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Old 28 June 2015, 22:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landlockedpirate View Post
If the boat is kept protected from the sun. the PVC on a Zodiac should easily last 30 or 40 years. The seams are welded and should last just as long, the glue on the other hand is a problem.

For some reason, Zodiac glue turns to pritt stick after about 10 years, although some boats last much longer. most dont.
2003-2014, the Zodiac Cadet lineup only has three spots of glue on it:
1.) The floor on the inside of the transom
2.) The floor on the outside of the transom
3.) The pie cut patches on the bottom corners of the transom

The boats were about 99.1% welded using a very high quality PVC material.

If the boat is maintained and the corner pockets between the tube and the transom are filled with a little mastic to prevent water ingress, a boat from that generation will outlast a Hypalon boat if the UV exposure is kept to a minimum.

The seams on Hypalon boats age, lose bond strength, and start to seep, especially if the tubes see a lot of flex cycles that cause the internal seam mastic to knock free.

This is not the case on welded PVC seams.

30-40 years is very possible.
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Old 29 June 2015, 03:48   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by office888 View Post

...will outlast a Hypalon boat if the UV exposure is kept to a minimum.

The seams on Hypalon boats age, lose bond strength, and start to seep, especially if the tubes see a lot of flex cycles that cause the internal seam mastic to knock free.

Hmmmmm, I'm not sure that holds up to practical experience though.

Sure, the seams on welded boats are tough but the main issue is usually the transom/PVC glue interface failing which is a huge job to repair properly. Or in my case the rubbery supports in the transom/tube area split.

Certainly, if I wanted to buy a boat to last a 'lifetime' there's no doubt in my mind what it would be - a classic Avon Hypalon SIB with marine ply floor and transom. Properly washed, maintained and varnished every few years I don't think anything else will outlast it. And there are countless thousands in use in the UK from many decades ago to illustrate this.

Regardless, for practical reasons I use a Zodiac (Bombard - same company) SIB and like most here do my best to preserve it: washed down without fail every time, floor out often to remove silt/stones that chafe material, kept in the garage out of the sun and kept lightly inflated all season (and only at correct max pressure when actually on the water).
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Old 29 June 2015, 05:02   #13
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I have a cheap as chips chinese mass produced seago that is at least 15 years old. Still used regulary but get little love and attention from me..its lucky to get washed at the end of the year.I find mice wont go near it cos it stinks of old fish.

Although dragged up beaches ..it has not one patch and holds air indefinately. No glue deterioration evident either.. but the transom only powers a 3.3hp engine so not too much stress on it.

So the good news is ..reading the rest of the replys.. if I buy a new SIB tomorrow... its lifetime will definately outlast the remained of my lifetime .. so I cant complain at that
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Old 29 June 2015, 05:54   #14
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>>>2003-2014, the Zodiac Cadet lineup only has three spots of glue on it:

Perhaps without being aware of the actual age I've not realised the many Zodiacs I've known of with near terminal glue failure have been pre 2003. I know for certain the glue issue has bitten some people badly with 1990s PVC Zodiacs when the Hypalon models from 20yrs previous were totally sound.

Personally I've not experienced any problems with older Hypalon in the UK climate. In the attached images the Hypalon Avon with the yellow seats was around 31yrs old when the picture was taken, the Hypalon Zodiac was over 40yrs old. Both boats were totally free of fabric, glue, fittings or transom/floor issues. A real credit to their build quality.

It does seem Zodiac struggled a little with glue quality when they went from Hypalon to PVC for their leisure range... hopefully office888 is right once they sorted out the PVC welding process things improved massively and these welded boats will last well.
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Old 29 June 2015, 08:35   #15
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Quote:
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Sure, the seams on welded boats are tough but the main issue is usually the transom/PVC glue interface failing which is a huge job to repair properly. Or in my case the rubbery supports in the transom/tube area split.
Starting in 1993, Zodiac/Bombard moved to a welded transom on the Cadet and similar tender type models.

The transom holder did experience some plasticizer migration problems in the earlier years which lead to cracking, but the repair for it is quite easy...fill with mastic, then patch over. 2.5 hr to fix both sides.

Nonetheless, the seams on a welded PVC boat will always be superior to that of a hypalon boat in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
Perhaps without being aware of the actual age I've not realised the many Zodiacs I've known of with near terminal glue failure have been pre 2003. I know for certain the glue issue has bitten some people badly with 1990s PVC Zodiacs when the Hypalon models from 20yrs previous were totally sound.

It does seem Zodiac struggled a little with glue quality when they went from Hypalon to PVC for their leisure range... hopefully office888 is right once they sorted out the PVC welding process things improved massively and these welded boats will last well.
1993 - 2002, Zodiac/Bombard PVC tender-type (such as the Cadet) boats had a glued floor. 1993 - 1998 or so, the tube end cones were glued as well.

We shall see...
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Old 30 June 2015, 12:55   #16
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Well, it sounds like l have a few more years left in my Zodiac yet!
Under most stress seem to be the lower transom corners where the tubes and floor are bonded/glued with circular patches.
When you fold the boat these patches take a hammering as they are twisted and bent round. But mine seem fine so far.
We've never had so much fun for 800 than with this boat! Plus the engine of course.
Just got back from Windermere and off to Norfolk Broads again soon. Already looking at Scotland for next year. Fabulous week there last Summer at Loch Sween...temperature reached over 100degF one day.
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Old 30 June 2015, 13:47   #17
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>>> Fabulous week there last Summer at Loch Sween

Off there for two weeks in 10 days time. So looking forward to it with the 340 Acti-V vs Aerotec trials!

Where did you stay?


Office888 if you are still looking in do you know the Bombard Aerotec build details... when/if they moved from glued to welded on the various seams etc?
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Old 01 July 2015, 10:27   #18
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>>> Fabulous week there last Summer at Loch Sween

Off there for two weeks in 10 days time. So looking forward to it with the 340 Acti-V vs Aerotec trials!

Where did you stay?


Office888 if you are still looking in do you know the Bombard Aerotec build details... when/if they moved from glued to welded on the various seams etc?
The Bombard Aerotec is not imported in to the United States in large quantities so I don't have a lot of intimate elbow-deep experience with the build of that boat... It just isn't a popular boat design here.

I believe it was introduced in 1995? It comes off of the Classic, Futura, and Commando lines, so all of the air seams are welded, including the end cone. The hard black plastic end cones are pretty cool, there's actually a soft vinyl piece welded in to the boat to become the air-tight seal, then the black plastic cone is welded on after that to protect and further seal the end cone. There probably is a small glued / clamp welded flap on the boat somewhere which was the "exit port" for the welding machine. It is usually in a protected, low-stress location.

However, just like the Classic, Futura, and Commando lines:
Hand glued Y-strip of the floor
Hand glued transom layup construction

I find that British boat owners tend to take better care of their inflatables than Americans do... An Aerotec should last a decade, minimum in that case. If you're willing to reglue or at least reinforce the floor and transom at about the 12 year mark, then 20-25 years isn't unreasonable.

The big concern actually is the high pressure air floor. If you use an older permeable gas tank, the gas will seep through the plastic and damage the PVC material in the location where you keep it at. I recommend putting a sacrificial piece of PVC underneath it, or maybe making a wood tray for it to sit on.

Gasoline exposure has been the #1 cause of all high pressure air floor failures I've seen.
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Old 01 July 2015, 13:05   #19
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Excellent information... many thanks.
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Old 18 July 2015, 00:45   #20
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Just bought this one to try MDR Inflatable & Dinghy Cleaner & UV Protector Kit

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