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Old 23-12-2017, 05:43   #16
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Re: Highfield vs AB

Iím sure that the 360 will fit, what about 380?
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Old 23-12-2017, 06:03   #17
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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Originally Posted by warren460 View Post
Iím sure that the 360 will fit, what about 380?
Why don't you make a measurement ? 380 fits my L440 so it shall fit as well on your L450... That being said the dinghy touches my hulls from time to time and leaves a few black marks here & there, nothing real bad but you may not like it.
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Old 23-12-2017, 06:07   #18
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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We have had a Highfield single floor aluminum dinghy for three years and have been very happy with it.

Our reasons for picking this .....

Highfield seams are welded which are much longer lasting and stronger than glued seams.

Weight is a huge factor for us as we haul it (with motor mounted) up on the cabin trunk with a manual trailer winch.

Single floor, less weight and we see no advantage or more comfort with the double floor to get it flat.

Aluminum = Tough and light. Whether aluminum or FRP they are going to get scratched or gouged.

Speed ... an aluminum dink will be much faster to plane than the same size FRP.

Good experience with our previous aluminum Aquapro RIB lasted 15yrs and was never covered or stored indoors.
I'm not aware of any dinks with welded seams that are made of Hypalon, they are usually PVC which can't be compared with Hypalon in the longevity dept, especially in the tropics.
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Old 23-12-2017, 06:10   #19
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
A few years ago the CEO of Defender made a very good post here about RIBs after an inquiry about the quality of their RIBs. He mentioned that all of the name brands were in fact made by two factories and and in his opinion the quality was relatively uniform and that any perception of one brand being of better quality than another at the current time was misguided. He suggested focusing on features/size/price when selecting a RIB.
As I understand it both factories manufacture both glued and welded seams depending on the Brand order. Everything I've read indicates that welded seams are much better
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Old 23-12-2017, 06:25   #20
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Re: Highfield vs AB

We originally ordered a new Highfield dink in St. Maarten, we really like a lot of the features. I wanted an aluminum dink, i liked the bow locker which made a great entry step for frontal boarding...lots of nice features.
We also ordered a new Yamaha 15hp 2 stroke to go with it.
When the dink was all assembled and blown up we went over to pick it up and after a quick walk around I gave it a thumbs down. The transom welding had caused the aluminum to twist where the tubes were mounted and it almost looked like it was damaged. The store manager said that most were not like that but some were and it was just cosmetic. A careful look at the Hypalon showed lots of flaws in the fabric, probably not enough to bother anything but with the two issues on a brand new dink I gave it a pass because unfortunately they had no more in stock and I needed one immediately. I had negotiated a very good price on the pair so I wanted to stay with that particular store and ended up taking a light weight Caribe instead. We are happy with the Caribe, it's done a great job for us but if we could have purchased the Highfield without the flaws it still would have been our first choice. Over the years since we purchased we've run in to many Highfieds out there and I always give them a good eyeball and other than one other one which had the heat bend in the transom tube mount they all looked good.
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Old 23-12-2017, 06:45   #21
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Re: Highfield vs AB

The distance between the inner hulls is 11'6", you might be able to squeeze a 12ft in there but there would be plenty of bumping of outboard against the inner hull gel coat.

We have a Caribe C10X fibreglass RIB (made in Venezuela) with Electric start/tilt 20 HP 4 stroke. The dinghy lifting points do not center the dinghy between the hulls, the bow is in line with the inner port hull and there is a gap of about 18" from the stern at the inner starboard hull. So if you get a bigger dinghy make sure lifting points will allow fitment or else construct new lifting point arrangements.

Just measured the point between transoms under the longest part of the dinghy - 13 ft approx.

We had a 9 ft Highfield on our previous boat, alloy bottom 2 stroke 10 HP power,. It was a very good performer - so much better than the 3 short lived Zodiacs before it. It's power to weight ratio was excellent.

The Caribe is a really solid boat and requires all 20 HP to make it plane with 4 adults aboard, goes like a rocket with two aboard, with Sunbrellla covers it is lasting very well. It can be dragged up a beach clear of the water by two people but is not much further. It has run aground on coral and rocks, it has a scratched bottom (easily repaired). It also has a separate compartment for the fuel tank, a spare 1 gallon gas can & two life jackets - all stowed nicely away. . The tiller steer electric start/tilt is great for easy starting and coming into and exiting shallow shorelines. It will also pull start if required. Weight is the big penalty. We have an electric winch on the davits. And because it carries a battery (more weight) it powers things like NAv Lights, Hookah compressor etc.

In my view some of the rocks we have hit or rubbed up against could split alloy more readily and whilst repairable not that easy and would look messy unless welded properly, the alloy is pretty thin in places.

One further thought about alloy bottom RIBS boats is the bow section and anchor eye, sometimes the protrusion has the ability to chip the gel coat off the bottom step on a catamaran's transom.

I think when ever the Caribe dies (and that could be some time) we would like to replace with a 3.4 Highfield Alloy and keep the 20HP because power to weight would be very good., ( and be a little more careful around rocky shore lines.)
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Old 23-12-2017, 07:23   #22
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
That might have been when Caribe and AB dominated the market and were made in various South or Central American countries. Highfields are made in China and lists all their suppliers. HIGHFIELD BOATS - Aluminium Rigid Inflatable Boats It is one manufacturer that tells you where the boats are made. Caribe has a note on their website that says "Factory Venezuela".. don't know if they're still built there. Rumour has it they went to Costa Rica. Can't find where AB's are made, probably at the same factory as Caribes. Zodiacs? can't tell. Achilles -Japan and China.

About ten years ago, AB moved from Venezuela to Columbia. At the time of that change they did have some quality issues...probably new work force. I don't know if they are still in Columbia, but I just bought my third AB....Aluminum by the way.
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Old 29-12-2017, 14:12   #23
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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And what length would be ideal for the Lagoon 450?
I have a Highfield CL360 and it fits just fine on the 450.

I went with the FCT console version and Suzuki 20HP electric start, EFI Engine.

It is excellent.

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Old 29-12-2017, 15:50   #24
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Re: Highfield vs AB

Any boat with welded seams is PVC, and not as long lasting (or as repairable) as Hypalon CSM.

I’ve owned 3 AB dinghies, owned all of them long term, and recently bought an Achilles. The AB dinghies had a better hull shape (drier ride). The Achilles seems to be better craftsmanship and quality (although time will tell).
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Old 29-12-2017, 16:06   #25
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Re: Highfield vs AB

Highfield is available in hypalon.
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Old 30-12-2017, 04:46   #26
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
A few years ago the CEO of Defender made a very good post here about RIBs after an inquiry about the quality of their RIBs. He mentioned that all of the name brands were in fact made by two factories and and in his opinion the quality was relatively uniform and that any perception of one brand being of better quality than another at the current time was misguided. He suggested focusing on features/size/price when selecting a RIB.
Hi Suijin,

The 2013 thread that you are referring to, did not really reflect what you read from it. The OP in that thread [Rolenrock] was asking about construction variance between some specific brands.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f117/need-advice-on-defender-rigid-hull-inflatable-rib-boats-116441.html#post1405742

I think if you re-read my comments, I was not saying that all boats come from two factories.

As it relates to the brands that Rolenrock was inquiring about, the fabrics used comes from one of two factories, but that does not really play into an answer to the question posed in this thread, AB - vs - Highfield. A very different subject, to which I would only say that it would be a mistake for any Cruiser to buy a painted aluminum hull, as the bond between the paint and the aluminum is not always reliable. With that in mind, in my book AB comes ahead of Highfield with their unfinished alum hull, to which the Hypalon fabric can adhere well. For Cruising purposes, I would not suggest a boat that is constructed of PVC material, period.

Interesting read from Tom Hale with Sail Magazine here: https://www.sailmagazine.com/gear/decide-right-rib

Another read from Cruising World: https://www.cruisingworld.com/inflatable-decisions

For what it is worth, I am not a big fan of aluminum RIBs. They have their place, but most are not actually lighter (as proven on Defender's DOT certified pallet scale) than a similarly-sized/featured fiberglass model RIB. I find alum ribs noisy and I feel more vibration through the floor than in an FRP tender. I also can easily repair fiberglass myself, but do not have the ability to re-weld aluminum (which can be an issue for RIBs made of aluminum, been there). Just my personal opinion.

I do wish you and the entire Cruisers Forum the best in the New Year.

Sincerely,
Stephan Lance
Owner & CEO, Defender Industries, Inc.
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Old 30-12-2017, 14:01   #27
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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.....]For what it is worth, I am not a big fan of aluminum RIBs. They have their place, but most are not actually lighter (as proven on Defender's DOT certified pallet scale) than a similarly-sized/featured fiberglass model RIB. .......
I don't understand this statement. Looking at Defender's comparison list it shows AB aluminum ribs as clearly lighter than the fiberglass ones, by a significant amount.

On the PVC vs Hypalon: we had an original Aquapro made in NZ before they started making them in China (they are now back making them in NZ) It was heavy PVC and lasted 14 or 15 years. I think there are numerous grades of PVC.
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Old 30-12-2017, 14:21   #28
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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I don't understand this statement. Looking at Defender's comparison list it shows AB aluminum ribs as clearly lighter than the fiberglass ones, by a significant amount.

On the PVC vs Hypalon: we had an original Aquapro made in NZ before they started making them in China (they are now back making them in NZ) It was heavy PVC and lasted 14 or 15 years. I think there are numerous grades of PVC.
My PVC Aquapro also lasted 15yrs. I expect my 3yr. old PVC Highfield to last at least that long as it is even better built than my NZ Aquapro.
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Old 30-12-2017, 14:58   #29
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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My PVC Aquapro also lasted 15yrs. I expect my 3yr. old PVC Highfield to last at least that long as it is even better built than my NZ Aquapro.
Personally I've never seen a PVC dink last 15 years in the tropics, even Hypalon is lucky to make it if it's used a lot. I can believe a PVC dink lasting 15 years in the higher latitudes but tropics..unbelievably skeptical of that claim. I'd personally never buy a PVC dink for exclusive use in the tropics but would certainly consider one if most of its life was in the higher latitudes..If I was mixing a bit of both I'd make sure the PVC dink was covered most of its life.
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Old 30-12-2017, 15:04   #30
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Re: Highfield vs AB

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Personally I've never seen a PVC dink last 15 years in the tropics, even Hypalon is lucky to make it if it's used a lot. I can believe a PVC dink lasting 15 years in the higher latitudes but tropics..unbelievably skeptical of that claim. I'd personally never buy a PVC dink for exclusive use in the tropics but would certainly consider one if most of its life was in the higher latitudes..If I was mixing a bit of both I'd make sure the PVC dink was covered most of its life.
15yrs... half in Bahamas, half in Toronto, never deflated or covered.
Believe what you will, it has no effect on me.
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