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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Annapolis boat show is coming up, guess I'll wait till then.
Typically the only inflatable vendors to show up at the show with product on display have been Annapolis Inflatables (now owned by Fawcett), Busters, East Coast Inflatables, and sometimes West Marine. Annapolis Inflatables carries several brands but is not known for having especially competitive pricing. I believe Busters only sells Mercury and East Coast only sells Walker Bay. Walker Bay seems to have moved entirely into making console-steered RIBs. West Marine is not on the exhibitor list at all this year. Defender usually has a sale overlapping the boat show dates which includes inflatables.
 

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We gambled on the purchase of an Ocean 275 ultra. (oxxean inflatables) This aluminum RIB has a double floor i.e flat bottom. The specs call for 8 hp and 4 people but we have happily run it with a Honda 10 hp 4-stroke. It weighs 75 pounds. Some would pass on the boat because instead of Hypalon it is constructed with a new generation PVC (whatever the means). It is a great performing RIB. After 3 years we have not experienced any problems- Hopefully it will last a decade. There is an Ocean service shop in Padanarum RI
OVERALL LENGTH (A)OVERALL BEAM (B)WEIGHT (APPROX)TUBE DIAMATERPERSON CAPACITYMAX HPSHAFT LENGTH (C)
2759’1” / 2.76m4’11” / 1.50m75 lbs / 34 kg16” / 0.40m4815" / 38,1cm
 

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We went looking Wednesday for a dinghy. You know, just to get an idea of what is out there, price, features, weight and style. Be damned if we didn't buy one. A Highfield 260. Had everything we liked, hard bottom, lifting rings top and bottom, aluminum transom, running lights and a forward locker seat. Picking it up today.
 
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We went looking Wednesday for a dinghy. You know, just to get an idea of what is out there, price, features, weight and style. Be damned if we didn't buy one. A Highfield 290. Had everything we liked, hard bottom, lifting rings top and bottom, aluminum transom, running lights and a forward locker seat. Picking it up today.
I think you’re going to like it! 👍. I’m interested in the running lights you mentioned? I’ve never seen them on a RIB under about 20’. Where are they mounted and are they powered by individual batteries or by your starting battery if you have one?
 

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We have a 10ft hypalon dinghy we bought used with an inflatable floor and wood transom. The floor is like an inflatable SUP - quite firm - and there is an inflated keel. Feet stay dry - water can accumulate below the floor but can be pumped out easily. We have an electric air pump with automatic pressure settings - EASY. We inflate on the foredeck and use a halyard to hoist it to the water. 6hp Yamaha motor is safely and easily winched over the rail using the main sheet/boom. The dinghy fits easily in our lazarette and one person can lift it in/out.
Jim and Ray
Tartan 33 "Perseverance"
 

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Be damned if we didn't buy one. A Highfield 290.
Congratulations. I bought a Highfield in the Spring and have been very happy with it. I wanted an AB, but the model I wanted was sold out till the end of ‘22 and this was in inventory. One season of good use and still like it.
 
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Annapolis Inflatables at 306 Second Street. We looked at one at West Marine. The Highfield was a bit more but IMO is better built and has more features than WM.
 

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I think you’re going to like it! 👍. I’m interested in the running lights you mentioned? I’ve never seen them on a RIB under about 20’. Where are they mounted and are they powered by individual batteries or by your starting battery if you have one?
The lights are a dealer add on. They glued a bracket on the bow and one aft. The lights are battery powered. The lights are removable which I like.
 
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We have a 10ft hypalon dinghy we bought used with an inflatable floor and wood transom. The floor is like an inflatable SUP - quite firm - and there is an inflated keel. Feet stay dry - water can accumulate below the floor but can be pumped out easily. We have an electric air pump with automatic pressure settings - EASY. We inflate on the foredeck and use a halyard to hoist it to the water. 6hp Yamaha motor is safely and easily winched over the rail using the main sheet/boom. The dinghy fits easily in our lazarette and one person can lift it in/out.
Jim and Ray
Tartan 33 "Perseverance"
With 6hp can you get up on plane and if so what is the load (people/groceries/dog/stuff) is in the boat? We have a 3.5 hp we will test but thinking it will need a few more horses. I really want to stay under 7.5 since Maryland charges $15 every two years to renew if you are over 7.5 hp otherwise it is free.
 

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I briefly had a Highfield which was a very nice boat. I was concerned that the paint would not stay adhered to the aluminum.
 

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With 6hp can you get up on plane and if so what is the load (people/groceries/dog/stuff) is in the boat? We have a 3.5 hp we will test but thinking it will need a few more horses. I really want to stay under 7.5 since Maryland charges $15 every two years to renew if you are over 7.5 hp otherwise it is free.
Get an engine large enough that you can easily plane in all conditions with the people and gear you expect to have in the boat. This is very much worth $7.50 each year.

Otherwise, just stick with your 3.5. Anything between where it mostly planes if you hold your mouth right, position everything and everyone perfectly, and conditions are good is just too frustrating.

Mark
 

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Get an engine large enough that you can easily plane in all conditions with the people and gear you expect to have in the boat. This is very much worth $7.50 each year.

Otherwise, just stick with your 3.5. Anything between where it mostly planes if you hold your mouth right, position everything and everyone perfectly, and conditions are good is just too frustrating.

Mark
To plane I think I’d want a 9.9 hp. Longer dinghies plane more easily than shorter ones when loaded and my 12’ RIB with 20hp slowly gets on plane with 4 adults plus some “stuff” in it. For a 10’ dinghy I think a 9.9 would get 2 people on plane but with more weight than that you’ll probably not get on plane without at least 20hp. So I think a 9.9 or 15 would be right for your dinghy.
 

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Another part of the dinghy equation is weight, weight of the dinghy and weight of the motor and of course, budget. We also have a Suzuki 9.9 but it is a long shaft. Not sure how a long shaft would affect getting up on plane. I plan to run both motors on the dink before I sell them.
 

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To plane I think I’d want a 9.9 hp. Longer dinghies plane more easily than shorter ones when loaded and my 12’ RIB with 20hp slowly gets on plane with 4 adults plus some “stuff” in it. For a 10’ dinghy I think a 9.9 would get 2 people on plane but with more weight than that you’ll probably not get on plane without at least 20hp. So I think a 9.9 or 15 would be right for your dinghy.
This also gets into the specific manufacturer's engine designs. For example, Suzuki's 15, and 20hp all weigh the same because they are identical engines whose horsepower is determined chiefly by software differences. Yamaha's 8 and 9.9hp are the same, while the 15, 20, 25 share the same engine. Honda's 8 and 9.9hp are the same, while the 15 and 20hp are larger.

So for about the same weight, one could get anywhere from a 8hp to a 20hp depending on which specific engine they chose.

Mark
 

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Another part of the dinghy equation is weight, weight of the dinghy and weight of the motor and of course, budget. We also have a Suzuki 9.9 but it is a long shaft. Not sure how a long shaft would affect getting up on plane. I plan to run both motors on the dink before I sell them.
It won't be good with the prop that deep, particularly on a shorter boat. You will likely porpoise and have some control issues at times. We also have a 20" shaft on a 15" transom, but made a riser plate to position the prop at the proper depth. You could also do this - it isn't difficult.

Mark
 

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but made a riser plate to position the prop at the proper depth. You could also do this - it isn't difficult.
Watching utube vids on this subject. Yea it isn't rocket science.
 

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With 6hp can you get up on plane and if so what is the load (people/groceries/dog/stuff) is in the boat? We have a 3.5 hp we will test but thinking it will need a few more horses. I really want to stay under 7.5 since Maryland charges $15 every two years to renew if you are over 7.5 hp otherwise it is free.
We have planed easily with 3 people in the boat.
 

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We have planed easily with 3 people in the boat.
But isn’t your boat a pretty flat bottomed one with just a blow up tube to keep it from being entirely flat? I believe his has much more of a V shape so will handle better but will require more hp to get on plane. If his 9.9 outboard doesn’t weigh too much for his purposes, after he lifts it to get the prop where it belongs, I think he’s going to have a very nice setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Well, unfortunately, like seemingly every inflatable thread on this forum, it didn’t take long for this one to turn into a discussion of the merits of having a dingy that’s able to plane - which I specifically stated in the OP that I had absolutely no need or desire to do.

While I don’t doubt that there are places and situations where planing is desirable, it’s something that would be so rarely useful to me that it’s not at all worth the weight and cost penalty of having a motor big enough to do it. Most of the places we anchor on the Chesapeake are within 6 MPH no wake zones so it wouldn’t be legal to go that fast anyway. If I really wanted to plane and go fast I’d get a little runabout, keep in on a trailer, and use it entirely separately from the sailboat.

So I’d respectfully ask that we try to keep the discussion here focused on the pros and cons of different inflatable bottom types and designs, particularly as they relate to comfort and stability inside the dinghy, portability/handling when towing or bringing the dinghy aboard the mothership, and stowability.
 
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