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Old 02-03-2017, 10:22   #1
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Inflatable advice

Last year we got a Highfield CL310, alum/PVC. We loved the boat very much... but after 3 months in the water the paint began to peel from the alum. The dealer contacted Highfield who agreed a full refund.

Dealer offered me a demo boat.... not used in the water.... AB 10VS which is Fiberglass/hypalon. I don't know the value... but the AB fiberglas boat does not have:

double floor
bow locker which can carry a gas tank with the fuel line led under the sole.
2 seat positions
a saddle bag seat cover
a cover

AB has a great reputation... though

I loved the CL310 double floor, and gas tank bow locker/seat . The seat cover w/ pouches is a nice perk but I can live without it as with the cover. The AB is a better fabric, but we are not in the Caribbean either.

Deal is looking around for a boat to swap and I suppose of similar value and quality.

He mentioned a walker bay as possibility.

Any comments? Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:52   #2
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Re: Inflatable advice

I'd take the Hypalon boat in a heart beat, or the refund, depending on which is worth more. I'd suspect the AB is, but I don't know that boat at all
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:05   #3
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Re: Inflatable advice

I've been looking for my first dinghy, seeing a lot of used AB, they seem to hold up. But used prices, wow. I can get a new 11' aluminum RIB from a dealer for $1,600, made in China, but seems good quality. There is a lot of junk from China, but also some very high quality products from China, so I'm not discounting these boats just because they are cheap. Four year warranty, so if they fall apart I have a local dealer standing behind them, and at that price I can replace it every four years and be ahead of most aluminum RIBs I've looked at. It only weighs 100# and can only take 15hp, but that is plenty for what I expect to use it for.

Zebec in China makes a lot of inflatables that are rebranded and sold in the U.S., they seem pretty good quality from what I'm seeing on their website.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:13   #4
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Re: Inflatable advice

I had a great NZ alum rib from Aquapro. It was stolen and when I bought a replacement it was made in China and was poor quality. They Aquapro pulled the license from the Chinese. No more alum ribs... the paint comes off.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:02   #5
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Re: Inflatable advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
I had a great NZ alum rib from Aquapro. It was stolen and when I bought a replacement it was made in China and was poor quality. They Aquapro pulled the license from the Chinese. No more alum ribs... the paint comes off.
China is changing quickly, they still make some junk but some high quality too. Last week I bought some Maui Jims at the Silk Market in Beijing, looked great, but in sunlight they are terrible hazy. Fortunately the crush-proof zipper case is a work of art, well worth the $15 I laid out for them.

The Zebec website shows them dip-etching and coating their aluminum hulls before Powdercoat, I wish I could get that quality coating on the machines my shop produces! I don't know if the ones I'm looking at are dip etched and coated, another question to ask when I get there I guess.
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Old 03-03-2017, 17:08   #6
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Re: Inflatable advice

My last dinghy was made in china although it was a new zealand brand. Even though it was hypalon is was of poor quality, I spend $1,500 on it over three years.



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Old 04-03-2017, 01:46   #7
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Re: Inflatable advice

Hypalon is apparently a Dupont name and the materials called hypalon now are different... a laminate... who knows?

Read a piece by a dealer who extolled PVC and explained why he thinks it's better. Who knows?

The Hifield 310 has great features.... but the peeling paint on the second alum boat has put me off aluminum. The dealer would replace it and maybe it wouldn't peel paint... but is it worth it? Who knows?

The AB VS10 looks like a nice boat. I loved the double floor of the alum boats... and the forward locker which held the gas tank... secure and out of site... gas line went under the sole.

I'll probably take the AB... based on it reputation alone.
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:49   #8
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Re: Inflatable advice

Current hypalon/ Orca, csm isn't much different than pvc now a days. It is a very different material than the older hypalon. Not saying better or worse, but much closer to pvc now than ever before.
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