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Old 18 June 2008, 07:11   #1
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Zodiac Futura 3.8

I was looking at a used Zodiac Futura which had a soft floor and hull. Sorry its not a RIB. The owner boasts having had the boat entirely re glued. So I was wondering what the economical life of these hypalon made boats are. Is a total re glue normal and after this point how long could I expect the material to last. Of course it does depend on a number of variables. With a outboard I would say ten years is the best of its life and after 15 years death could come any time soon. Not having owned any inflatable boat before I do wonder about how problematic these things are, I mean leaks and repairs. I guess I would like to hear your experience with inflatable boats.
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Old 18 June 2008, 08:22   #2
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I do not think it will be Hypalon & if it has been glued up I would want to speak to who did it to see if they offered any guaranty!
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Old 18 June 2008, 08:28   #3
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The Zodiac Futura's are not hypalon - they are PVC type (Strongan™ Duotex) which is not as strong or long lasting as hypalon. The joints are thermally welded (high frequency and temperature) not glued - so I would be worried about anyone claiming to have reglued ...

http://www.zodiacmarine.com/uk/the-zodiac-range/?futura and http://www.zodiacmarine.com/uk/why-a-zodiac/?technology

I have a 4.2m, it's great for us, but I'm exposed to a lot less UV than I suspect you are and that can cause PVC serious problems in a short time.
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Old 18 June 2008, 10:14   #4
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[Quote;BumbleAbout] The Zodiac Futura's are not hypalon - they are PVC type (Strongan™ Duotex) which is not as strong or long lasting as hypalon. The joints are thermally welded (high frequency and temperature) not glued - so I would be worried about anyone claiming to have reglued ...

If this would be a true statement, then nobody would be able to reglue a Zodiac brand sib again, the French use thermal bonding because of high hand labor cost compared to a machine. Zodiac is already a expensive brand , imagine the extra cost that will need to be applied to the total boat cost if glued by hand.

We offer Zodiac service down here, my tecnician is a Zodiac factory trainned in France, you can reglue all the boat if needed, zodiac has a PVC 2 part glue of it's own brand, a bit expensive though. A less expensive glue is Tip-Top green can 2 part PVC glue, bonds extremely well, nothing to envy the original glue.

The parts that generally are reglued with time 5 + years are the sibs bottom, transom area, rarely tubes. As long as the boat's entire fabrice is in good shape, no skin missing points, porosity, etc and the job is done correctly using appropiate glues + a qualified tecnician hand labor will have boat for years to come. The worst sibs enemy is sun, so if left all year round outdoor will need to reglue parts more frequent comparing to just 3 months summer use.

Happy Boating
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Old 18 June 2008, 10:56   #5
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Weren't the pre-96 Zodiacs all made of hypalon?

I thought that was when they transitioned to PVC.


PVC can be glued; as Loco says you can use the Zodiac brand glue, or several others. Repair instructions here (a web search will yield additional resources):

http://www.nrsweb.com/repair/Clifton...e_Adhesive.asp
http://www.nrsweb.com/repair/StaBond.asp


jky
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Old 18 June 2008, 12:26   #6
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Apologies - a poorly phrased reply - I wasn't saying that they can't be glued, but I would personally be worried about the quote "The owner boasts having had the boat entirely re glued" !

I didn't realise that pre 96 were hypalon though.
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Old 18 June 2008, 14:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleAbout View Post
Apologies - a poorly phrased reply - I wasn't saying that they can't be glued, but I would personally be worried about the quote "The owner boasts having had the boat entirely re glued" !

I didn't realise that pre 96 were hypalon though.
kwk56pt should better ask the owner before buying, who did the job, where, what glue was used, etc, etc. Better yet, with your thumb nail press hard on the seam edge to see if yields a bit, will help determine how well still is the original glue or if it was re glued, was it done properly with a good quality glue.

Would be interesting to know what year did Zodiac starting making PVC sibs, my old 96 Zodiac 310 was PVC. I'll ask my tecnician, has lots of Zodiac catalogues.

Happy Boating.
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Old 18 June 2008, 18:33   #8
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Zodiacs even as far back as the 80s were PVC. I have an old Mk II CGT and it's lasted all this time. Always washed down after the holiday, dried thoroughly and packed away in carry bags. Granted it was only used for 3-4 weeks every year, until it caused problems a couple of years ago.

The sponson end-cone on the starboard side and the main sponson seam under the row-lock on the port side both started to leak. Also the strenghened areas near the transom were starting to lift.

I transported the boat back home and used a 2-part Polymarine PVC glue and made a strong repair on all effected areas, although I'll probably never trust it again, especially the main seam repair. To ensure the seam was as stong as possible - I stitched it with nylon, then over-patched it.

Trouble with the early boats is that the seams ran under the rope collar along the top of the sponsons. With heat and UV light it weakens over time and the seams deteriorate. The only way to repair properly is to cut away the rope collar (ain't pretty) to gain access.

Later boats have the seam underneath (along the bottom of the sponson) so the effects of heat expansion and contraction aren't as extreme.

They're still solid boats, and if looked after will provide years of trouble-free boating.

The main reason I traded up to a Zodiac Pro RIB.
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