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Old 02 June 2016, 10:10   #1
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Hypalon & Glue

I have been offered what appears to be an original Zodiac GR MK3 from the early 1970s. No patches, no leaks. Apparently it has had very little use and has been stored properly indoors, partly inflated.

Given the age of the boat, does anyone have any idea if there would be much life left in the boat without a major restoration?

What is the expected lifespan of Hypalon and the glue Zodiac used in the early 70's?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 02 June 2016, 10:20   #2
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I have been offered what appears to be an original Zodiac GR MK3 from the early 1970s. No patches, no leaks. Apparently it has had very little use and has been stored properly indoors, partly inflated.

Given the age of the boat, does anyone have any idea if there would be much life left in the boat without a major restoration?

What is the expected lifespan of Hypalon and the glue Zodiac used in the early 70's?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.
All of the seams will be weak... I would not use it for offshore activities or in bad weather. But, it should still be very usable as a boat? More than likely, if you tried to unglue a seam, the material would delaminate rather than the bonding ungluing (delamination = hypalon/neoprene coating torn from the supporting cloth).

I would happily use the boat for inshore, river, or near-coastal activities.

Also, keep in mind, the transom is not rated for a 4 stroke outboard. It was designed for a lightweight 2-stroke outboard.
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Old 02 June 2016, 10:47   #3
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Cheers, appreciate the quick reply!

By weak do you mean likely to go under stress?

Anyone know what size of outboard would be needed to get one of these things up on the plane with 4 people?
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Old 02 June 2016, 10:58   #4
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why should the seams be week, i have a 1980s avon thats in cracking condition as you say the boat has been stored well semi inflated so can,t see a problem
if it was a pvc boat ok could have problem but hypalon no.
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Old 02 June 2016, 14:00   #5
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why should the seams be week, i have a 1980s avon thats in cracking condition as you say the boat has been stored well semi inflated so can,t see a problem
if it was a pvc boat ok could have problem but hypalon no.
Glue weakens substantially with age. It doesn't last forever.

Not to mention, glue before ~1990 or so was not very good... they used to have to stitch seams rather than gluing with an interior doubler, because the glue was too weak and the seam would slip under stress & heat exposure.

For light recreational use, it is strong enough, but I wouldn't trust my life to it and try to circumnavigate the globe...
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Old 03 June 2016, 09:08   #6
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Pics mate. Post some pics. It not everyday we get to see a 40 year old inflatable in perfect shape.
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Old 03 June 2016, 11:40   #7
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For sure, if I take it. I haven't been to see it yet, too busy with work.

Are modern glues a lot better? Just out of interest, how long would you expect a modern inflatable to last, assuming it was not used much and stored well?

My guess is that welded seams will last for a very long time and the areas which are glued will need attention first. No idea about the fabric itself though.
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Old 03 June 2016, 12:53   #8
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I'll always accept Office888 knows way more than I do about SIB build methods but I don't always see what he predicts.

My Hypalon Zodiac Mk.1 was around 46yrs old when the images were taken and despite being sensible enough to keep an eye on the seams I have to say the construction didn't worry me one bit with all the glued seams in great condition.
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Old 03 June 2016, 12:57   #9
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And then this Avon Rover was at least 30yrs old when these images were taken... again super build quality with no seam issues.

So from my large sample of two I have great respect for the old Hypalon SIBs.
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