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Old 25-05-2016, 12:14   #1
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Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I found out earlier today that our dinghy "Flo" has a terminal illness, we patch one hole, blow her up only to open up another hole someplace else. She's a 14 year old Avon RIB, may she RIP.

So... What to get? Looking for a 9 meter 10ft aluminum or fiberglass bottom RIB with a center console that can fit onto our Whittlock Davits here in Italy.

Does anyone have experience with an aluminum bottom RIB? I just became aware of them yesterday and want to consider them because of the reduced weight factor now that were also adding a solar array to the Davits which are themselves being reinforced. How does aluminum hold up in salt water? Does adding and taking care of zincs take care of any concerns?

We're not interested in folding, roll up, soft floor models etc. The Davits can handle the lifting and we don't race. We like the center console type with seating for two and will be transferring our two stroke Mercury 15hp to the new dinghy.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated in our hour of grief.

Ken
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:32   #2
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

HighField dinghys are nice.

Here is a HIGHFIELD CL340HYP

11' 6"
134 lbs
6 passenger
20hp max
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:39   #3
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I looked at their website yesterday, they look nice. Do you have one? I'm thinking that with a couple of seats, I'm not necessarily that attached to having a center console.

It will free up some space for bikes and groceries.
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:56   #4
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Kenomac,

Yes, the pictures you see is my Highfield CL340HYP.
Seat comes out if you need more room.
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:59   #5
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Do you use yours in salt water? Where are they manufactured?

Thanks
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Old 25-05-2016, 13:15   #6
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

They are made for salt water.
They are designed in Italy, but not sure where they are made.
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Old 25-05-2016, 13:45   #7
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I saw a few Highfield ribs in the Bahamas this winter. AB has a line of aluminum hull boats as well. They seem to be fine and I like the lighter weight. Our "Zippy" is also on the last cruise. The aluminum units are very interesting but at a price.
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Old 25-05-2016, 13:51   #8
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
They are made for salt water.
They are designed in Italy, but not sure where they are made.
I will call Francesco in the morning; he's the Lagoon dealer who recommended I make the change to aluminum yesterday when he examined our Davits for the solar array.

Do you have zinc anodes on the hull of your boat? Something like you have would be perfect, I can always transfer our current center console over to a new dinghy. we just had the seat cushion redone for 180 euros.

What size engine do you have on it? Will it plane with 3-4 people? When Flo was still able to float, she could only plane with two people (300 pounds of people) using a 15hp 2 stroke.
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Old 25-05-2016, 13:57   #9
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

No zinc needed
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Old 25-05-2016, 14:20   #10
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I got a Highfield aluminum dink this season after 12 years with an AB figlass RIB. It is a great dink. I got the 10' 03" one 97 pounds. The design is well thought out, lots of lifting rings ( I had to install 2 in the forward part of the AB. Good flat floor for carrying jugs and stuff. Very happy with mine. I noticed a lot of them in the Bahamas this season.
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Old 25-05-2016, 15:22   #11
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

AB is also a nice dinghy, we had one of those on our Hunter. I guy gave it to me. I repaired a couple of leaks, it was a great dinghy that would plane with only a 6hp motor.

The Italians design and build awesome stuff.
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Old 25-05-2016, 17:53   #12
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

We've had two AL dinks, one an aquapro NZ built, the other an AB Colombia built. The Aquapro was much thicker AL and a stiffer boat. I like the ALs for their reduced weight and ruggedness when beaching.
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Old 25-05-2016, 19:54   #13
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I found out earlier today that our dinghy "Flo" has a terminal illness, we patch one hole, blow her up only to open up another hole someplace else. She's a 14 year old Avon RIB, may she RIP.

So... What to get? Looking for a 9 meter 10ft aluminum or fiberglass bottom RIB with a center console that can fit onto our Whittlock Davits here in Italy.

Does anyone have experience with an aluminum bottom RIB? I just became aware of them yesterday and want to consider them because of the reduced weight factor now that were also adding a solar array to the Davits which are themselves being reinforced. How does aluminum hold up in salt water? Does adding and taking care of zincs take care of any concerns?

We're not interested in folding, roll up, soft floor models etc. The Davits can handle the lifting and we don't race. We like the center console type with seating for two and will be transferring our two stroke Mercury 15hp to the new dinghy.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated in our hour of grief.

Ken
Hi Ken, if the boat is a RIB, I'm guessing fiberglass, with knackered tubes they can be retubed at a reasonable cost. I believe Jim and Ann Cate reported having this done so perhaps they could report on the effectiveness.
If it is in fact an inflatable with no rigid hull, then time to go !
Everyone that I know who have one love their alloy rib.
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Old 25-05-2016, 21:05   #14
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

We have an 11 1/2 ft AB. 16 years old now, but usually up on the Chesapeake, and I keep a cover on it.

I really like it, having chosen it for the lighter weight and abrasion resistance.

But I was a bit perturbed when it weighed 30 lbs more than specs. 160 lbs vs. 130lbs IIRC, and that didn't include oars or seat, which maybe it should have. Perhaps it needed to be stouter, but still....
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Old 26-05-2016, 09:28   #15
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

We have a 10.5' AB aluminium hull rib. They are tough boats.

We keep it hauled on deck so corrosion is not an issue.

Keeping them looking good requires some effort. More work than a foldup or fiberglass rib I suspect.

We're going to add a center console. That is a nice configuration.

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