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Old 15 November 2021, 20:22   #1
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2011 Zodiac Classic - MK I - Thoughts?

Found a used 2011 model for approx. $1200 US. Owner purchased new and used one time. Then stored (indoors garage) until now. He claims it is in excellent like new condition.

How is the Strongnan Duo Tex material after 10 years?
What are the potential issues with this boat?
Thoughts on this model and its quality?
Repairs still possible if needed?
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Old 15 November 2021, 22:08   #2
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If it's 2011, and used once it should be immaculate. Zodiacs fail because the thermo-bonded seams break down with age, UV light, heat, inflation and deflation, you name it.

Again - you want to see the boat, not just images, inflated to pressure and look closely at seams and glued areas, especially around the transom, the inflatable keel, etc.

In answer to your question - Strongan Duotex is basically Zodiac's own PVC fabric. I'd expect PVC to last even if used every year for at least 10 years. Again lots of older examples out there.

Zodiac GRs or Grand Raids are hypalon, and not unusual to see these old boats resurfacing after 25 years.

Mk1 might be a little on the snug side. Mk IIC (compact) or even MkII is a good size.
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Old 16 November 2021, 01:13   #3
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Thanks Spartacus. I'll have to drive 5 hours to see it. Images will be sent to me to review later this week.

It is smaller but the smaller size is also for portability.....put in back of my truck and take on camping trips when we tow our travel trailer. Primarily used for fishing and some sight seeing with 2-4 adults aboard.

OR.....

I can purchase a new Saturn FB365 (12' with 16.5" tubes)...which is also up for consideration.
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Old 16 November 2021, 06:47   #4
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If well taken care of the material should last at least another 10 years.

The weak points are the seams (glue) and transom.

I would avoid any boat that doesn't use heat welded seams. If you're set on buying this boat, and it happens to have glued seams, don't be surprised if you have to re-glue the entire hull eventually ... over time. The most common repair on Zodiacs are the round patches , under the transom , that connect the tubes to the transom. This is usually the first part to give.

Check the bottom of the transom for any play. Use your thumb. There should be zero give when you press against any part of the PVC material that's attached to bottom of the transom. Pay extra attention to where the tubes meet the bottom of the transom. Where there is play, there is a void. Those air spaces and will eventually fill with water. Trapped water will slowly destroy the glue and eventually ruin transom. Everything should be solid. No give. No play. No air between the PVC and transom. No voids.

Again, the life expectancy of glue is roughly 10 or so years, give or take. Depending on the condition and how it was taken care of. Off the record, dealers have told me that boats made after 2012 should be avoided because that was the year Zodiac got screwed by their glue supplier. Hulls would literally peel apart and end up behind the boat by the prop. Service centers were overwhelmed with warranty claims.

Test the boat before you buy it. Meet him at a ramp or marina. Bring an outboard and a tank if you have to. Does it take in water? It should be completely dry inside. Not a single drop of water.

Bring a spray bottle with soapy water. Apply stress to the boat and look hard for bubbles. Take your time. Look really hard. Once you buy it, there are no refunds. His problems are now your problems. You're not driving 5 hours to NOT buy the boat.

Has the boat been repaired? Repairs are super easy to spot. Look for messy over spread uncleaned glue. It will be brown in color and imperfect compared to factory glue. Factory patches (PVC over PVC) should be smooth with no irregularities. DIY jobs can appear wavy, bumpy and not as smooth because the glue coats were not spread evenly.

For 1200 USD, that price point should yield a lot of options. Technically, on paper that boat is nearing the end of it's life from a glue perspective. Zodiac PVC will last, but the glue might not. You might want to get something newer. Not saying anything is wrong with a 2011. But you can probably find a 2011 for less than what the seller is asking. Or get that 2011 down in price and only offer the seller what you feel the boat is actually worth.

Talk to him. Ask him questions. What does your gut tell you about this guy. The number one reason why people sell inflatables is because THEY LEAK. Is he honest. Or a good liar. Do you really trust his answers ? Don't buy the first boat you see. Try to see as many as you can before you pick one. I'd pick an older Zodiac over the Saturn any day.
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Old 17 November 2021, 02:21   #5
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John, thanks for the detailed response. Seller does not live close to a body of water. Seller said never any repairs. Like new.

Although it has been stored and only used once, I am concerned about the age of the glue as you mentioned. Even if it looked good, glue can become an issue not long after I start using it regularly..

Why is this 10 year old boat preferred over a new Saturn that now has heat welded seams and fiberglass transom?

Thanks
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Old 17 November 2021, 06:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalAngler View Post
Seller does not live close to a body of water.
That's an excuse. Everybody is within driving distance of a lake, river or pond. Unless he doesn't want you to try it before you buy it.

Take initiative and suggest a place to meet near his home. I've done this plenty of times for boats and outboards. In Google maps, enter his city as the destination > Search along route > boat ramps . They're free and open to the public with plenty of parking. If you're driving 5 hours, the least he can do is meet you somewhere close to his home, so you can test it. Unless he doesn't want you to see it in the water before you buy it. Red flag.

If you're able to do your own repairs, it's not absolutely necessary to test the boat beforehand. But would you buy a car without test driving it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalAngler View Post
Why is this 10 year old boat preferred over a new Saturn that now has heat welded seams and fiberglass transom?
You should always get the newest boat you can afford. And you should always get a quality brand that's proven whenever possible.

I can say for certain that the quality of Zodiacs (made in France) are much better than Saturns (made in Korea) . They've been making boats since 1896 . And will likely hold up longer than a Saturn.

Like many others, the Saturn I owned fell apart. Literally. So I've learned my lesson and try to stay away from budget brands and budget builds. It's no joke because your life depends on it.

I wouldn't hesitate buying a 10 year old boat. It's your call which boat is better for you.
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Old 17 November 2021, 12:34   #7
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>>> life expectancy of glue is roughly 10 or so years

>>>I wouldn't hesitate buying a 10 year old boat

So only if you like a complete re-glue??

Anyway the UK dealers tend to say about an 18year glue life over here and that has been supported by the number of members who have suffered glue failure at a 17-20yr Zodiac age.
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Old 17 November 2021, 12:58   #8
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Getting 7 to 10 seasons from a used Zodiac would be worth it. I doubt the Saturn will last that long.
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Old 18 November 2021, 15:51   #9
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How can I determine before I go and see it......if it was heat welded or glued? Is there online Zodiac info that would indicate construction specs?
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Old 18 November 2021, 15:52   #10
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Pics.
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Old 18 November 2021, 23:29   #11
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The tubes will be heat welded (since around 2000) and the glued element will be all the way around the floor where it joins the tubes... and all the parts that make up the transom attachment.
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Old 20 November 2021, 18:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalAngler View Post
It is smaller but the smaller size is also for portability.....put in back of my truck and take on camping trips when we tow our travel trailer. Primarily used for fishing and some sight seeing with 2-4 adults aboard.
consideration.
Regarding the size of the of the boat. I have a Zodiac Futura Mk IIc. Even though it is rated for a whopping 6 people I would consider that 3 person boat. It certainly won't sink with more people but you may get splashing into to boat when not on plane depending on conditions. Have a look at this short clip.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/D8T1G7g1w5qisUm26
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Old 21 November 2021, 00:34   #13
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Cool video....love the environment! I see a travel trailer off to the side.....is that yours? If so, my plan is to take a raft with me when I go camping in my travel trailer.
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Old 22 November 2021, 12:28   #14
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Yes, the trailer is mine. Unfortunately it is not for traveling anymore. I use it to haul stuff.

Camping is where a fully inflatable boat is actually useful! That sounds great.
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Old 21 January 2022, 16:04   #15
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Looks like this deal is back on!

Pics were sent to me and the the boat is awesome! Damn near brand new condition! Just like you said, spartacus!

It is a thermo-bonded boat with glue in some areas.

Questions:
This Zodiac has 0.42cm tubes. Is a 0.42cm (17") tube considered on the small size for a 3.5M (11.5') boat? I see many at this length are 0.45cm (18").

According to my calcs, 0.42 is actually 16.54" and 0.45 is 17.72" . I guess the manufacturers round way up!!

Specs and an article on boat:

https://www.zodiac-nautic.com/en-us/...lassic-mark-i/

zodiac mk1 classic – Inflatable Boat Center

Thanks!
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Old 21 January 2022, 17:04   #16
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Tubes look normal.
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