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Old 25 June 2017, 03:25   #1
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Country: Ireland
Town: Galway
Boat name: Lucky
Make: Zodiac
Length: 6m +
Engine: Outboard
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 69
Zodiac Futura 4.2 Refurb and transom rebuild

During 2016 season I experienced some issues with the transom coming unstuck and also had evidence of some seams separating on a 4.2M Zodiac Futura (circa 2000). For the start of this season I decided to completely remove and upgrade the transom and also to make the repairs to the seams. The overall project was (1) Full transom removal and refit (2) remove and re-fit any seams that had come unstuck (3) Remove 2x floor timbers that were warped and damaged and make replacement units (4) Fit auto bilge pump (5) replace 1 of 3 pumped floor tubes as this one was damaged (6) repair other two floor tubes as they were leaking down within an hour (7) replace main tube leaking valves (8) New hand hold lines to the top of the RIB (9) Reinforce transom to better support 50Hp engine. Not an exhaustive list of all I had to do but sounds exhausting. Anyway, I wanted to share the highs and lows of the job and all I had lerned from others here on the forum and happy to answer any questions you may have. The picture attached is where I am today in the rebuild and I will add more pictures of the 'Before' or 'during' stages
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Old 25 June 2017, 03:35   #2
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Country: UK - England
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Make: Aerotec 380
Length: 3m +
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Be really interested to see and read this report. No images showing yet.
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Old 25 June 2017, 04:06   #3
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Country: Ireland
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I am hoping this link address works

https://goo.gl/photos/zUvmgw5fdGz9HkJy5
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Old 25 June 2017, 04:35   #4
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For task 1 I removed engine, steering etc. and full floor. Bare SIB was placed in shed and dehumidifier ran for 3-4 days (2-3 hours per day) to reduce humidity for gluing. I have learned from others here that humidity is a big issue when it comes to applying new glue. I used a hot air gun to reheat and remove all the transom joint materials and removed the transom from the SIB. If you look in the photo link you will see that I found a battery drill and flap wheel disc to be the best option for removing old glue. Chemical options for glue removal are mentioned in this forum under various posts but some of the chemicals are very restricted and hard to get. It took about 2 hours for full transom disassembly and about 2-3 hours for the entire clean up of all old joints. Mark the position of what you are removing with a permanent marker as you will need to re-fit in the same position again
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Old 25 June 2017, 04:45   #5
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Country: Ireland
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How and what to use for re-gluing?? This is a dilemma as humidity is a major factor in the gluing process as is joint cleanliness and the full removal of the old glue. Take your time here as I found it was best to spend time getting the joint prep right first time. Nothing worse than spending days preparing for a bad finished joint!!. I have used the Polymarine 2-part inflatable boat adhesive in the past so decided on this again for the PVC to PVC joints. For other materials to PVC I decided on another approach, HH66, as I found this worked well in tests for PVC to PVC, PVC to Wood etc. I tried a few sample joints and left them to cure for 2 days. The HH66 performed very well so I decided to use this for PVC to transom timber and any other joint that was not simply PVC to PVC. For all joints before gluing I used PVC Primer from Ploymarine as this stuff really works to reactivate any remaining glue and prepares the surface well for the application of the glue. For gluing all I can say is Follow the manufacturers instructions to the letter as it makes a big difference in how well the joint will hold.
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Old 25 June 2017, 05:15   #6
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Country: Ireland
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Steps I took weresee link above for pictures)
1. Make new 8 inch wide PVC strip to join to transom sides
2. Fit PVC material to transom sides using HH66
3. Fit copper strap to inner (concave) side of PVC strip (also glued with hh66). The copper strap is a 3/4" copper pipe flattened and rounded at the ends then bent to the transom curvature
4. Fix copper strip to transom with 6 x screws
5. Fit PVC covers to end of copper strip for joint wear protection
6. Leave to set for 48 hours

Next up was the fitting of the rebuilt transom to the SIB pontoons (side tubes). For this joint I used the Polymarime 2-part inflatable adhesive and followed the joint preparation and 2-part adhesive application as per the manufacturers instruction. Steps were
(a) Joint Prep and inflate tubes fully
(b) adhesive application in two steps as per instructions (on the tin)
(c) With some help here I had both sides held back while fitting the transom and mating the marks on the SIB side tubes with the marks on the transom as both joints were brought together
(d) Use a cargo ratchet strap to hold both joints together firmly
(e) I applied a larger cargo strap around the entire assembly to make sure it held together very firmly and checked side tube air pressure was firm for the two days
(f) after initial strap is in place I used a gluing roller to press the joints together and ensure any trapped air or bubbles were rolled out and the joints were firm and as neat as possible.

I left this for over two days to cure (2 days approx for cure and 7 days for max working strength apparently)
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Old 25 June 2017, 05:20   #7
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For the next stage of repair I found it better to flip the SIB over and work bottom up. This was to pull the floor PVC back over the transom and glue it back to the transom. Having cleaned and prepared (glued) the joint with HH66 I pulled the PVC material back over the transom and fitted it back to the transom timber. Extra hands helped here as it is difficult to keep the two surfaces away from each other while pulling the right level of tension on the PVC. When in place I used some timber battens and some wood screws to hold the PVC in the right place on the transom while the glue dried. Again, I left this 2 days before next steps.
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Old 25 June 2017, 12:28   #8
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Stage 3: Warped boards. Having done some investigation and referencing you tube videos of Zodiac's being assembled I gathered that the original floor boards were flat and not curved and warped as my set were (my set were also getting soft from years of exposure). I decided to make a new set. First steps was two blanks from 1/2" Marine PLY which I ordered from a local wood cut shop (42). Next I placed the originals on the new ply and marker the templates. After cutting, hole saw, and sanding I finished both boards with a layer of clear epoxy resin (for long term water ingress protection), then two layers of paint (suitable for painting over epoxy resin). I had a 1/2 tin of red toplac paint which I used for the job. I meant to mention that the original timbers have aluminium joiners that took a flat screwdriver and a mallet to remove in section. When re-fitting I used black Sika Flex as the bond between the alumimium joiners and the timber sections. They are in compression on the boat when fitted so Sika Flex is a good retainer choice
Tips: Take some pictures as you remove parts so re-fit is easier. Use a round router / sander on the ply edges as you want to have smooth edges and round is required for fitting in the aluminium profile. When fitting back into the SIB floor, these two timber sections are third and fourth to be fitted in sequence before fitting the final two aluminium floor mid-sections. I will share the video link next
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Old 25 June 2017, 12:37   #9
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This is the video I followed for re-assembly of the floor sections into the SIB
Worked for me
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Old 25 June 2017, 12:43   #10
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Stage 4: Auto bilge pump.
I had a manual bilge pump in the SIB but noticed some times that I would really have done with a powered version after a few nights rain. When I had the aluminium floor panels out of the SIB I opened a second hole through both layers of the alum floor which allowed access for the bilge pump to the lower PVC floor of the SIB (and where the water gathers in the bilge). Pump is a small model RULE pump that should be sufficient. I wont bore you with wiring etc. as it was standard 2-core marine cable back to a new switch on the helm. I used Sika Flex around the hole opening so that the RULE pump wont get damaged on the alum floor hole opes.
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Old 25 June 2017, 13:10   #11
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Stage 5: The curse of the dreaded leaking Speed Tubes on Zodiac SIB's
Not the first of last time we will hear about these leaking tubes. They are apparently notorious for leaking at the stern end and at a joint that is very hard to seal. I did locate the leaks with soapy water and after making a nice new end cap (from a strip of PVC heated and formed around a 6 inch pulley), I still had a small persistent set of leaks. I decided to go a little unorthodox and while getting my car tyres changed, I purchased a tube of universal tube sealant. I poured 200 ml of this goo into the speed tube and inflated it and held it upright while rotating the end so that the goo made its way down to all the final remaining leaking seals at the stern end. After 10 mins of rotation and 30 mins left upright, I re-inflated to pressure and hey presto, no more leaks. Good enough for me...
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Old 25 June 2017, 13:16   #12
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Very impressive and thanks for taking the time to post the methods.
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Old 25 June 2017, 13:30   #13
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Country: UK - England
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Excellent report I just wounder could the speed tubes be replaced with plastic pipe in the extream ?
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Old 25 June 2017, 15:17   #14
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Thanks @FENLANDER
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Old 25 June 2017, 15:18   #15
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@Jeffstevens763@g, Not so sure how this would go with respect to stability on the water but I would love to hear more if this works for you
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Old 25 June 2017, 15:20   #16
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Some pictures of the leaking speed tubes attached. Seems they are prone to leaking at this joint over time and it is hard to seal
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Old 25 June 2017, 15:31   #17
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I have no expeariance with them but do know they can be a Pain I just wondered if a solid pipe replacing the tubes might work
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Old 25 June 2017, 15:45   #18
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Fast forward to task 8 as it was completed ahead of other tasks. I decided to replace the hand hold lines on top of the SIB as they were frayed and probably the original set. I purchased 7M of 12mm white dock line (three-strand type). I had approx 0.8M left after completing the job.

Steps:
(1) Remove rope just ahead of fitting new rope (so I could watch the rope routing)
(2) Tape off at 6 inches from end with insulating tape and open three strands
(3) Torch /burn ends to stop them fraying when passing through eyelets
(4) Splice end of rope approx 3" back and cut and torch ends (mind the SIB)
(5) Whip ends to stop unravel and to tidy the joints
(6) Follow pattern along all eyelets as per original

Tips: I found the 12mm lines were perfect fit and look well but were a little tight on the eyes. Use some washing up liquid to free them up for rope fitting. Tighten the insulation tape well aids the passage through the eyelets. Torching the rope ends stops fraying and I used wetted fingers to press them into points for a better entry tip. Job took about 1 hour per side and I also learned that while I am no expert splicer, I managed to do an alright job
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Old 25 June 2017, 16:10   #19
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Transom reinforcement. So my thoughts on this issue relate to the fact that I use a 50Hp Long shaft engine on the SIB, whereas they were originally designed to take a short shaft (Max 50 Hp I believe). I will share pictures of the stainless steel extender that I had made last year to raise the engine to the correct height for long shaft engine to work correctly (per engine manufacturers specs). My approach to transom reinforcement were these
(a) Make a better transom to side tube joint so that it is stronger and acting over a wider area of the side tubes than the original
(b) Build a set of transom to floor brackets that would effectively join the aluminium floor to the transom and therefore provide better support to the engine than just side tubes PVC joints alone.
Step (a) was achieve as mentioned earlier in this post and steps (b) is partially complete and I hope to complete it this week. For part (b) I drilled and tapped three holes in either side of the Alum floor when I had them out of the SIB. Holes were 6.8mm (for 8mm tap) and I put them at 200mm, 400mm and 600mm distance from the stern end of the alum floor.

Tips: I found it better to drill along the middle of the rails marked in the picture as it has better thickness of aluminium. I did not tap all the way through (as the tap has exited the top hole before it entered the lower floor alum section so the threads would not align after. When I discovered this I just drilled and tapped the top section only. Material thickness in the alum varied from 6mm to 10mm in another hole.
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Old 27 June 2017, 16:11   #20
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So this evening I decided to tackle some of the last major jobs left on the refurb. The main one being the transom reinforcement. After making a cardboard template and having measured the angle carefully between the SIB alum floor and the transom I proceeded to my nearest sheetmetal shop to have some brackets made. Material chosen was 1.2 mm stainless and we cut and folded the sheets as per the pictures shown. I ground the edges carefully and also fitted trim on the upper edge for protection. I used 3 No. 8mm x 30mm stainless bolts with flat and spring washers. and fixed the brackets to the floor. These three bolt holes I drilled after placement and final alignment was checked in the SIB. For the bracket retention to the SIB I took a different approach. The stainless brackets I added fit behind my A-Frame brackets so on one side I did not add any more retainer bolts into the transom. On the other side I just put one extra hole as to give better retention. I have to say that I am very happy with the results and I have really lost no space in the aft SIB area.
Tips: Drilling stainless requires good drill bits suitable for stainless and use drilling compound/spray. Do all of this away from the SIB. Make a good template before you commence and get your transom angle to floor angle correct. This is one job I should have done many years ago.
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