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Old 30-04-2014, 14:22   #1
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PVC inflatable Dinghies - throwaway

We bought our 40 foot Gulfstar Sailmaster 4 years ago (2010). It came with a 9 foot inflatable BALTIK dinghy with a high pressure inflatable floor. It was made of PVC. It worked well for 3 seasons with a 5 HP mercury outboard. We keep our boat in Cocoa Village Florida and we use our boat in the spring and fall. We store the roll-up Dinghy in its case when we are not using it.

This spring, 2014, we unrolled the Dinghy, inflated it and noticed that the seams were coming apart in a few places, but it didn't look like the integrity of the Dinghy was compromised. We attached the motor and took off north to St. Augustine, with Dinghy in tow. At St Augustine, after one ride from the mooring field to the dock, the transom began separating from the sides as the glue just started to peel away. we made it back to our boat, but the seams continued to fail and we just barely saved the engine from departing with the transom to the bottom of the harbor.

We were advised by two repair services that inflatables made with PVC and with glued seams tend to come apart after 4-6 years in a Florida type environment. The conclusion is that this PVC dinghy, while inexpensive ($800-$1,000), should be considered a throwaway after this time period. If you want a dinghy that last you will need to invest about double the amount paid for a Baltik.

Mamieliz and Pablo
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