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Old 12-10-2010, 08:47   #1
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Advice re: Difference in Dinks

Hi Folks

Normally one can't test drive a selection of dinghies. Often one can only see photos not the real thing.

What I am looking for in my new dink is to be able to go exploring, adventuring, provisioning and socialising.

I will be in the Caribbean for the next 5 years running up and down South America, North America and the Med.




Some of my considerations:
  • Can it range 5nms from yacht?
  • Can I pull it up a beach. Is it necessary?
  • 106lb/48kg or 95lb/43kg
  • Use my 9.9ph OB
  • Davits when I can buy them, fordeck till then
  • Will I want to use it often?
The two I am looking at - links below - look 'nice' on the website but I haven't seen them in the nekkid flesh, nor driven either. The prices are very similar so not a factor.

Has anyone any opinion or advice that might help me on this decision?

AB Inflatables 8'6" 2.6m
AB Inflatables 9'6" 2.9m

Thanks for your help


Mark
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:58   #2
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Mark,

Get an AB lite, the 10'06" model. It'll do everything you want with your 9.9 although a 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke would be better. It'll fit on davits, I have mine on an arch on the 393 but I have a set of davits on my CS36M and it fits fine there too. The best davits are from Ocean Marine but what I would do is see if Beneteau has any arches left. They had one for the 423 that fits fine with a shim on the transom. Very good price, under $2000.
Ocean Marine Systems - Davits, Rails, Lifts, and Platforms.


Mine's the second one from the front.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:00   #3
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Hi Mark - does it have to be an inflatable. I don't know how much foredeck space you have on your boat, but we love having a hard, sailing dinghy. It can be a pain (particularly getting on to other people's boats cos they worry about it) but mostly it's a lot of fun. A hard dink you can carry though might need a smaller outboard and that could tip the cost equation - but worth a thought?
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:04   #4
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Mark , consider the AB Superlight aluminium ones, 8'4" for 33Kg. I have used them and there're very good, A little light in the bow of course, both nothing that cant be handled by a tiller extension. Very good with a 9.9

A ridgid floor is always better

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Old 12-10-2010, 09:05   #5
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The Avon RIB lite has a folding transome that make for a nice small package.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:13   #6
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I would seriously suggest you look at the AB Aluminum dinghies. They come in 8/9/9.5/10.5ft versions and some bigger ones. I have the little one and love it but would like to get the 9.5ft version.

  • Can it range 5nms from yacht?
  • - Certainly, that is only limited by motor and fuel
  • Can I pull it up a beach. Is it necessary?
  • - The beauty of aluminum hull, rocks and coral, etc. take the paint off, but nothing else - and - it is considerably lighter than the FRG version.
  • 106lb/48kg or 95lb/43kg
  • - 8ft model weighs 73#/33kg; 9.5ft weighs 95#/43kg; 10ft weighs 117#/53kg
  • Use my 9.9ph OB
  • - 9.9 hp works great on both the 8ft and 9.5ft versions. The 8 ft will plane quickly and go like lightning; the 9.9hp on a 9.5ft will plane with one but stay in the water with two or more folks.
  • Davits when I can buy them, foredeck till then
  • - The light weight is the major factor here, you can single-handedly manage to winch up the dinghy, invert it, and stow it on the foredeck. Length of the foredeck will suggest which size you get.
  • Will I want to use it often?
  • - With the lighter aluminum AB dinghy with one or two people in it and a 9.9hp you can have a lot of fun running circles around the folks in the heavy FRG dinghies. Being able to take the abuse and dragging it up and off beaches easily because of it lower weight is a great factor. Also lower weight, especially with a 2-cycle outboard will result in better gas mileage.
  • Downsides - aluminum AB dinghies are fast and if you are alone you need to watch your speed as it will go airborne in choppy water. With 2 or more - I have put 4 in by 8ft version without crowding - it will stay in the water but still go faster than FRG because of lower weight.
  • Oops, almost forgot - the best prices and place to get one it Budget Marine in St. Maarten. They give quite good discounts on the AB boats.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:16   #7
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Any more, it seems that anytime I pull up on the beach for a clam bake, almost every boat down the line is either an AB or a Caribe. I own a Caribe, but have a hard time detecting any difference between the two. The 9'-to-10' models of either of those boats will perform adequately with a 9.9hp engine with only two persons aboard. If you wanted to load it with 4 persons and travel 5nm from the yacht, you'd need a 15 hp engine.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I would seriously suggest you look at the AB Aluminum dinghies. They come in 8.5/9.5/10.5ft versions and some bigger ones. I have the little one and love it but would like to get the 9.5ft version.

  • Can it range 5nms from yacht?
  • - Certainly, that is only limited by motor and fuel
  • Can I pull it up a beach. Is it necessary?
  • - The beauty of aluminum hull, rocks and coral, etc. take the paint off, but nothing else - and - it is considerably lighter than the FRG version.
  • 106lb/48kg or 95lb/43kg
  • - 8ft model weighs 73#/33kg; 9.5ft weighs 95#/43kg; 10ft weighs 117#/53kg
  • Use my 9.9ph OB
  • - 9.9 hp works great on both the 8ft and 9.5ft versions. The 8 ft will plane quickly and go like lightning; the 9.9hp on a 9.5ft will plane with one but stay in the water with two or more folks.
  • Davits when I can buy them, foredeck till then
  • - The light weight is the major factor here, you can single-handedly manage to winch up the dinghy, invert it, and stow it on the foredeck. Length of the foredeck will suggest which size you get.
  • Will I want to use it often?
  • - With the lighter aluminum AB dinghy with one or two people in it and a 9.9hp you can have a lot of fun running circles around the folks in the heavy FRG dinghies. Being able to take the abuse and dragging it up and off beaches easily because of it lower weight is a great factor. Also lower weight, especially with a 2-cycle outboard will result in better gas mileage.
  • Downsides - aluminum AB dinghies are fast and if you are alone you need to watch your speed as it will go airborne in choppy water. With 2 or more - I have put 4 in by 8ft version without crowding - it will stay in the water but still go faster than FRG because of lower weight.

i looked at aluminum bottomed ribs a few yrs ago when i first saw one in a boat show--- it looked like what i was looking for-- this looks like it would be the catsass--fast, light, functional--- goooodluck---sounds like a good one.
i didnt buy th ealuminum one --i bought a used caribe--loved it until watwr found its way between the hulls and the thing weighed over 900 pounds from that. was 145 before water.....if i idnt already have my dink i would buy the aluminum one--sounds like a good idea.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:31   #9
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Personally I prefer a hard dink and more specifically a Boston Whaler. Although they are a little heavy, they are almost indestructible. They are unsinkable even full of water with people in them. You can drag one ashore with confidence, even across coral.

You can find these for $750 to $2000 and they come in 8', 9' and 11' models. The one I have is 9', weighs about 85 pounds without the motor and repels errant fishing hooks!

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:41   #10
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I have an AB with FG which came with the boat. Tend to use the 5hp for short journeys and an 8hp for longer. There was a thread here comparing the caribe and AB about a year ago, which i believe lent towards the AB. it can do all that you require in your list.

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Old 12-10-2010, 12:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i looked at aluminum bottomed ribs a few yrs ago when i first saw one in a boat show--- it looked like what i was looking for-- this looks like it would be the catsass--fast, light, functional--- goooodluck---sounds like a good one.
i didnt buy th ealuminum one --i bought a used caribe--loved it until watwr found its way between the hulls and the thing weighed over 900 pounds from that. was 145 before water.....if i idnt already have my dink i would buy the aluminum one--sounds like a good idea.
Cut the floor out. Problem solved.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:06   #12
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Mark,

If it has to be an inflateable, I'd look at the alloy AB as others have suggested; otherwise I'd consider a Bic (sportyak or 245) Sportyak Red / White : small boats stable and durable - Small and Cute
or a Porta-bote Porta-Bote Folding Boat Makes Inflatables Obsolete Also Portaboat

Do you have a need or want to be able to row, or sail your dink?
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:23   #13
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sportyak and portabote are not good cruising dinks. portabote is flimsy and unsteady when attempts to use it as a dive platform are made.... and sportyak is a plastic thing that will deteriorate from cribean sun in a matter of months, i watched as one rotted her eon the beach over time. neither of these is in use in caribean, at least not with anyone i saw thre-is a reason--they donot stand up to the work needed from them.
\i had a portabote--was most disappointed--that was 1990, year i bought my first boat -- i will not repeat the experience. these are actual seas that need to be travelled in a dink. ab will do well. i cannot realistically see a sportyak nor a portabote handling the tasks required.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:26   #14
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Cut the floor out. Problem solved.
boat(caribe) has a built in water letter outer--that seems to be the origin of the problem, which grows from there--cutting the floor would do no good for the integrity of the rib. the aluminum floor doesnt allow water between 2 hulls- doesnt crack nor hyperflex into crackdom---and is light to lug up beaches when tide is not high.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:45   #15
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Mark,

I often wish we had a 9 1/2 ft inflatable instead of our 8 1/2. The longer hull and bigger tubes would plane more easily and offer a better ride. We have the small one b/c a bigger dink in the davits would stick out beyond our narrowish transom. I am guessing your Bene has a fairly wide transom, though...
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