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Old 03-18-2009
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Protecting PVC Dinghy?

The fit-out of Jendai, our 2008 Beneteau 343 continues. Latest addition...bought a West Marine Compact RIB 310 dink.

Yes, yes...thou shalt never buy a PVC dink. But I couldn't resist. One of those craigslist deals that was too good to pass up. For $1400, I was able to secure a 2005 West Marine Compact RIB *WITH* a 5 HP Mercury. These are the models of West Marine RIBs made by Zodiac, not their current private label made by some cheap sweatshop out of Shenzhen China. That in itself isn't the deal though...

The best part of this whole deal, they had in the past 4 years *NEVER BEEN USED*. Not a once! The guy bought them, had them in his garage for years and never even assembled the two together! The engine still had the protective plastic film on the cowling and the RIB was still in the protective bag!

Anyway, this fits our cruising well, its a RIB...the boat and engine are "light" (48 lbs for outboard, ~100 lbs for the dink), but I've heard that PVC is not the best for UV. Thinking of inflating and using 303 Aerospace protectant for UV protection.

The question is as follows:

  1. Are their better methods of protecting the PVC fabric from UV and other degrading factors
  2. What can we use to hoist the dinghy onto the foredeck. I've realized that with my bum back, even 100 lbs is too much to lift and carry around
  3. What is the best system for towing the dink? I see several bridles on the web, are they worth it to get the floating line or just some spare line is good enough?
  4. Any other general recommendations on care/feeding of a PVC RIB?
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