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Old 10-22-2021, 05:30 PM   #1
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Higher performance RIB dinghy?

I'm in the market to replace the inflatable RIB Avon R310 on our EB47. It's got a 15hp Yamaha tiller outboard. The wife would prefer a wheel control.

Among our regular 'raft up' floatilla we used to have some folks with a smaller boat that handled some tubing/wakeboarding now and then. They've upgraded to a larger boat, so we've lost our 'fun boat'.

I realize a dinghy isn't going to throw off the kinds of wakes you'd get from a ski boat. That's fine, there's typically enough other boat traffic/chop to stir things up enough to be reasonably entertaining.

With the 15' beam on the EB47, I'm leaning toward something like a 11'6" Highfield CL340 or AB 11ALX with either a 25 or 30hp outboard. Suzuki being a lighter candidate than a Yamaha. Have to factor not only the length of the tender, but also the skeg of the outboard when tilted up for stowing on the platform.

Those would stay under the 700# limit of our TNT swim platform lift (by a reasonable margin). Others with EB47's have commented that pushing the full weight limit does add a bit more stern squat than is ideal.

Again, I'm not expecting X-games levels of excitement, just enough to keep the kids moderately entertained with a tube or a wakeboard.

And yes, it's entirely overkill for all the typical tender duties it'll usually be called upon to provide. If I wanted that I'd stick with the 9'6" Zodiac inflatable and Torqeedo I already own.

Anyone used a dinghy for this, and have results to share?
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:35 PM   #2
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"I'm leaning toward something like a 11'6" Highfield CL340 or AB 11ALX with either a 25 or 30hp outboard."

Dinghies of this size are typically able to reach 25 mph top end with 2 adults on board. They often can plane with 4 people on board but suffer from a lack of length which often makes them stern heavy.
You can tow kids on tubes at slower speeds without hard turns but would be limited to tow anything heavier or faster.
Hope this helps
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Old 10-22-2021, 08:32 PM   #3
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We recently purchased a 2021 Highfield CL360, which I think is the Sport model (don't ask). With the 30 HP Suzuki on the back it will hit 25 knots in calm water and one aboard. Haven't tested it enough to say what it will do with 2 or more aboard.
Am a big fan of the Highfield for almost all of its attributes, except one. The seats are not waterproof; if they get rained on the water goes down into the foam and every time you sit on them after that you get a wet butt. My dealer has been incredibly gracious and is covering the costs of crafting and installing new impermeable covers.
All up our Highfield weighs about 510 lbs with motor and full fuel.
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:12 PM   #4
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I have a Zodiac YL340 with a 30 HP honda.

It is way more skiff than is needed! Nice and quick, easy to move around in
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I'm in the market to replace the inflatable RIB Avon R310 on our EB47. It's got a 15hp Yamaha tiller outboard. The wife would prefer a wheel control.

Among our regular 'raft up' floatilla we used to have some folks with a smaller boat that handled some tubing/wakeboarding now and then. They've upgraded to a larger boat, so we've lost our 'fun boat'.

I realize a dinghy isn't going to throw off the kinds of wakes you'd get from a ski boat. That's fine, there's typically enough other boat traffic/chop to stir things up enough to be reasonably entertaining.

With the 15' beam on the EB47, I'm leaning toward something like a 11'6" Highfield CL340 or AB 11ALX with either a 25 or 30hp outboard. Suzuki being a lighter candidate than a Yamaha. Have to factor not only the length of the tender, but also the skeg of the outboard when tilted up for stowing on the platform.

Those would stay under the 700# limit of our TNT swim platform lift (by a reasonable margin). Others with EB47's have commented that pushing the full weight limit does add a bit more stern squat than is ideal.

Again, I'm not expecting X-games levels of excitement, just enough to keep the kids moderately entertained with a tube or a wakeboard.

And yes, it's entirely overkill for all the typical tender duties it'll usually be called upon to provide. If I wanted that I'd stick with the 9'6" Zodiac inflatable and Torqeedo I already own.

Anyone used a dinghy for this, and have results to share?
Wifey B: Oh, Speed. Now you're talking. Costly option but Williams Jet Tenders will do the job. We love them. 325 is 11' and weighs 700 lbs. Top speed is 48 mph. They also have smaller that are similar.
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Old 10-23-2021, 06:06 AM   #6
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Our new to us boat came to us with a Rigid dinghy. These look identical to a RIB but are entirely grp. It came with a 40 hp Yamaha, wheel and remote controls. It totally screams and the whole shot puts your eyeballs back in your head. If performance your goal it’s a thought and the sport models are under your weight restriction.
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Old 10-23-2021, 03:43 PM   #7
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The Jet Tenders are interesting, but the 325 pushes the weight limit I want to be hanging off the stern. Not to mention they're pretty spendy. The 285 are smaller than I'd like for all the other times I'd be using it as a tender.

It'd be interesting to try a Rigid dinghy. I've not seen any around here (though it's possible since they look much like a RIB it'd be hard to tell). How wet is the ride at speed? Stable? I've sent an e-mail inquiry to learn more, but I'd welcome real-world comments.
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:54 PM   #8
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Haven’t had it out in chop so can’t offer an informed opinion.
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:01 PM   #9
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My dock neighbor has a Rigid and is pleased.
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Old 10-23-2021, 11:06 PM   #10
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I have had a 12 Rigid Sport with a 40 Yamaha for 10 years and love it. Dry ride and takes a chop well for a 12 boat. We fish and dive out of it and it can plane with four people. Also can pull the grandkids on a tube.
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:46 AM   #11
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One review of the Highfield Ocean Master 420 (has the Honda 60): https://youtu.be/yDcjKJnVsJ8

The 4.2 meter might be larger than you want but it struck me because I know they are doing water sports like wakeboarding with it.
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer View Post
One review of the Highfield Ocean Master 420 (has the Honda 60): https://youtu.be/yDcjKJnVsJ8

The 4.2 meter might be larger than you want but it struck me because I know they are doing water sports like wakeboarding with it.
Total weight being the biggest factor. TNT claims the swim platform and hydraulics will handle up to a 700# load. But other EB47 owners have mentioned problems due to excessive squat with that much hanging back there. So staying around/under 500# (rigged) seems a necessary plan.

The OM420 boat alone is 573# dry. A quick search says a Honda 60hp would add another 250#. That'd put it well over the rated capacity of the lift. No argument that it wouldn't be FUN though!
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Old 10-24-2021, 12:06 PM   #13
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This is from a much older post we made - photobucket pics were removed.


Inflatable sizes and speeds

Most folks do not operate their tenders at WOT speeds and most do not really care about what those speeds might be.
Since this post was mostly about the typical top speeds that these tenders will realistically hit I figured a few pictures and numbers might help.

1. 5 - 8 mph / High pressure and hard floor inflatable's between 9 and 11 feet - we have had a few of these and have used outboards between 3 and 8 hp to power them. Often we would carry both a 2 and an 8 hp but added hp on these tenders made little difference in top speeds unless you were a light operator all alone.

9' Airfloor with keel with either 3 Merc or 8 Yamaha

2. 20-25 mph / RIBS in the range of 11' or so with 20-25 hp. These will run and plane with up to 4 'reasonable' sized pass on board.

11' Zodiac YL-340 with 25 hp

3. 30-35 mph / RIBS between 12 and 15' with 40-50 hp. These will run and plane with 4 adults or more and be much more stable at higher speeds. Still when operated alone at near full speed they are a handful to keep controlled.

12.5' Zodiac YL-380 with 40 Hp

4. 45-50+ mph / RIBS between 18 and 22' with 90 to 115 hp. These will run and plane with up to 8 good sized passengers and will also transport up to 12 under decent conditions. These boats tend to be easily towed and very stable even up to the mid 40 mph range.

19' Nautica with 115 Hp

5. 55-60+ mph / RIBS above 22' and having 250-400 hp. These will run and plane with up to 12 good sized pass and will also transport up to 18 under decent conditions. These boats are very stable to tow and will run into the 50's while remaining very controllable.

24' Nautica with 300 Hp

FWIW - general things that will make any tender run faster:
- A lighter load will make it run much faster, they are very weight sensitive.
- Trim , engine height and weight distributions similar to the above.
- Trim out to the point of 'blowout' and backing off just a couple of seconds will make any boat faster.
- A light chop on the water will make the tender faster than perfectly flat water
- A tail or headwind makes a large difference with inflatable's
- Correctly propped to reach full room will be faster
- Salt water will be faster than fresh water
- Cool dry air out will run faster than hot heavy air
- A clean and waxed hull will run slower than a slightly roughed or tightly painted hull
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:23 PM   #14
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I replaced my Avon 310 RIB with a Highfield 340 ultralight, keeping my Yamaha 15 two stroke. I'm often solo and wanted to minimize weight to be able to easily handle and hoist the dinghy.
.
I've been really impressed with the Highfield. It's a much more capable boat than the Avon was, and in my case I shaved about 30 pounds off the overall weight with the swap.

I think a 340 classic with 25 - 30 HP and a small console would be a great boat for playing around on with 3 or fewer passengers. I guess it's all relative - bigger is better, but I think that package is a big leap from your current dinghy and would probably satisfy your needs while not being overly heavy.
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:33 PM   #15
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How's the handling of the Highfield vs the Avon? I know the 310 we've got is a pig to get on plane, and then pretty terrifying to control once it is (largely due to the tiller control).

According to Highfield's website, the 11' CL360 is only 7# heavier than the CL340. What I haven't seen is a weight for their "GT" variant, with an actual console (not just the FCT7 wrap-around arm). I've sent them e-mail and hopefully they'll reply sometime soon.
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Old 10-24-2021, 03:22 PM   #16
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How's the handling of the Highfield vs the Avon? I know the 310 we've got is a pig to get on plane, and then pretty terrifying to control once it is (largely due to the tiller control).
One of my surprises is how easily the 340 planes off. The Avon had a real hump to get over. I'd score control, handling and ride as being noticeably better in all categories. It's a bigger contrast than I had expected. If I replace the motor I'll likely go to 20 HP with tiller steering, and I'd feel comfortable with that on the 340. 15 hp on the Avon was a little scary at times.

I think this is a likely a reflection of design evolution - the Avon 310 RIB was developed in the 1980s. I have no doubt that the good new 310 RIBs are superior. They have bigger tubes and typically can handle more power with a little more deadrise. Some are lighter. In my case I benefitted from both that and a bump from 10 to 11 feet. You'll get that plus a modern motor... I think there are lots of good choices that you'll be happy with in the 340/360 range.
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Old 10-24-2021, 04:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
How's the handling of the Highfield vs the Avon? I know the 310 we've got is a pig to get on plane, and then pretty terrifying to control once it is (largely due to the tiller control).

According to Highfield's website, the 11' CL360 is only 7# heavier than the CL340. What I haven't seen is a weight for their "GT" variant, with an actual console (not just the FCT7 wrap-around arm). I've sent them e-mail and hopefully they'll reply sometime soon.
I've operated my friend's Avon 13 footer (40 HP Yanmar) and I found it to be essentially the same as my Highfield CL360 (30 HP Suzuki). Granted, his has a higher top end (29 knots vs my 25 knots with one on board), but has been pointed out earlier, one would rarely cruise at top speed so it is only one point of comparison.
The manufacturer's plaque on the CL360 (With the proper console and fixed side seat) states that the bare boat is 325 pounds; with full fuel and our 30 HP Suzuki it comes out to around 530 pounds. (I mistakenly said in a different post that it was 510 pounds.)
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:34 PM   #18
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Here's a youtubers review of a new Whaly boat that he seems pretty high on. ( No affiliation, I just like his videos )

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Old 10-24-2021, 05:54 PM   #19
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The downside to the plastic boats is either weight (some are much heavier) or limited power. The Whaly 310 will only support a 10hp outboard. The next size up could have fitment problems on our swim platform. That and I don't know that they have enough rigidity for towing a tube/wakeboard. Still, they're a clever alternative.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I'm in the market to replace the inflatable RIB Avon R310 on our EB47. It's got a 15hp Yamaha tiller outboard. The wife would prefer a wheel control.

Among our regular 'raft up' floatilla we used to have some folks with a smaller boat that handled some tubing/wakeboarding now and then. They've upgraded to a larger boat, so we've lost our 'fun boat'.

I realize a dinghy isn't going to throw off the kinds of wakes you'd get from a ski boat. That's fine, there's typically enough other boat traffic/chop to stir things up enough to be reasonably entertaining.

With the 15' beam on the EB47, I'm leaning toward something like a 11'6" Highfield CL340 or AB 11ALX with either a 25 or 30hp outboard. Suzuki being a lighter candidate than a Yamaha. Have to factor not only the length of the tender, but also the skeg of the outboard when tilted up for stowing on the platform.

Those would stay under the 700# limit of our TNT swim platform lift (by a reasonable margin). Others with EB47's have commented that pushing the full weight limit does add a bit more stern squat than is ideal.

Again, I'm not expecting X-games levels of excitement, just enough to keep the kids moderately entertained with a tube or a wakeboard.

And yes, it's entirely overkill for all the typical tender duties it'll usually be called upon to provide. If I wanted that I'd stick with the 9'6" Zodiac inflatable and Torqeedo I already own.

Anyone used a dinghy for this, and have results to share?
We have a 10 foot Bullfrog yacht tender (driver console) w/20hp Suzuki. Pops up on a plane pretty quickly in a light chop with 3 adults aboard. Weighs about 500#.
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