Cruisers & Sailing Forums (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/)
-   Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f117/)
-   -   Help with Selecting Dinghy (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f117/help-with-selecting-dinghy-42643.html)

Misiu 21-06-2010 23:01

Help with Selecting Dinghy
 
My Zodiac's floor separated from the tubes and I was quoted $600 for fixing the entire floor. :rolleyes:
The boat was in perfect condition, stored down below, but it was old (15 years!). I guess I couldn't ask for much more...
Needles to say I am shopping for the new one. I think I want hypalon this time and I see two options:
1. Achilles LEX-96 (wood floor) 9'6"
2. Achilles LSI-290 (air floor) 9'6"
The first one has slightly smaller tube diameter than second (15.5" vs 17") hence slightly lower beam and capacity. Defender has both on sale for $1250 and $1750 respectively.
I have never had boat with wooden floor. I was told that it's more difficult to set it up than air floor.
Which one would you pick? Would you expect any difference in performance?

MarkJ 22-06-2010 00:06

Those prices are good!

We are so heading to the USA to buy some boat stuff.

CSY Man 22-06-2010 03:54

Whatever you do, don't get a Mercury dink..

Now truly disgusted with warranty issues for the third time and Mercury dragging their feet, 2 months this time.:rolleyes:

I bought the Mercury 310 Airfloor Hypalon in 2007 due to a 10 year warranty and good price as well as good write-up in "Practical Sailor"

Turns out to be cheap Chinese junk and obtaining warranty repairs is like pulling teeth: Slow and painful.:(

CaptainBW 22-06-2010 07:36

Buy the larger tube diameter
 
Not sure where and how you are using the dink on a regular basis, but if all was the same between the models I would buy the larger diameter tubes. This makes for a much dryer experience.

If you are using this in northern climates I would not pay extra for Hypalon..just my opinion.

As for the floor, I have watched/helped people with the wood floors and they are a major pain in back end, and I don't think I will ever buy one.

Performance would be based on the shape of the bottom of the craft (obviously) and I believe it is the same on both models. I doubt that the floor would affect performance.

I bought a Zodiac lightweight RIB a few years ago and it has been an excellent dinghy. Even though you cannot collapse and stow a RIB onboard, I will probably always go with one.

Hope that helps!

Misiu 22-06-2010 08:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by CSY Man (Post 473677)
Whatever you do, don't get a Mercury dink..

Now truly disgusted with warranty issues for the third time and Mercury dragging their feet, 2 months this time.:rolleyes:

I bought the Mercury 310 Airfloor Hypalon in 2007 due to a 10 year warranty and good price as well as good write-up in "Practical Sailor"

Turns out to be cheap Chinese junk and obtaining warranty repairs is like pulling teeth: Slow and painful.:(

Thanks - I won't...
10 years warranty sounds fishy. I think dragging their feet on warranty claims is a strategy designed to loose some less patient and persistent people in the process.

Misiu 22-06-2010 09:13

CaptainBW:

Thank you. Good points. I got interested in wooden floor because the price is tempting. I saw friends having a hard time with assembling their wooden floor dinghy but I thought it could be just their lack of practice. Their dinghy didn't perform well but I now think it wasn't set properly.
I'll be going to Central America soon so I need hypalon. The boat will be used much more than here on SF Bay.
Can't have RIB :( it would take too much space on the deck.

Vasco 22-06-2010 09:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Misiu (Post 473831)
CaptainBW:

I'll be going to Central America soon so I need hypalon. The boat will be used much more than here on SF Bay.
Can't have RIB :( it would take too much space on the deck.

Get a hypalon RIB, the biggest one you can afford!! You will not regret it. Don't worry about taking too much space on deck, you'll manage!

SaucySailoress 22-06-2010 09:51

How mad is this - one of Marc's hair-brained ideas (and he's stuck by it for a while so far) is to stick an optimist on the boat and use that as the tender.... He reckons it'll be cool sailing to fetch the groceries....

skipmac 22-06-2010 09:52

If you can fit the RIB then that will give you the best performance. If just not practical go for the largest inflatable keel model you can handle.

In the past I tried hard floor vs inflatable floor models and the hard floor was by far the better dinghy. However I have not tried one of the new, high pressure, inflatable floors which some people claim work as well as the hard floor models.

The hard floor models can be tricky to insert the floors when inflating but not that difficult once you get the hang of it. If you go hard floor I would get aluminum instead of wood floors as over time the wood will start delaminating if you don't keep it dry all the time. Hard to do with a dinghy.

bstreep 22-06-2010 22:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by CSY Man (Post 473677)
Whatever you do, don't get a Mercury dink..

Now truly disgusted with warranty issues for the third time and Mercury dragging their feet, 2 months this time.:rolleyes:

I bought the Mercury 310 Airfloor Hypalon in 2007 due to a 10 year warranty and good price as well as good write-up in "Practical Sailor"

Turns out to be cheap Chinese junk and obtaining warranty repairs is like pulling teeth: Slow and painful.:(

Hmm. Have the same model. The airfloor developed a leak after 18 months (the airfloor has only a 12 month warranty - not 10 years - and it's made of PVC). Mercury replaced it free of charge, and they were VERY pleasant about it. For $1200 from Defender, it's not the greatest product in the world. But so far, we are very happy with ours - AND with Mercury's warranty support.

CSY Man 23-06-2010 05:09

Quote:

Hmm. Have the same model. The airfloor developed a leak after 18 months (the airfloor has only a 12 month warranty - not 10 years - and it's made of PVC). Mercury replaced it free of charge, and they were VERY pleasant about it. For $1200 from Defender, it's not the greatest product in the world. But so far, we are very happy with ours - AND with Mercury's warranty support.
__________________
Good for you that you had a better experience with Mercury.

My first problem was a few months after I bougth the dink:
The life line patch holding the life line to the forward part of the boat broke off when we used the lines to lift/drag the boat up on the beach.
The Mercury rep said the lines was not for lifting or dragging the boat, but rather for holding on and entering the boat from the water, hence no warranty on abuse of the life lines.

I argued the point and reminded him there was no limitations in the enclosed literature about how to or not to use the life lines and if the attachment was not strong enough to pull the boat up to the beach, then they would surely pop off if somebody actually used them for "Life Lines".

He reluctantly agreed to repair under warranty huffing and puffing.

The year after the inflatable keel burst open in the seams.
Got that fixed under warranty fairly painless.

Same thing happened this year, but the "approval" took a month, then another month to ship a new keel.
Driving the dink down to the shop this morning to have the keel installed.

The plug and assembly aft broke before I even used the dink the first time.
Fixed it myself so as to be able to use it, but the parts has been on order for over 2 years..:rolleyes:

Any more issues with this dink or customer service and I will contact the better business bureau with a complaint.

The initial problem with this dink was with one of the Mercury dealers: Buster Marine advertised it at 80 lbs.
The Mercury web page however showed the dink weighing 103 lbs.
I asked Buster Marine which number was correct and they assured me the 80 lbs was correct and they had contacted Mercury with the discrepancy and the Mercury page was wrong and would be changed shortly, etc.

I saved all those emails and bought the dink.

Turned out it really weighted 103 lbs and the dealer had lied through their teeth to make the sale.

That ticked me off a tiny bit so I raised hell and demanded $300.00 back to ease the pain of lifting the dink. (Should have gotten all of it back, but desided to keep the porky dink instead, but with a discount)

With all that being said, the dink when in the water and not in the shop, is a stable platform to step on to and off, and pretty fast with a small motor:

Planning @ 10.4 knots with a 4 HP Mercury.

The tubes are holding air and so is the floor.

Suspect there is a water leak somewhere in the seams holding the floor to the tubes, but not sure..Could be rain drops or spray over the bow collecting under the floor. Will have the shop leak-check.

Would I buy a Mercury again...?

Not a chance, life is to short to keep carting it to the shop for repairs and having to argue with some clerk on the phone to get the repairs "authorized".

Next time I will buy a quality dink instead of a discount one with a big warranty. :banghead:

agrainofsand 23-06-2010 05:25

I do not like inflatables. I have an 8' fiberglass duel hull Livingston dink w/ 2.5 Yamaha on davits and it is a very dry ride.

Vasco 23-06-2010 05:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by agrainofsand (Post 474348)
I do not like inflatables. I have an 8' fiberglass duel hull Livingston dink w/ 2.5 Yamaha on davits and it is a very dry ride.


This is fine for getting to the boat on a mooring but just won't cut it if you're cruising in the Bahamas or the Caribbean.

aboutgone 23-06-2010 05:32

Shop the used market first...we just bought an Avon 3.15 aluminum floor for 400$....it's in great shape..no patches....planes with an 8 hp with two people

swagman 23-06-2010 05:36

Maybe go check the Bombard AX500. We've had wood floors (PITA) and the HP air floors (sure pack up smallest but heavy and bouncy ride) and finally decided we wanted a RIB. But the weight of GRP bottoms plus unflexible transoms meant needed to be hung full time on davits.
The Bombard AX500 was a brilliant compromise.
Plastic floor in moulded shape gives all the advantages of a GRP one but without the weight. I can actually carry ours solo - plus it comes with a folding transom. Meaning it packs up flat into a surfboard type bag for low windage deck storage or even slide below decks.
For me it is possibly the best buy we ever made and it came by referral from another cruiser. Suggest you do check them out before you buy anything else.

JOHN

PS Zodiac and Bombard are one firm. The strange thing is our Bombard AX500 is made from same materials that all the regular Zodiac inflatables are made from (fabric, colurs, features etc) yet the Zodiac folding transom jobbie seems to be made from same products as regular Bombard inflatables. Work that one out!
It is almost like they got the labels wrong - so be sure you check out the right one.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:23.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.