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Old 26 May 2007, 01:33   #1
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Country: USA
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Boat name: connaught enterprise
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19ft inflatable zodiac

hi im thinking of fiberglassing the inside of my 1980 zodiac bombard and then installing flotation foam and then making a new floor for my inflatable boat. im trying to convert my boat to a rib and look forward to any ideas and opinions. thankyou
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Old 26 May 2007, 06:54   #2
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Sounds Technical,
Cant help mate..... Sounds a bit heath robinson to get the result. Ask the experts.
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Old 26 May 2007, 07:11   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishman View Post
....im trying to convert my boat to a rib and look forward to any ideas and opinions. thankyou

Your Bombard is a soft-bottom inflatable right? (Just want to make certain I understand...)

My last RIB was one of the original Hurricanes built before Hurricane was owned by Zodiac. Essentially, it was a Mk. III Grand Raid. They cut out the floor, added a flange to the tube and bolted it to a fiberglass hull. The result was a kick-arse little RIB.

I have two concerns about your plan... First is simply the amount of work required, but since I am an idiot when it comes to this sort of thing, and you presumably are not, that shouldn't be a concern!

However, the Bombards are not hypalon... isn't the tube Strongon or something? As a result, it probably will be difficult to glue a secure attachment point to the tube. If you can't accomplish this, I imagine you will run the risk of the tubes separating from the hull... and likely when you least want this to happen!

At the risk of asking an obvious question, why not keep your eyes open for a decent used RIB and sell your SIB? You're going to need a larger engine anyway...
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Old 26 May 2007, 07:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishman View Post
hi im thinking of fiberglassing the inside of my 1980 zodiac bombard and then installing flotation foam and then making a new floor for my inflatable boat. im trying to convert my boat to a rib and look forward to any ideas and opinions. thankyou
Firstly, welcome to RIBnet.

It sounds do-able. Finishing the edges of the fibreglass might be a bit tricky. After glassing the hull, you could insert the floor and fill the cavitity with skooshy foam.

The area at the transom might be a bit odd because the deadrise on the transom will be gull-winged. When the boat is on the water, the fabric will flex to a curve to match the gullwing shape but (I'm presuming it will be on dry land when you are doing this work.) the fabric will tension in a straight line. The full hull tension won't be achieved unless you do something with a dummy floor before you do the glassing because, as you'll know, the keel is loaded by the floor when the tubes are inflated.

I have heard of someone doing this to the outside of a Bombard hull. I was lead to believe it was successful but I have no personal knowledge of it and folk have the ability to convince themselves of all sorts of things.

I did cut the hull of a Bombard C5 and make a deeper keel and hull to improve the rough water performance. The first effort worked very well into waves but was just about uncontrollable in a following sea. Just taking 1" off the forward part of the keel and redoing that part of the hull sorted it. That forefoot area is critical for directional stability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
However, the Bombards are not hypalon... isn't the tube Strongon or something? As a result, it probably will be difficult to glue a secure attachment point to the tube.
Strongan is PVC fabric an can be glued with PVC adhesive. Is does adhere to fibreglass too.

Anyway, good luck with it and post your build if you go ahead.

Edit: You'll notice I managed not to comment about your name and this project....
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Old 26 May 2007, 09:10   #5
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What is the condition of the tubes like? Another option you might want to look into is that Guy from Polaris inflatables might be able to fabricate a custom aluminum hull to fit your tubeset.

http://www.polarisboats.com/p/boats.htm


Here is a pictorial from the french site pneuboat.com about someone converting a bombard (C5 ?) SIB in to a fiberglass hulled RIB. Even if your French is as poor as mine, the pneuboat site has all sorts of pictorial presentations of interesting and practical modifications done on inflatables and accessories.

http://www.pneuboat.com/reportages/b...semi/semi1.php
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Old 26 May 2007, 14:56   #6
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thanks for the input everybody. ribs over here cost a fortune so thats why i was thinking about the conversion to a rib . my idea is to fiberglass the inside of the hull and then flotation foam on top of it. im used of working with fiberglass from my kit car so the work is not a problem. my main concern is if the flotation tubes might seperate from the hull with the additional weight.
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Old 27 May 2007, 12:20   #7
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Couple of websites you might want to have a read of for an alternative.

Pete

http://www.geminiindustries.co.uk/rib%20rib%20kits.htm

http://www.ribhulls.co.uk/photos2.htm
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