Highfield… any regrets?

Discussion in 'Dinghies' started by ocgrant, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. ocgrant

    ocgrant Official Bahamas Boating Ambassador GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 31, 2006
    Miami / Ft Lauderdale
    H2O Therapy
    2006 Sundancer 48
    Novurania 430DL
    Yamaha EX-R
    PADI Divemaster
    Raymarine Electronics
    Cummins QSC 540's
    So doing Abacos and Exumas next year. Decided the Jet Ski is not the right choice to take on this trip as it is not the “day trip” transportation system I need to move 4-5 people around. I checked all the lifts at the boat show and narrowed it down to the Sea Lift. But… $30k just does not make sense, never going to get that back. So started looking what will fit on my current Hurley H3O davit system. Davit will hold up to 725 lbs. I would prefer a little console dinghy over a tiller style but they are so heavy. Then I came across this Highfield brand with aluminum hulls. Much lighter and then the jockey steering gives me the set up I want under 600 lbs. I went and checked it out today and priced out the way I want it. Not bad at all, thinking to pull the trigger soon. Anyone here experience the Highfield dinghy?

    91F8B390-5A9E-4F79-A5F4-7E2085173BD2.jpeg
     
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  2. rlynch03

    rlynch03 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    833
    May 16, 2019
    Annapolis, MD
    07 52 Sedan Bridge, 2019 Brig Falcon 360HT-30HP Honda, 2003 16' Dauntless
    Cummins QSM 11 660 HP w/ ZF 325-1A
    Cant help with the Highfield but we love our Brig. May want to compare the weight but I believe the Brig is 550lbs wet. We have the 360HT with a Honda 30hp about $15k.

    92FE18E8-ED92-4042-A2B3-90533ECE8980.jpeg 8CBC0210-8A46-456C-AB77-BB8AD63FED35.jpeg
     
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  3. flyboycj84

    flyboycj84 Active Member

    184
    Feb 20, 2014
    Merritt Island FL
    2008 Meridian 391
    QSB 5.9
    Sealift was the best investment I ever made for my Meridian. Love love love it.

    I have an AB that I put on it. The main reason I went for the AB is that the floor is flat from tube to tube allowing for more open floor space. This was important to us as we have 2 large Golden’s. The Highfield floor angles up towards the tubes reducing floor space IMO.

    Now, to maximize space I did put a Highfield FCT helm in, as AB doesn’t offer anything like this, and I love the setup.
    50007E7F-FEE2-481D-BD6E-FCA7CC20E02F.jpeg
     
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  4. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    There are Highfields up and down the docks at my marina. Everybody swears by them.

    I, however, like to be different :). My Walker Bay 325 tips the scales at 500lbs wet...

    When I was shopping for dingies the Walker Bay was the smallest/lightest center console I could find with a 5 person capacity. Similarly sized Avon and Highfield only went up to 4 passengers...

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Western NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Generator, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA M-3
    We have a small (290BL) highfield.
    Aluminum hull. 6 years and no problems/no complaints.
     
  6. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    I wondered what the utility of the jet ski would be to you in the Bahamas. We probably spend more time in the dinghy than on the boat when in the islands; don't know how we would get along without it. Interested in what you end up with as I'll be getting a larger tender this next year after the lift is installed on the boat. I'll probably stay with a fiberglass RIB as it will be a little less prone to ding up the boat.
    I also was going to install a SeaLift but both because of the high cost and all of the hardware in the water I ended up with the Presto Marine hydraulic lift; which was half the cost of the SeaLift.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  7. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    We’ve all but settled on a high field 310CL. I’ll add the console at a later time. I really like the flat double floor and bow tank locker. Price is right too
     
  8. RBB

    RBB Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Kentucky
    2006 44DB
    2019 Sea Doo GTX 155
    Pelican Kayak
    2004 390 MY Sold
    Cummins QSC 500
    I have a Walker Bay Venture 14 and love it. But its way to big to haul on a swim platform. So it gets towed. But the quality of it seems excellent to me.
     
  9. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Agreed. After one season I'm very pleased with the fit/finish/quality. The Highfield guys can brag about their all metal hulls all day long. But I still have a built-in cooler so...there's that :)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. RBB

    RBB Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Kentucky
    2006 44DB
    2019 Sea Doo GTX 155
    Pelican Kayak
    2004 390 MY Sold
    Cummins QSC 500
     
  11. RBB

    RBB Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Kentucky
    2006 44DB
    2019 Sea Doo GTX 155
    Pelican Kayak
    2004 390 MY Sold
    Cummins QSC 500
    Here’s ours. 832AD74B-3454-42ED-9991-DF82AD51DDF7.jpeg
     
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  12. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Is that a water tank fill cap I see? Do you have a head w/shower somewhere on this beauty? :):)
     
    Roger baril likes this.
  13. RBB

    RBB Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Kentucky
    2006 44DB
    2019 Sea Doo GTX 155
    Pelican Kayak
    2004 390 MY Sold
    Cummins QSC 500
    Actually it has a rinse shower on it.
     
  14. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    For aluminum hull models my local dinghy dealer has switched from recommending AB to Highfield. He feels the welding is superior, the cost is less, and availability is better.

    AB only ships like 1x per year via a full container. He can more frequent delivery from Highfield, so there is more choice. If he sells out of AB or doesn’t have a model he’s stuck until next year.
     
  15. saopm

    saopm Active Member

    841
    Oct 6, 2010
    North Fork - Long Island, NY
    2005 420 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450
    I purchased a Highfield CL340 back in June. I love it….looks great, rides great, and is light weight. I ordered a Yamaha 25hp for the spring. They were not available when I purchased my Highfield. I have to say, my 9.9hp does great on it. It is fast with just me and I can get on plane with me and my three kids. If it was just me and my wife I would have gotten the steering console, but I need the room for the kids and gear to bring to the beach, so the tiller was the right fit for us. Overall, the quality is excellent.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. RBB

    RBB Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Kentucky
    2006 44DB
    2019 Sea Doo GTX 155
    Pelican Kayak
    2004 390 MY Sold
    Cummins QSC 500
    that thing should fly with a 25hp on it.
     
  17. swaterhouse

    swaterhouse Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2008 58 DB
    MAN CRM 900
    We love our Highfield CL and SO very much looking forward to our Sport 390.

    No issues at all with ours, we put a lot of time on it in all kinds of conditions. The hull is super light weight.

    Ass @ttmott points out the AL hull will be prone to do more damage to your boat if mishandled, but I never had one issue with that. The Al hull is so resistant to rocks and sand though and I am 100 times more likely to beach it or accidently hit a rock than I am to mishandle on the platform.

    To narrow my choices I created a spreadsheet with sizes, weights and engine choices to find the best size to weight ratio for us.
     
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  18. kindredspirit

    kindredspirit Member

    78
    Sep 1, 2009
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2002 Sea Ray 410 DA
    8.1
    I purchased a Highfield CL360 with Suzuki 25HP and the steering console 2 years ago. Zero complaints and we use this quite a bit. Easily gets up on plane with 4 adults.
     
  19. Jus Cruisin

    Jus Cruisin Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2021
    Lake St Clair - MI (Belle Maer Harbor)
    2004 390 DA
    8.1's
    I would get another inflatable if I had the dock/slip space. I had an Achilles years ago with a 9.9 Mercury and had a blast with it. The Highfields were on display at the Metro Boat Show and I like the looks of them. But I just don't have room. They have come a long way in features and layout compared to the ol' Achilles.
     
  20. flyboycj84

    flyboycj84 Active Member

    184
    Feb 20, 2014
    Merritt Island FL
    2008 Meridian 391
    QSB 5.9
    Look at photos.....they say double floor and “flat” .....but those floors are flat in the middle and angle up towards the tubes.....reducing flat floor space compared to an AB. The difference between the 2 absolutely shifted my decision to AB. Just pointing it out.
    YMMV!
     

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