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Old 29 October 2017, 13:00   #1
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Losing air............?

The tubes on my Zodiac Pro 550 Open are losing air somewhere. I have checked that all valves are tight and run soapy water over them to see if any leaks but cannot see anything. Also the tubes do not seem to inflate to a point where they are completely hard no matter how long you apply the air pump. It also seems that inflating one valve seems to blow up all the parts of the tubes when I assumed there were separate compartments given there are five separate valves. I have also washed the tubes again with soapy water to see if any pinpricks where air might be escaping but cannot see anything obvious. The tubes seem to deflate overnight to the point that to use the boat you need around ten minutes with a mains electric pump.

New to all this but am I missing something somewhere?

I am thinking of now taking to a a Zodiac dealer to have a look but any suggestions in the meantime would be much appreciated.

It is quite an old boat (2000) but the tubes look to be in very good condition and not particularly worn. I know on this boat the tubes do slide off so worst case scenario would be replacement tubes. Anyone have any idea of the cost of replacements?

Thank you for any suggestions or advice.

Cheers

Nick
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Old 29 October 2017, 14:36   #2
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Your tubes have baffles between them. They shouldn't all deflate together. Someone with more experience than me will be along shortly to suggest what you can do about it. There **may** be something you can do to inflate in a specific sequence to try and fllp the baffle.

But even with dodgy baffles you have to be loosing air somewhere...


And soapy bubbles should find it, if the pressure ever gets up enough.

Are your valves set to closed? If one is on deflate the cap alone won't hold the air in...

Tubes cost something like £600/m. So you'd be expecting something like 3-4k.
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Old 29 October 2017, 15:17   #3
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Remove the tubes and go over them with a bucket of soapy water and a paintbrush.

Inspect the bolt ropes for ungluing as well.
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Old 29 October 2017, 16:09   #4
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I could of wrote this same thread for my 2014 550 pro. I've been over the whole thing so many times with soapy water I've simply given up on finding any leaks now. Mine also seems to inflate and deflate through all the 5 baffles too ( it's got me baffled !!!).

Slipping the tubes off isn't as easy as just saying, I gave it a try with my teenage kids helping and gave up. I find it easier to get them to spend 20 mins pumping it up once a week.

Good luck, keep us informed if you get anywhere with it.
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Old 29 October 2017, 16:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonp View Post
I could of wrote this same thread for my 2014 550 pro. I've been over the whole thing so many times with soapy water I've simply given up on finding any leaks now. Mine also seems to inflate and deflate through all the 5 baffles too ( it's got me baffled !!!).

Slipping the tubes off isn't as easy as just saying, I gave it a try with my teenage kids helping and gave up. I find it easier to get them to spend 20 mins pumping it up once a week.

Good luck, keep us informed if you get anywhere with it.
Zodiac uses cone shaped baffles. When you inflate one chamber, it pushes on the other. It can be a 40 mbar pressure swing.
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Old 29 October 2017, 16:34   #6
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Richard's advice is spot on. Take off the tubes so that you have a full 360 degree view around them. Good opportunity to clean the hull area including the rail system that the tubes slide on to. You could try a snow foam solution in a bucket of hot water, and work on a small section at a time.

What are the valves like on the open pro? On my old zodiac GT the rubber diaphragms can be replaced. That said the final cap should make it air tight.
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Old 29 October 2017, 16:39   #7
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Originally Posted by nickbux View Post
Also the tubes do not seem to inflate to a point where they are completely hard no matter how long you apply the air pump...

....around ten minutes with a mains electric pump.
Those things make me wonder if at least part of the problem is the pump.

Office knows his tubes, and probably knows the Zodiac tubes as well as anyone here - so his advice is certainly where I'd start. Others who have had problems finding leaks have sometimes found the leak is under the rubber D strip/fender and so finds a very convoluted and gradual route out. That said your leak sounds big enough you should be able to hunt it down.
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Old 30 October 2017, 01:25   #8
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I had trouble locating a slow leak despite checking all the valves and seams . Whisper found it for me . A fairly innocuous looking scratch on the top of the tube was deeper than I thought , and turned out to be the culprit .
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Old 30 October 2017, 06:23   #9
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Good chance if you take it to your local Zodiac dealer it will end up here to be checked.
It sounds as if the tubes need to come off if you cant find the leaks on any visible parts. Stones can get between the tube and hull if the tubes have been soft and then cause damage when the tubes are inflated and the boat used.
As office has said on a boat of this age it woud be worth checking the bolt ropes as they can become detached,
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Old 30 October 2017, 22:07   #10
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Losing air............?

Your leak is between hull and tube. Probably due to an object and vibration/stress that works up a leak over time. Mine was on, and at the ribbons, as they are slightly higher.
All zodiac leaks from one to the next chamber.

You have to get it off the hull. Deflate completely. Bend front down, two bolts appear, screw them out.
Hose the slot down with fresh water, to remove sand and obstacles. Apply a wild amount of washingup liquid. Tie the end of the hull down, and start pulling equally from both sides. It will fly right off.

Then buy a serous compressor, I used to manually pump mine. When done I was cherry red in my face, and thinking more on cold beers, than clearing my head and getting any serious work done. When you nail it, itís like you have just invited the freaking wheel all over again. Actually itís the most manly satisfying thing anyone can accomplish - better get right to it!
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Old 31 October 2017, 16:00   #11
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Thank you for all the very helpful comments and the boat will be going to the very helpful Dave Cowell from North West Ribs for the tubes to come off and be checked. This will not be until early next year as I am laying it up shortly.

As a strange aside I fully inflated the tubes on sunday to clean them (used August Race with amazing results!) and they have since stayed up with minimal air loss despite the temperaure being below freezing overnight! I am wondering if I have been doing something wrong previously when inflating but I do not recall doing anything different this time. Maybe I have secured the valves better this time but anyway not complaining.

Will update once Dave has checked over.

Thanks again

Nick
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Old 31 October 2017, 17:00   #12
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if yours is the one parked opposite the black humber ocean pro in the compound at the yacht club they looked to be still inflated today. and Dave,s a good bloke he did some wear patches on my osprey
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Old 31 October 2017, 17:06   #13
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Mines back home in york now that one is Ian's (neo on here)
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Old 31 October 2017, 17:39   #14
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ah he got his outboard back together then fingers crossed that's the last of his troubles
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