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Old 09-03-2020, 11:12   #1
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Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Hi,

we are looking to buy a 10 foot RIB for permanent use as a tender in the Carribean and Mediterranean.

If we go with a Hypalon dinghy, does that make chaps redundant? Or does a Hypalon dinghy need chaps as well? And if I have to buy chaps, then why not go with the 30% cheaper PVC version?

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Old 09-03-2020, 11:18   #2
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Even hypalon Uv burns and gets chafed

Chaps are always a good addition

It’s up to you
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:56   #3
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

my hypalon dinghy is from 1978 (avon brand). not a single hole in it. heavily used..

probably redundant, but surely cant hurt keeping it out of the sun
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:22   #4
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

My advice is to pass on a cheap dink. There is not much that gets more use than your dink. Now tongue in cheek but you can get by in the Med with a cheaper, non hypolon dink but the minute you cross over to the Caribbean everything changes. If you were doing the Med for several years you could make sense out of buying a cheap dink and 2hp motor as that would fill most all your needs. When you hit the Caribbean then an ideal set up is a hypolon dink and 15hp motor. There is no cheaper place in the world to buy that combo than the Caribbean. Sell your cheap dink to a economy cruiser and keep the small motor for back up and short trips. The reason I mention this is because prices in the Med for a decent hypolon dink are very high in comparison to the Caribbean plus the most popular engine in the Caribbean is a 15hp 2 stroke which you can not buy in the Med. Just a few things to consider when making your decision...cheers, R
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:43   #5
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Even being Hypalon is not a magic bullet, my last dinghy lasted I think three years and was stored in an aircraft hanger over the winters and we weren’t even cruisers then. That is how long it took the glue that held it together to fail as well as all the rubber bits like the rub rail that turned to goo.
However the Hypalon fabric was in good condition.
This dinghy is an aluminum AB, and got chaps from the beginning, the chaps are wearing faster than I expected, and I’d guess they will go about five years before they are heavily patched and probably should be replaced.
However the dinghy under the chaps looks new
We are full time now and it is not ever stored.
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Old 09-03-2020, 14:22   #6
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

I'd recommend the chaps.


Modern "hypalon" is thinner than the stuff used years ago so it is more susceptible to wear. My dinghy has been out in the weather on and off for over 10 years and has had little issue with UV degradation or glued seam failure, however it is starting to show signs of wear along the top layer of the fabric so we are in the process of adding chaps to help protect it.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:38   #7
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

All the above are true...

However, a cruising buddy has JUST now had a seam separation in his vinyl dink after more than 10 years under chaps.

Chaps take the abuse. If you have always had chaps on, removal reveals a like-new surface underneath. They take the UV and the light abrasion that will kill any inflatable, regardless of media.

Chaps, whichever way you go!
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:17   #8
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

We went PVC with chaps, very happy with the advantages of PVC and we believe the chaps will significantly improve the usable life of the dinghy.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:06   #9
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Buy the best dinghy that you can afford.

Hypelon and chaps for the longest life.
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Old 10-03-2020, 13:13   #10
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

What Mikado said. Hypalon is the best material for an inflatable--but not all makers using it are equal. Far and away the best for long life used to be the Japanese Achilles. In Australia Swift are about the best of the Hypalon inflatables.

I have had an unused inflatable made from PVC fail on its first use--after being stored below decks for two years as a spare. The glue was the failure not the material. The seams simply fell apart.

I had a top brand Zodiac PVC inflatable that was never worth a damn. Seams simply separated--Now I use a Polycraft and forget about deflating. It is almost as stable as the best of the inflatables for stability--the Zodiac I used to use was excellent in that respect.

The Zodiac was heavy and cumbersome out of the water, but even so I have seen that Zodiac twelve feet above the deck flying like a kite in a strong wind--so whatever you have--always bowse it down well using good webbing resistant to UV degradation.

These days the Polycraft gets hung up on a rack, stored lashed down on deck in a cradle or stays ashore in my shed in a launching marine trailer. It will take a 15 hp outboard, but I never used more than 3.5. Inflatables are not easy to row well. The Polycraft rows very well.

Another option to consider are Folboats. Very few have a bad word to say about them, and for their size and carrying capacity are light and strong and store flat.
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Old 10-03-2020, 16:49   #11
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Another vote for chaps even on hypalon. It reduces chafe, puncture, etc, and is a LOT cooler to sit your butt on after snorkelling while the dink bakes in the hot tropical sun.
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Old 10-03-2020, 17:36   #12
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Other than cost, what are the advantages of PVC? I only have to add air once a season to my Hypalon AB.
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Old 10-03-2020, 20:34   #13
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

I have an Achilles Hypalon and its used full time out in the tropical sun with no chaps for years now. So far no signs of UV damage. PVC gives off a gas and this gas attacks the glue holding the raft together, over time the glue fails and the raft starts to come apart. As a longer time investment your better to buy the more expensive Hypalon. But one bad thing about Hypalon. If you need to repair it you need a special glue. But given how widespread Hypalon rafts are this glue is widely available at most marine supply stores.
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Old 10-03-2020, 21:20   #14
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Even being Hypalon is not a magic bullet, my last dinghy lasted I think three years and was stored in an aircraft hanger over the winters and we weren’t even cruisers then. That is how long it took the glue that held it together to fail as well as all the rubber bits like the rub rail that turned to goo.
However the Hypalon fabric was in good condition.
.
This is not a case of UV damage, but rather another story of Hypalon glue aging. Storing un-inflated isn't healthy for the seams of Hypalon boats.

I say this as my own RIB sits un-inflated, nesting over my Walker Bay while I'm in another country.
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Old 10-03-2020, 21:22   #15
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Re: Dinghy: Hypalon vs Chaps

Better quality PVC dinks have welded seams, not glued, and those seams are quite reliable.

The glued seams in hypalon dinks vary considerably in quality and lifetime. Most of the adhesives used are quite humidity sensitive (during manufacture). If the factory does not have a climate controlled assembly bay the quality varies from day to day. We once were checking out a Nouvarania (sp?) dink that had been built in Auckland NZ under license. It was quite literally falling apart on the showroom floor. Ann peeled the rubstrake right off the hull, just while t he salesman was extolling the wonderful long lived quality. He was not impressed... nor were we!

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