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Old 18 July 2011, 09:55   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Zodiac Fastroller 360 Acti-V mini-review

After my fairly recent thread about what to buy Upgrading from 3m SIB to 4m? Must fit in car. here is a mini review of the Zodiac 360 Fastroller I bought... with a twist at the end!

As I said in the previous thread when the Mrs said why not get a new Zodiac to last us the next 10yrs I didn't need any more justification so bought a Zodiac 360 Fastroller air-floor from Pennine Marine. I was lucky I'd just picked up a really nice 2001 Mariner 15 which would be the ideal motor for it.

First outing was confined to the river but we had a great day on that really hot Sunday a few weeks ago. Inflated in the car park, fitted transom wheels, lifted the outboard on and wheeled it down the slip easily single handed. Used the 11 Gelert pump that Max showed us for initial inflation... does a great job up to a point but those last few minutes getting the air floor to pressure with the standard footpump are a bit frantic.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The 360 is amazingly roomy after previous smaller Zodiacs.... particularly the Mk.1 we've had for the past 3yrs. We were 100% happy with the feel of the air floor to move about and stand on. Out of respect to the river we didn't try and get it on the plane... just had a couple of short bursts. The true performance test will come in just 4wks in Scotland but actually our main interest is going places so out and out speed isn't the priority.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Two position seat is something new to me and useful. The storage "locker" in the front tube is a bit of a gimick but it does at least take all of my basic emergency kit and outboard tools. The only pain with it is that the locker is a plastic tub that comes seperate to the boat and has to be fitted before inflating. The boat must not be inflated or used without this in place. As it doesn't fit in the boat bag you must remember to take it or a car journey to the water could be wasted.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Bit of an unexpected twist though. On this river trip, the first time I'd had the tubes up to full pressure, I noticed a seam on one cone that wasn't 100%. No leak or anything but it just looked like it could give trouble as the boat aged.

Mailed an image to the supplier Monday am and within 6hrs Zodiac had agreed to send me a new boat from the factory. Excellent service.

The replacement arrived the other day and everything's 100% with it. I've transferred the Zodiac transom wheels over so it's ready to go. I chose the Zodiac wheels as they leave just one small rounded bracket per side when the wheels are off meaning there's little to catch or rub when the boat's packed.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Something I'd not expected on the new one is they've changed the air floor material. For 10yrs it's been a very rough material to touch that's a pig to clean. Now it's a non-slip but smooth wipe-clean material. Big improvement.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Hope that's of some interest.

Roll on the Kyle of Lochalsh in August.
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Old 18 July 2011, 11:16   #2
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Nice setup and good report. I have the 340FF which has the bucket compartment on the side of the front tube. To be honest whilst it is useful it is a pain remembering to put it in before you inflate each time. I prefer the position of it on yours.

I love my Zodiac. I've been out in some snotty conditions and always felt safe, even when I left the bung open and it filled up!
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Old 18 July 2011, 16:56   #3
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Excellent report David, glad you got the new boat sorted - enjoy it in August!
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Old 18 July 2011, 17:07   #4
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Good read, looks a really nice setup. Have fun in August
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Old 21 March 2012, 10:49   #5
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Zodiac 360 Cadet Fastroller

I purchased a Zodiac 360 in Sept (after Boat Show) and have been delivered a model with the bow locker box which seems to be a waste of time. As you have rightly said if you go on a journey without the box you are in difficulty. I also wonder whether it makes the inflatable more prone to problems in this area of the pouch. I gather the 2012 models no longer have this - I wonder why?
I have not yet put the boat in the water but like you last Sunday installed the brackets for the wheels.
I am curious to see your photo of the seam? for which Zodiac replaced the boat.
Thanks
H
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Old 22 March 2012, 13:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
After my fairly recent thread about what to buy Upgrading from 3m SIB to 4m? Must fit in car. here is a mini review of the Zodiac 360 Fastroller I bought... with a twist at the end!

As I said in the previous thread when the Mrs said why not get a new Zodiac to last us the next 10yrs I didn't need any more justification so bought a Zodiac 360 Fastroller air-floor from Pennine Marine. I was lucky I'd just picked up a really nice 2001 Mariner 15 which would be the ideal motor for it.

First outing was confined to the river but we had a great day on that really hot Sunday a few weeks ago. Inflated in the car park, fitted transom wheels, lifted the outboard on and wheeled it down the slip easily single handed. Used the 11 Gelert pump that Max showed us for initial inflation... does a great job up to a point but those last few minutes getting the air floor to pressure with the standard footpump are a bit frantic.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The 360 is amazingly roomy after previous smaller Zodiacs.... particularly the Mk.1 we've had for the past 3yrs. We were 100% happy with the feel of the air floor to move about and stand on. Out of respect to the river we didn't try and get it on the plane... just had a couple of short bursts. The true performance test will come in just 4wks in Scotland but actually our main interest is going places so out and out speed isn't the priority.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Two position seat is something new to me and useful. The storage "locker" in the front tube is a bit of a gimick but it does at least take all of my basic emergency kit and outboard tools. The only pain with it is that the locker is a plastic tub that comes seperate to the boat and has to be fitted before inflating. The boat must not be inflated or used without this in place. As it doesn't fit in the boat bag you must remember to take it or a car journey to the water could be wasted.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Bit of an unexpected twist though. On this river trip, the first time I'd had the tubes up to full pressure, I noticed a seam on one cone that wasn't 100%. No leak or anything but it just looked like it could give trouble as the boat aged.

Mailed an image to the supplier Monday am and within 6hrs Zodiac had agreed to send me a new boat from the factory. Excellent service.

The replacement arrived the other day and everything's 100% with it. I've transferred the Zodiac transom wheels over so it's ready to go. I chose the Zodiac wheels as they leave just one small rounded bracket per side when the wheels are off meaning there's little to catch or rub when the boat's packed.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Something I'd not expected on the new one is they've changed the air floor material. For 10yrs it's been a very rough material to touch that's a pig to clean. Now it's a non-slip but smooth wipe-clean material. Big improvement.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Hope that's of some interest.

Roll on the Kyle of Lochalsh in August.


Zodiac 360 Cadet Fastroller
I purchased a Zodiac 360 in Sept (after Boat Show) and have been delivered a model with the bow locker box which seems to be a waste of time. As you have rightly said if you go on a journey without the box you are in difficulty. I also wonder whether it makes the inflatable more prone to problems in this area of the pouch. I gather the 2012 models no longer have this - I wonder why?
I have not yet put the boat in the water but like you last Sunday installed the brackets for the wheels.
I am curious to see your photo of the seam? for which Zodiac replaced the boat.
Thanks
H
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Old 22 March 2012, 16:08   #7
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Homer did you see my follow up review mentioning that the replacement boat suffered transom issues and other problems so that boat was returned and refunded? I was dissapointed to have two faulty boats in a row. I'll try and get an image uploaded of the cone seam problem asap.
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Old 23 March 2012, 03:34   #8
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Homer you asked by pm where I'd mentioned the issues with the second boat. It was a brief mention but it was at the end of my initial post in this holiday report after we'd had the replacement boat on the sea for a week...

Zodiac Fastroller 360 Acti-V holiday report.

Just found the cone seam image... you can see the bad one compared to the other which was OK. This was on the first boat, the second boat's issues related to failing HP keel attachments and a splitting transom adj to the tubes.
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Old 14 September 2012, 18:02   #9
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I live in Australia and have just bought a Zodiac Fastroller 360 which is brand new but old stock. The reason I decided to buy this particular boat was that it had welded seams and a five year warranty and was a big name brand. I searched the internet for information to help me but did not find this site until I had made my purchase.

I started reading the above review and was re-assured I had made the right purchase until I read the most recent posts where the boat had been returned for a refund.

The fact that the initial boat was replaced very quickly and that a refund was given for the second is re-assuring. When I was searching for a boat it was very confusing as the prices vary considerably for boats that look very much alike. However, in Australia the warranty on cheaper boats varies from three to twelve months and very few have the five year warranty offered by Zodiac.

When I inflate my boat I will be looking for the type of fault found in the first reviewed boat but I need to know about the issues with the transom that were experienced with the second boat.
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Old 14 September 2012, 18:41   #10
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I have to say an excellent dealer attitude kept me calm over these two faulty boats which I'd absolutely not expected having had good service from older Zodiacs going back to the 70s.

The second boat had better cone seams but sadly after just a few days on the plane in choppy waters on our Scottish holiday the transom plywood started to de-laminate a couple of inches away from where it joined the tube each side. Water was already getting in and obviously it was totally unnaceptable.

I'd also noted the keel would not sit straight unless you pushed it into position when inflating by lifting the boat up and setting it straight from underneath. Then at the end of a run it would have twisted itself off-centre again. When cleaning the boat up ready for return to the dealer I noticed the HP air tube from air-deck to HP keel was stiff enough to hold the keel out of position. In just this one week holiday the effect of that was to rip away one of the keel to floor skin attachments and chafe the others. In no time at all the keel to floor attachments would all have ripped allowing the keel to move well off centre.

You can see if your boat would be prone to the keel issue by taking the air floor off the boat and inflating floor/keel to pressure. If you lay it down with the keel upwards and the keel doesn't make a right angle with the floor then it will stress the PVC lugs that hold it to the floor skin and over time they will break.

Regarding the transom in truth it is very thin to stand the stress of a motor driving it along at 15-20mph in bumpy water. For example the one on my Honwave is an extra 50% thicker.

I would still buy Zodiac in the future but for now will give the Honwave a chance to prove itself over a few years.

Hope that helps.
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