo within a year.
I was led to believe that the accessories on the AB are not PVC, but Neoprene?
Zodiac tends to use PVC or TPR for their accessories, which are plastics. They sweat plasticizers as they age, which can become sticky and attract dirt / contaminants if a sufficiently aggressive cleaner is not used and it is allowed to accumulate. If you had reported your rubstrake turning sticky in one year, it would have been investigated under Zodiac's warranty and they potentially would have paid to have it fixed.

My go to method of removing loose plasticizing oils is a boiling hot wash with a solution of trisodium phosphate. It works in most cases.

AB utilizes EPDM molded accessories. They're a thermoset elastomer type material which is environmentally toxic to produce (non-recyclable via traditional methods) and more expensive, but potentially offers superior UV stability. It should be noted though that it is an open cell rubber, so it is extremely susceptible to mildew spotting. It is also a much softer material when compared to TPR/PVC, so it tends to tear or lose chunks.
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Old 14-02-2018, 06:28   #18
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I’m not sure where a I was told there were only two fabric manufacturers, well actually I do remember and thought he was a subject matter expert.
Hi a64pilot,

I hope you are well.
Did you sell your old Zodiac or do you still have it?


Since the 2010 closing of DuPont's subsidiary, DuPont Performance Elastomers, their truly are only two suppliers of the raw material CSM that is now referred to as "Hypalon", a synthetic rubber elastomer (as opposed to PVC, which is a plastic elastomer).

There are about a dozen factories globally the world who manufacture CSM (nee Hyalon) or Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene coated fabrics. However, there are only two primary producers of the raw synthetic rubber elastomer material that is calendared onto the Neoprene-coated base cloth and then used in the production of inflatable boats.

The largest CSM producer is TOSO-CSM, Tosoh Corporation in Japan.

The other is Hailon CSM, which in 2009, anticipating the end of DuPont's Hypalon production, formed JTD Elastomer and built a plant in China's Jiangsu Province to produce the raw material (largely sold by Lianda Corp for uses other than the outer coating on inflatable boats).


As it relates to RIBs. The landscape is changing rapidly as everyone is jumping to offer aluminum hulls. A lot of today's aluminum hulls are coming from a small collection of Chinese aluminum hull fabricators (except AB, which forms and welding their own hulls in Columbia) and then those hulls are shipped to the builder of the tubes to have PVC or CSM tubes affixed.

In some cases, I have seen aluminum RIB hulls from inflatable boat Brands who subcontract production with a Pacific Rim builder, that have the exact same shape, weld spots, fittings, powder coating (usually AkzoNobel white on a marine grade aluminum) and other than some minor modifications, those hulls appear as if they came off the same assembly line.

There are many, many manufacturers of the tubes themselves, for both CSM (Hypalon) RIBs and for RIBs that end up wearing a set of PVC tubes. In some cases, that two, three or more brands will be built at the same factory, under different brands, wearing different tubes with slight variances.

It would be great if all the builders would disclose who builds what for whom, but that is simply not the way it works. Some Brands are candid about where their hull comes from and who produces their tubes for them, others as very secretive.

Happy Sailing!!

Stephan
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Old 14-02-2018, 06:40   #19
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Achilles vs Highfield rib

Stephan,
The multiple products wearing different labels being manufactured in the same factory side by side is very common, often the price differences can be astonishing as one will wear a high end label, and the other a bargain brand.
The challenge of course is finding out that info, and buying the bargain brand of course and getting the high end quality.
Its tough though cause there are so many counterfeit products that look identical to the high quality ones, but are not. So you canít go by appearance alone.

No, the person who sold me my AB and who was the repairer has my old Zodiac. He wasnít as cheap as some others, but with the trade in it worked out, plus gave me a way to dispose of the Zodiac, and truth is we were way more than tired of sitting at anchor with no way to get ashore.
He let slip a comment toward the end that made it plain the he wasnít being perfectly honest with me and likely I was being taken advantage of, but I was beyond caring much at that point and I knew the Zodiac was really just a starter dinghy and wasnít going to be our long term solution.

But back on track, in my shopping talking to dealers who I trust that sold Highfield and other brands, it seems to be that at its price point, the Highfield is a very good buy. One assumes they are making a name for themselves, and in a few years, their price will increase.

However I am still waiting on the manufacturers statement of origin from him, and that has me a little bit nervous.
I do have a bill of sale
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Old 14-02-2018, 06:50   #20
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

My wife just suffered through 5 weeks of not having her car after rodents ate the soy-based coating on her wiring harness and shorted out the starter and "brain box". The whole harness had to be replaced, from engine compartment to taillights. What fun.

I can only image the frustration of not having a tender as one's vehicle [water taxi] while cruising.

Much worse than anything my wife was feeling about not having a car.

Maritime Uber for the water? Who is ready for that?

S-
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Old 14-02-2018, 06:53   #21
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

What car had soy based wire insulation? Interesting, I understand why, but interesting, I didnít know that was being done.
You getting a cat, or maybe rat poison now? How do you prevent a reoccurrence?
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Old 14-02-2018, 08:46   #22
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

The superior design and manufacture of Highfield is the best. I don't have one and covet them. If their warranty is good as well all the better. I have seen them all over the Caribbean and they all look great at any age, I have seen no problem with the painted aluminium hulls.

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Hey yíall so it is time to replace our dink and have narrowed the field to two manufactureres. Achilles and Highfield. We would love a Caribe or AB but we are not sure of our plans for the big boat( may sell soon ) and donít want to spend the extra 2k on a more expensive model. We had a caribe 10.5 and it has lasted 14 years and want something similar. Weíve narrowed it down to the Highfield aluminum classic and the Achilles aluminum 310ax. Weight is similar both have bow locker which is a must both hypalon. The Achilles is a bit more affordable from defender but we can have the Highfield set up and delivered to the boat from the local dealer. Any thoughts on which to pick or any personal experience with the two models good or bad would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Will and Danielle
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Old 14-02-2018, 08:48   #23
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Anyone with experience with Brig Inflatables (purportedly manufactured in the Ukraine)? Recent boat show exhibits have been impressive - high quality at competitive pricing.
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Old 14-02-2018, 11:44   #24
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

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What car had soy based wire insulation? Interesting, I understand why, but interesting, I didnít know that was being done.
You getting a cat, or maybe rat poison now? How do you prevent a reoccurrence?
My fantastically amazing wife, who I adore, has two four-legged cats already (note, I did not write "I have" or "we have"). My "cat" has two hulls and is currently covered for the winter.....patiently waiting for the season to come.

The car is a '14 BMW X3 and from what I have learned, this soy-wrapped wiring is safer for the environment, but clearly has its drawbacks. Lots of info about the issue online.

The mechanic at the shop said he had the same issue and after fixing his car, now uses Bounce drier sheets with a few drops of peppermint extract, strategically placed in areas [and replaced once a month].

The poison route makes more sense to me, but she works at an animal hospital and loves all animals (even rodents) more than most humans. She'd never go for it.

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Old 14-02-2018, 12:42   #25
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Not applicable for a car I guess, but I have the tailwheel of my little airplane sitting on top of an overturned 5 gl plastic bucket, cause the little buggers are not supposed to be able to climb that.
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Old 14-02-2018, 14:00   #26
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan View Post
Hi a64pilot,

I hope you are well.
Did you sell your old Zodiac or do you still have it?


Since the 2010 closing of DuPont's subsidiary, DuPont Performance Elastomers, their truly are only two suppliers of the raw material CSM that is now referred to as "Hypalon", a synthetic rubber elastomer (as opposed to PVC, which is a plastic elastomer).

There are about a dozen factories globally the world who manufacture CSM (nee Hyalon) or Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene coated fabrics. However, there are only two primary producers of the raw synthetic rubber elastomer material that is calendared onto the Neoprene-coated base cloth and then used in the production of inflatable boats.

The largest CSM producer is TOSO-CSM, Tosoh Corporation in Japan.

The other is Hailon CSM, which in 2009, anticipating the end of DuPont's Hypalon production, formed JTD Elastomer and built a plant in China's Jiangsu Province to produce the raw material (largely sold by Lianda Corp for uses other than the outer coating on inflatable boats).


As it relates to RIBs. The landscape is changing rapidly as everyone is jumping to offer aluminum hulls. A lot of today's aluminum hulls are coming from a small collection of Chinese aluminum hull fabricators (except AB, which forms and welding their own hulls in Columbia) and then those hulls are shipped to the builder of the tubes to have PVC or CSM tubes affixed.

In some cases, I have seen aluminum RIB hulls from inflatable boat Brands who subcontract production with a Pacific Rim builder, that have the exact same shape, weld spots, fittings, powder coating (usually AkzoNobel white on a marine grade aluminum) and other than some minor modifications, those hulls appear as if they came off the same assembly line.

There are many, many manufacturers of the tubes themselves, for both CSM (Hypalon) RIBs and for RIBs that end up wearing a set of PVC tubes. In some cases, that two, three or more brands will be built at the same factory, under different brands, wearing different tubes with slight variances.

It would be great if all the builders would disclose who builds what for whom, but that is simply not the way it works. Some Brands are candid about where their hull comes from and who produces their tubes for them, others as very secretive.

Happy Sailing!!

Stephan
Thank you for that extremely informative post. We were told that the lightweight hypalon used for Gemini RIBs 15 yrs. ago, came from South Africa. Do you happen to know if that was correct?

Thank you,

Ann
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Old 14-02-2018, 14:44   #27
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

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Thank you for that extremely informative post. We were told that the lightweight hypalon used for Gemini RIBs 15 yrs. ago, came from South Africa. Do you happen to know if that was correct?

Thank you,

Ann
Hi Ann,
I really don't know what fabric Gemini was using 15 years ago. Sorry.

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Old 14-02-2018, 14:58   #28
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

emcmia we bought a Brig 310 in 2005, used it for 4 yrs cleaned and waxed every yr, and during use, all during this time had a major problem with mold, and mildew on the tubes. Will admit it was tried to the dingy dock when not in use all summer. That being said med reasons stop our cruising, till last yr. Pulled boat out of storage, washed off the dust, checked it all over. Inflated to pressure, walked away, and 1/2 hr later came back it had 2 tube sections deflated ! I thought it was the valves, (they were weeping a little). Checked the tubes the seams had let go ! This was a pvc boat. Won't buy another.
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Old 14-02-2018, 15:01   #29
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Highfield Hypalon Rib is a SAWEEEeeeeet ride for sure.
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Old 14-02-2018, 16:22   #30
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

We received an Achilles dink when we bought our 1998 Dufour 35 more than 10 years ago, and I suspect that the dink was original. I took the dinghy to the Australian service guys last month for a check up and they were amazed at the condition of the 30 year old boat. Seams perfect, valves working, plywood transom in near perfect condition (I bring the dink home over the winter and strip the varnish and repaint every two years)
The dinghy gets hard use, sits upside down on the foredeck for most of the summer, bounced off rocky and sandy beaches in Sydney and Pittwater and minds our Double Bay mooring sometimes.
Dont know anything about the Highfield, but if you can get better than the Achilles, go for it
Do not consider a disposable PVC imitation!
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