Inflatable boats

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Castle 610
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Inflatable boats

Post by Castle 610 » Oct 4th, '14, 14:02

After using the various nasty toy plastic inflatable boats that cost $50 or less I thought I would invest in a better one.

Has anyone got any experience with Mercury/ Quicksilver ? - which seem to be a known brand for a reasonable price and are welded rather than glued. Thinking the smallest ones ie 2-2.4 m.

I would only be using it for general going ashore duties - where there is too much of a shore break to beach the Castle. I would prefer to row it but realise they are not as good to row as a solid boat. However I hate outboards.

(I would prefer a solid row boat. I rowed a small tender miles and miles in tassie - but think it would create more hassle on such a small mother ship).
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colect149
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by colect149 » Oct 4th, '14, 14:39

We used a Walker Bay 8 in the Whitsundays, injection moulded from polypropelyne (Rubbish bin material)it rowed very well or we motored with the little 2 HP Yamaha which pushed it along well, it was the one without the big bags around the gunwale. It had very little drag when towing. Found it a bit skittish when boarding from the boat, but we held it against the ladder and we were OK. I wonder about the twin Hull tender that Crawfords sell, might be worth a look. The other boats with us had inflatables and the Walker Bay beat them in every way except stowage going home. We had to buy a roof rack for the car.
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barnaclephill
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by barnaclephill » Oct 4th, '14, 16:51

How about an Origami folding dinghy Origami, which you could build in either of 6 or 8 foot (or other size) for $300-ish. Very tough material on the bottom (truck curtain fabric "Ripstop 650" or other), ply sides and pine spine. 12mm self-tappers and bathroom silicone hold the 6mm battens to the 6mm plywood. Buildable within a week or weekend, etc.
I built one and used it regularly for about 4 or 5 years before selling it with the yacht.
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Tumbleweed
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Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 4th, '14, 18:56

I just purchased a highfield RU250 inflatable. Welded seams. Cost me $1400 new.

I got the inflatable floor model.


http://www.highfieldboats.com/about-highfield/
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by INMA » Oct 4th, '14, 19:33

Stephen, I have a Walker Bay 10 available for loan to Melbournian TSPers who need a tender for the longer trips.

Its with oars and I have the famous 2hp Yamaha if needed. You will need your own roof racks and somewhere to carry the outboard when towing the tender.

If your heading North for a holiday, hard tenders are better.
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Tumbleweed
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 4th, '14, 19:53

I sold my walker bay 10. Too many rough trips home with a large tender behind made me want something I can stow.
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by INMA » Oct 4th, '14, 20:32

Trailer yachts are a compromise.

Storing an inflatable or a folding boat in a heavier larger yacht like a RL28 might be possible.

Once your cruising in something like a Castle 650 or RL24, space is limited, towing the dingy is the most practical compromise. Once your towing a tender, it might as well be the best you can afford or find.

When cruising, we end up doing a lot of motor sailing to cope with towing the dingy, due to size, avoiding heavy weather is avoided.

Still we've found ourselves with the dingy in pretty challenging conditions where we motored at lower speeds and had no issues.

Trying to sail with the tender towed by INMA is just not possible, INMA does not have the ballast to allow the sails to produce the power to tow the dingy, hence motoring or motor sailing.

I'd prefer a 10 foot tinny but the WB10 was on eBay at a good price and near home so that is what I have for now.
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AZAmagnum
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by AZAmagnum » Oct 4th, '14, 21:07

Gday Stephen,
we've had a couple of dinghies, all bought second hand. A Nylex Pioneer 8, similar material to the Walker bay but I think double skinned and pretty heavy, lots of charter companies have them.
We had an old Force 4 (new Zealand) that we ended up selling. One of the glued on rowlocks peeled off ! Glue must have disintegrated. We took this one to the whitsundays. It was a slat floor roll up, but I made a full floor from plywood and shoved a pool noodle between the ply floor and the vinyl floor. This created a sort of keel and assisted with tracking a lot.

We now have a Quisksilver 2.4m slat floor rollup. I'll make a full floor eventually for it.

A dinghy really adds another dimension to cruising. I guess its like taking a pushbike when caravanning !

If you don't have room to stow a dinghy you have to tow it. Inflatables are kinder on the TY.

Oh, we have a merc 3.3 we use on the dinghy. Gives the kids something to hoon around in.


Cheers,
Az
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Castle 610
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Castle 610 » Oct 4th, '14, 21:09

Thanks everyone for your replies. INMA I agree that all tender types are a compromise. To be honest I would prefer a tougher version of the little blow up one we currently have but there is no such thing so the next step is a small PVC inflatable.

I folding dinghy such as the origami type mentioned above has a lot of merit and I considered these but I still cant see where i would store it. it would have to be above decks. It could be lashed to the stanchions I suppose.

A hard dinghy would be the best, they are great to row, and tough. However, when the trailables went to Refuge Cove everyone popped out their inflatables and went ashore. We beached the Castle and went ashore but there was considerable shore break which made it hazardous. No one towed a hard dinghy. Not one to compromise I want my Castle unhindered when I want to sail!

If I end up getting a new inflatable, it will be deflated and stored under the cockpit in the cabin where nothing is currently stored. We plan to use an electric inflator/deflater to make this possible.

Of course in reality if its only a short distance we will tow it or store it on the foredeck. But the option is there to stow it away.

So back to my original question.. are Mercury brand (used to be Quicksilver) any good?

regards

Stephen
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Tumbleweed
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 4th, '14, 21:10

I loved the walker bay 10. Rowed like a dream. I might hate the inflatable but for longer trips that I want to do I can store it below, on the cabin roof or bow. Or tow behind and raise the bow if needed. Just more options than I had with the walker bay. Hopefully no where for the snakes to hide either. Walker bay 10 was heavy too especially with the inflatable rib on. New boat is 22kg.
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Castle 610 » Oct 4th, '14, 21:15

Thanks Az, I think we were both typing at the same time.

The quicksilver 2.4 is what i am looking at. they are welded seams so bits dont fall off.

I just came back from two weeks in Jervis Bay (am in love!) and a dinghy would have been great. Actually one of the locals offered us a dinghy but we didn't end up using it. I took a BCF $50 special which the kids used but I was too embarrassed. its bright blue!

I will do a write up on the trip when I get a minute.

i think the packed inflatable would fit nicely behind the quarter berths in front of the bulkhead when not in use. they weight around 20kg apparently.
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Tumbleweed
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 4th, '14, 21:21

You can get covers and a sunbrella bag made up as the PVC doesn't like longterm sun exposure. You often see cruisers with inflatables that have sunbrella covers over the pontoons etc. they are used with the covers in place. I am gonna get a bag made up fir mine to protect it when on deck and make it a bit more robust when transporting. The highfield comes with a basic bag but it think canvas or sunbrella would be better.
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barnaclephill
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by barnaclephill » Oct 4th, '14, 21:52

Castle 610 wrote:I folding dinghy such as the origami type mentioned above has a lot of merit and I considered these but I still cant see where i would store it. it would have to be above decks. It could be lashed to the stanchions I suppose.

... will be deflated and stored under the cockpit in the cabin where nothing is currently stored. We plan to use an electric inflator/deflater to make this possible.

Of course in reality if its only a short distance we will tow it or store it on the foredeck. But the option is there to stow it away.
You can store a folding dinghy in the very same spaces you have in mind for an inflatable - under the cockpit, along the deck or somewhere up top, or in a berth that is not being slept in in the daytime. Folding to 10 cm wide, about 30 cm or so wide, and just over 6 or 8 feet long. Same size as a berth/cockpit or along the side decks. No inflation, just 2 or 3 struts taking less than one minute to install. Build the thing to the size you want. My first one I made to 6 ft 6 inches to use up the whole of the sheet of plywood, this one against the shed is 8 feet long. Freeboard 30 cm or even 40 if you make it that way, your choice.
Folded flat along the side decks, or elsewhere up top doesn't get in the way. Even under the foreberth:
stowed.jpg
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Castle 610 » Oct 4th, '14, 22:03

Yes its certainly an option. I realise pumping up an inflatable is a pain.

Philosophically I want the folding or nesting type dinghy.

I will explore further.
Stephen
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Tumbleweed
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 4th, '14, 22:08

I got a 12v pump with mine, for extra, that you can set the correct pressure on and then off it goes and cuts out at the right pressure.

I still want to make a nesting dinghy one day
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by zebedee » Oct 4th, '14, 22:15

I have a quantity of truck curtain fabric (in Melbourne) and can probably get more.

Note: it's way too heavy to make a good boat tarp!
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by barnaclephill » Oct 4th, '14, 22:21

Tumbleweed wrote:I still want to make a nesting dinghy one day
I made one of those also:
simplicity 9N close up.JPG
a246 closer.JPG
and it had a seat/plank at the rear and one over the join.

Good having a cut-off for the inflating pump.

Zeb: I'd be interested to get some more fabric, to make a narrower folding dinghy, maybe 7 feet, maybe 8 feet long. Is there a choice of bright colours? And the approx. price? We could do a workshop...
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Tumbleweed
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 4th, '14, 22:27

I have the Danny Greene chameleon dinghy plans. One day!!
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by zebedee » Oct 4th, '14, 22:37

barnaclephill wrote:Zeb: I'd be interested to get some more fabric, to make a narrower folding dinghy, maybe 7 feet, maybe 8 feet long. Is there a choice of bright colours? And the approx. price?
The stuff I have at home is red. I can look into getting other colours when I get back to Melbourne; it comes from a "friend of a friend", leftovers from when they make mistakes, which they don't do very often! Sometimes there is second hand material from retired curtains too.
We could do a workshop...
I'd be interested in helping build one too.
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by INMA » Oct 5th, '14, 00:14

Stephen, the quicksilver products last well compared with the cheaper copies.

I have a coleman rechargeable blower pump if you need it, I just need to find it.
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by AZAmagnum » Oct 5th, '14, 08:05

Looking at the rolled up size of our quicksilver 2.4, it should fit under the castle cockpit fine.
We use a barrel type pump that puts in (or takes out) air on both the push and the pull. It doesn't take too long to inflate but I wouldn't want to do it more than once a trip !
I can blow harder than some electric pumps Ive seen. Make sure you choose the one for volume, not pressure.

cheers,
Az
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Furstin » Oct 5th, '14, 10:00

Have yo have the valve pushed in when inflating with the electric pump, the close and top up with hand.
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 5th, '14, 13:48

I read that having the correct pressure is important to assist with longevity. That's why I purchased a pump that will stop when at the correct pressure. Apparently under inflation is as harmful as over inflation.
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by sailboatmike » Oct 5th, '14, 16:13

barnaclephill wrote:How about an Origami folding dinghy Origami, which you could build in either of 6 or 8 foot (or other size) for $300-ish. Very tough material on the bottom (truck curtain fabric "Ripstop 650" or other), ply sides and pine spine. 12mm self-tappers and bathroom silicone hold the 6mm battens to the 6mm plywood. Buildable within a week or weekend, etc.
I built one and used it regularly for about 4 or 5 years before selling it with the yacht.
You will be happy to know that the folding dinghy is still going strong Phil, I spoke to Johnathon that now owns your old boat today and he loves it
Cheers Mike
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Re: Inflatable boats

Post by Tumbleweed » Oct 5th, '14, 17:12

Got home after 2 weeks on the road, 5000km. Blew up the new highfield inflatable that i picked up on the way near coffs harbour. 2.5m, aluminium transom, welded seams, aluminium seat, air deck floor. Took about 4 minutes to inflate with the foot pump. I might have to take it to the harbour for a test run tomorrow.

Image

Image

Image
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