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Old 15-09-2010, 06:35   #1
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Best Air Floor Dinghy

My current dingy is a 10 ft. Avon air floor,it has served me well but I am looking to get a new dinghy. Does anyone have an opinion on the best air floor currently? Heard Avon may not be as good now that they are Zodiac owned,Achilles has a Hypalon floor, Don't know much about Mercury. I would prefer a light rib but securing the dingy or moving it before a hurricane threat without a truck would be more difficult. Apex i understand went bankrupt, are they back as a viable company? I am using the dinghy 6 months in Texas summer and the Florida or Carribean winters. I have davits so storms are my main concern on a rib.
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Old 15-09-2010, 07:35   #2
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I have two friends with Walker Bay inflatable Vfloor hypalon dingys. One had a minor leak on the seam if the floor that is being fixed under warranty as we speak, the other has had no trouble at all. These things have 18" tubes and carry a lot of weight. Both have 8 hp engines and one has planed two large people with equipment (over 500LB). The other guy is a bit smaller. One keeps the dingy on deck and the other guy has davits. These tend to be on sale late in the summer to early fall. Both guys paid less than $1500 for the boats (not including the motor).

Note that I have no affiliation with Walker Bay, just passing the info along.
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Old 15-09-2010, 07:54   #3
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Walker Bay has had it's teething problems with their plastic RIB's. Quite a few have had tube problems. Don't know if they've got a handle on it yet. Their design is quite innovative but I'd take a wait and see attitude.
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Old 15-09-2010, 08:01   #4
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Mercury Airfloor 310 is a stable and fast dink.
(10.8 knots with a 4 HP)

Quality suffers however.
Bought mine in 2007 and had it in for warranty repair 4 times.
To get a new inflatable keel took 2 months.
A new floor 6 weeks, or so they estimated, 5 weeks now and counting.

They also have some sort of daft policy that the transom is not part of the boat and not covered under warranty.
(I am not making this up)

Based on my experience and horror stories from the repair facility, stay far away from Mercury boats and pay a few hundred more to get an Achilles or other quality dink..
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Old 15-09-2010, 08:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Walker Bay has had it's teething problems with their plastic RIB's. Quite a few have had tube problems. Don't know if they've got a handle on it yet. Their design is quite innovative but I'd take a wait and see attitude.
Vasco, the Walker Bay boats I was refering to was their Odyssey air floor line, not their plastic RIB (RIDs?) which is a hard dingy with inflatable tubes for stability and floatation. I tried searching the internet for reports of problems with the Odyssey line but no luck. Other than the floor leak problem my friend is having I couldn't find any reports of problems with the Odyssey line. Do you have references to reports of tube problems with this line?
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Old 15-09-2010, 09:16   #6
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Happy so far with our Achilles, which we bought to replace our Avon RIB lite. Quality seems about the same as the Avon. The internal bow lifting ring and two transom points work well in our davits. The hull is not as stiff as the RIB, of course, but stiff enough that it planes easily. The pump and air gauge are adequate to the task, and the oars and oar locks are better than the Avon. Downside? Need to keep sand out of the dink (like any air floor). Upside? Light weight.
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Old 15-09-2010, 09:40   #7
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Cfarrer,
How long have you had the Achilles? Is there a big drop off on ride in a chop between the Avon Lite and the Achilles? And last question does the air floor puimp up relatively hard? Thanks Ed
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Old 15-09-2010, 09:42   #8
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Happy so far with our Achilles, which we bought to replace our Avon RIB lite.
How long have you had it and how much did you pay?

(I got qouted $2,3K from a dealer, not sure if they sell with a discount @ boat shows and on the internet?)
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Old 15-09-2010, 11:03   #9
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My Walker Bay Odyssey hypalon is a POS , The fabric is so week it get holes in it just from rolling it up with a kink in the fabric. Would never buy another . 2 years old 5 holes and counting.
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Old 15-09-2010, 11:42   #10
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I have an achilles since 2006 I think. The bottom is rigid enough the keel bladder has had a hard time holding and now wont its blown a seem. I like the oar lock setup. Fully loaded with a 4hp its not fast. one person it will plane. Happy with mine its a bit wet in a slop but its not a big dink.
Happy
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Old 15-09-2010, 11:57   #11
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We bought the 8'6" model from Defender at the spring warehouse sale for about $1700. I see that they're selling it now for $1825. The 10'2" model is selling for $2025.
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Old 15-09-2010, 12:11   #12
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From what I've heard Walker Bay in no longer making the Odyssey model, seems they had some problems with the angle of the transom. Also I've heard the Achilles is by far the best inflatable floor dinghy made.
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Old 15-09-2010, 15:09   #13
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Just to add some balance on the Mercury... we got ours back in 2005 and haven't had any problems.
Is it the best? Don't know, it's the only one we've ever owned ;-)

We've dragged it behind us, tied it down on the foredeck, rolled it up and carried it in the locker, etc.

Had a problem with a stuck valve once, but that's about it...

Hope it helps
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Old 15-09-2010, 20:45   #14
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We had a bad floor on our Mercury - seam leaked. The floor only has a 1 year warranty. They replaced it anyway.
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Old 15-09-2010, 20:56   #15
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ill beat defender pricing you can have mine for $1700 it has some added character from use which is included without additional charge.
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