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Old 14 September 2014, 22:42   #1
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New to inflatables and need some advice.

Hi folks, I am fairly new to boats and boating and am looking for a little advice. I would like a relatively inexpensive inflatable for my family. I am looking for something that is roomy, and capable of pulling a single person on an inflatable tube, around the lake (speed is not that important here). The boat also needs to be light enough to be towed behind a small 21ft RV.

I have come across an older Zodiac 16ft Grand Raid MK2, with 50HP Mercury outboard and trailer. Its all early 1980's and appears to be in good running/operating condition. It has a solid aluminum floor and inflatable keel. It also has a small leak (location unknown) but takes a couple of days to loose pressure. It also has a few patches on the bottom.

My questions are:
Is it worthwhile buying something this old? With 30 plus years of use, will the hull material still be safe even though it may look ok?
I plan on wearing life-jackets, and won't be out in rough seas, or to far from shore, but can these types of boat have a catastrophic tube failure, especially when old?
What other things should I be looking for, especially from a safety standpoint, but for reliability as well? I am fairly handy so fixing minor issues is no problem.

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong area, I am new to this.

Thanks and I really appreciate any help.

Regards, Stelni.
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Old 15 September 2014, 16:51   #2
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No l would not put my money into a thirty year old inflatable, with unknown/various patches and leaks.
Chances are the boat is at the end of it's life, and likely to let you down when out in the water.
What is your maximum budget for the boat and engine?
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Old 15 September 2014, 20:09   #3
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Thanks for the response Lightning. Asking price on that 33 year old Zodiac is $2900 Canadian, but may have been able to negotiate price down to $2000 or so. My maximum budget is around $3000-$3500 but $2000-$2500 would be ideal.
I went and had a look at it today. Yes its really faded and old looking. Lots of patches on the underside, and one really long one about 4" wide and 3ft long. A few of the patches are coming loose. The thick rubber rail that goes along the sides is cracked and splitting all over. Nice solid aluminum floor and has a nice pod mounted on the right hand side of the floor that has steering wheel and controls on it. Also has a Bimini type top that folds out from the back. Transom looks good and solid. Engine runs good with lots of cooling water flow, forward/reverse all seem good as is the electric start(engine was cold and started right up) The seller says that the bottom leaks. but when you start to go forward the water self bails out the back via a couple of valves. So I said what happens if you just sit in the water for an hour or two, does water come up through the floor! He says sure but only at the back, and as soon as you start moving it empties again! ( I am pretty sure this is not normal behavior)
I think you may be right that this is one to stay away from. Any one else have an opinion about this?

Thanks again folks.
Regards, Stelni.
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Old 16 September 2014, 02:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stelni View Post
....its really faded and old looking. Lots of patches on the underside, and one really long one about 4" wide and 3ft long. A few of the patches are coming loose. The thick rubber rail that goes along the sides is cracked and splitting all over.......

....any one else have an opinion about this?


Errr..hmm...welll...let me think.....


A heap of cr@p???!

Seriously, there has to be other options out there...
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Old 16 September 2014, 07:24   #5
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Better think that you are purchasing only engine + trailer...which is usually the more expensive part of the boat.
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Old 16 September 2014, 10:22   #6
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Not sure about prices in Canada, but my friend just purchased a second hand 3.4m RIB outfit for 3300 here in the UK.
The boat is only three years old and has a console and steering wheel. The 25hp engine
Is ten years old but very clean and just had a service.
It also came with a trailer.
There are no patches on the boat and apart from a repair to a loose steering linkage it was good to go.
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Old 17 September 2014, 16:16   #7
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My first ever SIB was a naively optimistic purchase - big, fat tubes, very tempting, but tatty. I spent the next few years desperately trying to hold it together with patches and glue. That and the engine turned out to have been dropped in salt water whilst running and was never quite the same again. After an exchange of stiff letters I did get a partial refund, which was pretty good going considering it was bought private sale from a guy who was a bit of a posterior orifice.

There are some nice second hand boats and engines around if you can only find one that suits your needs and budget, but please, don't buy a tatty one. You'll regret it.
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Old 18 September 2014, 04:39   #8
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>>>don't buy a tatty one. You'll regret it.

Agreed. There have been a couple of threads on here where members have done the most amazing restoration jobs on inflatables bought in a tatty condition but by and large most of us don't have the skills, space or patience to do this.

In the UK at least many inflatables (like boats in general really) spend a huge amount of time doing nothing so it's not that hard to find SIBs 5/10/20/30/40yrs old that are mint condition with no repairs or patches. Get one of these and you can concentrate on using it.
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Old 18 September 2014, 13:38   #9
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Lightning, I wish I could find something like that!

Thanks all for the good advice. I will keep looking. I have until Spring, so I am not in a hurry. I thought that this time of year would be the best time to buy and get the best deal, but maybe not!

Regards, Stelni.
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Old 18 September 2014, 13:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
My first ever SIB was a naively optimistic purchase - big, fat tubes, very tempting, but tatty. I spent the next few years

After an exchange of stiff letters I did get a partial refund, which was pretty good going considering it was bought private sale from a guy who was a bit of a posterior orifice.
How did you manage that? 2 years later after a private sale? Most dealers wouldn't do that let alone private sellers...

Caveat emptor

http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/c...v0043-1011.txt

Quote:
Some problem areas when buying goods:
PRIVATE SALES
When you buy goods from a private individual, you don't have the same rights as when buying from a trader. The legal principle of caveat emptor, or 'buyer beware', operates. You have no right to expect that goods are of satisfactory quality or fit for their purpose but there is a requirement that they should be as described. You should check goods thoroughly before you buy them.
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