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Old 30-01-2020, 16:00   #1
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Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

We have a 9' Highfiled inflatable, we had a 9.9 hp on it but finaly gave up and traded it in for a 6 hp.(9.9 was way to heave to move around) I am good with this, but would a flatbottom/rollup inflatable with a a hard sectionable floor be a better choice? Im not looking to go fast....obviously... but having a planing dingy with one person onboard would be nice, (Current dingy does that) but maybe a flatbottom would be better.

Would apreciate different perspective and opinions.

TIA

Chris
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Old 30-01-2020, 16:12   #2
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Completely dependent on what you expect from a dinghy and how you plan to use it.
For us we want a large, fast dry ride and able to cover long distances, so we would be miserable with a roll up. We almost never take a mooring or Marina and that very often means anchoring a ways away from town, often outside of the bay etc.
However if we mostly stayed in mooring fields where planning isn’t allowed and mostly only went shore and back then a roll up would be fine and in fact would probably be better as you wouldn’t need davits etc
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Old 30-01-2020, 16:14   #3
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Thanks, understand completely... getting up in age and trying to minimize body strain.
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Old 30-01-2020, 16:25   #4
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

From an ease of use thing, if you have davits I would think a lightweight hard dinghy would be easiest, like an AB ultralight.
I use my sheet winches and a Milwaukee drill to raise ours so the only work is holding the drill trigger on.
A roll up would I assume mean hoisting it on deck, deflating it and rolling it up, and then the reverse when you move of course.
Many tow their dinghies when not on passage, but I don’t like doing that myself.
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Old 30-01-2020, 16:43   #5
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Chris, you might give thought to an airfloor with an inflatable keel. It will track truer than a flat floor, weighs even less and can still be fully deflated and rolled up. No, it wonít plane like a RIB but it may be a good compromise for you to consider.
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Old 30-01-2020, 16:58   #6
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

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Chris, you might give thought to an airfloor with an inflatable keel. It will track truer than a flat floor, weighs even less and can still be fully deflated and rolled up. No, it won’t plane like a RIB but it may be a good compromise for you to consider.
Interesting, you think a v-bottom RIB will plane easier than a flatbottom inflatable? I really thought it would be the other way around..... hmm might just keep the Highfield then... Thanks
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Old 30-01-2020, 17:31   #7
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

The dinghies with separate slats making a wobbly flexible floor do not in my experience plane well. The flat floor dinghy with plywood inserts will plane easily but may wander and not remain under control during turns. In the airfloor dinghies the inflated keel helps somewhat in solving those problems.
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Old 30-01-2020, 17:32   #8
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Flat bottom sucks to the water surface and will start to plow before youíll get it on plane. We had a roll up and the faster you end the lower the bow went. Glad we made the switch to a fg hull but I have been in a HPA keel dingy and I was impressed at how it handled. Donít know about running them on rocks though.
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Old 30-01-2020, 17:40   #9
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Have a 10' flat bottom with aluminum floor and an inflatable keel. Works fine but need about 8 HP to get it on plane. With 6HP it can be done but requires shifting weight forward until it starts to plane then quickly shift aft some. It's a fairly heavy 10 footer though at about 105lbs just for the boat. But it's a much better boat than a roll up IMHO.
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Old 30-01-2020, 18:38   #10
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

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Originally Posted by Chris777 View Post
Interesting, you think a v-bottom RIB will plane easier than a flatbottom inflatable? I really thought it would be the other way around..... hmm might just keep the Highfield then... Thanks
Flat bottom inflatables do not plane readily with any kind of load. They have little longitudinal rigidity and they have more skin friction. If you have one, just go slow.

But we have used dingys with inflatable floors and inflatable keels for over 20 years (two of them one Avon 341 and one Zodiac 360). They both rolled up completely and can be stowed in lockers or below decks. They both planed readily with small motors. They are light and pull up on the shore easier than heavy RIB's. We chose them to be able to get them off the deck when at sea. We would never consider davits for reasons of windage, weight aloft and in the ends, the big effect on sailing performance, and danger in extreme weather.

We previously had a dingy with plywood floors and it was so hard to put together. Roll ups have little longitudinal rigidity so are not satisfactory for planning. So for us the inflatable with an inflatable floor and keel was the only choice and essential.

That being said a RIB is a far superior boat with a proper hull shape and the stiffness that the inflatable lacks. There are maintenance issues with the inflatable floor. How I wished for a RIB many times over the years, but the storage of it and the weight were show stoppers.

For us, sailing performance and safety at sea were paramount so we sacrificed the better RIB and don't carry one or a flat bottom..
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Old 31-01-2020, 09:06   #11
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Thank you everyone for the replies.... I guess I have the best already. The 9' highfield stowes relatively easy on the foredeck for passages and on the davits when staitionary.

Thanks,

Chris
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Old 31-01-2020, 11:11   #12
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

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Originally Posted by Chris777 View Post
We have a 9' Highfiled inflatable, we had a 9.9 hp on it but finaly gave up and traded it in for a 6 hp.(9.9 was way to heave to move around) I am good with this, but would a flatbottom/rollup inflatable with a a hard sectionable floor be a better choice? Im not looking to go fast....obviously... but having a planing dingy with one person onboard would be nice, (Current dingy does that) but maybe a flatbottom would be better.

Would apreciate different perspective and opinions.

TIA

Chris
In general, it's hard to beat a Highfield. If motor weight is your issue and you don't need to go fast or tow, then an electric motor would be your best bet. I like the E propulsion brand as they're very quite and US made. Maybe keep the 6hp on the rail for emergencies. Plus they only weigh about 50lbs total but can be broken down into lighter bits if that's too much weight for you.
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Old 31-01-2020, 11:16   #13
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

A RIB is far better, but if you dont go very far exploring etc, a flat bottom will work. It's all about boating and lifestyle, so we need to know that. For a lot of cruising nothing beats a RIB. But if you have a shallow draft mother ship, maybe you don't need to go 20 miles in the dingy exploring.
Davits are one of the most useful things I ever put on a boat. Easy for day trips. Easy for security. Then you can have a RIB and 10-15 Hp to go anywhere you want!

But my friends sailed to New Zealand from the US with a vinyl floor rollup (for ease of storing) They just made it work.
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Old 31-01-2020, 13:01   #14
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

So far I like my $600 Hydro-Force inflatable. Planes well with 6 HP, rated to 15. Separate side, floor and keel chambers and aluminum floor. Only disadvantage I can see is soft bottom and it's a PITA to assemble/disassemble. Of course for the money, it's PVC and probably won't last like Hypalon.
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Old 01-02-2020, 21:31   #15
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Re: Dingy hardbottom or rollup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris777 View Post
We have a 9' Highfiled inflatable, we had a 9.9 hp on it but finaly gave up and traded it in for a 6 hp.(9.9 was way to heave to move around) I am good with this, but would a flatbottom/rollup inflatable with a a hard sectionable floor be a better choice? Im not looking to go fast....obviously... but having a planing dingy with one person onboard would be nice, (Current dingy does that) but maybe a flatbottom would be better.

Would apreciate different perspective and opinions.

TIA

Chris
No need to go flat bottom.
We don't like a hard bottom (RIB) as it cannot be stowed. We use a Zodiac Fastroller - good solid V, good solid floor, and planes with two of us aboard and a 6HP 4-stroke (yuk - much prefer a 2-stroke, but hard to find in the Med).
When we are done and want to do some serious sailing, it just rolls up, and stows in a bag either on the fore-deck, a locker, or in a cabin below. Can't do that with a RIB. A RIB will plane a little easier, but for the lack of convenience, there is for us no question.
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