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Old 05-06-2021, 01:44 AM   #21
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I bought my Achilles tender from a local outfit, based on a recommendation from friends who have had theirs for 25 years!! I am only at 3+ years on it, but I’m very happy with it.
And, the Achilles tendon/er is presumably made in Greece! No country of origin issues.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:19 AM   #22
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I bought a Chinese made dinghy branded "Bris"( ? named to sound like Qld. city Brisbane, and boat brand "Brig"),build quality was passable, didn`t leak,sold it with my last boat. Nowhere near as good as the Korean made one(sold here as "Island Inflatables") which both preceded and followed it,handled way better in the water, pics won`t tell you. Check tube sizing, I think that matters. If you`re ok supporting China you`ll probably be happy enough. Look for reviews, check ebay etc once you identify a model you like, I think the same model gets sold under multiple brands.
I have one of the Bris inflatables as well, the 9.8' one, I think this is my 5th year with it. The name makes me chuckle every time I see it. I imagine the Chinese businessmen where trying to play off of the brand "Brig" and probably never met a Mohel. I would guess that many of the ones like it with aluminum floors are made in the same plant.

Mine spends most of its life in my garage, only comes out for weeklong cruises a couple times a year so it doesn't get much UV exposure that kills the PVC dinghies. I did buy a nylon cover for it and might start leaving it on the boat or on a dinghy rack at the marina now. If I was cruising full time and the dinghy was my daily transportation, a higher end dinghy of Hypalon construction would make sense but for occasional use, this does the trick just fine.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:07 PM   #23
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Not from Aliexpress, but from China, I bought a GW Inflatable (shown in the attached image), 14 ft dink, PVC. NEVER again. After assembling and decking it out with 40 Yamaha, lights, plotter, radio, etc. I found the first leak, where it was pinched in the shipping crate. I fixed it, two more appeared on the first outing. Fixed those and got to take it out one more time before I gave up on it. I'd fix 1 leak, 5 more would appear. I used what was supposed to be the best PVC glues (tried 3 brands including a 2-part mix product). Major seams started parting. Gave it to a friend who salvaged the new instruments and steering. It is sitting in a junk pile last I saw of it.

I am now the happy owner of an AB Nautilus 13 footer with a 40 horse Yamaha, made of Hypalon with a built in cooler and a much nicer dink!
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:52 PM   #24
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Taka Kat

I am very happy with my New Zealand made Taka Kat

https://www.takacat.com/
https://www.takacatamericas.com/

No problem couriering it from NZ to Malaysia
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:03 AM   #25
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Dinghy

FWIW, I have had four dinghys now, and the question for me is not the cheapest or best quality construction, but the design!!

I now have a Highfield which is more expensive, but just heads and tails better than the others.

We use it a lot and the comfort and seaworthiness is the issue for us, it is a real boat compared to the others that now seem like pool toys.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:40 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Sleeping Bear View Post
FWIW, I have had four dinghys now, and the question for me is not the cheapest or best quality construction, but the design!!

I now have a Highfield which is more expensive, but just heads and tails better than the others.

We use it a lot and the comfort and seaworthiness is the issue for us, it is a real boat compared to the others that now seem like pool toys.
And an extra two feet will often turn the pool toy into a boat. However, even in the same size there are huge differences. We compared our 13' Williams Rib to a 13' Whaler once and wasn't even close as our Williams handled rough water so much better. We were flying around the sound having fun and the Whaler salesman had to stop as he was terrified in it. Not all ribs are the same as you point out.
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Old 05-20-2021, 10:41 PM   #27
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Well, just to follow up: Thanks again for all the responses, very helpful, thank you everybody. I finally went with FlyWright's advice and got one of those Monrovia BestWay Hydro-Force inflatables, like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Bestway-Hydro.../dp/B07TKNBKFH

Got an open-box deal on Ebay from a store in Lincoln, Nebraska so it arrived in just three days by Fedex. $579. We opened it up it up on the driveway and put it together. Our previous dinghy was a Zodiac Zoom Aero 260, air floor. The Zodiac lasted really well for us, we bought it in 2015 at Defender at the store in Waterford CT, paid about $800 for it at the time, on sale. We used it like crazy, dragged it up on rocky beaches, rolled it in and out of a plywood utility trailer at the beginning and end of each season. Most of the time it spent its life moored to the swim step baking in the sun (we got a cover for it but I was usually too lazy to put the cover on every time we left the boat). Lasted six years of heavy use so I think we got our money's worth. But finally the transom attachment failed badly on one tube, and it had become too small for my wife, me, two boys and the small dog, so time for a new one. Here's my initial review of the Bestway so far:

The Bestway is two feet bigger in length and a foot wider, (about 10'6" long) but seems much bigger in the driveway. Like wow bigger. The capacity plate doesn't make a lot of sense to me though. Says it's rated for 876 lbs of people, or five persons, but 1,400 lbs of people and gear total. Not sure how that works -- seems to me a pound is a pound, human flesh or a tackle box, but okay. Rated for up to a 15 hp outboard. We have a Yamaha 4hp two-stroke so we won't be testing that rating either way. It has two bench seats rather than the Zodiac's one, and they're much nicer -- the Zodiac was painted plywood, the Bestway seats are textured aluminum (both sides) and the brackets seem better quality. The Bestway oars are collapsible and much easier to place on the oarlocks -- they simply drop over a threaded pin on the side tubes and then you screw a tethered threaded ball onto the pin. The Zodiac had a very cumbersome oarlock arrangement that required a particular alignment athwart the tubes to lock them in. The inflator fittings on the Bestway also seem easier to use - you turn a 1/4" star knob in the inflator valves to inflate/deflate, very easy. The Zodiac valves had buttons that worked kind of like the plunger on old ballpoint pens, click click, that sometimes didn't work well.

Both models are airfloor -- that's my preference. Makes for a lighter, more buoyant dinghy overall and they're easier on knees and bare feet, and for long runs we have to toss the dinghy over the bow rail and store it upside down on the bow so we have to keep it light. Both have air floors, Zodiac and Bestway were both nice and stiff and went in easily. Oddly though the Bestway has a board that slides into a sleeve under the airfloor that keeps it from curling up side to side. The Zodiac had clips in the transom that kept the airfloor from slipping around. The Zodiac had metal mounting plates for the outboard, the Bestway has plastic, but plenty beefy in my opinion. The external gas tank tie-down is in a more sensible place in my opinion on the Bestway -- near the transom. The Zodiac had it under the center seat - and the sun ate the nylon strap to powder by the end of the first summer. The foot-powered inflator that came with the Zodiac is much better than the "air hammer" piston pump that came with the Bestway. Luckily the Bestway and Zodiac use the same air valve sizes so the inflators and fittings are interchangeable. The Bestway has tapered tube ends, the Zodiac had blunt rounded ends. The Bestway sure looks more aerodynamic, although we'll see if it really makes any difference in the water.

Finally both inflatables came with a canvas (well, nylon) wrapper, like a big burrito wrapper. The Bestway is much better in my opinion, with wider, heavier straps and four carrying handles. The Zodiac wrapper had two 1" straps that were brutal on your hands. Okay, there it is. I'll be interested to see how it behaves in the water.
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Old 05-23-2021, 09:03 PM   #28
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Great review, Karl!!

My 4 yr old Bestway has an aluminum/aluminium floor. I just rec'd my NIB Costco #1356887 delivered for $619 and it has the air floor as shown on the box. I'll be interested in trying out the new floor when the need arises. Until then, it'll sit in a closet undisturbed.

One thing about the seat restraints that I thought of. Each aluminum/aluminium bench seat can come loose if stored on its side with underinflated tubes or a motor on the transom. I added a strap across the bench seat that is covered by a saddle bag/seat cushion. The strap keeps the tubes from separating enough for the benchseat tabs to dislodge.

The other thing I love about this dink, besides the fact that it's as cheap as it is seaworthy, is that the handles are designed and positioned to serve as protective touch pads when resting upon a swimstep without Weaver davits or similar. The PVC tubes do not actually touch my swimstep so there's no abrasion.

PS. The new dink is badged as "Tobin Sports" with a similar but different 'paint scheme".
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