We had a Zoom 310SR, with the folding transom for about 6 years. We used it every day, mostly in the Caribbean
. It was a great dinghy
. It would almost plane with our 2 hp engine
, and would fly with our 9.9hp. It was very light and easy to bring on deck
for passages. We once folded it up in its bag and put it below deck
in our saloon
for a two week ocean passage
Eventually, the tropical sun took its toll. The PVC on the top of the tubes deteriorated to the point that the fabric
was exposed in places, but it still held air with no leakage. We finally sold it and bought an AB, because the Zodiac
, with its relatively flat bottom, didn't give a very comfortable ride in the choppy water
that we often have where we cruise
. We see PVC dinghies in every day use in the Caribbean
in much worse shape than the Zoom was when we sold it, so I'm not sure how accurate all the hype about PVC and UV degradation really is. If that's a concern, since Zodiac
a few years ago, they started selling the identical folding transom RIB
in hypalon under the Avon
name for a few hundred dollars more.
We didn't really have any problems with the folding transom, and it was great from a storage
standpoint. If you think about it, the folding transom is not really any different than the transom on any fabric-bottomed dinghy
. They've been around a lot longer than RIBs.
There's no doubt that our AB is much more rugged. It gives us a much smoother, drier ride. It's also a good bit heavier, and it's definitely harder to stow on deck. We would buy another Zoom (or the Avon version) if we spent less time in rough water
, although down here, the AB and Caribe RIBs are less expensive to buy than the Zodiac Zoom.