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Old 11-09-2018, 12:41 PM   #21
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Just bought a Bullfrog and used it on the cruise this fall. My impressions so far:

It is heavy.
It is indestructible.
It rows very well, compared to any inflatable I've owned.
It will do less damage to your topsides than a hard dinghy, but maybe more than an inflatable.

Like anything in boating, a compromise, but worth considering. Especially if you have the lift capacity for the extra 100 lbs or so.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:46 PM   #22
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No worries, it was a good call. Just explaining my possible oversight. I like the idea of aluminum because I occasionally like to tow the dink, and would prefer to beach the dinghy (I anchor it and wade in now).

At the risk of hijacking the thread (apologies to the OP). You and I are neighbors kchace. I live in Nashua.

Cool. Maybe we can get together some time.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:37 PM   #23
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We have Williams as we like jets but if going with an outboard, I'd rank Novurania #1 and AB a very close second. Novurania will cost more and the main difference is that they may be dressed up a little fancier.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:32 PM   #24
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Anyone in the San Diego area have a Bull Frog I can see?
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:39 AM   #25
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I've never had any luck with inflatables, between leaks and vandals slashing them they are not suitable for me.
When in Australia I noticed that they used tube covers to stop UV degradation on the inflatables, I thought that was a brilliant idea.
I can dig out a photo if anyone's interested.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:40 PM   #26
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I have a Bullfrog 10 foot tender with a 20HP Honda outboard. It is somewhat heavy (I would estimate 450 pounds ready to go), but I have a strong lifting boom/winch system that handles it easily.
It is very stable (and quite fast) underway, particularly up on the plane, which is very easy to accomplish with the Honda. Off the plane the bow high attitude is definitely evident, but not a serious hindrance. The bench seats are quite nice, as is the steering wheel/station.
The boat is very well built and essentially indestructible. It has a thick aluminum hull and roto-formed tube construction, so if you are interested in taking it ashore at harsh locations, that is a non issue. It's not for everybody, but if it's features and strength are what one needs, it's hard to beat.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:30 PM   #27
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The best inflatable is the one that does not leak! Recently have had 2-Zodiac Wave 10-2 No leaks- before Achilles no leaks- before Force 4 fom NZ-- horror show- before- AB 11ft with console --- a leak impossible to fix on a 20k boat plus way out of practicable balance with nose way up.. Conclusion-- cost does not relate to reliability in the inflatable world.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:46 PM   #28
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^^ Hence the love for the Bullfrog....
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:39 AM   #29
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Like many have said, it depends on how you are gonna use it. Get one that will plane....and put the biggest motor on it that it will handle. Definitely get hypalon if you are going inflatable. Also get the double floor/flat floor. I cheaped out on my most recent West Marine 310 and got the single floor. It really is tricky stepping into the boat. Most people are off balance anyway when you are going from the mothership to the dinghy. Add an uneven floor into the mix and it is a shit show....and I am a pretty agile person!!! Lesson learned.

One brand people have mentioned is Caribe/Nautica. The one thing I have noticed with this brand is the deep Vee and the deadrise all the way back. It makes for a very smooth riding boat and a dry boat. I have a CL14 with a 60hp Yamaha....very nice boat.

I have had an AB290 double floor. A West Marine 310 single floor. And a Caribe CL14 center console....all hypalon They all haved served their purpose well. The AB was definitely a better boat than the WM. I bought the WM on sale for $1700...that is pretty damn cheap for a hypalon boat. I have had it for 4 years and so far so good. But you can definitely tell the build quality is not as good as either AB or Caribe. It holds air and it floats....what more can you ask for!!!
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:31 PM   #30
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I just finished my search. Ended up with less than I wanted. I have 1 piece of advise. I wanted Hypalon and a "roll up". I don't like leaving the boat inflated on the deck or on davits. That's a personal choice. I got a good deal on a Hypalon dink, but it has a floor. I hate it.
My advise is, think about the features you want and then go and buy THAT. Do Not Settle for less. I saved a few hundred dollars, but now I am stuck with an expensive mistake.

I would have been much happier with a roll up floor.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:22 PM   #31
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I just finished my search. Ended up with less than I wanted. I have 1 piece of advise. I wanted Hypalon and a "roll up". I don't like leaving the boat inflated on the deck or on davits. That's a personal choice. I got a good deal on a Hypalon dink, but it has a floor. I hate it.
My advise is, think about the features you want and then go and buy THAT. Do Not Settle for less. I saved a few hundred dollars, but now I am stuck with an expensive mistake.

I would have been much happier with a roll up floor.

I wonder why you wanted Hypalon if you were going with a roll-up. If you aren't storing the dinghy out in the sun for extended periods, it seems to me that PVC would be a better value?
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:05 PM   #32
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We bought a 10 ft BRIG made from Hypalon and so far, enjoying it. It's less than a year old, though, so no long term results to share.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:11 PM   #33
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easy answer

As a person who has unfortunately had way to many dinghies. I have found the best, a Highfield. Aluminum hull which is more durable and lighter than the Mercury I had prior.

They have a great warranty, did I mention how my Mercury gave out 5 years and 1 month to the day I bought it? Yep a 5 year warranty..

The tubes are larger, and that is the key, go with the biggest tube for safety and comfort..

Oh and they are almost the same price as a Mercury and much cheaper than an exotic..

I hope this helps..
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:15 PM   #34
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Walker Bay Genesis all day long!
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:37 PM   #35
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For live-aboard or extended cruising, a flat floor is essential. Think about trying to carry laundry and groceries in a dinghy that always has a little water in the "V" of the floor. We've got a 12' hypalon Novurania that is 19 years old. It's in the sun 100% of the time the sun is shining, never covered. After 19 years, the hypalon has completely worn away in multiple areas (the black areas in the pics below). I dreaded the thought of having to spend thousands of dollars to replace it since the hull is still in decent shape. Decided to try the liquid rubber inflatable boat paint. Sealed the tubes with Toobseal then prepped per directions and applied the Liquid Rubber. Wow! Stuff can be bought at Inflatable Boat Parts. If you're looking to safe some $$$, consider a used dinghy and a refurb!

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Old 11-16-2018, 03:21 PM   #36
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For live-aboard or extended cruising, a flat floor is essential. Think about trying to carry laundry and groceries in a dinghy that always has a little water in the "V" of the floor. We've got a 12' hypalon Novurania that is 19 years old. It's in the sun 100% of the time the sun is shining, never covered. After 19 years, the hypalon has completely worn away in multiple areas (the black areas in the pics below). I dreaded the thought of having to spend thousands of dollars to replace it since the hull is still in decent shape. Decided to try the liquid rubber inflatable boat paint. Sealed the tubes with Toobseal then prepped per directions and applied the Liquid Rubber. Wow! Stuff can be bought at Inflatable Boat Parts. If you're looking to safe some $$$, consider a used dinghy and a refurb!

Attachment 82754 Attachment 82756
Attachment 82755Attachment 82757

Nice work but you're killing me. I already restore old appliances, motorcycles, and other things found around the home. Now I want to go buy worn out dinks and save them. I think I have the lost animal syndrome when it comes to material things, especially if it has an engine.
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:27 PM   #37
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I love inflatable dinghies, but I dislike RIBS. I won't have one.

I've always used real inflatable boats with good floorboards, out of wood or aluminum.
We are currently on our second Zodiac Mark 1 classic. Our last one lasted nearly ten years of very hard service. It never had a leak, not once! We are 100% liveaboards and a charter boat, so our dinghy is used somewhere around 350 days a year. And we use it hard! It has a 4 stroke 15 on it and it will run @ about 15 knots with 4 adults and some luggage, more like 35 with my wife alone! We don't like crowds, so we'll anchor out a bit and use the dink, at cruising speed almost always (no, no wake zones down here) from our anchorage to shore.
I don't think anyone who knows inflatable boats would argue that the Zodiac inflatables marketed under their own brand (the ones made in France) are the best-made inflatables. So much so that they come with a 5-year warranty.
Price wise, I find them most competitive, at least from Defender. We paid just over $2800.00 plus shipping to Grenada for our Mark 1 Classic, 11'6" with aluminum floorboards last year.
If we get 9 years of nearly daily use (not seasonal!) out of this one, that would make it one of the cheapest and most trouble free inflatables on the market.
One last consideration. A RIB cannot be deflated and stored below, away from the elements and thieves, as a true inflatable one can. Or rolled up and thrown in the trunk or lick up bed.
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:37 PM   #38
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Walker Bay Genesis all day long!
Had one. I would never recommend them to anyone based on my experience with Walker Bay.

http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...ats-39184.html
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:38 PM   #39
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Decided to try the liquid rubber inflatable boat paint. Sealed the tubes with Toobseal then prepped per directions and applied the Liquid Rubber. Wow! Stuff can be bought at Inflatable Boat Parts.
Bixler's, owners of inflatableboatparts, are the people to go to. Inflatable Boat Repair Kits, ToobSeal Inflatable Boat Repair Sealant And SoftChocks Dinghy Chocks. By Bixlers Marine Inc.

Their cleaners are superb. Their repair kits and replacement parts. Most of all their knowledge. If you need to know anything about maintaining or repairing a dinghy, they're the people to call.
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:47 PM   #40
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Just went through this myself. Really liked the AB with the aluminum bottom for lightness but quite expensive new and not many used around. Buddy of mine was at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and came across a Brig Falcon console model with a 30HP Honda BRAND NEW. Boat and motor weigh in at 485 lbs. Add 100 lbs for battery and fuel and still comes in at 45 lbs lighter than the aluminum AB with same HP. Oh, yeah, $12,500 BRAND NEW! Best boat show price we got on the aluminum AB was $22,400. Check out Sirocco Marine.
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