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View Poll Results: Dingy preference poll...
Achilles 4 14.81%
AB 6 22.22%
Highfield 9 33.33%
Zodiac 1 3.70%
Other 8 29.63%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-04-2021, 10:19   #1
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Poll... Inflatables?

Hello Members.....well, we are in the dingy market. I've had Zodiacs before and was quite happy.... but, that was over 25 years ago. Seems the market has quite a few choices now. So, looking for feedback?

I just sold the Zodiac that came with the boat Rib/glass/forward anchor compartment.....dang thing was just too heavy for Gloria and I to manage (if storing on deck). I'm thinking alumn rib, Cadet 300 or so? Please chime in with your experiences! Much appreciated!

Fairwinds!!
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Old 09-04-2021, 10:33   #2
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Our dinghy ideas: https://fetchinketch.net/boat_thoughts/about-dinghies/
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Old 09-04-2021, 10:55   #3
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

A dinghy is a boat's workhorse...it sees an awful amount of daily abuse.....plus it tends to be a bit of a theft target as well....

My advice, get the cheapest used hard bottom dink you can lay your hands on....internet is full of deals.....

Dinghy makers like to tout their fabric as being this, that or the other, but they can all tear, leak, etc...

it's like cars...a VW can get you to store just as easily as BMW....at a 1/3 of the price...

about the only recommendation I can make...is that don't get one that is too short....around 10' is a good minimum...
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Old 09-04-2021, 11:07   #4
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

My 2 centavos. I've only had two dinks. One was a 2010 west marine/Zodiac soft bottom 10', the other, most current is a 10' Highfield aluminum, with a 20HP. there is no comparison between the two. Although the Highfield was twice as expensive, the money spent is well worth is with regard to performance and peace of mind. We actually run 15 kts with 4 adults and a 50 pound load. the old dinghy wouldn't even plane with 4 adults. we would just push water along the way.....
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:32   #5
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

We went thru this whole exercise. We bought an AB. We went to the boat show">Miami Boat Show a couple of years ago, where we could see them all. One area had just about every dinghy made, all in one place. My wife looked them over and said "well, now I know why ABs are more expensive - they are WAY better assembled". I asked the one guy who was there who sells them all. He said "We take a new AB over to the Bahamas every year. We never come back with it." It's his favorite. I'll also jump in and say I'm probably the only person to have an issue with a Highfield. But a new one we had on a charter leaked like a sieve. Aluminum, and it had cracked at the tube joint on both sides.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:41   #6
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKny View Post
Nice write up Bill! Thanks! So, W.coast guy....and you were through here durring the anchovy kill/death? I was not in the marina at the time...but, heard all about it. ;( You prolly missed Moss Landing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
A dinghy is a boat's workhorse...it sees an awful amount of daily abuse.....plus it tends to be a bit of a theft target as well....

My advice, get the cheapest used hard bottom dink you can lay your hands on....internet is full of deals.....

Dinghy makers like to tout their fabric as being this, that or the other, but they can all tear, leak, etc...

it's like cars...a VW can get you to store just as easily as BMW....at a 1/3 of the price...

about the only recommendation I can make...is that don't get one that is too short....around 10' is a good minimum...
Yea, I've had both and gravitated to the soft... mainly as it's much easier on the ship side!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon King View Post
My 2 centavos. I've only had two dinks. One was a 2010 west marine/Zodiac soft bottom 10', the other, most current is a 10' Highfield aluminum, with a 20HP. there is no comparison between the two. Although the Highfield was twice as expensive, the money spent is well worth is with regard to performance and peace of mind. We actually run 15 kts with 4 adults and a 50 pound load. the old dinghy wouldn't even plane with 4 adults. we would just push water along the way.....
Roger on the soft bottom vers the hard. I recall my first (prolly 1984) or so.... left it in the water "Singapore" for way too long. I think I put half a dozen holes in the bottom scrapping off the barnicles, dang it.

Second one, Zodiac, soft bottom, air keel, 15hp took some abuse. I recall, Andaman Islands where I left it on deck, (about 3 months) folded up. Rat managed to get aboard, and ate a hole in the bow section, about 6" diameter. Guy/yard in Phuket Thailand....managed to fix it...in which it made it all the way to Perth W. Australia. So, they are pretty tuff and can be fixed.

Regarding the above....alluminum it shall be! Looking at the poll.... if it keeps going... I just may change my thought from Zodiac to Highfield. Interesting...

Regarding Highfield..... current (highfield) owners, please post a review! Thanks heaps!!!
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Old 09-04-2021, 14:52   #7
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept-windy View Post
Regarding the above....alluminum it shall be!

Just a thought on this, that made us switch from aluminum to fiberglass. Someone around here said: "I can repair fiberglass. I'm not very good at repairing aluminum." So, we went fiberglass on our AB.



BTW, our old airdeck dinghy was a Mercury. What a piece of junk. When we needed to replace the 3rd floor, we threw it in the trash. I spent more on floors than I did on the dinghy when it was new.
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Old 09-04-2021, 15:59   #8
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Nautica,,,pricey but durable
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Old 09-04-2021, 16:09   #9
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

We have owned 3 dinghys - one is now deceased, and it was clearly the best value. It was a Southern Pacific aluminum PVC RIB. It lasted nearly 15 years including 9 years in Mexico. It was covered when not in use and treated with 303 at least twice per year. It died when some internal seams/baffles failed and could not be repaired.

We replaced it with an AB hypalon aluminum RIB of similar size - as noted in this thread, they are not inexpensive but they are well built (and heavy compared to the Southern Pacific). We also now own a Force 4 of unknown age, also PVC/Aluminum. It must be more than 10 years old but is in very good shape and works well.

We often row to shore in small anchorages and the AB is really terrible under oar power. The Southern Pacific and the Force 4 both row well.
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Old 09-04-2021, 16:30   #10
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

We have a thick film hypalon fabric, aluminun body TUG brand RIB (some dinghies use thinner hypalon fabric). It's 10ft long with stubby aft tubes. The tubes are larger diameter compared to most other dinghy brands. As a result, the dinghy is very stable when standing in it (such as for loading and unloading), which has been a very pleasant surprise, since we hadn't considered this to be an important factor for purchase (i.e. we thought all dinghies were relatively unstable standing in them). It's got the shaped outer hull, and it has a flat floor which is more comfortable if you spend time in the dinghy. The dinghy has a relatively large locker in which we stow our lifejackets (when not using them), a small bag containing miscellaneous items and tools, a small Danforth anchor, and a small bag with chain and rope rode. She handles the weight of our 15HP outboard just fine. Underway, my wife sits forward on the locker and I'm at the stern. In addition, there's room in the dinghy for both our folding bikes, two backpacks, a basket (usually filled with groceries, lwh=15inx11x10), and a 3 gallon fuel tank. The dinghy weights just over 100 pounds empty. We highly recommend this dinghy. I think Bixiers bought Tug.
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Old 09-04-2021, 16:41   #11
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

we have just swapped a 3.6m swift aluminium / hypalon for a 3m achilles f'glass / hypalon

previously had all sorts...soft..hard...pvc

my thoughts ;

soft is better than hard
must be hypalon
on balance the ease of repairing f'glass outweighs the advantages for aluminium...but it's a close call
get the biggest dink you can manage
there is not much diff between any of the premium brands

cheers,
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Old 09-04-2021, 16:52   #12
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

My aging Carib RIB finished its last season just before COVID lockdown. Its too damn heavy and I would like to return to a hard dink. So, I built a Unitcat 2.4 with all that spare COVID lockdown time. Almost done now. Should be in the water by next week.

Spec build weight is 35kg (havent actually weighed it yet, but its WAY lighter than my RIB).


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Old 09-04-2021, 16:57   #13
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Another for AB...easy on the back when dragging up on the beach.

Abe
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Old 09-04-2021, 18:52   #14
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Have a Highfield on order now for a new boat. When I last bought a RIB the people I trust all said AB or Caribe. Five years later the same people now say Highfield.


If you want one, get your order in. Long waiting lists for some models.
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Old 09-04-2021, 21:07   #15
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Re: Poll... Inflatables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
Just a thought on this, that made us switch from aluminum to fiberglass. Someone around here said: "I can repair fiberglass. I'm not very good at repairing aluminum." So, we went fiberglass on our AB.



BTW, our old airdeck dinghy was a Mercury. What a piece of junk. When we needed to replace the 3rd floor, we threw it in the trash. I spent more on floors than I did on the dinghy when it was new.
Yes, I also can work with fiberglass....which is a plus, but a tad too heavy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
Nautica,,,pricey but durable
I did not know the name.....looked them up, yes, look very durable, I'll research the price. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marathon1150 View Post
We have owned 3 dinghys - one is now deceased, and it was clearly the best value. It was a Southern Pacific aluminum PVC RIB. It lasted nearly 15 years including 9 years in Mexico. It was covered when not in use and treated with 303 at least twice per year. It died when some internal seams/baffles failed and could not be repaired.

We replaced it with an AB hypalon aluminum RIB of similar size - as noted in this thread, they are not inexpensive but they are well built (and heavy compared to the Southern Pacific). We also now own a Force 4 of unknown age, also PVC/Aluminum. It must be more than 10 years old but is in very good shape and works well.

We often row to shore in small anchorages and the AB is really terrible under oar power. The Southern Pacific and the Force 4 both row well.
Hard to believe the PVC are lasting so long! I have always been a believer of Hapalon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ded reckoner View Post
We have a thick film hypalon fabric, aluminun body TUG brand RIB (some dinghies use thinner hypalon fabric). It's 10ft long with stubby aft tubes. The tubes are larger diameter compared to most other dinghy brands. As a result, the dinghy is very stable when standing in it (such as for loading and unloading), which has been a very pleasant surprise, since we hadn't considered this to be an important factor for purchase (i.e. we thought all dinghies were relatively unstable standing in them). It's got the shaped outer hull, and it has a flat floor which is more comfortable if you spend time in the dinghy. The dinghy has a relatively large locker in which we stow our lifejackets (when not using them), a small bag containing miscellaneous items and tools, a small Danforth anchor, and a small bag with chain and rope rode. She handles the weight of our 15HP outboard just fine. Underway, my wife sits forward on the locker and I'm at the stern. In addition, there's room in the dinghy for both our folding bikes, two backpacks, a basket (usually filled with groceries, lwh=15inx11x10), and a 3 gallon fuel tank. The dinghy weights just over 100 pounds empty. We highly recommend this dinghy. I think Bixiers bought Tug.
Will look up the tug.....thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
we have just swapped a 3.6m swift aluminium / hypalon for a 3m achilles f'glass / hypalon

previously had all sorts...soft..hard...pvc

my thoughts ;

soft is better than hard
must be hypalon
on balance the ease of repairing f'glass outweighs the advantages for aluminium...but it's a close call
get the biggest dink you can manage
there is not much diff between any of the premium brands

cheers,
Agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
My aging Carib RIB finished its last season just before COVID lockdown. Its too damn heavy and I would like to return to a hard dink. So, I built a Unitcat 2.4 with all that spare COVID lockdown time. Almost done now. Should be in the water by next week.

Spec build weight is 35kg (havent actually weighed it yet, but its WAY lighter than my RIB).


Attachment 236231
Nice job.....but I cringe when hard meets shipside before I can get there to fend off....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingabe41ds View Post
Another for AB...easy on the back when dragging up on the beach.

Abe
It's lookn' like....between AB & Highfield

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Have a Highfield on order now for a new boat. When I last bought a RIB the people I trust all said AB or Caribe. Five years later the same people now say Highfield.


If you want one, get your order in. Long waiting lists for some models.
Thanks.... regarding, order now!

Wow....Zodiac is not getting any votes, which was my pick! Looks like they may have not been keeping up to date??
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