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Re: best size inflatable dinghy

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  • Dave Evans
    Greg, For a decade we had a 9 -6 Zodiac (PVC) with air floor which served us well. Lots of room and light enough for me to put on the car rack every Sunday
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 1, 2008
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      Greg,

      For a decade we had a 9'-6" Zodiac (PVC) with air floor which served
      us well. Lots of room and light enough for me to put on the car rack
      every Sunday and store in the garage all week. The floor eventually
      failed and then the entire port seam from the tube to the bottom gave
      way and I decided to replace it.

      We then bought an 8"-8" Achilles (hypalon) LSI air floor which should
      have been the same weight as the larger Zodiac. Not so, it's heavier,
      so it has now lived at the dinghy dock fir three summers with no
      problems other than bottom growth.

      Both are rated for four persons and have no problem accommodating
      same. If you want to carry a lot of stuff, then some people have to
      be left behind for that trip. We have a 3hp 2-stroke, so know nothing
      about getting on plane! But it's easy to hang the motor on the stern
      rail. The shorter length of the Achilles has not been noticable in
      use.

      The air floor is great for rolling up the dinghy to stow on deck for
      a passage and reinflating when needed. Be less simple with a plywood
      floor. I think there is actually not much weight difference between
      the two floor systems; the hypalon air floor is pretty heavy.

      As others have said, check with Defender for sales, closeouts and
      even the rare unused returns (which we have). And while the spring
      sale is great fun, it can be cheaper to have things shipped than pay
      the CT sales tax.

      dge

      --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "greggonesailing"
      <gbrigham@...> wrote:
      >
      > Greetings all,
      > I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly
      purchased
      > S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
      > deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
      > but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.
      >
      > Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy
      with
      > a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up)
      powered
      > by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
      > size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
      > (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).
      >
      > Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
      > worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.
      >
      > Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the
      north
      > (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
      > the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?
      >
      > Happy New Years Eve!
      > Greg
      >
    • Bill B
      Greg, We have a 9 or 9.5 foot air floor inflatable for our S38mk1. I think it is just about the best size for the boat, and it is the size I will buy again.
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 1, 2008
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        Greg,
         
        We have a 9 or 9.5 foot air floor inflatable for our S38mk1.  I think it is just about the best size for the boat, and it is the size I will buy again.  The primary advantage of the airfloor, imo, is the weight savings.  We have deflated and rolled it up from time to time, but only for long term storage.  It is a small pia to inflate and deflate, but no big deal.  It is a serious pia to haul around and muscle up and down the companionway while deflated, however.  It lives inflated and on the davits or on the foredeck for longer storage and passages.  Anything much bigger won't leave you any room on the foredeck, and my opinion is that you're going to want to put it there, unless you have great davits.  We've had two adults and four kids in it without any trouble.
         
        The hardest thing is getting the motor on and off of the dinghy and stern pulpit.  The best options are a motor you can lift with one hand, or a motor hoist, or super davits like Ed has on his 38mk1.  I went with the Honda 2hp option after having a Merc 9, and I personally love the Honda's ease of use.  I came most of the way at 5.5 knots in the big boat, so 5 knots for the last hundred yards works fine with a cold beer.
         
        This is a very subjective personal opinion.  Different strokes for different folks.  I'll post a photo to give you an idea of relative size in a little while.
         
        Bill B
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 5:54 PM
        Subject: [SabreSailboat] best size inflatable dinghy

        Greetings all,
        I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly purchased
        S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
        deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
        but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.

        Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy with
        a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up) powered
        by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
        size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
        (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).

        Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
        worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.

        Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the north
        (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
        the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?

        Happy New Years Eve!
        Greg

      • Charlie Hodgman
        RE: defender, if you re from outside Conn. they have a dandy little form you can fill out that will exempt out of state boaters from the sales tax on
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 1, 2008
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          RE: defender, if you're from outside Conn. they have a dandy little
          form you can fill out that will exempt out of state boaters from the
          sales tax on inflatables purchased at their store. Charlie, S34 MkI,
          Pajama girl


          --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "Bill B" <mookiesurfs@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Greg,
          >
          > We have a 9 or 9.5 foot air floor inflatable for our S38mk1. I
          think it is just about the best size for the boat, and it is the size
          I will buy again. The primary advantage of the airfloor, imo, is the
          weight savings. We have deflated and rolled it up from time to time,
          but only for long term storage. It is a small pia to inflate and
          deflate, but no big deal. It is a serious pia to haul around and
          muscle up and down the companionway while deflated, however. It
          lives inflated and on the davits or on the foredeck for longer
          storage and passages. Anything much bigger won't leave you any room
          on the foredeck, and my opinion is that you're going to want to put
          it there, unless you have great davits. We've had two adults and
          four kids in it without any trouble.
          >
          > The hardest thing is getting the motor on and off of the dinghy and
          stern pulpit. The best options are a motor you can lift with one
          hand, or a motor hoist, or super davits like Ed has on his 38mk1. I
          went with the Honda 2hp option after having a Merc 9, and I
          personally love the Honda's ease of use. I came most of the way at
          5.5 knots in the big boat, so 5 knots for the last hundred yards
          works fine with a cold beer.
          >
          > This is a very subjective personal opinion. Different strokes for
          different folks. I'll post a photo to give you an idea of relative
          size in a little while.
          >
          > Bill B
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: greggonesailing
          > To: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 5:54 PM
          > Subject: [SabreSailboat] best size inflatable dinghy
          >
          >
          > Greetings all,
          > I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly
          purchased
          > S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer
          and
          > deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits
          later
          > but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.
          >
          > Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy
          with
          > a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up)
          powered
          > by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the
          best
          > size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
          > (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).
          >
          > Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
          > worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.
          >
          > Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the
          north
          > (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc
          over
          > the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?
          >
          > Happy New Years Eve!
          > Greg
          >
        • Ed Burke
          Greg, We bought an Apex 10 RIB and use a Honda 9HP 4 stroke on our 38MKI. In my opinion after taking it down the ICW and to the Bahamas is that it is too big
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 1, 2008
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            Greg,
             
                We bought an Apex 10' RIB and use a Honda 9HP 4 stroke on our 38MKI.  In my opinion after taking it down the ICW and to the Bahamas is that it is too big for our boat.  It was very comfortable and fast for the two of us, but in the davits it made maneuvering into slips and even up to fuel docks difficult.  It sticks out way too far on both sides of the stern.  We did get great davits from Kato which carry the dinghy and motor very securely.  We made the mistake of leaving the engine on the dinghy on a windy trip from the Exumas to Royal Island and we had to stop underway to drop the dinghy and take off the engine, but only because the prop was dragging in the water when we were heeled!  We also use the Kato outboard lift which made getting the motor off the dingy in windy conditions with 3' chop a little dicey, but easily handled by my wife and I.  I think I would go with the lightest 9' that you can find.  The 4 strokes are a bit heavy, but I think I'll keep my Honda. 
             
                Everyone we talked to said get the largest dinghy we could comfortably carry with an engine which will get it up on plane for cruising in the Bahamas, but I think Bill is a little closer on what is really needed (even though 2HP might be a bit light just in case you need to go against some wind).  The Apex, Honda, Davits, and lift are more weight than I like hanging on the back of my 38MKI.
             
                            Ed Burke
                            Merlin S38MKI (for sale, without the davits and with a roll up dinghy)
             
                            http://home.comcast.net/~svmerlin
             
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill B
            Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2008 2:41 PM
            To: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [SabreSailboat] best size inflatable dinghy

            Greg,
             
            We have a 9 or 9.5 foot air floor inflatable for our S38mk1.  I think it is just about the best size for the boat, and it is the size I will buy again.  The primary advantage of the airfloor, imo, is the weight savings.  We have deflated and rolled it up from time to time, but only for long term storage.  It is a small pia to inflate and deflate, but no big deal.  It is a serious pia to haul around and muscle up and down the companionway while deflated, however.  It lives inflated and on the davits or on the foredeck for longer storage and passages.  Anything much bigger won't leave you any room on the foredeck, and my opinion is that you're going to want to put it there, unless you have great davits.  We've had two adults and four kids in it without any trouble.
             
            The hardest thing is getting the motor on and off of the dinghy and stern pulpit.  The best options are a motor you can lift with one hand, or a motor hoist, or super davits like Ed has on his 38mk1.  I went with the Honda 2hp option after having a Merc 9, and I personally love the Honda's ease of use.  I came most of the way at 5.5 knots in the big boat, so 5 knots for the last hundred yards works fine with a cold beer.
             
            This is a very subjective personal opinion.  Different strokes for different folks.  I'll post a photo to give you an idea of relative size in a little while.
             
            Bill B
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 5:54 PM
            Subject: [SabreSailboat] best size inflatable dinghy

            Greetings all,
            I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly purchased
            S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
            deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
            but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.

            Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy with
            a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up) powered
            by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
            size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
            (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).

            Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
            worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.

            Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the north
            (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
            the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?

            Happy New Years Eve!
            Greg

          • Peter Tollini
            We have a heavy (BoatUS) hypalon 9.5 ft with a plywood floor. The Honda 2HP does a fine job of pushing it at 4-5 kts, in one case towing a partially deflated
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 1, 2008
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              We have a heavy (BoatUS) hypalon 9.5 ft with a plywood floor. The Honda 2HP does a fine job of pushing it at 4-5 kts, in one case towing a partially deflated RIB.  As Bill said, if 5kts is acceptable for the big boat...
              As I mentioned earlier, when I was buying an outboard I was thinking 4-5 HP.  The dealer pushed the 2, telling me that I should stand on a skateboard while he stood on a chair and then hand the various motors up to him, as a good approximation of puting the O/B on a rail mount from the inflatable. Obviously the 28 lb. 2HP won.
              Pete

              On Jan 1, 2008 9:24 PM, Ed Burke <merlin0038@...> wrote:

              Greg,
               
                  We bought an Apex 10' RIB and use a Honda 9HP 4 stroke on our 38MKI.  In my opinion after taking it down the ICW and to the Bahamas is that it is too big for our boat.  It was very comfortable and fast for the two of us, but in the davits it made maneuvering into slips and even up to fuel docks difficult.  It sticks out way too far on both sides of the stern.  We did get great davits from Kato which carry the dinghy and motor very securely.  We made the mistake of leaving the engine on the dinghy on a windy trip from the Exumas to Royal Island and we had to stop underway to drop the dinghy and take off the engine, but only because the prop was dragging in the water when we were heeled!  We also use the Kato outboard lift which made getting the motor off the dingy in windy conditions with 3' chop a little dicey, but easily handled by my wife and I.  I think I would go with the lightest 9' that you can find.  The 4 strokes are a bit heavy, but I think I'll keep my Honda. 
               
                  Everyone we talked to said get the largest dinghy we could comfortably carry with an engine which will get it up on plane for cruising in the Bahamas, but I think Bill is a little closer on what is really needed (even though 2HP might be a bit light just in case you need to go against some wind).  The Apex, Honda, Davits, and lift are more weight than I like hanging on the back of my 38MKI.
               
                              Ed Burke
                              Merlin S38MKI (for sale, without the davits and with a roll up dinghy)
               
                              http://home.comcast.net/~svmerlin
               
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com [mailto: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill B
              Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2008 2:41 PM
              To: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [SabreSailboat] best size inflatable dinghy

              Greg,
               
              We have a 9 or 9.5 foot air floor inflatable for our S38mk1.  I think it is just about the best size for the boat, and it is the size I will buy again.  The primary advantage of the airfloor, imo, is the weight savings.  We have deflated and rolled it up from time to time, but only for long term storage.  It is a small pia to inflate and deflate, but no big deal.  It is a serious pia to haul around and muscle up and down the companionway while deflated, however.  It lives inflated and on the davits or on the foredeck for longer storage and passages.  Anything much bigger won't leave you any room on the foredeck, and my opinion is that you're going to want to put it there, unless you have great davits.  We've had two adults and four kids in it without any trouble.
               
              The hardest thing is getting the motor on and off of the dinghy and stern pulpit.  The best options are a motor you can lift with one hand, or a motor hoist, or super davits like Ed has on his 38mk1.  I went with the Honda 2hp option after having a Merc 9, and I personally love the Honda's ease of use.  I came most of the way at 5.5 knots in the big boat, so 5 knots for the last hundred yards works fine with a cold beer.
               
              This is a very subjective personal opinion.  Different strokes for different folks.  I'll post a photo to give you an idea of relative size in a little while.
               
              Bill B
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 5:54 PM
              Subject: [SabreSailboat] best size inflatable dinghy

              Greetings all,
              I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly purchased
              S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
              deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
              but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.

              Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy with
              a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up) powered
              by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
              size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
              (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).

              Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
              worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.

              Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the north
              (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
              the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?

              Happy New Years Eve!
              Greg


            • mystic_camera
              hi Greg, I have had the 10 4 high pressure inflatable (west marine) with a 6hp outboard for about 4 years.. 1. the high pressure floor actually allows this
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 7, 2008
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                hi Greg,

                I have had the 10' 4" high pressure inflatable (west marine) with a
                6hp outboard for about 4 years..

                1. the high pressure floor actually allows this to be both portable
                and have performance so i strongly support your decision on this type
                of dink
                2. I bought this size since at the time of the sale it was cheaper
                than the smaller one... (go figure) but the 9' 6" would have been
                more than adequate.
                3. Since (usually) the 4,5 & 6hp engines are the same weight (around
                55lbs) go for the 6hp... My setup easily planes with two adults and
                groceries n stuff.

                i really do not know of any combination that provides this level of
                performance while still being "luggable"..

                I usually tow the dink, but can pull it up on the spinnaker halyard
                and sit it on the foredeck.
                The engine sits on a mount on the stern rail and i can lug it down
                the transom by myself (if i must), but with two, lowering it into the
                dink is easy..even in less than ideal weather.

                hope this helps,

                ian

                S38 mkII #205 "Tuscan Sun"


                --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "greggonesailing"
                <gbrigham@...> wrote:
                >
                > Greetings all,
                > I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly
                purchased
                > S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
                > deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
                > but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.
                >
                > Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy
                with
                > a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up)
                powered
                > by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
                > size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
                > (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).
                >
                > Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
                > worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.
                >
                > Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the
                north
                > (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
                > the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?
                >
                > Happy New Years Eve!
                > Greg
                >
              • greggonesailing
                Thanks to all for responses. It looks like one of those less is more situations, I think I will down size a foot or two. Very helpful! Boat gets delivered
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 7, 2008
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                  Thanks to all for responses. It looks like one of those less is more
                  situations, I think I will down size a foot or two. Very helpful!

                  Boat gets delivered tomorrow to port clinton, wouldn't you know it,
                  30 mph winds and thunder storms predicted!
                  Greg

                  --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "greggonesailing"
                  <gbrigham@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Greetings all,
                  > I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly
                  purchased
                  > S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
                  > deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
                  > but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.
                  >
                  > Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy
                  with
                  > a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up)
                  powered
                  > by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
                  > size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
                  > (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).
                  >
                  > Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
                  > worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.
                  >
                  > Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the
                  north
                  > (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
                  > the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?
                  >
                  > Happy New Years Eve!
                  > Greg
                  >
                • Jan Meermans
                  Greg, Sorry to be late in response, but I have not been in range of internet in a while. Have a look at the Photo section Capriccio and you will see our
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 17, 2008
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                    Greg,

                    Sorry to be late in response, but I have not been in range of internet
                    in a while. Have a look at the Photo section "Capriccio" and you will
                    see our setup of an Avon 8'6' Rib LITE with which I use a 8 hp
                    Mercury. Since your dink is like your car down here in Mexico, you
                    want sturdy and fast so that means hard bottom and large engine that
                    can get up on a plane. This dink replaced a 9'3" APEX roll up that
                    weighed the same but I did not want to land it on beaches with shells
                    and rocks for months on end. It did make a good package to rollup and
                    tie down topside whereas I carry this one upsidedown in front of the
                    mast for open water passages. The davits are for short moves which
                    leaves the deck clear forward. At night, we suspend it alongside a
                    foot or so above the water with a three point harness from the
                    spinnaker halyard to keep it from being stolen. The Avon does have a
                    folding transome and goes into a bag but is not compact enough to take
                    below or go into the lazarette. I go along with the other comments you
                    already have. I have no experience with an air floor but I have ridden
                    in them and think I like the rollup which has a hard floor for your
                    feet/gear.

                    I guess a consideration for you right now would be the icebreaking
                    ablility of the various dinks on the market. I can't comment on that
                    either as the only ice I see down here is in my Margarita! Sorry I
                    could not help myself.

                    Enjoy your new (to you) Sabre.

                    Jan, S38Mk I #41 Capriccio, Barra de Navidad, Mexico


                    --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "greggonesailing" <gbrigham@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks to all for responses. It looks like one of those less is more
                    > situations, I think I will down size a foot or two. Very helpful!
                    >
                    > Boat gets delivered tomorrow to port clinton, wouldn't you know it,
                    > 30 mph winds and thunder storms predicted!
                    > Greg
                    >
                    > --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, "greggonesailing"
                    > <gbrigham@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Greetings all,
                    > > I am looking for an inflatable dinghy for use with my newly
                    > purchased
                    > > S38. I plan to sail every 2nd or 3rd weekend during the summer and
                    > > deflate and stow the dingy between weekends. I may use davits later
                    > > but for now I will stow, haul on deck or, deflate.
                    > >
                    > > Right now I am looking at the 10 to 11 foot LOA range of dinghy
                    > with
                    > > a high pressure bottom (relatively light and easy to roll up)
                    > powered
                    > > by a 5 hp honda outboard. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best
                    > > size? Most often it will be my wife, my 4 year old daughter and I
                    > > (occasionaly aonther couple of adults).
                    > >
                    > > Previously I have used a small (6 foot) soft bottom dinghy which
                    > > worked but was too small for any extra cargo or passengers.
                    > >
                    > > Also I am leaning toward PVC over Hypalon because I live in the
                    > north
                    > > (lake erie) and therefor I prefer the welded seems of the pvc over
                    > > the uv protection of the hypalon. Any thoughts on this?
                    > >
                    > > Happy New Years Eve!
                    > > Greg
                    > >
                    >
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