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Old 15-10-2012, 05:46   #16
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

My AB RIB (10'06") has had eight seasons now. Used heavily in the Bahamas every winter, stored outside in the Florida sun and heat (actually left on the davits) every summer. Still in perfect condition.
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Old 15-10-2012, 06:02   #17
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

You've gotta love this forum.
Went to bed with questions and woke up with a bunch of feedback

We inherited 2 motors with the boat. A Yamaha 25hp and a Tohatsu 9.8 that was on the old, deceased dinghy. I love Yamaha 25s and had one for years on a tinnie in Aus. But it's way too heavy for this application.
It's up for sale if anyone is interested.

We went to the boat show">Annapolis Boat Show and saw many of the ones recommended so far.
AB and Genesis in particular are impressive.
I was impressed with the Mercury too and it wasn't as pricey as AB and Genesis.
Zodiac used to be considered the ants pants 20 years ago but their rep. sucks now.
Caribe wasn't there. Any idea who sells them? They are usually well regarded too. Suspect they could be pricey.
Achilles looks good but pricey too.
I didn't see Avon there either.

Nobody has mentioned the West Marine and Defender branded boats... just wondering how they stack up.
There was also a brand called Apex.... don't know anything about them either.

Vic
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Old 15-10-2012, 06:37   #18
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

We have a Walker Bay 10 hard dingy with the inflatable tubes that attach to the gunwales. It is indestructable and very stable. Biggest drawback is it is heavy and pretty much has to be stored on davits.
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Old 15-10-2012, 07:43   #19
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

I've had generally good experience with Caribe, Avon, and AB. I can't speak to other brands.

I currently have a Caribe L9 and would never get another "light" dinghy from any manufacturer, particularly if you have a heavy 4-stroke outboard.

On my dinghy with a Honda 9.9 reversing away from a dock very often slops water in over the transom. Further, the light dinghy and heavy engine make getting up on plane when I'm by myself difficult. Even with aftermarket wings on the anti-cavitation fins isn't enough. A couple of jugs of water, my partner, some groceries, or any load in the bow and we pop right up.

If I could make the choice again I'd get a Caribe 10X or AB 10AL.
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Old 15-10-2012, 08:04   #20
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Do good research. Look at towing rings seams etc. It's really tough as alot of times you can't find the one you want on display. Also check out guarantees and if company backs them up. I had a lot of trouble with Walker Bay finally Defender came to the rescue and dealt with the problem even though they had stopped selling Walker Bay.It pays to deal with a good company like Defender.
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Old 15-10-2012, 08:46   #21
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

We have owned both Avon and Achilles ridged infltables. I was in your position about 3 years ago and went to a friend who also own a raft store, Sal's Inflatables.

Sal took me into his shop and showed me the difference in contruction of several different types of ribs. When it came down to it I asked him what he would put on his boat and he recommended Achilles.

At the time I was also working on two ships that used Achilles RIBs as work boats and liked them.

Our current dinghy is an Achilles HB-315DX with a 15 HP 4-Stroke Yamaha.

It is heavy, with the double floor and combined with the 4-Stoke engine it weights about 270 lbs without cargo or passengers. My wife made dinghy chaps, which not only extend the life of the raft, but make it cooler in direct sun.

We can move at just over 20 mph with four passengers. On my wish list is a seond 2 HP engine for times I don't need the weight or speed of the bigger 15 HP.

The Achilles has held up very well to the heat of Mexico and Central America.

Yamaha Outboards, are by far, the easiest engine to find parts and service for throughout the world. I have seen parts and service centers thoughout Mexico and Central America, although our engine has had zero problems in the last 2 years of cruising, except bad gas once. During that incident rain got into the fuel tank (you have to love rainny season in Central America). I Baja filtered the fuel and drained the carbarator and fuel line. The engine started right back up.

You have a large boat and so I assume you will have pasengers. That means you should go no less than 10.5 feet to accomodate at least four passengers comfortably.

You also have to consider the use of the dignhy...

If you are planning low speed, short trips without a lot of weight the Walker Bay is a good boat or some of the other non-planing hull dinghys. Just make sure you can safely enter them from the water, without capsiing the dinghy (ie snorkling or SCUBA).

On the other hand, sometimes your dinghy may have to take you a couple of miles or more or carry 4-5 passengers at once. Small engines and non-planing hulls take a lot longer to do that. The difference between 24 MPH and 10 MPH is a factor when you are trying to get somewhere.

Does speed make a difference... Only you know for sure.

As for davits, make sure it is easy to raise your dinghy out of the water and the davits support the weight. In most areas now a days you will have to raise you dinghy at night to avoid theft. Also make sure the dinghy does not impead access to the water when stowed. I say this because I see a lot of boats with transom laders that cannot lower them when the dinghy is on the davits, thus providing an incredible safety issue if someone goes overboard.

Finally, someone mentioned warranties and I want to warn you about them! Do not rely on warranties, especially when cruising. If something breaks, especially your dinghy there is no way to send it to the manufacture for repair. So you are normally stuck having to buy something new. So don't go cheap.. By a well made product to begin with or you will be sorry down the road.
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Old 15-10-2012, 08:50   #22
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Nobody has mentioned the West Marine and Defender branded boats... just wondering how they stack up.
We tried buying the new West Marine inflatable. Deep V hulls, super comfortable, really liked the design. However... it started leaking air from the seams after 2 weeks. We detoured to a authorised repair shop. They said that after West Marine switched to Chinese made dinghies, some started coming back with seam problems. That dinghy was a write-off.

Since we really liked the ride and the design, West Marine replaced that dinghy with another one for free. The second dinghy started leaking from the seams right away. Thankfully we were still in the area of the repair shop, so they confirmed yet again that it's a write off.

We got our money back and stopped thinking about WM dinghies. Though we do love WM service - where else can you exchange and then return A BOAT without any hassle?
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Old 15-10-2012, 09:06   #23
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Someone mentioned the Mercury dingy's, I have one that is 6 years old, it is the 310 model with an air floor. After owning it, I would not recomend it. The dingy itself isn't bad, it is Hypolon, it hasn't leaked, but the attach ponts have all degraded, and the air floor which is not hypolon is leaking at the seems. I have tried numerous times to get Mercury to warranty this product without success. They want me to travel hundreds of miles to drop it off, then wait months to get it back. Also they claim a 10year warranty, but that does not include the air floor. That only has a 1 year warranty. When I bought the boat the sales guy quoted me the 10 year warranty on the whole boat, never mentioned anything about the 1 yearr warranty on the airfloor which is now usless. There suport on there poduct is crap. Spend a little more and get the Carib or the Achillies with the plastic floor. This is what I see on most full time cruisers boats.
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Old 15-10-2012, 09:59   #24
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

I inherited a West Marine hypalon RIB with the new boat this year, and have used it for a season. Nice dry ride, even if it is a bit heavier than my last aluminum RIB. The tubes are so big that my wife has trouble getting back in the dink when swimming. I think I had to add some air this fall when the temperatures cooled off, but definitely no leaking.

Well designed and well made dinghy. Planes one person with a 5 hp outboard. My only gripe is that the drain plug is on the outside under the motor, so I can't plane around to drain the rainwater out.
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Old 15-10-2012, 10:12   #25
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

I (and many others) have tried to get around the RIB purchase over the years. All I did was waste money on other attempts prior to buying the RIB. I have cruised with a 9 ft and 10 ft RIB in the Carribean. The 10 ft is the one to get. For some reason that extra foot is much less squiriilly in choppy water. You'll want 10-15 HP.

Achilles seems to me to be the one boat of consistant quality over the years. AB were great for a while then got a bad rep.
Achilles had smaller tubes for a while and were not as popular during that time. But they've always been there, just quietly selling good boats. I just sold a mid 80's hypalon Achilles. Still going strong! didnt loose air stored for a year! Oarlocks, paddles etc all still available as replacements....
One caveat though.... dont know anthing about Achilles RIB's or even if they make them!
On a CT 54.... Davits for sure!
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Old 15-10-2012, 11:49   #26
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

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Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
I can't recommend enough Walker Bay Genesis series: Genesis RIBS : Walker Bay.

We were researching different makes and our short list came to Walker Bay Genesis and AB alum. We ended up with a Walker Bay and are very happy with it: injection moulded hull [lighter than fiberglass and alum and VERY sturdy], removable tubes [in case you need to replace them], non-skid floor with a bilge, wheels, and a very dry ride - they mention it all on the website and it's true! Also every single detail is VERY well thought out - these guys put in a lot of thought into designing the dinghy.
We had a very similar experience. After looking at the specs on numerous models, as well as local availability, we were between the Walker Bay Genesis Light and the AB Lammina. We also ended up with the Walker Bay. For us it came down to price vs features. The increased potential durability of the AB Lammina wasn't offset by the much higher price for us- it was about a 2k dollar higher price for a 8" shorter dinghy in the Lammina 9.5 vs the 310FTL. However, it was a tough decision, and I was leaning for the Lammina until the "boat show" special on the WB 310 FTL was too good to pass on. The 9.5 now comes with a bow locker, which made the decision harder still, but then again with the WB you can always add the bow locker later if you want...

A final note, at the boat show the sales rep stated that the Lamminas now come without any paint as standard, and you have to special order white paint for the hull and inside if desired. I thought this was a good selling point, as the only thing bad I ever heard about the Lamminas were that the paint chipped readily from them.

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Old 15-10-2012, 11:49   #27
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post

If you are planning low speed, short trips without a lot of weight the Walker Bay is a good boat or some of the other non-planing hull dinghys. Just make sure you can safely enter them from the water, without capsiing the dinghy (ie snorkling or SCUBA).

Just to clarify my original comment, the Walker Bay GENESIS is a planing hull RIB... not the hard dink WB makes (and which accepts and inflatable collar), which has it's own merits.

-Chris
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Old 15-10-2012, 11:53   #28
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

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Nobody has mentioned the West Marine and Defender branded boats... just wondering how they stack up.

Our previous dinghy was a West Marine roll-up, made by Zodiac with PVC and a hinged internal floor. Heavier than we needed at the time, but air floors had only just become common and I didn't trust those to hold up to big dog toenails (probably would have been fine). We got several good years out of it, mostly light duty and usually rolled and stored in its bag.

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Old 15-10-2012, 14:41   #29
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Just to clarify my original comment, the Walker Bay GENESIS is a planing hull RIB... not the hard dink WB makes (and which accepts and inflatable collar), which has it's own merits.

-Chris
Sorry Chris you right... I was ranting about the plastic WB boat, which is a good price and durable, but very slow as compared to RIBS

And the Genesis even has beer can holders! What will they think of next
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Old 15-10-2012, 14:52   #30
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

I am in Grenada now 4 years and would stay with a AB hard bottom, fiberglass. Aluminum is light, but the people I know that have them are not pleased. Also I would never have a center steering console. It takes up too much space. I would also get rid of the seat that the dinghy comes with and just sit on the tubes. Putting food and ice chest in takes a lot of space, you will need the space.
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