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Old 19-08-2019, 00:20   #1
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Dinghy Floor Type


To be up front about this I am 60 year Old and overweight, I am trying to work out which Dinghy would be good for me and the wife, as we want to anchor more.

Im looking at a 230 or 240 in size.

Would you go for a Alumininum floor, Airdeck or other that I perhaps havent thought off, I need it so I can get in and out easy onto the sugar scoop at the back.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 19-08-2019, 00:59   #2
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

Do you have room to go a bit bigger, the 270 series have a lot more room and more stable. We have just replaced a flat bottom dinghy which steering like a wonky shopping trolley with a busted wheel. We always made it to the harbour wall, just was never sure which wall we would reach. That said we have just bought an old Avon Redcrest, being round tailed it stores much smaller infront of the mast, steering will still be ponderous but we never have to go more than a few hundred yards by dinghy.

So I would certainly go for a v bottom dinghy.

Perhaps more important, were are you going to store it at sea?


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Old 19-08-2019, 01:20   #3
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

My personal experience is that it is best to avoid “air floor” dingies. The floor is pumped really hard and has very small volume compared to the boat. A tiny leak is very hard to fix (high pressure) and when it leaks it goes very soft very quickly (small volume).

We have a 3.2m dingy that was an “air floor” which we ditched after many attempts (home and professional) to repair leaks and replaced with a simple plywood three-piece floor. To avoid edges damaging the tubes I glued split plastic tubing along the edges. Very happy with the result.

Depends also on the area you cruise. If I was to replace, it would definitely be a GRP RIB. We cruise a lot amongst coral and soft bottoms are really vulnerable. In New Zealand there is growing demand for aluminium RIBs but we’ve had reports of them marking the deck quite badly. If your shore destinations are mostly sandy beaches soft bottom is OK.

If you’re doing a soft bottom with the inflatable keel, go for interlocking aluminium floors.
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Old 19-08-2019, 01:59   #4
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

Get a RIB. The others just won't last as long. It's also much more stable under foot.
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Old 19-08-2019, 09:26   #5
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

Check these out:
Rand and Ellens/v Golden Glow
Anteres 44i a Glorious Good Day starts w a sunrise over a new bay...
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Old 19-08-2019, 09:52   #6
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

I’ve had all three types of floors on 10’ foot dinghies. An Avon with plywood floor (didn’t last long), a Saturn (Miami) with a air floor, (absolute rubbish, CassidyNZ is right), and now a Caribe RIB with a double skin fibreglass floor (fabulous).
For a person who self confesses to being overweight (by how much?) there is only one answer—a RIB. I weigh 220 lbs and can actually jump into the Caribe and not slip or tip it over. I couldn’t risk that with either of the other two floors, especially the air floor.

RIBs also steer better and, (for normal people that is), plane better with a smaller motor.
RIBS are heavier, but not that much, and new they cost more, they also can’t easily be lifted or stowed on a deck. But I consider it is my transport in all types of seas, and might someday be my second liferaft, so you get what you pay for.
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Old 19-08-2019, 10:07   #7
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

We had a very old Avon with a double fiberglass hull. It was incredibly rugged but heavy. We recently bought a hypalon Highfield RIB with double aluminum floor. It is also very rugged, but quite a bit lighter than the Avon.

For stability and the ability to carry people and goods to the boat while at anchor, I would recommend an aluminum floor. Can you imagine some day carrying batteries to the boat in a dinghy with an inflatable floor?

Best of luck.

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Old 19-08-2019, 16:51   #8
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Re: Dinghy Floor Type

This spring had to ditch my 2004 Avon 260 airfloor dinghy. It lasted 16 seasons in KY Lake and one season in SW Florida on a cruise we took. I liked the air floor but am going to replace it with a double floor Hypalon Highfield Classic 260 or 290. Problem with air floors is that once it hits the cold water, the air pressure goes down. Any water in the dinghy and when you step in, you make a low spot and your feet get wet. Summer it’s ok, spring and fall and you have cold feet. The two floor Highfield will keep your feet dry. I also like the bow locker so I can keep an anchor there permanently. It’s a lot heavier, but I use my spinnaker halyard and winch my dinghy up to place on deck. I don’t think that will be much more effort with the extra weight. While cruising, we tow it behind the boat but without the motor. I think the aluminum hull should actually track better than my air floor. We never have had a stability problem towing, but some have. If conditions got to the point where I was concerned it might flip, I’d quit towing and put back on the foredeck. The concern about marking the deck is a real consideration and one I might regret. For now, I think I can handle it.

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