Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

Hi all,

It's time to replace our dinghy (8' Caribe RIB w/4HP) and I'm looking at the 9' Caribe which provides a bit more room and allows for a larger outboard. While I like the idea of going with the "light" model, I wonder how the modified hull design will perform vs the "regular" model. Has anyone had any experience with these that they'd like to share?
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-12-2016
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

I have a Caribe L9. I would not buy one again. Ever. I like the Caribe but the Light models are a problem for me. The v-hull is so short that there is really no directional stability. It hunts under power and is nearly impossible to row. The shape of the hull underfoot is difficult to stand on when dry and slippery when wet. The dinghy is so light that the weight of even a moderate power 4-stroke engine makes getting on plane difficult, even with trim tabs and cavitation plate fins.

My next dinghy will be a nine or ten foot standard Caribe or AB.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

Thanks Dave,

Poor towing and tracking performance was something I was wondering about with the modified hull design. Looks like I'll be going with the standard version.

Tom
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-14-2016
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

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Thanks Dave,

Poor towing and tracking performance was something I was wondering about with the modified hull design. Looks like I'll be going with the standard version.

Tom
We have a Caribe supposed to be light weight around 9 and change. It has a small v section forward and almost flat section from the middle aft. It will take up to 15 hp and that's what we have. It has a fairly flat floor and a double hull over the flat sections. It comes in heavier than advertised which is normal for fiber glass dink. Tracking underway is not that much different from most dinks, possibly on the sensitive side but no big deal once you get used to it. I agree that it doesn't tow well and you need to have it on a short painter but we very seldom tow so that's not a big deal. It is much lighter than the standard model and that weight is a big deal to us when we are man handling it. We are quite happy with it, all in all. I think we might consider an aluminum one next time although not a super light weight.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-14-2016
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

I have the AB light weight. Its much lighter, by 30%, i think. Thats important.

But yes, man it takes some time to get used to it with a 15hp engine! Damn thing goes like a rocket and is squirrelly. Its like flying a fighter jet on water. Even now its only totally flat water do i let rip.

Yes, one needs the fins. Without them its, ummmmmm, scary!

So if you are an old tame dude looking at retirement homes do not get one. But if you enjoy driving a sports car at home, a BMX bike on weekends and have adventure in your gizzards then the lightweight is sensational!

I would like the forward locker of the heavy ones, but they cant be locked so whats the use?

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post #6 of 10 Old 10-14-2016
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

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I have the AB light weight. Its much lighter, by 30%, i think. Thats important.

But yes, man it takes some time to get used to it with a 15hp engine! Damn thing goes like a rocket and is squirrelly. Its like flying a fighter jet on water. Even now its only totally flat water do i let rip.

Yes, one needs the fins. Without them its, ummmmmm, scary!

So if you are an old tame dude looking at retirement homes do not get one. But if you enjoy driving a sports car at home, a BMX bike on weekends and have adventure in your gizzards then the lightweight is sensational!

I would like the forward locker of the heavy ones, but they cant be locked so whats the use?

I better correct myself as we do have the 9 ft model Caribe and it's only approved for 10 hp but it was more about weight and less about thrust so our 2 stroke 15 hp was within the weight guidelines which are now set for 4 strokes. It jumps up on the plane very quickly and we can easily haul 3 men or 2 men and 2 women as long as the women are lightweights themselves. I'd have to agree with Mark that the steering is sensitive but neither of us have any real problems with it. I'd buy one again although I'd prefer a deep V for the full length. It save about 20 pounds in weight over the standard model and that's allot when your moving it around. These dinks are all heavier than the manufacturer claims, although the aluminum ones are much closer to real numbers. We'd buy one again. I agree that it doesn't row well but I've never had one that did.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-15-2016
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

I'm losing it, the 9 ft LW is approved for 15hp
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-16-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

Thanks for the feedback Robert! We tow quite a bit between short island hops - stow on the fore-deck for longer trips. Moving from a 4Hp to a 15HP to have an auxiliary auxiliary which is why we're going with the 9' Caribe (instead of another 8' which is not rated for it).

Tom
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

Hi Mark - thanks for your insights!

The AB version is something I've just started to look at. Have always had Caribe's for some reason, probably due more to convenience of acquisition rather than purposeful shopping. I've got a month to figure it out. I've made a note about the fins for the outboard. Some years out from the retirement home stage - still riding bikes and appreciating the twin turbo under the hood.

Tom
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Re: Caribe 9' - light vs regular hull

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Thanks for the feedback Robert! We tow quite a bit between short island hops - stow on the fore-deck for longer trips. Moving from a 4Hp to a 15HP to have an auxiliary auxiliary which is why we're going with the 9' Caribe (instead of another 8' which is not rated for it).

Tom
You'll really enjoy the 15 hp and the 9 ft Caribe, heavy or light. We don't tow other than super short trips in between anchorages, 95% of the time it's on the fore-deck. If weight was no consideration I'd probably go with the standard model myself. I used a 15 hp on an Achilles rib years ago that was only designed for 8hp but it did just fine but would not get more than 2 and gear on the plane, you need waterline.
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