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Old 14-02-2014, 12:37   #1
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Dinghy with inflatable floor

I am in the market for a 10' dinghy with inflatable floor. I want the inflatable floor so that I can stow it on passages.

Who makes dinghies with high pressure inflatable floors?

So far the only ones I have found are: Walker Bay (looks nice but only review says it is not durable) and Zodiac (not available in Hypalon).

Thanks for your help.
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Old 14-02-2014, 13:37   #2
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

As far as I know the only one who makes an inflatable high pressure floor that is all hypalon is Achilles and they are quality dinks. Others make hypalon tubes and PVC floors.
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Old 14-02-2014, 14:10   #3
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

You can get inflatable floors in pretty much any material or manufacturer out there. Here is a list from Defender that has about 10 boats that meet your requirements.

If your criteria is that you want to be able to store it on passage, then I wouldn't overlook the aluminum and wooden floor versions either. Those can be easily stored too.

Good luck and fair winds,

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Old 14-02-2014, 14:48   #4
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

Thanks for the help. I like the Achilles and have heard of it, but will also look at the Mercury that is listed on Defender.
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Old 14-02-2014, 14:56   #5
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

go with achilles. quality builder with an excellent reputation for many years. my friends achilles is now sixteen years old....
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Old 14-02-2014, 15:09   #6
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

We have Avon that is made of hypalon and has inflatable bottom. It's now about 6 years old and is holding air as new. And it has spent about half of its life in the tropical sun.

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Old 14-02-2014, 15:14   #7
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

Achilles vs. Defender

We are weighing this option now too. We are looking at RIBs but have essentially narrowed our choices down to Achilles, Defender and AB. The Defender and AB are both butt sealed seems with the Achilles has overlapped doubled sealed seems. There are pros and cons to each and the man in charge of Defender's inflatable boats division has commented here on the quality of hypalon inflatables in the past. Gave some really honest and valuable answers. His info is part of what I have reviewed in making my decision.

Essentially, I think all 3 boats are quality (can't comment on the Mercury because it came off my list for other reasons). But I think Achilles may be the best balance of quality for the money spent. AB is slightly more expensive and Defender cheaper with a shorter warranty. Plus where I plan on spending my time in the Caribbean I don't think the Defender warranty will be as easy to deal with. Although I think I am over think the warranty aspect because of some feedback I got from others about how hard it will be to get any warranty honored in that part of the world.

Bottom line for me is that I think that all 3 are quality boats and I am going to pick one based on which one feels more comfortable to us when we see it in person.

Good luck with your search.

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Old 14-02-2014, 15:29   #8
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

FWIW, I don't like my inflatable floor. It only stays sturdy for an hour or two before it partially deflates. Of course, it's a no-name brand, so take that for what it's worth.

I wish I had gone with a wood floor. Will build one myself before next season.
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Old 14-02-2014, 15:51   #9
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

Achilles is a good builder, I've heard some iffy things about Mercury. However, inflatable floors seems to be pretty iffy in general from every thing I've . I had one years ago for a short time. Another option is the dinks with the rollup rigid floors like the Avon Vinyl crosspiece ones and some have aluminum crosspieces I think.
Friends of mine crossed the Pacific with an Avon one... seemed to think it was a good compromise.
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Old 14-02-2014, 16:41   #10
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

Talk to an inflatable repair place before you buy an inflatable bottom--you will be their best customer if you do.
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Old 14-02-2014, 17:43   #11
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

We went the PVC route due to cost and we are not in the topics. We were happy with our 9.5 foot Aqualine high pressure floor for 5 years never a leak in tubes or floor. However, when the plywood transom rotted there was no way to repair it. We considered a new hypalon air floor that would last twice as long but cost twice as much

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Old 14-02-2014, 17:46   #12
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

Didn't finish. Chose another PVC air floor. This one is a Delphinus. So far so good.

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Old 14-02-2014, 17:51   #13
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

I've got an Achilles with inflatable floor and it's been problem free. A RIB came with the boat but I sold it because it was just too heavy to man-handle easily. I think my Achilles is 9' 6" or thereabouts and the 5hp outboard pushes it along just fine. Ideal for a couple (though I've had 4 adults in it). It's about 6 years old.

During the 3 months we spent on the boat last summer pumped it up once and that was it. Never had to top up.
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Old 14-02-2014, 18:19   #14
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

And when you get it, consider this trick we learned the day we first used our air floor: Ran into another fellow in exactly the same boat. He had cut outdoor carpeting to cover the entire floor, large enough so that when the tubes were inflated they trapped the carpet underneath. Works great, keeps dirt down, keeps the floor clean and can be removed to be shaken out for cleaning. Much better footing, too.

Happy hunting.
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Old 15-02-2014, 12:49   #15
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Re: Dinghy with inflatable floor

I have a Achilles LSI88 with a Yamaha F6. We have used it two seasons each 3 months long. One in Maine and another in Nova Scotia. It great! We stow it in a locker when going offshore and it's light enough for one person to flip inflated on the fore deck when day sailing. I hate towing a dingy, it's noisy and slow. This thing will plane with two adults. Never had problems with deflating and never have had to top it off.

We used to have a AB hard bottom about a foot longer than the LSI88. It was very stable but very very heavy and took a heavy engine to move it well. I figured that towing it was worth a knot and that's with the engine on board the mother ship. Bringing it on board for passages was a real pain and I never liked having it on the foredeck in fought weather.

I am sold on the inflatable bottom Achilles. They are very well made. The only thing I don't like is the high placement of the oars. They hit the topsides sometimes when alongside. I am thinking of taking them off and having straps installed to hold them on the inside of the tubes.

Interesting idea with the carpet.
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