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Thread: Delphin Boats vrs Zodiac and Achilles

  1. #1
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default Delphin Boats vrs Zodiac and Achilles

    All,

    Need a new boat, sold a Zodiac 310S Zoom this year and I would like to get a larger type boat. Went to Sea Marita and checked out boats the other day, I could get a Zodiac 340S (removable floors, 12 foot rig) for about $1750 or a comparable Achilles for about $3400 (removable aluminum floors, 12 foot rig) or a Delphin with aluminum floors for about $1600. The Delphin is PVC which is hard to pack and handle, it is also heavier about 35 lbs more than the Achilles with the aluminum floor or the Zodiac 340S. I intend on using the setup to mount a 10hp prop engine and hunt mostly, but it would be nice to dip for Reds in the Kasilof or Kenai with it also. Besides those two trips I would most likely mess around with it a little. Should I be considering the Zodiac and Delphin, I'm leaning towards the Delphin, yes I'd rather have the Achilles but another near $2K is a lot of money for 30 lbs and a few conveniences when setting up.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default There are more and better choices on the market.

    Beware of most the PVC boat that does not use Clifton glues in their seams. There are only 3 factories in the orient that use Clifton glues in building their boats. Delphin is not one of them. Clifton glues are the only glues used on PVC inflatable boats that do not plasticize (turn to crystals) in 4-6 years of use. This is why you hear that PVC boats only last 5 years. Once the seam glues turn to crystals the glue loose it's holding power. Another factor in hot weather is Clifton glue has a 200^F melt/release temp. Most all other glues used on PVC boats have a 130^F to 150^F melt/Release point. This is a bigger factor in hot climates, summers in interior Alaska and with darker fabric colors.
    There will be a large selection of inflatable boats at the Winter Recreation and Travel show the Last weekend of September. This show is in the Anchorage Sullivan Arena.
    It would be a good idea to check out what's there before you make your purchase. With the end of the season pricing this is the best time to buy an inflatable boat or river raft.

    Good Boating

    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    Commercial quality at Wholesale prices
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats, Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907) 248-2900

  3. #3
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    Default Another Point of View

    Sometimes the saying “you get what you pay for” is more true than any of us would like to admit. The most important thing is to understand what you are buying.

    In a boat such as the Achilles (which is a hypalon / rubber based material) it is important to pay attention to the fabric that the boat is made of. PVC and polyurethane boats (such as most of those coming out of China these days) are much less expensive to produce than a true “rubber” or hypalon type fabric. The hypalon boats have much better abrasion resistance and better air retention characteristics, than the “plastic” boats. One other big advantage in Alaska is cold weather flexibility and ease of repair, hypalon based fabrics remain very flexible even in very cold temperatures. Where as plastic based boats get progressively harder to work with as temperatures drop. Some people feel that this is not a big deal as they will not be using them in cold weather, but even in moderate temps the rubber based materials are much easier to repair should you actually manage to puncture it. There is a reason car tires are made of rubber and not plastic, vinyl, or urethane…think about it. All these issues combined, make a hypalon boat more desirable to those truly in the know about boats and is a major reason why they have much higher resale values as well.

    That said PVC, and urethane-based fabrics have their advantages as well. For instance they are less expensive to build, they do tend to be more stretch free, and there is an amazing selection of boats made of these materials. If you do choose to purchase a PVC or polyurethane based boat one factor to consider is that the higher end boats that come from the more well funded and reputable factories (Zodiac/Zoom) now WELD their seams, there by eliminating the possibility of glue crystallization or seam delamination. Most boats coming from the orient are built in very small factories that just do not have the resources to invest in this kind of technology.

    Most economically priced boats such as the Delphins, Titans, and many of the privately labeled boats are made in the orient, mostly China. Many of these boats are actually quite well constructed, but there is some real junk coming from there as well. The quality control just has not been there. As an example, regarding the glues mentioned in the previous comment, the Clifton glue is a very good glue…when applied properly, the issue being to use it correctly, it is very difficult to work with. Some of the other glues on the market are actually much easier to work with and when used properly will provide a better bond than an improperly applied Clifton glue. The other issue is the long-term viability of these boats (i.e. will you be able to parts for them 4-5 years from now). Most reputable dealers realize that there is a lot on the line and make an effort to select the better makes. But any potential boat buyer needs to be aware of these risks. Once again “you get what you pay for”.

  4. #4
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    Default GOO

    As far as i know- there is no one bringing 100% urethane boats into America? SOTAR makes them in OR. but there is no glue used. all the seams and hardwear are welded. Please advise what company is importing urethane boats from Asia. Besides, urethane is much more durable than hypalon anyway, having used and sold many different brands of hypalon and plastic rafts for over 30 yrs.
    thanks
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default seams

    To me it does not matter if the seam is welded or clued, as long as the seam holds its integrety.
    I was at the sports show last spring in Anchorage. I was walking the exibits early before the show started on the second day, and was surprised to see that one of the well known brand name inflatable outfits had a couple of guys Topping off the rafts. I was so surprised to find out that they needed to put more air in the boats after they had initially been pumped up the day before. So I asked them if they had some leaky valves or something, and they said "naw, its just the way it is.. you gotta top um off every day".... " These were USA manufacured boats"
    Well,, that was the way it was years ago with inflatables, but now days I very seldom ever have to add air to any of my boats.
    I keep about 4 boats inflated in my rental fleet at all times, and after I pump them up in the spring, I don't add air all summer, unless someone lets air out of them for some reason...
    I use PVC material boats in my rental fleet and have been more than happy with them. I have one PVC boat that I started renting 9 years ago and it has never been patched in all that time of severe use.
    People like the more rigid feel of the boats also when they come to rent them, and comment on the high quality.
    As far as "paying for what you get"...
    That is somewhat true.. If you have a store front that houses an inventory of boats, has lots of employees and all those expenses that go with operating a retail outlet , then you need to realize you will be paying for those things that don't really have anything to do with the actual cost of building the boat.
    That is why when I buy my canoes, I go to the factory and purchase them thru the rental fleet division, so I can cut out the expense of the middle man.
    If you could buy any good name brand item direct then you would not need to pay nearly as much and still retain excellent quality
    My Old town canoes are the same quality as the ones you buy at R.E.I or Sportsman warehouse, but at a much much lower cost.
    I can pay for a coleman two burner stove at R.E.I. $109.00 or I can buy that same stove from my distributor for $78.00 .. Its the same stove, but at a different price. And guess what ,, the warranty is still the same..
    We have such a great selection of inflatables here in Alaska, and most all are pretty darn good quality. Educate yourself without buying into the hype. Stop and talk to the guys at the landings when they come out of the rivers, look at their gear and don't be affraid to ask questions.
    We truly have some great options and prices are pretty good because of the competitive attitude,
    Have fun on the river..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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