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  #1  
Old 01-26-2012
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lets talk dinghies

i am looking into an inflatable dinghy. i plan to tow it. my boat is a mere 25 feet, so i think that the dinghy should be less than half that. maybe carry 2 or no more that 4 people. should be able to use my 5hp honda outboard on it.
so tell me about brands and features, construction and designs, prices and retailers.
like many things, i know nothing about inflatable dinghies!
i also want to thank all participants in advance, your input is appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2012
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the deflatables er' I mean inflatables are typically quite expensive when new. when used often require an adequate supply of patch kits available to rectify the learning curve associated with thier use.
for example, you land an inflatable on a shore and rip holes in it from coral,rocks,broken glass or what ever. you get to learn about patching them. which is about the same time you start to really develope you own personal opinion of whatever type of inflatable you thought would be the best i.e. pvc,hypolan,cheap k-mart plastic etc.
As an aside, if your thinking of an inflatable why would you want to tow it? deflate it and stow it when not in use for soooo many reasons. if your concerned about the chore of re-inflating consider a hard nesting dinghy. or a colapsable or folding type.
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Old 01-26-2012
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We have a Zodiac (WM branded now) 260, rolls up, slatted floor. Seems to do the job for us. Picked it up used for $300 in pretty much perfect condition. Sometimes we tow it, or have it on the foredeck, or deflated below. Takes maybe 5 minutes to inflate with a foot pump. Can't row it for sh*t, but goes just fine with our little Suzuki 2.5hp.
PVC, but UV isn't a big deal up this way.
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Old 01-26-2012
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a lot of drag towing an inflatable. get the roll up in case you need to make better time.

+most can not row them any distance against waves or wind, if your engine fails.

I have a 26' and tow a kayak. costs me about .5 knot over all.
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Old 01-26-2012
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We have a Walker Bay air floor dinghy (10'). I like the concept of the air floor because you can't always tow it if the conditions are rough and it is nice to be able and roll up and tie on the fore deck. Not impressed with the build quality of the Walker Bay, but we do use the dinghy a lot.
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Old 01-26-2012
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we have an 8ft pvc aluminum rigid inflatable dinghy. beach landings up here in the pacific north west are easy, even with sharpe oyster shells everywhere. we have a yamaha 4stroke 6 hp and it gets me (220) the dog (45) and the gas tank on plane no problem. we stored it on the foredeck of our catalina 30 no problem without deflating the tubes. comfort wise it is pretty good. i would get the best one you can, you won't regret it.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg View Post
i am looking into an inflatable dinghy. i plan to tow it. my boat is a mere 25 feet, so i think that the dinghy should be less than half that. maybe carry 2 or no more that 4 people. should be able to use my 5hp honda outboard on it.
so tell me about brands and features, construction and designs, prices and retailers.
like many things, i know nothing about inflatable dinghies!
i also want to thank all participants in advance, your input is appreciated.
Couple of questions:

How often will you use it?

How far will you go on it?

How often will you take it with you?

Where will you store it when not in use?

FWIW, I'm on a mooring so I use my dink often and store it on land most of the time. I'm a big fan of hypalon as I've seen what happens to dinks stored in yard. Hypalon is near bulletproof and easy to repair. PVC is fine if you store it safely and keep it covered.

For day sails it stays on the mooring.

I tow it behind if I go for a cruise, but I'm not bothered by the drag.

Sometimes on a nice night I might have a few friends sitting out on the mooring with me having a drink and a cigar or cooking dinner, so making several trips back and forth is a pain.

For a start, check out Mercury Air Deck models. I have an Airdeck 340 model. BEWARE that the floor on all Mercury air deck models is made from PVC, NOT HYPALON (and they are not good at telling you this). You must keep it covered/protected from UV and avoid getting gas or oil on it. Don't ask me how I know.

The 340 is 11+ feet and carries around 1500 lbs or five people. This is a big dink.

I like to have a big inflatable, the girls like it too as its firm, stable, reliable, and pleasant to ride.

Last edited by RobGallagher; 01-26-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 01-26-2012
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WaLker bay genesis 8 inflatable floor

I just picked up a used WB 8'10" inflatable floor type. It is awesome. My boat is 27' and it deflates ans stows nicely or fits upside down on deck. These tow better than the roll up slat type. I tow mine with and without the 6hp 4stroke on the back all over Tampa Bay. Yes it slows you down but sometimes I'm too lazy I'm the mornings to mess with it.

Won't plane with more than one person on it so go with a smaller motor. I don't think it would be practical to mount a 9.9 on it. If i could get my hands on am2-stroke 3.5 nissan at a good price i'd do that. I've had 6 People on it before in calm anchorages. You take waves over with more than two in choppy conditions though. Don't plan on rowing it!
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Old 01-26-2012
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i plan on using it during my circumnavigation of lake michigan. my boat is 25 foot and my bow space is somewhat limited. most of the new ones i see have an aluminum floor.
i plan to use it for beach landings. maybe life boat? when not sailing it will be in the storage area of my boat.
so tell me about brands and features, construction and designs, prices and retailers.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg View Post
i plan on using it during my circumnavigation of lake michigan. my boat is 25 foot and my bow space is somewhat limited. most of the new ones i see have an aluminum floor.
i plan to use it for beach landings. maybe life boat? when not sailing it will be in the storage area of my boat.
so tell me about brands and features, construction and designs, prices and retailers.
Inflatable Boats on Sale from Defender

I would consider an air deck model if you plan on stowing it. Again, size will depend on how many people and how much gear you lug.

If it's a laid back coastal cruise I would just tow the darn thing most of the time.

Better yet, go do a dealer and ask them to let you;
1. pick a brand new one up off the shelf
2. carry it outside
3. unpack it
4. inflate it and attach a 5 hp motor
5. detach the motor and deflate it
6. stow it back in the packaging
7. carry it back inside and put it on the shelf

Just for fun, do it out in the parking lot on a hot sunny day. You won't get the thrill of doing it in a chop or the rain, but ya can't have everything.

They are heavier and more cumbersome than you think.
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