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Old 19-08-2019, 22:16   #46
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Hello, I am in the same seat as the OP and would like to reawaken this thread.

I am looking to purchase a new, or used 9.5’ to 10’ RIB. It is going on a newly installed Hurley H30 davit, on my swim platform. Trying to keep the weight down to not effect the performance of my boat. I like the idea of Aluminum for the reduced weight and I would think it would be a tougher bottom for beaching and rocks. But, what are the downsides to aluminum? I am in Florida, so does the aluminum get too hot for bare feet? What do I have to do to maintain the aluminum, compared to fiberglass?

All guidance is appreciated!

Thanks,

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Old 19-08-2019, 22:34   #47
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Dani-lu View Post
Hello, I am in the same seat as the OP and would like to reawaken this thread.

I am looking to purchase a new, or used 9.5í to 10í RIB. It is going on a newly installed Hurley H30 davit, on my swim platform. Trying to keep the weight down to not effect the performance of my boat. I like the idea of Aluminum for the reduced weight and I would think it would be a tougher bottom for beaching and rocks. But, what are the downsides to aluminum? I am in Florida, so does the aluminum get too hot for bare feet? What do I have to do to maintain the aluminum, compared to fiberglass?

Jeff
Like one of the other posters, I also have an Oceancraft all alu inflatable-style dinghy.... Ken's ridden in her, by the way, I was gonna suggest it but I don't think it'd go with that pretty pretty oyster of his The tubes get hot in the sun (but not as much as you'd think), but the floor never really does because it's in full contact with the water so the heat wicks away immediately.
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Old 21-08-2019, 05:12   #48
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I am on my first season of my Highfield 9.5 aluminum double floor inflatable. Brilliant design, very stiff and dry, love the fuel tank locker in bow. The ďbilgeĒ space can hold a lot of water so feet and bags stay dry
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Old 21-08-2019, 05:59   #49
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Highfield makes dinghys in PVC and Hypalon. We purchased a Hypalon one this year. Seems like a nice dinghy but we havenít used it a lot yet.

Steve
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Old 21-08-2019, 18:55   #50
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Yes mine is Hypalon also.
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Old 21-08-2019, 19:02   #51
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I can do fiberglass repair. But I can't do aluminum. And you have to remove the tubes if you have to weld the aluminum
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Old 22-08-2019, 05:12   #52
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

I canít imagine what I could do to the dinghy that would require welding Al. But I suppose thatís a factor
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Old 22-08-2019, 06:03   #53
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

In the past, we've owned an AB aluminum dinghy and found it to be excellent. When we purchased ours (maybe 15 years ago) the aluminum was all powder-coated. After some time the coating failed. I see that AB is now offering their aluminum boats unpainted, but you can specify painting (powder coating?) if you want.

I also have two cruising friends with Highfields, and both of them like them a lot. They are extremely light weight; I can't help but wonder if the additional weight of an AB aluminum might be helpful in choppy conditions.

If you want to stay with your 15 HP Mercury, the lighter boat might be better, but I'm not sure it will plane 4 people, if that is your goal.

Greg
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Old 22-08-2019, 06:12   #54
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Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

AB offers a bare aluminum hull. Always has I believe.
I was all set to save some money and buy a Highfield, but they do not offer a bare hull. Itís my opinion that eventually any powder coating on aluminum will fail. Itís not the fault of the powder coat, itís the aluminum. You get a scratch or other defect that lets water in and the aluminum corrodes and pops the powder coat off.
Be nice if they anodized them, but as far as I know no one does.

You donít have to remove the tubes to weld, unless the crack is very, very close to the tubes, anyone that has welded aluminum can tell you that the aluminum conducts heat so well that it stays cool even pretty close to the weld, aluminum is a very good conductor of heat.
Iíd expect the only time you would get a crack is from a fatigue crack, and a well designed dinghy ought not fatigue and crack. If you smack a rock hard it should still bend and not crack.
I know of no downside to an aluminum dinghy over a fiberglass one, and Iíve had both. I guess you could argue that a bare aluminum hull isnít as attractive as fiberglass, cause except maybe on day one it shines, but soon after that it gets a dull grey layer of corrosion on it.
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Old 22-08-2019, 06:23   #55
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

If you get aluminum then get it unpainted. Eventually the paint starts peeling off anyway. Then the peeling paint looks really ugly. Who cares if unpainted aluminum is not pretty, it is very functional. You never have to worry about scratching it. Oxidized aluminum works as its own anti-corrosive barrier coat....if that makes sense. Aluminum is also much tougher than gel coated fiberglass and has a better strength to weight ratio. Don't worry about landing it on a rocky beach either. Aluminum can bend but then fiberglass can chip or crack...so that's a wash.

If looking pretty is the most important factor then get fiberglass. If durability is more important then get aluminum.
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Old 22-08-2019, 10:52   #56
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

Does anyone have notices about AluRiB 3D Tender?
https://www.3dtender.com/
Issues, strengths and weaknesses
Thanks
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Old 27-08-2019, 15:40   #57
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Black Eagle View Post
Does anyone have notices about AluRiB 3D Tender?
https://www.3dtender.com/
Issues, strengths and weaknesses
Thanks
As a French company, I see 3D Tenders on French cruising boats all the time in Spain and Portugal. They are lighter than nearly any other boat out there. They look the part and from what I've seen perform well. I've not been in one mind.

I also hear from UK sailors who've bought cheaper light weight 3d tender folding boats, that the support hasn't been what they hoped.
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Old 27-08-2019, 16:05   #58
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

The negative is higher cost.
Our AB bare aluminum doesn't get hot, or no hotter than anything else in the sun. Cooler than the tubes. AL is light enough to get the floor which keeps your feet and stuff dry.

We traded down from a AB Navigo 10VS 10.5' (169 lbs) fiberglass to a AB Lammina 9.5AL 9.5' AB aluminum (95 lbs) and it's night and day difference in weight. Especially noticeable dragging up on a beach and raising in the davits. Both with bow lockers.
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Old 27-08-2019, 16:24   #59
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

OceanCraft in Australia ships worldwide and makes an all aluminum dingy with a money back guarantee to never sink. Their dingy's look like inflatables but are all aluminum, tubular rigid hull boats.

Their web address: "www.oceancraft.com.au"
Ocean Craft House 0416 293 686
PO Box 3791 DC . Caloundra . QLD . 4551 .
Australia ABN 9250 4677 321

They have a wide range of sizes. Most have a DeepV hull with the side tubes which act like outriggers in a turn. They are fast and can handle a lot of horsepower.



The YouTube sailing channel SV Delos has had one of their smaller dingys for over 5 years now(maybe longer). Their's has a flip up spray skirt which doubles as a seat cushion or as a rub-rail cushion depending on how you have it configured.

Here is a picture of Maggie with the spray skirt cushions down:


and "UP"


Bottom shot:


I got a quote on one this summer to be delivered to the USA and it wasn't much more money than a good quality rigid hull inflatable. It could be the last dingy that I ever will need to purchase, so the small difference in price seems worth it.

I have a 38' boat with a boomed staysail, so I'm still working out how to fit it on my deck for cruising, but since you have davits, this would be a good fit.
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Old 28-08-2019, 01:18   #60
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Re: Fiberglass vs Aluminum for RIB Dinghy?

A friend of mine has an Oceancraft. It's a nice dinghy, very expensive if you want to buy/ship one out of Aus. Extremely rigid. so much so at any speed, or any wave action and you want some cycling shorts to protect your ass.
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