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Old 18-02-2013, 19:57   #1
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Highfield Dinks? Info/Opinions Wanted!

We are looking at purchasing a new Highfield aluminum dink. The "Classic 310" model is one of particular interest to us.

Does anyone know anything about this brand or model? Has anyone even heard of these?

We have never heard of this brand, but they look really nice.

Thanks for your opinions!
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:27   #2
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

Quickly looking at their website they are a cheaper range designed by Australian firm Swift marine built in China using PVC tubes. The Swift range is similar but uses Hypalon.

Quote:
Highfield Inflatables have evolved from many years of development in some of the toughest conditions in the world, the Great Barrier Reef of tropical Northern Australia. They are a direct descendant of the Australian Swift (www.swiftmarine.com.au) range of aluminium hulled RIBs now in service for over 20 years. Swift has supplied boats for leisure as well as professional uses with most of Australia's Water Police and government agencies having a number of Swift RIBs in their fleet. Tough, reliable and thoroughly tested, Highfield comes to you with a champions pedigree.
No actual experience with either brand. Certainly Al hulled RIB's are the way and favoured on the Australian Great barrier Reef rather than Fibreglass hulls.

Cheers
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Old 19-02-2013, 05:43   #3
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

Thanks for the reply. I did find out that the Highfield is made by the Hi Fei inflatable company in China. (Weihai Hifei Marine CO.,LTD.--- Hifei Inflatable Boat-) The Classic 310 model I am interested in comes in PVC or Hypalon. I would choose the Hypolon one.

They seem well built on the exterior. The welds on the aluminum hull all look clean, lifting pad eyes are well constructed as well as the transom reinforcements. The 17" tube seams are all looking good.

Features are nice with double floor, fwd locker, 2 removable seats, oars and oarlocks of decent construction, fuel tank tie down mounts, keel protector and rub rails, and the hull inside and out is white powder coated. There are oar storage tabs built inside the boat. And there is reinforcement bars on the backside of the transom that one could easily attach zincs if needed.

These are just a few of the things I noticed. The price is more than competitive. The dealer is including 2 under-seat storage bags, a boat cover, and an upgraded hand pump over the original foot pump All this with free delivery right to my marina.
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Old 19-02-2013, 06:19   #4
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

Lagoon is now supplying Highfield dinks if you buy a new catamaran. We bought the 310 with our Lagoon 450 and we really like it. We've had it about 15 months and it is holding up well.
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Old 19-02-2013, 06:30   #5
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

I was just at the Miami Boat Show and saw them on the back of the Lagoons. There was a sticker on the side that said, "Highfield for Lagoon."

I appreciate your reply. I do have a couple of questions if you don't mind.

1) I have an 8hp Merc 4-stroke. Do you feel that is enough engine? What are you using?

2) How is the powder-coat on the hull holding up? Any dings or peeling?

Thanks
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Old 20-02-2013, 07:29   #6
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

We have the Honda 20hp 4 stroke. We can just get on plane with four adults and about 100 lbs of cargo. I wouldn't want a smaller engine, but your requirement might be less.

We have not noticed any wear on the powder coating. We do have a rub strip to take the wear when we beach it.
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Old 20-02-2013, 08:02   #7
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

A 20, wow, big engine! Isn't the max hp 15? How is the fwd locker? Dry???

Most of the time it is just Leslie and I with laundry or stores and on occasion an VERY large G. Shepherd.

We will try the 8hp and see if it works. I am limited by engine weight and may try to find a larger 2-stroke if the 8 isn't enough.

We bought the CL 310 hypalon model and am expecting delivery this Friday.

......getting excited...a new convertible!
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Old 02-10-2013, 23:35   #8
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

How are you finding the Highfield? I too am looking to purchase one.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:45   #9
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

Hello Dougg,

Well, I can honestly say that we would not have another dink. We absolutely love the Highfield. I have been wanting to write a follow-up to the thread that I started, but we have been really busy and all over the map, literally. So, your question came in good time to prompt me to beat the keyboard a bit. Here's our thoughts and experiences....

We initially bought the boat through Inflatable Boat Pro out of Ft. Lauderdale at the Miami Boat Show earlier this year. The staff at IBP were nothing but fantastic and very accommodating with pricing and delivery. I would recommend using them if you can.

We first launched the dink in Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, Miami. From the moment we took off from the dock, we knew we were going to like this boat. Our 8hp Mercury 4-stroke pushed it just fine and put us on plane very fast. There were 2 adults and one very large 96lb German Shepherd manning the bow. We headed into a 1' chop and stayed dry despite the spray and headwind.

The boat was light on the davits and always rides comfortable when underway. The bow locker keeps things very dry and is lockable if needed. One of the best things that we like is the double bottom. When snorkeling in the Bahamas and getting back in the boat, the water we brought in the boat from us and the gear flows under the top deck and keeps our gear and feet dry...a VERY nice feature, especially with loading groceries too....nothing gets wet!

The boat always gets up on plane quickly. Spray is diverted off to the sides the way the hull is shaped. There are plenty of solid hand-holds. The seats are comfortable with the combined, seat cover/storage bag that comes with the boat, another Very nice feature. The bag holds our pfd's and other CG mandatory equipment and the outside pockets are great for lights, snacks or anything that one might need on a quick or regular basis.

There is also a velcro strap on the inside starboard tube that we use to hold our coiled up painter, keeping it securely wrapped up and out of the way, ready for instant deployment.

When loading the boat on deck for long offshore passages, it is light enough to do solo, but with the two of us, it is so easy to load forward on deck and tie down.

I honestly can't say anything bad about the boat. The only one thing is so minor, but worth mentioning and an easy fix. Our Merc engine will vibrate causing the bow locker door to vibrate, but only at one certain speed range when accelerating....not really the boat, but more the motor. With a foot against the door or the tip of a small rag hanging out the door, stops the minor annoyance. I do plan to put a thicker neoprene "gasket" on the inside of the door that will eliminate this issue.

We have been entertaining the idea of moving from our mono-hull to a catamaran. We have decided not to sell the Highfield with the boat unless it will break the deal. If we do sell it with "the mother-ship", we will replace it with another one. If the new cat comes with any other brand, we will work the deal without the dink if we can. But either way, we will not use any other dink. We like this Highfield better than any other brand or style that we have seen on the market.

I would recommend this boat to anyone who is in the market for a new one. Test drive as many as you can. I believe that you will appreciate the large tubes, double floor, substantial oars and oarlocks, many hand holds, good tie downs, solid transom, durable lightweight material, comfortable, dry, handling in any sea, and a great bow locker which is large enough to put many items in.

One more thing is that the air in the tubes is the same air that IBP put in the boat. I have never had to add any more air or adjust anything. The valves just don't leak. And the plug in the transom is tight and easy to use. The boat will drain quickly with the plug out and on plane. I never measured the amount of fluid, but there could be upwards of 10 to 15 gallons of water in the boat and you still won't get your feet wet with the double bottom hull.

We have had many of our cruising friends in our Highfield and all of them have been impressed. Many remarked about the construction, dry ride, and comfortable seating with lots of space for gear. Several have told us, "We just bought our dink and we wish we bought one of these. We like it better than our and is much lighter, too" Just about all of these folks have fiberglass ribs.

Having an aluminum hull is such an advantage over glass boats. The lighter weight and durability is far superior.

I hope this helps you. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions. Here is a link to where we bought our Highfield.... Inflatable Boat Pro - Fort Lauderale, Florida

Best of luck,
Billy
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Old 19-08-2014, 14:20   #10
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

Great posting! We're in the market for a new inflatable and have seen the Highfields at the docks. With your posting I think I'm sold on it. We'll use our 6hp Yamaha to start but will probably upgrade to a 9.9hp. I doubt the 6hp will get us up on plane with two adults and two dogs. Thanks again for posting.

Dave
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Old 20-08-2014, 08:14   #11
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

I bought the CL310 in April. No problems so far except : the forward locker has no drainage hole-I added gasketing around the door to keep water out- and the floor occasionally buckles from my weight, but it is not serious.The manufacturer should probably have added ribs below the floor to support weight.
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Old 20-08-2014, 08:40   #12
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Re: Highfield dinks???? Info/opinions wanted!

We have the same, supplied by lagoon. It's our second one and no problems with either. 10 hp on both, the first a Honda 4 stroke and now an older Johnson 2stroke. Both plane easily with 2 adults and German Shepard at half revs. Nice n fast at full revs. The Johnston has much more zip than the Honda even though it's 8 years older.Click image for larger version

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Btw, no second floor or bow locker in either of ours but they would be nice features. It would be nice to have the gas tank forward and somewhere to throw the anchor..
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Old 20-08-2014, 12:15   #13
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Re: Highfield Dinks? Info/Opinions Wanted!

We have the 340 with a 15hp 4 stroke, great for 2 and a good quality dink


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Old 31-08-2014, 06:15   #14
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Highfield Dinks? Info/Opinions Wanted!

I just checked the speed with gps. 2 adults, one dog and full fuel tank, about 180kg total, wide open throttle cruises at 17 knots on flat water. 8 yr old 10 hp Johnson 2 stroke.
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Old 31-08-2014, 16:48   #15
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Re: Highfield Dinks? Info/Opinions Wanted!

We recently added a 340 with 15hp to our Lagoon 440. Easy up on the plane with 2-3 adults. Cruises along with 6-8 passengers and stays nice and dry. Step / storage at front is great .... but if you step onto them from bow, the boat does dip down disconcertingly as weight transfers. The double floor keeps everything nice and dry .... but it nevers drains completely as bung hole is a little high .... so gets grotty. Very slow to row with standard oars should you need to. All in all a good little tender.

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