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Old 21 July 2021, 06:25   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: warwick
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Zodiac Aero

I have just purchased a new 350 cadet aero. When inflating the air keel the filling valve moves forward in the access hole of the aero deck and then under the aero deck jamming the inflating tube so I cant get the tube out. It also tries to move sideways. I can shift around the keel left and right and have just about got it to stay central but then sometimes get a crooked keel under the boat. The forward movement is more problematic. I cant move the aerodeck forward as it butts up to the bow. If you sit ths keel back and inflate the pressure will hold it against the bottom of the deck but as you move around in the boat you can hear it creaking and eventually it slips forward again.The valve in the keel seems to be fitted too far forward ( or the hole in the deck is too far back). The seam under the inflatable keel which is glued to the bottom of the boat is not straight.
Has anyone had this problem? I dont know if this is normal and I cant see a fix other than sending the boat back.
I am loathe to live with it as I can see problems somewhere along the line when Im not inflating in the back garden.

zodiac99
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Old 21 July 2021, 08:45   #2
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Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Some pictures would really help to make sure this is a fault and not something you are misunderstanding being new to the boat.

I think you have a high pressure air floor and a lower pressure sausage keel under?

Assuming so the main locating posn for the air floor is that it touches the transom and is just held from lifting by a couple of blocks on the transom.

So the air floor is effectively a fixed posn. Over the years the keel location fixing has changed... some just attaching in a few places others being fully glued to the outer floor... which is yours?

I've had two Zodiacs of this type and on both the natural positions of air floor and keel placed the keel valve in the hole through the air floor.... not dead central but so the valve was fully accessible.

So assuming you're not doing something daft... and actually I can't think what that could be... then it seems either keel location or floor hole are badly out and it should be returned to the seller.

Pics attached of my old one showing how the keel inflated centrally against the outer central strip... and of the valve visible through the floor hole.
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Old 21 July 2021, 15:26   #3
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zodia 350

Fenlander
Thanks for your input. Tha rear of the air floor butts to the transom and is held by two small tubes which slide into the blocks there so it cannot move. The front of the air floor sits tight under the cross tube on the bow so it cannot move at all when inflated.
The air keel is glued but the last 30 cm or so is not so it forms a long "bag" which narrows toward the bow. The seam on the underside of this bag is not central and I guess it is this which pushes the air valve off sideways as the bag inflates and tries to assume the position it was glued in. As I said by carefully repositioning this bag by pulling material from one side hence moving the valve
into the middle I can get the valve to sit in the centre of the hole. However you can see creases in the air keel through the hole in the airdeck. The front of this bag which is squared off sits tightly against the internal bow wall. But in this position the valve is too far forward. Pulling it back and inflating just pushes the whole thing forward again.
I could understand an error of a few mm but this is several centimetres out and would surely be noticed at Zodiac QA. Your boat is slightly different but your fill valve is in a much better position than mine.
I cant see what Im doing wrong. Trying to post some images but hav not worked out how to do that yet.
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Old 21 July 2021, 15:34   #4
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Images easy from PC/laptop click on Go Advanced next to post quick reply then Manage Attachments then add photos.

I'm sorry to say from personal experience Zodiac are not the company they were 10+yrs ago.

I had a new Zodiac 360 with a splitting welded seam from first inflation and then when they replaced the transom started to delaminate on the second boat so I got that one fully refunded. The Zodiac made Bombard I have now came new with a floor so badly dimensioned it wouldn't fit down into place and they had to replace the floor.

Don't think I'm down on Zodiac but they do have their share of problems. It does sound as if your keel tube was glued in the wrong place.
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Old 21 July 2021, 15:35   #5
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RIBase
Have you tried pumping the keel up with no bottom resistance so it can’t push its way out of position if that makes sense
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Old 21 July 2021, 15:38   #6
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Jeff

I have tried that one and pumping up gently with no aerodeck to see and it sits all wrong.
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Old 21 July 2021, 15:45   #7
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You can see from first picture the keel is not symmetrical so when you pressurize it twist.
I have always had a solid dinghy and this is my first outing to inflatables.
Am I being picky and is it normal on a sib to have this kind of build. It does not give me confidence that when I am out on the estuary or river that I cant inflate or top up certain parts of the boat without deflating all the other bits to get at the valve.

My first reaction is to take it back as I cant see any way of correcting it but I will miss the summer. I would not want to do that if everyone else is living with things like this on a sib
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Old 21 July 2021, 15:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zodiac99 View Post
Jeff

I have tried that one and pumping up gently with no aerodeck to see and it sits all wrong.
Picture paints the problem IMO valve is out of position Friday night job, I would take it back to be honest if it were me
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