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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-08-2011
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dinghy

Looks like I've reglued the last open seam in my old zodiac and will be retiring it and getting a new inflatable. Looking at the choices out there: glued PVC (expensive) welded PVC (more expensive) and hypalon (most expensive), I will be trying to figure best value-cost/life expectancy. I'd like to survey the forum on any brand or type they bought that they are not particularly happy with or that they are really happy with. I'm looking at 9-10 feet and probably a solid floor (not a RIB). I have an 8 hp that it needs to be able to handle. Thanks all
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Old 07-08-2011
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Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Unless you are going to keep it covered, hypalon is a requirement, imho. It will pay back over the long term. Covers, however, are an option for a couple hundred dollars or less.

You might get more specific suggestions if you describe your plans for it. Haul it on deck, up on davits, use to get to mooring, tour anchorages, inflate/deflate between uses, etc. For example, there is a reason an RIB is out, but not clear why.
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Old 07-08-2011
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Of all the name brand Hypalon boats I would recommend staying away from AVON.
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Old 07-11-2011
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Minnewaska-seasonal use for the next 3 or so years; primarily weekend gunkholing around the Chesapeake. After going over the wall (retiring) hopefully more extensive cruising. Towed right now but may add davits. Stored on my dock. I'm leaning to hypalon and why not a RIB?-cost and less storage flexibility. T37-what happened between you and Avon?
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Old 07-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccher View Post
T37-what happened between you and Avon?
Yeah, I was wondering the same.
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Just not a fan when compared to others. Their rub rails fail (the worst part is AVON knows it but doesn't do anything to resolve it), the oar locks are a joke, and I find them overpriced FWYG
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Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Just not a fan when compared to others. Their rub rails fail (the worst part is AVON knows it but doesn't do anything to resolve it), the oar locks are a joke, and I find them overpriced FWYG
Ahhh, I see what you mean. You're right about the design of the oar locks, and the rub rails do need to be reglued sometimes. Both annoying issues, I agree. We have two older, used hypalon Avons--we didn't set out to buy Avon specifically, just found them at a reasonable price used so we bought them. One is 17, the other 15 years old.

I don't know if we'd buy a new Avon or not, but both of these dinghies hold air and work (knock on wood), even at their current age. Not bad. This may have more to do with them being hypalon than being made by Avon, but I thought I'd mention it.
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yea, got mine used for cheap too...see a trend here
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yea, got mine used for cheap too...see a trend here
Ha ha! The cool part about buying used and older (besides the small investment) is that we get to try different types of dinghies out to see how we like them.

Avon #1 is a 10 footer with a plastic floor. It's very solid and tows well, but weighs about 120-130 lbs. It's a bit large for the foredeck (though it does fit) and heavy to lift. Avon #2 is a 9 footer with an air floor. It fits better on deck and weighs 70 lbs or so. It's been nice to experience both, and we've learned by owning both. Maybe next we'll try a hardshell sailing/rowing dinghy.
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I've had a West Marine inflatable (hypalon) which was made by Zodiac for 9 years now. It stays outside on a dock with no cover in the Northeast US. One of the tubes has had a slow leak that I haven't been able to find. I have bottom paint on it. It has held up reasonably well. I don't know if they've changed the design of the hard floor which is 5 plywood panels that fit together, but I hate this design. I dread having to put the floor in and take it out at the beginning and end of the season. A real PIA job. We take the engine off and tow it on cruising weekends. Overall I'm satisfied, but will probably look at other options, so I will be reading this thread with interest.
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