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Old 13 June 2012, 11:32   #1
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Life span of used Zodiac Pro 470

Hi! I am new to this forum and sorry for my poor English.

I am looking into the possibility of buying used Zodiac Pro 470.
It was made in 2001 and comes with Yamaha 2 stroke 50hp(made same year).

According to the owner, he has been using only 2 months in summer and kept in a garage during off season. I inspected the RIB and the tubes and hull seem to be in very good shape (although I am an amature).

I suppose that Zodiac Pro is made of PVC, which is less resistant to UV. It might be a difficult question, but if the tubes have been maintained as the onwner say, how long do you think I will have before the tubes start having problems?

Another option is to buy new RIB with hypalon, but made by less well-known and more resonably priced eastern european producer.
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Old 13 June 2012, 12:37   #2
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My PVC boat is from 1992, probably stored outdoors for most of it's life, and the tubes are still holding up. What fails is the glue. The main tubes are thermo welded and do not fail, it is other things like the floor and where the tubes are glued to the transom that fail.
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Old 13 June 2012, 13:38   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljunk8 View Post
Hi! I am new to this forum and sorry for my poor English.

I am looking into the possibility of buying used Zodiac Pro 470.
It was made in 2001 and comes with Yamaha 2 stroke 50hp(made same year).

According to the owner, he has been using only 2 months in summer and kept in a garage during off season. I inspected the RIB and the tubes and hull seem to be in very good shape (although I am an amature).

I suppose that Zodiac Pro is made of PVC, which is less resistant to UV. It might be a difficult question, but if the tubes have been maintained as the onwner say, how long do you think I will have before the tubes start having problems?

Another option is to buy new RIB with hypalon, but made by less well-known and more resonably priced eastern european producer.

I have a 98 Zodiac 470 Pro II. It has PVC tubes on it. The conventional wisdom says that PVC tubes should last about 10 years. The Zodiac tubes are thermowelded (heat fused) and the tubes (on the 470 PRO II) slide on so there is no glue to fail.

If the tubes are protected from UV you can get longer life. However, even if protected from UV the PVC will eventually get brittle due to outgassing of the chemicals that give it flexibility (the outgassing of PVC causes the haze that appears on the interior of car windows in hot weather). Even an unused tube set that has been lying around for awhile will have less life than a newly manufactured set.

Depending on your use (i.e. gently cruising vs. high speed racing) the tolerance for loss of tube flexibility will be different.

The tubes don't usually have date codes on them so it can be hard to accurately determine the tube material age.

You should be able to buy replacement tubes from Zodiac, although it may take a few months to get them. Depending on the price of the boat, this might be a good option. You can argue that the tubes are old and will need replacing when agreeing to a price for the boat. Part of the deal for my boat included new tubes when I bought it. The price of the hull with a fairly new 40hp Yamaha and the new tubes was quite reasonable. My boat has a 98 hull with 2010 tubes. The dealer said that the tubes were at the end of their life when he received the boat, so they did last about 10 years. In the last couple of years, the tubes probably were not well cared for so with proper care they might've lasted a bit longer.

You could also have custom tubes made of hypalon. This will be more expensive but they will last quite a bit longer. However, you might be able to get two sets of PVC tubes from Zodiac for the price of one set of custom hypalon tubes. One of the tube manufacturers in the UK may have already done this so the patterns might be available which will lower the cost of the custom tubes.
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Old 13 June 2012, 15:34   #4
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I had a 15 year old Valiant made from PVC, the seams had gone where it was left in the water but I had them repaired it was perfect, considering it had never been under cover and left to the elements all year round it was in amazing condition.
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Old 13 June 2012, 17:53   #5
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I own a 2005 Zodiac Pro 420 and the tubes are in perfect condition. I simply maintain them with a good cleaner and protector to stop an UV getting to them. I use this maybe every 5 to 6 outings, plus a wash down every outing.

I think it all comes down to how they are cared for, if its left in outside in the weather, under cover or in a garage etc etc.

If the tubes look in good condition i think you'll struggle to argue the "might need replacing at some point" argument to get money off, but certainly give it a go.
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Old 13 June 2012, 19:12   #6
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There are a couple of Zodiac Pros (4.7m) for sale at Pennine Marine, one from 2007 and 1996?
Pennine Marine Ltd > PREOWNED BOATS AND OUTBOARDS, RIBS & ENGINES

In answer to your original question, if the boat has been under-cover, well cared for, etc, then 10-15 years would not be unreasonable. Ask a Zodiac dealer for the price of new tubes, then you can make an informed decision when you buy.
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Old 14 June 2012, 12:56   #7
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Thanks all for your valuable comments. So, I suppose if I buy this Zodiac Pro, I will probably have to replace the tubes within few years in normal circumstances.

I may opt for buying a new hypalon made RIB. There is a company in Croatia called Maestral which produces RIB with hypalon. I will be using my RIB only in Croatia where I have a holiday apartment.

Pls check the following link and let me know what you think.
Maestral 460 - Maestral

I am sure that the quality is not as good as reputable brand such as Zodiac, but I can buy 4.6 meter RIB with console for less than 5,000 euro. According to local guys, repair and maintenance is easy and cheap since they have service center in Croatia. Do you guys know this brand?
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