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Old 14-10-2012, 19:00   #1
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Dinghies.. What's the Current Wisdom?

We are dinghyless and have to get something very soon.

What are the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences of members here?

We have more or less decided to get a RIB with Hypalon fabric because we will be in the tropics and subtropics, and the RIB because I really don't want to be on a remote Pacific Island somewhere and rip the bottom out on a nasty bit of coral.

I did consider the current crop of very good quality fabric/inflatable bottom offerings, and the weight and prices are soooo tempting. www.boatstogo.com seems the best if you're in the market for one, but we can handle a bit more weight on our little ship so I think I may just have to bite the bullet and part with some coin.

We're not even sure of what size, but not less then 9ft and probably short of 11 ft, I would guess.

What's good, what's to be avoided, and where are the good deals?

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Old 14-10-2012, 22:07   #2
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I have an AB rib 10 feet it has been great no problems what so ever. I have had for 3 years now and use it a lot as main boat is getting a full rebuild. Been out in all kinds of weather and it handles it great. Tubes are hypolon Bottom is fiberglass
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Old 14-10-2012, 22:08   #3
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Did not like how the aluminum bottomed boats flaked after a couple seasons my reason for glass.
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Old 15-10-2012, 00:17   #4
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

I too am looking at hypelon hard bottom dinhgies. I was down in Tampa picking up a life raft for a buddy and the company was a Mercury dealer as well. He showed my a very light weight model, 9' ft I believe, for an extremely competitive price. Of course, it was made in China, but the warranty was excellent. I have no connection with Mercury and no knowledge of the quality of this product. I was wondering if anyone here has owned a Mercury dinghy and what their experience was like.
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Old 15-10-2012, 00:28   #5
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

I'll second AB ribs as well, I have the vs9 model, handles very well, they make them beamy with a very curved nose, meaning a very dry ride.
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Old 15-10-2012, 01:17   #6
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

How about something like a 10ft tinny with a Kapten Boat Collar?

It'll probably cost less than a de-flatable
Is probably lighter
Is certainly more robust
and wont break down in the sun
- kapten boat collar

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Old 15-10-2012, 01:51   #7
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

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.
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Old 15-10-2012, 02:37   #8
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Our Caribe is now 12 years old, 10 feet with a plastic bottom. It's given terrific service with 8 years in the Tropics and hard use most days. This year we gave it a big overhaul as for the first time it had developed some leaks through worn fabric. It came through the surgery in great form and we are confident that it has many years service left to give.
The tubes are meaty and give tremendous stability and load carrying capability. We have occasionally been caught out in some nasty conditions getting back to the big boat and everytime we have felt great security in the integrity of the dinghy.
The dinghy travels upside down under the boom at sea and most of the fabric damage was caused during long ocean passages.
I would highly recommend this craft and certainly would buy the same again myself.
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Old 15-10-2012, 02:42   #9
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
We ended up with a Walker Bay and are very happy with it: injection moulded hull [lighter than fiberglass and alum and VERY sturdy]
Actually there are several 10ft/3m tinnies in Australia that come in lighter than the Genesis
Just saying

Quote:
these guys put in a lot of thought into designing the dinghy
Except for giving enough freeboard to keep the big lizards out.
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Old 15-10-2012, 02:50   #10
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

it would also depend on what size engine you have,if i remember your yacht came with a 25 hp and a 15hp,might be an idea to sell the bigger engine and get somthing to suit the smaller engine,or vice versa.

just bear in mind the strength of your davits when making your choice,and weather you will be able to lift dinghy and engine,or dinghy and engine seperately.
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Old 15-10-2012, 03:20   #11
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

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................just bear in mind the strength of your davits when making your choice,and weather you will be able to lift dinghy and engine,or dinghy and engine seperately.
Atoll's comment about the weight is important, especially regarding the davits and effort. We had a Carribe 10X for about 12 years, but replaced it with a Carribe 9L (with the single hull instead of the double) for the light weight and very little difference in payload volume or weight.
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Old 15-10-2012, 03:27   #12
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Also every single detail is VERY well thought out - these guys put in a lot of thought into designing the dinghy.
I had a look at the website - certainly seems to be a lot of thought . I like the idea of replaceable tubes (although to quibble - ideally only being able to replace each side would be nicer!).....would be interesting to know whether removal and refitting is DIYable (say for going offshore).......and being able to fold flat(ish) could be very useful.

I didn't google up any prices - as thought that might kinda ruin things .
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Old 15-10-2012, 05:22   #13
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

Our AB lasted 14 years and would have lasted longer I am sure except it left for Guatemala while we were sailing to Puerto Rico. Replaced it with a Genesis 340 and I am thrilled. Love the floor boards so stuff on the floor stays dry. It is easier to haul up on the foredeck for passages, it is 50 pounds lighter than the AB.
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Old 15-10-2012, 05:27   #14
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

VV: Assume you've browsed previous threads on the topic (e.g., inflatable stability vs. hard shell rowing, etc.). I can only add: if you will rely on it, don't skimp; consider the motor size/weight while you shop for the dink; and consider how you will carry/deploy/recover it, since that will control your weight/length limits.

We too have a Walker Bay Genesis (310 FTD model, hypalon tubes) and agree with K. It suits us very well, not inexpensive, but I think competitive (enough).

DOJ: Yes, the FTD models fold flat-ish. And FWIW, before we got a small trailer for winter recovery (saves a whole boatload of dismounting motor, etc.), we routinely carried it deflated/folded inside the back of our Suburban.

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Old 15-10-2012, 05:34   #15
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Re: Dinghies.. what's the current wisdom?

RIB, no question. There's a reason 90% of cruisers have RIB's.... but as with anything, you get what you pay for.

1.Good quality hypalon will last many years, even in the tropical sun, and can be repaired without too much trouble. It's also pretty tough stuff and can take mild abuse (i.e. as a cruiser's dink )
2.They are very stable
3.They are one big fender, so coming alongside docks and other vessels is child's play
4.If you capsize, it's a flotation device. Even if you puncture one of the inflated compartments, there's 2 more to keep afloat
5.Shouldn't be hitting any coral because you should be navigating your dink just as carefully as you navigate the yacht.... but if you do, so what? It's fibreglass and easily repairable.
6.If you stow it on the foredeck during passage or as precaution against theft (unfortunately getting more and more necessary), again it's a big rubber fender and you don't need to worry nearly as much about scratching your deck as a hard plastic or metal or wooden dinks
7.When you use it to anchor near coral to explore & snorkel, they are really easy to get in and out of over the (soft & forgiving) tubes and you won't capsize it in the process. This is my personal favourite because I love exploring & snorkelling....


That's all I can think of off the top of my head.....
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