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Old 08-05-2020, 09:30   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New Jersey
Boat: Beneteau 323
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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?"

Ted Weitz
Beneteau 323 "Gossamer Wings"
Three Mile Harbor, East Hampton, NY
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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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Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
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Re: Other dinghy brands

Iíve 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 donít 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 couldnít 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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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX/Port Aransas, TX
Boat: 1990 Macintosh 47, "Merlin"
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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
Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
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Old 08-05-2020, 20:40   #5
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Portland, Oregon
Boat: Corbin 39' Pilot House Cutter
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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.

Sometimes, West Marine branded stuff is ok.

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