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Old 19-04-2005, 04:54   #1
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Mercury Rubber Dink......?

After reading a glowing report on the Mercury rubber dinks in "Practical Sailor" a year ago, I am finally ready to pick up the phone and order one.
(Looked like a good deal: Hypalon, 10 year warranty, most stable rowing, etc, etc.)

After a couple of Google clicks it looks like the boat is made by Zodiac....Shock horror.
That true?

If so, bad news...
Bad rep and bad quality..

So, is Mercury made by Zodiac or not...?

Just say NO...

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Old 19-04-2005, 16:55   #2
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Maybe

I sold rubber duckies from 1973 to 1986 including Zodiac which was my favourite brand at that time. I never encountered any problems, so I assume the bad rap for Zodiac has happened since 1986 to the present. My local dealer and my previous place of employment had OMC rubber duckies in stock. These OMC units were made by Zodiac. I considered that a plus. I phoned Zodiac to enquire about the material and was informed that it was the same hyperlon as used in the Zodiac. I struck a good deal with the owner ( I know things about him ) and have had good use out of my OMC ( Zodiac ) rubber ducky. It is a 10 1/2 foot model with a ply floor and inflatable keel. It will plane with my old 8hp Suzuki OBM with two people in it and a bunch of fishing gear. A 7 1/2 Johnson will only plane with one person on board. I need a new motor ( sold the Suzuki with my smaller sailboat ) and will likely need a 8 hp or bigger 4 stroke to make it plane and they are a lot more weight. If you want the ease of inflating on deck you do not need the fancy floor but it will not perform as well with a motor. Might not row as well either. The new complete inflatable floor looks good. I would want to test one for performance under power before paying the extra bucks. If you do not want warp speed get a 2 or 4 hp motor and or row and travel at impulse speed. The slatted floors are much easier to assemble and roll up. You can pull a rubber ducky onto the boat on the lee side if it gets rough, deflate it and lash it to the deck or bung it down below.
Michael
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Old 19-04-2005, 23:10   #3
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Yeah, Zodiac have gotten a pretty bad reputation the last few years:

I read the SSCA mags and weg pages and have seen some horror stories about the boats falling apart and the factory would not compensate.

Enough stories to convince me to stay away from Zodiacs for a life time.

Presently I have a 10 year old Avon 9.3 (Redcrest) with a 4HP Evinrude.

The dink is just getting to old...It is also wet and slow.

Found out that Mercurys are NOT made by Zodiac, and that they come with a 10 year warrantly.

They also plane with a 5 HP motor and 1 person onboard.

I am thinking about buying this dink as the prices are good:

$1459.00 plus $69.00 shipping, no tax.

www.bustersmarine.com
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Old 20-04-2005, 00:33   #4
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Speed

I have listened to the guys at the boat show tell me about the performance of their product. When I ask them if they have personaly tested the unit and can confirm their claim the answer is mostly no. The rubber ducky in question may plane with one person and a five hp motor, but not until I have tested it myself, or had a very reliable witness test it.
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Old 20-04-2005, 11:34   #5
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We bought a Zodiac 'Cadet' (PVC, not Hypalon) in Canada. It had a 3HP Merc' engine. It was a good low powered set-up.
The Zodiac did not, however, stand up to tropical sunlight, after we went south. The glue seeped through the PVC laminate, and presented a ‘sticky’ surface. BTW, we upgraded to a 5 HP Mercury, which provided adequate power.
Zodiac replaced the dink (3 years old).
The following year, the replacement dink was (more or less) destroyed in the “Storm of the Century”. At that time it was showing signs of the same surface degradation, and Zodiac offered a $1,000 credit towards the purchase of a new dink. We chose otherwise.
Zodiac claimed the problem was with their adhesive supplier, which had be remedied - but I don’t think that PVC fabric is suitable for use in the tropics.
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Old 20-04-2005, 20:38   #6
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Quote:
The rubber ducky in question may plane with one person and a five hp motor, but not until I have tested it myself, or had a very reliable witness test it.
Ah, not just empty claims.

We have a rag called "Practical Sailor" here in the US.

http://www.practical-sailor.com/

They exist without any paid advertisment and I have confidence in their testing and honesty.

They tested a whole bunch of these "air-floor" dinks with 5HP and 8HP motors.

The Mercury 10'2" I am lusting for came out as a "best buy" and did something like 18 mph with the 8, and 15 with the 5, and yes, it was able to plane with one person and the smaller motor.

The deciding factor was however the reasonable price of $1459.00 (2005 prices), hypalon material AND a 10 year warranty.

Hard to beat.....

Gord.

Your Zodiac story sounds like several I have heard the last few years, except that the factory told people to buzz off when they complained.
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Old 21-04-2005, 12:30   #7
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Zodiac Honored
Three new boats and two consumer electronics products have been honored for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and judges from Boating Writers International. The five winning products were honored at the annual Miami International Boat Show Media Breakfast held at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Zodiac’s ‘Cadet’ was recognized in the Inflatables, Small Boats and Tenders category. The new Cadet series is the first inflatable tender to support heavier 4-stroke engines, while also achieving faster planning, superior performance and increased stability.
Zodiac Tenders: http://www.zodiacmarineusa.com/boats/introduction.htm

Hypalon vs PVC
Group Zodiac’s interesting & surprising (to me) take on the subject:
"... Since introducing its first inflatable product, Zodiac has used only the best and latest technology. The first fabric coating was neoprene, then came Hypalon and now PVC. . ..."
more at:
http://www.zodiacmarineusa.com/about/fabrictech.htm
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Old 21-04-2005, 13:47   #8
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Something to check into... I think the HP floor in the Mercury is made of PVC, even thought the rest of the dink is Hypalon. I chose an Achilles for this reason. My 10' Achilles will just barely plane with me (200+ lbs) and a full tank of gas, using my 5hp four stroke. It has a pretty deep Vee shape at the bow. My old Tinker had a flat bottom and would plane with two people and 5hp. I am thinking of moving to an 8-10 hp two stroke since I almost always have 2-4 people aboard.

Woody
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Old 21-04-2005, 16:41   #9
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Planing

That about describes my thoughts as well. I need a good running 8hp 2 stroke to plane with two people and gear. A 4 stroke would be nice but to get the same power to weight ratio I probably need a 9 hp. My old Suzuki weighed about 58 pounds and the new 4 strokes are a lot heavier. I could get a 6 hp 4 stroke but might get bored with the slower speed. I am still in shock over the new and improved prices for the small OBMs.
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Old 22-04-2005, 02:58   #10
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Quote:
I think the HP floor in the Mercury is made of PVC, even thought the rest of the dink is Hypalon.
Yup, I have heard the same thing.

Will look into it....

D
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Old 23-04-2005, 12:36   #11
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CSYman,
I bought one of the Merc. diny's about two years ago, have yet to give it some hard use though, only using a 3.5 hp....mine is the PVC with fiberglass hull. So far so good..very happy.. paid around 1150.00 from Kenyon Boat Motor super store. I can pull out the receipt if you'd like more info?
FL.west coast
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Old 23-04-2005, 13:35   #12
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Yup, sounds interesting.

Would like more info..

Thanks.

CM
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Old 23-04-2005, 16:31   #13
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CYSMan,
Kenyon is located in Palm Harbor Fl......toll free # is 1-800-417-7160. The sales dept. # is 727-942-7767 ask for John D. he was very helpful. the model I bought 250DYN It came in either PVC or Hypalon ,I opt. for the PVC. also ask about left over models you can save an average of 100.00 per. yr.
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