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Old 22-07-2015, 09:19   #1
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Experience with Achilles RIB?

We are looking to get a new hypalon RIB. We have determined our requirements, did some research, and are leaning heavily toward the Achilles HB-350DX.

Does anyone have experience with Achilles RIB's manufactured in the past couple of years?

Does anyone have a different suggestion for a similar sized hypalon RIB with flat floor (11-12')?

We were leaning toward AB, but there are several reasons we favor the Achilles now. Same with Highfield. Avon seems to no longer make dinghies, and Apex seems to be having some problems as a company. We will be purchasing this in the US, so there are probably many good alternative choices not distributed here that will not be available to us.

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Old 22-07-2015, 09:34   #2
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

I can't say about Achilles manufactured in the last couple of years, but I was given a Achilles inflatable back in 2007 (one of the red Hypalon ones) that was hurricane leftover (and it was old then) and it has served me well all these years. I haven't put air in it since I got but it seems a bit soft this year. I would most definitely replace it with another Achilles when the time comes...


P.S. Defender has them in stock...
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Old 26-07-2015, 12:00   #3
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We are ... leaning heavily toward the Achilles HB-350DX ... Does anyone have experience with Achilles RIB's manufactured in the past couple of years?
Yes, I know my comments lack relevance, but ...

I am setting up for a short summer cruise and will use my rubber (Hypalon) Achilles this trip. I will be well within hailing distance of facilities so emergency repairs are not an issue.

Still, the boat I'm talking about is a 1981 soft-transom Achilles dinghy that (1) still holds air, (2) still supports a 4-cycle 3.5 HP Tohatsu, (3) still keeps my wife and me reasonably dry in a slop, (4) still does NOT whack the big boat all that hard, (5) still lives below offshore, (6) still does not flip when entered from the water after a swim, (7) and so on.

Could be worse.
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Old 26-07-2015, 13:18   #4
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Purchased a 280 DX from Defender 2 weeks ago. My 20 yr old Caribe is pretty much done. Chalked to where you can see fabric. The Achilles handles better than the Caribe, sits a little lower than the Caribe. Have been away for two weeks and using it a lot and I like it. The AB was more expensive, I was concerned about an off brand like Highfield. I didn't like the flatter sheer of Defender's house brand. I thought that buying the Achilles there would be a better return if I ever decide to sell it. Only disappointment is it is made in China. I would recommend it.
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Old 26-07-2015, 19:57   #5
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Bought my Achilles 350DX in early 2011 and it still looks like new. Cleans up nicely. Used it intermittently until last year, but have used it daily since then. Has stood up well to daily wear-and-tear from dinghy docks, davits, etc. Fast and comfortable with either a 15hp or 20hp 4-stroke outboard.
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Old 28-07-2015, 16:55   #6
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Thanks all. We bought the Achilles.

Ordered it from Defender in CT on Noon Monday and it arrived in Baltimore MD at 10am Tuesday! Standard shipping. Caught us by surprise and a bit unprepared.

So far it seems like a good choice, but we haven't done much more yet than putt a circle around the boat.

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Old 28-07-2015, 17:06   #7
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Thanks all. We bought the Achilles.

Ordered it from Defender in CT on Noon Monday and it arrived in Baltimore MD at 10am Tuesday! Standard shipping. Caught us by surprise and a bit unprepared.

So far it seems like a good choice, but we haven't done much more yet than putt a circle around the boat.

Mark
The Achilles RIB was always our favorite dink, we owned 2 over the years. I didn't have anything to say earlier because I had no experience with the ones built in China but there is lots of quality stuff that comes out of there. We bought a Caribe when we stopped in St. Maarten, wanted an AB but had to pass it by because the combo dink/engine deal with the AB was only available in the Tohatsu and I wanted the Yamaha. The Caribe is decent but a bit industrial looking compared to your Achilles.
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Old 28-07-2015, 17:14   #8
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Actually, I was a bit surprised to see the "made in China" label on the box. The Achilles website talks a lot about being manufactured in Japan and mentions off-handly that they build "to a lesser degree in the very recent past, in China".

It seems like all of their dinghy-sized boats are being built in China. Oh well, we don't care where our iPads and computers are manufactured...

You couldn't buy an AB in SM without an outboard? We were all set on an AB, but the prices were $1,000 more than the next highest cost similar size/outfitted brand (Achilles). And we have several friends with new AB's who have had some quality issues.

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Old 28-07-2015, 18:24   #9
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

I chose the AB VS. I like the fiberglass because it's tough, I can repair it ("you weld'm aluminum?"), the details of the overlapping hypalon seams, and the ride through chop and surf. But Achilles are not a bad option. It may come down to price, parts and performance. I bought mine for the long haul. And I made sure I had chaps to protect it from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

P.S.: That's a Lehr 15 HP propane on the transom. Nice.
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Old 29-07-2015, 05:58   #10
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Yes, we were originally all set on the AB VS, but it was $1,288 more than the Achilles we ended up with - a 27% difference. That was beyond our limit, since we didn't see a $1,288 difference between them.

I also prefer fiberglass. Aluminum has become quite popular, and I see its advantages. Like you, I also like that I can repair it anywhere. However, in theory, aluminum should need less repairing for common problems like hitting a coral head.

Two of the friends I mentioned with AB quality issues have aluminum models and their problem was that the transom broke off at the welds and also was bending - both on less than 1yr old boats. They ended up getting someone to reweld and add additional strengthening stringers and knees. One friend with a fiberglass model had ungluing issues.

On the other hand, we have many, many friends with AB's that have had no problems at all and enjoy them very much.

We would have ended up with an AB if the price differential was not so great.

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Old 29-07-2015, 07:25   #11
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Went with an apex 11' their bankruptcy issues are over, warranty is covered by 84 boatworks who we purchased it thru. Price and construction seem good. Weve had 2 apex boats prior and they held up fine

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Old 29-07-2015, 07:43   #12
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Actually, I was a bit surprised to see the "made in China" label on the box. The Achilles website talks a lot about being manufactured in Japan and mentions off-handly that they build "to a lesser degree in the very recent past, in China".

It seems like all of their dinghy-sized boats are being built in China. Oh well, we don't care where our iPads and computers are manufactured...

You couldn't buy an AB in SM without an outboard? We were all set on an AB, but the prices were $1,000 more than the next highest cost similar size/outfitted brand (Achilles). And we have several friends with new AB's who have had some quality issues.

Mark
When you buy a combo engine/dink you get a major discount so like you the $$ difference was just too great to pay full fare for the dink at one place and the outboard at another.
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Old 30-07-2015, 04:12   #13
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

I suggest suggest call solution one maritime inTampa and talk to Alvin. He knows a Lot about Achiles and most brands

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Old 30-07-2015, 05:58   #14
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Re: Experience with Achilles RIB?

Too late, we already bought the Achilles from Defender.

BTW, Stephan, the owner of Defender, knows just about everything there is to know about dinghies and is very willing to spend time helping you make a decision. He doesn't push any particular brand because he sells most of them.

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