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Old 01-09-2020, 16:06   #16
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

We bought a Zodiac 20 years ago and it lasted almost 4 years in the tropics before the floor fell out. However, it outlasted three subsequent rubber duckies (or crocodile teething rings as they’re called in Far North Queensland) so we have permanently changed to a fibreglass dinghy which has served us for the past 11 years and looks good for another 11.
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Old 01-09-2020, 17:35   #17
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Yes another vote for hypalon for long life. Never get a glued seam PVC dinghy if you want long life, well actually just don't even think about one unless it's welded. PVC tend to be a bit lighter if thats an issue.
Easier to get a good glue bond on hypalon if doing a repair as well.
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Old 01-09-2020, 19:26   #18
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Banks View Post
I owned a Zodiac made from PVC. It was RUBBISH.

The best as far as I know, from my friends who use them in Australia rate , I would rate them as Swift, Achilles from Hypalon, then maybe Highfield. All made from Hypalon, NOT PVC. I would not have any with an inflatable or removable floor, go instead for the hard floors and stow the dinghy inverted over the forward hatch when at sea, even if you do own some davits.

The other alternatives are Fold-A-Boat, if you must have something that collapses and can be lashed to a rail somewhere, or what I now use, a Polycraft. Neither of which are inflatable.

https://www.polycraft.com.au/300-tuff-tender/

I call my YELLOW (easy to spot by air) Polycraft the Ugly Duckling. Almost as stable as a Zodiac, far better under motor and rows like a dream--and mine is fitted with a Bimini because I like to fish from it over shallow reef waters in the shade. Try screwing a Bimini to an inflatable--it needs wooden rails, straps and a lot of drama if the wind rises getting it down quickly. On a Polycraft no problems. Foam filled it is unsinkable and can be recognized by SOLAS as a lifeboat--a good point if going offshore.

I bought a trailer because I am not always afloat, and I use it as a camping trailer which I fill with the light items of bedding and clothing, under its water proof towing cover bought separately.

There MUST be a US equivalent. Give it some thought--inflatables are HEAVY.


I agree about Zodiac unless you buy their pro line. For the standard line , the common issue is rotten or delaminated transom, and the glue used on Zodiac inflatable is usually not as effective or durable as other . Within a few years, many Zodiac inflatable boat owners noticed that their boats suddenly started falling apart. Hypalon is popular because of its resilience to heat, UV, and chemicals like gasoline. While it had great properties, it is usually more expensive and less resistant to abrasions then PVC.

Achille, AB, Caribe, highfield, Avon, Mercury are recognized top brands.
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Old 01-09-2020, 19:32   #19
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Banks View Post
I owned a Zodiac made from PVC. It was RUBBISH.

The best as far as I know, from my friends who use them in Australia rate , I would rate them as Swift, Achilles from Hypalon, then maybe Highfield. All made from Hypalon, NOT PVC. I would not have any with an inflatable or removable floor, go instead for the hard floors and stow the dinghy inverted over the forward hatch when at sea, even if you do own some davits.

The other alternatives are Fold-A-Boat, if you must have something that collapses and can be lashed to a rail somewhere, or what I now use, a Polycraft. Neither of which are inflatable.

https://www.polycraft.com.au/300-tuff-tender/

I call my YELLOW (easy to spot by air) Polycraft the Ugly Duckling. Almost as stable as a Zodiac, far better under motor and rows like a dream--and mine is fitted with a Bimini because I like to fish from it over shallow reef waters in the shade. Try screwing a Bimini to an inflatable--it needs wooden rails, straps and a lot of drama if the wind rises getting it down quickly. On a Polycraft no problems. Foam filled it is unsinkable and can be recognized by SOLAS as a lifeboat--a good point if going offshore.

I bought a trailer because I am not always afloat, and I use it as a camping trailer which I fill with the light items of bedding and clothing, under its water proof towing cover bought separately.

There MUST be a US equivalent. Give it some thought--inflatables are HEAVY.


I agree about Zodiac unless you buy their pro line. For the standard line , the common issue is rotten or delaminated transom, and the glue used on Zodiac inflatable is usually not as effective or durable as other . Within a few years, many Zodiac inflatable boat owners noticed that their boats suddenly started falling apart. Hypalon is popular because of its resilience to heat, UV, and chemicals like gasoline. While it had great properties, it is usually more expensive and less resistant to abrasions then PVC.

Achille, AB, Caribe, highfield, Avon, Mercury are recognized top brands.
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Old 01-09-2020, 21:30   #20
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkjones View Post
In the market for a new dinghy and wondering if I could tap some opinions. I'd really like a RIB for a variety of reasons (dryer ride, more exploring ability, carrying capacity, durability) compared to my current rule up 1980 something Toyo Dynos dink that is on its last leg after serving many thousands of miles. The three below are the only ones that I could store on deck. The Zodiac Compact is very tempting with its folding transom, but finding anything good said about a Zodiac these days seems to be a tall order. Are hypalon dinghy by Zodiac any good or should I steer clear?

I've always heard good things about Achilles, and if not a RIB, I'm tempted by either their roll-up aluminum floor dink or the high pressure floor dink. With the latter, I worry about having to constantly clean out sand to keep the floor from failing prematurely.

I cruise full time and am mostly in the unrelenting tropical sun.

Also, I know PVC is 9/10 times a no-go but I wonder if welded seams rather than glued ones along with a a set of dinghy chaps might give it a longer life time to justify saving the $1,000 or is that false economy over the long term?

2015 Zodiac Compact RIB 8' 2" Hypalon $2,495
https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...95&id=2705725#

2019 Zodiac Compact RIB 8' 2" PVC (Welded) $1,595
https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=4445138#

2019 Achilles HB-240AL Aluminum Hull 7' 10", Hypalon $2,595


Thanks!
We have a Zodiac Fastroller 350 (15 years or so) in Australia, and a Zodiac Fastroller 340 8 years) in the Med. They are both welded seam PVC.

We get a good ride from them - the HP air floor works well, and the boat can be rolled up and stowed - unlike a RIB.

No issues with seams or anything else.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:13   #21
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northbound44 View Post
I agree about Zodiac unless you buy their pro line. For the standard line , the common issue is rotten or delaminated transom, and the glue used on Zodiac inflatable is usually not as effective or durable as other . Within a few years, many Zodiac inflatable boat owners noticed that their boats suddenly started falling apart. Hypalon is popular because of its resilience to heat, UV, and chemicals like gasoline. While it had great properties, it is usually more expensive and less resistant to abrasions then PVC.

Achille, AB, Caribe, highfield, Avon, Mercury are recognized top brands.


My last dingy, a Carib c12 2003, look like new after numerous journey to the Caribbean.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:47   #22
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkjones View Post
In the market for a new dinghy and wondering if I could tap some opinions. I'd really like a RIB for a variety of reasons (dryer ride, more exploring ability, carrying capacity, durability) compared to my current rule up 1980 something Toyo Dynos dink that is on its last leg after serving many thousands of miles. The three below are the only ones that I could store on deck. The Zodiac Compact is very tempting with its folding transom, but finding anything good said about a Zodiac these days seems to be a tall order. Are hypalon dinghy by Zodiac any good or should I steer clear?

I've always heard good things about Achilles, and if not a RIB, I'm tempted by either their roll-up aluminum floor dink or the high pressure floor dink. With the latter, I worry about having to constantly clean out sand to keep the floor from failing prematurely.

I cruise full time and am mostly in the unrelenting tropical sun.

Also, I know PVC is 9/10 times a no-go but I wonder if welded seams rather than glued ones along with a a set of dinghy chaps might give it a longer life time to justify saving the $1,000 or is that false economy over the long term?

2015 Zodiac Compact RIB 8' 2" Hypalon $2,495
https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...95&id=2705725#

2019 Zodiac Compact RIB 8' 2" PVC (Welded) $1,595
https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=4445138#

2019 Achilles HB-240AL Aluminum Hull 7' 10", Hypalon $2,595


Thanks!
I just bought a hypalon Achilles , about 9 foot long , aluminum bottom and folding transom, great so far , super fast compared to others with the same old 5 hp Honda outboard ...
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:50   #23
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

My first dinghie was a Zodiac hypalon, the Hypalon was great but at three years the boat was done, every piece of plastic on it was turning to goo, sticky nasty goo, and the glue holding the thing together was failing and the seams were coming apart.
It had to pump it up before every use too, due to leaking seams.
I tried to get to repaired and was told it wasn’t repairable, so in three years the Zodiac Cadet 3.10 was junk.

The AB that replaced it is still in perfect shape, I pump it up twice a year, no problems at all, and it’s at the age that the Zodiac died at.

I put or actually had chaps made for it when it was new, my opinion is that chaps will add years to a dinghy, whether it’s Hypalon or not.

Bad thing is the Zodiac was a very well designed hull, thing was blisteringly fast, even being heavier it was almost 10 kts faster than the AB, and the Hypalon fabric was great, but everything else was junk, poorly sourced materials.
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Old 02-09-2020, 13:47   #24
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

My 1993 Achilles hypalon with wood is going strong in Florida!
My Zodiac pvc Cadet came apart after five years in Florida!
Heat and sun kills the pvc boats.
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Old 05-09-2020, 00:03   #25
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Hello,
A few years ago, I bought this little Zodiac. I was charmed by the foldable transom and the flat bag in which you can place the dinghy for storage. In fact this was the baddest dinghy I never had.
1) Due to it shape, we were almost every time wet. OK only with absolutely flat waters.
2) Bottom is too flat. This make it very uncomfortable. Bottom hit the wawes like a flat board.
3) After 2,5 half years, hypalon strap between transom and rigid bottom began to unglue. Had to glue and reglue every 1-2 month.
4) Storage bag doesn't like to be exposed to the sun. Was unusable after 1,5 year.
When I claimed to Zodiac about the problem with the transom. Answer was clear. It was my fault. I left my dinghy in the water with probably some water inside.
When I changed it for a new AB, hypalon was in perfect condition.
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Old 05-09-2020, 16:21   #26
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Wow, i have the Zodiac 310 Lite RIB. A 2005 model, hypalon boat with the folding transom and valaise. Its in storage each winter, and hangs on the transom covered each summer. Pushed by a Yamaha 8 hp two stroke, it will easily plane with two adults. Id like to get a bigger dinghy for when we have four onboard, but the darn thing is in such good shape that i cannot justify trading up.

And this is the same boat some of you had issues with. And now 15 yrs old. That said, i do cover it, take care of it, spray it with 303 Protectant after annual cleaning. I had one transom repair under warranty, but nothing since, and it has no air or water leaks.
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Old 05-09-2020, 17:04   #27
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
Wow, i have the Zodiac 310 Lite RIB. A 2005 model, hypalon boat with the folding transom and valaise. Its in storage each winter, and hangs on the transom covered each summer. Pushed by a Yamaha 8 hp two stroke, it will easily plane with two adults. Id like to get a bigger dinghy for when we have four onboard, but the darn thing is in such good shape that i cannot justify trading up.

And this is the same boat some of you had issues with. And now 15 yrs old. That said, i do cover it, take care of it, spray it with 303 Protectant after annual cleaning. I had one transom repair under warranty, but nothing since, and it has no air or water leaks.
The fact that you store it over winter suggests to me that your Zodiac gets little if any use in the tropics. You are also only using it part-time whereas some of us use ours like a car on a daily, year round basis. Yours will probably last a lifetime.
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Old 05-09-2020, 18:21   #28
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

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Originally Posted by CapnBazza View Post
The fact that you store it over winter suggests to me that your Zodiac gets little if any use in the tropics. You are also only using it part-time whereas some of us use ours like a car on a daily, year round basis. Yours will probably last a lifetime.
I live in South Texas. Tropics are nicer. Its spent summers in Bahamas as well. I store it in winter because we generally don't cruise when its cold. So in that respect, it is a part time dinghy.
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Old 05-09-2020, 20:18   #29
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

After spending a number of hours repairing leaks in our 2008 Hypalon Caribe C10X, I'm sworn off of CSM fabric and the leaky, glued seams. Our dinghy is lightly used, and has both dark (forest green) Sunbrella chaps and an overall cover. Has spent its entire life in Baja and SoCal.

The fabric itself was also leaking air, not just the seams. To me, a properly welded PVC seam is much more attractive, and the Zodiac Cadet Aluminum RIB looks like an excellent contender to a new Caribe. The Zodiac CRA 330 DL is about $3,100. The 3" longer Highfield CL 340, also in PVC, is $3,800.

I hear people repeating that CSM lasts so much longer than PVC, but I'm not convinced. What good is it to have long lasting fabric when the seams let go? One coat of elastomeric paint, every few years, would make either fabric last forever. However, only PVC offers seams that won't leak (glued CSM seams will leak).

I'm not sure why so much negative feedback on the Zodiac brand. Perhaps because their many different designs are all judged as one. Their RIBs appear very well built, and they offer just as long a warranty as other vendors.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:34   #30
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Don’t know about Zodiacs, But I’ve had Achilles for 25 years, and can’t recommend them highly enough. Performance, build, stability, capacity, parts availability- top notch.
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