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Old 19-11-2016, 02:29   #1
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What Brand Inflatable?

Hi, I have a 4Hp Tohatsu, and I'm in the market for a New 8ft Inflatable.
Whats a middle of the road Brand that you would recommend?
I want to be able to hoist it onboard easily so not sure an Alloy
bottom would be light enough.
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Old 19-11-2016, 03:25   #2
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxertwinjeff View Post
Hi, I have a 4Hp Tohatsu, and I'm in the market for a New 8ft Inflatable.
Whats a middle of the road Brand that you would recommend?
I want to be able to hoist it onboard easily so not sure an Alloy
bottom would be light enough.
Have you looked at Taka Cats, small and light? otherwise most makers have an air floor model or a slatted floor model in their range, good idea to buy hypalon here though
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Old 19-11-2016, 03:30   #3
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

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Originally Posted by aclmck View Post
Have you looked at Taka Cats, small and light? otherwise most makers have an air floor model or a slatted floor model in their range, good idea to buy hypalon here though
Thanks, I'll check out Taka cats, whats Hypalon, a Brand?
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Old 19-11-2016, 03:34   #4
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

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Thanks, I'll check out Taka cats, whats Hypalon, a Brand?
No not a brand its the material the tubes are made from, (they don't suffer as much sun damage as the pvc made one do) but if you buy Hypalon be sure the whole boat is Hypalon not just part of the boat, some people buy skins(chaps) to place on pvc boats but this adds a lot of weight, pve is a lot cheaper to buy though
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Old 19-11-2016, 05:18   #5
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxertwinjeff View Post
Hi, I have a 4Hp Tohatsu, and I'm in the market for a New 8ft Inflatable.
Whats a middle of the road Brand that you would recommend?
I want to be able to hoist it onboard easily so not sure an Alloy
bottom would be light enough.
A little digging might turn up an older thread from a few years ago with input from the CEO of Defender, a large marine supply company here in the states. He talked extensively about the RIB industry and pointed out that in fact all of the name brand RIBs are manufactured at just two (if I recall correctly) factories. His point was that there is pretty even quality across all the main brands.

As far as an aluminum body is concerned, keep in mind how you expect to use the RIB. If you're just using it for transportation from the boat to a relatively nearby dock, then an inflatable bottom is fine. But if you're going to go any distance, while carrying a heavier load, you're going to want a hard bottom as the RIB will plane more easily and be more comfortable and stable. Hard bottomed ribs are also easier to row, which is a significant benefit given how hard any RIB is to row in the first place.

There are lots of ways to get a heavier RIB on deck, even single-handed, with a little ingenuity. I have a fiberglass bottom 10' RIB which is heavier than an aluminum bodied one. I hoist a double tackle (a double pulley on each end) rig up with a halyard and then use the tackle to raise the RIB. At 1:4 it makes the 100 lb. RIB feel like 25 lbs, although it requires a lot of rope. It gives me a lot of control as I bring the boat aboard. No sweat.

I'll probably switch to an aluminum bottomed rib when my current one bites the dust. While more expensive, the advantages to me make it worth it.
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Old 19-11-2016, 11:17   #6
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
A little digging might turn up an older thread from a few years ago with input from the CEO of Defender, a large marine supply company here in the states. He talked extensively about the RIB industry and pointed out that in fact all of the name brand RIBs are manufactured at just two (if I recall correctly) factories. His point was that there is pretty even quality across all the main brands.

As far as an aluminum body is concerned, keep in mind how you expect to use the RIB. If you're just using it for transportation from the boat to a relatively nearby dock, then an inflatable bottom is fine. But if you're going to go any distance, while carrying a heavier load, you're going to want a hard bottom as the RIB will plane more easily and be more comfortable and stable. Hard bottomed ribs are also easier to row, which is a significant benefit given how hard any RIB is to row in the first place.

There are lots of ways to get a heavier RIB on deck, even single-handed, with a little ingenuity. I have a fiberglass bottom 10' RIB which is heavier than an aluminum bodied one. I hoist a double tackle (a double pulley on each end) rig up with a halyard and then use the tackle to raise the RIB. At 1:4 it makes the 100 lb. RIB feel like 25 lbs, although it requires a lot of rope. It gives me a lot of control as I bring the boat aboard. No sweat.

I'll probably switch to an aluminum bottomed rib when my current one bites the dust. While more expensive, the advantages to me make it worth it.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. Just bought my 31 footer and it
came with an 8' Tinnie, maybe I should just do with that until I paint
the topsides, then having more of an insight on Inflatables think about
looking for an Alloy bottom RIB...
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Old 19-11-2016, 14:10   #7
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

Take it from someone who earns his living in an inflatable- you can't beat Achilles boats.
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Old 19-11-2016, 14:29   #8
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

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Take it from someone who earns his living in an inflatable- you can't beat Achilles boats.
As a regular user I second that. My other top choice would be Avon, don't know if they're still in business.

My boat came with Achilles but it had a small slow leak which I never got around to fixing since shortly thereafter I came across a very good deal on an old Avon. Though everyone I asked told me not to get due to its old age and less than presentable condition (great anti-theft device btw ) So 4+ seasons later I'm still using that old Avon while old Achilles awaits it's patch.
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Old 19-11-2016, 14:56   #9
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

As the OP asked about "middle of the road" inflatables !!!
I had an ISLAND INFLATABLES IA 260 (air deck) for 2 years on the hook 24x7 but was lost at sea.
Now I have a Zodiac RIB which I have to get rid of because I have to cross Bass Strait and cant fit the rib on deck.
Was at the Sydney boat show recently looking at inflatables and there wasn't a boat there that was as well made as my old Korean Island Inflatables. If this sounds like I have any affiliation whatsoever then any assumption is wrong.
I'll have bought another ISLAND before I leave on Jan 3rd.
2.3 metres $1100 AUD
2.6 $1200 AUD.
Is that sufficiently middle of the road? All about definition yes?
Islands east coast distributor is in Menai NSW.
Just went to their website....ten dealers in QLD.
Hope this helps.
Oh, and a 2.0 met for a grand but the 2.0 doesn't have a seat.
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Old 19-11-2016, 15:03   #10
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

My Vote would be for a Highfield CL260 dinghy.

Light weight and quality build.

Classic 260 - Highfield Boats
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Old 19-11-2016, 15:16   #11
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

I had an 10 foot Achilles wood floor inflatable for 25 years and it was a great boat. It could plane with a 5 hp Nissan with 2 people aboard. Me at 190 lbs and my wife at 120. Sold it when I thought I was selling the sailboat. Now I'm in a market for another inflatable that is easier to assemble on deck. That wood floor was very difficult to do. I'm looking at an inflatable floor and this time pvc since it's cheaper and UV exposure will be more limited . boatstogo.com has some models
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Old 19-11-2016, 15:46   #12
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
My Vote would be for a Highfield CL260 dinghy.

Light weight and quality build.

Classic 260 - Highfield Boats
That 2.6m Highfield looks interesting, abit more attention to detail
like the storage bag & front fuel compartment. But what about the price,
haven't sourced a price yet.
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Old 19-11-2016, 15:50   #13
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
Take it from someone who earns his living in an inflatable- you can't beat Achilles boats.
I must check them out then.
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Old 19-11-2016, 15:58   #14
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

Avon 9.3. 21 years young(with excellent care) and still floating.
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Old 19-11-2016, 16:29   #15
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Re: What Brand Inflatable?

I have had great luck with both Avon and Achilles. Certainly recommended.

I think any of the larger name-brand manufacturers will work great for you.

I would suggest three things:

Get Hypalon fabric, not PVC
Bigger tube diameters are better
Buy one size larger/longer than you think you need
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