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Old 01-29-2012
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tdw tdw is offline
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2.85m (9') Zodiac air floor with 8hp Yamaha.

Only used when cruising. Stows in cockpit locker longterm, fore deck when going coastal or offshore, towed in harbour. Donk on stern rail with block and tackle for lowering/raising to/from dink. Never ever leave it on the dink when towing.

Previous boat we had an 8' cheapy with slat floor. Have also owned an 8' Avon with timber floor.

Given that the only place to inflate is foredeck and therefore rarely completely flat surface, air floor is the only way to go. Timber floor complete pain in the arse, slats marginally better.

High speed pump recommended. Best to connect directly to batteries but they will pump to full pressure in a matter of minutes. If pumping up for long term use we still give a few hand pumps but for a day or so no need.

42'er has sufficient foredeck space to stow on deck and still leave room for moving about but the dink does get in the way of the mast mounted spinnaker pole if lashed down hard against the mast.

8hp motor is too big. Quite frankly I have no need to do 20 knots through an anchorage and curse those who do. A 6 or even 4hp would serve our purpose and be so much lighter and easier to handle.

We have a hard dink for ship to shore in mooring field and will tow that for weekends if we intend just going off to anchor out. Most of our sailing is done outside the harbour and I don't like towing in the inevitable swell.
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Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation
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Old 01-31-2012
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I purchased an 8'6" Avon Hypalon air floor and have been pleased with performance. It is relatively light weight and packs up small.

I have a Nissan 5hp 2 cycle that is lightweight and adequately powered. There are different prop options for this engine, and the higher pitch makes the boat plane with one person in it. While planing, the GPS says 13 knots. With more people and a dog aboard, GPS indicates 6 knots. I believe the current prop is a 9 pitch and the original was a 7.

I usually leave the dingy inflated and hang the outboard on the stern rail. I have put it on the front deck and inflated it there, but usually tow it (Tennessee River in North Alabama).

If I had it to do over, I would get a rigid bottom that was a little bit bigger. The boat does well when I'm by myself, but with others it gets sluggish if traveling much distance.
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Old 02-02-2012
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
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.
Hypalon is still being manufactured, only now it is under the name of CSM. Depending on the manufacturer of the inflatable you will see one name or the other being used. Also, Hypalon cannot be welded.
Solution One Maritime

Last edited by TohatsuGuru; 02-02-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012
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That's a relief, I won't have to stockpile spares. (G)

But apparently we've all committed a "Kleenex" here, Hypalon is a DuPont trademark for their specific version of a CSM. So there is no more Hypalon.

"Hypalon has become the common name for all kinds of CSM, ... Tosoh Corporation of Japan produces CSM under the trade names Toso-CSM...." [Wikipedia]

We'll be buying Toso-CSM. (Gesundheit?)

Odd that DuPont would terminate a line due to environmental considerations, and a Japanese domestic corporation would still be committed to toxic waste? Then again, I was told I couldn't replace my old Vredstein urethane sea boots for the same reason, supposedly they said too toxic to manufacture. Damn shame, they were nice dry boots with a good grip.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Lots of food , er PVC, for thought here. We have an 8' ? Achilles with a 3 section wood floor and a 24 Vivacity. We have discovered if you leave it in the water by the dock it grows things on it (barnacles, slime and other crud). Use of a grinder will remove the barnacles (and plastic), and it gets full of water (great for the wood floor). Its heavy and a tough fit on the bow (can't sail with it). Its a drag to tow (and V24 is slow to begin with), but that's what we've done for weekends.

SO... my lady just had a great fun experience sailing a Laser Pico (Caribbean business trip) which has rekindled the idea of a sailing dinghy that works with oars back and forth from shore or dock for 4 people, and is fun to sail with 2 people. I imagine a hard bottom can be much less drag too. Any suggestions? Building one is not out of the question. Buying a new one is.

I am also thinking about kayaks but have no swim platform. Beam is 8-ft so I can' really have anything longer on davits. But maybe that's the way to go with the Achilles.
Vivacity 24 twin keel
Johnson O/B 9.9
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