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Old 16 May 2016, 18:27   #1
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Zodiac MKIIC vs cheaper boats? Completely new to boats.

Hi everyone.

I've been interested in buying a sail boat for quite some time, however, I don't have the means or storage to do so. So my alternative is a small inflatable that I can store away in the garage. Plus they're extra cool.

Anyway, I visited a local dealer which was very nice, but I still have so many questions. I've tried to do a lot of research, but I know I'm missing some big components.

Primarily, what's the difference between the $1500 Zodiac vs the MKIIC (alum floor) at $4K. The seams, glue, material? Essentially, I don't want to buy the cheapest around (or I think) as I plan to strap on a 15hp motor to it and cruise around the harbor AND venture out to our local island, about 18 miles out.

I just figured the more expensive boats are tougher and more seaworthy. I plan to always store it in the garage and out of the sun. It'll primarily be loaded with 2 adults and maybe 100 lbs of camping gear, not including boat gear/fuel.

So can someone help me on what I really should be looking for? Is that HP enough to get up to about 20mph? Will that MKC last and hold up in a large channel? I know there are a lot of options, but I must admit I'm slightly drawn to the Zodiac classics because of their looks, however, functionality would be great as well.

Thanks for your help, seriously appreciate you helping this new kid out!
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Old 17 May 2016, 02:54   #2
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When you say the island is "18 miles out" do you mean that the island is 18 miles out to sea, or 18 miles along the coast/inshore on a lake etc?
As it would affect the type of boat/motor you should be looking at.
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Old 17 May 2016, 08:56   #3
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The Classic is made from Zodiac's "Strongan Duotex" which is a unique PVC material. Long story short without getting too technical, the PVC coating is laid up on a heavier & tighter weave of polyester support. It increases the tear resistance and overall strength of the material.

The new generation of Cadets are made from Mehler Mainstream material. The old Cadet Solids and Fastrollers are still made from Strongan.

Both the 2015+ Cadet ALU/Aero and the Classic have hand glued transoms and hand glued floors, but the layup of the Classic is considerably more heavy duty. The Classic also has 99% welded air-holding seams vs the Cadet which is about 80% welded.

If you want a stand-alone boat, I'd get the Classic.

Maybe look at the Futura and Bombard Commando as well? They're all very similar boats.
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Old 17 May 2016, 10:39   #4
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Are the Zodiac Futura and Bombard Commando boats made of the same material (Strongan Duotex) as the Classic?
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Old 17 May 2016, 10:57   #5
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When you say the island is "18 miles out" do you mean that the island is 18 miles out to sea, or 18 miles along the coast/inshore on a lake etc?
As it would affect the type of boat/motor you should be looking at.
The islands are about 18 miles out. I may also considering cruising down the coast and then hop over to Catalina as well, about 22 miles off of the coast. But that's a large reason of me purchasing, to get to the islands and camp.

I saw the Commando's and Futura's, but one of my big concerns is the extra weight with those boats. Sometimes it'll just be me setting it up and I won't be trailering it. I think the C3 weighs in at the 240's. Plus, I'm not sure how well the my 2 stroke 15 hp will do with it. I decided I would buy a new boat because I was able to get a free outboard, otherwise the $3000 motor would be a hard pill to swallow.

I can quickly Google the difference between the Commandos and Futura's, but are they worth the extra cost? Do they have more accessories? I'm looking at a new MK2C for $3100. Futuras and C3's I see is about $4500. And I think they wouldn't perform well with a 15hp motor but I probably know very little
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Old 17 May 2016, 10:57   #6
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Are the Zodiac Futura and Bombard Commando boats made of the same material (Strongan Duotex) as the Classic?
Yep! All 3, as well as the Aerotec, are built on the same assembly line in France.
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Old 17 May 2016, 11:32   #7
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Cheers, bit of an overlap there then, or have they been designed for very different markets?

Re. the original question, I think you will need launching wheels if not using a trailer and therefore the extra weight and set up itself isn't going to make a huge difference.

15hp should be sufficient on the C3 or MKIIC, just check the shaft length is correct.

I am not sure how they have calculated the prices for the Classic, Futura, Bombard Commando etc but I suspect you get the same things with the boats… pump, repair kit, paddles, owner's manual etc. I think you are paying extra for the boat itself, if that makes sense. No idea why the Commando costs more than the Classic if made from the same material, possibly the wooden keel?
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Old 17 May 2016, 13:04   #8
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Just checkedů the Classic MKIIC and the Commando C3 (both 3.8m boats) are about the same price here in the UK. A similar sized Futura is about 800-1000 pounds more expensive, probably due to the hull design/ speed tubes.

They all seem to include similar accessories.
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Old 17 May 2016, 21:02   #9
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May I ask where most of you are looking for used boats in the US? I see very very little boats or outboards on Craigslist, eBay, boat trader, etc.
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Old 17 May 2016, 22:53   #10
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Originally Posted by Jlomb436 View Post
May I ask where most of you are looking for used boats in the US? I see very very little boats or outboards on Craigslist, eBay, boat trader, etc.
San Diego Craig's list has FC 470's from time to time.
I would look for a 4.5 meter + boat to do Cat. You will have lots of gear for that crossing if your camping. Those 22 miles can get real fun when you need to be home by Mon for work.

Cheers
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