Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: A RIB Dinghy Question...


Ian Park
 

James
The short answer is I don't know, our boat is in Grenada and we're in UK!
Previously we had a Quicksilver 275 air deck. It lasted 13 years. The sun in the Med and the Caribbean destroyed the inflatable deck. The tubes and floor are still going strong with friends who made a wooden floor for it. My experience of PVC has therefore been good as long as it isn't in the sun. One thing I have found with the hard hull and Hypalon tubes is that the tubes don't need to be inflated anywhere near the pressure of airdeck. Therefore they withstand the rigours of the big pressure variation in tropical sunlight.

The Highfield has had five months use. I have no reason to believe the powder coating will be an issue. It has taken a bit more abuse than the old PVC dinghy!

Our Santorin came with the Liferaft cradle on the aft deck. The UL260 transom sits over the top of it up against the mizzen mast. With all tubes deflated it seems well short of the edge of the coach roof ( but I don't know comparative lengths). I have an electric inflator in the lazarette so no hassle there. With the air deck the electric pump would not achieve the inflation pressure especially for the floor and had to be finished by hand pump.

The Quicksilver was rated at max 10 HP outboard. The Highfield had a lower figure in the book than on the transom. The high figure was 6 HP. We got the 9.8 2 stroke which was the same weight. I doubt if the 6 HP would get it on the plane with two up and the shopping. Previously we had a 3.3 2 stroke - the difference now is we no longer have to see how close to the shoreline we can anchor (a longer haul to shore is much quicker now).

I am pleased with the dinghy, but in retrospect I could have got the 290 on board inflated on the front deck. I think this would have achieved planing speeds even better. The length of the 260 hull does sacrifice a bit when turning and going over steeper chop.

The 260 doesn't row as well as the Quicksilver, the bow sits higher out of the water and is more affected by the wind. We tend to use the oars and paddle from either side of the bow sitting on the seat when we choose not to use the engine.

The boat had a beautiful padded seat cover and underseat zip up back. Excellent design, but disintegrated in the sun in 3 months.

Highfield have recognised the problem and have changed the material. They are sending me a new one.

Sorry about the length of the saga, I guess you need to get some deflated sizes from Highfield.
The weight is really good for two pensioners to haul aboard with the halliard and winch.

Good hunting

Ian

'Ocean Hobo' SN96

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