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Old 03-02-2014, 11:33   #16
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

I guess prices have gone up since I bought my 10' 06" AB Lite for under $2500. That's the dink to get and if you win the lottery get the aluminum one. Don't skimp on a dink, you'll just end up buying another one once you find the cheap one's not too useful.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:43   #17
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

price went up since yesterday, now a little over $3,000
I swear it was like $2850 last night
Zodiac Rigid Hull Inflatable (RIB) 10' 2" Gray/ Lt. Gray Hypalon, 2013

So, opinions? Not any good? OK?
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:58   #18
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

There is not much of a record with Zodiac hypalon dinks to see how good they are. Their pvc dinks did not have a good rep. have you got a quote from Suncoast?
ARIA A-10 by AB | SUNCOAST Inflatables. Florida
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:09   #19
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Gotta have a budget somewhere, and since I'm buying the mothership too, it's either $3,000 for a dink, or just wait until I can afford to spend more. the Zodiac on Defenders website is a little less than $3,000 and rated for a 20 HP. I know I don't want to save by going to PVC.
On the HP thing, I think engine weight is the biggest issue not HP, just don't use more power than needed and I believe engines that are almost never run at 100% power output outlast ones that are often run wide open. My desire is something that will plane easily and then back way off the throttle as opposed to one that will just barely break over on plane if everyone leans forward and then you have to run it hard to keep it there.
Can you talk a little bit about how and where you plan on using your dinghy? That will help people to make some better informed recommendations since there is no perfect inflatable, only the one best suited to your needs. For example, if you're not going south of NC then you could probably get away not buying hypalon. Using the dinghy mostly to get ashore for groceries in harbors and marinas? Get the smallest, lightest outboard you can find. Using it to get to remote cays with a load of scuba gear? Then you'll want the biggest engine you can fit on it. Most long term cruisers I know have two outboards, a big one and a small one, and use the small one 90% of the time because it's more manageable and more efficient. YMMV.

Overpowering your inflatable just so the engine never runs at WOT means that you'll have a dangerous boat and maybe end up fouling your engine, and the chances of you wearing it out are pretty slim unless you plan on circumnavigating...twice. My Johnnson 8 hp from 1986 probably has a 3k hours on it. It's lost a little compression in one cylinder but you'd never know it. Also, that's a lot of weight to hang on davits unless they are super strong, which most on a boat with a 12' beam are not.

I'm not convinced from what you've said that you need a 12' dinghy. Size is nice, but it comes at a price in terms of cost, manageability, etc. A 10' dinghy can be tight for four people, but it will get you from your boat to the city dock with no problem.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:15   #20
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

Why do you want such a big dinghy and engine? Aren't you looking at sailboats in the 36 foot range?

If you concern is putting 4 people in the dinghy, I see people all the time with 4 adults in a 8 foot inflatable with a 4 hp motor. Typically you are not taking your dinghy too far and you can't really go that fast if you are just going out to mooring fields because of the wake you would put off (no wake in mooring fields and anchorages generally).

We are in the process of looking for a new dinghy to get ready for our cruise. We want to fit 4 adults and a medium sized dog or two adults, a medium sized dog and provisions. Our size range we are looking for is between 8.5-9.5 feet. Definitely want to stay under 10 feet. Definitely want a RIB because we will be beaching a lot to walk the dog.

We are looking really hard at the aluminum over the fiberglass due to the weight. When putting the boat up on deck, the difference between the 100 lbs for the aluminum vs. the 150 lbs plus for the fiberglass is a big deal. I know you mentioned davits but I hope you have done some research. Most people only use davits for short sails in good conditions. If you get into any type of a sea they can really be stressed. Also, when loaded with a dinghy they add a lot of weight to the stern of your boat. This will have an adverse affect on your boats sailing ability and comfort.

For engines, I suggest you look on craigslist for a used Tohatsu 9.8 hp 2-stroke. You can't find a better motor for power to weight ratio. Ours ways 57 lbs. I have no intention of changing motors. Just babying this one with good maintenance. A 20 hp that weights 100 lbs just sounds insane. I wouldn't want to have to pick that up off the boat each time I go to use it. I wouldn't want that much weight on my stern rail. No way. That just sounds like a motor that ends up accidently in the drink. And why do you need that much hp? Are you planning to take the dinghy large distances? How do you plan on using it?

If money is a concern, why not buy used? You can probably find a whole package for under $3K.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:29   #21
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

If you're cruising the Bahamas and/or the Caribbean get the biggest dink you can afford. Many folks have said it many times. Your dink is your lifeline, your pick up, your motorcycle, your magic wagon and, once in a while, your tow truck. Go exploring for miles, go out to far reefs to hunt, go around the corner to the next bay to visit another boat. A little dink with a small motor is only good for putting ashore from a well sheltered anchorage. If that's all you're going to do fine, a small dink will work great.

Going ashore.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:40   #22
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

I agree with the 10-12foot crowd. If going to the Carribean it will be used for some longer legs and enough power to plane with a load (15 hp or more) will be appreciated. I have heard folks with an aluminum boat that tore the bottom on a sharp rock. He said that the welding was not immediately available and expensive when done. He figured that had it been fiberglass he could have fixed it himself .
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Old 03-02-2014, 13:03   #23
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

Guy's I appreciate all the questions, I'm working off of assumptions here, just don't want to buy a starter dink only to realize it's too small.
I and the whole family dive, all of us, it's been what we do on the family vacations for the last couple of years, I don't want to give up diving completely, but know it will be curtailed as I plan on selling my dive boat, but still want to be able to dive on occasion out of the dink.
My use of the Dink will be largely exploring and possibly carrying dive gear to dive sites, I think I want to anchor out and travel up to a few miles in the dink as opposed to moving the boat.
My use of my boat for the next couple of years will realistically be what I can get on weekends and long weekends, I'll most likely be anchoring out by myself and not very often in mooring fields. I still have to work for a couple of years and that will greatly impact my ability to cruise, you can't go very far if you have to be at work on Mon.
I've read many complaints on how peoples little dinks won't plane, are slow, can't go exploring in them and you can't stay dry in one.
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Old 03-02-2014, 13:11   #24
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Guy's I appreciate all the questions, I'm working off of assumptions here, just don't want to buy a starter dink only to realize it's too small.
I and the whole family dive, all of us, it's been what we do on the family vacations for the last couple of years, I don't want to give up diving completely, but know it will be curtailed as I plan on selling my dive boat, but still want to be able to dive on occasion out of the dink.
My use of the Dink will be largely exploring and possibly carrying dive gear to dive sites, I think I want to anchor out and travel up to a few miles in the dink as opposed to moving the boat.
My use of my boat for the next couple of years will realistically be what I can get on weekends and long weekends, I'll most likely be anchoring out by myself and not very often in mooring fields. I still have to work for a couple of years and that will greatly impact my ability to cruise, you can't go very far if you have to be at work on Mon.
I've read many complaints on how peoples little dinks won't plane, are slow, can't go exploring in them and you can't stay dry in one.
Given this, ignore most of my post. I didn't think you were planning to use the boat for diving. That changes the game quiet a bit.

But one of the biggest problems I see will still be weight and storage. If you go to a 11-12 foot inflatable, while it will technically fit on the davits of a 36 foot sailboat, it won't be safe in rough conditions and it will weigh a lot to get on deck.

I know you are planning on buying a starter boat now and upgrading later. I might suggest you do the same on a dink. Buy a used one now, see what you like. Try diving from it. I know other divers that refuse to do it from dinks. Just too hard to get back into. They either do it from the main boat (pretty easy in the Caribbean) or meet a charter service to take them diving.

Fair winds,

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Old 03-02-2014, 13:58   #25
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

I had planned on a 9' or so but have been talked into a 3.1M. Surely that's big enough.
I'd love to buy a used dink as opposed to a new one, after all I'm buying a used boat, why not a dink? Got any leads? I mean that seriously, I'm land locked and central Fl is a LONG drive for me.
Getting into an inflatable boat in deep water is a bear, even without dive gear, best way I've managed to do it is ditch the BC and tank, leave the fins on and use them to thrust yourself up enough to climb in and then once in pull the tank in. We are pretty advanced divers, I'm full tri-mix and Son and I cave dive. I bring that up as it's annoying to say the least to dive with novice level divers off a cattle boat, that kick up silt and have no idea about trim to say nothing with having to listen to the dive master tell me I have to have a snorkel or why a jacket style BC is better than a wing or why I can't solo dive without some silly PADI self reliant diver card, on and on.
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Old 03-02-2014, 14:03   #26
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

I carried a 10'03" hypalon dink with a 15 hp 2 stroke Yamaha a few times to the Bahamas on davits rated for 350 lbs. on my CS36M. No problem. The transom and rail mounted davits were also stayed to my toe rails. You have to cinch everything in real tight with ratchet straps so there are no shock loads. The dink was wider than the transom, first time I got off a fuel dock I forgot that, a little scrape, no damage but I remembered after that. So it's possible to carry a 10'+ dink on a 36 foot boat. Two friends have C&C35's and they both had 10'+ Caribes with 15hp Yamahas on them and they went to the Bahamas too. One of the boats had a set-up similar to mine, Ocean Marine System davits.
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Old 03-02-2014, 14:05   #27
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

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There is not much of a record with Zodiac hypalon dinks to see how good they are. [/url]
Zodiac has built some of the best hypalon inflatables ever made, for a very long time.

Just check out any of the Cousteau expeditions :-)

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Old 03-02-2014, 14:05   #28
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

What I really need to do is con one of you guy's into bringing back a Two Smoke 15 Yamaha back for me.
I'd think someone could get a new motor every time they went, plus maybe make a little money doing so? What do they cost anyway?
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Old 03-02-2014, 14:46   #29
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

Check Craig's List. I see used inflatables on there by the dozens, but then again this is a cruiser mecca so there may be less where you are. Unfortunately, decent used 8-15hp two strokes for sale are rarer than hen's teeth and get snapped up pretty quick.
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Old 03-02-2014, 15:38   #30
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Re: Best dinghy under $3000

A dink is one of the few things on a boat to never skimp on. Buy big, buy expensive, buy beacuse is your car you use a zillion times per day. And buy a HUGE outboard... NEW


Apart from that Rick said it all in his post. Read it, re- read it, pin it up above your bed!


Quote:
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get the biggest dink you can afford.

Your dink is your lifeline, your pick up, your motorcycle, your magic wagon and, once in a while, your tow truck.

Go exploring for miles, go out to far reefs to hunt, go around the corner to the next bay to visit another boat.


A little dink with a small motor is only good for putting ashore from a well sheltered anchorage.
A big fast new dink keeps your wifes ass dry. And I can tell you women hate Dinghy Wet Bum!
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