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Old 01-03-2018, 13:46   #16
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

While I agree that it would be difficult to get going I am a little more optimistic for you - but only if you offer something different. IMHO none of the current big players offer an optimal package for cruisers. My choice is a 270 aluminum RIB (just ordered from Zodiak). Since I don't plan on more long distance cruising in the future I cheaped out with PVC; otherwise I would have ordered Hypalon as I have on my 23 year old AB.

What to do differently?

Put clamps or straps for oars on the inside of the tubes - storing them on the top of the tubes is quite literally a PITA because that is where we sit, unless rowing. And make sure the oarlocks mount well aft of the seat - 8"-10" IIRC but do check. My AB dinghy had them almost beside the seat so impossible to row - I had them moved. And include strong, long oars with oarlocks that can adjust so the dinghy can row well. I had oarlocks machined to fit the sockets on the dinghy so I could use my 8' spruce spoon-tips - much better than the silly little aluminum things included (and still used as backup with the motor).

Put strong flat straps on the top of the tubes, for holding onto while motoring or sitting on. If rope is used then mount on the inside top so not uncomfortable to sit on.

Put mount in bow for securing the Moeller 6BOW fuel tank. This not only makes more space in the middle, it helps balance against the weight of the outboard. And provide hooks or straps for organizing the fuel hose so we don't step on the hose and have it roll under the foot. Also, make it so the front lifting point (absolutely required) will allow a lifting harness to work without having to move said 6BOW tank. Also, the two stern lift points should either be fitted so they can be used for towing, or include towing eyes as well.

By all means do something for proper legal lighting. A socket on the transom for a mast with an all-round white light and a mount on the bow for a bi-color standard would be great. I installed (incandescent) AquaSignal nav lights on my old dinghy, with a lighting kit on the outboard (produced 12VAC so not useful for LEDs), I have purchased a Navisafe LED kit for the new dinghy, which looks to be a good solution. However the adhesive for the bow mount has failed for some, almost certainly because of inadequate prep; if that were included and glued down properly (not double-sticky tape) that would be great. The lights need not be included standard, just the mounts.

All RIBs should have reinforcing braces between transom and floor, for those who do power (or over-power). At least on the smaller ones, stick with a simple hull with internal non-skid - a second flat layer isn't needed and doesn't justify the weight (and makes it harder to clean).

At least on the smaller dinghies don't include the rigid storage box - it adds too much weight and makes it harder to stow. Fabric storage bags can be optional.

Offer a proper, fitted operating cover (chaps) of Sunbrella or similar to protect the tubes from sun and wear while in use.

Including mounting points on the transom for launching wheels would be desirable; the wheels themselves could be optional. But please don't even consider the 5" wheels - they just dig furrows in the sand. Fine for launching ramps, but we are talking about cruisers here.

If you can provide a nice mounting surface for numbers/"S/Y XXX" that would be good. But actually providing the numbers themselves would be a problem - think purchase, get HIN, title, register, get numbers assignment, then make/glue numbers, finally ship - too awkward.

I'm sure others can recommend more adaptations for cruisers. With a turnkey package for cruisers you have a chance at a modest business. Taking on the big boys directly, not so much.

Greg
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Old 01-03-2018, 14:08   #17
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

I'm about 90% sure that the brand the OP is talking about is called "Solar Marine" because the dinghy lengths and manufacturing location match the models they produce. I paid $280 for the 2.3m slat floor model despite the likely quality issues because respectable models were outside my price range. Here's an example of what's available retail: https://m.aliexpress.com/item/326557...resistant-boat

I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it takes 4-5 days for the boat to lose noticeable air pressure. Accessories and component parts are super cheap as you would expect. I wound up making wooden seats myself because I wasn't happy with the foam cushions provided. The lack of capacity plates and hull numbers also pose complications.
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Old 01-03-2018, 14:51   #18
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

If you are going to import something you really believe in, have a warranty and emphasize it and stand by it. Inflatables can have one bad seam and cause a nightmare for your future customers.

People want a dealer that will resolve their problem quickly and effectively. If your manufacturing company is sloppy or ineffective, you will have a lot of headaches.
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Old 01-03-2018, 14:58   #19
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

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I'm about 90% sure that the brand the OP is talking about is called "Solar Marine" because the dinghy lengths and manufacturing location match the models they produce. I paid $280 for the 2.3m slat floor model despite the likely quality issues because respectable models were outside my price range. Here's an example of what's available retail: https://m.aliexpress.com/item/326557...resistant-boat
Great research, however I have no idea what you are talking about sorry! The lengths chosen in my opening post appear to be the most common size of RIB available, hence why I chose them and added the suggested HP ranges. $280 sounds very cheap especially if that included freight. Foam seats? Sounds like a very low cost unit and not something that I would be looking at working with.

Thanks so much for the comments everyone, I'll reply in more detail after I've taken one of the kids to the doctor this morning.
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Old 01-03-2018, 15:24   #20
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

Someone else mentioned warranty service and to me that is one of the most considerations. Going with a name brand usually provides such service whereas smaller unknown providers can have the talk but can they do the walk. I was looking at Saturn dinghies and the customer comments which seemed very sparse and the few that were posted were overly positive. Seemed like it was a marketing ploy to me. Best of luck in your business. If done properly and having a good manufacturing base with good quality control and good service can do wonders.
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Old 01-03-2018, 15:36   #21
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

Now that warranty has been mentioned several times, what type of warranty claims do you think are the most common?

Or... do you think that most of the issues to dinghies are damage related and requiring repair?

Thus... I'm thinking the warranty versus service/repair may cases may be very small. Thus dealer network becomes less of an importance but still a consideration.

I'm imagining that no amount of supplied spares or dealer network will help if you tear the transom off on at the Galápagos Islands, many miles from anywhere.

Edit: Saturn appear to be Chinese built with Korean PVC.
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Old 01-03-2018, 15:52   #22
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post

What to do differently?

Put clamps or straps for oars on the inside of the tubes - storing them on the top of the tubes is quite literally a PITA because that is where we sit, unless rowing.
Something like this? well tucked in underneath.

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Old 01-03-2018, 15:56   #23
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

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Something like this? well tucked in underneath
Yes, that is one way. My only concern would be for the life of the Velcro. I added a molded rubber clamp to my AB - the oars just snapped in, nothing to close. A bit bulkier but very durable. Edit: I will probably use your approach on the new dinghy.

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Old 01-03-2018, 15:59   #24
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausaviator View Post
Now that warranty has been mentioned several times, what type of warranty claims do you think are the most common?

Or... do you think that most of the issues to dinghies are damage related and requiring repair?

Thus... I'm thinking the warranty versus service/repair may cases may be very small. Thus dealer network becomes less of an importance but still a consideration.

I'm imagining that no amount of supplied spares or dealer network will help if you tear the transom off on at the Galápagos Islands, many miles from anywhere.

Edit: Saturn appear to be Chinese built with Korean PVC.
There will be damage to repair. But I can tell you most warranty claims will be for material failure (usually UV related) seam failures, and general slow leaks. The more complicated the boat the more things to worry about.
How much any of this will cost will depend highly on how well the boats made and how long the warranty is.

Also most of inflatable sellers bring in containers full to keep costs down but that means your into it for a container load of boats some time on the spring or winter.
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Old 01-03-2018, 16:00   #25
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

Island Hopper, do they clip into plastic oar locks or do you have to put a pin of some kind through them with a securing nut of sorts?


I've noticed some Chinese PVC dinghys are coming with a 3 year warranty so they must have some confidence in their fabrics which is a good thing. Who knows if the seller will still be around in 3 years though !
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Old 01-03-2018, 16:08   #26
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

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Island Hopper, do they clip into plastic oar locks or do you have to put a pin of some kind through them with a securing nut of sorts?
I'll jump in and point out that if you look closely you will see a SS pin laying flat, facing aft from the gray adjustable ring. Usually these pins have a slot and a circular race. The dinghy has a simple socket with a small pin. When the large pin is inserted into the socket, with the oars backwards then turned right, the oars are locked onto the sockets. That is what my old AB has and I like it a lot. What I don't like is the lack of ability to feather the oars, which apparently isn't an issue for you. Edit: confused you with another poster, sorry.
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Old 01-03-2018, 16:12   #27
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

Unless you get large and have a wide service network I'm not so sure a long warranty is that important. Quality is very important, as word will get around either way. FWIW I bought my dinghy in Venezuela and never gave a second thought to a worldwide warranty. Other than seams most defects will be clear very early, and seams can usually be repaired anywhere (glued seams). The welded seams may be different - I don't have experience there.
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Old 01-03-2018, 16:29   #28
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

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Island Hopper, do they clip into plastic oar locks or do you have to put a pin of some kind through them with a securing nut of sorts?
The oars have a SS/Plastic pin which slots into the holder affixed to the top of the Hypalon tube, you actually have to have the business end inboard when inserting the pin, then when you swing it out it is locked in....





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Old 01-03-2018, 16:31   #29
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

Pretty much ^^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
I'll jump in and point out that if you look closely you will see a SS pin laying flat, facing aft from the gray adjustable ring. Usually these pins have a slot and a circular race. The dinghy has a simple socket with a small pin. When the large pin is inserted into the socket, with the oars backwards then turned right, the oars are locked onto the sockets. That is what my old AB has and I like it a lot. What I don't like is the lack of ability to feather the oars, which apparently isn't an issue for you. Edit: confused you with another poster, sorry.
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Old 01-03-2018, 16:48   #30
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Re: Your ideal inflatable tender - please reply

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Pretty much ^^^^
And here is what I use with the sweeps:

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