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Old 16-01-2016, 08:04   #1
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Differences in Dinghy Length

Ahoy,
I am considering buying an Achilles HB 300-FX or a HB 270-FX. The main difference is 1 foot in length. 9'10" vs 8'10". The 300 has 18" tubes, the 270 has 17" tubes. In their storage bags, the 270 fits nicely on my cabin top aft of the mast, however the 300 doesn't. I am a single hander, if that matters.
I know the common advice is to get the longer dink. Do the length advantages outweigh the advantages of easy stowage?
The engine could be smaller with the 270, of course. That is a plus.
My plans include the West Coast, south of San Francisco, and Mexico/Sea of Cortez.
Thoughts?
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Old 16-01-2016, 08:39   #2
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Re: Differences in Dinghy Length

The length with its extra volume is something you will have to consider. From my experience, however, the larger tubes equate to a drier bottom (yours) on most trips to and from your boat. My inflatable has the 18" tubes, and I'm glad I went that route. As I recall, my choice was between the same length inflatables, but one had 18" tubes and the other 16" tubes. The 16" tube boat was cheaper too. But 18" means drier for passenger and cargo. Go that route.
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Old 18-01-2016, 23:04   #3
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Re: Differences in Dinghy Length

I would get the smaller. The ease of handling and storage of the smaller dinghy is worth a lot for a single hander. The smaller/lighter engine is a plus also.

If you want an even lighter and sturdier dinghy, get an aluminum one, like AB.

Just my opinion.
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Old 19-01-2016, 06:22   #4
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Re: Differences in Dinghy Length

One foot of length, and one inch in tube diameter does not sound like much. Do the math, though, and you find that the larger dink has almost 25% greater volume in the tubes. That is significant.

Is that difference important to you? That's something that only you can answer. If you are mostly by yourself, maybe not. If you are mostly going to have two people plus loads of groceries in the dinghy, maybe so. For me, I would go for the larger dink. You pays your money, and you takes your choice.
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Old 19-01-2016, 07:00   #5
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Re: Differences in Dinghy Length

We started cruising and enjoyed every minute with an 8'+ rollup Caribe dinghy and an overpowered 8 hp 2 stroke. After 3 years, we ordered a 9' aluminum RIB from AB, only recently added a 9.9 Yamaha, originally took delivery in Roatan (which we cannot recommend).

The choice is purely personal. For us, both dinghies had the large tubes which was/is one of our primary criteria. We enjoy dinghying for long distances - recently over 5 miles one way to go snorkeling. The longer hard bottom dinghy has earned its place aboard and we'd never go back.

Enjoy your new dinghy! It will open up new worlds for you to explore! Buena Suerte!
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