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Old 14 January 2015, 06:02   #11
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Kudu, I'm biased here so take this with a pinch of salt
I'm on my 2nd Highfield - originally had a 460 and now have a 590. Why did I stick with them?

- 460 was good little boat, lightweight for launch & recovery and good fuel economy. 20 degree deadrise was okay for bays and estuaries but I wanted a bigger boat and a deeper v for further afield (playing in Scotland). No real problems at all with the boat in the time I had her other than the fixings for the console. Screwed as opposed to bolted and the screws tended to work loose.

- 590 again good solid boat and no issues to date (60hrs). 24 degree v and a soft predictable ride. I have a BF90 on and it happily cruises 25 to 30 knots. 35+ top. If I was buying again I'd go for 110 or 135. My model (2014) has a recessed fuel cap and the recess can fill with water when washing down - a couple of drain holes drilled in the recess solved that.

As for after sale care, I'm very happy. I had a couple of issues with the supplied trailer and Steve at Seaswift swapped it out for an upgraded model no cost and no quibble. Also received some dents to the hull following a trip to reseller, again Steve has been brilliant and I won't go into the resolution but safe to say I'm very happy.

As Pikey mentions the Alu hull lines don't look as clean as GRP. There are deviations from the metal working. I'm happy to accept that but it may put some off. Didn't see the Southampton boat but the general finish on mine seems good. I take pikeys point, the show boat should be perfect...

EDIT: Should have added why I bought another Highfield.
I really like many of the UK manufactured boats - spend time on a friends Ribcraft 585, drool over Redbays and dare i say it like the look of Ospreys. I priced trade ins for all of these against new boats. Considered selling privately and buying 2nd hand. In the end I liked the alu hull and was offered a really good trade up for the 590.

Certainly look at the Highfields but go out and try others before you decide. There's some really good boats to compare with.
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Old 14 January 2015, 16:14   #12
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I just got back from the boat show in Toronto, a local dealer has some sort of arrangement with the PanAm games where these 25 Highfields will be used by officials, and then sold off at a good discount. (have a look at the bottom of their home page Home | CO2 Inflatable Boats)

Anyway, I looked at both the 460 and the 590 in detail and they looked well put together to me. I have owned a (non-rib) welded aluminum boat in the past and I know that the finishing of welds and corners etc. is not super easy with aluminum, but Highfield did a good job on these.

They had already sold over half of the 25 boats in the first few days of the show, I'm not able to buy right now so I suspect I'll miss the deal anyway.

I looked at the gas cap, it's recessed but in a well drained area, I don't think it's possible for water to accumulate.

Similarly equipped Zodiacs sold by the same dealer were literally 2x the price... it does make you wonder a bit! Typically the welded aluminum boats I've seen are at a similar cost to fiberglass so I'm thinking that Highfield might be saving a lot of money on labour and materials (many metals are subsidized by the government in China).
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Old 14 January 2015, 19:06   #13
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Hifei in WeiHei City, China make the boats Weihai Hifei Marine CO.,LTD.--- Hifei Inflatable Boat-

Domenico Fossati (ex Caribe) is the US importer and distributor
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Old 14 January 2015, 19:10   #14
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Hifei in WeiHei City, China make the boats Weihai Hifei Marine CO.,LTD.--- Hifei Inflatable Boat-

Domenico Fossati (ex Caribe) is the US importer and distributor
Thank you kiwiboyd, very interesting.
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Old 14 January 2015, 20:18   #15
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Kudo FYI I'm in toronto and also looking at that special they are running. Apparently they are expecting approx 100 hours of low intensity use on the boats. So they've sold half of them off already? Did they mention cash all up front or is it deposit basis?
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Old 15 January 2015, 00:01   #16
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Kudo FYI I'm in toronto and also looking at that special they are running. Apparently they are expecting approx 100 hours of low intensity use on the boats. So they've sold half of them off already? Did they mention cash all up front or is it deposit basis?
Hey TorontoDiver, yes that's what they said, I think they only had a few of the larger boats left. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time a salesman has told me that "they're almost all sold" so who knows. If you're seriously interested you should probably call them or stop by the show within the next day or two.

I did not discuss cash with them. I think a deposit is appropriate in this case, someone else will be using the boat before you get it, what happens if it gets damaged? That's a conversation I would be having them for sure. I'm not in a position to buy until I unload my current boat this spring so I didn't get into the details with them.

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 15 January 2015, 00:07   #17
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Hey TorontoDiver, yes that's what they said, I think they only had a few of the larger boats left. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time a salesman has told me that "they're almost all sold" so who knows. If you're seriously interested you should probably call them or stop by the show within the next day or two.

I did not discuss cash with them. I think a deposit is appropriate in this case, someone else will be using the boat before you get it, what happens if it gets damaged? That's a conversation I would be having them for sure. I'm not in a position to buy until I unload my current boat this spring so I didn't get into the details with them.

Let us know how you make out.
Haha yes the infamous sales pressure techniques! Separate thread, but the guys already mentioned making sure there's an inspection clause or something along those lines. Talking to their sales folks at the moment, so will see. a few of the folks I dive with have dealt with them favourably, so that's a plus as well.
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Old 15 January 2015, 08:51   #18
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Haha yes the infamous sales pressure techniques! Separate thread, but the guys already mentioned making sure there's an inspection clause or something along those lines. Talking to their sales folks at the moment, so will see. a few of the folks I dive with have dealt with them favourably, so that's a plus as well.
I know people who have bought from CO2 and were happy with them, they seem to be well regarded.
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Old 15 January 2015, 16:36   #19
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I see not DL version on CO2 webpage.
Please find below mentioned OM540DL. Picture taken by RIB.net admin John Kennett

Southampton Boat Show 2014



BF100 XRTU engine (extra long shaft), nice seats. Built back. 5 bakists.
I have ordered one. Will pick up on late Spring so now I'm not able to give any feedback.
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Old 16 January 2015, 03:35   #20
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Don't know what anyone else thinks but those loop handles at the front of the jockeys have got 'sore nuts' written all over them!
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