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Old 12 July 2010, 06:14   #1
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Restoring my first RIB

Hi,
So I picked up my first RIB on the weekend it is an old 3.5m Zodiac, fiberglass Hull and fiberglass flooring. Not sure what year or model, I was told it was Hypalon but research shows that most Zodiacs are PVC. The material is black on the inside and red (faded) on the outside. I will get some MEK & Sandpaper soon to confirm which material over the next few days. Looks to be hardly used but has sun damage. I bought it for a good price, trailer is in such good nic I could sell it alone to recover my cost (so far). No motor just yet.

My plan was originally to do a complete restore on this Zodiac (see youtube: pimp my ducky). I was going to remove all accessories and use Tuff Coat over the entire boat. Then strap an old dirt cheap 25hp motor to the back and have the ultimate budget spearfishing boat (under $1500AU).

The more I read the more I question my plan and think. So here are my questions:

1. There is a crack in the fiberglass floor, what is the easiest & easiest way to repair this crack before laying marine carpet?

2. Where the handles were glued there are bits where the PVC/Hypalon has worn to the fabric. What is the best way to restore these areas? Tuff coat, patch? glue?

3. Should I bother fully restoring this old boat or just reinforce the areas worn down to the material? I could then spend the money saved from not restoring to buy a good motor that will last for years rather than a shitty one that will maybe bring years of trouble. Once I have a good motor, even if the boat does shit itself in under 12 months I can buy a decent RIB by then and already have a nice motor for it.
If I run a good motor on an old Zodiac what are the chances of it completely blowing out and me loosing the motor?

I'm sure I'll have lots more questions over the coming weeks...

Cheers

Darren
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Old 12 July 2010, 07:52   #2
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Hi Darren, welcome to Ribnet!

I think the older Zodiacs qwere Hypalon, but I'll leave the Zodiac gurus to confirm that one.

Crack on the floor- how big? Gelcoat (topcoat, flowcoat) can crack if something gets dropped on it. I have repaired dozens of "cracks" on sailing dingies whischj were nothing more than the surface layer. If it;s white, it;s a dawdle with a gelcoat prepair kit (a bit like car body filler type idea). get some really violent grade sand / emery paper, and remove all traces of the crack. Create a well or a groove, again usuing the rough grade paper- this will give the filler something to cling to. Then wash the prepared area with solvent to remove all dust, then apply filler & sand / polish flush when hard. If it;s on the deck, IO guess there may be a rough anti slip surface, youjust have to be creative to blend the repair in when wet.
If your deck isn't white, then same story but you have to mix the colour as well. (or paint the whole lot with anti slip paint!)



The engine theory is a good one. I have a friend who did exactly that, 2 ribs & 3 engines later, he now has a very nice setup. (4m/25 hp - 4m/50Hp - 5.3/50Hp - 5.3/90Hp). Only thing to watch is that if you are planning on upsizing as opposed to just getting a newer boat, make sure you get the biggest engine this hull will handle - otherwise you'll have a lethargic next boat for a while.

Post some pics would be good and help give the ribnet masses a better idea of the repairs.
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Old 12 July 2010, 20:05   #3
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Cheers mate, I'll add some photo's up when I get home.

More questions:

1. I checked all the seems where the hull is glued to the tubes, everything looks very tight except 1 part has peeled back a few centimeters. It is still glued very tightly and should hold, but I was wondering if it is worth reinforcing the entire hull seem?
Was thinking of using strips of Hypalon/PVC to glue over the existing hull-tube seal to reinforce it, reducing the pressure on the original seal. Worth it? Tips?

2. Can I install a hatch in the floor (where the fiberglass is cracked) to store some things under the floor, in the hull? Or ideally mount a marine esky in the Hull? I figured this would add permanent weight to the front and also lower the center of gravity, while saving space. If this is possible it is probably the only thing I would be willing to pay to have done professionally.

3. I can not find any plate or numbers on the transom, it is a fiberglass transom with a thick aluminium bracket bolted over it. Where should these numbers be located?

4. What is the best, easiest and cheapest way to rust proof my trailer? It is in perfect nic and would love to keep it that way. What other things can I do to ensure long life from this trailer?


Cheers

Darren.
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Old 13 July 2010, 06:46   #4
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1) Inside or out? Probably irrelevant, but once you've found out what the "cloth" is, a suitable glue should re- stick the peeling bit. I had about 3 foot of mine (call it a metre if you think in metric) had done that on the outside- basically down to the water being forced off the hull as it planed.

2) In theory no reason why not, but as I don't now your hull, I wouldnlt like to say yes or no defiitively.

3) OTher likely places to look: May be moulded into the fibreglass somewhere round the transom (inside or out) I;ve seen some with the serial moulded into the 'glass up by the bow too. It may jsut be that if it was a scewed on plate it's fallen off with age.

4) This could start a good debate
I assume it's galvanised? If so, a good hosing down with fresh water when you're finished should keep it in good nick. Have a trawl through the trailers section for the hub flushing debate. Also remember things like jockey wheels are usually not built "marine spec" (coz it's cheaper to just buy one off the shelf) so they have a habbit of rusting a lot faster than the rest of the trailer.

If it's galvanised, catch any chips with zinc paint before they start rusting. (although if it's been galvanised well, that should be a rare event) Galvanising is there to protect it, and covering it with other stuff will stiop it's main function - namely protecting the metal underneath.
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Old 13 July 2010, 10:35   #5
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If the material is black on the inside and another color on the outside it is hypalon. pvc should be the same on both sides, and youll be able to shine a flashlight and see through the pvc. I think any pre 1984 zodiacs are hypalon. All newer than that (excluding milpro and commercial models) are pvc. Also, hypalon seams are glued vs pvc seams which are thermo welded. I just went through the same process to find out that my 1994 yachtline 310 is pvc.
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Old 13 July 2010, 13:30   #6
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Old 15 July 2010, 06:27   #7
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I have uploaded a few pics of the boat, transom & floor also one of where it is destroyed to the fabric pretty bad. I'm pretty sure it is a hypalon boat. When I wipe it with Xylene it does not go sticky and the paint does not run, although if I rub hard with Xylene my rag does get a lot of paint in it but thats different (Oxidization I think). Also, it is black on the inside and red on the outside (must be an OLD Zodiac).

http://tinypic.com/r/2v0lhg1/3
http://tinypic.com/r/2qs5h1d/3
http://tinypic.com/r/2nir33m/3
http://tinypic.com/r/29ntgcz/3

I have cleaned off most the white paint from the front (looks more like a spill than anything). Is there anything better than Xelene? That is what the guy from Tuff Coat recommended rather than acetone.

I have started cleaning the glue from where some of the accesories are. It is very hard to get it off and I have started using sandpaper with a little more success (obviously). What should I do?
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Old 15 July 2010, 07:12   #8
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I had triple rubbing strakes on mine when I got it (I guess to bullet proof it in it's industrial past) A high proportion of the were falling off, so I removed them, with much the same result as your third pic. Sandpaper worked for me!

Is that grey bit on the floor (4th pic) where the crack is? It looks like it's filling something?
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Old 15 July 2010, 18:25   #9
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Hi,
Yes that Grey bit on the floor is where the crack is. Looks like he has done a dodgey fix and just painted something over top of a cracked floor. I sanded back a little of this last night and it is easy to strip back. Plan is to sand it right back then fix it properly with fiberglass then paint on that marine floor surface stuff

Does anyone know what model/year this boat is?
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Old 16 July 2010, 02:13   #10
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Hi,

After spending 7ish hours cleaning the front hood cover, I am considering removing it. I was going to just use a hair dryer and slowly work my way around. Theory is that doing this will let me restore the actual tubes, rather than restoring the hood cover. Also, I can then use the hood cover to cut up as patches or just reattatch it.

Thoughts?
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