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Old 15-04-2014, 19:38   #1
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New dinghy purchase

Need a new dinghy and I'm thinking about an Achilles 315LX. I will be using a
15hp engine. We will be cursing the Bahamas and then the Leeward and Windward Islands. We really appreciate any advise.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:01   #2
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Re: New dinghy purchase

Bumping this post, because I'm looking at a Achilles 315LX as well to use around NorCal and then Mexico when we go down there next October.

Looking for any opinions or thoughts on these dinghies. So far i'm settled on the Suzuki 20HP DF20A outboard, since it weighs 97lbs.
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Old 18-12-2015, 00:03   #3
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Re: New dinghy purchase

The Achilles 315LX looks very appealing to me, but I selected a smaller, lighter Caribe with a 6hp outboard. So much of this decision is related to questions of deck storage, towing or davits, the size of your vessel, and the type of expected dinghy cargo (laundry, water, groceries, bicycles, pets, more crew....?). It's difficult to share opinions about a dinghy without answers to these questions.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:49   #4
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Re: New dinghy purchase

I am in the market to but a new one or a used one...I have a chance to pick up a used Zodiac 285 but have been told that they are bad to come apart at the seams...does anyone have any knowledge of the Zodiac's
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:03   #5
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Re: New dinghy purchase

Speaking of dinks.... has anyone performed a study of the drag that various dinks produce when towed?
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Old 11-01-2016, 19:08   #6
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Re: New dinghy purchase

^^^Sandero, our 3.5m RIB costs us between 1k and 1-1/4k when towed. This is by observation, not a proper "study". More, if 15hp motor is left on. Tow it a lot, w/o the engine. We do not have davits.

So, although there are those who have a point about not towing dinghies for a variety of reasons, we seem to have worked out safe ways of doing it, safe for dinghy and mother boat.

Ann
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Old 11-01-2016, 19:38   #7
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Re: New dinghy purchase

Ann... As I am now not cruising but have a seasonal mooring... when we take off for a trip we tow our dink... with a bridle and a 3rd security line. I can "trim" the dink to usually be riding down the face or the following wave. We never ever tow with the motor on.

We leave the dink on the mooring for day sails and it feels faster... but frankly... with fouled and unreliable transducers... and a bottom which will get more foul between scrubs... lots of current makes GPS SOG useless for this "test".. it's hard to really gauge performance difference between towing and not. We have a 10' RIB. If I were to go offshore I would not tow.... but stow... but for our coastal work it hardly seems to matter. Foul bottomed dink can make a difference... When both bottoms are clear there is a noticeable difference.

I really love to get some reliable data on this...
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:05   #8
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Re: New dinghy purchase

I was ready to shop for another dinghy...but, seems like all fox are looking for Achilles. So, I have to put some more efforts to revitilize mine - I have Achilles HB-350DX. So, will seal two remaining blowouts and will play with Yamaha..
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:55   #9
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Re: New dinghy purchase

I was amazed at how much towing mine slowed me down, I figured being a heavy displacement full keel, that little blow up boat wouldn't be noticed, but it is, cost me at least a knot too. Then I realized I was towing the thing well above its hull speed, but not fast enough to get it on plane, and the drag made sense.
Mine is a Zodiac, a 3.1 Kadet, so far it's been fine, I did chafe a hole in it, but cant blame that on the manufacturer. The PVC rub rail is beginning to deteriorate as in getting a little soft and there are a couple of gummy spots, but the Hypalon so far has been OK.
I wonder with so many being made in China, how much difference is there between the Chinese ones. I have a feeling that maybe quality of the Chinese ones may vary greatly, within the same brand.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:43   #10
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Re: New dinghy purchase

Back before I had davits and on board an earlier boat we would tow our dinghy for short distances in protected waters. During one weekend cruise I had borrowed my father-in-law's 1949 1&1/2hp antique Elgin outboard. While towing our dinghy back up the St. Johns River I had clamped the outboard on the transom in reversed position with the foot resting forward inside. We encountered a large wake from a motor vessel that flipped the outboard out. I think the leverage of the outboard flying up broke the clamps. It was difficult for me to present this loss to my wife's father.

At another time, a few years later, we were hit by a squall in the keys while towing our dinghy. I looked aft an saw the oars and floor boards flying out while our dinghy was spinning in the air.

I could have made a better choice by towing my dinghy completely empty, but I like my davits.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:02   #11
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Re: New dinghy purchase

I found if I pulled it up tight against the boat with the bow in the air so to speak, it greatly lessened drag, but I also noticed how loud the water hitting it was under sail, motoring of course no problem.
I too like my davits, then there is the theft issue of the dinghy being in the water at night.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:45   #12
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Re: New dinghy purchase

A dink is really not much of a displacement hull pushing lots of water out of the way... It won't plane when towed but it should be empty of all gear and never towed with a motor! It's a good idea to have a bridle and another line (the painter) which are long enough to position the dink to ride the downward front face of a wave... it's almost surfing down and it seems it has less drag... if that makes sense.

If you try to pull the tow line in you can see how much resistance/drag there is.
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Old 12-01-2016, 13:11   #13
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Re: New dinghy purchase

Day--avoid PVC dinks, especially used ones, as they don't last anywhere near as long as Hypalon.
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