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Dinghy decision

2088 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mountforever
Trying to decide between a porta boat and an Achilles aluminum roll up. any advice? Want for a tender for my sailboat.
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Any advice??????

That's a good one! Any advice indeed. Around these parts you will have no shortage of opinions, and good ones, but make sure you ask your question with enough detail to give people something to go on.

I have all sorts of experience and opinions about dinghies but because of that, know that it depends almost entirely on the size and type of sailboat and the intended use of the dinghy.

More details please...
how will you be storing it?
how many people will you be hauling around?
do you have davits?
will you be rowing or using an outboard?
what size outboard do you have?
will you be towing much?
does your cruising area have rocky shorelines with barnacles/oysters?

all sorts of things to consider. We went through this two years ago and went with a portabote because:

weighs less than the AB inflatable we were looking at, half the price of the A.B., nearly indestructible, rows easier, won't need a davit and can use a smaller out board to move it around. The cons are that it's not quite as stable, it doesn't haul as much gear/weight for the same length, it's ugly as sin.
Get the Achilles rollup, will be more stable & versatile
More details

It will usually be two of us with need for groceries etc. We will be crusing between Nova Scotia and the Carribbean. The Portaboate is 10 feet long and the Achilles is 9.6. I intend to power with a 5HP gas engine. Originally looking at Torqeedo but too pricey.

Want to be able to bring tender on boat for rough weather so that is why I am considering Achilles or Portaboat. Am concerned about Achillees durability on rocks around Nova Scotia but like the small space it can collapse to. Dont' know how long it takes to inflate and put together. Portaboat people tell me they can do it in six minutes. thanks.
One more thought...

Just thought I'd offer our choice. Its too heavy and big to stow on top of our 30'
[ not sure how big your boat is] It weighs #128 lbs and could be hauled aboard w a little effort, but the best part is that it is very rugged and can hold 4 adults while being shorter than your two choices. Just to cover more bases, check out the Portland Pudgy.
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I too like the Archilles AL roll up and also considered the portabote. A couple of comments. I currently have a Archilles wood floor that is still going strong after more than 20 years of use so that is why I would be going back with the Archilles, however, I did notice that they offer only a 5 year warranty on their product now like most others with the exception of Walker Bay which has a 10 year warranty. Makes me think the Walker Bay product may be better, but no roll up Al floor is available on the Walker Bay.

Secondly, I've had some problem with getting some answers from the porta bote folks and this raises a red flag about getting service should a problem happen with their boat.

For me it boils down to how easy is it to take the boats apart and put back together on the deck of my sailboat. Nothing beats actually putting them together rather than listening to the claims of sales people. As far as performance, I really prefer an inflatable. FWIW, the 10.2 Archilles wood floor with a 5 hp Nissan will plane with me 200lbs with my partner 120 lbs and maybe 20 lbs of gear. Going any distance I think it is important to be able to get up on plane and to be able to take rough weather.
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There is one more consideration...
'Fun Factor'
A 5 HP will make the Achillies really scoot, especially with one person. I have a 5 Hp on my 9'9" inflatable and I can scoot along at 10mph with my 220 lbs frame. Sometimes I get bored sitting in a harbour swinging on anchor and need a more stimulating activity to change the doldrums. Sure is nice to fire up the dinghy and do some exploring, I can cover some pretty expansive distances with the speed I get, plus I have no problems getting over those rip tides and currents. Just something else to think about.
When we bought our current boat it came with a porta boat, I have no idea how old it was but, it leaked badly, I ended up giving it to a guy at work.

I'm like the capt above, I like using the dink to explore or just putt around; Mines a PVC coat wood floor rollup which stows nicely on deck under the stay boom, takes maybe 10-15 mins to assemble and pump up
I have that exact Achilles rollup boat. You cant get it together in 6 minutes but probably 10 or 15 would do it if you have an electric air pump which you really want (they arent expensive and come in both 12V and 115V models as well as combos)

I have an 8hp mercury 2 stroke on it and it will plane and go very fast with one person. It would also probably plane with two if I were less of a lug.

It fits on top of my 33's foredeck inflated but I usually keep it on davits.

Good boat, would get one again.
buy em all

i read a review of a portobote said it was hard to get back into if you dive / fall off it, too flimsy on the rail. i never tried it though. theres a couple in my harbor with 5hp they definately are quick to plane out and handle 1ft chop well.

i have an achilles "inflatable floor" model that is about 50 pounds dry making it easy to get up and tie down to the deck plus yeah you look better in an inflatable, HOWEVER, i just patched a pinhole leak that i poked on something, slow leak...came back to the dock after a week, and half the boat is underwater, took a couple hours to fix it, you wouldnt have to patch a porto but if you cant get back in it its going to be a problem.

good luck, you should get both. thats what i do, so i now have 4 boats and a kayak. for the 4 weekends a month. they are currently all running but i have the kayak if they are all broken at the same time. hah im brilliant eh? many could learn from me!
Assembling a portaboat on board is too tough and I wouldn't want to leave a portaboat out assembled for that long. Go with the achilles.
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