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Old 26-05-2016, 09:52   #16
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

The local Highfield dealer is picking me up at 8:30am Friday to look at a Classic 360 BLT pictured. He also has the mini steering console in stock. 3100 + the steering console which would be extra, which isn't bad when you consider this thing is like our car. I'm basically stuck at this shipyard until have a way to get to shore.

Apparently these things are powdercoated to reduce the possibility of corrosion. 140 lbs without the console, this might be just the ticket! I like the heavy duty aluminum attachment point at the bow. Pretty sure the picture was taken nearby this area.

Thank you everyone for your help.
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:16   #17
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Our winter charter in BVI had a highfield RIB. You could feel how much lighter than many others as we could plane with 2 adults and 2 amall children (total 400 lbs crew) with the 9.9 hp. I thought somehow the bow had more elevation as it felt drier than other RIBs I've driven. Seemed very rugged to drive up on rocky beaches, etc


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Old 26-05-2016, 10:34   #18
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Ken,
I think the Highfields are a good choice but check them over carefully. We had decided to buy one and when it was inflated and all put together I noticed lots of flaws in the finish as well as some poor welding. We changed our minds because it was the only model they had so it wasn't as simple as getting another. Because of that experience I have eye balled these dinks where ever I see them and by and large they looked ok so mine was a bit of a one off. Aluminum dinks have had problems with weld cracking, it's more prevalent in the super light weight models.
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:35   #19
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Oh by the way, they are made in China
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Old 26-05-2016, 11:16   #20
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I've had an aluminum RIB, Force 4, for 17 years and would NEVER go back to FG. The strength to weight ratio is better and they can take rocky shorelines. There are several on the market with varying tube sizes, floor layouts and tube materials so do some research and "kick some tubes". The most expensive is not necessarily the best. JMHO
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Old 26-05-2016, 11:22   #21
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I have a Highfield Classic 360- great boat. 2 adults, 2 kids, groceries, etc and it will still plane off within 2 boat lengths with a 20hp Suzuki and maintain plane at half throttle. With just myself in it it planes instantly and runs 16 knots in smooth water.

I do run a hydrofoil on the outboard due to the previous dinghy needing the extra help to plane.
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Old 26-05-2016, 12:28   #22
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Anti-fouling paint?
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Old 26-05-2016, 12:37   #23
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitebread117 View Post
I have a Highfield Classic 360- great boat. 2 adults, 2 kids, groceries, etc and it will still plane off within 2 boat lengths with a 20hp Suzuki and maintain plane at half throttle. With just myself in it it planes instantly and runs 16 knots in smooth water.

I do run a hydrofoil on the outboard due to the previous dinghy needing the extra help to plane.
That's great news, exactly the same boat I'm looking at in the morning. Question: is yours made from PVC or do you have a hypalon? My previous dinghies have been Hypalon, but I'm wondering now if it makes much difference if I keep it covered up.

A fellow was showing me a Mercury Rhino Rider earlier today, which looks like a blast, but placing Brompton bikes and the two of us in it would be tight, plus, I think it weighs more and won't clear the Davits. But it's made of PVC and still looks great at 10 years old, but really no usage. I think it could be bought for €1500 so it caught my attention.

I also have a round metal thrust mechanism surrounding the Mercury 15hp which focuses power like a tugboat and generates lift.
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Old 26-05-2016, 14:43   #24
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

The Highfields that I've seen have an odd bow and entry shape. It looks like it wants to push water rather than cut through it.
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Old 26-05-2016, 14:54   #25
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I've had several fiberglass and two aluminum hull dinghies. Aluminum is the way to go...

If you can, get an unpainted aluminum Hypalon dinghy.
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Old 26-05-2016, 17:13   #26
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Just a reminder: PVC RIBs {Highfield} will last about 5-10 years even if well cared for; hypalon {AB dinghies} will last 15 - 20 years with much more UV resistance than PVC. Hypalon is thus more expensive, but that's what you'll see on more upscale boats and crewed charter yachts. I'll get the Highfield, but will keep it very well inflated {check weekly} and coated and covered and you'll get lots of good years.
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Old 26-05-2016, 17:18   #27
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Highfield makes both PVC and hypalon Dink's. I got a hypalon one

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Old 26-05-2016, 18:50   #28
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Ken, a couple of years ago we invested in two new dinghies from Ocean Craft, Australia. One is 2.6m and the other is 3.3m. Both are all aluminium 'inflatables'. Both can wear up to 30hp outboards. We drive ours with engines ranging from Yamaha Malta (3.5hp) and up to Yam 25hp Enduro. The dinghies are unbelievable in the loads that they can carry, and the way they perform - its like being on rails. They are rapid, super spacious, and take all sort of abuse. Ours are outfitted with integral fenders that flip up to form splash guards as well. The metal does get hot in the sun but a splash with water sorts that out. We also have added slide in 'goal posts' to fix a shade bimini to and to halp when we need to convert to a life boat. That particular conversion transformation is still work in progress.
For us, we were very happy with the quality of these boats - its No.1. The fact that they are certified as rescue craft in any weather, in Australia was also paramount. These are not the cheapest but they are simply incredible dinghies. If you invest in one I am sure you'll not regret it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The local Highfield dealer is picking me up at 8:30am Friday to look at a Classic 360 BLT pictured. He also has the mini steering console in stock. 3100 + the steering console which would be extra, which isn't bad when you consider this thing is like our car. I'm basically stuck at this shipyard until have a way to get to shore.

Apparently these things are powdercoated to reduce the possibility of corrosion. 140 lbs without the console, this might be just the ticket! I like the heavy duty aluminum attachment point at the bow. Pretty sure the picture was taken nearby this area.

Thank you everyone for your help.
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Old 26-05-2016, 19:05   #29
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Most cruisers agree that the AB Lammina UNPAINTED are the best you can get. Unfortunately the dealer in Mallorca is , well...unique...
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Old 26-05-2016, 19:10   #30
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Once upon a time AquaPro were the best ali RIB around - and then the factory relocated to China and the complaints rolled in.
We then had AB - and the factory also changed its manufacturing and the reports / complaints started yet again. Im not sure if the AB issues have now been adddressed? I know owners with older AB aluminium hulled dinghies that swear they are the best, as long as chaps are added over the hypalon tubes.



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Most cruisers agree that the AB Lammina UNPAINTED are the best you can get. Unfortunately the dealer in Mallorca is , well...unique...
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