Buying used Dinghy. What to look for?

Discussion in 'Dinghies' started by Almightys, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. Almightys

    Almightys Super Moderator Staff Member

    579
    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1995 500 DA with diesel loving Detroit’s
    (SOLD)1992 Sundancer 330
    6v92 Detroit Diesel
    We are looking for a used dinghy. Was kind of curious of what I should look out for? really not cruising to far in the thing. Maybe trolling along
    In the marinas when we don’t want to take the big boat or bring it with us on trips to explore.
     
  2. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    from experience I’d avoid used pvc. Chances are they’re being sold because they weren’t used, possibly stored deflated, and the glue will let go not long after you buy it and pump it up. I bought a 4 year old pvc and the bottom peeled off within weeks

    hypalon I’d give a go if the material looks healthy
     
  3. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    2021 Solar 420
    '97 5.7 Bravo 2
    '20 Merc 25 EFI Jet
    I would not be afraid of purchasing a used PVC boat. Have bought/sold/owned multiple models from 240-420 over the past 35 years. Currently have a 290 and 420. You get what you pay for, like anything else as far as quality goes. Avoid the Chinese PVC. Mehler-Valmex is a premium quality. If you know the brand, you can do a quick search to see what material they use. Quality PVC boats have welded seams and if you do happen to damage the material, it can be repaired in minutes.
    As far as purchasing used, look close for signs of delamination at the transom, leaks between chambers in the main tubes and condition of the material itself. Large stains and/or tacky to the touch is a sign of the fabric has started to fail. Keep them out of the direct sun when stored and sun lotion off the fabric. They will last for years.
     
    Mark.60, firecadet613 and Strecker25 like this.
  4. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
  5. Almightys

    Almightys Super Moderator Staff Member

    579
    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1995 500 DA with diesel loving Detroit’s
    (SOLD)1992 Sundancer 330
    6v92 Detroit Diesel
    So what are considered quality dinghy’s? Brands? I think I have settled on the 10 or 11 ft boats
    I assume zodiac is good. What about Avon? Or others?
     
    firecadet613 likes this.
  6. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    2007 Four Winns V358
    Twin VP 5.7GXi V-Drive / ZF63s
    I've had great luck finding slightly used dinghies on Facebook marketplace, take a look there. A lot of junk out there, but I've been able to find two new, unused Newport Vessels (Amazon returns) for a fraction of the price. One I bought and kept, the other I sold to a slip neighbor. They hadn't be beat for the price, even at full retail IMO.
     
  7. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I believe Avon owns Zodiak. Or the other way around.

    I had great luck with a Zodiak cadet. They make great boats. Mine was PVC and never had an issue.
     
  8. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River
    Sundancer 250 ‘91
    7.4 Bravo 1
    Fireman, interesting. I’ve wondered if Amazon sells used as new. Last year I bought a pair of Sperry shoes from Amazon. I usually buy thru Sperry. I swore they were slightly used returns. Not worn out just some tell tale scuff marks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022
  9. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    2007 Four Winns V358
    Twin VP 5.7GXi V-Drive / ZF63s
    These were from individuals who purchased essentially a storage spot full of Amazon returns - essentially a mixed box of misc junk...worked out well for me as the listing sucked and they had very limited interest.
     
  10. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River
    Sundancer 250 ‘91
    7.4 Bravo 1
    On my second Cadet. First lasted 12 years, never had puncture. The transom after repairing a few times just gave up.
    The quality on this new one is visibly amazing. Firm believer in the Zodiac brand.
    Now, if I could just the dam motor running I might be able to use it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022
  11. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    2021 Solar 420
    '97 5.7 Bravo 2
    '20 Merc 25 EFI Jet
    For quality, I would visit their sites and see where they source their material and how their construction is done. In the past we have had luck with used Avon and Quicksilver. We abuse the crap out of them drifting/running our coastal rivers for both fishing and hunting. Other than our 420, which is purpose built for jet, our last 2 (380 and current 290) were purchased new from Seabright on our east coast. With current exchange rates, they may be worth a call. Definitely very helpful and informative people. They are getting pretty popular out here. Know 3 others in town with them. 1 is a hypalon.
    seabright marine, seabrightmarine, inflatable boats, inflatable boat, hypalon, RIB, RIBs, hypalon inflatable boat, hypalon inflatable boats, hypalon rib, hypalon ribs
    I have to muscle the tender onto our hard top alone for the most part. The 290 (9'6") I grabbed last year has the f/g transom with the airdeck floor. It weighs in at 86 lbs so very manageable. It flies in front of the 6 hp Yamaha on it.
     
  12. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    2021 Solar 420
    '97 5.7 Bravo 2
    '20 Merc 25 EFI Jet
    Something else I should mention, after finding out the hard way early with inflatable ownership. They are very altitude sensitive. If they stay at sea level or any other consistent altitude, then it is of no concern. If traveling (climbing altitude) though, they balloon right up as the atmospheric pressure falls. Have seen them laying in ditches with roof racks and tie downs attached after ripping out all the mounting screws. Flapping around on trailer roofs cause their tanks ruptured or valves blew out. Just something you wouldn't think of when traveling with them.
    The higher quality inflatables if not a standard, will at the least, offer overpressure reliefs in their tanks as an option.
     
    firecadet613 likes this.
  13. Almightys

    Almightys Super Moderator Staff Member

    579
    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1995 500 DA with diesel loving Detroit’s
    (SOLD)1992 Sundancer 330
    6v92 Detroit Diesel
    Curious to what people are using to clean these things and protect them?
    Can you use 303 to protect? Anything to stay away from cleaning them?
     
  14. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River
    Sundancer 250 ‘91
    7.4 Bravo 1
    Fresh water and sponge wipe down. Never really gets dirty. 303 UV protectant once a month.
     
    Almightys and firecadet613 like this.
  15. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    2007 Four Winns V358
    Twin VP 5.7GXi V-Drive / ZF63s
    Hit it with the wash brush when you wash your boat. 303 on occasion, the biggest thing is keeping them covered when not in use.
     
  16. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    2000 Carver 506
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge
    Volvo TAMD 74 P
    A buddy bought a used one from a mutual friend, one of the high quality molded units that was 20 years old. Thing looked well maintained but shortly after purchase a tube blew out. Cost $2600 for a repair that the shop can not guarantee. I would spend more up front and get as new as possible and maybe try to buy from someone you know. I have an Achilles 350 with a 30 Hp Honda
    that was build up using off the shelf accessories. It is 12 years old now and been trouble free but always covered and kept on a floating dock.
    Over the years I bought soft bottom units off CL and always regretted it later.
     
  17. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    This stuff is amazing:

    upload_2022-7-25_7-39-22.png
     
    Almightys likes this.
  18. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River
    Sundancer 250 ‘91
    7.4 Bravo 1
    Where you plan on keeping it? PVC will last a good 12 years is covered out of sun. UV kills them. Mine stays covered, on a rack, inflated to optimum pressure, out of sun, then home in house for winter. I have 2. Don’t ask why, long story.
    1263560C-5049-46C9-8983-5AB74CA9F1E9.jpeg 8A0C126B-9653-4237-BD60-4B6CA50A9D97.jpeg
     
  19. skolbe

    skolbe Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    320 Sundancer, Zodiac 290 Wave Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP, Boston Whaler 130 Sport
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    I had a Mercury 310 PVC and it did great until it was no longer in a covered slip. It lasted 11 years. I bought a Zodiac Wave and it is in a covered slip and has a cover on it. I think it will last a long time. On year 3 and looks like new.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2022
  20. Almightys

    Almightys Super Moderator Staff Member

    579
    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1995 500 DA with diesel loving Detroit’s
    (SOLD)1992 Sundancer 330
    6v92 Detroit Diesel
    Thanks for all the help. I ended up buying a used Avon 310 rover rib. Has a 15 hp Johnson on the back. It will be stored on the lift platform under a cover so hopefully we will get some years out of her.
     
    firecadet613 and Thornton69 like this.

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