You want a good quality modern dinghy. Somebody's going to get a wonderful, easy dinghy when you sell that Avon. We have friends who used one of those, soft floor and soft transom. Cruised for years with it. Nobody wants to steal them, it's more fun to zip around with an outboard
, although there were frames for the transom that would take a small Sea Gull motor
If you're going to choose a new hypalon dinghy, the Swifts, made in Australia
are good RIBs. If choosing between two brands, if both are hypalon, aluminum
RIBs of the same size, any difference in weight will be from using lighter weight hypalon for the tubes. We got fooled with that, and were unhappy because the thinner hypalon wears out from sun exposure.
In fact, so unhappy were with the difficulty and priciness of good quality hypalon, that we actually retubed with the dread PVC tubes from China
, made from German PVC. It is in its 4th year, now, and has had a cover on it, and the pvc is still good. But we expect 10 yrs. from a good hypalon dinghy, we'll see what the future holds with this one. The tubes are on a Swift hull
, which is what Gemini
(who supplied the tubes from South African hypalon) used for their dinghies, and undersold Swifts.
You really need a consultant, because the devil is in the details. You'll want to select the best quality hypalon/hull package you can find. The Highfield (Chinese) dinghies have a following here, but are not yet old enough to know whether they hold up to Swift, Caribe, or AB standards. You want the best, you want at least 18" tubes (keeps you dryer); and you want the 10 yr. guarantee. The black Bombards built by the French look pretty interesting. They are very heavy duty (their Navy
use them); they are large and weigh a lot. Only know one couple with one, they've had it for years and years, now, and were quite satisfied with it, for their usage.
Good luck with it. Given your boat size, I think a smaller dinghy would suit better, but without knowing how many people and or pets
you have to get to and from shore.....well, it's hard to make a recommendation. If the dinghy has to fit within your foretriangle to go places, that will limit it's size.
Air floors are vulnerable to fuel
Dinghies, like big boats, wind
up being compromises. Value per $, fits where you want to store it, does what you need or want. Good luck with it. It's more complicated than one might think at first go.