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Old 08-05-2020, 09:30   #1
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Other dinghy brands

My old Zodiac died a couple of years ago. I have decided my little Walker Bay is just too stern weighted if I use an engine on it. So I am looking for an inexpensive solution for light duty around the harbor. We are not in a tropical climate, and I don't want something too heavy, but something that can take a small outboard. I keep seeing advertisements for brands like BRIS, NHT, Lavey and Massimo. I know they are PVC, not Hypalon, but I am willing to trade off long life for lower cost. Does anyone have any actual experience with any of these or other "off brands?"
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:50   #2
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Re: Other dinghy brands

I actually have a small Achillies roll-up with a soft bottom that I just upgraded to a 10' Highfield. The Achillies will take up to a 4hp outboard and was perfect for use for gunk-holing the little harbors around Long Island. Needed to move to a bigger RIB as we intend to do some serious travel, assuming this Covid thing ever eases up. If you're interested send me a PM. I am contemplating keeping the 4hp as a spare for the big dink but I may be willing to let that go too.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:44   #3
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Re: Other dinghy brands

I’ve had and used three off brand PVC dinghies over the years although I now have a hypalon sold by Walker Bay. They have all been high pressure air floor dinghies. The first one I bought used. I don’t know how old it was when I bought it but it lasted me 3 more years without covering it and keeping it inflated and in the sun all year. Eventually the glued on pieces failed. The second I bought new and it lasted 5 years mostly covered and used all year. The glued on parts became gummy and couldn’t be cleaned. The third lasted three and the floor failed by developing a huge blister. Before we left to go cruising I found an unusual close out deal on Amazon for the current Walker Bay Hypalon which has an air floor of PVC. I put indoor outdoor carpet on the floor and I keep a cover on it whenever it is not in use. I use a Tohatsu 3.5hp 4 stroke outboard on it. So far it is 5 years old and looking good. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-05-2020, 14:05   #4
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Re: Other dinghy brands

We did the "cheap" thing the first time - although it was hypalon. Mercury airdeck. POS, and the air deck is only warrantied for 1 year. It's PVC. The air decks are $600 a pop. And yes, they literally popped. 4 of them in 7 years. Finally threw it away. Mama saw them ALL at the boat show">Miami Boat Show. She insisted on an AB. So, we now own an AB. Should have bought it to start with. It's just so much better built than the Chinese built crap
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Old 08-05-2020, 20:40   #5
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Re: Other dinghy brands

I bought a Bris inflatable ten foot. I am more than happy with it. The first one had a bladder issue. I called them and they paid to return the boat and shipped out another one with no issues. Easy to rollup and assemble. very comfortable to run takes up to ten hp motor. I am more than satisfied.
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Old 18-05-2020, 14:19   #6
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Re: Other dinghy brands

Just bought a Highfield Hypalaon UL290 It weighs 86 pounds and looks like its quality built.
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Old 18-05-2020, 14:31   #7
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Re: Other dinghy brands

At 95lbs, this one has been working well for us for a few years now.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...SABEgJVJvD_BwE


Sometimes, West Marine branded stuff is ok.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:59   #8
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Re: Other dinghy brands

All inflatable brands are "deflatables"! You can pay a lot or pay a little but you'll be buying more than one over your lifetime of sailing. We've had a PVC West Marine 310 High Pressure Floor and a Hypalon Achilles FRP RIB, they both leaked. I have friends with Highfields with seams that let go.

We just ordered a OC Tender.....https://octenders.co.nz/
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Old 09-01-2021, 19:42   #9
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Re: Other dinghy brands

Reading all the failed inflatables reminds me of listening to the morning VHF nets in Mexico. "Does anyone know of a place that does inflatable repairs. It seems PVC one are 3-4 years of life and hypalon 5-7years or so. I've had Porta botes and I can tell you they will last twice as long at 1/2 the price. Plus, they are too ugly to steal.
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Old 09-01-2021, 19:52   #10
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Re: Other dinghy brands

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Reading all the failed inflatables reminds me of listening to the morning VHF nets in Mexico. "Does anyone know of a place that does inflatable repairs. It seems PVC one are 3-4 years of life and hypalon 5-7years or so. I've had Porta botes and I can tell you they will last twice as long at 1/2 the price. Plus, they are too ugly to steal.


My hypalon Selva rigid abs floored rib is 20 years old this Christmas currently sitting happily on its trailer in the garden for the winter !!
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Old 09-01-2021, 20:38   #11
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Re: Other dinghy brands

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My hypalon Selva rigid abs floored rib is 20 years old this Christmas currently sitting happily on its trailer in the garden for the winter !!
So how many months a year is your inflatable in the water being used? How many repairs has it had?
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Old 09-01-2021, 21:00   #12
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Re: Other dinghy brands

I have a west marine 9 foot roll up. Going on 9th season. Putting in new halkey roberts valves this winter. Otherwise, it has performed better than I thought. Use a tohatsu 3.5 hp with it.
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Old 09-01-2021, 21:11   #13
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Re: Other dinghy brands

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
So how many months a year is your inflatable in the water being used? How many repairs has it had?
My Zodiac 12' PVC airfloor is 11 years old. I've used it from 3mos to 12 months a year, totally in the topics, all that time. It has no "chaps".

I've had plenty of problems with leaks and pieces falling off but I've kept fixing them and using the thing. Last year I bought a new airfloor. I don't like this Zodiac but it's usable. New I paid $2300.

I use this dingy with a 15hp Merc. It rolls up and stores below deck when we sail. It carry's six people,
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Old 09-01-2021, 21:45   #14
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Re: Other dinghy brands

The only new dinghy I've had is my current Highfield Classic 310 that we put a really nice set of chaps on. It's been wonderful for 2+ years.

I've got my eye on an OC Tender, though. I've never operated one myself but they look fantastic.

https://octenders.co.nz/
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