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Old 26-05-2018, 08:56   #1
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Dinghy Quality

20 months ago I brought a new dinghy to replace my old one. I had the old one for 5 years and it came with my first boat and was pretty old looking at that time (it was a West Marine branded Achilles). It had a slow valve leak I could have fixed and 1 small patch. Other than that it was your basic removable floor dirty dinghy.

So before I left to go full time cruising I decided to replace it. I ended up getting a PVC because the price difference seemed questionable. I've been cleaning it and applying protectant to it since I got it.

Within a year fittings started pulling off. First it was the holders for the outside rope holders. Then it was an oar holder, then the other oar holder, then the inside handles started peeling off. Now it's the transom coming off the tubes. This on a 20 month old dinghy that has been having protectant applied and even covered last year when I was just sittting in a marina for 3 months.

Yet the old dinghy, that I bet was way over 8 years old, didn't have a single fitting coming off!!!!


Has my experience been bad, or are others seeing the same thing? I've started shopping replacements and it appears every manufacturer is only warranting the fittings for 1 year! That pretty much says that they expect them to start failing after that.
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Old 26-05-2018, 09:12   #2
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Your experience sux. On our old Aquapro PVC rib fittings started falling off after 14 years. Current AB hypalon is 3 years old. Fittings all going strong, but I doubt it will make 14 years.
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Old 26-05-2018, 09:12   #3
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Our AB Hyperion is used full time in the Pacific and has zero failures after 5 years. We bought the factory cover to protect it.
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Old 26-05-2018, 09:14   #4
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Could the protectant have anything to do with the fittings coming off? PVC tenders have been around forever, but I've only recently been reading accounts like yours, with fittings detaching. You didn't mention the brand of the new dinghy. I just bought a Zodiac PVC, and since then I read of someone having the same issues that you're having, with a Zodiac PVC. Perhaps other readers will chime in. Has this been happening to Hypalon tenders too, or is it brand related? Some anecdotal accounts might be illuminating.
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Old 26-05-2018, 09:20   #5
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Dinghy Quality

My $3,000 Hypalon Zodiac Cadet 3.10 RIB began falling apart in a little over a year. I got rid of it as I was actually afraid a huge seam would open up any day now or the tubes come off of the hull. Lasted three years before I finally gave up.
Same as you, the glue started letting go and after it was a few months old, I had to pump it back up every time we wanted to use it. It began leaking at the glued together seams, again a glue failure. I never used a protectant. Hypalon was fine, Boat and glue was falling apart.

Now I have a Hypalon AB, aluminum hull, and have a set of chaps on it from the beginning. I sure hope it lasts longer. So far I have not had to add any air at all.
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Old 26-05-2018, 09:36   #6
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Just say NO to West Marine or Zodiac dingys.
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Old 26-05-2018, 09:46   #7
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Re: Dinghy Quality

EPA approved low-VOC glue?
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Old 26-05-2018, 10:37   #8
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Pretty sure the point of manufacture for my Zodiac was China.
Also apparently for the first time in decades the amount of CFCís in the atmosphere is actually increasing again, even though itís use has been outlawed in developed nations for a long time.
Not sure the Chinese are concerned about CFCís or VOCís.
https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/...009035.article

I suspect itís just cheap inferior glue
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Old 26-05-2018, 10:49   #9
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
Could the protectant have anything to do with the fittings coming off?
I donít see how as I donít really even apply the protectant to the fittings because they seem so thick that I doubt that the UV gets through them. Plus if it was protectant why arenít the glued seams failing.

My theory is that gluing the fittings on is an after thought and they donít plan on them lasting. So for $0.25 worth of glue my dinghy is falling apart.
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Old 26-05-2018, 10:58   #10
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
... before I left to go full time cruising I decided to replace it. I ended up getting a PVC...
Where've you cruised from/to? When we left Britain we used a PVC dinghy and it was fine, no problems down the Atlantic coast of Europe either, but once we got into the Mediterranean that and it's replacement soon shrivelled-up and died in the sun. We got hypalon after that and they do hold together much better in strong UV conditions, so my advice would be to buy hypalon if you're heading for sunnier climes, the price difference will be repaid in about 18-24 months - the time our PVC ones lasted in the Med.
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Old 26-05-2018, 12:36   #11
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Re: Dinghy Quality

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, the price difference will be repaid in about 18-24 months - the time our PVC ones lasted in the Med.
I've mostly been in the SE and Bahamas. When I got the PVC dinghy and did the math it worked out that if I replaced it every 24 months it was the same price as getting the hypalon

but the dinghy itself isn't the problem. It's the fitting glued to the tubes.
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Old 26-05-2018, 12:39   #12
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Re: Dinghy Quality

I bought a Defender RIB in hypalon, all the plastic bits have fallen off and the transom is starting to go too. It's going on 4 yrs old now. Stored under cover during the summer and it has chaps.
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Old 26-05-2018, 13:13   #13
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Re: Dinghy Quality

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I bought a Defender RIB in hypalon, all the plastic bits have fallen off and the transom is starting to go too. It's going on 4 yrs old now. Stored under cover during the summer and it has chaps.
Good head up on that.

BTW, never been an west marine dinghy made by achilles.
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Old 26-05-2018, 13:31   #14
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Really miss Avon. The Hypalon fabric withstood extreme abuse and constant use. They were well constructed, held together and had oarlocks that actually worked and stood up to real rowing. Unfortuantely Zodiac bought them out and killed the brand.
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Old 26-05-2018, 13:54   #15
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Re: Dinghy Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I donít see how as I donít really even apply the protectant to the fittings because they seem so thick that I doubt that the UV gets through them. Plus if it was protectant why arenít the glued seams failing.

My theory is that gluing the fittings on is an after thought and they donít plan on them lasting. So for $0.25 worth of glue my dinghy is falling apart.
Have you tried re-gluing them?
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