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Old 17 July 2009, 15:33   #1
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Nos4r2's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: The wilds of Wiltshire
Boat name: WhiteNoise/Dominator
Make: Ballistic 7.8/SR5.4
Length: 7m +
Engine: Opti 225/Yam 85
MMSI: 235090687/235055163
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,547
US Zodiac tube failure.

Taken from
Hello all. My first post. Here goes:

I've got a problem. Need some information. I own a 21 ft. Zodiac 15 man Pro RHI with 150 HP E-tec. Purchased new in 2007. After a few months, tube separated from hull at bow, about three feet on each side. The flap tore out of the four screws holding it down. Zodiac said I hit something (which I didn't) or underinflated ( a possibility since bow tube had a slow leak, but I pumped it up regularly.) I paid for a repair...which lasted about three trips into ocean, when tube separated from bow to 2/3 of way aft coming back in over the bar...that was exciting.

Zodiac assumed no responsibility, said I didn't tie the "rope" at the bow. This rope, which I later found, is no more than a shoestring. Bought a new tube for nearly $7,000.

Going out over the bar a month ago took some 3 ft. breakers, and the starboard tube separated (ripped off the bead) from aft to 2/3 way toward bow! Initial response from dealer is, "Zodiac's heard about you Rinehart, you're the one who had the tube separation last year, and they won't warrant your current tube."

Since I got a Zodiac to go over the bar, (which requires navigating some pretty rough water and a lot of power)and was sold based on their reputation, I'm disapointed, of course.

Question is, what's with this tube separation? Is this really unusual, as they claim?

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Is this a known "weak link" with this product?

Are these boats not really made for rough water, just rivers and lakes?

It doesn't make much sense to keep buying a new tube every year, especially since they don't even last a season.

Thank you

Sounds pretty poor to me...
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Old 17 July 2009, 15:38   #2
Country: UK - Wales
Town: Here
Boat name: doggypaddle
Make: Avon 5.4 Searider
Length: 5m +
Engine: yamaha 80
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,107
thats really poor. my ex mod searider has suffered abuse from squaddies for 19 years and is still 100% intact

I am usually not as green as i am cabbage looking.
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Old 17 July 2009, 15:48   #3
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
I think some of the Zodiacs have removable tubes held on by a rope or something???
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Old 17 July 2009, 16:34   #4
m chappelow's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: yorkshire
Boat name: little vicky
Make: avon ex RNLI
Length: 3m +
Engine: tohatsu
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,310
Originally Posted by doggypaddle View Post
thats really poor. my ex mod searider has suffered abuse from squaddies for 19 years and is still 100% intact
dont forget yours was built by avon.
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Old 17 July 2009, 18:19   #5
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,618
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
I think some of the Zodiacs have removable tubes held on by a rope or something???
The inside of the tubes have a "bead"; it's basically a piece of fabric that is folded and glued (or welded - dunno) around a cord, then the fabric edge is spread and attached to the tubes. You end up with a flap of fabric with the cord making a bulge at the tip of the flap. The cords gets fed into a slot on either side of the hull, and that is the attachment for the tubes, aside from a couple of buckle straps that keep the tube from sliding off.

I remember a bunch of problems reported with seams just after Zodiac transitioned to PVC; First I've heard of this problem, though. Doesn't surprise me all that much.

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Old 19 July 2009, 18:19   #6
Country: Ireland
Town: Cork
Make: Zodiac
Length: 7m +
Engine: Outboard diesel
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 13
Had terrible problems with Zodiac Medline 111 bought in 2005 and continued through to 2007. Problems had were wiring, cracking in deck, transum cracking, patches lifting on tubes and console loose plus many more. Took legal actin in Wales whcih went on for nearly two years with complete denial from Zodiac saying they never had any problems. Eventually in June, 2007 full refund of purchse price of boat plus costs received by Zodiac. They did everything in their power to discredit claim and stating what a reputable outift they were but eventually gave in. Get good Solicitor and good Marine Surveyor to inspect boat. If Surveyor deems problem not due to negliect or misuse then go after them. Zodiac drove legal costs up and as English legal system requires all monies paid up front they tried to keep matters going so that I could no longer afford legal costs. Did not let them off and eventually won. Now have Cobra much better made boat.

Best of luck.

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