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Old 25-04-2017, 15:03   #1
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AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I wish to contact anyone that has had problems with their "AB" manufactured Aluminum Hull RIB/Dinghy. Their models are the AB UltraLight and Alumina series. For example, you may have experienced different issues, like glue/cement failure between the Hypalon and Aluminum bottom causing water leakage or possibly galvanic corrosion. Please contact me to address how you fixed these problems or if you are like me, "how to get these issues fixed by AB."
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Old 25-04-2017, 18:57   #2
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I was looking at this manufacturer and this aluminum style dinghy for my next purchase. Can you share more info on your current model and year and how long have you had this problem? I imagine you would never buy or recommend an AB rib?

Cheers and good luck
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Old 25-04-2017, 19:25   #3
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I purchased an AB Aluminum dinghy a few years. I've had no problem with the product, but I did have a problem with AB. The dinghy was delivered with a puncture hole in the bow. AB wouldn't even consider that it was anything but my fault. You can read the saga here: Maintaining a RIB

The dinghy has performed well, but it was the last AB product I will ever buy.

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Old 25-04-2017, 20:12   #4
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

My 13' has a slow leak. I haven't found it but am sure it can be repaired. As far as getting AB to repair a 6 year old dingy - not likely.

Personally, I like the AB and wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.
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Old 26-04-2017, 07:59   #5
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I have one that I purchased used 3 years ago. The only problem is the glue on oar locks failed. AB sent me a free kit to replace them which I have not yet used. I will probably use 5200 to glue them in place as I have had great luck with it for past impossible hypalon repairs. I know a lot of you consider this heresy but, don't knock it until you have tried it. It can be messy so make sure you tape the repair area off.
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Old 26-04-2017, 08:05   #6
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

Sorry to hear you are having troubles :-( We had a 12' with 25hp yamaha for a decade in the tropics and have to say it was the best thing we've ever owned. Have a smaller AB now with the alloy hull, same experience as far a quality goes, only downside is due to it's short length not able to get a big enough outboard on :-)

Hope you get it all sorted out! As far as the Pacific crowd goes that was the RIB to have.

"Take it all in, it's as big as it seems, count all your blessings, remember your dreams" JB
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Old 26-04-2017, 08:58   #7
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

Many of these companies changed hands and/or production changed locations, what was once great could be an issue, most companies go through this. We had an AVON for 18 years and it was great, smaller boat manufacturing gone when bought up. Do your homework on newly purchase experiences.
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Old 26-04-2017, 15:55   #8
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I have an Alumina 9.5, bought new three years ago and all is well.
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Old 26-04-2017, 17:51   #9
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

i have a lumina 9.5. It has been great for 2 years now.
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Old 26-04-2017, 18:24   #10
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

My AB Lammina has been no trouble at all.
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Old 27-04-2017, 09:30   #11
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I inherited an AB with a painted aluminum bottom. I haven't looked to see how old it is. The tubes are still in good shape. The paint is extensively flaking off of the aluminum. I will never recommend a painted aluminum hull for any kind of RIB. I have to try to deal with the flaking paint problem I have.

I bought a new (not a RIB) AB dink years ago. It had a multiple set of FRG boards that you could take out when packing up the dink for passages or storage. They never did fit right and I had to stop using the most forward piece as it would never stay put. Contacting and getting anything out of AB was impossible. It wasn't that customer support was luke warm from them, it was non-existent. Don't expect anything from them in my experience.

My previous AB dink otherwise was very durable and well made.
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Old 27-04-2017, 16:02   #12
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

Well, I'm one of those who've had problems - bought brand new a 9'UL non-painted aluminum - approx. 1yr in the glued seam (hypalon to aluminum) came loose (~4" section) - brought it back to the dealer - that is when the nightmare started - WEEKS of inaction, promises, lies - finally got it back the day before leaving for our summer vacation - sure enough - 3 days into the trip the re-glued section (by the supposed dealer "expert") came loose again - unfortunately mid-trip I had no other option that to slap some 4200 on it - which while a temporary fix, would probably negate any further "official" repairs. I'm stuck now every 3 or 4 months regluing/taping. So far no further seams have let go. Sucks, because it's an otherwise excellent dingy.
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Old 30-04-2017, 11:23   #13
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I have an alumina 9,5 for over 12 years. i Have used it for over 4 years in the Caribbean,
and from than on in the Chilean Patagonia.
Because of the islands here (no sand beaches), only rocks, its the only dinghy type we can use.
Even to repair a failure between the hypalon and the aluminun botton is not dificult.
I am happy with my AB
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Old 30-04-2017, 13:35   #14
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

We have the 8 foot ultralight. At year 2 the glue failed between the hypalon and aluminum and it started leaking water. We contacted AB for a repair and they told us that the warranty only existed for air leaks. After much back and fort we finally gave up and attempted repairs on our own. Still not fixed despite multiple products...
The worst thing about all this is that now AB has admitted that dinghy's from our era should have had a zinc attached to prevent the aluminum/hypalon bond from failing. Despite this they still refuse to honor their warranty and even worse they refuse to suggest how we might go about permanently fixing our problem.
If any one else has managed to solve this please let us know. Im tired of getting wet every time I get into my "car"
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Old 30-04-2017, 14:40   #15
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Re: AB Dinghy with Aluminum Bottom

I like the inflatable part of AB dinghies, but I have seen too many issues with aluminum hulls. So, I chose the AB VS fiberglass hull series. So good in so many ways. The hull is robust, and being fiberglass, I can drill through it to mount hardware, repair impact damage should I abuse it on a rocky shore or hitting something hard in the dark. The weight is less an issue than I anticipated, and is actually a good feature when going through chop. My neighbor had an aluminum hull and would constantly bewail the blistering, the peeling and the more serious anxiety of what to do when the hull was actually breached by damage or deterioration. His experience also sold me on the absolute need for chaps to protect against abrasion and UV damage. I view the added weight of fiberglass RIB hulls positively. Its not difficult to keep up the finish with occasional coats of carnauba wax. I also use the Pettit antifouling paint for keeping it in the water in the summer months. It holds very well to the fiberglass, as well as the fabric, but you have to prep it well, as with all antifouling paints. Here is a pic of the underside of the RIB with antifouling. I let some growth accumulate to define the coverage needed, then cleaned and taped for the paint.
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