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Old 12-03-2021, 09:17   #1
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Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Hello mates. I am considering buying a new inflatable dinghy (I have a worn out Avon Redcrest on her last legs). I noticed that PVC inflatables are becoming an alternative to Hypalon ones, but I am confused by the new brands and price ranges. I see brands like Newport Vessels (from China, not Rhode Island), Inflatable Sports Boats (ISB, from Colorado?), ALEKO (which makes everything from inflatable spas to retractable awnings), BRIS inflatables, etc. I am more familiar with Avon, Zodiac, Achilles, Saturn, etc. Most online review sites I consulted also list Intex inflatables as alternatives for boat tenders, which makes me doubt the reviewers' knowledge (Intex boats are good for a swimming pool but not much else IMHO). I would appreciate if you can share your wisdom on these inflatables. I am looking for a model that can ferry 4 adults from boat to shore, with a transom, and that can be rowed or pushed by a small outboard. Cheers,


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Old 13-05-2022, 05:29   #2
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Other good brands, not in any particular order:

Walker Bay
Highfield
AB
TrueKit
Takacat
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Old 30-05-2023, 03:21   #3
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Hey there! If you're in the market for a new inflatable dinghy, you should definitely check out the Navigator Hard Deck Boat LK series. These boats come with some truly impressive features that can take your boating experience to the next level.

One feature that stands out in the series is the inclusion of a keel. This inflatable keel, similar to a fish's fin, provides remarkable stability and ensures smoother movement on the water. It's a great addition for those who value control and maneuverability.

If you're on the hunt for a reliable dinghy that can comfortably transport four adults from your boat to the shore, the Navigator LK series is an excellent choice. With its transom, you can easily attach a small outboard motor for added convenience. And when you're in the mood for a more traditional approach, you can simply grab those oars and row away.

Among the sea of brands and options available, the Navigator LK series stands out due to its exceptional quality construction and thoughtful design. It's the kind of inflatable dinghy that offers both versatility and dependability, ensuring you have a fantastic boating companion.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. Happy boating!
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Old 30-05-2023, 04:02   #4
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilia Bellamy View Post
Hey there! If you're in the market for a new inflatable dinghy, you should definitely check out the Navigator Hard Deck Boat LK series. These boats come with some truly impressive features that can take your boating experience to the next level.

One feature that stands out in the series is the inclusion of a keel. This inflatable keel, similar to a fish's fin, provides remarkable stability and ensures smoother movement on the water. It's a great addition for those who value control and maneuverability.

If you're on the hunt for a reliable dinghy that can comfortably transport four adults from your boat to the shore, the Navigator LK series is an excellent choice. With its transom, you can easily attach a small outboard motor for added convenience. And when you're in the mood for a more traditional approach, you can simply grab those oars and row away.

Among the sea of brands and options available, the Navigator LK series stands out due to its exceptional quality construction and thoughtful design. It's the kind of inflatable dinghy that offers both versatility and dependability, ensuring you have a fantastic boating companion.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. Happy boating!
Bruh. How much stock do you own?
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Old 30-05-2023, 04:07   #5
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Add Caribe..have one that’s still functional that must be around 30 yoa . The key to maintaine one especially in the southern climes is dingy chaps
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Old 30-05-2023, 09:22   #6
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

I've owned Zodiac and Achillis inflatables from 10 to 16 feet. Great boats of course, but they've gotten so expensive I looked at less expensive alternatives last time around. I'm on my 4th season now with a Newport Vessels 10' Santa Cruz, and have really liked the boat for its large 18" tube diameter, high pressure inflatable floor, and tough bottom that has stood up to rocks, shells, etc. The downside is it's heavy for its length, and doesn't pack down as small as a lighter boat with smaller tubes, but that's the tradeoff for its dry ride and the feeling like you're in a substantial boat that can handle waves. The other tradeoff is that it's not hypalon, so you need to take good care of it. I keep mine protected with a fitted cover, and I apply 3m 303 marine UV protectant every season. 4 years in it looks like new and appears to be in great shape. I use it as my tender on my Catalina 34, and I also trailer it using it for dive trips, fishing trips, etc.
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Old 30-05-2023, 10:27   #7
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

I'll rank Saturn as among the worst quality. After only 2 years from new and several repairs already of seams, it let go all at once and suddenly sank right out from under me.

It is honestly priced for it's low quality, however. So if you need something cheap for only one season, it could work.
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Old 30-05-2023, 10:39   #8
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Is PVC actually holding up in the tropics, have they changed something about the chemistry/finish to prevent UV degradation?

I inherited a small, folding-bottom Achilles on my last boat, and really liked it (as long as you don't need to plane). It only ever developed one or two small leaks in my 3 years of using it daily, in the tropics, and that was without dinghy chaps. My only rub, so to speak, was the wooden edges of the folding floor would rub against the tubes and create wear points. Would be smart to insert some foam/soft tubing there to prevent chafe. But they aren't really cheap, either.

I bet you can find a good price on a used Hypalon dinghy, in good condition. I think that would be my preference over a new PVC dinghy.
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Old 30-05-2023, 11:26   #9
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

I think it depends on the brand. It certainly is possible to add UV inhibitors to PVC. Mine Saturn failed at multiple seams. The plastic wasn't too bad.
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Old 30-05-2023, 13:21   #10
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

My hypalon Achilles is now over 20 years old. Yes only used when summer cruising here in the northeast, but what a great boat.
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Old 30-05-2023, 13:31   #11
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Just started season 5 with my Inflatable Sport Shark 9.8. I have been very happy. It was $1399 in June, 2019.

It’s a tough little boat that still holds every ounce of air I put in it. I would buy one again tomorrow. We seasonally cruise New England.

It lives on our davits in the summer and is stored outside, under the boat in the winter.
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Old 30-05-2023, 14:50   #12
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Originally Posted by Ilia Bellamy
Hey there! If you're in the market for a new inflatable dinghy, you should definitely check out the Navigator Hard Deck Boat LK series. These boats come with some truly impressive features that can take your boating experience to the next level.

One feature that stands out in the series is the inclusion of a keel. This inflatable keel, similar to a fish's fin, provides remarkable stability and ensures smoother movement on the water. It's a great addition for those who value control and maneuverability.

If you're on the hunt for a reliable dinghy that can comfortably transport four adults from your boat to the shore, the Navigator LK series is an excellent choice. With its transom, you can easily attach a small outboard motor for added convenience. And when you're in the mood for a more traditional approach, you can simply grab those oars and row away.

Among the sea of brands and options available, the Navigator LK series stands out due to its exceptional quality construction and thoughtful design. It's the kind of inflatable dinghy that offers both versatility and dependability, ensuring you have a fantastic boating companion.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. Happy boating!

Bruh. How much stock do you own?



It seems like alot of bots are coming from Canada.What's up with that?
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Old 30-05-2023, 15:04   #13
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryban View Post
My only rub, so to speak, was the wooden edges of the folding floor would rub against the tubes and create wear points. Would be smart to insert some foam/soft tubing there to prevent chafe.
I was thinking about this in regards to air decks. It does seem like they would be kinder to the tubes & bottom at an obvious stress point. I know one thing though.....air decks are really comfy compared to aluminum or plywood. I wasn't at all sure I'd like it, but for the most part I've been happy I went that way. Yeah, it's hard to get a scuba tank to stand up on an air deck, but that's pretty much never a good idea anyway.
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Old 31-05-2023, 06:50   #14
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Put Mercury in your “worst” column. We had a hypalon air deck dinghy. But the air decks are pvc, and last about a year. Not covered by warranty. $800 a pop. Replaced it with an AB fiberglass dingh, which we’ve had for 5 years, and love.
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Old 02-06-2023, 05:13   #15
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Re: Best and worst inflatable dinghy brands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilia Bellamy View Post
Hey there! If you're in the market for a new inflatable dinghy, you should definitely check out the Navigator Hard Deck Boat LK series. These boats come with some truly impressive features that can take your boating experience to the next level.

One feature that stands out in the series is the inclusion of a keel. This inflatable keel, similar to a fish's fin, provides remarkable stability and ensures smoother movement on the water. It's a great addition for those who value control and maneuverability.

If you're on the hunt for a reliable dinghy that can comfortably transport four adults from your boat to the shore, the Navigator LK series is an excellent choice. With its transom, you can easily attach a small outboard motor for added convenience. And when you're in the mood for a more traditional approach, you can simply grab those oars and row away.

Among the sea of brands and options available, the Navigator LK series stands out due to its exceptional quality construction and thoughtful design. It's the kind of inflatable dinghy that offers both versatility and dependability, ensuring you have a fantastic boating companion.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. Happy boating!
These boats look to be pretty heavy. The smallest one is 119 lbs which could be a chore to store or move around.

We just bought a Takacat for our Dragonfly 32 trimaran and weight and compactness (when deflated) were important since we will stow the deflated boat in our float compartments when underway. The Takacat we purchased is half the weight. Takacatís get pretty good reviews and ours is new so the jury is out on durability but first uses with it have been good.
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