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Old 22 April 2020, 20:44   #1
pro
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Pro 11 550 From 1996 Olympics

Hey everyone!

Today I bought a Zodiac Pro 550 (17.9’ long). My grandfather originally bought 3 of this same boat at auction after the Olympics were held in Atlanta in 1996. He sold the other two and I just bought this one from him. It’s been sitting in a covered gag rage pretty much since it was purchased. We ran the engine every year or so using earmuffs so it seems to work fine.

I’m trying to figure out what year the model I have is and anything else I can find out about it. Would really love to know what it’s worth.
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Old 23 April 2020, 07:00   #2
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Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Aberdeenshire
Boat name: Sula
Make: Ribcraft 4.8m
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu 60hp + aux
MMSI: 235087213
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Welcome to the forum pro.

Nice boat. What's it worth, that's the $6m question. It's a 1996 boat, so regardless of whether it's been used or not, it's still 24 years old. The fact it's been under-cover will certainly have helped it. The tubes are likely to be Strongan Duotex (Zodiac's own PVC), so being out of the sun and extremes of temperature have helped preserve it. Others of similar vintage will be on a new tube-set.

The seat pod looks too far set back, and old fashioned if I'm honest. You used to get Zodiac Futuras in a similar set up. Zodiac sell bolster seats and consoles that could transform this RIB. Means you can get the fuel tank shifted too. https://www.zodiac-nautic.com/en/sho...s/accessories/

Even although the engine has been run periodically, drop the lower unit and fit an impeller, change the gear oil and spark plugs before you use it. Fuel-wise, install a new fuel filter on the engine and check the rubber 'o' rings on all full connections. A new Quicksilver fuel bulb should be on your shopping list too. The internal diaphragms fail over time.

Oh, and give it a wash!
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Old 23 April 2020, 09:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Welcome to the forum pro.

Nice boat. What's it worth, that's the $6m question. It's a 1996 boat, so regardless of whether it's been used or not, it's still 24 years old. The fact it's been under-cover will certainly have helped it. The tubes are likely to be Strongan Duotex (Zodiac's own PVC), so being out of the sun and extremes of temperature have helped preserve it. Others of similar vintage will be on a new tube-set.

The seat pod looks too far set back, and old fashioned if I'm honest. You used to get Zodiac Futuras in a similar set up. Zodiac sell bolster seats and consoles that could transform this RIB. Means you can get the fuel tank shifted too. https://www.zodiac-nautic.com/en/sho...s/accessories/

Even although the engine has been run periodically, drop the lower unit and fit an impeller, change the gear oil and spark plugs before you use it. Fuel-wise, install a new fuel filter on the engine and check the rubber 'o' rings on all full connections. A new Quicksilver fuel bulb should be on your shopping list too. The internal diaphragms fail over time.

Oh, and give it a wash!

Thanks for the tips! It was washed after these pictures were taken. Hoping to put her into the water today.

Am I able to paint the PVC tubes, or at least recondition them somehow? They are a little chalky looking.

I would love to swap out the center console and add more seating but I don't see any pricing on the link you sent.
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Old 23 April 2020, 13:33   #4
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Since I originally posted, I have located the following hull and engine identification information:
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Old 23 April 2020, 14:20   #5
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Make: Ribcraft 4.8m
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Engine: Tohatsu 60hp + aux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pro View Post
Thanks for the tips! It was washed after these pictures were taken. Hoping to put her into the water today.

Am I able to paint the PVC tubes, or at least recondition them somehow? They are a little chalky looking.

I would love to swap out the center console and add more seating but I don't see any pricing on the link you sent.
Don't paint them, temping as that might sound. These tubes will clean up. Start with a general detergent. In the UK we use Fairy Power Spray with a green scourer. If you want you can use TFR (Traffic Film Remover) but remember and wear gloves, as it's an irritant. For stubborn stains you can use MEK, but sparingly, and always rinse off. 3M make a protectant to apply afterwards. More details here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/01...ollars.pdf?475

Regards seating prices from Zodiac, pour yourself a couple of Jack Daniel's, and find a comfy seat. Speak to a dealer. I have warned you.
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Old 24 April 2020, 21:59   #6
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Make: Zodiac Pro II 550
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Actually, your boat is a 1995 Zodiac Pro II 550. I have the exact same boat, only it does not have the jockey seat. I have the bench seat and full console. My tubes are original, but because they were housed in the garage and out of the sun by the previous owners, they are in exceptional condition.

I have a 90hp Yamaha on the back, but it will take up to a 120hp motor. When the built these boats, they did not have 4-strokes. So, the weight is based on 2-stroke engine weight. The 2-strokes in 90-115hp are about 265-275lbs, where the same in a 4-stroke would be roughly 385lbs.

As stated already, you need to do a thorough job of cleaning the tubes by using a good car washing brush and a cleaning solution designed for these type of boats. A lot of dirt and other crap get caught between the tubes and under them. They will need to be removed.

One of the things that are not mentioned is that those tubes will slide off. They are attached by bolt ropes that are on the bottom of the tubes. They slide into a channel that is on the hull, where the tubes go on. I had to have a lot of work done on my boat and tubes. The way they come off is pretty simple, but time consuming. You will need someone to help you, preferably someone with a little muscle. You need to get a bucket of very soapy water. I am talking about half of a large bottle of dish soap. You might need 2 buckets full. You are going to use it as a lube. First, deflate the tubes, all 5 of them. Then, remove the straps in the stern, where tubes are attached to transom. Second, you need to remove the 2 screws at the bow that hold the tubes in place.

Now that all the that all of this is done, you are free to pull the tubes off. take one of the buckets of soapy water, pulling the deflated tube back on the interior of the boat and slowly pour the soapy water into the channel. Do the same on the outside. Do both sides of the boat. Now, that it has some lube, this is where you will need some help from a strong buddy. You need to loosen the bolt rope in the channels to get them started. Once they are loose, the tubes will slide right off.

Once they are off, inflate the tubes to about 90%. Inspect for damage that you cannot see while on the boat. Take some of that soapy water and pour it into a spray bottle and start spraying around the boat to look for leaks. Also, you need to check the bolt rope, as these can come unglued and you would never know it until its too late. This is what happened to me (story for another time). And clean those tubes. Do any repairs that may need to be done. Clean the channels where the bolt ropes slide in. Crap can get in there very easily and by cleaning them, the tubes will slide on much easier.

Once you have made sure that everything with the tubes are how they should be and you are happy with them, then have your buddy help you slide them back on. It is a 2 man job. made sure to scrub down the interior of the hull and the outside. Make it look good and clean. I will post pictures of my boat.
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Old 24 April 2020, 22:03   #7
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pictures of some repairs. And I do not know why the pictures turned sideways. Sorry about that
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Old 24 April 2020, 22:04   #8
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repairs
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Old 24 April 2020, 22:15   #9
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a video on how the tubes slide on. Video is on an Avon, but the principle is the same. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...tail&FORM=VIRE
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Old 24 April 2020, 22:24   #10
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Save your money on buying a new seat and console. Spend some time on the internet and make some phone calls. You can find good used seats and consoles and save a bundle. You just have to find the time. I am sorry, but our boats are not worth the money to put a lot of money into it. Because of the age and the fact that its PVC tubes, just look for used stuff.
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Old 24 April 2020, 22:32   #11
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Also, if you need any information on this boat. I know everything you need to know about it. I have done the research and I have spent time and money working and having work done on this boat. Call me any time. 559-288-7005. I would love to share what I have learned about this boat.

Bryan M.
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Old 24 April 2020, 23:10   #12
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Bryan, you're the man! That's all information that I was looking for.

I just made a post HERE asking this exact question.

Do you not think it's worth putting a console and bench seat on it and a t-top? My wife really wants some shade when we go out. Poor thing says she gets sun spots on her face lol. I did find a t-top for around $1000 and some consoles in the $300 range.

My family owns a boatyard so I can get all of the install done at payroll cost so the labor portion of it isn't a real issue. I also like tinkering with things and I just got finished doing everything I wanted to my car, so I need a new project!
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Old 25 April 2020, 01:56   #13
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If you can get the seats and console that cheap, I say go for it. And the T-tops are worth the $1000. It's just that the Zodiac brand seats and consoles are so ridiculously priced. To replace my console would be about $3000 and the seat would be about $2000+. But mine are in great condition. So, if you can get yours for those low prices, I would definitely do it.
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