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Old 19-08-2012, 19:45   #1
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Dinghy Advice

Looking to buy an 8-10 foot dinghy, that can carry 4-5, can be towed easily, and can get up on a plane with a normal load. Also need to be able to deflate it and carry it on deck for passages, without too much hassle.

Do inflatable floors work well?
Are West Marine dinghies a better deal than name brands (i.e less expensive but comparable in terms of durability and performance)?

Any advice on dinghy and engine would be much appreciated. Haven't bought a dinghy in about 20 years, so it's all new to me.
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Old 19-08-2012, 19:48   #2
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Get a hard dink and row it. Inflatables are for tools.
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Old 19-08-2012, 20:28   #3
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Belize Sailor: what link? To purchasing a dinghy? Checked your posts and found mostly info about sailboat costs.

Tager: I'd prefer a hard dinghy, but the guy I share the boat with is doing the purchasing and wants a RIB. What hard dinghies do you recommend these days (I used to have a Dyer)? Only challenge is figuring out how to carry it on deck (on a Beneteau 36.7).
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Old 19-08-2012, 20:34   #4
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Hard bottom inflatables will perform much better than any other floor type inflatable in terms of getting on a plane and ride. I bought the Defender RIB300 from defender and have been very happy with it. they also have a slightly smaller model as well. The other choice is hypalon vs PVC. Hypalon is more expensive but is much more UV resistant and lasts much longer.

I have also heard good things about the West marine Inflatables, and think they are made by Avon/zodiac, but am not sure of that.

for outboards, 4 strokes are quiet, fuel efficient, cleaner, but heavy.

The downside to inflatables is they do not row very well.

Good luck!
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Old 19-08-2012, 20:34   #5
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by timzimm View Post
Looking to buy an 8-10 foot dinghy, that can carry 4-5, can be towed easily, and can get up on a plane with a normal load. Also need to be able to deflate it and carry it on deck for passages, without too much hassle.

Do inflatable floors work well?
Are West Marine dinghies a better deal than name brands (i.e less expensive but comparable in terms of durability and performance)?

Any advice on dinghy and engine would be much appreciated. Haven't bought a dinghy in about 20 years, so it's all new to me.
What's your definition of "normal load"?

Fully "deflatables", inflatable floor or not, generally don't perform so well...bit like strapping an outboard to the tail end of caterpillar. Something with some degree of rigidity will perform much better. Either a sectional rigid floor (which can also be a pain) or a rigid hull.

WM Branded products are typically just re-branded "brand name" products...is that confusing enough?

Most cruisers these days end up with an 8-10 RIB and about a 15HP outboard.
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Old 19-08-2012, 21:42   #6
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Old 19-08-2012, 22:20   #7
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Putting 4-5 people in an 8'-10' is going to be very cozy. We'd put 4 people in our 9 footer and it was tight. Doubt that you'd get one to plane with that much weight on board unless you had a big, Thirsty and HEAVY outboard.

If you want it foldable, a boat with an inflatable keel would be your ticket. The flat bottom roll up types don't plane all that well if at all.

The West Marine dinghies are typically just rebranded bottom of the line dinghies from the usual suspects. Most are polyruethane coated and relatively thin fabric. In short made for a low price point. Will work okay for the weekend cruiser that may use the boat a couple of weeks a year. The polurethane coating is not UV resistant and turns to goo in a season of hard usage. May last two seasons in the daily use of a cruiser. In short, if you are seriously cruising, polyurethane isn't the way to go unless you are anal about keeping the boat covered.

Look for a Hypalon fabric dinghy. They'll last in the sun and seem to be a much thicker, sturdier fabric. Strangely, cost is also quite a bit higher but cheaper in the long run.
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Old 19-08-2012, 22:40   #8
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Here is ours. Its Hypalon Quicksilver. with the Inflatable floor and keel its about 8 ft Have a 2stroke 4 hp. Will plane with just me in it. Could definately be an advantage having a 6hp, but does the job with the 4.
The reason I went for the inflatable floor is simply that its lighter and can fold up. It does the job but as you can see. 4 adults would be stretch. You sometimes get a wet bum with 3 on board.
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Old 19-08-2012, 23:02   #9
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Re: Dinghy Advice

The current WM inflatables are made by Zodiac.
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Old 20-08-2012, 07:01   #10
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Thanks for all the feedback.

"Normal load" would be two adults and two kids. But might be a bit much to want to plane with that many people. Maybe a plane with one adult and one kid would be reasonable.

Seems like Hypalon is the way to go for longevity. The RIB will mostly be used for weekend cruising for the next year or two. After that, it could get more use.

Seems like 10-foot would be best size, though I wonder how that will tow behind a sailboat, which will most often be the mode of transport for the dinghy.
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Old 20-08-2012, 07:13   #11
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Get a hard dink and row it. Inflatables are for tools.
That's rubbish. Try geting into a hard dink after going for a snorkel with 2 kids in tow. Nothing beats the stability of a good inflatable .........nobody rows anymore anyway.

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Old 20-08-2012, 07:45   #12
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Re: Dinghy Advice

In all the ports I have visited, the 10' Caribe RIB is most represented at the dinghy dock. Ours is ten years old and still going strong. I've never heard anyone express a negative about their Caribe or AB. A 9.9 HP will get you and a load on plane. A 15 HP is almost too much power - but a hulluva lota fun....

Our son has a PVC 11' inflatable bottom made in Korea. While a good dink for puttering around the local area, I doubt it would hold up to the demands of serious cruising. For one thing, the UV would eat it in no time. Hapylon is worth the extra money in the long run.

There must be a lot of "tools" out there cruising, for the Hapylon RIB inflatables outnumber hard dinks / prams 50 to 1.
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Old 20-08-2012, 07:49   #13
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Get a hard dink and row it. Inflatables are for tools.
RIBs are indeed great "tools". Can't imagine rowing 300lbs of
fuel several miles against wind, chop, and current.

John
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Old 20-08-2012, 08:13   #14
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Seems like 10-foot would be best size, though I wonder how that will tow behind a sailboat, which will most often be the mode of transport for the dinghy.
If you are going down island with the dinghy, you need to be able lift it nightly. Don't need to do it in all locales, but you need the ability. That is if you want to keep it.
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Old 20-08-2012, 09:36   #15
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Re RIBS: One RIB I would not recommend is the Caribe double-hull version -- lots of them in use in the charter/cruising fleet here and I've never seen one that did not leak water between the hull sections. Also, the double hulls make them very heavy.

Re carrying the dink. I strongly prefer davits. Towing is fraught with problems and stowing on deck is a hassle. Davits are a convenient compromise.

Another design feature to consider is how the tubes are attached. Most are glued to the RIB hull. The problem with this is that once the tubes start to go bad it is not practical to replace them in the field. As a result, the Carib is littered with discarded RIBs. A much more practical solution is to attach the tubes with a track and a bolt-rope. This allows the tubes to be easily removable (for longer term storage for example) and field replaceable. Walker Bay and a few others take this approach.
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