SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Iroquois MkII
Joined
·
241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I need to get a dinghy, and I'm not real sure what models are good and what are junk...

I stopped by West Marine and they had a few different WM-branded inflatable models, a roll-up, a composite-board-floored model, and a larger fiberglass-bottomed model.

Are the West Marine dinghies any good? They were fairly inexpensive (the rollup being cheapest).

The dinghy would be left in a dinghy slip for the season, if that has any bearing on anyone's opinions...

Thanks!
 

·
the pointy end is the bow
Joined
·
6,265 Posts
Depends what you expect out of them. We bought a PVC West Marine inflatable with roll up aluminum floor. It lasted us about ten years when we started getting some degredation of the fabric and replaced it. I wouldn't buy a PVC dink if I was in the tropics, but it worked out to $100/yr for us.

We've since switched to a port-a-bote. Should last longer, rows easier, doesn't puncture, it's light and ugly enough that no one would steal it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
I've seen Ray's port-a-bote.

It's definitely ugly.

Especially when his 11? year old nephew can row it faster than I can row my inflatable.


David
 
  • Like
Reactions: miatapaul

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Think of it this way - There is no such thing as a "West Marine" inflatable.
They are Zodiac and Avon with a WM label. Which are you considering?
 

·
Iroquois MkII
Joined
·
241 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Either the roll-up (RU-260) or the composite board model (SB-275 I think). The fiberglass-bottomed one is bigger (10') but more dinghy than I need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,856 Posts
The 275 dink is the dink I would go with. the 260 is a 3 passenger dink and 275 is 4. the floor boards will protect the fabric from cooler bottoms, dogs, shoe bottoms, etc.

Also for some people the roll up type with the slats in the floor are a problem as you can feel every ripple under foot and that gives them a less than secure feeling(wife, girlfriend, non boaters). I also believe the tubes on the 275 are 1 inch larger. If I remember right they are $100 or $200 difference. The only draw back is the 260 is easier to put together. as in less parts.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,373 Posts
Check out the Walker Bay Odesseys on Defender.com. Less than $1000 on sale. We bought one 2 years ago. Inflatable floor is pretty rigid. Larger tubes the WM and many more d rings. Better quality transoms also. Our small 9 ft one has 1100 lb capacity...rate the WM ones to that.

Dave
 

·
Sea Slacker
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
fwiw when I was looking for a dinghy I selected an inflatable air floor. bought Mercury (online). I've used it (somewhat separately from my boat) and it is definitely better than the rollup floor - in that it can actually plane (when properly inflated) :)

It really goes fast - I used it to get around the island in the Keys and it was fun and plenty fast :) Flat floored models can't do that. Hard floored models are faster of course, but then again - you can't store it in a bag.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,270 Posts
I would check out the Port-a-bote. I believe that they are comparable in price (actually less) than an inflatable.

Plus they have that Ugly-Chic thing goin' for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,764 Posts
The higher quality boats are made with hypalon rather than PVC. The ones with plywood or aluminum floorboards or an inflatable floor perform better than the slatted floor rollups. Depends on what your needs are and what you are willing to spend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,856 Posts
Check out the Walker Bay Odysseys on Defender.com. Less than $1000 on sale. We bought one 2 years ago. Inflatable floor is pretty rigid. Larger tubes the WM and many more d rings. Better quality transoms also. Our small 9 ft one has 1100 lb capacity...rate the WM ones to that.

Dave
I would 2nd the walker bay, I know thread asked about the west dinks but I have been impressed with the Walter bays.
 

·
Abysmally Stupid
Joined
·
497 Posts
I would 2nd the walker bay, I know thread asked about the west dinks but I have been impressed with the Walter bays.
I like the Walker Bay as well, nearly bought one. I did however find out that Walker Bay is currently in the process of moving their production facility to Mexico (This is all hearsay but from what I believe a reliable source) and apparently had a hard time delivering the RIB I wanted (this was in April 2009). I would wait a few months before I bought a Walker Bay to give them some time to iron out some kinks in their new production facility.

I bought an Achilles 315 DX hypalon instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
You may want to check out the inflatable that HMP is selling. I have seen them and they are really well built and good bang for the buck. 7'6" CDN$1075.00, 8'10" CDN$1285.00, 9'6" CDN$1359.00 and 10'6" CDN$1399.00

No, I don't have an affiliation with them. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I have ordered a Saturn SD290 with an inflatable floor. It was $900 including shipping. It is a PVC boat. The photos look good . I will recieve the boat this week. My problem with the portobotes is the seats. They show the hull all nice and folded but where do you store the seats??? I have a walker bay 8 but it is too tippy and only carries two people. We want something that we can use for snorkleling that we can climb back into and that is stable in waves. FWIW we like the WB-8 even with it's limitations. Unfortunately they want a lot for the stabilization tubes( the cost of an inflatable) or we would have went that route. Why the heck do the tubes cost soooo much???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
. My problem with the portobotes is the seats. They show the hull all nice and folded but where do you store the seats???
I considered the porta-botes too, but two problems. One is how difficult is it to assemble on the deck of my sailboat and the second was how difficult it was to even it a good response from the porta bote folks when I was in the market to buy. It would really be a problem should I have a warrenty issue.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
A 2 HP will move it... however, if you want to get up on plane, you'll need more engine. Be careful though, you don't want to get an engine that is too big and heavy for your crew to easily put on and remove from the dinghy. I'd recommend looking at a 4-6 HP engine at the most.

On a related note, how big should the engine be to move a 9' inflatable dinghy (carrying 2 adults, 1 child) ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
We bought a Zodiac Fastroller with the high pressure air floor about five years ago and love it. I've looked at the similar WM model, and like the features of the Zodiac.

PVC vs. Hypalon is a factor if you're in FL or the tropics. We're in the Great Lakes, so it's not such a factor.
 

·
Big Chicken Baby
Joined
·
410 Posts
Even though we are going to be in the tropics, we are probably going with a West Marine PVC inflatible. One of the biggest reasons for doing this is that dinghies get stolen- a lot. I'd rather risk having a dinghy that will only last 3-4 years for under $1,000 than having a superb hypalon that will last 10+ years for almost double that amount that gets stolen because the thieves know that a hypalon boat is far more valuable.

I'm also considering painting the dink hot pink to discourage theft. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,707 Posts
Are the West Marine dinghies any good? They were fairly inexpensive (the rollup being cheapest).
I think you'll find that WM dinks are dinks made by top named brands for WM


On a related note, how big should the engine be to move a 9' inflatable dinghy (carrying 2 adults, 1 child) ?

We have a 9' rollup dink w/ 3.5hp merc, moves 4 adults around nicely
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top