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Old 05-05-2018, 04:14 PM   #1
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Bullfrog/Whaly vs. RIB

In the market for a dinghy, minimum size with minimum console. The leading contenders are the Bullfrog 10' tender and an Achilles 310 aluminum hull with Euroconsole. While there are other significant differences, my main question for those that own a rotomolded dinghy is the impact on the topsides of the mothership.

An inflatable RIB is very forgiving of bumping into the topsides, either on purpose or just having it tied alongside. On a hard dinghy you typically might have rubber buffering on the gunwale, but in my experience nevertheless must be much more careful about this. I've not owned a PU rotomolded dinghy, but it seems to me they are somewhere inbetween, incidental contact will not instantly scratch but you might need to put some effort into not touching when possible and holding it off if tied alongside.

What are the experiences of people who own these dinghies?
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:19 PM   #2
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We had a Bullfrog on a previous boat. I would not leave it long term tied to the big boat without fenders. If you come up and hit the big boat as you tie up, it probably wonít scratch the big boat. It is a somewhat hard plastic but it isnít hard like fiberglass.
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:24 PM   #3
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Kind of what I was thinking. Did you like the Bullfrog otherwise?
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:26 PM   #4
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Yes we liked it. Had good experiences with the company. We bought a Seawise davit and Bullfrog got together with Seawise and had the davit parts mounted on the dinghy for me when it shipped.
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Old 05-05-2018, 05:49 PM   #5
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We had a rotomoulded Portland Pudgy on our previous boat, and it never marked the hull at all. (The PP was red while the boat hull was white)
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Old 05-05-2018, 06:18 PM   #6
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I wonder if it is possible to glue a rubber rub rail on top of the molded rub rail on the Bullfrog. Not much sticks to PE, but by "flaming" it maybe some adhesives would work.

I like the Pudgy a lot, but it's a bit slow for those long trips to the market.
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:09 PM   #7
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I wonder if it is possible to glue a rubber rub rail on top of the molded rub rail on the Bullfrog. Not much sticks to PE, but by "flaming" it maybe some adhesives would work.

I like the Pudgy a lot, but it's a bit slow for those long trips to the market.
Yes, I suggested to David (PP builder) that if he went to 10 feet he could have a real winner on his hands. It now looks like Whaly's have stepped into that niche.
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:21 PM   #8
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Never seen a Whaly steering console, so can’t vouch for it.

The optional storage seat just drops into place with male rounded tabs into female rounded grooves without any fastening devices, so you can’t tip the dinghy sideways (Weaver Davits) without taking the seat out first.

Don’t know if the steering console is the same or not.
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:46 PM   #9
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Of the roto'd boats, the Bullfrog seems to best fit our needs. It is rather utilitarian looking and heavy, but those might get forgiven if it survived long after the tubes on an inflatable decayed. The PP and the Whaly seem like non-planing boats. The BF looks to be about 100 lbs heavier than the same sized Achilles. That's significant on the swim platform of a smallish trawler. No ideal solution I guess.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:00 PM   #10
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I am in the midst of replacing our old 10' inflatable RIB, and have looked at the Whaly. I was attracted by the toughness and longevity of these style of boats. The big issue for me is weight. These boats are heavy in relation to RIBs. The ten foot Whaly is about 105 kgs I think, where as a 10' RIB comes in at about 60- 65kg.

Of course a RIB cannot compete with a roto moulded craft in the indestructibility stakes. So I guess their respective strengths lie in different areas. I would have bought the 10' Whaly if I wasn't pulling it up & down a beach all the time, however with a full load of fuel onboard that is just too much weight for me.

What I have realised that with RIBs they vary widely in construction, not just in the type of fabric but who builds them & where they are manufactured. This is usually reflected in the warranty they give. For instance my present recently deceased RIB is a Sirocco hypalon it's the second one I have had and they both lasted about 10 years, but both required some repair during that time.

However, Sirocco only give you a two year warranty! Now that is a waste of time as any RIB will last longer than that. The RIB I am thinking of replacing it with is a 3.1 aluminium Highfield. This company give a ten year warranty on the tubes. It is about 25% more than the Sirocco but amortised over say 12 years, the Highfield is not only the better boat, but also a better buy.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:59 PM   #11
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I have a 10 foot BF, I like it. It is heavier than others of the same size. I haves 15hp Merc, electric start, so also have battery. It will run 20 mph. With 3 adults it is a struggle to plane. Fairly flat vhull shape but handles well. Easy to clean with bleach and water. I tie it off to big boat and donít worry about fenders. I would be happier with more hp but it is a great boat
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:42 AM   #12
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I have a 10 foot BF, I like it. It is heavier than others of the same size. I haves 15hp Merc, electric start, so also have battery. It will run 20 mph. With 3 adults it is a struggle to plane. Fairly flat vhull shape but handles well. Easy to clean with bleach and water. I tie it off to big boat and donít worry about fenders. I would be happier with more hp but it is a great boat


Dan, what do you think the total weight is of your rig and how is it hoisting it up to the boat deck?
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:11 AM   #13
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Exclamation

Close to 400 pounds, start to finish about 20minutes to load including tying down. Not any problem. We are at LagoonCove in the Broughtons tonight. Normally also bring along a Walker Bay Odyessey air floor dink, with a 2 hp Honda, for dinking around. Tow it most of time, if weather an issue I nest it on top of BF, they like each other, and odyssey weighs just 38 pounds.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:15 AM   #14
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BF says rigged with a 20hp on it (the yacht tender version, with a "euro" style console) it's 490 lbs. The equivalent Achilles is maybe 350 - 370. Plenty of davits can pick up 490, but on a small boat anyway you'd feel that extra 100+ lbs on the very back I'd think. That's the dilemma. The prices are surprisingly not all that different.

Interesting that you can tie off the BF without worrying about fenders.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:20 AM   #15
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BF says rigged with a 20hp on it (the yacht tender version, with a "euro" style console) it's 490 lbs. The equivalent Achilles is maybe 350 - 370. Plenty of davits can pick up 490, but on a small boat anyway you'd feel that extra 100+ lbs on the very back I'd think. That's the dilemma. The prices are surprisingly not all that different.

Interesting that you can tie off the BF without worrying about fenders.


I have utility dink, no console, tiller steer, so a little lighter. I may be a little bit heavier than 400 but not much.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:50 AM   #16
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I'd look at the Livingstons if you can find one. Great riding boats.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:09 AM   #17
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However, Sirocco only give you a two year warranty! Now that is a waste of time as any RIB will last longer than that. The RIB I am thinking of replacing it with is a 3.1 aluminium Highfield. This company give a ten year warranty on the tubes. It is about 25% more than the Sirocco but amortised over say 12 years, the Highfield is not only the better boat, but also a better buy.
That depends on the type of warranty they offer. If it is a prorated warranty, the value near the end will be next to nothing. Lots of companies off prorated warranties just to keep you coming back to their store / brand.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:42 PM   #18
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I have a BF 11.5 with a 30hp Honda and love it, overall great boat, I also have a Apex A12 RIB with a 40hp Yamaha, compared side by side I really like the bullfrog from a durability perspective although its a slightly wetter boat when 4 large adults are in it. Its also heavier.
Long term ill be getting a BF 13 with a 50hp since its got an integrated gas tank and deeper V.

Oh and nether marks the big boat, the bullfrog is specifically using plastic that wont mark or damage gelcoat.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:28 PM   #19
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Wifey B: Williams Jet Tenders now has a MiniJet. It's 9'2", has a 50 hp BRP Rotax Jet, Seats 3 and top speed of 38 mph and it only weighs 465 lbs.

Haven't seen one but their previous smallest was 9'6" and weighed 638 lbs with a Textron 80 hp weighed 695 lbs.

Oh, smallest diesel I'm aware of is from Ribjet and weighs 710 lbs. so beyond the weight levels being discussed.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:30 PM   #20
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The miniject is kind of neat, but also a little pricey. My guess is the Bullfrog is far more durable.
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