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  #1  
Old 02-10-2003
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RIBs with Fold Down Transom

Hi all,

I have been searching for a tender for my 42'' sailboat. Though I currently live in the Pacific NW, the (hopefully) near-term plans also include cruising to the tropics. To this ends, I''ve pretty much ruled out a PVC RIB and have my eyes on the new Avon Rover Lite. Of all the hypalon boats, this one struck me because of its transom which is not integral with the hull.

I figure, from a cruiser''s point of view, that on passages, when the dinghy is stowed on deck (deflated of course), I no longer have to look over 2'' or more of transom, but instead, only about 8" of hull.

My questions:
1) Has anyone had any experiences (good or bad) with these fold down transom boats (avon, zodiac, and yukon all have/had them)
2) Is my justification for the fold-down transom flawed?

Tim
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Old 09-15-2008
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bumping to the top

I have the same questions about this dinghy. Anyone have anything they would like to share about it?

Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2008
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I have a West marine / Zodiac with I think it's the 310. Anyway I've had it for about 3 years. So far its been fine. I can lift it on the davits with both my 2 hp and my 9.9 hp without worry. Although I don't travel with the 9.9 on the dink. I can fold down the transom and it fits in my SUV and will shave quite a bit of weight off the RIB vs a fixed transom. In my opinion, I have not compromised one bit over the fixed transom

edit: I bring up the engines because I was concerned with the weight on the transom and doing damage because of it. So far it shows no signs of any wear on the joints.
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Last edited by Brezzin; 09-15-2008 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 09-15-2008
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I ordered the Avon 310 RIB lite. It should be here in about 10 days.

I plan on covering the wood transom in epoxy or carbon prior to use.
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Old 09-16-2008
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Thanks to both Brezzin and CAELESTIS for your input. I hope that someone has one to look at at the Annapolis Boatshow. I definitely think this one fits our needs the most.
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Old 09-16-2008
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I have the Avon Rib Lite. Bought it last summer. It's great, however I have only been coastal cruising with it. I tow without the engine on it (all sorts of conditions). What's great is that with only a 5HP, she planes with one person. I have a Honda and a Tohatsu (both 5HP) that I trade out based on which one is working (darn ethonol). As for the fold down transom, we keep it inflated, however the transom is strong and doesn't flex or appear to wear on the seams that support it. I haven't used it, but they come with a nice bag that you can store them in when not in use.
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Old 09-16-2008
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Timl, I should have added to my message---I owned a Mercury 310 Airdeck (and sold it). The Mercury was very compact, but the on water performance was substandard. No matter how hard I pumped it up, it felt too flexible. It also weighed 100lbs, compared to the Avon at 94lbs. I spoke with an Avon owner on my dock and he loves the RIB lite.

If you are in Seattle, Inflatable Boat Works in Ballard handles the Avon line.
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Old 09-17-2008
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We had an Avon Rib Lite and loved it! The fold down transom was great and did not appear to affect performance or weaken the transom. One thing I did was to put a couple of SS eye-bolts in the transom to facilitate towing the dinghy behind the boat. I sewed up some 1-inch wide webbing material that I attached to the eye-bolts and then ran the webbing up through the forward hand hold, and then attached some polypropylene line that ran to the stern of our boat. This put all of the weight of towing on the transom which is the stongest part of the dinghy. My little towing bridle also acted as a good lifting strap to get the inflated boat up on deck.

Anyways, it's a good little dinghy!
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