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Old 10-05-2016, 06:56 AM   #1
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Longevity of an inflatable

I'm thinking about purchasing a 12 ft. Zodiac Yachtline inflatable or similar.Does anyone have any experience on how old material and glue can be on these things and still be reliable?
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:09 AM   #2
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I had a hypalon dinghy that lasted me 14 years (New England boating years). It was still holding air when I gave it to my son. The material was not sticky, it just was uglying out.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:46 AM   #3
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My 10 year old hypalon Achiles is still going strong. Its slowly getting harder to keep it looking good, but otherwise great.

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Old 10-05-2016, 09:08 AM   #4
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Depends on whether or not its been kept covered and where the primary area of use is. the further South generally the more wear. If it's been taken care of and sheltered from the sun it could last 20 or more years. Inspect it and make your best judgement.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:23 AM   #5
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Had a PVC one that lasted 7 years, had a hypalon that lasted 15 years when we retired it from all the PVC items attached to it like rub rail and air deck started falling apart. For me I would not get a PVC raft again.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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PVC is not UV resistant. It makes a difference whether it sat on a dinghy dock, davit, or deck all season. It also depends on where. 5 month seasons in New England or 12 month season in Florida. I had a rollup PVC in new england that spent mots of its life rolled up below deck. It was exposed to UV on weekends and 2 weeks a summer in New England (5 month season). I got 14 years out of it.

Typical lifespan exposed is around 5+ years, then they begin to slowly de-laminate.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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I had my rigid dinghy stolen in Ireland by some Polish workmen and a mate gave me a year old RIB to use a safety boat/runabout.
I hardly used it and after 8 years in the Mediterranean sun it simply started to delaminate and leak.
Carrying a dinghy through the European canals with all the locks is a PIA and I vowed never to have another one next or near me.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:21 PM   #8
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Had a hypalon Achilles for 20 years. Couldn't destroy that baby. When we got a Whaler and nobody wanted the Achilles I had to cut it up to throw in the dumpster. That was not an easy job.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:53 PM   #9
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Had a hypalon Achilles for 20 years. Couldn't destroy that baby. When we got a Whaler and nobody wanted the Achilles I had to cut it up to throw in the dumpster. That was not an easy job.
Around here, there are many who would welcome a free dinghy. Too bad it was trashed.

Our Avon 10RIB is simply "the best!" The floor even has a mini bilge to minimize getting one's feet wet. Purchased new for the 1988 season. I had it repaired once as a result of towing it with the painter attached to some towing loops for a bridle I installed. One towing loop got ripped off when the dinghy took on 25+ gallons of water while I was towing in in Vineyard Sound. So much for trying to improve a perfect dinghy.

It usually sits covered on the forward deck in chocks that I made. That particular day when I towed it I was having trouble with my davit crane. One of my friends is into his 3rd dinghy.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:25 PM   #10
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26 years for a Hypalon Achilles
2 yrs for a PVC by West Marine
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:35 PM   #11
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I am on my second PVC. The first (Mercury Air deck) lasted 10 years but was sticky and many patches. The second is 5 years old and although I built some chaps for it it is still seeing some degradation. My buddy who bought the same style mercury out of hypalon 15 years ago is still happy with his purchase. Next time I am going with hypalon.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:53 PM   #12
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Anyone here have any experiences painting hypalon tubes?
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:22 AM   #13
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10 years so far on a hypalon AB which sits out in the Caribbean sun for five months a year. Hadn't even thought that it might need replacing.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:23 AM   #14
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Sounds like one would for sure paint a PVC boat!?
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Old 10-06-2016, 06:04 AM   #15
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Sounds like one would for sure paint a PVC boat!?


A better option is to keep it out of the water, covered at all times except when in use. I keep my Hypalon (Avon 10RIB) covered and mounted on our front deck. I made my own cover because the ones I purchased in the past didn't cover part of the dinghy.
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:16 AM   #16
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I think the answer for both longevity and looks is to keep it covered. Do this and it should last many many years and still look respectable.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceania View Post
I'm thinking about purchasing a 12 ft. Zodiac Yachtline inflatable or similar.Does anyone have any experience on how old material and glue can be on these things and still be reliable?
Don't buy any PVC inflatable go for Hypalon, Zodiac are good boat at sea but terrible bad quality material !!!

fibre glass from hull are really low quality material from tube are same from hull
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:31 PM   #18
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Just sold a ≈1995 fourteen foot Achilles that was in the southern Calif sun, uncovered all that time. It still held air but was looking a little sad. I think thats 21 years of good service.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:40 PM   #19
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Anyone here have any experiences painting hypalon tubes?

Not personally, but a good friend had an older Achilles that he had built lots of fishing related things into, and then he painted the tubes with a hypalon paint. In the first 5 years you wouldn't know it wasn't the original hypalon you were seeing. then he sold it, so I don't know how long it will last.
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