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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    426

    Default Best small inflatable tender

    Dear All,
    My old avon redstart is getting past it and I am interested in buying a new small tender. I use the tender very rarely and it takes up a lot of room below decks - so small size when uniflated and a good carrying case are important. Any views or experience please?
    Martin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,019

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    11 years ago I bought a second-hand Achilles inflatable [made in Japan] and it is still in good condition, even though it was used for a few years as a trot dinghy and spent each season inflated in a dinghy park.

    I don't know if they are still available but I would highly recommend them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    19,292

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    Achilles are long gone. Wre good boats as made of Hypalon like the Avon, only cheaper.

    Most are now made in China and use PVC. Infinitely better than PVC of old. Avon still make Hypalon boats, but guess they are very expensive.

    There is plenty of choice from all the major chandlers with brands such as Plastimo, Wetline, Seago Excel at under 300 plus more upmarket brands such as Lodestar, Avon, Zodiac, Bombard.

    Pity in a way I am not in the market as I have a Redcrest (only 25 years old!) as I would quite enjoy working my way through the huge choice of styles and brands to get the best deal!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    8,082

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    I replaced my old Redcrest (1974) a few years ago with a new Redstart as I seldom take more than the two of us. It is vastly superior to the old dinghy as well as being smaller when folded. The chambers are bigger diameter and it rows very well. There is a bit of an art in packing a dinghy away, but with the option to evacuate by pump, the Redstart goes pretty small and is light. It is certainly expensive, but worth it to me for the pleasure of use and durability (I hope).
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  5. #5
    BobnLesley's Avatar
    BobnLesley is offline Registered User
    Location : East Coast USA at the moment
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    1,478

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    Given that you're intending to use it 'very rarely' I'd go for the 2.3m version of one of the sub 300 models noted in an earlier post. We have the Seago, which is fine though I'm sure it's no better or worse than the Plastimo, XL, etc. models
    I chose the road less travelled, now where the hell am I?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    Try to get one with a V inflatable keel; they row much better and go on the plane much easier and are drier. I have a Wetline 2.9m approx 400 and is excellent; they make smaller sizes with V keel.
    Captain Fantastic

  7. #7
    MoodySabre's Avatar
    MoodySabre is online now Registered User
    Location : Bradwell and Leigh-on-Sea
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    11,774

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    I bought an Bombard AX2 airdeck. It rolls up into a small case and goes in the locker. I can lift and carry it easily and the airdeck floor is very good. BUT it is only a 2+ with no thwart - you have to kneel to row it. The tubes are fairly small so in any swell or well laden you get a wet bum (or my wife usually does). It has sponsons and a hard transom and goes well with the outboard.

    If I had more room or bought again I would go for one with larger tubes and a thwart and just take it with me when I needed it and put it on the roof.
    Not all who wander are lost

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    7,030

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    when we looked, it seemed some of the small details, as always, makes one better than another. We thought Tohatsu was a good compromise, punching a bit above its price. I like the secondary air floor, and bit of V hull. Seago, Plastimo, Honda and Lodestar were better, but then 50pct more. Avon and the like were 2-3 times the price, so I guess thats for heavy duty use where maybe you need that build. Some of the cheaper ones were pretty nasty [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] but I think its pretty much, you get what you pay for.On the whole, we could see that.

  9. #9
    reeac is offline Registered User
    Location : Orford, Suffolk, UK
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    924

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    I bought a Bombard AX2 because it was so compact when folded [75cm.x45 cm.x28 cm.] and as a bonus it weighs only 18Kg. and yet has a rigid transom and a slatted floor. I admit that it's only a 2 person tender but it depends how important it is to you to have compactness. We have a GRP tender for routine "ship-to-shore" trips with the Bombard being held in reserve under the cockpit floor for very occasional use when away from home.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,503

    Default Re: Best small inflatable tender

    I'm about to upgrade to a bigger dinghy (dog and two people requires something alittle bigger than the one I've got), - if you are interested in a good secondhand 2.4m zodiac cadet, then PM me!

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