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Old 06-11-2018, 05:36   #1
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Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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.
Runner up was the Mercury 270 Hypalon Air Floor, should be slightly bigger than the Achilles 260 right?
Wrong, 8’4” and weighs a porky 95 lbs as per the Mercury webpage.
Buster Marine however advertise this boat @ 76 lbs and sells it for $2095.
Also looked at the West Marine dinks, but probably made by Zodiac with a horrible reputation for coming apart, besides their air floors is PVC only: Never seen a PVC holding up under the intense Florida and Bahamas sun.
Some Chinese brands out there with cheap dink’s, but probably more headaches than value.
Happy with your Achilles and the warranty/service?

As for motor, need a lightweight 4 stroke and zeroed in on the Mercury 3.5hp @ 41 lbs and $968 with my West Marine discount. 6 years warranty promotion from the factory going on right now.

Any other ideas for quality lightweight dink and motor?
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:57   #2
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

We own a slightly larger version of the Achilles with the inflatable floor, model LSI 330. We use it as a back-up dinghy. It is several years old now, and it has held up really well. It is a high-quality product.

While we have no personal experience with the Mercury product, we have talked with several owners who have had issues with leaks, etc.

Not sure if the 4 stroke Mercury you are looking at will plane two people, if that is what you are looking for. Our Achilles is rated for a 15 HP, and we found a good used 2 stroke 15 hp Yamaha (no longer sold in the U.S.). It looks like your LSI 260 is rated for 6 HP, and you may want to consider whether the 3.5 4-stroke is underpowered. We use our dinghies to explore, and are not willing to do that at 4 knots.

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Old 06-11-2018, 05:59   #3
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

The 3.5 has been know to be a troublesome motor. Several issues with it, you can find many threads on. Part of issue is idle air mixture isn't right initially so will meet emissions. The Honda is a better motor in most respects or suzuki 2.5.

Or get a 2 stroke Yamaha or mercury 5 in Bahamas
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:17   #4
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Quote:
. you may want to consider whether the 3.5 4-stroke is underpowered. We use our dinghies to explore, and are not willing to do that at 4 knots.
Thx for the feedback: Yes, I know the 3.5 HP is rather weak and will not plane with 2 people, and probably not with 1.
We are not exploring these days, just need a tender to shore and short hops here and there, 4-5 knots should be okay.
A 6 hp would be better, but a weight issue, we have to lift motor onto boat, from swim platform and store or hang it on deck. (28’ power boat, no davits or crane)
Previous dink motor was a 4hp Yammie, 4-stroke, 2009 model, it was lightweight and powerful enough to run a 310 dink at 11 knots with 1 person, but hpthat motor is no longer made. Current model is 60 lbs..

Quote:
The 3.5 has been know to be a troublesome motor. Several issues with it, you can find many threads on. Part of issue is idle air mixture isn't right initially so will meet emissions. The Honda is a better motor in most respects or suzuki 2.5.

Or get a 2 stroke Yamaha or mercury 5 in Bahamas
Ok, will look for threads on the Merc 3.5.
With a 6 year warranty I should be ok, they will just have to fix it until it is right.
Good idea on a 2 stroke from the Bahamas but can I get warranty service on the, in Florida....?
As for Honda or Suzuki 2.5hp, probably good and lightweight motors, but even weaker than the 3.5: Trying to get as much HP per lbs as I can.

Thx again for the comments, keep ‘em coming.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:37   #5
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

I have a HB-315LX rib, now 4 years old. There are several spots where the outer layer has peeled off and the canvas is exposed. Two of the sections leak and need to be pumped up daily and several of the seams have small delaminations. We are full time cruisers and have spent most of that 4 years in Florida and the Bahamas, so lots of sun exposure. We do not have chaps. Frankly I did not expect the outer layer to start peeling in 4 years. I guess all Hypalon is not created equal.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:41   #6
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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I have a HB-315LX rib, now 4 years old. There are several spots where the outer layer has peeled off and the canvas is exposed. Two of the sections leak and need to be pumped up daily and several of the seams have small delaminations. We are full time cruisers and have spent most of that 4 years in Florida and the Bahamas, so lots of sun exposure. We do not have chaps. Frankly I did not expect the outer layer to start peeling in 4 years. I guess all Hypalon is not created equal.
Ouch, I thought Achilles was the best, they make their own Hypalon and now Mercury inflatable boats use the Achilles fabric.
With the boat being 4 years old, and with a 5 year warranty, you should still be covered, hopefully..
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:45   #7
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

I had an Achilles for 25 years and it was still good when I sold it. Can't remember the model # but was around 10 feet long with 3 air chambers plus an inflatable keel with a plywood floor. I had to replace some of the plywood during the years due to rot and it was very hard to assemble on deck of the sailboat. I sold it along with the 5 hp Nissan 2 stroke about 10 years ago when I had my sailboat for sale. I ended up keeping the sailboat and wish I still had the outboard since it could plane me at 200 lbs along with my wife at 120. I'm now looking for another inflatable and motor and this time will go with an inflatable floor one. I plan to keep it uninflated on deck and while Hypalon will be better UV wise...my concern is the heat acting on the glue. I can cover the uninflated dingy with material to protect it from the UV, but think that a welded PVC dinghy might hold up better to the heat with a proper cover?? I would like another 2 stroke 5 or 6 hp, but the 4 strokes weight about 15 pounds more than the 2 stroke did and without use of a crane not sure that I can still manhandle it. On Amazon a couple of months ago there were new 2 stoke outboards available if you can gamble about the QC of a Chinese made product. A friend here at the marina here in the US was able to buy one from Amazon at the time, but has not used it to report on the quality.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:50   #8
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
air floors is PVC only: Never seen a PVC holding up under the intense Florida and Bahamas sun.

I have a Hypalon Mercury 310 airfloor, and the airfloor is PVC also (and I need a replacement at $450...). PVC airfloor to be pumped up to 11PSI.



In 2004, Practical Sailor tested a few airfloor dinghies and mentions Achilles as the only one with non-PVC floor, but that one can only be pumped to less pressure = less stable.



https://www.practical-sailor.com/iss...es/4952-1.html
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:35   #9
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife View Post
I have a Hypalon Mercury 310 airfloor, and the airfloor is PVC also (and I need a replacement at $450...). PVC airfloor to be pumped up to 11PSI.



In 2004, Practical Sailor tested a few airfloor dinghies and mentions Achilles as the only one with non-PVC floor, but that one can only be pumped to less pressure = less stable.



https://www.practical-sailor.com/iss...es/4952-1.html
My previous dink was the Mercury 310 Hypalon with pvc air floor. (Same as the one in the Practical Sailor Test above)
It was big, stable and fast but poor quality. New floor, new keel, transom came loose, straps and rings came unglued: I was the nightmare customer who demanded everything fixed right and in a reasonable amount of time. Instead I had to wait months for parts from China. Ended up yelling at customer service in frustration. (Not sure it did any good, but everybody remember my name and the problem dink)
Also the dink was 103 lbs but Busters Marine swore up and down it was 80 lbs and gave it to me in writing. Bought the thing and it felt heavy, put it on a scale and sure enough, 103 lbs. They sent be $300 back for compensation.
Now 11 years later they are up to the same: The Mercury 270 air floor is advertised at 74 lbs, Mercury Marine’s home page shows it at 95 lbs...

The Achilles is 64 lbs, big difference when wifey has to lift it on to the mothership.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:07   #10
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post

The Achilles is 64 lbs, big difference when wifey has to lift it on to the mothership.
Similar size dink, one weighs 95 Lbs the other 64 lbs. I have to wonder if Achilles saved the weight by using thinner less durable coatings on the Hypalon, hence my experience with peeling Hypalon?
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:44   #11
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
Similar size dink, one weighs 95 Lbs the other 64 lbs. I have to wonder if Achilles saved the weight by using thinner less durable coatings on the Hypalon, hence my experience with peeling Hypalon?
Good point...
Or they used more expensive engineering and materials to make it lightweight and desirable?
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:46   #12
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

I have the small 4 passenger fully inflatable Achilles and love it. It folds up for out-of-sun storage and can be handled by an old guy. My motor is a 6hp Tihatsu. It takes a little coaxing, but planes with two people.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:13   #13
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Bought an Achilles in late 1978, other than having to build a new plywood floor twenty years ago, it's still going strong. No delaminations, no pulled straps, hand-holds or towing ring. Great product.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:23   #14
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Here's something a little outside the box but I think might make a great dinghy. Appears to be much faster with low horsepower.
https://www.seaeagle.com/InflatableFishingSkiffs/FSK16

I think we are about to see a revolution in inflatable boats. With drop stitch technology boats can be much stiffer because of the higher pressure.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:31   #15
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Re: Happy with your Achilles Hypalon dink?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
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.
Runner up was the Mercury 270 Hypalon Air Floor, should be slightly bigger than the Achilles 260 right?
Wrong, 8’4” and weighs a porky 95 lbs as per the Mercury webpage.
Buster Marine however advertise this boat @ 76 lbs and sells it for $2095.
Also looked at the West Marine dinks, but probably made by Zodiac with a horrible reputation for coming apart, besides their air floors is PVC only: Never seen a PVC holding up under the intense Florida and Bahamas sun.
Some Chinese brands out there with cheap dink’s, but probably more headaches than value.
Happy with your Achilles and the warranty/service?

As for motor, need a lightweight 4 stroke and zeroed in on the Mercury 3.5hp @ 41 lbs and $968 with my West Marine discount. 6 years warranty promotion from the factory going on right now.

Any other ideas for quality lightweight dink and motor?
This summer we faced the same questions. What dingy and what motor for our Nonsuch 33 that would hang on davits. The combo must plane with the two of us (combined 325 lbs.) and a bit of equipment. Also be a light as possible. Our choice was an Achilles HB315LX, 88 lbs. and a Tohatsu 4-stroke 6 hp. motor with fins at 55lbs. This combination planes well and is a manageable weight. A good match. Best of luck.
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