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Old 05-09-2020, 12:50   #16
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

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Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
Out of curiosity - you started with a PVC dinghy that lasted 14 years(!), then a hypalon AB and the third is again a PVC?.

My two hypalon AB RIBs are fiberglass double hull, too large with 15HP outboard - way too heavy for an easy hoisting on the foredeck while cruising and even problematic on the davits. So I want to downgrade to the lightest possible aluminum RIB with a new 8HP Yamaha (my mistake, I had to buy the 6HP). My expected future use of the dinghy is relatively light. Not sure if Force4 is available in the US, but with your experience, would you still recommend a PVC RIB?
Apologies for being less than clear. I bought the first two mentioned boats (Southern Pacific and AB) on our B Idylle 11.5 and inherited the Force4 when we bought the Beneteau First 35s5 in Vancouver. We still have both sailboats - one in Tahiti and one in Vancouver.

When I purchased the Southern Pacific the dealer told me that despite the 6 year warranty it would last at least 10 if I religiously used something like 303 protectant on it. So I did, and also kept it covered in canvas for 9 years in Mexico. An inside baffle eventually failed but otherwise it was a terrific dinghy. At the time of SP purchase I considered an Aquapro, also made in NZ by a member of the same family as SP. But their RIB was fibreglass and way too heavy. The only problem with the SP is it did not have a flat floor. The AB and the Force4 both do. As someone in the thread mentioned, this is a convenience feature and I agree that it is a good idea.
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Old 05-09-2020, 12:56   #17
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

Have a look at the Walker Bay 10 with optional inflatable collar (they call the combo a Rigid Inflatable Dinghy) - extremely stable and quite capacious, if a bit tricky to get onto plane fully laden as the HP limit is around 8.
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Old 05-09-2020, 13:08   #18
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

I suggest you have a look at an F-Rib. All the convenience of a RIB but can fold down to stow. Can be used on davits or hoist on deck with a spare halyard. 3.3m version can take 15hp and plane without trouble.
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Old 05-09-2020, 14:25   #19
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

We have a 3m Polycraft Tuff Tender which is a solid polyethylene "rib" and use a 5hp Tohatsu 2stroke. It's incredibly stable and I don't have to worry too much about banging into anything that would normally hole an inflatable (used to have a PVC inflatable). The only downside is that it is very heavy (85kg hull weight only) however it will plane with me (85kg), my dog (14kg) a 12ltr fuel tank and a few other bits and pieces (oars, lifejackets, anchor etc). It will not plane when both my wife and I go shopping though. I'm very happy with it and would purchase another one without hesitation.


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Old 06-09-2020, 09:54   #20
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

I didn't see what size boat you have. My 10'x35' center cockpit lacks the space to store a dinghy (hard or inflated) and move around the foredeck easily. Anything over 8' wouldn't hang off the transom well. So I have an inexpensive 10' inflatable with plywood floor and an electric trolling motor. I also have an inflatable kayak capable of carrying 2 humans and a 45 lb dog.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:03   #21
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

Here's another option: a Portabote. I've used a 10-footer for over 15 years now. She rows well, carries a good load, and will easily plane with a 3.5 hp engine and one fat adult (~220#) and gear. It will plane with two adults (add ~140#) in flat conditions.

I even have a sail rig for her which is fun to play around with in anchorages. It's lightweight, but does work.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:06   #22
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

Inflatable RIB's plane fast and easy generally. The double floor ones get pretty heavy. I would go a good brand in single floor.
From experience a 9ft RIB with 15HP is too much HP. 10HP perfect.
A 10ft RIB with 15 HP is perfect.

Non RIB's will work but are flexy and more prone to damage dragging onto a beach. In rougher water you feel like you are riding a noodle. Ply floor non RIB's aren't too bad.

Many of us go through the same learning curve on dingy's. Most end up with RIB's after trying various things.
If you want to row, get a hard dingy.
A hard dingy is the pits in a wind chop, get as big a one and you can.
As mentioned, if yo like to explore get a RIB.
If you just need to get to shore you can use a flexi non RIB.

In my first cruising boat I had a quality small hard dingy. It was a very wet ride, often groceries and us would be soaking wet if there was a wind chop. Bailing was necessary to keep from sinking at times. Small is small and waves come right over the bow or side unlike an inflatable.
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:49   #23
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

Portabote for so many reasons. Plastic doesn’t get holed or bitten or spined or deflated with spearguns or fish hooks. Can easily be dragged over rocks, coral, or sand with zero problems. They row very well. Stable ride and fast with motor. They plane very well. They don’t suffer sun rot like a tubed rib. Btw, many people use chaps on their ribs to combat that very problem. More money for that feature.

Portabotes collapse to the size of a paddle board. I have a trimaran. So it is about 10 minutes to assemble on the nets. After assembled I just leave it that way unless making a long passage. Guys who have monohulls or cats usually just collapse and tie to the stanchions. They are light weight. I carry my 10 footer with one arm. You can find them used on Craig’s list for under a thousand bucks. New one will cost you between 2-3k. Sizes range from 8’-12’, uh maybe 14’.

There also is an Australian inflatable called a Takacat. You can watch the couple on Lucky Fish YouTube use theirs. Seems like pretty good kit there. They have a 38 foot wharram cat. Anyway I don’t like tubed rides. They rot too quick, row poorly, get holed too easily, but I see why they are popular. Portabote is more logical for me. The weight of a heavy rib plus motor. My goodness.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:18   #24
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

Have a look at Highfield Ultralight (we all have a tendency to justify our personal choices but I don't own a Highfield) or any of their other models. They're not cheap but you tend to get what you pay for. www.highfield.boats.com
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:51   #25
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

The Highfield use 38cm tubes for it's 2.6m version. That means lower payload. The engine max power rating is comical vs other dinghies of the same size too. Otherwise they are good.

For example my 3D tender which also has small tubes (old version) is rated at 10hp vs 6hp for the Highfield of the same length. I do like the Highfield seats though.

3D Tender is very popular amongst the French and in all the French islands. Good dinghies, at a good price. The problem is 3D Tender in France have crap support if you should ever need it.

AB Seems to be the gold standard when it comes to RIBs though.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:23   #26
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

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Have a look at Highfield Ultralight (we all have a tendency to justify our personal choices but I don't own a Highfield) or any of their other models. They're not cheap but you tend to get what you pay for. www.highfield.boats.com
I was very interested when I saw this post, as lighter weight would be just great for any RIB. So I compared Highfield to my Caribe.
The Highfield Ultralite 290 is probably the one you would compare to a Caribe 9' standard RIB made of GRP and hypalon (or equivalent). It weighs 39kg, 6kg lighter than the Caribe 9' at 45kg. The difference is about equal to the weight of two bags of groceries, or a 3 year old child. But the 290 Ultralight only takes a 10hp motor, whereas the Caribe takes a 15hp motor.
The Highfield 310, that will take a 15hp motor weighs 54kg. 9kg more than Caribe 15hp model.
Those hp ratings are important - it isn't the dead weight of the motor (a 10hp 4 stroke Honda weighs same as a 15hp 4 stroke) but the thrust that the dinghy transom must be designed to handle.
Compare the materials also. GRP is easy to repair by anyone, on board your own boat, and it doesn't corrode. Aluminum not quite so good on both counts.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:37   #27
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

Aluminium is normally the favourite of RIB owners. GRP might be easier to repair yourself, but the Aluminium shouldn't really need any repairs for the life of the boat.

When comparing weights, make sure you are comparing the same material as Hypalon is heavier than PVC.

Personally, I would only ever buy a double floor tender, and that is where GRP starts getting really heavy. Life if too short for a wet dinghy.
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Old 18-09-2020, 07:28   #28
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Talking Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

My 3rd (and last) dingy is a 9' AB ultralite with a 6hp 2 stroke. Easy to handle and pull up on the beach. Tracks straight as an arrow and gets up on a plane with 2 people and supplies. Will carry 4 people and baggage.
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Old 18-09-2020, 07:44   #29
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

I have a 10 ft Portabote with a 3.5 up 2 stroke which is light and easy to stow, but isnít as stable as a RIB. It is fine for going from boat to dinghy dock but not as good for exploring. I recently bought an 11 ft center console RIB with a Yamaha 40 hp motor and a 12 gallon integral tank. This is great for exploring and is everything you can ask for in a tender. The drawback is itís weight for stowing on a sailing vessel. This is the typical setup in the Caribbean with a good towing bridle or with a winch on a >35 ft powerboat. Of course, I wouldnít recommend towing this in the open ocean.
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Old 18-09-2020, 07:48   #30
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Re: Dinghy Discussion (Help me learn what i'm missing please)

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There is always people in these threads saying what's the rush slow down. Presumably they aren't anchored in Spanish Water Curacao (the only pace on the Island you can anchor for over 3 days) where the majority of the time it's gusting 25knts. You will get completely soaked in displacement mode (and sometimes even planing) every time you go to the dock which can be a distance.

Anchoring in St Anne, and going into Le Marin would be another one, even further distance. Otherwise you're stuck getting the bus.

Or being in Marigot, St Martin, or even the French side of the Lagoon, and wanting to go the Dutch side. All can be pretty rough and wet in even a slight blow (and it is usually blowing), and good dinghy and planing ability makes a HUGE difference.

The OP is looking something with a high payload. Solid dinghies don't have that unless you go bit or GTFO which I presume is why such a large one was suggested. RIBS, can with bigger tubes, but Air floor dinghies tend to have the highest payload capacity for their size, and due to their increased buoyancy would be faster than the same size rib, but handle more poorly.

P.S Is there even such a thing as a PVC Rigid Inflatable Boat? I thought your options are Aluminium or fibreglass. Solid PVC sounds like it would be extremely heavy as a hull for a RIB.
PVC would be the tube material not the planing hull material, seems as though PVC even the better quality materials are outperformed by Hypalon material , (seams and fabric surface will deteriorate in strong sun over shorter time than hypalon)
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