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Old 25-08-2008, 03:25   #1
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Air deck floor

Been out of sailing for some time and just about to re-enter and looking at inflatable tenders so a couple of questions: Which manufacturers make their dinghys of hypalon and what is an "Air deck" floor?

TIA
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Old 25-08-2008, 03:38   #2
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Meh thinks most manufactors offer either a Nylon or Hypalon dink.
In many cases the Hypalon comes with a 5 or 10 year warranty and cost 30 to 50 % more.

Air deck is a high pressure "blow-up" floor.

I got a 310 Mercury Hypalon Air-Deck dink purchased last year.
The rig is a bit heavier than I thought, but in daily use it runs and maneuvers well, getting 7 knots out of a 3 HP motor.

Search around the forum and ya will see plenty of threads on rubber dinghys and the pros/cons of each type.
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Old 25-08-2008, 03:41   #3
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Here it is...

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Old 25-08-2008, 03:50   #4
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The attraction to air deck floors is that they offer “Roll-up” convenience if you want to stow it away somewhere in a small place on a regular basis.

You pay the penalty over rigid bottom inflatables as they are;

1/… Not as hull efficient for same horsepower
2/… Uncomfortable in a wave chop as it chatters and ripples over the waves at speed.
3/ … Brutal in bigger waves as they don’t cleave thru the water the same as a rigid bottom, but tend to pound

Also more risk of damage from frequent beachings
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Old 25-08-2008, 05:12   #5
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The attraction to air deck floors is that they offer “Roll-up” convenience if you want to stow it away somewhere in a small place on a regular basis.
Perhaps for some the attraction would be the "Roll-Up" convenience, but since I never plan to roll or stow mine, the attraction is rather less weight and less money than a RIB.
(God's only knows how many times I have been recruited by friends to help 'em move their RIBs by lifting and schlepping the bloddy things from boats to docks, from docks to trucks, trucks to shops, etc.)

On the water, and with a big engines the RIBs are great, but for my use the Air Floor models seem to work out pretty good. (Lift. stow, launch, tow, etc...No davits)
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Old 25-08-2008, 05:30   #6
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TIA,

I sold a larger dinghy and outboard, and bought an A8' 6" long Achilles air floor Hypalon dinghy and a Tohatsu 5 hp 2 stroke specifically to reduce weight. The dink weighs 66 lbs, and the engine 40 lbs. Very easy to handle. I have davits, and can carry the dink with engine attached on them, but deflate and roll up the dinghy and lash it on the forward cabin roof for offshore sailing.

With the air deck and the longitudinal "keel" tube properly inflated, I don't notice any "rippling" of the floor at all, and it planes with one person aboard and handles very well.

Caution: don't accidentally drop your machete into the dink! They always land point down. On the plus side, Hypalon is easy to patch with two-part adhesive.
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Old 25-08-2008, 05:59   #7
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Hud, I couldn't agree more. I too have an Achilles Hypalon with air floor and there is absolutely no 'rippling'. And as has been pointed out, it is less heavy and expensive than an RIB and is extremely easy to stow when going offshore.

Brad
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Old 31-08-2008, 22:15   #8
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hud, brad

you sound pleased with your archilles airfloor - is that a fair surmise?

i'm looking to replace my 10ft caribe rib and 15hp yamaha - it's a seriously heavy set up

regards
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Old 31-08-2008, 23:59   #9
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We've had two Zodiacs 2.something and a 3.something both hypalon with airdeck floors. They are certainly better than the old rigid wooden or aluminium panel floors, but the reports of 'rippling' or 'trembling' when planing under speed is quite true.
You've got to jump from an airdeck to a solid floor to feel the difference and of course - one feels nothing at slower speeds.
We replaced our 3m last year with their latest 3m plastic RIB - it has a folding solid transom - and no rippling / trembling. This RIB does ride fastest and smoother using same 8 hp engine, and interestingly is only a fraction heavier. Sue and I can certainly lift the combo dink and engine up the beach when neccessary.
Oh - it costs around the same or less that the airdeck in Europe - but is made under the Bombard brand name as opposed to Zodiac.
It does pack flat but obviously cannot roll like the airdeck - but FWIW we do find it far far superior in use.
Maybe worth checking one out.
Cheers
JOHN
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