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Old 05-29-2014, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dingies

Can anybody tell me a little about inflatable floor dingies? I'm on a lake and it will be more of a toy for the kids but it will serve the boat as well. I've got an 8 hp outboard.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have had at least 4 types of inflatables.

RIB, nice but heavy and hard to store, but handles the best.

Roll up floor, the easiest to store but the least stable and the slats seem to "float" over the bottom, handles the worst.

Wood floor sections, ok, but I almost never took apart and disassembled because it was a PIA. Eventually the wood floor rotted out and I got rid of it. Handles ok.

Inflatable floor, that is what I currently use on my 46 Post, it lighter than the RIB and handles closest to a RIB. I don't need a crane on the bow and the low weight up front is helpful. It is easy to break down, clean, and maintain. If you pump the floor to the recommended pressure the floor is quite stable.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT46 View Post
Inflatable floor, that is what I currently use on my 46 Post, it lighter than the RIB and handles closest to a RIB. I don't need a crane on the bow and the low weight up front is helpful. It is easy to break down, clean, and maintain. If you pump the floor to the recommended pressure the floor is quite stable.
It of course depends on the size of the boat and size of the engine, but my first experience of one with inflatable floor was a back flip...
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Good advice. I think I'd prefer an HBI but don't want to spend the money. I've got the outboard so I thought I'd try to sneak by on a few hundred bucks. I walked by one on sale at West Marine for $700. I just want to make sure it's not a big mistake. I guess the floor is soft. High pressure? How high?
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Had a 3.10 meter Mercury with the inflatable floor.
The dink performed like a champ and was steady as a rock when boarding and stepping off.
With the correct keel pressure it would do 10.9 knots using a new 4 HP Yamaha four-stoke with this 220 lbs operator inboard.
Yes, that is right, would plane with a 4 HP, checked it numerous times with a handheld GPS.
With more than 1 person it would just plow through the drink at 6 knots or so.

The design is highly recommended but not the brand, shaky quality and poor customer service:
After a year or two the transom started to separate and with a 10 year warranty that should not be a problem right...?
The CS rep told me the transom was not covered under the warranty
I blew up and explained my opinion about the dink, the policies, the company, the power of the internet, etc and we came to an agreement that Yes Sir, everything would be covered Sir and please take it to the nearest dealer for full repairs under warranty.
Since then the floor and the keel has been replaced under warranty as well.
Fast and stable dink, but idiots running the warranty department...
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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How high pressure in the floor.?
Forgot the exact number, but so high the floor gets rock-hard just like the tubes.
The keel is a separate unit and needs to be pumped to some specific number as well so the bottom gets the proper V-shape.

Go for a hypalon if you plan to use it for more than one season, twice the price, but a good brand will last a looong time.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a Merc 310 Airdeck also, pretty bloody good for years, even when covered in diesel fumes (discoloured badly but still worked).

All dinghy bottoms are a bit dodgy, but the Airdeck is good for weight. I do now have a proper RIB because it is the right boat for right now.
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