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What to look for in an inflatable dinghy as a yacht tender?


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I'm looking at getting an inflatable dinghy as a yacht tender but what should I consider? I figure the collective knowledge and experience here should be able to point me in the right direction. I'm looking for something that can carry at least three people but I can stow on the foredeck of a 9.5m yacht and be able to drag up the beach and launch single-handed so not crazy heavy or large. I'm tending to an alloy RIB but I'm open to suggestions given a good reason. I don't have an unlimited budget so second-hand is also an option. What should I avoid and what should I look for?

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I should add that the yacht will be on a mooring and I'm planning to spend a fair bit of time onboard cruising. I also like exploring and snorkelling/diving so needs to be a bit better than just for the occasional trip to the beach or another boat. 

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Hi we have lotus inflatable soft bottom , 2.5 , good value ,from oddie marine in the south , strong tubes , good pump positions , the floor is soft so we purchased two sleeping bag liners from the warehouse ,a 10 mill foam rubber mats and glued two of them together and fitted into the floor space loose ,that makes it feel like you have a hard floor and you can stand in it , it has a good rub rail around the tubes for pontoons and your yacht. ,and easy to lift onto the yacht ,lay in the deck , check them out , they come with pump , repares kit , stow bag , and a full over cover for when on deck ,

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We replaced our inflatable 2 years ago ended up going for a aquapro it is light and had the bigger tubes trouble with the smaller tubes is you quite often get a wet bum if they are slightly soft especially at night as the temperature cools a lot of the cheaper hard bottom ones can be heavy.we used to have a protecter thought that was great had it for 10 years but didn't realise how heavy it was until we changed

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If you're want to stow it on the deck of a 9.5m boat then stick to soft bottom hulls to keep the weight down. I went for the SP240, but got the factory to up-spec the davit points to use wooden oars rather the the Ali ones. I'm also changing out the plastic bait board slats to composite this winter to cut a bit more weight out. Pimp your pump up!

As Carl says - the smaller tubes can tend to get you a little wet but really only in a chop under motor.

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The trend is for bigger and bigger tubes and wider boats, so the challenge for a yachty is to find a boat that is narrow enough to go on deck without blocking vision and letting you get around it. I bought an AB RIB a few years ago because of that, 1500 wide from memory, and I strongly suggested that my friend who had an old 1400 wide RIB retubed for the same reason.. Unfortunately my AB is raw ali . I thought that would be better than painted because of all the bubbling powercoat you see, but it isn't, I wouldn't recommend one of those.

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Sorry cj justvsaw you pm me but need a computer to read it. See above.i have no real idea what it is worth

 

That's ok, I originally posted a reply to you yesterday in the thread and then thought I'd PM you instead so I deleted the post.  Length is my initial issue, I'm now thinking 2.8m might be my max to keep it workable so knowing if yours will fit would be a good start.

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How heavy is too heavy? I've also come across a Hypalon/fibreglass RIB which I think might be around 60kg which is getting up there in weight I think. I like the idea of Hypalon but not so sure on the fibreglass.

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The trend is for bigger and bigger tubes and wider boats, so the challenge for a yachty is to find a boat that is narrow enough to go on deck without blocking vision and letting you get around it. I bought an AB RIB a few years ago because of that, 1500 wide from memory, and I strongly suggested that my friend who had an old 1400 wide RIB retubed for the same reason.. Unfortunately my AB is raw ali . I thought that would be better than painted because of all the bubbling powercoat you see, but it isn't, I wouldn't recommend one of those.

 

Curious as to why you think the raw alloy hull is not better than a painted one?

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Anyone using plywood dinghies?

I've got a hypalon deflatable that is nearing the end of its life, so am interested in this thread / options to upgrade.

 

Its very easy to build a dinghy to almost any size or shape in stitch and glue, plywood. Substantially cheaper than buying an inflatable, I estimate about 100 hrs labour, depending on how fussy you are with the finish / painting. I recently built a 4 ft pram for my kids. Very light. surprisingly stable in a small chop. 

The nesting options give much more flexibility for stowing on the foredeck of a 9.5 m.

 

I'm mainly interested in peoples thoughts of that option, as we've always had a deflatable, and everyone only ever seems to consider delfatable options around soft floor / rib etc etc. But I don't hear any opinions on hard / plywood dinghies.

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I have an Aquapro 1001 (3.1m) that I no longer need. Great dinghy but I cant take it with me to Europe.

Its in pretty good condition, no airleaks or anything. Probably a bit big for you to put on the fordeck, it was even a bit to big for the fordeck on the Sun Fast 3600. We towed it everywhere and only chucked it on the fordeck for the long or roughweather trips. Weighs 55kg but is easy to get up the beach with wheels even with a 5hp yamaha (which I also have available) on the back.

 

$750 ono

 

 

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I have an Aquapro 1001 (3.1m) that I no longer need. Great dinghy but I cant take it with me to Europe.

Its in pretty good condition, no airleaks or anything. Probably a bit big for you to put on the fordeck, it was even a bit to big for the fordeck on the Sun Fast 3600. We towed it everywhere and only chucked it on the fordeck for the long or roughweather trips. Weighs 55kg but is easy to get up the beach with wheels even with a 5hp yamaha (which I also have available) on the back.

 

$750 ono

 

Tempting but I'd probably need to deflate it to stow on the foredeck which would be for longer passages and rough weather like yourself. How wide is it and how far do the pontoons extend past the transom?

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Anyone using plywood dinghies?

I've got a hypalon deflatable that is nearing the end of its life, so am interested in this thread / options to upgrade.

 

Its very easy to build a dinghy to almost any size or shape in stitch and glue, plywood. Substantially cheaper than buying an inflatable, I estimate about 100 hrs labour, depending on how fussy you are with the finish / painting. I recently built a 4 ft pram for my kids. Very light. surprisingly stable in a small chop. 

The nesting options give much more flexibility for stowing on the foredeck of a 9.5 m.

 

I'm mainly interested in peoples thoughts of that option, as we've always had a deflatable, and everyone only ever seems to consider delfatable options around soft floor / rib etc etc. But I don't hear any opinions on hard / plywood dinghies.

 

I have considered it myself and may still build something down the track but it's a timing issue. I'd been thinking of adding a continuous closed cell foam fender around the outside for added stability and soft impact against boat hulls.

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