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Old 27 October 2016, 19:14   #1
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Zodiac differences...

Hi all and happy Thursday. Wondering what are the differences between the Milpro series of Zodiac boats vs the Pro series/Pro open series. Is it essentially deck space or usage of? Seems like the materials in most of the Zodiac lines are all high quality.

Thanks again

Todd
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Old 28 October 2016, 06:06   #2
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Which milpro boats? Bear in mind that the Milpro range includes the Seariders which are almost legendary for their seakeeping and toughness (and IMO aren't even in the same ballpark as the Pro Opens)
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Old 28 October 2016, 06:17   #3
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I apologize. I've been trying to do a pros/cons between the milpro SRMN vs the zodiac pros... What is unique about the Seariders?


Thanks-Todd
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Old 28 October 2016, 08:40   #4
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Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
Which milpro boats? Bear in mind that the Milpro range includes the Seariders which are almost legendary for their seakeeping and toughness (and IMO aren't even in the same ballpark as the Pro Opens)
Seariders are cool, but outdated and expensive for what you get... zero storage capabilities and wood cored.

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I apologize. I've been trying to do a pros/cons between the milpro SRMN vs the zodiac pros... What is unique about the Seariders?


Thanks-Todd
SRMN = wood cored , heavy construction (Orca 866 fabric or equivalent Aerazur), permanently affixed tubeset (glued), intercommunicating valve assemblies (all chambers can be linked to inflate from one point. valves act as OPV), made in Spain.

PRO = US-origin PRO boats are synthetic cored (Coosa transom + divinyl foam deck, hulls + stringers are solid laminate), can also be heavy construction (550+ use Orca 866 fabric), field changeable tubeset (bolt rope assembly, can be removed/replaced in less than 1 hr), standard valve assemblies, hull made in USA / tube made in France or Tunisia depending on material

Honestly, the Pro Open 650 is one of my favorite RIBs on the market. Lots of storage, excellent seakeeping, and the size is fairly ideal for most families (towable by a fairly small truck or SUV).

MilPro has a few boats that stand out from the recreational lineup, but me personally, I really do not like wood cored vessels. Wood DOES deliver a stronger performance than foam cores, but, at the expense of maintenance. The government doesn't care, since after 5-10 years, they dispose of the vessel anyways. Some of the MilPro RIBs also have a double bolt rope assembly, which can help protect the boat from bad seamanship (stuffing the bow on a RIB can rip the tubeset off).

Keep in mind, those SRMNs are probably a former commercial or government surplus boat with thousands of hours on them. Commercial operators are known for hard use + zero maintenance.
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Old 28 October 2016, 09:10   #5
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Wow, that response had a lot of information that I could not find previously on the internet. Thank you. The pro opens do look like phenomenal boats but i think too much boat for me at the moment. Was thinking between 14-18 foot. Any idea on how much draft a zodiac RIB of that size would be?
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Old 28 October 2016, 09:57   #6
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Originally Posted by handsdownCBL View Post
Wow, that response had a lot of information that I could not find previously on the internet. Thank you. The pro opens do look like phenomenal boats but i think too much boat for me at the moment. Was thinking between 14-18 foot. Any idea on how much draft a zodiac RIB of that size would be?
Draft will depend on load, but your draft will likely be around 14 inches.
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Old 28 October 2016, 16:00   #7
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Like Richard, the glueing geek (!) I am a big fan of the 650 Open Pro. Mine is old and has lived its life in the tropical sun of the Bahamas its entire life (12 years) and the tubes are PVC. It was, incidentally, made in Spain, contrary to Richard's comment in his post that they are only US built. It's a great sea-keeeping boat, is fast (well, mine is with 150 hp Yam on the back) and, yes, it has a lot of storage.
Here's why I like it; the tubes are removable (as has been said) which is a boon if you need to do your own repairs.
In my case, the rope bolt attached to the main tube set parted company with the tube set (the glue failed due to UV exposure) rendering the boat unusable, with water pouring into the boat through the now open gaps between the tubes and the hull. No sweat. I obtained a quantity of the correct 2-part PVC glue from West Marine in Ft Lauderdale, a quantity of grey PVC material from an indy tube maker in England, quantities of MEK and acetone, power tools, abrasives and my meagre DIY skills and got to work repairing the damage.
Frankly, I think the tubes were poorly designed and constructed but, now I have re-attached the rope bolt and reinforced it along its entire length, above and below the rope (as Zodiac SHOULD have done), it has operated perfectly in all sorts of seas for over 2 years.
I just rejoice in the fact that the competent owner, with limited facilities, on a remote Bahamian island, can restore such a Zodiac to full working condition and contine to enjoy it. Hence, I endorse the Open Pro family of RIBs.
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Old 28 October 2016, 16:45   #8
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Like Richard, the glueing geek (!) I am a big fan of the 650 Open Pro. Mine is old and has lived its life in the tropical sun of the Bahamas its entire life (12 years) and the tubes are PVC. It was, incidentally, made in Spain, contrary to Richard's comment in his post that they are only US built. It's a great sea-keeeping boat, is fast (well, mine is with 150 hp Yam on the back) and, yes, it has a lot of storage.
Here's why I like it; the tubes are removable (as has been said) which is a boon if you need to do your own repairs.
In my case, the rope bolt attached to the main tube set parted company with the tube set (the glue failed due to UV exposure) rendering the boat unusable, with water pouring into the boat through the now open gaps between the tubes and the hull. No sweat. I obtained a quantity of the correct 2-part PVC glue from West Marine in Ft Lauderdale, a quantity of grey PVC material from an indy tube maker in England, quantities of MEK and acetone, power tools, abrasives and my meagre DIY skills and got to work repairing the damage.
Frankly, I think the tubes were poorly designed and constructed but, now I have re-attached the rope bolt and reinforced it along its entire length, above and below the rope (as Zodiac SHOULD have done), it has operated perfectly in all sorts of seas for over 2 years.
I just rejoice in the fact that the competent owner, with limited facilities, on a remote Bahamian island, can restore such a Zodiac to full working condition and contine to enjoy it. Hence, I endorse the Open Pro family of RIBs.
I was not very clear...there ARE foreign built PRO hulls. It entirely depends on the year.

US-XDC = USA
FR-XDC = France or Tunisia
ES-XDC = Spain

Currently, there are hulls being built in US and Tunisia. The US ones are all synthetic. US hull production began in ~2002-2003 if memory serves? Your Pro Open is probably a 1998 through 2001...although it could be later if it were imported from Europe, which is done infrequently.

Re : Bolt Rope reinforcement
The problem with bolt rope ungluing has nothing to do with the engineering of the bond. When the bond is new, the bonding in between 25 to 35 lb PER INCH of force required to break the bond... if you measure it out, the bond is good for several thousands of lb of force when the bond is new.

The problem is that PVC over time releases plasticizing oils (which are what make the material flexible). The oils attack and degrade the glue. So do all of the pollutants in the water. Eventually, the bonding of the PVC becomes very weak and peels away. Depending on use and environmental conditions, this usually takes 6 to 12 years.

It is simply a limitation of the material, much like rust on steel-based materials.

The tubes you have 99%+ thermobonded air holding seams. The only glued components on the tube were the accessories (logos, lifelines, anti-wear patches, etc), and the bolt-rope. They're some of the best plastomer base tubes on the market.
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Old 28 October 2016, 19:36   #9
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Richard,
Great post of yours, again. Thanks for the additional info and reason for the glue breaking down. I always thought it was the UV as, living here in the tropics for so long, just about all plastics degrade and go brittle and yellow (if it's white) after some years. I understand what you say about release of plasticising oils. My garden hoses are covered in this leached-out sticky mess!
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Old 29 October 2016, 07:18   #10
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Are there any Zodiac 650 Pro Open with jokey seats ?
Or there is only one type of seating in front of the console ?

What is the real weight 650 Pro Open with engine 150 HP (let's say 200 kg weight) including petrol, batteries, anchors. What GVW trailer needs to have (with reasonable margin) to carry this boat ?
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