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Old 30-11-2014, 21:32   #1
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Which STYLE of inflatable?

Hello,
I am shopping for a used dinghy,

I have limited spave on deck and cannot store a RIB or hard dinghy on deck. But i do have room on deck or down below for a dinghy with a removable floor, rollup floor or inflatable floor. I have a little rollup Zodiak with slatted floor, but want to replace it.

Are the 4 section plywood floors too hard to take apart for cruising?

What are the pros and cons of an inflatable floor?

My present dinghy does not row or tow very well , so i am looking for one with an inflatable keel that can be rowed

Any suggestions or comments on the above mentioned styles of inflatable would be appreciated.

Thank-you,
Larry
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Old 30-11-2014, 23:38   #2
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

Onemoreproject,

We're located in Australia. I feel comfortable recommending the Swift hypalon dinghies, found at Sanctuary Cove in SE Queensland.

Now, if you add to your avatar your general location and the size and kind of your boat, can you see that it would help filter our answers? Sorry, don't mean to be grumpy, it's just that there's lots of folks here who like to help others, but when you don't tell us much about your situation, it really hampers good input.

Ann
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Old 30-11-2014, 23:45   #3
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

If you can find an Avon RedCrest in good condition it would be an excellent dinghy. They are relatively light, pack into a reasonable sized bag, row very well and power adequately with a 2hp motor. Rowed one around French Polynesia for a year and highly recommend one. No need of floor boards so you don't have to worry about storing those bulky items.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:08   #4
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

^^^^Yes, indeed, i quite agree. Friends had one, and it served well for years.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:12   #5
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Onemoreproject,

We're located in Australia. I feel comfortable recommending the Swift hypalon dinghies, found at Sanctuary Cove in SE Queensland.

Now, if you add to your avatar your general location and the size and kind of your boat, can you see that it would help filter our answers? Sorry, don't mean to be grumpy, it's just that there's lots of folks here who like to help others, but when you don't tell us much about your situation, it really hampers good input.

Ann
+1

I recently downsized, having a slipped disc in my back there is no substitute for lighter equipment. The new dink is only 2,3 m but Hypalon tubes and aluminum rigid hull. I like it very much, planes easily wit a 3hp Yamaha.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:07   #6
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

I have owned an avon redline hypalon it lasted without leak for almost 30 years in Canada ( 6 months a year use , no coral and no southern sun)
It's was soft bottom but didn't row too badly
I replaced it with a Zodiac RIB bottom which probably would have rowed a lot better if the oarlocks were designed properly, even with the upgraded oarlocks rowing it was a disaster Whatever inflatable you get, be sure that the oars are long enough and that the oarlocks are properly designed and placed to be effective, depending on size the dingy might also have two positions to accommodate signal or a passenger
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:20   #7
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

Choosing an Inflatable Dinghy | West Marine

Then you get into brands. Everybody has their favorites, many times in boating it's the one they've chosen, most usually 'cuz they did their homework and research. There are also honest skippers out there who share their mistakes and will tell you what NOT to buy.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:37   #8
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

The ply floors are a PITA...to get in and out, but they are the best of what you mention IMHO.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:00   #9
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The ply floors are a PITA...to get in and out, but they are the best of what you mention IMHO.
I agree. A couple of people at our home dock got rid of the air floor dinghies they had and went with wood floor versions. I put one together with a friend but we were on the dock. I don't think it would be that easy to do on the boat if you don't have room to stow it on the deck.

What about a porta boat? I hear a lot of people speaking well about them and they are not as attractive to thieves.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:29   #10
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

I have a 4 piece floored dingy and before that an inflatable floor, both about 10 feet. The downside to the inflatable floors is the higher price and the instability when standing up, getting in and out to the main boat or moving around other people. The four piece floor is fairly easy to take apart on deck, but difficult to assemble, I just have room for it and a bit of me on the foredeck walking around it. When I get a new dingy it will have an inflatable floor so I can inflate it and store it easily. However, I do prefer the stability of the wood floor. Maybe someone can comment on the slatted floors, are they easy to roll up, or roll out? Do you leave the floors in when you roll them up? Are they stable in the water like a plywood floor?

BTW, both tow well, with inflatable keel.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:54   #11
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

I had a 10' Zodiac Zoom with a 3 piece hard floor. It was distroyed in an incident in a lock and I replaced it with an 8.5' Zodiac Zoom with an inflatable floor.
Both dinghys had an inflatable keel and rowed acceptably well.
The biggest difference I found between the two was weight. The inflatable floor dinghy is much lighter (I also have a bad back).
The inflatable floor boat also rolls up into a nice package that can be stored eaisly in the V-berth without trying to find a place to store the wooden floor which was a problem with the other one. Disassembly and re-assembly are also much easier with the air floor.

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:02   #12
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

The slatted floor ones have the same issue as the inflatable floors; they get an air bubble under the dingy if you are planing. If going slow this will not be an issue. The good slatted floor ones (like Avon made- do they still?) will have slats that are connected directly to each other. The cheap ones have space between the slats. Friends of mine cruised the South Pacific with an Avon vinyl slatted floor and it worked well for them and they could roll it right up for storage. Not a bad compromise and more trouble free than an air floor.


The plywood floor dingy's are better for planing and standing in. Once you get the removal/install details down not too bad... but can be frustrating at times. You put the bow floor section in first and work aft. However, if you didn't get the bow one pushed in far enough, you cant get the last one in and you take it all out and start over! As you move back, it's also hard to get the boards in the connector piece. The whole time you are bending over the tubes which causes interference as you push the boards in....
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Old 01-12-2014, 14:52   #13
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

Hello,
Thank-you for your responses.
As requested, background information:
I am presently in Northern California. I don't use my raft very often here, but i will use the new raft when I leave for Mexico and south pacific next year.

So i anticipate deflating it and keeping it on deck, for short hops and rolling it up and keeping on deck or down below for longer passages. My rollup Zodiac has slats and rows and tows poorly. I plan on getting an Achiles brand with a keel, but have heard 4 piece floor is a pain to assemble and dissasemble. And that the inflatable floor is heavy and an additional air chamber to get holes in. The plywood floor seems to perform well but be more difficult to assemble.

What is it that people like about Avon Redcrest? Do they really row and tow well with out a reinforced floor or Keel? Does anyone know anythinng about a self inflating Avon Red Crest? That seems like a complication that is another opportunity for leaks?

Thank-you for all your help.
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Old 01-12-2014, 16:10   #14
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onemoreproject View Post
Hello,
Thank-you for your responses.
As requested, background information:
I am presently in Northern California. I don't use my raft very often here, but i will use the new raft when I leave for Mexico and south pacific next year.

So i anticipate deflating it and keeping it on deck, for short hops and rolling it up and keeping on deck or down below for longer passages. My rollup Zodiac has slats and rows and tows poorly. I plan on getting an Achiles brand with a keel, but have heard 4 piece floor is a pain to assemble and dissasemble. And that the inflatable floor is heavy and an additional air chamber to get holes in. The plywood floor seems to perform well but be more difficult to assemble.

What is it that people like about Avon Redcrest? Do they really row and tow well with out a reinforced floor or Keel? Does anyone know anythinng about a self inflating Avon Red Crest? That seems like a complication that is another opportunity for leaks?

Thank-you for all your help.
I don't get the avon redcrest thing..... it's like the very bottom of the avon line, no ridged transom.... there are a lot of good options out there. If you want something that floats and have a Redcrest with the Outboard Bracket option... then yeah... it'll work. I think maybe their point was that it will roll up more compactly than an inflatable with a rigid transom. This is the first time I've heard of a Redcrest being desireable!
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Old 01-12-2014, 16:18   #15
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Re: Which STYLE of inflatable?

No inflatable I've seen rows well.

My Avon Hypalon roll-up with vinyl floorboards is very easy to inflate or stow. Has large tubes and an inflatable keel. Wooden transom for outboard.
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