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Dinghy choice


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I've had a ProMarine (2.7m) with inflatable keel and solid floor for 5 yrs. Brought 2nd hand so have got my $ worth from a Chinese inflatable.... weighs 22kg.

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I’ve recently taken a fancy to TrueKit. High quality and v light and NZ product. I went to see them and was impressed. Going to get one. The thinking man’s Takacat. I think their 2.5m is 24kg and the 3m is about 30kg. Take a look:

TrueKit Boats

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Fogg said:

I’ve recently taken a fancy to TrueKit. High quality and v light and NZ product. I went to see them and was impressed. Going to get one. The thinking man’s Takacat. I think their 2.5m is 24kg and the 3m is about 30kg. Take a look:

TrueKit Boats

 

 

I don't think Truekit are made in NZ, lots of references to NZ designed on the web site but silent on where they are manufactured. What did they say on your visit?

If you want NZ designed and built, and not too heavy inflatable, have a look at Neil Curtling's Seafarers, made at Dairy Flat

https://www.seafarerinflatables.co.nz/index.php

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You’re right it’s a combo of NZ designed, German high quality material (Valmex which can be welded not glued seams), some assembly in China then finishing and final add-ons and QA in NZ eg wheels or extra lifting points etc.

I was very impressed with the thought behind the design. Even their own wheels are similar to the Beachmaster metal wheels (which I’ve had) but better - fully 316 and easily removable for weight & storage (which my Beachmaster wheels weren’t). Hard to fault from initial inspection.

But of course it’s still a soft bottom skin not solid so potential to tear unlike a hard bottom RIB. But those are 1.5-2x weight. And the inflatable floor is like an inflatable paddle board ie feels rock solid. The whole design & execution just felt modern and light years ahead of other dinghies I’ve had like Aquapro or SP or Maxxon or Achilles etc.

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The problem I had with my Beachmasters (both sets) were mixed metals causing corrosion around bolts and at least one lost spring. To be fair they sent me replacements free so they’re service is great. And until recently I still thought Beachmaster were the best wheels until I saw the TrueKit ones.

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I will take a look at the Seafarers though as I haven’t so far. I def want max lightness (if there is such a thing)!

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59 minutes ago, Fogg said:

I will take a look at the Seafarers though as I haven’t so far. I def want max lightness (if there is such a thing)!

Seafarers are built by the guy that used to own/design/build Southern Pacific before they got absorbed by the Safety at sea/ Kiwi yachting entities actually he was there in the early Safety at Sea days.

They rebuilt a batch of poorly built Aquapros for Aquapro because the quality out of China was shite as I recall.

Seafarer build a good quality product quality German materials and welded not glued seams.

if I was in the market for a new dinghy he would be my first call,  has a factory up at Diary Flat so not too far away.

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The Seafarer looks ok although I couldn’t see many pictures of the 3m so it’s hard to judge.

But on paper the TrueKit beats it in my opinion eg the TrueKit 3m is 9kg lighter, has much wider tubes (460 vs 380/410) has 2 seats and is $900 cheaper.

My davits would appreciate the 9kg weight difference so I think I’m probably still heading towards a TrueKit.

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I’ve found those open style of wheels only work ok for lighter dinghies with small outboards. But if you’ve got a medium sized dinghy and outboard eg 3m with 8hp+ o/b they very quickly get bogged down on anything other than firm surfaces. Soft sand stops you dead especially if you’re trying to pull the dinghy up the beach on your own. For best results there’s nothing to beat the closed pneumatic wheels which work well in most conditions except soft mud of course which kills everything.

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