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Old 10-09-2015, 13:38   #31
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

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I've taken delivery of the new dinghy, and frankly, it's a disappointment.

The tubes are much smaller, the transom is flimsy, and in general it feels like a rubber ducky toy compared to the old one.

The 8hp Selva one-lunger vibrates ferociously. The rig planes quite readily with one person on board, but it is frightening. The tubes are so small it seems like it will flip or be swamped with the slightest ripple in the water, so different from the old one which would bash intrepidly through even heavy surf.

I had a farewell cruise with the old one, some miles in open water from Beaulieu to Lymington and back at 20 knots - fun! But it goes up for sale tomorrow. The way I use my dinghy here years, lightness is more important. We shall see how it works out.

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A pity you don't like it so far. I wonder how much of the disappointment comes from going too light?

How about this for an idea only 20kg more:

Highfield Ultralite hypalon alu dinghy 3.4m (49kg) or equivalent from AB and a Suzuki 20hp (45kg). The tender is rated for 15, but this engine is the same weight as the 15hp version and is as light as most 2 cylinder 4 stroke 9 or 10 hp engines. A pretty light package overall and it's a lot better dinghy and motor, but will not sit as flat on your deck. It's the sort of thing I am possibly going to get, but the size or two up and with a remote wheel.
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Old 10-09-2015, 14:26   #32
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

Are you sure the tube pressure is up where it needs to be? It won't change the size of the tubes, but it does change the stiffness.
Our dink is the 2.40 version of yours, same vintage, it is wet (as I posted earlier due to the hull shape mostly) but the transom I've never felt was flimsy. Unless it's not fully inflated, a problem that I believe is a chronic condition of most inflatable tenders who's owners don't fill them up all the way.


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Old 10-09-2015, 17:03   #33
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

Buyers remorse, you had a "real" boat, this isn't.
You'll either learn to live with it, or get another "real" boat, I'd give it a go of course as you've already bought the thing, but after a month or so if you still are unhappy, I'd sell and get what makes you happy, life is too short to put up with something you just don't like.


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Old 10-09-2015, 17:15   #34
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

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Buyers remorse, you had a "real" boat, this isn't.
You'll either learn to live with it, or get another "real" boat, I'd give it a go of course as you've already bought the thing, but after a month or so if you still are unhappy, I'd sell and get what makes you happy, life is too short to put up with something you just don't like.


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Old 11-09-2015, 02:47   #35
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

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Buyers remorse, you had a "real" boat, this isn't.
You'll either learn to live with it, or get another "real" boat, I'd give it a go of course as you've already bought the thing, but after a month or so if you still are unhappy, I'd sell and get what makes you happy, life is too short to put up with something you just don't like.
Indeed, but I think I will put up for it for a year and see how it works out.

The problem is that I have very little need for a "proper little motorboat" like me old one in the areas I sail. I'm mostly in estuaries with speed limits and little anchorages with rarely more than a couple of cables to go.

In the Baltic, where there are marinas everywhere for an average of 20 euros a night, I don't spend as much time at anchor as I do in other places.

And on the other hand I sail thousands of miles every year in open sea, sometimes in rough conditions.

With my crappy davits, it just doesn't seem worth dragging around a full sized RIB for the purposes of the odd two-cable ride to shore.

It would be entirely different if I were in, say, the Caribbean.

So I think I'll put up with it for a while and see. The lightness is a boon, I can see already. I dragged the RIB including motor up onto my mooring pontoon without the slightest problem last night -- cool.

It will also be cool to have my dinghy deflated and strapped down on deck instead of in davits on rough sea passages.

I think these advantages may be worth the disadvantages.
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:59   #36
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

Perfect boat is yet to be built, they are all compromises of course, I understand exactly what your going through, you miss the ride, power and comfort, but your brain is telling you that the smaller lighter boat makes more sense, but you still miss all that comfort and speed
I've just learned sometimes to go with your emotions, go with the comfort and speed, and figure out how to make it work, or something in between.
My dink is bigger and heavier and more powerful than usual, especially for a boat my size, not nearly what you had, but I struggle with making it work, but smile on those days when I have a couple of miles to go, and would be soaking wet in a smaller craft, but arrive almost dry.
Cooler weather is coming, and I really dislike being cold, and wet.

BTW, I was married in 1982, still am, same Wife.
I don't apply the same type of thought process to our Marriage that I do to boats, cars, airplanes etc. Got a feeling that may not work very well.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:21   #37
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiu View Post
A pity you don't like it so far. I wonder how much of the disappointment comes from going too light?

How about this for an idea only 20kg more:

Highfield Ultralite hypalon alu dinghy 3.4m (49kg) or equivalent from AB and a Suzuki 20hp (45kg). The tender is rated for 15, but this engine is the same weight as the 15hp version and is as light as most 2 cylinder 4 stroke 9 or 10 hp engines. A pretty light package overall and it's a lot better dinghy and motor, but will not sit as flat on your deck. It's the sort of thing I am possibly going to get, but the size or two up and with a remote wheel.
I'll keep that in reserve; thanks for the tip.

Today I went out for a longer trip in the new dink -- up the Hamble River a few miles and back.

This time with two aboard, and with the extra payload, the planing is not scary. Actually, it is remarkable how easy this boat is to plane -- will do it in smooth water with two aboard and gear with about 1/3 throttle with the little 8hp Selva. That's lightness plus maybe efficient hull form, I guess.

It still feels like a rubber sun raft compared to the old dink, but for 90% of my use it's going to be ok, I think. I will sure miss the old one whenever I have miles of open water to cross (rare), and when the sea is rough, that's for sure. But sure I won't miss it when I'm lifting it into the davits or securing it on deck, or pulling it up by hand onto a beach.


I do really like the very soft transition to planing, and the very efficient slow planing speed, very different from the old one, which like a regular power boat, would try to stand up out of the water wasting huge amounts of power until you got it properly up on plane, which it would maintain only at a rather high speed using lots of fuel.

I also rather like the little motor -- feather light, lighter than the Yammie 5hp two stroke I have on a skiff at my lake house. I can lift it with one hand. It vibrates a lot but it's very quiet and runs very cleanly at low speeds (that's four stroke for you). Starts easily. It's very simple, much simpler than the 25 horsepower two stroke, two cylinder Mariner on the old dink. It's cheaply made with lots of plastic, but plastic will not rust, unlike the Mariner which has lots of mild steel parts. In combination with this light RIB the new motor will use, I reckon 1/4 or 1/5 the fuel, which is a good thing (the old dink was incredibly thirsty).

Everything is a compromise. Time will tell whether this was the right one or not.
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Old 14-09-2015, 08:21   #38
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

We just about downsized from our 2005 AVON 310 RIB and Mercury 15 hp 2-stroke (156 lbs and 78 lbs), but the thinking is that once we get to the Caribbean, it will be more in line with what it was intended for versus the Chesapeake. Here, 5 to 8 hp 4 strokes are common, with inflatable floor dinks.

Decided to just separate the dink from the engine each time we use it, and, for a longer passage offshore put the RIB on the foredeck upside down and deflate it, and crane up the Merc onto the stern rail with a Forespar Nova Lift and engine sling.

If just to another coastal anchorage, leave it right side up and inflated on the foredeck, or, depending on conditions, tow it without motor, or tow it with motor.

Here she is coming out of hibernation.

To launch, use a spare halyard to upright and flip the dink over, use an electric turbine air pump to inflate it (2.5 lbs pressure takes a couple of minutes), then 3 point sling it into the water with mast winch, then walk it back to the stern and crane down the Merc to the transom.

No dingy davits for now.
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Old 18-09-2015, 07:38   #39
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

Here's the rest of the story.

I used the new RIB a few times going up and down the river for various errands. Although it is far less stable and seaworthy than the old one, I like it now. To balance out the relative lack of stability, it planes like a dream with a smooth transition, needing only 1/3 throttle with two people and stuff on board. The old RIB would top out at 4.5 knots in displacement mode, but wouldn't plane at less than about 10 knots, very frustrating on estuaries (like all the ones on the UK South Coast) with 6 knot speed limits. The new one seems to go efficiently at any speed, and planes at 15 knots effortlessly. That's the weight, I guess, plus the hull form must be better for slow planing.

The 8 hp Selva sounds like a lawnmower , but it's ok. Starts easily and drives the boat well. Plenty of power.

But only yesterday did I really understand the whole point of this RIB. I deflated it (surprisingly easy) and put it into its bag (less easy single handed, but should be better with practice), and easily hoisted it on deck alone with a halyard and manual, non-self tailing winch. And guess what -- the damn thing fits perfectly on my foredeck, sliding right in between the forward dorades, and not interfering in the slightest with the staysail. Wow!! It looks a bit like a folded up Portabote, surprisingly flat and amazingly compact. You would never believe that this is a RIB which planes and is rated to carry 1100 pounds of load.

The engine is so light that I don't need a crane -- just haul it up by hand and put it on the rail.

This is a whole different universe of compact storage -- and it means that I can go to sea without the dinghy in the davits and without even a lot of trouble to get it stowed on deck.

Everything is a compromise, especially dinghies, but this one seems to be a pretty good one.
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Old 18-09-2015, 07:51   #40
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

Glad it worked out for you.
Your now getting me thinking about my big / heavy RIB with it's 20 HP motor, might look hard at something lighter when it comes time, as it is a pain and realistically, it can't go anywhere except the davits, although it is way up high off the water.
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:11   #41
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

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Glad it worked out for you.
Your now getting me thinking about my big / heavy RIB with it's 20 HP motor, might look hard at something lighter when it comes time, as it is a pain and realistically, it can't go anywhere except the davits, although it is way up high off the water.
My advice on that would be:

If you are not having problems with your davits, and if you are not planning to do many long passages in rough weather, what you have now might be optimum for you.

My reason to change was lots of miles in rough weather, and constant problems with my crappy Cooney-Simpson electric davits. The davits were actually a big success in terms of keeping the dinghy out of the water -- I even went through a knockdown in F9 with huge breaking waves and the dinghy was untouched. But a heavy dinghy swinging in davits in rough weather puts huge stresses on, and I had various problems with bolts working lose, bases cracking, and even breaking.

Cranking the dink right up into davits without even removing the engine is by far the most convenient way to launch and retrieve it. Two or three minutes versus at least 20 minutes to take engine off, deflate, fold, pack up, hoist on deck, etc.

So I wouldn't bother with a change like I did if you don't have specific problems with your setup.

I bought a much smaller pair of manual davits which I am going to try with the new dinghy. We'll see whether it works.
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Old 18-09-2015, 15:07   #42
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

I have Kato davits and they are fine, even with the engine on, but now I have three 250W panels also on the davits I believe I'm real close to max, so I have replaced my back lifelines with solid rails and hung a motor mount there and a hoist.
I got stupid and got hit by a Thunderstorm at night this Summer and got 50 kt winds, and my first knockdown, and dinghy and davits were fine and I had the motor on it too.
Still, sometimes light makes right, I won't change until this Dink dies, which seeing as how it's a Zodiac, from all accounts it should fall apart any minute now I need to get out there and ride a few Dinks to really decide, I bought this current set up based largely on intuition, not experience.


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Old 21-09-2015, 06:26   #43
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

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Are you sure the tube pressure is up where it needs to be? It won't change the size of the tubes, but it does change the stiffness. . . .
This was a hot tip -- thanks. Pumping up the tubes made a huge difference in the stability and general feel.
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Old 21-09-2015, 06:32   #44
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Re: Experience With Avon Compact Lite Rib?

When I dried out last week, I had to take my davits off. I was going to take them off anyway, because I bought smaller ones.

Wow, what a difference! The boat is so -- just beautiful without them. I didn't quite realize the extent to which the davits just completely ruin the lines of the boat. I couldn't stop looking at my own boat all weekend

And docking was simply a revelation with two meters chopped off the stern. It was like being back on a 36-footer.

I wonder if I should simply learn to live without them? I saw an M54 without davits, which had a sea kayak stored in the lifelines. Presumably that was the quick and ready dinghy, with an inflatable stored somewhere else for more serious duty on longer stops. Maybe that's really the hot setup?

My new dink stores beautifully on my foredeck and is not that hard to inflate and deflate. Maybe it would even be possible to leave it inflated on the foredeck -- at the expense of being able to use my staysail, I reckon.

Hmmmm.
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