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Old 11-10-2019, 14:46   #46
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Iím the guy with the Achilles LSO-290e. I forgot to mention that the points made by others about RIBs and hard dinghies are mostly all valid, BUT my choice was also influenced by the relatively light weight (about 80 pounds) and ability to pack it away. While my dinghy mostly lives on the davits I definitely wanted a dinghy that could be stored secured on deck for offshore passages. With my 34í Crealock34 that rules out RIBs and hard dinghies. Thereís just not room for one on deck. If you have a larger primary craft and/or muscular crew maybe you could get a more rigid dinghy on deck, but I would not consider doing an offshore passage with the dinghy on davits. One big wave from astern and youíve got a major problem.
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Old 11-10-2019, 15:19   #47
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

We have a fibreglass RIB Achilles - it’s done okay on a 5 yr circumnavigation, but one of our buddies had a Highfield aluminum RIB - same size, same hp, similar loads - the Highfield rode WAY better in chop. Construction of both is very good. If I was doing it again, I’d buy a Highfield.
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Old 11-10-2019, 16:59   #48
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Walker Bay is "not great" on warranty. After problems went with Achilles glad I did. Great dingy 9yrs old no problems.
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Old 11-10-2019, 19:24   #49
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I had a 2 metre hypalon inflatable with airdeck floor made for me in China last October. Shipped to me in Australia cost was just over AU$1600.00 Need to be careful and very specific in your communication ( I bought thru Alibaba) e.g.. they row in a forward facing position so needed seat placed up forward. They sent full pics prior to dispatch/shipping.
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Old 11-10-2019, 20:18   #50
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

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Originally Posted by jibstay View Post
Weíve been impressed with the quality and performance of our Highfield.

I second that. We have a Highfield Reef 390 we use with our school Ketch. It gets used a lot and has held up well. It is 3.9M long and has an aluminum bottom, absolutely necessary when beaching frequently.

https://www.highfieldboats.com/
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Old 11-10-2019, 20:20   #51
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

The bottom line on my inflatable dinghy got worn out on the rocky sand!
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Old 11-10-2019, 22:12   #52
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I like my Achilles RIB, 9'2" With a Tohatsu 9.8. Will plane quite nice w/ 2 people that weigh around 150lbs apiece. I also use the Hydro Plane on the outboard. Only downside I have is with the weight, and mine has no Bow locker. A Bow locker would be a plus. I believe some of the newer models have that now.....
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:51   #53
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Moments ago, we watched the Dashew video about launching and retrieving their dinghy.
I believe this eight minutes could help your decision.

The Dashew 78-1 dinghy system is on its seventeenth version, and they believe this's the final version.

For their dinghy, they settled on a RIB with staple-rails and weather cover.
Their dinghy doubles as their life-raft, <three minutes to launch, about four minutes to retrieve.

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Old 12-10-2019, 10:55   #54
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Great thread. I am getting ready to buy one in the next month or so. I had not considered some of the options out there. I had just assumed fiberglass RIB but am re-thinking, maybe something a bit more civilized.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:41   #55
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Have you consider making your own with Nidacore or Plascore? It would be very light, you will have to design it like those catamaran dinghies. If you are handy is very doable. I have a set of pictures for how to build one more or less. Of course it would be rigid.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:45   #56
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

We consider either Highefild or AB around 2.9 m/9 ft with double bottom. I'm trying to understand the difference in ability to bail out water. AB seems to have a bigger/wider opening between the floor and bottom, and much lighter. Any comments from users would be appreciated.
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Old 12-10-2019, 23:36   #57
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

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In my experience with my own dinghies and friends that owned them, because the air floor needs a relatively much higher air pressure, if they get a leak, they’re near impossible to fix. I have a connection with two people who operate dingy repair services and neither will repair an air floor.

My present dingy had an air floor, I’ve replaced it with my own home-made plywood floor after several attempts at fixing a leak. Much happier now. Will never own another air floor.
The air floor in my hypalon Achilles (3 years old) is rated for the same pressure as the tubes, about 3 PSI. No floor leaks yet. Prior to this one I had a PVC Mercury Air Deck that inflates to 11PSI, it would get pin hole leaks in the floor as it aged. I was able to patch the floor, The blue glue that used to cement PVC sprinkler pipe together worked particularly well. It lasted 9 years before it literally came apart.

Both were stored in a locker.

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Old 13-10-2019, 08:55   #58
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I've had a west marine Hypalon RIB for at least 10 years; maybe 15. The past 5 years have been winters on the Sea of Cortez and summers deflated and safely stored away from the Sun. It still holds air and has never been a problem. It planes with one person and our little 6 hp. It will handle our 15 hp but that seems like too much power.
I recommend a hard bottom because of rocks, barnacles, shells, and other stuff that will slice inflatable tubes and bottoms.
I like to catch fish with traditional fishing pole and I seldom fish from the inflatable because all ocean fish have sharp chutes, spines, and teeth. Any mistake with a fish could slice open a tube.
Next season I will carry a port-a-bote and I might retire the RIB, or carry one on deck and one on the arch.

I had the arch built high enough that the dingy is high above the following seas. This is important to deter thieves as well as safety when sailing. (I would use the foredeck for a real ocean crossing or storm conditions.) When underway, I lash the dingy so there is no motion; no chafe. When anchored, I have a chain and lock plainly in in sight to let thieves know it is locked and the outboard is chained up.
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Old 13-10-2019, 09:14   #59
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The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Quote:
Originally Posted by elci View Post
We consider either Highefild or AB around 2.9 m/9 ft with double bottom. I'm trying to understand the difference in ability to bail out water. AB seems to have a bigger/wider opening between the floor and bottom, and much lighter. Any comments from users would be appreciated.


I would have bought a Highfield except they will not sell a bare aluminum one. I understand shipping and stocking two different models cuts into the bottom line, but I mistrust powder coat. I feel that it will eventually begin to flake off.
My Zodiac had a flat bottom interior that was sealed from the outer hull. Well you know how well sealed works, I initially put in an inspection plate with the intent of getting the water out that way only to find that it had interior walls to reinforce the floor, which of course trapped water, I then installed an exterior drain plug in the hull and had to stand the boat on end to drain it.

The AB, and Iím sure the highfield are much, much better. Be sure to get a boat that you can store the fuel tank in the bow locker and run the fuel hose between the hulls, the helps with CG and opens up a lot of space in the hull for carrying stuff.
The Zodiac and the AB were the same size but the interior capacity difference is huge, the AB seems to have twice the capacity.
If you can run a fuel hose through between the hulls, then that is enough space for water to get through no problem.

The AB is a very deep Vee hull, this makes it much drier than a flatter bottom boat and it rides much more smoothly in waves as the V tends to cut through them as opposed to ride over them.
The downside is speed, our Zodiac even though it was heavier, was much, much faster than our AB, I donít mean a kt or two, it was 10 kts faster, but only in flat water, unless you didnít mind flying in rough water.
If you go with an AB I would suggest the biggest engine itís rated to carry. For our 10í6Ē AB to plane four adults takes a 10Ē prop on our 20 HP motor, with only two aboard it will hit its rev limiter then, so I keep an 11Ē prop on it, but it wonít plane four. I believe a 15 HP motor it wouldnít plane four average Americans, you know, largish people. The 20 HP is the largest it is certified for.

To drain water from the boat, get it just on plane, bow high and remove the plug, the water will drain on its own, put the plug back in when itís dry.
If there is so much water that it wonít plane, then you have to pump most of it out first, a simple PVC lift pump is great for this.

They donít self bail, that is a boat whoís floor is above waterline and it has open holes so that the water simply runs out, but the floor must be above waterline of course or water would run back in.
A self bailing dinghy would be great, but you would lose a lot of interior room and you have to have a sealed floor, which usually means a bilge and a bilge pump.
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Old 14-10-2019, 18:03   #60
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I bought an Avon RIB 10' in 2007. No sooner left on a winter cruise from Maine (where I bought it) and it began leaking. At the Annapolis boat show the Avon rep dismissed me saying something to the effect "you know how after you get your boat re-painted, the first dock you approach, you put a scratch in it? Probably the same thing." Not so. It was a seam leak at the very aft end of the port tube. He had no interest in helping me.

In Charleston I managed to get it repaired under warranty, but the repair failed the day before we headed across to the Bahamas. Spent the winter pumping it up twice a day.
Finally got it repaired the following summer back in Maine.

Since then (6 years in the Caribbean) it has been great. But I won't be looking at Avon again due to their poor customer service.
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