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Old 08 February 2010, 12:51   #1
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Zodiac Pro Open 650 Quality

Greetings,

Any comments to the boat build quality and ride characteristics of a Zodiac Pro Open 650 (Hypalon) would be greatly appreciated. I have looked at them all and this model seems to have the best seating configuration for my needs however I understand there has been some quality issues in the past.

Thanks
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Old 10 February 2010, 14:31   #2
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Anyone??
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Old 10 February 2010, 19:12   #3
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Most of the readership on this forum are UK and Europe based and Zodiacs don't seem to have a huge following among the membership - I don't really know why - but there may not be too many people who can say anything useful.
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Old 10 February 2010, 19:44   #4
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If you go to the member lists and look for people who own Zodiacs then it will give you some folks to ask. BUT the fact that so few show up or answer does tend to speak volmes for how Zodiacs are viewed as RIBs.

Ian
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Old 11 February 2010, 10:59   #5
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OK - thanks for the insight!
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Old 11 February 2010, 16:03   #6
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Well in defence.......

I've had a zodiac for 8 years, bought from new.

No probs whatsoever. I do maybe 4-500 miles each year in it. Comfortable ride with 2-6 people. I've been in rough weather/seas, and still felt completely safe........

Adapted it a bit through the years to suit me perfectly..... double A frame, different seats etc....

What sort of info are you after? What/where will you be expecting to go/use it for? Size of engine etc....?

Julie
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Old 11 February 2010, 17:25   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walruz View Post
BUT the fact that so few show up or answer does tend to speak volmes for how Zodiacs are viewed as RIBs.
My tuppence worth! I've had Zodiac inflatables for over 20 years (which got me into boats in the first place) before I moved to a Pro 7 Man RIB in 2006. (For sale here). Been out in some fairly miserable weather and always felt safe. To be fair, it's probably more suited to the Mediterranean than the Moray Firth/Atlantic, but never had an issue with quality. I know a lot of the newer models are now available in Hypalon/Neoprene.

The Pro Open 650 (hull angle of 24) is available in Strongan Duotex fabric. The 550 Pro Open is also available in Hypalon-Neoprene fabric. Needs a extra-long shaft outboard. Zodiac recommend 150hp, but it'll take a maximum 175hp (maximum transom weight of 240kg). No doubt the bare boat package will be expensive. However comes with hydraulic steering, 120 litre fuel tank and a 54 litre cooler as standard.

Picture courtesy of Zodiac. No doubt the birds are extra!
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Old 11 February 2010, 23:03   #8
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hi, don't want to hijack thread but have pretty much the same question. Have been looking at a Pro Open 650 with 150hp for a while as a first boat. I have searched this forum several times and seem to get the impression that there are better ribs for the money. All well and good when there is a lot of choice, but the only ribs I've seen for sale locally with official dealers and warranty support are Brig and Zodiac (other than some Chinese imports).

The Zodiac seems to offer a safe platform with a good seating layout for bay cruising with a few friends and occasional coastal trips.

Is it worth considering at all? The alternative is one of the many fishing cruiser/cuddy cabin boats but most seem to be fair weather boats.
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Old 12 February 2010, 00:20   #9
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Absolutely worth considering. The Brits are spoiled with loads of commercial grade ribs and custom builders, as well as a huge used rib market. The rest of us are left with Navy/coast guard cast offs and off the shelf zodiacs.

24 degree deadrise in a hull is far better than anything you'd find in one of the "regular boats" you mention. It will handle chop better for sure. You'd want hypalon if you are in a sunny climate. Failing that run what it comes with and replace it later with hypalon.

I think the question for the UK ribbers should be...would you buy a regular boat or a zodiac if those were your choices.
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Old 12 February 2010, 02:07   #10
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OK, here is 2cents worth from an Australian perspective. I went through this in detail 2 years or so ago, and as far as I can see the choices have narrowed if anything.

But there is a fair range of boats available once you get away from the main (runabout) dealers.

Zodiac are probably the best supported, and there is a 6m Pro II that is built in Australia and is as solid as, but a full range of imported models are around.

Gemini have a reasonable range. There is a limited range of Lomacs available, and the 6, and 6.5m are solid boats. You've mentioned Brigg which look OK, if a bit production like for my taste and I think Whitney are now importing a rib range.

Stepping up price wise, Protector and NAIAD are available and I just saw an advert for a new 10.7m Cougar (price undisclosed). A bunch of Revengers were brought in but I think proved too expensive for local tastes. Slightly off centre are the amphibious sealegs and the VSR ribs have been marketed pretty hard to sailing clubs and coaches.

Oh, and there is one Vipermax - because the others just wouldn't do! Quite a hassle but worth it.

I'm bound to have missed a few others. The problem is that a really good quality rib is costing probably 50% more than the equivalent hard boats that just dominate the leisure / fishing market here - and the punters are just not seeing value.

I'm aware of a few good buys around in new boats so PM me if you want.
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