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Old 13-02-2018, 09:52   #1
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Achilles vs Highfield rib

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.

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Will and Danielle
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Old 13-02-2018, 12:51   #2
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

I was just dinghy shopping myself, it would seem to me that Highfield is the up and coming make, although Iíd rather it be bare aluminum, but that is not an option.
They seem to have very few if any warranty concerns, that was the question I asked most from dealers, which model do you have the least warranty problems with.
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Old 13-02-2018, 13:50   #3
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Check the warranty on the Highfield, I believe it is only 2 years.....
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Old 13-02-2018, 15:24   #4
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Check the warranties VERY carefully. Go with the better one. Achilles hypalon dinghies used to have a 5 yr. warranty, iirc, but I do not know what is current.

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Old 13-02-2018, 16:02   #5
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Achillies is still a 5 year warranty on seams & fabric.
I was dingy shopping at the Boston boat show last weekend. When the rep mentioned 2 years on the Highfield I kept on walking. Guess I'm going to settle on pvc zodiac, still a 5 year warranty whether hypalon or pvc. I was kind of shocked how expensive a rubber boat is...
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Old 13-02-2018, 16:27   #6
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Do yourself a favor and do NOT but a Zodiac PVC. Crap boats. I have learned my lesson
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Old 13-02-2018, 16:41   #7
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Highfield has a ten year warranty. There's a long thread on dinks I started about three years ago when I got the Highfield. Make sure the Achilles has a flat floor. Nothing worse than a dink with a V floor when you're carrying jugs and stuff. Highfield is thought out very well, good lifting points, seat, locker etc. Make sure it's hypalon as they also make a pvc one. I think the warranty was five years when I bought mine and if you regidtered it on their website it went up to ten. I know I have a ten year warranty.
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:10   #8
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Achilles vs Highfield rib

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
Achillies is still a 5 year warranty on seams & fabric.

I was dingy shopping at the Boston boat show last weekend. When the rep mentioned 2 years on the Highfield I kept on walking. Guess I'm going to settle on pvc zodiac, still a 5 year warranty whether hypalon or pvc. I was kind of shocked how expensive a rubber boat is...


They are horribly expensive, between the dink and itís motor I have $8K in the thing.
All Hypalon fabric has a ten year warranty, both manufacturers, there are only two.
Some dink manufacturers pass this warranty on, some donít.
The Zodiac 5 yr warranty is for the fabric ONLY, my Zodiac Cadet 3.10 started falling apart on year two, I reglued the accessories like oars locks and cleats back on, and a year later they fell off again. Then the seam started coming apart, again on year two.
I just got through taking it to a professional dinghy repair guy who said I canít fix it, letís try the warranty.
Well a week later I bought an AB. The Zodiac 5 year warranty is on the fabric, everything else is one year, so the fact that all the accessories had fallen off and the thing now was literally coming apart at the seams, means itís not warrantied.
Read that warranty, I have a strong feeling itís as good as the dealer you buy it from, I bought mine from Defender and did not involve them, maybe I should have, but in truth even if they gave me a new one, I didnít want it, cause I know all the problems Iíve had with it.
Donít buy a Zodiac, if you do, well just donít.
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:13   #9
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Check the Highfield website. To get warranty info you have to go to the owners manual (available on the site) Hypalon (Orca fabric) ten years on registration.
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:18   #10
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
Check the warranty on the Highfield, I believe it is only 2 years.....
Highfield is 5 years on the hull and 10 years on the hypalon.
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:33   #11
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
They are horribly expensive, between the dink and it’s motor I have $8K in the thing.
All Hypalon fabric has a ten year warranty, both manufacturers, there are only two.
Some dink manufacturers pass this warranty on, some don’t.
The Zodiac 5 yr warranty is for the fabric ONLY, my Zodiac Cadet 3.10 started falling apart on year two, I reglued the accessories like oars locks and cleats back on, and a year later they fell off again. Then the seam started coming apart, again on year two.
I just got through taking it to a professional dinghy repair guy who said I can’t fix it, let’s try the warranty.
Well a week later I bought an AB. The Zodiac 5 year warranty is on the fabric, everything else is one year, so the fact that all the accessories had fallen off and the thing now was literally coming apart at the seams, means it’s not warrantied.
Read that warranty, I have a strong feeling it’s as good as the dealer you buy it from, I bought mine from Defender and did not involve them, maybe I should have, but in truth even if they gave me a new one, I didn’t want it, cause I know all the problems I’ve had with it.
Don’t buy a Zodiac, if you do, well just don’t.
Zodiac 5 year warranty does cover seam leaks. It covers all structure and engineering, as well as air loss to meet or exceed ISO 6185 standards depending on the specific age of the craft from date of manufacture. It's a very specifically written statement, but it's written specifically with engineering data in mind.

No inflatable distributor/manufacturer in the United States offers more than a 1 year warranty on accessories to my knowledge.

Industry standards are a 2 year / 1+1 pro rata, or a 5 year / 2+3 pro rata.

"Hypalon" CSM/CR material does tend to carry a 10 year warranty, but it's a declining pro-rata in almost all cases, and it only covers the fabric (hull exempt, accessories exempt)). Usually on the 10th year, you get maybe a 5% discount off msrp. 6th year usually starts as 30% or 40% off MSRP.

The fabric manufacturer to tube manufacturer warranty tends not to cover the 100+ hr of labor for manufacturing the tube.

Four CSM/CR manufacturers exist to my knowledge:
Pennel & Flipo
Achilles
Aeraazur
Trelleborg
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:33   #12
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

I just looked the Highfield warranty up, 2 years for everything, 5 on the hull. The 10 year warranty is on the fabric only, not the seams if you register it to get the extended warranty. Like Ann said, read the fine print. When the rep told me 2 years, he wasn't lieing. He just didn't tell me the whole story, course in his defense I was walking away.

Thanks for the heads up on Zodiac.
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:41   #13
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Guess Zodiac's sales are falling cause now it says 5 years seams & fabric. All the other stuff they glue on, 1 year. Sounds like ya'll have had poor luck with them so thank you very much. You guys are out there so you would know. Thanks again, glad I got involved in this thread.
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Old 13-02-2018, 17:57   #14
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
Guess Zodiac's sales are falling cause now it says 5 years seams & fabric. All the other stuff they glue on, 1 year. Sounds like ya'll have had poor luck with them so thank you very much. You guys are out there so you would know. Thanks again, glad I got involved in this thread.
Zodiac has always warrantied seam leakage within the 5 year warranty, which they've had for decades.

It's not uncommon unfortunately for some smaller inflatable boat dealerships (non-stocking dealers) to understate warranty coverage because they don't want to deal with it, and it'd be easier/more profitable for them to sell a new, competitors boat.
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Old 13-02-2018, 18:11   #15
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Re: Achilles vs Highfield rib

Quote:
Originally Posted by KD8NPB View Post
Zodiac has always warrantied seam leakage within the 5 year warranty, which they've had for decades.

It's not uncommon unfortunately for some smaller inflatable boat dealerships (non-stocking dealers) to understate warranty coverage because they don't want to deal with it, and it'd be easier/more profitable for them to sell a new, competitors boat.


I have an aching feeling that maybe I was taken advantage of, and that just possibly my old dink is being warrantied, just I donít own it now.
I was way less than impressed with this guy and wonít do business with him again.
Your obviously more informed on dinghies than I am.
Iím 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.
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