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Old 11-24-2011
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Go with the high pressure floor

I just went though this same excersize when searching for a dinghy for my cal 27. I ended up with a 8' inflatable with the high pressure floor and a 6 up tohatsu. I'm able to inflate on deck and launch with minimal hassle. I use the topping lift to launch and retrieve the dink. I can't plane with the 6 so a 3 hp would be better than going with a larger motor. It Tows well and can also fit on deck if we don't want to stow but the weather gets bad. Motor sits on the stern pulpit. I see people tow with the motors on the dink all the time but I don't want to be that guy whose flips over.

High pressure floor is the only way to go in my opinion. If I get a bigger boat I'd consider a rigged hulled inflatable.

Bought mine on craigslist for $500 not including the motor, which I actually traded my paddle board for earlier.
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Old 11-25-2011
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We had an 8'-4" wooden floor dinghy on our C25 with a Johnson 1.2hp egg beater engine, worked great when i was younger and could deal with the hassle of assembling it on the foredeck.

We now have 10'-2" air floor. easiest boat to inflate and use. Get outdoor carpeting to cover the floor. Now have a 9.9 hp outboard with a Garhauer dinghy motor loft and we keep the engine on the boat not the dinghy. We also purchased a 120V motor for inflating the tubes, saves lots of time. We have an inverter on the boat.

Hard floors will prove to be a real pain to assemble.

West Marine Advisors have great information about choices.
Stu Jackson, C34, 1986, M25 engine, Rocna 10 (22#)
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Old 11-26-2011
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We have an inflatable floor 10 footer than we inflate on deck. Pleased with the concept but cannot give Walker Bay a recommendation.
Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Interesting replies....

It seems about even between those who are OK inflating / deflating as needed and those who would never consider it.

For those who do or have inflated & deflated for each use, what is your opinion between air-deck floors and wood slat (not panels) floors?
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Old 01-27-2012
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what brands and who is best to buy from?
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Old 01-28-2012
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No one buys slat floor inflatables anymore. Of the small portable inflatables, air floors out sell floorboard boats by 50 to 1. You can make a case for any PVC boat because they are cheap. You just need to understand and expect it to be a dumpster baby in 5 to 10 years. Hypalon will last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, but few people want to keep looking at the same inflatable after 10 years. We sell tons of both to people depending on the simple initial cost versus life expectancy.
Solution One Maritime
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Old 01-28-2012
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how long has hypalon been on the scene?
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Old 01-28-2012
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One thing to consider with the more expensive Hypalon-tubed boats is that the inflatable air deck is PVC (usually), so it will have a shorter lifespan than the tubes. The earlier suggestion about using indoor/outdoor carpet is a good one - we had our air deck get punctured by a sharp spur on a block of ice last year (!) which we then replaced when we couldn't get the patch to hold. If we had the carpet on the air deck, that probably wouldn't have happened.

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Old 01-29-2012
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I had a European made second hand hypalong dingy which had the glue fail in about 1 week of tropical conditions. I did field repairs but it was continually getting worse as the tropical heat reduced the glue to powder. After 4 weeks cruising and asking people about their experiences with inflatables, most people showed us their running repairs or told us of their warranty issues.

I have to admit a Zodiac that had had similar failures 10 years earlier was repaired under warranty by the Australian agent and had done good service since the repairs. But there were a number of cheaper tenders with patches over failed bits and then layers of patches over the patches as the owners kept the field repairs up.

My solution was to throw the inflatable out (I gave it to someone to repair and use as a kids toy) and replace it with a hard dingy. I ended up with a Walker Bay 10 which is tough enough although there are more stable dingies more suited to my needs.

I have used a 3.3hp two stroke on the inflatable and WB10 and it has ample power for my needs. I tow the WB10 and put up with the hassle of shifting the outboard of the dingy when doing open water transits.

My yacht is a trailerable, I carry the dingy on roofracks when on the road.

If you are cruising in cooler climates and near support, then a cheap inflatable might be ok but if you need the dingy to make a longer cruise viable, then spend the effort getting a good quality dingy that is reliable.
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Old 01-29-2012
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DuPont™ Hypalon®
Update as 04/20/2010

The DuPont Performance Elastomers Hypalon® business has ceased operations as of April 20, 2010. The planned closure was initially announced in 2009, and the plant operation was extended to support the needs of customers through the transition process.

We are no longer offering Hypalon® product for sale. If you are interested in a replacement product, please view the broader DuPont portfolio for other Elastomers that may fit your application needs

While Hypalon boats may still be in stock, they apparently won't be around much longer since the material is no longer available. Ignoring the quality controls issues that cause seam failures in all glued materials, Hypalon remains a much more expensive, and physically superior, material to build inflateables out of. Hypalon with welded seams, instead of glued ones, being the most expensive and most durable way to go.
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