light, cheap, but reliable inflatible dinghy

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Tim.M, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 48
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    I'll be crusing at 30 to 45 knots this summer and don't see towing a dinghy even at 30... I'm thinking of getting a small inflatable that I can quickly inflate via 12v dc pump and deflate as desired. Something lightweight and that won't break the pocketbook if it gets destroyed, but sturdy enough that it won't be destroyed on the first beach. I haven't had much luck with cheap rubber rafts in the past, but I think I want to get another. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    My experience is the same as yours. Low cost ones are made cheap and give problems.

    Here is a little Zodiac on special but in Australia:
    http://www.marinesafe.com.au/specials/specials_boats.html
    Would look good in USD.

    Have you tried Ebay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ZODIAC-INFLATAB...5|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318|301:0|293:1|294:50
    A bit disappointing that a Zodiac had the problems here but could be good buying.

    Other reputable brands that I know of are Avon and Archilles.

    I mainly replied to monitor other replies as my knowldege on these things is dated.

    If I was going to get something special made I would go here:
    http://www.incept.co.nz/price_NZ_inflatable_boats.htm
    I have recently seen special order inflatable hulls from here and they are nice. A long way from you but very favourable exchange rate.

    Rick W
     
  3. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Why are you rushing around? thats not cruising, that just plain rushing, Oh sorry your a 'septic' don't understand any other way (shouting too no doubt, normal converstation to you shouting to the rest of us!

    Actually there are some of your countrymen who understand that life does happen out of the fast lane -a lot of them pass through here occasionally, try it
     
  4. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    Look at these. they have a good rep and lots of stuff on their site. They also post all the prices and have been around a long time. check out runabouts. I;m going to buy the 10'
    http://www.seaeagle.com/
     
  5. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    I know rushing here and there isn't for everyone safewalrus, but I enjoy taking a day trip here and there and having time to do a little sightseeing and walking around when I get there. I usually only get a single day off work on Sunday or have time after work but before dark. I sometimes enjoy just putting around, but other times it's nice to cover some more distance so I'm not always seeing the same things.

    I did have a zodiac raft for 5 years in the 80's very similar to the ebay link and mine also let go at the glue seams so the bottom and transom came completely free of the tubes one winter in storage. When I went to inflate it the next summer the glue had completely let go. I got a glue kit but never trusted it again quite as much after that and I gave that one away (I should have hired a professional to do the glue work as it didn't come out perfect when I tried so I never trusted it. Oh well, you live and you learn.)
     
  6. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    Thanks rasorinc -- the small sea eagle yacht tender at 59 lbs might be perfect for my needs. Starting at 100 lbs, the runabout would be a bit heavy I think if I didn't intend to tow it, but rather inflate it at destination. One of the dorky looking non-floor rubber rafts might be better too - faster to inflate with no assembly required and a lot cheaper and lighter (but I but lighter weight rubber too so not as durable and won't last nearly as long, and less stable for getting other people on and off the boat)
     
  7. Commuter Boats
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Southeast Alaska

    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    I have also been disappointed with most of the inflatables I've messed around with, the two that I got along with best were both Avon's 8 and 9 foot without rigid transoms.
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Interesting thread!!! cheap yes,--- light yes reliable and durable No and I havnt seen one.

    I have a little zodiac 1,8meter, 5 years old, wrapped up, hardly ever used , taken out occasionally , washed, talcum powdered and put away again. I could sell it as brand new but if you look closely it is starting to come apart.

    I am seriously considering this to be my last inflatable and get a hard, alter the swim platform to take it,-- and park it there.

    Its a 5 year consumable,--thats the only way to look at it.

    There is at least a dinghy a week disposed of in the marina.
     
  9. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: MD

    bntii Senior Member

    I had one of the 80's vintage Avons for many years- great boats if you could find one used. Bombproof & economical in the used market. I had the ply floor/transom type as RIBS were not out yet. This combination makes for a light and packable boat.
    Avons were the gold standard for years- you couldn't kill them & mine would still be in use if the mice had not gotten to the boat in storage & ate up the tubes.
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I think the climate has a lot to do with it . They dont like the sun. I dont know where MD is ????? Mid Denmark must be cold there?
     
  11. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: MD

    bntii Senior Member

    Yeah- would be toast in 4-5 years in the tropics.
    Maryland runs from 37 to 29 north- east coast of US.
    Mine got 25 years & was going strong when the mice got to it.
     

  12. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    Maybe the idea of a hard dinghy is a good one for me -- my boat is small though so there isn't room on the swim platform to take a dinghy horizontally or vertically (without catching air inside the dinghy to make a big scoop on the back of the boat.) Maybe I could rig up a big hinge on the back of the platform though and then lift the dinghy and at the same time rotate it 180 degrees upside down with a line to the far side. Not sure if that would work or make a huge mess and spectacle half the time. The Avons look nice, but are expensive too and are probably too heavy to haul aboard, more work to inflate/deflate, so that might come back to towing where I feel like I'm going to tear the dinghy apart or have it fall off the wake wrong tumble, and create a lot of drag too. If I do go for a nice heavy raft again I'll be sure to store it heated so the glue doesn't all give out again this coming winter :(
     
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