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Old 12 November 2015, 00:41   #1
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$40K for a 10 yr old Zodiac Medline III???

I am a newbie in the RIB world, though with military experience that has seen the power and versatility of RIBs. I live in Hawaii, and there is a guy on a neighboring island selling what looks like a very nice 2005 Zodiac Medline III with twin 115 Merc Optimax motors, nice Garmin, new trailer, and a few other extras. Does $40K US dollars sound like a lot for such a craft?? I am concerned about the life of the tubes and needing to replace them at a large cost in the short term.

I've talked with a Zodiac dealer in San Diego who says protected tubes can last 15 to 20 years if protected from the sun. Is this true? Could I realistically get 5-10 years out of the tubes yet?? Thanks so much for the advice. Whale watching season is approaching and I want to be ready!
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Old 12 November 2015, 08:51   #2
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I am a newbie in the RIB world, though with military experience that has seen the power and versatility of RIBs. I live in Hawaii, and there is a guy on a neighboring island selling what looks like a very nice 2005 Zodiac Medline III with twin 115 Merc Optimax motors, nice Garmin, new trailer, and a few other extras. Does $40K US dollars sound like a lot for such a craft?? I am concerned about the life of the tubes and needing to replace them at a large cost in the short term.

I've talked with a Zodiac dealer in San Diego who says protected tubes can last 15 to 20 years if protected from the sun. Is this true? Could I realistically get 5-10 years out of the tubes yet?? Thanks so much for the advice. Whale watching season is approaching and I want to be ready!
No, that's probably about market average. That boat was about $130k new.

The tubes are Hypalon/CSM/CR, probably Orca 866 (the good double thickness stuff on heavier weight polyester supporting fabric).

Inspect the tubes heavily. Some fraying of the edges is normal. Look for crazing in the topcoat of the material...little tiny cracks in the material. These indicate the beginnings of material failure, but the tube may still have many more years of serviceable life left.

Pay close attention to this area I have circled. The material will begin to crack and the anti-wear patch will start to peel if the boat was ran underinflated. If the seam blows out, it is a nightmare to fix, but it can be done by a competent shop.

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Old 12 November 2015, 09:18   #3
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thanks so much for the reply. These are the sorts of things I would never have known about. It's also a little concerning as I'm unsure of how much support I can get for this boat on the island I'm on. I think I'll at least give the boat a good look over and maybe a sea trial. Have you ever fished out of something like this....it would be a distant third with regards to uses, but still something I'd like to consider.
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Old 12 November 2015, 22:56   #4
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Those tubes are PVC not hypalon. Price may be reasonable if the tubes are in good shape. However the way most of these are maintained I would not expect to get another ten years out of the tubes unless they are in meticulous shape. Deflate the tubes and take a very close look at the bolt rope attachment on the bottom of the tube. That is the first spot that these usually start to have issues. If that bolt rope bond is compromised then the whole piece will most likely need of be readhered.

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 13 November 2015, 01:15   #5
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is the bolt rope junction important for how the tubes tie into the hull, or is this separate....and when you say the whole thing needs to be re-adheared, do you mean the entire tube? Lot's to know!!
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Old 13 November 2015, 08:48   #6
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Those tubes are PVC not hypalon. Price may be reasonable if the tubes are in good shape. However the way most of these are maintained I would not expect to get another ten years out of the tubes unless they are in meticulous shape. Deflate the tubes and take a very close look at the bolt rope attachment on the bottom of the tube. That is the first spot that these usually start to have issues. If that bolt rope bond is compromised then the whole piece will most likely need of be readhered.

Cheers,
Chris
"Tropical" was an option for the Medline III...

If the tubes are PVC/Sharc, I would not buy the boat...10 years is too old for a PVC tubeset in tropical conditions. Zodiac no longer offers a replacement in PVC for the Medline III, only the tropical (Hypalon). By the time the tubeset shipped to him, it'd probably be about $15k for the replacement tube.

Bottom line:
Supply more high resolution pictures of the boat. More up close of the material.

Quote:
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is the bolt rope junction important for how the tubes tie into the hull, or is this separate....and when you say the whole thing needs to be re-adheared, do you mean the entire tube? Lot's to know!!
That is exactly what he means...glue has a limited life expectancy on PVC/Sharc material. Plastomers don't like to be glued. Usually, by the time a bolt rope is coming off, the tube is starting to see signs of UV degradation and it is not worth regluing the bolt rope.

But yes, he means removing and regluing the entire fixment on the tubeset. It would take about 10-15 hours of labor for a shop to do it.
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Old 13 November 2015, 09:26   #7
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So even if the tubes do not show the telltale signs of wear, you'd still not buy this boat? I don't know that I even have a technician in the island here that could replace the entire tubeset if need be regardless. It'd be a do it yourself sort of situation
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Old 13 November 2015, 09:31   #8
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So even if the tubes do not show the telltale signs of wear, you'd still not buy this boat? I don't know that I even have a technician in the island here that could replace the entire tubeset if need be regardless. It'd be a do it yourself sort of situation
The bolt rope is a "T" shaped piece of PVC that is glued to the tubeset. The tip of the "T" has a hard, round piece that slides in to a track.

The "flat" side of the "T" glues to the tubeset.

It is not a do it yourself affair. You would need a climate controlled area where you can fit the entire tubeset inflated. Also, you will be dealing with highly flammable adhesives that emit toxic vapors. You will need about a gallon of methyl ethyl ketone, a few pints of methylene chloride, and about 2-3 liters of PVC/PU type two part adhesive.

If the boat is PVC/Sharc, unless the boat was always stored indoors, then I can pretty much guarantee it will be showing those signs of wear.
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Old 13 November 2015, 09:37   #9
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Thanks again for the great information. You've all given me a ton of good advice. I will def give the boat a close inspection and try and make the call based on all the issues you all have listed. Aloha!
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Old 13 November 2015, 09:39   #10
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Thanks again for the great information. You've all given me a ton of good advice. I will def give the boat a close inspection and try and make the call based on all the issues you all have listed. Aloha!
Good luck! Don't be afraid to walk away. There are many boats in the sea.

The good news is that all problems are fixable, but the only question is price. If you can haggle down the boat price so you can afford to replace the tubeset (slide-on affair...takes about 3 people and some soap to do it), then go for it!
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