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Old 19 July 2010, 14:49   #1
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Zodiac Pro 7 Bow Strap

How important is the strap on the front of a Zodiac Pro 7?

Mine has become worn during towing and I'm in the process of fitting a new strap and buckle.

How tight should it be and will the tubes stay in place without it.

Any info would be great?

Cheers
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Old 19 July 2010, 15:49   #2
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Originally Posted by northseatiger View Post
How important is the strap on the front of a Zodiac Pro 7?

Mine has become worn during towing and I'm in the process of fitting a new strap and buckle.

How tight should it be and will the tubes stay in place without it.

Any info would be great?

Cheers

Do you mean the little black webbing strap that has a buckle between the tubes and the D ring?

If so then yes it is quite important but doesnt actually take any tension so a bit of ingenuity using a piece of string would do the trick I would have thought
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Old 20 July 2010, 08:33   #3
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Originally Posted by northseatiger View Post
How important is the strap on the front of a Zodiac Pro 7?

Mine has become worn during towing and I'm in the process of fitting a new strap and buckle.

How tight should it be and will the tubes stay in place without it.

Any info would be great?

Cheers
It's an integral component and needs to be fixed ASAP. The removable tube system is held in place on runners on the hull. If you stuff the bow in a wave without the strap in place, there is a risk that the tube will separate from the hull. Particularly noticible in a following sea where this would heighten the risk.
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Old 20 July 2010, 08:46   #4
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Originally Posted by gotchiguy View Post
yes it is quite important but doesnt actually take any tension so a bit of ingenuity using a piece of string would do the trick ..
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If you were to get a 50hp and the first time a child drove it then all you have to do is get a piece of string and rig up a little restrictor job ...
I'm starting to get the measure of your tool kit
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Old 20 July 2010, 10:59   #5
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It's an integral component and needs to be fixed ASAP. The removable tube system is held in place on runners on the hull. If you stuff the bow in a wave without the strap in place, there is a risk that the tube will separate from the hull.
Would it? The tubes slide off to hull towards the bow, don't they? The upwards force would be countered by the flap of fabric that the strap is connected to; in any case, considering how loose that strap is on most Zodiac RIB's I've seen, I can't see it doing a great deal of securing anything in any case.

Then again, I don't own a Zodiac.

jky
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Old 20 July 2010, 17:33   #6
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I'm starting to get the measure of your tool kit
Dont forget the nylon cable ties!

Seriously though, I think something has to be there holding the flap to the hull but I would definitly argue against it being an integral componant to the tubes staying on. If the boat did stuff with such severity that the tubes did succumb to the pressure and be forced off I think that that strap would do bu**** all in stopping them coming off at the front. Jyasaki also makes a valid point, over here there are hundreds of Pros, I don't recall seeing one whose strap is tight. If the tubes did come out of their slots at the front they would do so freely until the travel of the loose strap was reached, however I feel that this travel would be sufficient to allow the tubes to come free for maybe a metre south of the bow, if not more. No damage would therefore have been saved by the strap being in place. Where the strap tight as a ratchet, yes I can see your point it possible would make some effort to retain the tubes in their runners; however if I remember correctly that little buckle does not require too much pressure to induce any slippage, so even if it was tight I dont think it would make a hugely significant difference!
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Old 20 July 2010, 17:49   #7
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Would it? The tubes slide off to hull towards the bow, don't they? The upwards force would be countered by the flap of fabric that the strap is connected to; in any case, considering how loose that strap is on most Zodiac RIB's I've seen, I can't see it doing a great deal of securing anything in any case.

Then again, I don't own a Zodiac.

jky
The tubes are pulled on towards the transom and secured with two straps. Apparently a bit of a bu**er to remove, so I never touched them. The bow strap is glued inside a PVC flap attached to the bow. It uses a webbing strap which connects to the painter U bolt. When I had my Pro, this strap was always under tension when the tubes were inflated to operating pressure. Looking at the bare hull, the bow section extends out which would take the initial impact of waves while underway, however any significant force (such as stuffing) - well your guess is as good as mine? Please note - this is not a picture of my boat.
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Old 20 July 2010, 22:54   #8
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Sorted!

Thanks guys,

I've got my local shoe repair shop to double stich a webbing strap around a stainless steal clip which i can then attach back on to the bow. Should do the job!
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Old 21 July 2010, 03:59   #9
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The tubes are pulled on towards the transom and secured with two straps. Apparently a bit of a bu**er to remove, so I never touched them. The bow strap is glued inside a PVC flap attached to the bow. It uses a webbing strap which connects to the painter U bolt. When I had my Pro, this strap was always under tension when the tubes were inflated to operating pressure. Looking at the bare hull, the bow section extends out which would take the initial impact of waves while underway, however any significant force (such as stuffing) - well your guess is as good as mine? Please note - this is not a picture of my boat.
Yes, I understand how it works having run mine for the last three seasons. I also have spent a significant amount of time in the local boatyard, a specialist in Zodiacs, and they often have tubeless Pros, and now that they have rolled the system out to other models, them too, and they all look exactly as in your picture. The runners stop about a foot south of the bow. Possibly this area where the tubes are not rigidly attached to the hull is there to allow a bit of movement from the tubes when they do contact waves, as in making it flexible rather than brittle
(analogy! ANALOGY! ) when being stuffed into a wave. The webbing strap at the front which connects the flap from the tubes to the central towing D ring, in my view is undoubtably important, HOWEVER, you say that yours has always been holding a strong tension when the tubes have been at working pressure? I too often tightened the strap and when fully tight, I cannot help but feel that thetightening of this was actually beginning to pull the tubes out off the boat marginally, this resuklted in about a centimetre wide gap behind the flap and when at full tension, water often used to come out of here, even when not tackling particularly taxing conditions.

I also would put forward the point that if this strap was tightened to maximum tension it would hold the tubes down, as in my analogy (brittle/flexible) if the tubes were not allowed to budgee a milimetre when contacting large waves (eg stuffing -incidentally something I never managed to do in the Pro btw-) surely this would severly heighten the risk of an outcome in which the front tubes burst. I have got the T-shirt from puncturing the Pro and it did not require too severe an amount of pressure, admittedly it was onto a sharp corner of the trailer, but I can't help but feel that the power of the ocean can be immense especially in a small fast moving pleasure craft.

P.S. Yes the straps at the back are a PITA to get off. I tried at the end of my first season with it to take the tubes off (seeing as it is recommended in that little "access" mag which comes with every zodiac brochure, but trying to get those straps off was absolutely impossible, they are doubled back underneath a flap of duotex and after that first time I tried to undo them, for the next two years I had one of the black webbing straps flailing around in the wind due to the fact that I could not get it back underneath that flap.
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Old 21 July 2010, 04:46   #10
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I also would put forward the point that if this strap was tightened to maximum tension it would hold the tubes down, as in my analogy (brittle/flexible) if the tubes were not allowed to budgee a milimetre when contacting large waves (eg stuffing - incidentally something I never managed to do in the Pro btw) surely this would severly heighten the risk of an outcome in which the front tubes burst.
I don't think the tubes would burst. They may detatch, but it would have to be pretty severe impact. Zodiac do a lot of testing and I'm sure it's something they've considered, when they introduced the removable tube system. Stuffed mine on the west coast in the Atlantic on a couple of occasions in a following sea. Not something I want to do again in a hurry.

Quote:
P.S. Yes the straps at the back are a PITA to get off. I tried at the end of my first season with it to take the tubes off (seeing as it is recommended in that little "access" mag which comes with every zodiac brochure, but trying to get those straps off was absolutely impossible, they are doubled back underneath a flap of duotex and after that first time I tried to undo them, for the next two years I had one of the black webbing straps flailing around in the wind due to the fact that I could not get it back underneath that flap.
Apparently some dealers use washing up liquid or such like on the runners to lubricate them before pulling the tubes on. I found there was no no real need to remove the tubes once they were on. One drawback of the tube system, is that sand and grit can become trapped between the tube and the hull. I found that if you deflated the tubes, you could get a hose or power-washer to clear the channels, then reinflate again. Job done!
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