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NukaHiva 06-28-2002 07:00 PM

Anyone have any experience with the new dingies that have inflatable floors. I''m skeptical about the longevity of the floors. Once they start to leak they would only be good for rowing.
thanks in adavance

Sailmc 07-01-2002 04:36 AM

I have had one for a season now and would not do it again. I have and Avon 3.10. They build the same boat to accept either a wood or an air floor. The only advantage to the air floor is weight. If you are lifting the boat on deck frequently or must stow it uninflated they help. The disadvantages are many though. The floor does not get rock hard so ot is unstable if you need to stand on it. Particularly if you have a heavy outboard in your arms. They are not as stiff and cavitate a bit. They will accept lower horsepower than a wood floor and are harder to keep clean. Unless the weight difference is critical to you I don''t think the trade offs are worth it.

hamiam 07-01-2002 05:07 AM

I have a Zodiac Futura Jr. inflatable with a high pressure floor. Its about 10 years old and except for a couple of patches is still good. Not quite as hard or stable as wood but I would trade that for the convenience. Performs well under power. I am sure the more "modern" designs are very better. I would suggest laying down a wet/dry carpet or similar covering to protect the floor.

RichardElliott 07-01-2002 03:22 PM

Check out the RIBs with aluminum bottoms. They weigh about half of the fiberglass bottoms. I have an 8''6" Aquapro which weighs about 70 pounds and does about 25mph with an 8hp Yamaha. It can be easily hauled on deck. In hindsight, however, I should have bought the 9 footer as recommended by the dealer. It would plane easier, but I didn''t think it would fit on the foredeck (It would!).

CISCOJOE 07-01-2002 03:32 PM

i carry an achilles with an inflatable floor. i have used for two years in florida and have had no problems. i find it easier to stow when traveling offshore. and the floor has remained stable enough for us to stand on.

good luck

gershel 07-02-2002 03:52 PM

Richard, would you mind telling what the Aqua-Pro cost. I think it might be a perfect dinghy for a catamaran.

WHOOSH 07-05-2002 05:07 PM

First off, I''d like Richard to add where he found the Aqua Pro dink to his cost comment; sounds like it''s worth investigating.

Nuka, we just finished using a 10''6" Achilles LSI dink for 2+ years while cruising the Caribbean. The basic concept - a compromise of collapsability, weight and speed vs. a non-rigid floor - is exactly that: a compromise. We chose it because it would be eaiser to bring aboard/stow/launch than a RIB (it was, by far) and could be deflated when offshore (in retrospect, not so important as I thought).

Just about everything on the dink broke (rowlock, towing eyes, 2 floors at the valve attachment point...I could go on) but, in fairness to Achilles, they did replace things even beyond the warranty. And keep in mind that Achilles is the only inflatable dink with a Hypalon floor (at least as of our purchase in early 2000); even Avon was making PVC floors, which didn''t seem a good idea given all the U/V the dink was going to see.

We powered it with a 8 hp Yamaha 2-cycle and it had more than enough speed...but it was wetter than the larger-tubed ABs and similar.

Picking the perfect dink is so tough it makes picking the perfect sailboat seem actually possible.


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