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Old 17-08-2006, 06:31   #1
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Problem with Achilles Dink

The thread on the Mercury problems reminded me that I should write about the problems with my Achilles dink. It is an '05 model that I bought in November of '04. The only difference between an '04 and an '05 is the addition of an "inside the bow" lifting eye.

I keep the boat in davits, exposed to full sun. Most of the boat has been just fine. The fabric and transom have held up very well, and It fits my family of four with some gear and can still manage to plane with our 9.8 hp two stroke.

The problem I have had is with the grab handle rope attachments. The ropes run up the sides of the dink and are used as handles when riding or holding the boat along side a dock. The rope is attached to small d-rings that are held on by narrow webbing that is glued to the the tubes with hypalon patches.

http://www.achillesinflatables.com/i...104large05.jpg

Within five months the webbing showed degradation from UV. It had turned from a nice gray to nearly white and began to crumble apart. By seven months they had failed completely, letting the d-rings and rope fall free. The nearest repair center is about 200 miles away from me. I boxed the dink and sent it to them via UPS. They said they had never seen anything like it. They had to get new attachment assemblies sent from Japan. It took nearly two months to finally get the boat back. This was not a fault of the repair center, it just took that long to get teh parts sent to them.

Although the repair was covered under warranty, shipping both ways cast me over $100 for the 60+ pound package. To top it off, the new parts are exactly like the old parts. Within 6 months they also were showing signs of UV damage. To help fix the problem I recently glued small pieces of hypalon over the webbing to keep the sun off. This should be enough to halt the problem. If I do have to fix them again, I'll either replace them with glue on handles or with d-rings that don't use webbing.

If you are buying an Achilles LSI air floor, beware of this material flaw for the lower latitudes.

Woody
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:06   #2
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Hmm, I have been thinking of getting an Achilles LS 104, perhaps I should reconsider...?

A 2007 model runs about $1980.00 on the internet, slightly more in town.

Perviously I had decided on a Mercury Hypalon 310, but after reading about the warranty problems I am getting cold feet on theMercury as well.

Anybody else with good or bad experience when it comes to the Achilles dinks and their customer support/warranty...?
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:55   #3
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My hypalon Achilles is so-so.

I'm happy with the low UV degradation (high lats and stored over the winter 2 years).

I'm unhappy with the aluminum floor and its attachment to the transom. There is a little strip of fabric there that sheared long LONG ago. So now the aluminum floor flaps around like a fish out of water when I plane. Because it flaps, it loses these little rubber end caps, which puts sharp, jagged bare aluminum against the hypalon during the flapping.

It's a real nuisance. I have to wedge the little rubber ends back into the aluminum floor on basically every ride I take.

Other than that, it's been zero maintenance.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:24   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
It's a real nuisance. I have to wedge the little rubber ends back into the aluminum floor on basically every ride I take.
That must have made each of your trips ferrying the lookey-loos to and from your vessel that much more fun, Sean.

TaoJones
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Old 11-07-2007, 15:07   #5
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we have an LSI-112 and it has been in continuous service in the tropics for the past four years - we tow it everywhere between the islands. we have not experienced any degradation of the tow points or other attachments. the cheap poly hand lines have been replaced. overall we are very pleased with the with the dinghy. it may not be as fast with the air floor but is certainly more comfortable
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Old 11-07-2007, 16:51   #6
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That must have made each of your trips ferrying the lookey-loos to and from your vessel that much more fun, Sean.

TaoJones
Oh yes... it added tremendously to the joy of providing lookey-loos with a pleasant Sunday afternoon on the water.
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Old 11-07-2007, 20:36   #7
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I got a Mercury Hypalon Airdeck 340 and I would recommend it. It is a really well done boat. It's nicer than the Avon and the Achilles in my opinion. It is very light and handles chop well. 3 adults can plane with a 8hp two stroke evinrude.
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Old 11-07-2007, 20:42   #8
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I got a Mercury Hypalon Airdeck 340 and I would recommend it. It is a really well done boat. It's nicer than the Avon and the Achilles in my opinion. It is very light and handles chop well. 3 adults can plane with a 8hp two stroke evinrude.
Hmm, good news.

Have ya had any warranty problems, or warranty issues?
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:54   #9
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I can't comment as far as warranty issues go. The dinghy has had no problems. It has a 5 year warranty and another 5 years of warranty that are pro rated. I hope I will never have to use either.

I always deflate the dinghy when not in use.
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