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Old 19 June 2016, 15:26   #1
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Bayliner with tubes

I have a zodiac 650 defender pro that is just over a year old. It is the work or law enforcement model and is supposed to be tough. All I can say is this is the poorest put together boat I have ever seem. The leaning post seat has broken twice. The lift handles are coming unglued. Today we can home in moderate seas (3 ft ish) and the rear passenger seat collapsed. There were very two light passengers sitting on it and this put us in a tough spot with people flying around with me having to pay attention to driving the boat. The poor quality make what should be a very safe boat a hazard on the water. Shame on Zodiac.
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Old 19 June 2016, 17:04   #2
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Send it back and get your money back not fit for purpose
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Old 19 June 2016, 17:13   #3
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Send it back and get your money back not fit for purpose
I'm sure that one of those passengers, um, slightly injured themselves? Might help in the decision making?
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Old 20 June 2016, 05:22   #4
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Send it back and get your money back not fit for purpose
And the quicker the better!
PLENTY of Research on RIBs is NEVER wasted time!..
Many of the problems encountered on here are avoidable,with a bit of time spent trawling the threads,comments,and members previous experiences.
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Old 20 June 2016, 08:32   #5
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I know that part. Looks like you have the 300 lb limit version.

Here's the 500 lb limit version:
https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Dog-Line-.../dp/B002IV8J66
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Old 20 June 2016, 08:40   #6
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Both those look like joke fittings - suitable for use while stationary but hopeless for a seat underway. I note they call them table supports...
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Old 20 June 2016, 08:59   #7
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Both those look like joke fittings - suitable for use while stationary but hopeless for a seat underway. I note they call them table supports...
A hinge is a hinge. It's all about the engineering of the part. Clearly, the limitation is the two crossbars. On the 500 lb version, there are stampings to increase the rigidity of the component.

Even if we assumed Seadog built to a 2:1 safety ratio (which is on the low side, most manufacturers chase a 3:1 or 5:1), that would put even the light duty hinges at 600 lb capacity. Then, we'll assume the load is divided evenly amongst both hinges, so we'll times this by two. Meaning, the hinges would have had to seen in excess of 1200 lb of loading to fail.

I'm a geek though. I like simple math. And overbuilding things.

We COULD take the kg weight of his passengers, total cubic centimeters occupied by their butts, approximate seating position (sitting close to the edge will act like a lever to multiply the forces involved), and the approximate height in which the passengers jammed their butts down on the seat to calculate the total dynamic loading on the hinges...
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Old 20 June 2016, 09:19   #8
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I'm a geek though. I like simple math. And overbuilding things.

We COULD take the kg weight of his passengers, total cubic centimeters occupied by their butts, approximate seating position (sitting close to the edge will act like a lever to multiply the forces involved), and the approximate height in which the passengers jammed their butts down on the seat to calculate the total dynamic loading on the hinges...
You can factor in a prolonged period of their butts falling to meet a rising seat as well. That seat was beaten into submission.
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Old 20 June 2016, 09:26   #9
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To be clear the poor quality Zodiacs are North American models that I believe are made in South Carolina. The problem is not only the cheap hardware used but the method of attachment. The seat that failed is only held down by six sheet metal screws going into a relatively light fiberglass panel. There are no through bolts or backing plate. The same method of attachment is used through out the boat. For example, the windshield keeps loosening up. There are also electrical problems. The wiring harness was made for a boat with a different light setup. Zodiac solved this problem with breakaway connections in wet places.
All these things can be fixed and repaired to make a durable boat. I however was looking for, and paid a steep price for, a turn key boat for daily transport to an island house. The products Zodiac puts out from their US factory doesn't meet this basic mark.
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Old 20 June 2016, 09:44   #10
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To be clear the poor quality Zodiacs are North American models that I believe are made in South Carolina. The problem is not only the cheap hardware used but the method of attachment. The seat that failed is only held down by six sheet metal screws going into a relatively light fiberglass panel. There are no through bolts or backing plate. The same method of attachment is used through out the boat. For example, the windshield keeps loosening up. There are also electrical problems. The wiring harness was made for a boat with a different light setup. Zodiac solved this problem with breakaway connections in wet places.
All these things can be fixed and repaired to make a durable boat. I however was looking for, and paid a steep price for, a turn key boat for daily transport to an island house. The products Zodiac puts out from their US factory doesn't meet this basic mark.
It doesn't look like the screws gave way? I tend to prefer thru-bolting myself as well, but from a manufacturing and engineering perspective, it is not always required.

I know Zodiac's wiring harnesses, I've got a lot of firsthand experience with the Pro Opens over the years (They're still one of my favorite RIBs on the market)... For their SC origin boats, I know they're using 100% ABYC approved wiring, so it should be all color-coded, tinned wiring, heat-shrinked, and the IP-rated Deustch connectors? I know they use bullet connectors for the bow light (to make the tube removable), but that's the only spot I know of a breakaway connection off-hand.
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Old 20 June 2016, 10:38   #11
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Even if we assumed Seadog built to a 2:1 safety ratio (which is on the low side, most manufacturers chase a 3:1 or 5:1), that would put even the light duty hinges at 600 lb capacity. Then, we'll assume the load is divided evenly amongst both hinges, so we'll times this by two. Meaning, the hinges would have had to seen in excess of 1200 lb of loading to fail.

If you have 2 or 3 no-so-smallish people on the seat and the boat leaves the surface and slams back down, I could see 1200 lbs being reached pretty easily.

Your math seems very reasonable and believable, though I'm not sure the failure criteria is all that straightforward in realistic terms. It's also going to see some degree of side loading, repeated stress, etc.

But yeah, bottom line is that the supports are pretty underbuilt for serious ocean use...

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Old 20 June 2016, 11:06   #12
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Golden rules of RIBs
If it can fail, it will fail
If it looks sh1t, it is sh1t.

That seat was never going to last.


Sh1t happens
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Old 20 June 2016, 13:01   #13
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I know that part. Looks like you have the 300 lb limit version.

Here's the 500 lb limit version:
https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Dog-Line-.../dp/B002IV8J66

Wife's ironing board has better brackets on than that 🙄🙄
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Old 20 June 2016, 13:26   #14
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Wife's ironing board has better brackets on than that 🙄🙄
It's pretty much the standard setup stateside, to run brackets like that for a transom seat.

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Old 20 June 2016, 13:36   #15
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It's pretty much the standard setup stateside, to run brackets like that for a transom seat.

Certainly would not feel safe on that in calm conditions never mind a slight swell. Not fit for purpose!!
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Old 20 June 2016, 14:10   #16
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The Sea Dog brackets are not the same as the ones used by Zodiac. The diagonal braces on the SD brackets are stamped to give them rigidity while those used by Zodiac are flat. This again comes to my point that I feel Zodiac uses the cheapest parts they can to put their boats together. Cheap stainless, not bedded ,corrodes..... Good stainless, properly bedded, resists corrosion. That is the standard for a good salt water boat. A Bayliner with tubes.

I agree that the boat does have a badge claiming it is ABYC compliant. I know a lot about ABYC standards and have worked to meet them. Zodiac boats are not compliant. The simplest example is the exposed positive terminal on the battery. The Deustch connectors should be good but they are in a wet location and corrode. My Lights stopped working after a month and I had to clean a grease the connectors. There is also an extra set of these connectors wired in because the harness is not long enough as it isn't made for the TTop.
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Old 22 June 2016, 15:09   #17
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The simplest example is the exposed positive terminal on the battery.
I know that's a ABYC requirement, and is also suggested by the USCG 9or USCG Aux - don't remember which now), but my personal view is that it's not as big an issue as in, say, a car, due to the non-grounded hull. In a car, any piece of metal hitting the cathode and any exposed metal will cause a short. In most small boats, you have to hit the anode and cathode (or any connected point) with the offending metal. Much less likely.

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