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Old 07-08-2014
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Dinghy logic

Here's the debate. Our dink is a nearly 10 year old Avon hypalon, which is hard, if not impossible to get parts for the tubes. The tubes themselves must be shipped in from Europe and not economical. Other than looking a bit dirty (despite scrubbing) and having a perennial patch on top, it works fine. The Tohatsu 18hp runs fine too. The patch needs to be redone annually, but is covering an abrasion directly on top. Even when it leaks, it's slow. If it weren't a DIY patch, I suspect it would hold perpetually.

The question is whether I should sell it, while it has any value at all. No doubt it will only get worse from here and it costs me a couple hundred per year in parts. It also has a monstrocity of a center console and the motor is electric start. Has its advantages, but its very heavy. So first question, should it be sold while still serviceable or just run into the ground and scrapped when the time comes?

Then, what to replace it with? I like the 12ft AB VS RIB. Its crazy expensive, but I'm wondering if I also dumped money on the chaps, if it would essentially go forever. If so, it would be worth spending extra money over a West Marine special that may cost half, but last half as long. I do know those that buy the cheapest PVC dink they can find and just buy new every 4 or 5 years. They swear the math works.

Finally, convert the Tohatsu electric start helm steer back to a tiller? The kit is available, I believe. Or does it make the current dink more valuable to sell with a motor and buy new?

The cost of an AB and new motor just seems crazy. Your thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2014
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Re: Dinghy logic

I just got a 2014 Mercury Hypalon with a 9.9 hp for 4.4k, which is essentially what most other Hypalon RIBS go for without a motor.
I know there is Hypalon and there is hypalon, and I know that chaps will fix the difference at 1/10 the cost difference.

I'd guess that your current set up would sell for more as a unit.
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Old 07-08-2014
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Re: Dinghy logic

We are in a similar position. Our 8 year old Zodiac Mark 1 is in great shape (looking sad, but no leaks), but the writing is on the wall. At the dinghy docks, I've been asking those with other makes and models how they like their inflatables and the consensus is that the unpainted alloy floor AB is the dink to have. There are several models, but the one w/the flat floor inside seems to be the best. The alloy Ribs are much lighter than the f-glass, therefor a smaller motor will do. Of course, Yamaha is the THE motor of choice.
I personally prefer the non-rib inflatable, for a number of reasons, but sadly, I just don't think we'll be able to afford another Mark 1 with alloy floor boards, and nobody else makes a decent one.
I have noticed that the chaps can cover wear spots (and other possible problems) and unless they are very well tailored to the boat, are a pain in the ass. Even at 6k, if you divide that by 10 years, you get a reasonably priced vehicle, especially if you use it every day, so I wouldn't even think of several cheaper ones over the same period, just for the hassle of replacing them at inconvenient times.
Our 4 stroke motor is absolutely AMAZING when it comes to fuel consumption, by the way. With a 2.5 gallon tank, we quite often nearly run out of gas (by monthly), because it is so long between fill ups, we honestly forget we even need the stuff.
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Re: Dinghy logic

Mini,

I've got 2 dingy's. One is a Novarania hard bottom left over from when I had the LH about your size. It's 15 years old, and still going strong....unreal.

But, since I couldn't even on the 52 put it on deck for an offshore passage, I bought a big Avon with the high pressure floor.

I use the Avon on trips, and use the Novarania in my home port. I found towing the Novarania hard bottom behind a 38 ft boat cost me too much speed. Wasn't a problem with the 52. That said, I really like the stability, and the high pressure floor Avon isn't so good, but it tows without slowing me down too much, and I can roll it on deck.

All that said, depends what you want to accomplish. The center console for a tender IMHO is a PIA. You can fit less stuff and less people, would be fun with a big motor and some kids. That thinking says, sell it.

What I think you want is a hard bottom, pretty big, no console, a 15 or so horse motor, and a way to mount it on the foredeck when you decide to go on the big trips you've been contemplating.

Easy to spend other peoples money
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Re: Dinghy logic

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
.....the consensus is that the unpainted alloy floor AB is the dink to have. There are several models, but the one w/the flat floor inside seems to be the best. The alloy Ribs are much lighter than the f-glass......
The 8ft AL (aluminum) model is 78lbs, while the 8ft VS (fiberglass) is 125lbs. However, when you get up to the 12ft model we prefer (we have a lot of guests to shuttle to shore), they are both approx 200lbs. Odd.

If you are referring to the lightweight versions that only have a small raised board that keeps your feet out of any water collected in the v-hull, they are all notably less heavy in aluminum. The great advantage of these lightweight models is there is more distance between sitting on top of the tube and the floor, since there is essentially no mid-floor. However, we really think we need the little storage box on the heavier model, for lights, sweatshirt, whatever. May be poor thinking.
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Re: Dinghy logic

Some thoughts to add to your decision making process.

Will you ever store it on deck? If so, folding transom RIBs, sport boat floors, or high pressure floors become important. Also, if you're not putting it on deck any time soon, consider making this change when necessary.

Center consoles are a waste of space, but they do make the boat easier to pilot for neophyte drivers. Do you, or your crew always drive the dink or do guests take it out? Electric start is darn near essential if you're loaning your boat out to others. As a compromise there are side mounted consoles that are much smaller and sit on the starboard side of the boat. This could be an intermediate approach.

Ever considered a boston whaler, or good sized livingston? Both are stable and capacious for large numbers of people.

If your davits can handle it, get the largest dink you can. The extra space is always nice and it sounds like you'll be using all of it.

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Re: Dinghy logic

Our current inflatable has the UniHelm control wheel and seat. For a wheel, I think it is the best out there, as it is one SS pipe that come up from the seat to hold the wheel. No actual console underneath to interfere with your legs.

I hated it when we got it!! Then I actually became quite used to it. Wife and kids like it much better than a tiller. However, the whole contraption, along with start battery for the motor, etc, weighs a ton. I think I really want to lighten up and having the ability to invert a RIB on the foredeck would be an advantage. If we ever get to the Bermuda passage we've been planning, our current dink would have to stay home.
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Re: Dinghy logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
The 8ft AL (aluminum) model is 78lbs, while the 8ft VS (fiberglass) is 125lbs. However, when you get up to the 12ft model we prefer (we have a lot of guests to shuttle to shore), they are both approx 200lbs. Odd.

If you are referring to the lightweight versions that only have a small raised board that keeps your feet out of any water collected in the v-hull, they are all notably less heavy in aluminum. The great advantage of these lightweight models is there is more distance between sitting on top of the tube and the floor, since there is essentially no mid-floor. However, we really think we need the little storage box on the heavier model, for lights, sweatshirt, whatever. May be poor thinking.
Again, I'm really the odd ball here, as I prefer the non rib inflatables.
One of the best features with a true inflatable is that it can easily be deflated and stowed below even at sea (in the salon if necessary) should one encounter a really bad storm. It also stows on the foredeck right side up resting on a couple of fenders, with the motor on it (those of us with larger boats) without damaging the big boat and as a lifeboat in conjunction with a liferaft.
I also like the huge interior (ours is a 10'6" with alloy floors) which can easily accommodate two 55 gallon drums (of fuel or water), 6 people and their gear or a whole lot of provisions for a voyage.
The dink runs at close to 30 knots w/2 of us, but has planed out w/4 and some gear, with a 15 hp, 4 stroke. Total weight of boat and motor is roughly 235#.
I'm not trying to sell you on this, just offering another thought you might not have considered. The ribs are definitely superior for davits as we've had to reglue the lifting points forward once, but that's a minor inconvenience for the advantages of the true inflatable, in my mind.
As mentioned above though, I don't know if we'll be able to afford another Mark !, or if they are even going to be manufactured when the time comes.
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