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Old 26 August 2015, 11:24   #1
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Achilles vs Zodiac

Greetings All,

So I have 2 boats in mind that I am looking at. Both are very similar:

1985 Zodiac Mark II GR
or
1988 Achilles SD-140

Both are similar in size (14'), materials (Hypalon) condition, and price. The Zodiac has the brass interconnected valves, while the Achilles has plastic valves. Both rated for up to 55 HP engine. Achilles has one patched hole, Zodiac has a slow leak from one of the valves, I think it probably needs to be disassembled, cleaned, and regreased. Al floor on both, no motor with either one. Otherwise fabric good on both boats, stored inside inflated, seams look good, transom attachment looks good. The Zodiac has never seen salt water, the Achilles was used in the ocean, but only inland waters for the past 10 years.

Considering this, which would you go for since they are the same price?
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Old 27 August 2015, 12:26   #2
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I used to have an Achilles SG-14; seemed pretty bulletproof to me. Sold it when I got my RIB.

jky
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Old 27 August 2015, 14:23   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT_Dweller View Post
Greetings All,

So I have 2 boats in mind that I am looking at. Both are very similar:

1985 Zodiac Mark II GR
or
1988 Achilles SD-140

Both are similar in size (14'), materials (Hypalon) condition, and price. The Zodiac has the brass interconnected valves, while the Achilles has plastic valves. Both rated for up to 55 HP engine. Achilles has one patched hole, Zodiac has a slow leak from one of the valves, I think it probably needs to be disassembled, cleaned, and regreased. Al floor on both, no motor with either one. Otherwise fabric good on both boats, stored inside inflated, seams look good, transom attachment looks good. The Zodiac has never seen salt water, the Achilles was used in the ocean, but only inland waters for the past 10 years.

Considering this, which would you go for since they are the same price?
The valve leak is easily fixable.

Achilles
Achilles CSM material
Fiberglass encased plywood transom
Plastic valve insert w/ plastic & neoprene rubber flange, still have same type used in 2015

Zodiac
Probably made with authentic DuPont Hypalon (CSM)
Polyurethane paint coated aviation-grade marine plywood transom
Nickel-plated brass valve inserts + brass intercommunicating valve assemblies glued in with hypalon material, still have same type used in 2015

I have seen the rubber flanges on the achilles valves deteriorate before with age. Zodiac's IC valves are pretty bulletproof if they aren't seized. Plus, they also act as emergency OPVs if adjusted properly.

It's a crapshoot. They're both good boats.
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Old 27 August 2015, 18:19   #4
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Achilles
Achilles CSM material
Fiberglass encased plywood transom
Hypalon material. As Office says, it's their own fabric, but still hypalon.

If I'm not mistaken, the glass encased transom didn't start until sometime after 2000. My SG (either a 2000 or 1999 model year) had a painted wood transom.


Quote:
Zodiac
Probably made with authentic DuPont Hypalon (CSM)
Polyurethane paint coated aviation-grade marine plywood transom
Nickel-plated brass valve inserts + brass intercommunicating valve assemblies glued in with hypalon material, still have same type used in 2015
Metal valves are only on military (and possibly commercial) boats, no? The recreational boats all have the black plastic larger-than-Halkey-Roberts type valves.


jky
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Old 27 August 2015, 21:54   #5
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Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post

Metal valves are only on military (and possibly commercial) boats, no? The recreational boats all have the black plastic larger-than-Halkey-Roberts type valves.


jky
The Grand Raids are part of their commercial line.
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Old 28 August 2015, 08:57   #6
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Zodiac now owns both companies so parts and service are going to be the same
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Old 28 August 2015, 09:02   #7
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achilles vs zodiac

Zodiac does not own Achilles. The commercial line of Zodiac inflatables such as the ERB's, Grand raids, and F series boats are part of Zodiac MilPro. That is now a separate company from the recreational side.
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Old 28 August 2015, 09:26   #8
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Hypalon material. As Office says, it's their own fabric, but still hypalon.

If I'm not mistaken, the glass encased transom didn't start until sometime after 2000. My SG (either a 2000 or 1999 model year) had a painted wood transom.




Metal valves are only on military (and possibly commercial) boats, no? The recreational boats all have the black plastic larger-than-Halkey-Roberts type valves.


jky
Thanks for the correction on the transom! I always get confused on which models had fiberglass and which didn't.

The IC Valves take a nickel-plated brass valve insert + nickel-plated brass cap w/ gasket. Although they CAN also accept the Delrin valve insert + Delrin cap.

The black plastic valves you are referring to I think are the later model recessed valves? His IC valves protrude a mile...it's a double-male ended insert with a little check valve in it. To deflate the boat, you must unscrew the whole valve insert.
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Old 28 August 2015, 11:02   #9
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The black plastic valves you are referring to I think are the later model recessed valves?
Exactly right. My buddy's 15.5' Zodiac RIB has them; I think his boat is circa 2003 or so.

jky
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Old 28 August 2015, 11:23   #10
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Exactly right. My buddy's 15.5' Zodiac RIB has them; I think his boat is circa 2003 or so.

jky
Yes, for Zodiac recreational products after about 1990, they started switching to a recessed valve assembly.

The protruding valve IC valve and Delrin valve assemblies tend to catch on equipment and stab you in the butt.

The recessed valve was updated from a quarter turn to a threaded assembly in about 2003? Then in 2009, then new push-push assembly was introduced and the recessed valve was phased out.

I like the new push-push valve assemblies...they're like Leafield C7s without the cost. Nice stout rubber diaphragm and they don't seem to leak, even with the cap off!

I digress with my oddball valve fetish...

Anyways, either boat is a good boat. Maybe make the decision based on condition which will dictate resale value? Go over the transoms with a fine-tooth comb to ensure there is no softness or rot in the lower corners.
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