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Old 14 September 2012, 19:39   #11
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Thanks Fenlander for your prompt and informative response. I now have the information I need to to check potential issues with my boat. Hopefully, it was not constructed on a Monday morning! In my case I will only be using an eight horse power Yamaha motor which may not stress the transom as much as a larger outboard.
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Old 15 September 2012, 03:21   #12
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I have contacted the retailer about the issues raised in this thread.
In fairness to the manufacturer and for the information of prospective buyers and current owners I will advise you of the response I received.

Hi ,

If the boat is assembled as per instructions this is a non issue.

With these boats the floor/keel is to be inflated first and that enables you to ensure the keel is straight before inflating the rest of the boat.

Once inflated it is just a case of reaching under the floor and moving the keel to either side to centre it.

Once the boat is inflated this in nearly impossible to do which is why itís done first.

With most inflatables the keel is the last thing to be inflated which is why we have a tribe of people who complain about this issue.

When really it can be solved by reading the manual.


By reading the review published on this site I now aware of possible issues and will be in a good position to arrive at a positive outcome.
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Old 16 September 2012, 12:48   #13
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>>>If the boat is assembled as per instructions this is a non issue.

>>>With these boats the floor/keel is to be inflated first and that enables you to ensure >>>the keel is straight before inflating the rest of the boat.

>>>Once inflated it is just a case of reaching under the floor and moving the keel to either >>>side to centre it.


Sadly wrong.

If a boat was suffering the issue I saw where the keel was set off vertical when inflated in free air then how on earth could you hold the keel straight while inflating the boat without a couple of helpers to hold the boat off the ground and push/hold the keel straight while a third person used the inflator for the main tubes which would need an extended hose as the boat was up in the air.

Then once on the water the natural movement of the boat will allow the keel to wriggle out of line to its natural rest angle.

Trust me I've spent time inflating and deflating again, prodding the keel over until it looks straight but after a run the keel was always back to the off-centre again.
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Old 17 September 2012, 11:09   #14
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I have the FR340. I'd be suprised if the inflatable keelmade any difference at all once the boat was on plain. In mine 2/3 of the 'hull' is flat with no keel.
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Old 21 September 2012, 07:49   #15
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I inflated the boat for the first time and everything appeared OK from the top. However, when I lifted the front of the boat to look at the keel I saw that it was not upright and the lowest part of the keel was about eight to nine centimeters away from the middle of the floor. I released the pressure from the tubes but found it difficult to get the keel to lay straight.

I followed Fenlander's suggestion to remove the floor to check the keel.

The attached picture shows that is close to right angles to the floor when no pressure is exerted on it.

The big question is how do you get it to remain at the right angle when you are inflating the tubes
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Old 22 September 2012, 04:16   #16
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>>>The big question is how do you get it to remain at the right angle when you are inflating the tubes

Exactly... if you inflate the floor first as they advise then how do you lift a floppy boat prior to inflation to set the keel straight??

That's why I said it needs two people to hold the boat up in the air as it is inflated so they can both support it and push the keel into position so it is correctly aligned at the point the boat is firm enough to hold the keel straight. Because you are holding it up in the air then you can't reach the inflation points easily and need a longer pump hose.

Effectively it is near impossible and completly goes against the major advantage of a air floor that they are easy to set up with 1/2 people.

This wasn't a problem with the earlier air floor Zodiacs as they had a normal sausage keel uder the air floor and that was no problem.
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Old 22 September 2012, 13:16   #17
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Hopefully you'll be writing a nice arsey reply to that condescending pr**k of a Dealer who dismissed the problems of a whole "tribe" of customers who had no satisfaction from his product.

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Old 22 September 2012, 20:07   #18
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Alignment of keel inflator

I reinstalled the floor into my Zodiac Fastroller 360 after checking the keel inflating balloon was at a natural ninety degree angle when inflated.

After inflating the floor to the recommended pressure I lifted the front of the boat to look underneath to check that the keel balloon was still at right angles to the floor and in the center. I then inflated the tubes and the boat looks fine.

The next test is to check the bottom of the boat after some use on the water.

The attached pictures show the keel is reasonably straight and true.
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Old 26 September 2013, 13:38   #19
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My review of the Zodiac FR 360 Acti-V (PVC fabric)

I bought a Zodiac Fastroller 360 in July 2013. I power with a Yamaha 15 hp 2-stroke, which moves the boat at 16 knots with 200 kg on board in addition to the 45 kg motor. I have had the boat out several times in the waters around Vancouver. This is my tentative review of the Zodiac FR 360 Acti-V (PVC fabric):

- I concur with the issues with the keel that Fenlander discussed earlier – the keel doesn’t align in the center of the boat. When the boat is all inflated the underside looks similar to the photo by Hobartian (above in his 22 September 2012 post), i.e. there are noticeable wrinkles in the hull bottom fabric to one side of the keel. Another issue is that the hose connecting the high-pressure floor to the keel kinks easily, which would slow the deflation process.

- I also agree that the storage cylinder that Zodiac built into the forward hull tube is a problem – it’s too small to store much, the cylinder doesn’t roll up with the boat so it must be removed and hauled separately, and the large plastic lid permanently attached to the hull tube prevents the deflated boat from being rolled up into a tight package. This boat would be better off without this built-in storage compartment.

- The water drain with shut-off built into the transom is too high to drain all the water out, hence when dismantling the boat I had to sponge out the last several cm of water before rolling up the hull. My old Futura FR had the bottom edge of the manual drain plug flush with the inner floor and always drained water to the last drop.

- The foot pump that came with the boat was problematic. The hose was not flexible enough to prevent kinking when pumping the boat; the high-pressure pump feature didn’t work properly so I could get to the full 11.2 PSI for the high-pressure floor, and the hose fitting did not wedge adequately into the tube valves so kept falling out when pumping. The dealer was nice enough to exchange the foot pump for a proper hand pump.

- The FR 360 only comes in white color, which shows every little smudge and scrape mark.

- As has been my experience with all Zodiacs I’ve owned, the documentation is terrible - poorly translated from French and lousy drawings. You would think a company as large as Zodiac could hire a native English writer to pen their manuals.

Other than the above issues the boat seems to handle well in rough seas, and is a little lighter and faster than the similar-sized Futura Fastroller 380.
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