Originally Posted by graham2
If you go with an inflatible I'd recomend NOT Zodiac which is a PVC plastic and delaminates after a few years. Avon tenders, esentially the same company, are made of a much more durable plastic.
The decision of PVC or Hypalon is locality-driven. Hypalon is a soft rubber and handles sun reasonably well. PVC is a harder plastic and handles abrasion well.
In the Pacific Northwest
there are a lot of barnacles
and rocks on the beaches and not a heck of a lot of sun - PVC becomes the best choice. In the Caribbean
the beaches are mostly soft sand/crushed coral
and a huge amount of sun - hypalon becomes the better choice.
As an aside, Hypalon is synthetic rubber, not a plastic.
To add to the dinghy-type discussion, my Avon R3.10 died after 20 years use in California
(the hypalon become porous). It had the 3-section plywood floor and was always a pain to put together and take apart, so I wanted a roll-up floor dinghy that would stow in a sail bag and I could drop down the forward hatch
. At that same time Avon ceased making the roll-up dinghy! Rats! So I purchased an Achilles hypalon LSR rollup aluminum floor dinghy - it's worked great, though the dinghy is heavy when lifted with the floorboards inside of it. After the dinghy is rinsed out (anchor locker washdown pumps fitted to a short garden hose are good for squirting sand out of dinghies), rolled up and bagged, I use the spinnaker halyard
to hoist up the bag, open the hatch
, and lower the dinghy down into the forepeak where it stands on end, lashed to a bulkhead. Works a treat for a singlehander.