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How many years of use do you get from your Dinghy?

  • 2-3 years

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3-5 years

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • 5-7 years

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • 7-9 years

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • 9-11 years

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • 11-13 years

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • 13-15 years

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • 15-17 years

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 17-19 years

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • More than 2 decades!

    Votes: 3 23.1%

  • Total voters
    13
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Tartan 37
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All good points except the statement that davits are ugly and expensive.

I guess solar panels, and wind generators are ugly also😃Most boats with davits when underway have the dinghy pulled up. no more unesthetic than either pulling a dinghy with engine or having it on the foredeck. There are some good davits that can be pulled out when not using. as far as expense, we installed our Garhauer davits ourselves and the cost. At the time they were $1100, now $1600.because of them we use our dinghy more, handle it easily, and can store it with a cover thus preserving its life. They also serve as a perfect place for a solar panel.
Dingy on a davit also makes for great place to stow trash hahaha
 

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Dingy on a davit also makes for great place to stow trash hahaha
I thought I was the only one who did that on trips😄
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
Achilles are also made in China, as are most of the Zodiacs in this range (and many, many others). IMO, the AB being made in Colombia isn't any better, and could be worse, than being made in China.

A tow ring welded to the hull is a much safer and robust attachment point than glued D-rings. If the boat doesn't have D-rings, pretty much all dealers are equipped to either attach these themselves or send it to a local place that can do it. Certainly, Defender can do it.

Mark
Agree about Columbia vs China for manufacturing. I could not really care less as long as the job is done correctly, and they stand behind it. I have read stories about AB that don't make me confident in their dealer network, making me believe that the warranty is almost useless.

Funny, but I pointed out to the salesman at Defender that the AB 9 UL on the floor had a defect on one of the curved pieces of aluminum where the transom meets the tube. He left me alone after that. :geek:

Regarding the D-rings; I know that I or the dealer could attach them, but I prefer to have them attached in the factory under controlled conditions.

I have been towing my current dinghy for 10 years. The "bridle" that I use is actually a ½" line which is tied (using a bowline) around one side D-ring, the line then goes through the D-ring on the bow, goes about 5 feet forward of the boat, comes back 5 feet, goes back through the D-ring on the bow, and is then tied to the other side D-ring. I tied a half hitch on a bight to create a loop at the furthest point away from the boat to define a towing loop. Therefore any shock load while towing is spread across 3 D-rings. I have never had any problem - even on the RARE occasion when I would tow the dink with the 30lb outboard on it.
 

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Regarding the D-rings; I know that I or the dealer could attach them, but I prefer to have them attached in the factory under controlled conditions.
I wasn't clear - I meant that most dealers either have the controlled conditions and experience to do this work to factory standard, or they have somebody local that does. Larger, higher-end RIBs get customized this way by dealers, not the factory.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
You have more faith in dealers abilities than I do...
 

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Yesterday I made the drive to Defender to see some boats in person. They are having a sale on Zodiacs, but I wasn't really interested. I spent most of my time looking at the AB and Achilles with aluminum hulls. The Achilles was painted and the AB was unpainted. I was surprised that the AB Ultralight (UL) does NOT have port and starboard "D-rings" for a bridle. It only has a single bow eye. The AB Superlight AL has D rings and the bow eye AND "D-rings." It was also $4730.

I inquired both by email and telephone of a nearby TUG/Highfield/AB dealer, because I had hoped to see a TUG. He had none in stock, and really didn't seem too enthused about them, but directed me to the Highfield. The Highfield model that I would be interested in was not in stock either, but would be arriving sometime in October. It seems that the Highfield is powder coated aluminum. After looking at their website and reading many of the comments here, I am not looking for a powder coated or painted aluminum hull. I never did get a price quote from that dealer, but I can see that the Highfield Classic 290 list price is ~$4200

That leaves TUG. Specifically the TUG 9 Locker. Yes, I know that they are made in China to Bixler Marine's specifications, but they seem to tick all my boxes;
  • 9-10 feet LOA
  • CSM (Hypalon) tubes
  • Bare (unpainted) aluminum hull [Edited to add per the manufacturer - "Unpainted 3mm etched, brushed and polished no maintenance aluminum hull")
  • Port and starboard D-rings for a bridle
  • <130 lbs - so that my current 3.3 HP 2-stroke can adequately power it
  • Bow locker
  • Keel protector/rubstrake
  • It seems to have a flat floor in all the pictures (Perhaps @SanderO can confirm)
And they are for sale DIRECTLY from Bixler Marine for $3930! (under the $4k budget)

The fact that the importer sells directly to the public explains why the dealer that I spoke with seemed lukewarm on them, but this means that I would be dealing DIRECTLY with the manufacturer for warranty issues (AB's weak point).
Tug Locker is a great dink.... best I have had... Get hypalon. There are dealers in FL... The dealer in Essex is not responsive. The ONLY thing I don't care for are the strap hand holds. But that's the least important thing.

I added two poles to aid boarding the dink after I had back surgery. These were simple to do... and work really well... and are a better hand hold when sitting on the tubes. They can be removed as the poles are set into "sockets". Got the square and round tubes from McMaster along with the ss hardware including pol tips.
 

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Achilles are also made in China, as are most of the Zodiacs in this range (and many, many others). IMO, the AB being made in Colombia isn't any better, and could be worse, than being made in China.

A tow ring welded to the hull is a much safer and robust attachment point than glued D-rings. If the boat doesn't have D-rings, pretty much all dealers are equipped to either attach these themselves or send it to a local place that can do it. Certainly, Defender can do it.

Mark
Our Aquapro has a center ring on the hull as well as the D-rings on the tubes. We always to our dinghy and using a bridle on the D-rings makes the dinghy track far better. If we tow from the hull attachment it hunts all over the place. After 10 years the D-rings are holding up just fine.
That said, we always take the engine off for towing to minimize drag, so loads on the D-rings are minimal.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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As for towing, I understand the bridle on D-rings because on a previous boat we would tow that way. However, only in very protected waters, and only for short distances in daylight. If you have a hull attachment point, I urge you to at least keep a safety line on it. I can't count how many dinghies people we know have lost because they were towing by D-rings that let go. Every season, the Bahama nets are full of people asking after their lost towed dinghies. The other day a post in the local facebook page was looking for their dinghy same reason: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157875602915345&set=gm.888332858331930&type=3&theater&ifg=1. Dinghies lost towing are extremely common.

If it were mine, I'd tow by the hull attachment, with a steadying bridle to the D-rings - a 3-point attachment with the hull point taking the primary load.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Tug Locker is a great dink.... best I have had... Get hypalon. There are dealers in FL... The dealer in Essex is not responsive.
Is there any reason to go through a dealer instead of buying direct? My experience is that the dealers try to steer me toward what they have in stock vs. what I came in to buy.

Also, can you confirm that there is a flat (horizontal) floor?
 

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Just a thought..
Unless you plan to motor-up, getting a dink that will haul butt, being1st to that reef
, id be looking arounf $2k.ish
Not knocking you..just dont understand your reasoning
Sounds like you are sold/fixed on this
 

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As for towing, I understand the bridle on D-rings because on a previous boat we would tow that way. However, only in very protected waters, and only for short distances in daylight. If you have a hull attachment point, I urge you to at least keep a safety line on it. I can't count how many dinghies people we know have lost because they were towing by D-rings that let go. Every season, the Bahama nets are full of people asking after their lost towed dinghies. The other day a post in the local facebook page was looking for their dinghy same reason: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157875602915345&set=gm.888332858331930&type=3&theater&ifg=1. Dinghies lost towing are extremely common.

If it were mine, I'd tow by the hull attachment, with a steadying bridle to the D-rings - a 3-point attachment with the hull point taking the primary load.

Mark
I tow without the motor... using a Davis towing bridle which is attached to 2 lines and cleated to port and starboard stern cleats. The dink bow line which is attached to the towing plate on the alum hull is a security line and looser than the towing lines. I can "trim" the dink to get it to ride where I want with 2 towing lines.
 

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Regarding overinflation, are overinflation safety valves totally worthless? My $600 Chinese PVC dinghy has one, with equalization bladders between the three tubes. I try not to rely on the overinflation valve, but would hope it would release if temperature transients caused pressure to exceed the spec (3.1 psi IIRC).

My inflatable bottom dinghy looks pretty much new after 3 years, with no hint of adhesive failure or weakening of the handles or the D-ring lifting points which are critical for my forward davit harness. I apply 303 once a year and tent a cover over my davits. The cover ripped a couple weeks ago due to weakening from UV exposure, but I replaced it quickly.

I debated PVC vs. Hypalon, but heard of so many adhesive failures with Hypalon that I decided to go with a low cost (but nicely designed) PVC one this time around. A dinghy is only as good as the adhesive, and it’s awfully tough to tell how adhesive will hold up aside from manufacturer’s reputation. And even that can change over time.
 

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Regarding overinflation, are overinflation safety valves totally worthless? My $600 Chinese PVC dinghy has one, with equalization bladders between the three tubes. I try not to rely on the overinflation valve, but would hope it would release if temperature transients caused pressure to exceed the spec (3.1 psi IIRC).

My inflatable bottom dinghy looks pretty much new after 3 years, with no hint of adhesive failure or weakening of the handles or the D-ring lifting points which are critical for my forward davit harness. I apply 303 once a year and tent a cover over my davits. The cover ripped a couple weeks ago due to weakening from UV exposure, but I replaced it quickly.

I debated PVC vs. Hypalon, but heard of so many adhesive failures with Hypalon that I decided to go with a low cost (but nicely designed) PVC one this time around. A dinghy is only as good as the adhesive, and it’s awfully tough to tell how adhesive will hold up aside from manufacturer’s reputation. And even that can change over time.
which kind do you have again?
 

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The amount of years a dinghy lasts is important but the relevant data Should also include, how often is it used.
 

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Tog has double floor... flat with a bilge space over the v hull. Floor has Treadmaster applied for non skid. I have a Guzzler pump mounted on the transom to de water the dink.

If you do get one and use a gas tank in the locker.... put a section of hose over the gas line where it passes from the bilge into the locker. Then spray foam to seal the "conduit". Make the conduit long enough to be higher than a really drenched dink... Then the locker will remain completely dry.
 

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  • <130 lbs - so that my current 3.3 HP 2-stroke can adequately power it
I wonder if it’s just a matter of weight, or whether the v shaped AL hull might cause more drag. Is your current wood floor hull closer to flat?

I fully appreciate that most, including us, only putt along at a few knots to get to the dinghy dock. Our 9.9 on the AB 10AL is more than adequate. I got this motor specifically because it was light (previous motor was 18hp). However, when I want to get up and go, to cover miles, it’s borderline.
 

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You know what I really dislike about pretty much all small dingy/tenders... No navigation lighting. Not until you get to a console type tender do they consider them probably because they have to. I despise the fact none of the manufacturers offer even an option for even a battery operated LED bow and stern light...

There... How's that for thread drift? Ha
 

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Discussion Starter #60
You know what I really dislike about pretty much all small dingy/tenders... No navigation lighting. Not until you get to a console type tender do they consider them probably because they have to. I despise the fact none of the manufacturers offer even an option for even a battery operated LED bow and stern light...

There... How's that for thread drift? Ha
I already have these;
(Hmmm... can't post an image link) NAVISAFE | Navisafe Dinghy Complete
 
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