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Old 11-07-2011
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seeking advise on a hard dingy

I have had inflatable in the past and I am tired of coming down to the boat and having to add air to the dingy, so I decided to seek info about using a hard dingy.

They seem to be a little less stable getting into/out of than the typical inflatables. Is this a big issue? We just plan on using it to occasionally go to the beach and explore, etc.... Might have 4 adults and a 6 year old, not sure if the typical hard dingy can accommodate that much weight?

Any advise / tips would be appreciated. Also, please feel free to recommend a certain type/brand and I will soon start my shopping over the winter.

Ps, we will probably add an electric outboard motor as well. I will be using this with my Catalina 310 that has the sugerscoop/swim platform so this should make it a little easier getting into/out of.

Thanks,
matt
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Old 11-07-2011
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4 adults + child = a fairly large hard dinghy, something around 9 to 10 feet. Pretty tough to get it on deck on a Catalina 310 so I guess you will be towing it.

People like the Moorings in the 90s used a design that was always towed even on Interisland passages and almost always made it. Somebody might chime in with the name but if I was looking for a dink that would do your sort of job it would be high on my list.

I might come up with a pic as there are quite a few still around in the Caribbean.
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Old 11-07-2011
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The "typical" sized hard shell dingy would probably not support 4 adults and a child. Then again, you can always make two trips. Like some things in life, size matters.

I think stability is important and would not trade my hypalon inflatable. I'm 6'1" 210 lbs. and can stand on a tube and bounce without upsetting the boat. I only have to add air when the temperature cools in the fall. I also use my inflatable to get back and forth to my mooring so it's more important to me to be able to safely transport people, coolers, etc.

However, for the occasional trip to the beach why invest 2000 bucks? Then again, for occasional trips to the beach why invest 100K+ on a Catalina 310...lol Just kidding

I have had very good luck with my old Caribe (they are pricey though) until someone ran it over in the boat yard, and my current Mercury Marine (competitively priced for hypalon). I would NOT suggest an air deck model. The inflatable floors are made of PVC type material (yes, even the hypalon model boats)and don't hold up to heavy use and outside storage. Then again, for occasional trips to the beach this might be OK if you store it covered up.
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Old 11-07-2011
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I would recommend fixing the leak in your inflatable. I haven't added air to mine in 4 years.

There are a few good hard dinghies, but to have the same capacity, and stability, it is going to be bigger and heavier. There was a dinghy that is also certified as a liferaft, I forget the name, but if I was going to get one that would be it.
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Old 11-07-2011
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[QUOTE=RobGallagher:794409] Like some things in life, size matters. QUOTE]
Especially when you are talking about a hard dingy.
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Old 11-07-2011
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If you're willing to buy new, why not buy an inflatable that doesn't leak?
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hmm.... maybe I will have to re-think my plan. I thought that a hard dink would just be easier (and maybe lighter?) and less hassel, but maybe I am off base here.

the marina has racks for storage so either one will be stored there.

ok, lets switch gears...... any recommendations on a decent inflatable with maybe a removal hard floor? Are the ones offered by West Marine any good? Or stick with something like a Zodiac?
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I spent some time with the Apex reps at the boat show and was impressed. Not sure why you want a removal floor.
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Old 11-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I spent some time with the Apex reps at the boat show and was impressed. Not sure why you want a removal floor.
actually I am not up to speed with the types anymore. 15 years ago we had a zodiac or avon that had a wood removable floor (3 sections) and it was very stable while standing up.

I guess my main criteria for a dink are 1.) stability in the water 2.) not to heavy to place it in/out of the rack 3.) cost, but willing to pay for quality and longevity 4.) minimal maintenance
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We keep comming back to the inflatible as the solution. It looks to be easier to store, has higher load capacity, and appears to be more stabe for loading and landing. But the sticking point is $2000 vs $1000 for a PVC boat.

If you expect to use the dinghy 5-10 times a year and plan to roll it up and store it on board, what value does Hypalon deliver that PVC does not?

Any recomendations on the PVC Zodiac Zoom 260 Aero at $7-900 and the Hypalon Zodiac 290 air floor at $2K+/- are appreciated.

Pat
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