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Old 31-03-2016, 06:13   #16
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Re: Dinghy Floor Types

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
For what its worth, the best inflatable we ever had was a 9'8" West Marine Hypalon boat with a 3-section plywood floor and an inflatable keel. It was light enough to handle easily, the floors made it rigid enough to take a 6hp outboard with which it would plane and the inflatable keel gave it reasonably good directional stability. One could also row it reasonably well.

Not knowing any better but following the "bigger is better" dictum, when our old boat gave up the ghost after 15 years I bought a 310 Zodiac High Pressure Floor dinghy. It has proven much larger than we need (for 3 people and a 35# dog), it needs a larger/heavier/more costly engine, doesn't plane worth a darn (even with a 15hp engine with dole fins), despite an inflatable keel has poor directional stability; and, can't be rowed worth a darn even with longer two part oars than those included with the boat. Bigger than one actually really needs isn't better, just a pain in the neck. Think about it...
What he/she said.
We cruised for years with a roll up aluminum floor 8' west marine and then later an air floor Avon and loved them both. The air floor was easier to store the aluminum floor was separate and took up more room but not hard by any means. We never felt that we wanted more dinghy because we didn't want the larger motor that had to go with it.
That said we don't have an SUV on land either so small cars are what we are used to. Since your dinghy is basically your car when cruising your expectations in that regard could be the most important thing.

Jim
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Old 31-03-2016, 06:46   #17
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pirate Re: Dinghy Floor Types

My personal choice is the ply slat floored dinghy that I can buy at somewhere like Piplers of Poole for around £250 and combine it with a 5hp 2 stroke Tohatsu... 15litre tank with clip on feed.
Reasons are simple.. the 2 stroke gives more power/speed and weighs around the same as a 3hp 4 stroke.. and the dinghy I regard as a 'disposable'.. theft etc.
Rolls up and bags easy, gets on the plane and so far have a long life.. never had one I've bought start coming apart like some better brands on boats I've bought.. this I put down to lazy owners rather than product faults.
Things you need to take into consideration are your preferred driving style and your weight.. both affect directional stability if you sit on the tube in which case an air keel may be the better choice..
With my weight (73kgs) and my normal crew (40kg) my dinghy will still get on the plane.. also my riding style works well for me.. shifting of centre from one side to the other by just switching the leg bearing my weight.. a bit like surfing..
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Old 31-03-2016, 07:52   #18
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Re: Dinghy Floor Types

My first choice is always an aluminium rib but if I had to store in a locker then go for the newer foldable ribs

http://youtu.be/JYz4sWL8IZo
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Old 31-03-2016, 14:06   #19
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Re: Dinghy Floor Types

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Originally Posted by Andrew Grace View Post
My first choice is always an aluminium rib but if I had to store in a locker then go for the newer foldable ribs

http://youtu.be/JYz4sWL8IZo


Great idea but to wide for a locker.

Found two with plywood floors and air keels. Sounds like a win win. My buddy owns a cabinet shop so if the boards are to wide he can piano hinge them and put the non skid on them at the same time.

I checked out used 5 Hp 2 stroke engines, lighter, and cheaper. They may not be environmentally correct these days but I think I can live with it.

Thanks all, Woody
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Old 31-03-2016, 15:01   #20
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Re: Dinghy Floor Types

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Originally Posted by Drift Woods View Post
Great idea but to wide for a locker.

Found two with plywood floors and air keels. Sounds like a win win. My buddy owns a cabinet shop so if the boards are to wide he can piano hinge them and put the non skid on them at the same time.

I checked out used 5 Hp 2 stroke engines, lighter, and cheaper. They may not be environmentally correct these days but I think I can live with it.

Thanks all, Woody
If you must hinge them more than the separate boards currently are, hinge only athwartships, not parallel to centerline! Actually, you probably don't need a hinge.
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