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Old 05-04-2021, 09:03 AM   #1
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Aliexpress for inflatables/dinghys?

Has anybody ever ordered a dinghy from Aliexpress.com? I've read up a little and some site reviews say you can get some pretty good deals, or you can get junk, or once in a while you can get ripped off entirely and the item never arrives and you have no real recourse since it's all based in China. But then a lot of that's true of eBay and domestic sellers too. Our Zodiac Zoom is six years old, served us well and we used it like crazy, but it's just getting tired and it's a little too small. Aliexpress seems to have a lot of great choices for ridiculously low prices, including shipping:

https://www.aliexpress.com/w/wholesa...oats-sale.html

We're thinking of something like this maybe:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3292...archweb201603_

The prices are so good that it's really tempting. PVC, won't last forever, but at those prices I could buy one every five years and still be happy. And if I do get ripped off it would be really annoying but we wouldn't have to remortgage the house. Anybody used Aliexpress for dinghy's, including RIB's? Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:00 PM   #2
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Sometimes You just never know, Let us know how it works out, I'm real interested in experiments with someone else's money. Only thing that set off the warning bell was saying they were hand made and glued. I would think that machine thermo welded would be better except that would require a significant tooling investment. Prices are exceptional though.

Good Luck
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:17 PM   #3
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On the subject of PVC inflatables I've long wondered why PVC solvent weld glue used in plumbing fittings wouldn't work on a PVC boat or inflatable toy Ive tried it a couple times fixing what was junk with some success. I've got an old Mercury inflatable in the shed that hasn't seen sun or use in 20 years or more. I should drag it out and try it before 'Big Trash Day next month and dump it if it doesnt work.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:19 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:36 PM   #5
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Costco is selling these dinks for $599 in some locations this month. I bought one 3 years ago and it's been great. The link says 10 HP rated, but it's actually 15 HP rated and is very stable, dry and comfortable.

https://centerforsurfresearch.org/hy...costco-review/

Don't know anything about Aliexpress.

Here's an Amazon link for $1099.
https://www.amazon.com/HydroForce-Mi...H?tag=surf1-20

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Old 05-05-2021, 08:06 AM   #6
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The Bris inflatables are pretty good. I almost bought a 15/6 except the trailer wouldn’t fit in my garage. Quality is certainly not a Zodiac, but the price is a fraction.

The Saturn boats are probably your best bet for value except they don’t have RIBs.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:16 AM   #7
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My rule of thumb is simple: "Don't mail order anything from China".

Delivery will take months, if the item ever arrives. Quality is poor. The product is rarely as advertised.

Buy USA, if possible, buy local.

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Old 05-05-2021, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks very much everyone for the replies so far. Yes, without touching off another political debate, I'd much rather buy elsewhere. Politics entirely aside, as Harbor Freight tools from China demonstrate, lots of junk on the market. I don't want my boys a couple miles from shore and a tube seam fails. On the other hand while I'm willing to pay some premium for quality elsewhere, the price breaks on some of the Chinese listings are huge. Maybe more significantly though, almost everything I buy elsewhere is made in China too -- even the Zodiac Zoom we're using now, made in China.

That link that FlyWright provided looks promising though. Looks like the Costco offering has been rebranded as "Tobin Sports" and the price is $619 delivered to a Costco store (but I'll bet it's made in China too). And I'd actually prefer an air floor -- much lighter and easier to wrestle in my opinion, and we hoist our dinghy over the bow rail and store it up front for long runs so an aluminum or wood floor is just too heavy and cumbersome. And the air floor is more comfortable, easier on the knees.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:44 AM   #9
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+1 for the Costco inflatable dinghy

We purchased a Costco inflatable dinghy a couple years ago; at the sale price as recommended here on Trawler Forum. We installed a 9.9 HP Yamaha motor. Last summer was the first season of use; we have been satisfied. Not fancy but very functional and light weight.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
My rule of thumb is simple: "Don't mail order anything from China".

Delivery will take months, if the item ever arrives. Quality is poor. The product is rarely as advertised.

Buy USA, if possible, buy local.

pete
Why support a country that wants to dominate the world, believes in sweat shops and restricts it's people in ways that creates hardships. To each their own is my thoughts.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:59 AM   #11
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Good morning!
I have also been SERIOUSLY looking at the tenders from alibaba (the non-express version).

I''l give you a bit of background... Covid shut down all the gyms here in the Seattle area. My fiance was going nuts that she couldn't work out anymore. So we ended up looking into converting the garage into a gym. I looked for home gyms and they were either WAY too expensive or the used ones we found were CRAP and also WAY overpriced...
A friend of mine who sells on Amazon and sources all his products in China told me I should look into the manufacture of a gym set I liked (most ALL of them are made in China). We ended up finding a great set, but to get the best rate and with shipping costs it made more sense to get a min of 5 and split the costs accordingly with some friends.
After a month of looking, researching and then finally pulling the trigger on Dec. 25th (yes x-mas) I order the gym set(s) along with some other items for our "new gym". Long story (longer) the gym sets FINALLY arrived March 27th had to clear customs and then a clearing house before we could have them delivered to our house, about 90 days from order to deliver, was supposed to take 30-45 days...
BUT, after all of that, I am VERY happy with the quality of the materials, welds, powder-coating, etc...
My suggestion, do your research, look into an order of more than one to split shipping costs. Heck grab a couple extra and put them on OfferUp/Craigslist. I can almost guarantee you will sell them and probably cover your own costs (we did)...

My biggest advice, do your research, you can see what the company's ratings are on Alibaba & Aliexpress. See what their delivery "on-time" record is...

Below are one of the tenders I am looking at. Adding all the "options" really isn't that bad as far as cost either...

I also added a pic of the gym-set. It's exactly as pictured! She loves it (happy wife, happy life, right!!!)

https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...27b076e9zjEKiI
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:22 AM   #12
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Why support a country that wants to dominate the world, believes in sweat shops and restricts it's people in ways that creates hardships. To each their own is my thoughts.

Are you referring to China or the USA?

Not to get political, but I’ve ordered many Chinese items including some directly (yes shipping took forever, especially with C-19), and I’ve been amazed at the high quality of the products and the packaging. You can buy cheap garbage from HFTools and WalMart, and you can buy products worthy of the space program.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:42 AM   #13
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PLEEEEEASE don't turn this into another political off-shoot post!!!
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:18 AM   #14
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Generally speak, there is not a problem with Chinese made products. Especially when purchased through a reliable source like Amazon, W.M. or even a big box store. You know what you are getting, you can pick it up and look at it to determine quality, they have a good return program and they stand behind their products.

I will stick with my original rule of thumb, "Don't buy mail-order products from China"

pete
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:25 AM   #15
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I know nothing about the specific inflatable but some comments on buying a bargain from China.

First, this has nothing to do with whether you like China or not because you buy products from China every day so no use pretending otherwise.

However, there's a huge difference between purchasing products made in China and sitting in a US warehouse and buying items to be manufactured in China and shipped from China. Items made in China and distributed under the label of a US company from a US warehouse, you can depend on shipping date and you will receive a warranty and likely you can even return. If it's directly from China you need to think of it like this: "I'm fine with whenever I receive it" and "I'm not going to return it or expect any warranty service." With that in mind, if the price is worth it, then try it.

Right now with shipping pile ups at ports around the world, delivery from China is much worse than it traditionally has been. No fault of the manufacturers.

As a US manufacturer, I have three things to offer a customer-Delivery, Consistent Quality, and Service. However, I can't compete with the jeans Walmart sells for $10 and don't try to and I do not ever fault anyone who buys the $10 jeans.

So just keep in mind what I pointed out above and make the gamble and find out. You may save money and be quite happy with what you get.
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Old 05-05-2021, 01:29 PM   #16
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You will often get unsolicited ads for products from China. Small remote controlled toys, kitchen appliances, electronics, etc. The price is good, the ads make them look like fun so you order one.

Here is what is happening. The person or whatever who placed the ad does not own a single one of the items offered for sale. They collect orders for two or three months and when they have many thousands of orders they go to a manufacturer of some type of similar product and place their order for 10,000 or more units. It may be close to the one they demoed in the ad or it may be very different, say an R.C. airplane instead of a R.C. drone. Anyway when the 10,000 units are made and delivered they might eventually get shipped. Or the advertiser may figure, "Hell, I have 10,000 units ordered and paid for, I have ignored 5,000 inquires about when they will be shipped, might as well as pocket the money and vanish"

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Old 05-05-2021, 02:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
You will often get unsolicited ads for products from China. Small remote controlled toys, kitchen appliances, electronics, etc. The price is good, the ads make them look like fun so you order one.

Here is what is happening. The person or whatever who placed the ad does not own a single one of the items offered for sale. They collect orders for two or three months and when they have many thousands of orders they go to a manufacturer of some type of similar product and place their order for 10,000 or more units. It may be close to the one they demoed in the ad or it may be very different, say an R.C. airplane instead of a R.C. drone. Anyway when the 10,000 units are made and delivered they might eventually get shipped. Or the advertiser may figure, "Hell, I have 10,000 units ordered and paid for, I have ignored 5,000 inquires about when they will be shipped, might as well as pocket the money and vanish"


pete
Not sure if you realize or not... But Alibaba/Aliexpress are the Chinese equivalent to Amazon. In fact, they are WAY bigger in terms of online sales... They both have pretty strong buy protections, warranties, fraud prevention...
I will give you the "random ads" by some unknown source. But the products and protections on Ali are pretty legit... The biggest downside is shipping. But some products/sellers do have US presence that they ship from, greatly reducing the shipping times/costs...
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:22 PM   #18
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This is my experience. I received a bike frame that was manufactured in China under the specifications of a major Italian bike company. I also received an exact copy of the same frame from the same company in China. One cost $4500 the other cost $450. Both frames looked the same except for a few simple attachments were different. Both frames preformed the same. It wasn't until 7 years later that we really started to notice the differences. On the China sourced bike, attachments started to show excessive ware, the carbon fiber finish started to develop defects, frame flexing was more prevalent. Was it worth it to save $4000. Yes and no. I no longer trust the China sourced frame and I have replaced it. I still have the Italian sourced frame and should easily get another 7 years out of it. Had I known this and bought 2 frames then utility would have been equal and I still would have saved $3000. The deal needs to be good enough to justify buying 2. This covers your warranty issues and the products shorter life span.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:02 PM   #19
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Some experience with aliexpress:
1 tablet dual system win 10+Android, 5 years ago, still running without any issue, price about 250$(canadian).
2 android tablets, 3years ago, no issue (using one right now), price about 200$ each.
1 micro PC (Chuwi larkbox, smallest one ever), 1 year ago, sitting on my desk and just amazed about it, price about 300$
1 multi device bluetooth keyboard, 50$, few months ago, just wonderful to have 1 keyboard and switch between 4 computers.

Not everything is junk.
The only risk is that if there is an issue, sending the thing back for warranty would cost as much as the item but most of the time if any issue they will send a replacement for free. I got one issue with something I ordered, they asked me to send a picture, then they sent a replacement. And about delivery warranty, it occured to me that something shipped never found its way to destination, in that case just need to fill in a request with aliexpress before the delivery warranty expire and they will issue a full refund. Never had any issue with this.

But like mentioned, do your due diligence and homework, make your search, look carefully to specs and read comments.

L
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:31 AM   #20
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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.
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