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Old 18-11-2011, 17:35   #1
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Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

Ok it was soft and leaked so I got a new on, But I liked the old thing and would like to keep it as a second spare for the kids to play around the boat.

I have removed all the rotten and soft ply leaving about 130mm of missing ply at the bottom. Question. what should I replace it with?
Im thinking eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d and than cover with Sicaflex but maybe you have a better cheeper idea.

The rest of the Zodac is quite ok never even has a patch.
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Old 18-11-2011, 18:29   #2
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodac Dinghy

I have the same situation with a Dink that was given to us. I have removed the transom, or what was left of it. I have saved it to use as a pattern. Next summer I plan to clean and rough-up the dink's transom sealing areas, and coat a piece of plywood with epoxy, glass it over and epoxy it into place. I will then paint the whole thing and replace the metal motor mount piece. I figure it will make a good summer project and leave us with a sound dink. Good luck on your project. I chose not to try and just repair the remaining areas with filler, due to the fact that the transom material is a particle board that is crumbling quite badly, and I figured it would just be a waste of time not to replace it all.
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Old 18-11-2011, 22:12   #3
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

The Zodiac wooden transom cannot withstand any prolonged exposure & best kept indoors!! Just plain poor design that is not waterproof internally at the transom. Made the mistake of having one (less than 5yrs old) & allowing the transom to hang low so it would drain on the back of my boat. (that did not happen & found it had previous damage but finished off by fresh water during the heavy rains in Qld last year) The transom was cut out with the aid of a Bosch 180E & replaced with composite. Special 2 part PVC glue & MEK or similar to clean before rebonding PVC. I used nuts & bolts in remounting the transom through the rubber mount. (With 4 layers of carbon & honey comb I wonder just how large a motor could be used now?)

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Old 25-11-2011, 11:56   #4
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

We have had nothing but trouble with our Zodiac inflatable. First the transom rotted out and got soft. Following that the glue would debond on the rubber part between the transom and the fabric (PVC) tubes. One good thing about that was it was easy to make a new plywood transom that was epoxied and varnished when this happened. The glue used to put the whole thing back togther was a two part from zodiac. Very expensive. This lasted about a year then start to de-bond again. I heard there may have been some issues with the fabric glue system that plaged zodiac for some years.

After having zodiac authorized service centers put the thing back together 4 years in a row with only a 60 day warrantee, I started to use West System G flex epoxy, no affiliation, myself last year to re-glue areas that debond. Good news is the new plywood transom has not rotted at all. The bad news is I noticed at the end of last summer the seams on the tubes are starting to debond on the edges along with the seam on the floor.

Personally I would not use one of these to count on as a second back up and certianly not for my kids (grand kids) to use.
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Old 26-11-2011, 07:00   #5
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

My West Marine / Zodiac transom rotted out at the bottom on one side much like yours. I made a replacement from salt treated plywood. The original had holes bored through its edges; the rubber that attaches it to the tubes filled these holes. Hacksaw blades, razor knives, a sharpened putty knife, and a dremmel tool cut through the rubber that passed through the holes without harming the parts of the exterior rubber. The new transom was patterened from the old. (I had a good bottom on one side to go by.) 3M5200 glued the new transom to the rubber and two part PVC dinghy glue glued the rubber fabric parts. Gorilla glue helped around the drain plug. After a couple of years of light use it is still mechanically okay, but I have small water leaks in the cloth folds at each lower corner that I can not completely fix.
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Old 26-11-2011, 15:37   #6
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
After a couple of years of light use it is still mechanically okay, but I have small water leaks in the cloth folds at each lower corner that I can not completely fix.
Thats why I intended to cover it in Sicaflex it stops small leaks.
What did that cost to fix?
Im thinking its such a bad product its only good for the rubbish bin, such a shame but I fell like im trying to justify a bad idea.
Thanks guys, I think gulfstar37 is correct "Personally I would not use one of these to count on as a second back up and certianly not for my kids (grand kids) to use."
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Old 26-11-2011, 15:48   #7
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

Mine holds air like a champ, am not worried about that at all. I think I am leaning toward the g flex as a bond for the new transom as well. Like I said, it's a summer project, as we cruise in the winter, but after I finish it, (w/ pics) I will find the thread, and give it a bump to show what we did. Our setup sounds a lot like WSMURDOCH, with these weird plastic things w/ holes to bed the transom into, then bonding that to the boat. Not sure if we will salvage them or just bed the entire new transom directly. I do know that the finished product will be something I can trust in the water with my precious loved ones, or it is not worth doing in the first place.
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Old 27-11-2011, 01:29   #8
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

Just an observation. I made the mistake (?) of buying a Zodiac Cadet 250 RIB as well, and while the tubes look good and it's the only glass RIB I found without a cored construction... I found out on my first use that the bung was leaking.

OK, fine and well... So I removed the bung and lo and behold, it was raw plywood/particleboard in there - totally untreated, and without enough sealant. Really shoddy.

So I treated the wood and sealed the bung properly.

Could it it be the untreated wood around the bung that is rotting everybody's transoms? The rubber on the edges looked very well sealed to me.
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Old 27-11-2011, 02:12   #9
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

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Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
So I treated the wood and sealed the bung properly.

Could it it be the untreated wood around the bung that is rotting everybody's transoms? The rubber on the edges looked very well sealed to me.
Same with me but I would say the transom only looks painted and they have not treated it at all. my boats 5 years old always dried out when not in use and the rot set in two years ago.
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Old 27-11-2011, 02:16   #10
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

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Same with me but I would say the transom only looks painted and they have not treated it at all. my boats 5 years old always dried out when not in use and the rot set in two years ago.
...and it's a REALLY CRAP paint too. I raised the transom to suit my outboard (despite having been told that the 8HP mercury is a "perfect fit".. yeah right).. and while wiping it down with acetone to apply my 2 pack paint, the blue just came straight off... they must have painted it with watercolours or something!

Anyway, I pulled the outboard plate off and will seal that properly as well. Mine will live in the water, I hope it lasts a few years at least!
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Old 27-11-2011, 03:39   #11
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

Zodiac lost my respect when they failed to own up to the design problem of their folding transom on a C310. You can see daylight through the fold apex inside the boat at the transom.I found very fine sand that would have come from one place about 2.5yrs into the life when the transom was cut out but the conditions of the international guarantee to have inspections every 12 mths. (at my cost) was not complied with. This was instead of the 5 yrs as stated when it was purchased & no inspections were called up in the paper work that came with the boat & no advice from Zodiac was ever sent to me about this "change" to the guarantee. When I resealed mine it got a layer of MSP15 over where the poor fold was. The replacement transom is held in place with three nuts & bolts with washers through the rubber boots. (sealed with MSP190)
.So with an ownership of over $500.00 per yr it is not likely I will ever be troubled by purchase of another Zodiac!!

also check#3 above

So any Zodiac owners recheck that fold as water will find its way into the transom.

Good boat used a few times a year then stored out of the weather in a cupboard.

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Old 27-11-2011, 04:16   #12
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodac Dinghy

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Originally Posted by mjwarner View Post
Next summer I plan to clean and rough-up the dink's transom sealing areas, and coat a piece of plywood with epoxy, glass it over and epoxy it into place.
Sounds good, not sure about holding it in place with epoxy though, a glue might be better. However, a new transom rather than try and fill it would be much easier.

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Old 29-03-2014, 15:20   #13
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

I was cleaning up my three year old Zodiac Cadet for this season and noticed a soft spot in the transom. Poking around I found the soft and rotten part was pretty big.

According to my paperwork this should be covered by the warranty. I found the local authorized repair facility and took it there expecting them to fix it and let me pick it up.

So far it;s been there a month and they are hemming and hawing about not being able to find a Zodia repair code and saying the warranty doesn't cover the transom.

They are saying that they probably can't find a replacement transom and even if they do, it's going to cost me $600 to repair and I should just replace the dinghy (with one they happen to sell, BTW for several hundred dollars more than defender sells it for).

I just bought a $120 cover for it, replaced the broken handles for $30 and paid $30 to renew the registration and am planning a two month cruise a month from now.

Bottom line, I'm pretty pissed at Zodiac. $1500 for a glorified pool toy that has been nothing but trouble and is now pretty much junk in need of disposal.

I'm stuck now trying to choose a replacement, buy a cover that fits it and trying to get it registered and the numbers painted on at the last minute.

Zodiac - POS.
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Old 29-03-2014, 15:36   #14
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

The best solution I have seen for this is to take the old transom and use it as a pattern on a piece of G10 board. It isn't a particularly cheap fix, but it will last forever.

Replacing with new plywood is also an option, but even if a good job is done fully encapsulating it, there always seems to be a leak eventually.
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Old 29-03-2014, 17:02   #15
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Re: Rotten Transom In Zodiac Dinghy

Demand a new one. They are not suitable for boating!!

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