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Old 22-04-2015, 22:10   #1
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Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

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I bought an AB 9.5AL (aluminum hull) back in 2011 in Annapolis on my way to the Bahamas. By the time I got to the Bahmas a month later, the floor welds started to crack. I sent photos to AB and they said they would replace the boat when I returned to the U.S. That fall the exchange was to occur at the Annapolis Sailboat show, but AB 'brought the wrong boat'. Jeff McCurdy at AB told me we would be able to make the exchange with one of their dealers in the Caribbean the coming winter. No big deal, I'll just patch the cracks with 3m 5200 to keep most of the water out. Well after sailing from Puerto Rico to the Grenidines, and being told none of the dealers had a boat in stock, Jeff said the factory would replace the boat when I got to Columbia.
Once I got to Coumbia, AB picked up my dingy, but decided to take my old tubes and glue them to a new hull. That's not what was promised, but whatever, at least I won't have 5 gallons of water in the dingy at all times.
Within a month, the cracks returned. I contacted Jeff at AB to inform him of the problem. His response was that I must be misusing the dingy and would not repair it again! He also told me that of 1000s of AL hulls, mine was the only issue! However I have met at least two other cruisers with the same problem.
Anyway, after bailing my dingy all the way across the Pacific, I decided to have the hull welded in Auckland at my expense. The welder who has been building AL boats for 20 years said it was a poor design, and added plates to the weak areas to prevent further cracking.


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Old 23-04-2015, 04:40   #2
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Quote:
. His response was that I must be misusing the dingy and would not repair it
Wonder how you can "misuse" a dingy?
Run it up on reefs I guess, then there would be dents and scratches on the bottom, easy to prove misuse.
If you have a Facebook page, spread the word on poor design and refusal to honor warranty.

Had the same problem with a Mercury dink: Poor quality, transom fell off. They tried to say the transom was not part of the boat.
(Huh, come again?)
Long story and lots of phone calls and repeated trips to the local dealer, finally got it fixed.
Do not buy Mercury Dinks either...
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Old 23-04-2015, 04:48   #3
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Don't buy Swift Inflatables (Australia) either. They didn't honor their 10 year warranty.
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Old 23-04-2015, 04:51   #4
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybas View Post
Attachment 100783
I bought an AB 9.5AL (aluminum hull) back in 2011 in Annapolis on my way to the Bahamas. By the time I got to the Bahmas a month later, the floor welds started to crack. I sent photos to AB and they said they would replace the boat when I returned to the U.S. That fall the exchange was to occur at the Annapolis Sailboat show, but AB 'brought the wrong boat'. Jeff McCurdy at AB told me we would be able to make the exchange with one of their dealers in the Caribbean the coming winter. No big deal, I'll just patch the cracks with 3m 5200 to keep most of the water out. Well after sailing from Puerto Rico to the Grenidines, and being told none of the dealers had a boat in stock, Jeff said the factory would replace the boat when I got to Columbia.
Once I got to Coumbia, AB picked up my dingy, but decided to take my old tubes and glue them to a new hull. That's not what was promised, but whatever, at least I won't have 5 gallons of water in the dingy at all times.
Within a month, the cracks returned. I contacted Jeff at AB to inform him of the problem. His response was that I must be misusing the dingy and would not repair it again! He also told me that of 1000s of AL hulls, mine was the only issue! However I have met at least two other cruisers with the same problem.
Anyway, after bailing my dingy all the way across the Pacific, I decided to have the hull welded in Auckland at my expense. The welder who has been building AL boats for 20 years said it was a poor design, and added plates to the weak areas to prevent further cracking.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
We have the Lammina 10 since 2013 in St. Martin. No problem with it except the holes that got put in the tube when someone retied us badly on the scary dinghy dock in Las Brisas in Panama.
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Old 23-04-2015, 06:26   #5
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

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Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Wonder how you can "misuse" a dingy?
Run it up on reefs I guess, then there would be dents and scratches on the bottom, easy to prove misuse.
If you have a Facebook page, spread the word on poor design and refusal to honor warranty.

Had the same problem with a Mercury dink: Poor quality, transom fell off. They tried to say the transom was not part of the boat.
(Huh, come again?)
Long story and lots of phone calls and repeated trips to the local dealer, finally got it fixed.
Do not buy Mercury Dinks either...

Exactly! That is what pisses me off the most! AB blaming me for their $4000 faulty product! I use my dingy just as every other cruiser. If I was doing something stupid the Yamaha 15hp would bear the brunt of the damage (new same time as the dingy).


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Old 23-04-2015, 06:39   #6
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Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

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Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
We have the Lammina 10 since 2013 in St. Martin. No problem with it except the holes that got put in the tube when someone retied us badly on the scary dinghy dock in Las Brisas in Panama.

The Lamina doesn't have the flat floor? The floor in the 9.5 AL makes a triangle with the V of the hull, strengthening that area. But the floor ends 10" or so from the transom (the most highly loaded area). The joint between the un-floored transom area and the reinforced floor area cracks.


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Old 23-04-2015, 09:12   #7
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Had a 10UL, and the hypalon separated from the aluminum hull. They were not very supportive about that either. Bought a Highfield and very satisfied so fat.
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Old 23-04-2015, 09:36   #8
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Also have an AB 9.5. Many of the seams are coming unglued. Will be redoing entire boat.
Would appreciate recommendations for the best adhesive to put the hypalon back together.

Thanks
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Old 23-04-2015, 09:47   #9
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

I gave up with the repair. Sold my sailboat with the dinghy before reaching Australia where AB said that there was a dealer to address the problem . I am sure that a good repair shop will know what product to use, obviously not the adhesive that AB uses at its factory.
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Old 23-04-2015, 10:03   #10
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

That settles it for me: no AB!!! I'm in the market for a new inflatable but will definitely stay away from AB, swift and Mercury!

Any recommendations for a GOOD dink???

SVJennie,
Apparently Bostik 2402 works well on hypalon.
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Old 23-04-2015, 10:06   #11
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

The AB factory in Baranquilla, Colombia workes on low standard, but asks european prices.... I had one, 13ft aluminum, was far to instabile to use on the sea, the hull was not broad enough tu give stability in the wafes, but hell of expensive, rainwater permanently in the built in tank, ... simply useless. Have now 2 aluminum dinghis from china, 14 ft,very stabile, but generally poor quality, the glued parts fall off, the surface of the hypalon is not smooth, so it gets durty quickly. One of the two developed small holes in the bottom/ seems poor aluminum quality/ I solved the problem with epoxy.
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Old 23-04-2015, 10:07   #12
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Really like my 10' Highfield Classic with flat floor.
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Old 23-04-2015, 10:07   #13
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

I've often wondered about the ability to glue to aluminum...? So what say ya'll? I know there are some proponents of Alum RIB's on this forum. For those who have had theirs a couple years..or more... any problems?
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Old 23-04-2015, 11:04   #14
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Was thinking about buying the AB Aluminum hull boat but will not now. looking at other options. Thanks for the review.


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Old 23-04-2015, 11:07   #15
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Re: Don't Buy an AB Inflatabe

Csy
Which mercury dink did you have the transom problem?
Thanks pete
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