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Old 15-04-2011, 05:42   #1
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Folding Transom RIB?

Anyone have experience with a folding transom RIB? I am considering one made by Zodiac's Zoom division. I cannot find any reviews online and wonder if there are any inherent problems with the concept of a folding transom. It looks good from a space-saving standpoint, but how well do they hold up?
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Old 15-04-2011, 06:06   #2
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Re: Folding Transom RIB?

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 bought Avon 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.
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Old 15-04-2011, 06:12   #3
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Re: Folding Transom RIB?

Not impressed with my purchase of a Zodiac C310. The fold area leaked water into the plywood transom & rotted it out. Prob. OK if packed up after every time it was used & not left uncovered on a davit. Read the so called warranty before you buy. The next one I get will not have a ply transom!! The failure of the transom is common in this brand. The ownership for me over 5yrs $550.00 PA. I would recommend beach wheels to keep the underneath protected & handling on the beach less of job. Also a cover it is to be left out.

(I am trying to repair it currently with a composite transom.)

Regards Bill Goodward
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