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Old 24 September 2014, 18:50   #1
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Custom Aluminum hull fitted to Zodiac?

I saw a Zodiac boat that had a custom aluminum hull with a jet tunnel. It was an amazing boat and appeared very safe. I saw it on a rapid river. The best part of the boat is that it had a rowing frame and was set up so that you could raft it home. I would like to build one so that I could run it up some rivers and have a nice rafting trip home.

I am just wondering if anybody has built one or knows how to build one. I believe the hull had the makings of a regular jet boat but I am not sure how you would attach the aluminum hull to the Hypalon. The boat I saw was all flat bottom and even had a UHMW bottom which allowed you to slide off the rocks.

I am hoping to discuss this with others that may have experience with this.
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Old 25 September 2014, 02:54   #2
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Sounds cool!
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Old 25 September 2014, 11:16   #3
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Hypalon (tube fabric) can be glued to aluminum, its not that big a deal. My tubes are glued to my aluminum hull.

You are looking at a custom build, unfortunately I don't know a source for plans like that. Drawing out the plans on sheet aluminum is called "lofting" in boat building terms. Getting plans drawn up professionally is probably wise so you don't waste material and the hull is actually strong enough when you need it. Aluminum is not necessarily the miracle material its made out to be and can crack (especially the welds).

This firm makes both dorys and ribs in aluminum so perhaps they can help you with plans.
Ordering Information | Aluminum Boat Plans & Designs by Specmar

The bible of aluminum home builds is by Steve Pollard
Boatbuilding with Aluminum: A Complete Guide for the Amateur and Small Shop: Stephen Pollard: 9780071443180: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 25 September 2014, 13:28   #4
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I found that a reasonable method uses straight hypalon glue. Aluminum should be cleaned (I use Alumabrite), then etched (I use Alodyne - don't remember the number of the formulation, but it's a standard aviation aluminum treatment.)

Hypalon glue seems to hold pretty well to the treated aluminum.

jky
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Old 30 September 2014, 17:47   #5
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Thanks for the info. I guess I am hoping to find some design ideas or maybe there is someone out there that has done this type of thing.
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Old 01 October 2014, 04:54   #6
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You might have a look at hurricane, they are part of zodiac and they make aluminium boats
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Old 01 October 2014, 11:20   #7
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Polaris Inflatables, Northwind, Titan; there's quite a few builders.

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Old 01 October 2014, 13:07   #8
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One of these things would be nice with a jet motor. A really flat hull.
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Old 01 October 2014, 20:12   #9
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Thanks for info. I looked at the various manufacturers and their websites. However, none of them seem to make one that is all flat bottom with a jet tunnel. Maybe a custom job is in order.

Now, I am wondering how to attach an aluminum floor to the tubes? I wonder how the manufacuters do it for their semi-v hulls. If any of you have ideas or better yet picture, I would be happy to hear/see them.
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Old 02 October 2014, 04:41   #10
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Too late for pics, but mine is as follows: The hull has a semi-circular hollow that cradles the tube through, oh, maybe 45 degrees of arc. The tube itself has a couple of flaps glued on (hypalon over some sort of heavy rubber; not sure what it is or exactly how it's attached.) The top flap is bolted to the hull (don't know if it's glued there or not. Never had reason to take it apart.) The bottom is secured with a strip of glued hypalon running the length of the tube, wide enough to extend an inch and a half or so onto bare aluminum, and onto the tube material on the other side.

Some boats bolt both the top and bottom. The leisure Zodiacs use a channel on the hull that accepts a strip of material with a bead on the end (the strip is attached to the tube, and slides on from the front of the boat.)

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