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Old 06-11-2018, 16:54   #31
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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I say once you have decided that planing just isn’t in the cards, go with the lightest, smallest motor available, cause the speed difference between a 2.5 and a 3.5 is likely way less than a knot.
I’ve been looking at the little Suzuki, but only because I have had such good luck with it’s big brother.
It’s my belief that Suzuki was for many years the motor you bought if you couldn’t afford a good one, in other words way down in quality.
However I believe they are no longer that, but as they aren’t yet the big name to have, they are still proved well.
Like Toyota’s were cheap in the 70’s.
Yup, all true.
Decided on the Merc 3.5 rather than the Merc 2.5. Same motor, just a tweak or a tune. Also considered the other little guys, Suke, Honda, Tohatsu, Yammie, etc.
One of my sailing buddies went cheap and bought a 2.5 Suzuki some 7 years ago: It gave him problems and headaches and he swore up and down never again.(it rubbed off on me)
I ordered a Merc 3.5 today, six year warranty and the dealer/shop 5 minutes away from my house:
https://www.parkeryacht.com/
Good price, good people.
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Old 06-11-2018, 17:12   #32
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

I notice more big dinghy's with small engines. Like maybe a 12' dink with a 4hp engine. They look slow, but comfy. I actually met a woman once who would not let her husband get on plane.
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Old 06-11-2018, 17:30   #33
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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I notice more big dinghy's with small engines. Like maybe a 12' dink with a 4hp engine. They look slow, but comfy. I actually met a woman once who would not let her husband get on plane.
Sounds like my woman

I had slow boats and I had fast boats.
The woman would squawk approaching 30 knots and she still does.
We dove toegther and she would hesitate anything beyond 80 feet.
We flew in small planes and she rode on the back of my Harley 27 years ago.
No more.

Yup, slow and comfy, my next dink will be just that.
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Old 06-11-2018, 18:17   #34
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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Defender says the HB315LX weighs 118 lbs - am I reading that right?
Achilles says 128lbs
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Old 06-11-2018, 18:30   #35
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

I owned an LT-2 for a while and it was a nice boat for what it was. I decided I wanted a hard tender and will be building a Eastport Ultralight Dinghy for use as my tender.
The rivets were falling out of my floor boards also.
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Old 06-11-2018, 19:28   #36
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Since 1980, we have owned five inflatable dinghies - two Achilles LT-2s (one red and one gray), one West Marine (Zodiac) Sportboat, one Achilles LT-4, and an Achilles LSI-290.

The West Marine boat was PVC and was junk; the floor fell out and the transom rotted. I was constantly repairing it. I would wish it on no one.

The Achilles boats were all Hypalon (CSM) have given good service with few problems.

The LSI-290 is a 2011 boat bought from Defender in 2011. We have used it for 5 months in the Bahamas each year since.

We have used three outboards on the LSI-290; a 3.5 hp 2-cycle Tohatsu, a 8 hp 2-cycle Nissan, and a 9.9 hp 4-cycle Yamaha. If we have no need to plane the boat, the 3.5 hp is our favorite because it is light (27 lb) and reliable. The 8 hp Tohatsu is the maximum hp recommended for the boat. At 61 lb we need a hoist to put it on or off the dinghy, but is is not a difficult task. For speed or for distance, it is our choice. The Yamaha 9.9 hp is more powerful than is recommended for the boat, but has the same weight as the 4-stroke Yamaha 8 hp. At 87 lb it is a bear to lift on or off the dinghy in less than calm conditions. We left it at home last year when we went to the Bahamas but took the other two. I think we will do the same this year.

After seven years and seven trips to the Bahamas, the LSI-290 has a few patches, one of the paddles is cracked, and the rub rail is separating in places around the side. Our air floor is made of lighter material than the current boats, and the first year we punctured it with sand spurs that were stuck in our shoe bottoms. The next year I made a carpet to cover the floor, and we have had no further problems with sand spurs. Dragging the dinghy up the beach we have worn away the surface layer of Hypalon on the bottom of the transom. Last year we patched over the worn area and installed Beachmaster dinghy wheels on the transom. We have replaced air valve o-rings and valve straps. We carry the dinghy folded and covered on the forward end of the coach roof and haul it up onto the boat with the staysail halyard. We inflate it with a Airhead AHP-21HP pump and launch it by pushing it over the side.

When time comes, I'll buy another.

Bill
irish-eyes-to-the-bahamas.blogspot.com
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:59   #37
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Depends what you value most. We have our dink on davits on a 31' sailboat, so light weight was paramount. We chose the Achilles LS2-RU air floor. 57 lbs., but figure 5 more lbs. for lifting harness, security cable, lock and hardware.
Hondo 2.3, 4-stroke, 29 lbs., has been very reliable for 6 summers.

The air floor is not as stable to stand on as a hard floor, but lighter. It is also more fragile when dragging up a beach.

Yes, it's slow, but we live aboard at a mooring in Northeast Harbor, Maine June to October and rarely need the extra speed.

The rig is great for our weak backs. In an bad storm we can clamp the motor on the taffrail and roll up the dink and lash is on deck quite easily.

Our other requirement was hypalon. Good hypalon can last decades. We have a 1986 Avon Red Crest that we keep on our wharf in Nova Scotia all summer and the fabric is still sound. Amazing stuff and you can use some bottom paints on it. Saves money in the long run.

Good luck.

Jenn and Terry
Kearsarge, NH
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:08   #38
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

As I couch sail in the off season, I came across a couple down under with a You Tube Channel called Free Range Sailing. They have a Porta Bote and really like it. Apparently it is very durable. We have a Seaward 32RK which is great for Keys and Bahamas, but isn't going to do well with an big dink and associated engine. A friend of mine has the same boat as us and just bought a Porta Bote. I am waiting for his report back from the west coast to see how he likes it. They are apparently very easy to assemble, quite light weight and can be carried along the life lines in a paddle board rack. We are considering one due to the ease of use, ease of storage, durability and small engine requirements to get on plane. If anyone else on here has one, I would be interested in knowing their thoughts.
I know you asked about the Achilles and have read a bunch of negative things about the newer ones. Even though this is a different brand, I thought it fits the same requirements of being a small dink with small engine requirements. If I took from the subject forgive me.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:07   #39
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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AVOID anything made in China for the same reasons. One I bought as a temporary thing was put together with what appeared to be a kind of double-sided sticky tape. Naturally it came apart in storage--and was never able to be used.
Chinese products, landfill being shipped to your doorstep.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:31   #40
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

I've had two over the course of 15 years, all in the northeast so I can't comment on how they handle in that brutal tropical sun. They are great little dinks but with the fabric floor you need to be careful dragging them up on the beach, the first one we had started to develop leaks after a couple of years of that. Since then I have been keeping the boat anchored just off the beach and haven't had a leak in 3 years. Always had a 4HP Yamaha and it was fine, would plane with one person and a small dog, anything more and you were just pushing water.
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Old 10-11-2018, 14:41   #41
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Got the dink, looks good but load placard says 3 people or 710 lbs.
(710 divided in 3 equals fatsos )
The Defender advertisement said 4 people.
Is the placard restrictive, or advisory only?
Today, 24 hours after I received the dink from Defender, the price went up
$200. Timing is everything..
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:15   #42
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

We have the same model Achillies for the the last six summers. It will hold 4 people in a pinch, though the legroom gets tight. Three works better.
Not sure if you would be liable for overloading with 4 people weighing less than 710 lbs. As long as you're not out in rough weather, I doubt anyone would care.

Anyhow, it's been a good, rugged dink for us. We're live-aboards all summer in Maine and the dink gets daily use. With a honda 2.3 (29 lbs), it's not planing fast but fine in our small harbor and for beach trips. We chose it for overall light weight, as it lives on stern davits on our small (31'), rather narrow Cape Dory sailboat. Whole rig with lifting harness and security cable/lock is less than 100 lbs. In very bad weather, it's easy for our weak backs to roll up and lash on deck as there are no floor boards or heavy motor.

Hope this helps.

Jenn and Terry
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:21   #43
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Seven years ago we purchased an Achilles SPD-310 (wood flooring) and couldn't be happier. We do keep it covered hanging from davits when we're not cruising, so that helps protect the hypalon. It's easy enough to disassemble and take off our trawler when hurricanes threaten, but it is a bit of a challenge to put back together (we just don't do it often enough to really learn and remember the process).

We bought a Tahatsu 6 HP 4-stroke outboard to go along with it. That combination will plane with two people aboard as long as the tubes are properly inflated.

Have had to repair the wood flooring once where the dinghy wasn't draining properly and permitted a small amount of rain water to stand against the edge. We added a second drain in the corner of the transom (the low side when the dinghy is hauled and tightened against the davits when underway) and that has helped tremendously.

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Time for a new dinghy, been shopping around a bit and walked the Fort Lauderdale boat show recently.
Narrowed it down to an Achilles 260 Air floor, 8’6” and weighs 64 lbs.
Price at defender is $1899 plus $76 shipping to Florida.
Happy with your Achilles and the warranty/service?

Any other ideas for quality lightweight dink and motor?
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:47   #44
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

We have an Achilles LS310 airfloor, going on year 3 with fairly light use. Paired with an 8hp 4 stroke Nissan (Tohatsu).

One airfloor and one keel replaced under warranty. Otherwise been a great dinghy. Acquired a repaired airfloor as a spare. Don’t quite trust these.

The 8hp will get her up on plane with 2 people.

If I could find a lighter 2-stroke I’d swap out the Nissan ina heartbeat. A beast, even with a davit. .
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:52   #45
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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Anyhow, it's been a good, rugged dink for us. We're live-aboards all summer in Maine and the dink gets daily use. With a honda 2.3 (29 lbs), it's not planing fast but fine in our small harbor and for beach trips. We chose it for overall light weight, as it lives on stern davits on our small (31'), rather narrow Cape Dory sailboat. Whole rig with lifting harness and security cable/lock is less than 100 lbs. In very bad weather, it's easy for our weak backs to roll up and lash on deck as there are no floor boards or heavy motor.

Hope this helps.

Jenn and Terry
With a similar sized yacht we have also gone with the little Honda 2.3hp. Didn't notice any difference in speed compared with the previous 3.5hp 2 stroke. It won't plane with 2 people in a 2.7m flat inflatable dinghy but we don't need it to as no long fast trips needed. It's light enough I can hold it with one hand and climb up the transom which is handy.

We are also experimenting with a 30 year old Avon round tail inflatable. Hypalon still looks like new, just a shame they don't make them any more.
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