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Old 22 September 2011, 17:47   #1
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Zodiac MkII vs. Bombard C3?

Which would be the better boat for beach launching and use in open water off shore... A 1979 Zodiac MkII or a 1992 Bombard C3? The motor would be a 1992 Johnson 30hp short leg tiller model. Thanks.
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Old 22 September 2011, 18:08   #2
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Are they both PVC boats? Fabric is good shape on both?

The Bombard has a wood keel and slightly deeper V. The Zodiac an inflated keel. At least I think that era MkII should have an inflatable keel. They have since split off into Grand Raid, Classic and Futura hulls.

1979 is pretty old esp for a PVC boat.

In practice I don't think you'll notice much difference.
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Old 22 September 2011, 19:02   #3
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I think the C3 is PVC from looking at it. The MKII is Hypalon with the inflateable keel. Both have aluminum floors. I think the Mk2 is the better quality boat but the wooden keel on the C3 seems like it might be better in rough water, I've never used either so I'm not sure.
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Old 22 September 2011, 19:24   #4
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I had a C3. The limits of both boats in "rough water" won't be the keel type, it'll be you.

Given the much older age of the Zodiac, but the fact that's its hypalon kinda evens out with the much newer PVC Bombard in my opinion.

I think the zodiac will be slightly easier to assemble on the beach, and it will be lighter. The wooden keel of the Bombard weighs maybe 8kg. Mine had some aluminum plates as reinforcement so I don't exactly know how heavy it would be without those. The inflatable keel weighs basically nothing. The wood keel does not do as much as you'd think since in modestly rough water the fabric hull flexes and becomes a flatter surface that the wave will "slam" against keel or no keel.

I would consider condition of the fabric and transom condition vastly more important decision points than hard vs inflated keel. Or brand for that matter, Bombards are made by Zodiac anyway.
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Old 22 September 2011, 19:54   #5
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Well I guess I'll figure it out as due to a funny situation I've ended up owning both of these boats now. I bought the Mk2 a couple of weeks ago and I've been looking for a motor for it. Today I found a motor and for less than the motor should have cost me it also cam with the C3. I have to figure out which one to keep, of course the wife likes the Mk2 because of the color The weather is going to be nice this weekend so I'll try to take them both out and see what's what

The Mk2



The C3

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Old 22 September 2011, 20:48   #6
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The Zodiac all the way. Although I hope that silly pendant on the bow comes off.
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Old 23 September 2011, 02:29   #7
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Congratulations on the double! Of course this means you now have to get another outboard.

Both boats look to be in pretty good shape. It would be interesting to hear your impressions of these boats based on head to head comparisons.
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Old 23 September 2011, 04:09   #8
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I'll try to test the motor on the stand today and as long as it seems ok I'll try to take both boats out for a spin this weekend. The 1992 C3 came with a 1992 Johnson 30hp and launch wheels for the same price as I paid for the 1979 Mk2... I also still have my old 1969 MkI and 1974 Evinrude 15hp. One day not enough boat, the next I up to my ass in boats and now a long cold Canadian winter is closing in fast, perhaps I can turn one in to a skidoo
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Old 24 September 2011, 23:27   #9
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Set the C3 up today, the wooden keel and alum floor is a bit of a pita to assemble but seems like a good setup once it's together. Over all the C3 doesn't seem to have the same feel of quality that the older Mk2 has though I think it is still good. I'm going to sell the C3 off or failing a sale I might use it as project to try and make a DIY RIB.






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Old 25 September 2011, 09:37   #10
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Just wondering about this 'wooden' keel; are these just the horizontal floorboards in front of the boat? Or are this boards pressed between the rubber hull and inflatable keel? By doings so, creating a more rigid RIB-like hull.
Just wondering, because I have got a construction just like that in my 5 metre SIB.
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