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Old 24-08-2014, 21:10   #16
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

I'm very happy with my Zodiac Compact RIB, which is the PVC version. If I were using it more intensively, I'd definitely fork out together extra for hypalon. I also agree with the comments about Achilles, you can't get better.
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Old 25-08-2014, 02:33   #17
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

Hi Neptunes Gear, Not sure if your response was general or not.
Our two new dinghies were bought having seen the exact same model on another cruisers boat. Our new dinghies (yeah, two) were bought specifically to fill our requirements. The 3.3meter (10ft 10inches) shall normally run with our 25hp Yam Enduro and be used for open sea, scuba diving, and other longer trips. If used for ship to shore then we'll be using our Yam 5hp.
The small dinghy (2.6meter, or 8ft) shall use a 15hp and be for the use of our boys - when they go to friends, go fishing, or just exploring. Its important they have their independence. Their small motor is a Yam Malta 3hp. Any trip of any distance the spare motor also goes along. Part of our safety culture, along with life jackets, harnesses, two hand held VHF's, pencil flares etc. Our big dinghy (our last was an Aquapro which came apart - Chinese made) sits with its outboard motor fitted on our aft platform (catamaran) and is well within load carrying capacity. On passage it is ready with our grab bags and water cans - all clipped in. We do not carry a life raft. The Ocean Craft is certified in Australia for rescue purposes and our tubes are foam filled to ensure flotation. We always fit an overall cover to shed any green water - never happened to us yet but better prepared. The 2.6 meter RIB shall lay upside down on the fore deck area.
We are not a heavily loaded cat - rather we have cut down on our stocks of spares for spares for yet more spares and now just have what our experience tells us to carry. We undertake thorough checks regularly, especially on our rig, sails, motors, skin fittings, electrical and water systems and replace anything we are uncomfortable with. This is not as expensive as it might sound. On our last cat we sailed for many years with minimal expense, on a very tight budget, as we started with everything in 100% condition. At the end of the day there shall always be lighter dinghies, or other alternatives. No one dinghy serves every purpose. I would not wish to take my still very serviceable 20 year old roll up 3.1 meter Avon hypalon dinghy with a 5hp for a 20 mile trip between islands in anything but flat calm conditions. However, I would be happy to take my RIB + 25hp in most conditions and know it shall take whatever nature chucks at us. The old Avon is perfect for crawling/exploring up shallow rivers, or in high loss risk area's, whilst the deep V of the RIB is totally useless for really skinny water. Its horses for courses. In my belief, the AB range are excellent, as are the New Zealand made AquaPro's. The Caribes are also excellent altho' we found them pretty heavy but solid.
To my mind, the ideal is a a deep V semi rigid and a shallow draft roll up. It really depends on storage space, weight carry capacity, the ability to lift the dinghy both ashore and on to the mother vessel, the limitations of your existing outboards motors and of course how much you wish to spend. If its a single dinghy, then I would have to compromise somewhere. I would also not take most 2.6 meter dinghies of any type across a 20 mile channel - then i would take the main yacht. However, with a 3.3m & 25hp we can zip across very quickly and quite economically without having to leave our anchorage. Notwithstanding, we did a great deal with Ocean Craft in Australia who were incredibly helpful and we are really looking forward to receiving our two new semi-custom ducks. Being 100% aluminium also makes them pretty unique and that hopefully shall reduce the likelihood of someone else wishing to acquire either of them. My last comment is that regardless of what dinghy is bought, we have found that adding fold down big fat transom wheels makes a big difference when beaching the duck.
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Old 25-08-2014, 06:28   #18
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

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Juan de where?






Mark, it's called the Straights of Juan de Fuca. It's between Washington State and Vancouver Is., Canada.

We love our 10 yr old Aquapro. Takes a beating!


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Old 25-08-2014, 07:20   #19
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

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I think Avon Jet is best. At least it is best of what we have used.

b.
We have one Avon Jet, a 330 Seasport. We have several Williams since Avon no longer sells in the US. We love them all. If I was getting an outboard rib, I'd put Novurania at the top of my list. Now they may not go down as small as the OP may be wanting.
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Old 25-08-2014, 07:54   #20
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

You sometimes get what you pay for......

AB VS 10'6" with Lehr 15 hp
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:56   #21
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

AB, Highfield and a new brand TUG all have aluminum double bottom boats and are the three brands that I would consider purchasing. The lady that runs TUG has worked for Caribe and AB; she knows her business and they were a little cheaper.

All of the ribs that I have seen were double bottom boats. You can purchase a fiberglass rib and they weigh a little more and seem to not holdup to beaching and heavy use as well as an aluminum bottom RIBs. Just stay away from painted aluminum bottom RIBs; the paint seems to peel away after several years of use around the tubes. Fiberglass RIBs are a good choice, just not as light and durable as aluminum. Your choice, I would be happy with either bottom material. The fiberglass will wear out about the same time that the RIB becomes useless to repair.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:10   #22
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

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It seems if you want an aluminum RIB, then the higher priced ones seem to be better, but since you seem to want a GRP, then maybe not.
I've been very pleased with our Zodiac, build quality seems excellent and if I remember correctly on the data plate it says made in China, but then the motor I put on it, a Suzuki was made in Singapore or Malaysia, not Japan.


I want to update this.
About a year or two after making this statement the dinghy began to fall apart, the fabric was fine, everything glued to it however was falling off.
The the fabric began to come apart where it was glued together, faced with what I thought was certainly going to be a catastrophic tube failure, and having tried to get it repaired at a professional repair station to be told ďI canít fix that, itís too widespreadĒ
We bought an AB.

Too bad the Zodiac began to fall apart, I still think it was a very well designed boat, just apparently poorly manufactured.
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Old 05-03-2019, 00:30   #23
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Re: Rib dinghies, which is the 'best of the rest'?

Mark, the Ocean Craft are built quite differently. They tend to be very beamy AND with big diameter tubes. I bought two of these and still have them both many, many years later. We bought a family Ďduckí and a kids one. The family one is 3.4m and the kids one in 2.8m. Both can take 30hp. Both will troll along with 3.5hp.
Honestly, I cannot say Iíve come across a better dinghy anywhere. The down side is the weight - heavier than the manufacturer claimed. We have four engines, all Yamaha 2-strokes; 25hp enduro, 15hp enduro, 5hp and a 3.5hp Malta.
Yes: it was a lot to drag around but it also gave massive safety. If the kids were going off exploring / fishing several miles away they would use Ďtheirí 15hp and take the Malta with them as a back up. They only once used it when they took out their 15hp prop on a bommie - they simply poodled back across open sea for six miles using the Malta.
Now the wife is no more, and the kids have grown Iíll be selling the smaller Ocean Craft - it is fitted out with a few nice extras like a Bimini frame and sealed compartments for fishing rods etc.
I am a firm believer in having two outboards - one big and one small. And to use a crane, halyard etc to secure / lift them.


QUOTE=MarkJ;1607620]Theres more ABs in the Caribbean than Caribs.
With the other cheaper brands make sure if you are comparing Hypolon with PVC.

PVC with chaps should be ok. Shorter life.

Watch aluminium hulls, they are much narrower than the equivalent priced light fibreglass.[/QUOTE]
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