We have a small Achilles hypalon with an inflatable
floor. I don't believe they still make that model. We live aboard all summer at a mid-coast Maine
(quite alliterative), so the dink gets heavily used. It has only a 2.3 hp but it's rated for 4 hp. Maybe 6 knots or so with two adults aboard. It may plane a bit with the 4 hp. and a light load, not sure, but it's not going to plane as easily as some other hard floor dinks or RIBs.
We've had four people in it but you have to watch your weight limit/distribution and it's tight. Works fine for two or three.
We bought it in 2012 for the weight and the hypalon. Our 31' Cape Dory
has stern davits
(don't laugh, davits
for us were a selling point as we can't do heavy lifting). At 70 lbs, the rig doesn't overload the boat
aft. With the wide tidal ranges in Maine
, it's easy for the two of us to drag it on/off off a beach.
We have had no major problems with the air floor though one has to be sure not to inflate over the MFR. specs. It changes firmness with the wide temp ranges in Maine. It's not wise to stand on the airfloor. We have no dog, don't fish
from it and are carefull with sharp objects, so we've had no punctures. We do get mold
accumulation under the floor, but it's not that hard to remove when we do the bottom each month. It is also harder to pump
rainwater out, as you have to jam the pump
between floor and tubes to get at all the water
. It's easy to forget to do this after a rain, as you can't see the water
when you step in the dink, only to get very wet shoes/socks. Nothing in life is perfect (except for my wife - glad I got that in there).
The hypalon appears to be top quality, though we'll have to see if it is as durable as the 35 year-old 9' Avon
we keep at our other house in Canada
. BTW, that old Avon
came with a plywood
floor which we don't use. It's not that hard to move around that boat without the floor. I doubt it would plane very well with a 5 hp. but not sure as it's just a rowboat for us.
All in all, the little dink has been everything we hoped for. Great, if pricey boat as compared to PVC. You may be able to find one used. Not sure of our model number, but it's in the old LT series with the wood transom and wood removable seat. about 7'10".
An option for you might be to find a used wood floor boat and replace the wood with something like Thermarest self-inflating pads (campers use them and they come in a variety of sizes). May work
but not sure how the pads will hold up in constant sunlight. I use one in our car and after some years the baffles inside the pad give out from the heat and you then have a lumpy pad.
Anyhow, good luck with your selection. Summer's here. Time to go cruisin'
Stay healthy, all of you.