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Old 10-06-2020, 18:26   #1
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Location: Sanibel FL
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Looking for small used hypalon airfloor

I have a 10 foot panel floor dinghy that I store belowdecks. It is bulky and heavy (100 lbs). Do not want to go to on-deck storage. I am considering replacing the current dink with something lighter and smaller- both shorter and less bulky. Anticipate more than 2 passengers on dinghy will be uncommon.

Ideally, it will plane with a 5HP 2 stroke OB. Does extra length make it plane easier despite the small weight penalty?

Airfloor seems to be the way to go. I know the floor system can be trouble prone and hope to avoid that with a high quality Hypalon boat as I hope to use it hard in the tropics for quite some time.


I have looked at the Achilles LSI 230 or LSI 260 which seem to fill my needs at 55/66 lbs. Are there other brands/models that are comparable that I should consider?

I don't really have a good feel for what are the top brands and some seem to make both a value line and a high quality line. Unfortunately, Hypalon fabric alone does not guarantee quality manufacturing.
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Old 10-06-2020, 22:20   #2
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Re: Looking for small used hypalon airfloor

John, not sure you saw my post on our Mercury. Airdeck, Hypalon. With Mercury, and I believe with Achilles as well, the airdecks are made of PVC. And with the much higher floor pressures (11.5lbs as I recall), the seams split. About every 24 months. We have friends with an Achilles, and they have had similar issues - but not quite as frequent as we had with Mercury. The new floors are stupid expensive. $700 +/-.
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Old 11-06-2020, 02:58   #3
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Re: Looking for small used hypalon airfloor

Yes, I saw that post. The Mercury has a 10 year warranty... but the air deck is only one year. Thanks for the info on Achilles. I believe the Achilles floor is Hypalon. I have not looked at the Achilles warranty. More homework needed.
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Old 11-06-2020, 03:38   #4
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Re: Looking for small used hypalon airfloor

Don't know about the quality but this company has the lightest dinghies I was able to find: https://www.3dtender.com/HOME-140-0-0-0.html. Also quite a broad range of different models (their superlight twin airs are the top contender to replace my dinghy).
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:48   #5
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Re: Looking for small used hypalon airfloor

HI,

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 marina mooring (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.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:53   #6
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Re: Looking for small used hypalon airfloor

Big fan of Achilles. I dont however know if the air floor is hypalon or not.
I would NOT go with a long dingy for 5 hp and planing. You need the weight as low as possible for that at 5 hp.
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