Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-06-2010, 00:01   #1
Registered User
 
Misiu's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Boat: Catalina 30 "Niunia"
Posts: 180
Help with Selecting Dinghy

My Zodiac's floor separated from the tubes and I was quoted $600 for fixing the entire floor.
The boat was in perfect condition, stored down below, but it was old (15 years!). I guess I couldn't ask for much more...
Needles to say I am shopping for the new one. I think I want hypalon this time and I see two options:
1. Achilles LEX-96 (wood floor) 9'6"
2. Achilles LSI-290 (air floor) 9'6"
The first one has slightly smaller tube diameter than second (15.5" vs 17") hence slightly lower beam and capacity. Defender has both on sale for $1250 and $1750 respectively.
I have never had boat with wooden floor. I was told that it's more difficult to set it up than air floor.
Which one would you pick? Would you expect any difference in performance?
__________________

__________________
Michał
"The acquisition of the knowledge of navigation has a strange effect on the minds of men." /Jack London/
Misiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 01:06   #2
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Those prices are good!

We are so heading to the USA to buy some boat stuff.
__________________

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 04:54   #3
Now on the Dark Side: Stink Potter.
 
CSY Man's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Boat: 2001 Albin 28TE.
Posts: 3,398
Images: 115
Whatever you do, don't get a Mercury dink..

Now truly disgusted with warranty issues for the third time and Mercury dragging their feet, 2 months this time.

I bought the Mercury 310 Airfloor Hypalon in 2007 due to a 10 year warranty and good price as well as good write-up in "Practical Sailor"

Turns out to be cheap Chinese junk and obtaining warranty repairs is like pulling teeth: Slow and painful.
__________________
Life is sexually transmitted
www.odincharters.com
www.susanhanssen.com
CSY Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 08:36   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Living aboard and cruising
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 276
Images: 1
Buy the larger tube diameter

Not sure where and how you are using the dink on a regular basis, but if all was the same between the models I would buy the larger diameter tubes. This makes for a much dryer experience.

If you are using this in northern climates I would not pay extra for Hypalon..just my opinion.

As for the floor, I have watched/helped people with the wood floors and they are a major pain in back end, and I don't think I will ever buy one.

Performance would be based on the shape of the bottom of the craft (obviously) and I believe it is the same on both models. I doubt that the floor would affect performance.

I bought a Zodiac lightweight RIB a few years ago and it has been an excellent dinghy. Even though you cannot collapse and stow a RIB onboard, I will probably always go with one.

Hope that helps!
__________________
CaptainBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 09:50   #5
Registered User
 
Misiu's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Boat: Catalina 30 "Niunia"
Posts: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Whatever you do, don't get a Mercury dink..

Now truly disgusted with warranty issues for the third time and Mercury dragging their feet, 2 months this time.

I bought the Mercury 310 Airfloor Hypalon in 2007 due to a 10 year warranty and good price as well as good write-up in "Practical Sailor"

Turns out to be cheap Chinese junk and obtaining warranty repairs is like pulling teeth: Slow and painful.
Thanks - I won't...
10 years warranty sounds fishy. I think dragging their feet on warranty claims is a strategy designed to loose some less patient and persistent people in the process.
__________________
Michał
"The acquisition of the knowledge of navigation has a strange effect on the minds of men." /Jack London/
Misiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 10:13   #6
Registered User
 
Misiu's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Boat: Catalina 30 "Niunia"
Posts: 180
CaptainBW:

Thank you. Good points. I got interested in wooden floor because the price is tempting. I saw friends having a hard time with assembling their wooden floor dinghy but I thought it could be just their lack of practice. Their dinghy didn't perform well but I now think it wasn't set properly.
I'll be going to Central America soon so I need hypalon. The boat will be used much more than here on SF Bay.
Can't have RIB it would take too much space on the deck.
__________________
Michał
"The acquisition of the knowledge of navigation has a strange effect on the minds of men." /Jack London/
Misiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 10:31   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misiu View Post
CaptainBW:

I'll be going to Central America soon so I need hypalon. The boat will be used much more than here on SF Bay.
Can't have RIB it would take too much space on the deck.
Get a hypalon RIB, the biggest one you can afford!! You will not regret it. Don't worry about taking too much space on deck, you'll manage!
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 10:51   #8
********* Emeritus
 
SaucySailoress's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8,235
How mad is this - one of Marc's hair-brained ideas (and he's stuck by it for a while so far) is to stick an optimist on the boat and use that as the tender.... He reckons it'll be cool sailing to fetch the groceries....
__________________

SaucySailoress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 10:52   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,373
If you can fit the RIB then that will give you the best performance. If just not practical go for the largest inflatable keel model you can handle.

In the past I tried hard floor vs inflatable floor models and the hard floor was by far the better dinghy. However I have not tried one of the new, high pressure, inflatable floors which some people claim work as well as the hard floor models.

The hard floor models can be tricky to insert the floors when inflating but not that difficult once you get the hang of it. If you go hard floor I would get aluminum instead of wood floors as over time the wood will start delaminating if you don't keep it dry all the time. Hard to do with a dinghy.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2010, 23:11   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
bstreep's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX/Port Aransas, TX
Boat: 1990 Macintosh 47, "Merlin"
Posts: 2,274
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Whatever you do, don't get a Mercury dink..

Now truly disgusted with warranty issues for the third time and Mercury dragging their feet, 2 months this time.

I bought the Mercury 310 Airfloor Hypalon in 2007 due to a 10 year warranty and good price as well as good write-up in "Practical Sailor"

Turns out to be cheap Chinese junk and obtaining warranty repairs is like pulling teeth: Slow and painful.
Hmm. Have the same model. The airfloor developed a leak after 18 months (the airfloor has only a 12 month warranty - not 10 years - and it's made of PVC). Mercury replaced it free of charge, and they were VERY pleasant about it. For $1200 from Defender, it's not the greatest product in the world. But so far, we are very happy with ours - AND with Mercury's warranty support.
__________________
Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
bstreep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2010, 06:09   #11
Now on the Dark Side: Stink Potter.
 
CSY Man's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Boat: 2001 Albin 28TE.
Posts: 3,398
Images: 115
Quote:
Hmm. Have the same model. The airfloor developed a leak after 18 months (the airfloor has only a 12 month warranty - not 10 years - and it's made of PVC). Mercury replaced it free of charge, and they were VERY pleasant about it. For $1200 from Defender, it's not the greatest product in the world. But so far, we are very happy with ours - AND with Mercury's warranty support.
__________________
Good for you that you had a better experience with Mercury.

My first problem was a few months after I bougth the dink:
The life line patch holding the life line to the forward part of the boat broke off when we used the lines to lift/drag the boat up on the beach.
The Mercury rep said the lines was not for lifting or dragging the boat, but rather for holding on and entering the boat from the water, hence no warranty on abuse of the life lines.

I argued the point and reminded him there was no limitations in the enclosed literature about how to or not to use the life lines and if the attachment was not strong enough to pull the boat up to the beach, then they would surely pop off if somebody actually used them for "Life Lines".

He reluctantly agreed to repair under warranty huffing and puffing.

The year after the inflatable keel burst open in the seams.
Got that fixed under warranty fairly painless.

Same thing happened this year, but the "approval" took a month, then another month to ship a new keel.
Driving the dink down to the shop this morning to have the keel installed.

The plug and assembly aft broke before I even used the dink the first time.
Fixed it myself so as to be able to use it, but the parts has been on order for over 2 years..

Any more issues with this dink or customer service and I will contact the better business bureau with a complaint.

The initial problem with this dink was with one of the Mercury dealers: Buster Marine advertised it at 80 lbs.
The Mercury web page however showed the dink weighing 103 lbs.
I asked Buster Marine which number was correct and they assured me the 80 lbs was correct and they had contacted Mercury with the discrepancy and the Mercury page was wrong and would be changed shortly, etc.

I saved all those emails and bought the dink.

Turned out it really weighted 103 lbs and the dealer had lied through their teeth to make the sale.

That ticked me off a tiny bit so I raised hell and demanded $300.00 back to ease the pain of lifting the dink. (Should have gotten all of it back, but desided to keep the porky dink instead, but with a discount)

With all that being said, the dink when in the water and not in the shop, is a stable platform to step on to and off, and pretty fast with a small motor:

Planning @ 10.4 knots with a 4 HP Mercury.

The tubes are holding air and so is the floor.

Suspect there is a water leak somewhere in the seams holding the floor to the tubes, but not sure..Could be rain drops or spray over the bow collecting under the floor. Will have the shop leak-check.

Would I buy a Mercury again...?

Not a chance, life is to short to keep carting it to the shop for repairs and having to argue with some clerk on the phone to get the repairs "authorized".

Next time I will buy a quality dink instead of a discount one with a big warranty.
__________________
Life is sexually transmitted
www.odincharters.com
www.susanhanssen.com
CSY Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2010, 06:25   #12
Registered User
 
agrainofsand's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ensenada, BC Mexico
Boat: Downeast 32
Posts: 31
I do not like inflatables. I have an 8' fiberglass duel hull Livingston dink w/ 2.5 Yamaha on davits and it is a very dry ride.
__________________
agrainofsand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2010, 06:30   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by agrainofsand View Post
I do not like inflatables. I have an 8' fiberglass duel hull Livingston dink w/ 2.5 Yamaha on davits and it is a very dry ride.

This is fine for getting to the boat on a mooring but just won't cut it if you're cruising in the Bahamas or the Caribbean.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2010, 06:32   #14
Registered User
 
aboutgone's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Marathon, Boot key harbor
Boat: CSY 44 w/o hull# 158 S/V Leighward
Posts: 252
Shop the used market first...we just bought an Avon 3.15 aluminum floor for 400$....it's in great shape..no patches....planes with an 8 hp with two people
__________________
Never start vast projects with half vast ideas
aboutgone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2010, 06:36   #15
Registered User
 
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
Maybe go check the Bombard AX500. We've had wood floors (PITA) and the HP air floors (sure pack up smallest but heavy and bouncy ride) and finally decided we wanted a RIB. But the weight of GRP bottoms plus unflexible transoms meant needed to be hung full time on davits.
The Bombard AX500 was a brilliant compromise.
Plastic floor in moulded shape gives all the advantages of a GRP one but without the weight. I can actually carry ours solo - plus it comes with a folding transom. Meaning it packs up flat into a surfboard type bag for low windage deck storage or even slide below decks.
For me it is possibly the best buy we ever made and it came by referral from another cruiser. Suggest you do check them out before you buy anything else.

JOHN

PS Zodiac and Bombard are one firm. The strange thing is our Bombard AX500 is made from same materials that all the regular Zodiac inflatables are made from (fabric, colurs, features etc) yet the Zodiac folding transom jobbie seems to be made from same products as regular Bombard inflatables. Work that one out!
It is almost like they got the labels wrong - so be sure you check out the right one.
__________________

__________________
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/yachtswagman/
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need Help Selecting a Watermaker Rainbow gypsy Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 26 15-03-2014 20:36
Selecting a Windlass GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 30-01-2012 07:41
Selecting the Head 04 Marine Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 8 24-05-2010 06:44
Selecting a 37-42 footer... DWalker Monohull Sailboats 16 06-01-2008 14:26
Selecting a Starting (SLI) Battery GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 22 17-05-2005 19:56



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.