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.
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.