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Old 03-10-2019, 00:05   #1
Zai
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The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I need help in choosing an inflatable dinghy and the internet is full of propaganda.

I would like advice based on experience.

I am looking for about 2.7 meter to 2.9 meter I am undecided about a rib or normal hard floor or even inflatable floor.

It seems to me from the research I have done to date that it is difficult to find a dinghy which is not made in China.

Thanks in advance for the pool of knowledge!
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Old 03-10-2019, 00:11   #2
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zai View Post
I need help in choosing an inflatable dinghy and the internet is full of propaganda.

I would like advice based on experience.

I am looking for about 2.7 meter to 2.9 meter I am undecided about a rib or normal hard floor or even inflatable floor.

It seems to me from the research I have done to date that it is difficult to find a dinghy which is not made in China.

Thanks in advance for the pool of knowledge!
My 2 cents worth would be hypalon with a hard floor. Country of origin not so important but be aware that you don't get a rolls royce for the price of a ford.
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Old 03-10-2019, 00:12   #3
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Sorry,
I have spent some time looking at dinghy threads here already.
I should have given a little more info.
I am looking for a Hypalon dingy.
The dinghy hangs on davits from my solar arch.

Thanks Bob, yes I agree and don't mind to pay more for quality.
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Old 03-10-2019, 00:13   #4
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I've recently changed to an inflatable floor dinghy and really like it. Much better for kneeling on! This is for a dinghy that we deflate and pack regularly so that was the primary reason, and we run electric so planing isn't a serious concern. There is an inflatable keel under the floor so it will plane when lightly loaded, and certainly would with more power.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:14   #5
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Having sold my 10 ft wood floor Archilles that I had for over 20 years, I've been looking at new ones. The panel wood floor was very difficult to assemble on deck of the sailboat so I originally decided on a high pressure floor, but now I'm having second thoughts thinking that just maybe the newer hard floor Al dinghies might be easier to assemble on deck. I prefer the harder floor if it's easier than that old wood floor to assemble.
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:44   #6
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Love my Achilles RIB lite, folding transom. Not monster heavy like RIBs can be. Folding transom keeps it a low profile package when deflated. Easy to inflate too. No assembly required. Lots of inflatables don't get deflated. Too much work to reinflate.
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:55   #7
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

We’ve been impressed with the quality and performance of our Highfield.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:15   #8
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

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We’ve been impressed with the quality and performance of our Highfield.
Yes I have been looking at the Highfield and even though it is made in China the web site says they have very good quality control and state what Hypalon they are using.

How long have you had it?
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:10   #9
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I read on the Achilles web site that at least some of the boats are made in China now, but they mean that quality is still the same.

It also seems that they don't make any PVC boats. and have a 5 year warrantee.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:22   #10
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

We have the Orca (Hypalon) version of the Highfield 3.1 and find it quite suitable. Had it about two years, mostly in the tropics. Have to add air about once a year.

However, if I had to do it again I'd go with a rigid dinghy. If you never deflate it then why have an inflatable? There are now rigid dinghies that mimic RIBs and you don't have to worry about air, UV, etc. Depends on whether or not you ever think you'll deflate the boat.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:38   #11
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

We had a Southern Pacific aluminum RIB that was light, comfortable and lasted for just over 14 years. We replaced it with an AB aluminum RIB. It is a noticeable 10lbs heavier and therefore more trouble to get on deck where we store it. It is hypalon and the Southern Pacific was PVC. If I were buying another dinghy, I would look carefully at a Highfield. The same length dinghy is lighter than the AB and they appear to be very well built.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:41   #12
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

My main criteria is weight. I had a solid floor Avon, but it was really too heavy for me to lift, so I exchanged it for a smaller Hypalon with pump up floor. Now I have comfort in the dinghy and it is light enough for me to haul it around easily. You can get some lightweight ones now that are less than 20 Kilos.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:15   #13
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

Last year I bought a West Marine Hypalon RIB, I have a 5 hp Merc on it, very impressed with quality & weight at 100 lbs for 10 ft.
I hang it on davits on the solar arch too. It deflates nicely for stowage on deck.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:21   #14
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

I have had a few Hypalons, most with issues, the most noted was a Zodiac, not the ones that rusted, but the ones you had to assemble the floor boards, which was great with the inflatable keel and a 15 hp. Stowed or towed, did not fit on deck, but was great for offshore passages. Did not stand the test of time, and eventually had to paint the bottom with vinyl deck paint. Now I have a fg rib PVC, ancient in age, never had an issue with, 15" tubes, very stable, beaches well, not afraid of barnacles, but I use a Sea Wise lift, so weight is not a problem. Guess I am a PVC guy now.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:58   #15
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Re: The bottom line on inflatable dinghies

We really need to know your intended use of the dinghy, short or long runs, open or protected water, number of occupants, etc. We cruise the Bahamas and therefore prefer something that can plane, ie hard bottom. We had a rib with a fiberglass bottom, but are now looking at aluminum to reduce the weight. Also considering a double floor to get storage and a flat sole. Wish list maybe as that gets pricey.
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