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post #14 of Old 03-19-2013
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Location: San Pedro, CA
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Re: RIB Dingy with aluminum bottom

I recently replaced my 12 year old AquaPro dinghy. This was their smallest model. It was PVC, 7'8" long, and had a 22 mm aluminum bottom. What happened was that several of the seams seemed to fail all at once. A very knowledgeable repair shop (they service offshore lifeboats) said that it would have to be completely rebuilt and cost more than a new one. I was bummed as the aluminum hull was still in great shape.

However, I got a great deal on the exact same model but in Hypalon. It is a little heavier but better made with a nice rotomolded seat with a little storage area and strengthened handles and oarlocks. The new oars are aluminum and plastic instead of wood but there are Velcro loops to secure them inside the boat as well as at the stern when in the oarlocks. Two features I really appreciate are the stronger tow eye which is part of the aluminum hull and the rub rail which does a much better job of preventing spray from coming ups the sides while underway.

Hypalon is much more resistant to UV and more repairable compared to PVC. The one thing missing is the rubber keel strake which I will need to add.
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