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Old 06-18-2014, 01:20 PM   #1
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Dinghy general questions.

1) in the past I have owned 3 non-RIB inflatable dinks and never tore the bottom. has anyone here every torn theirs and under what conditions.

2) None of my previous dinks were hypolon and never had a problem.
My dink will be exposed to direct sunlight no more than around 50 days a year. Do I really need hypolon?

3) I saw one dealer on the internet that sold the PVC dinks with tube covers, anyone know who that was?

4) Does anyone know anything about boatstogo.com?

5) Until recently, I thought I wanted a RIB - not sure now. After lots of replies on previous threads, 'Livingston' keeps cropping up. Here is my dilemma: The 9' fits my boat but not my needs/wants. The 10' fits everything I want but is too heavy for my aft deck hardtop. Too heavy and too wide for my hanging davits and quite possibly too heavy for my old swim platform. Towing is not a problem with the following questions:
a) How many problems will backing out of a slip be introduced if the dink bow was slightly lifted from the water by my stern davits and I want to back out?
b) When entering locks and dams, do you guys tow your dink behind you or 'on the hip'?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Tony B
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:33 PM   #2
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1) We never tore our inflatable, even including big dog (Pyr and Golden) toenails clambering all over the tubes. I never tried to beach it rocks or dry sand, though.

2) It was PVC and lasted approx. 7 years, then needed regluing. Lasted about 1 year after regluing. We mostly stored it deflated, in the bag, except for trips when we were actually using it on a daily basis.

There are lift systems for swim platforms, in case you hadn't investigated those. Might need to ensure your swim platform is sufficiently braced (or add some).

-Chris
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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I have a 25 year old hypalon dingy that has seen light use....the stitching is bad to the tubes but otherwise in good shape.

The only time I ripped her is the bottom???...twice on nail heads dragging it up on docks and was easily patched.

Sharp oyster shells and even exposed nail points did not hole the tubes while inflated.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:04 PM   #4
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I thought long and hard about Livingston, as you noted, keeps coming up. The 9 ft. is a bit low in freeboard, and the 10 ft. is so heavy. My davits and dinghy crane can handle it, no issue, but if I can put a 9 or 10 ft. rib aboard easier, I can't see enough advantages to switch for my usage. I also like the multi-purpose Portland Pudgy, which carries it's own sail kit and can double as a covered life boat for two. Easy to row, easy to sail, and needs only 2 hp.....good for electric, but its not as spacy. I'd love a console dinghy with a 15 or so for the Bahamas, but I keep looking for enough reason to dump my 9 ft. Caribe with a 9.9 two-stroke Merc.

For 50 days in the sun per year, I don't see why you need to go with hypalon. Never tore a bottom either, but I do tend to abuse it a bit when pulling it up on the dock. A decent rib with a 9.9 is kind-of like the old jeep around these waters. If you've got a patch kit and an air pump, you're good to go.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
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Had a PVC that was treated with great care, stored in a porch when not used and almost exactly 7 years (searched sailing forum and seemed to be a common time period) the seams started failing. Purchased a 10.5' Hyp air deck and have had it now 16 years and other then the rub rail coming loose that has been it, not the prettiest thing at the dingy dock but performs great. Seen a few people go the online no name route and they certainly saved, but in 3 years they all say the same thing, I should have...
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
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It's a shame you can't make the 9' Livingston work for ya Tony. I have an old 8' model that I wouldn't trade for anything, even a larger one. Yeah the freeboard is low but if you keep it lightly loaded it takes just about anything you can throw at it. Mines over 30 years old and still good as new.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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It's a shame you can't make the 9' Livingston work for ya.......
The tough decision is because the 9' would work for us most of the time. It's just when we have company, it is too small. Coming from a sailboat, the old adage was that you buy what is good for 90% of the time and make do for the other 10%. Now, with the spacious power boat, I'm used to the 'new' size. The dink can, at times, be more fun than the big boat, and that is where I am hung up.
The interior is soooooooo big on the Livingston 10.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:31 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the input.

the reason I am thinking non-rib, non-hypolon is because it is 1/2 the price. That means I could buy a new non-rib, non-hypolon every 5-7 years and be ahead of the game. With a power boat, I am now trying to stay under covered slips.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:41 PM   #9
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Dinghy chaps will also extend the life of the dinghy (a neighbors).
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:41 PM   #10
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I will only buy a tender made with hypalon--they simply last much longer. I've heard too many stories of PVC tenders aging poorly despite being treated carefully or being rarely used and not exposed to the sun. Florida UV is murder on a PVC dinghy and I'm aware of some in Florida that have begun to fail within three years.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:45 AM   #11
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In theory this may be true, but in practice it would not be true (ahead of the game). First the raft will give you an issue when you need it the most, then as you are standing in the DMV to register another raft you will start thinking, all the money I spend buying a boat, and everything is now the time to cut a corner. Good luck!!

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Thanks all for the input.

the reason I am thinking non-rib, non-hypolon is because it is 1/2 the price. That means I could buy a new non-rib, non-hypolon every 5-7 years and be ahead of the game. With a power boat, I am now trying to stay under covered slips.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:39 PM   #12
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If weight is a concern, check out the Walker Bay Superlight RIBs. The 10 ft RIB, 310 SLR weighs 79 lbs. That is what I have on my boat.

Superlight RIBS : Walker Bay
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:04 PM   #13
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Saturn or Newport

Anyone here familiar with Saturn dinghies sold on boatstogo.com or Newport sold on Amazon.com?

Also West Marine question: Most people on forums seem to like their West Marine dinghies and most don't like them on the West Marine customer Reviews. Is that because only unhappy customers are the ones to write reviews?

So, does anyone here have or are familiar with any of the above manufacturers and what do you think of them?
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:21 PM   #14
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I don't know about the other two besides West Marine, but I do know three cruisers with the WM brand of Rib, two with glass floor and one with aluminum. These boats aren't more than 5 years old, but look good and perform well enough to keep them happy. WM had an absolutely shocking sale on a 12 ft. aluminum bottom rib some months ago that had me on the edge. It was just too big for my usage.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post

Also West Marine question: Most people on forums seem to like their West Marine dinghies and most don't like them on the West Marine customer Reviews. Is that because only unhappy customers are the ones to write reviews?

So, does anyone here have or are familiar with any of the above manufacturers and what do you think of them?

Our first inflatable was a "West Marine" roll-up PVC model, made by Zodiac. We got decent service out of it, and the price was in line with quality and features.

We took limitations (PVC) into account, and mostly stored it deflated. Would have done that with any brand PVC dinghy.

-Chris
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