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Old 31-08-2020, 17:33   #1
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Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

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!
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Old 31-08-2020, 17:51   #2
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Heavy duty Sunbrella Chaps are a worthwhile investment. Would recommend Caribe over Zodiac having owned both types over last 20 years. High Field was also good.
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Old 31-08-2020, 18:13   #3
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

The Achilles. Not only is it 4 yrs. newer, but it has a backing plate for a little o/b, and it has non skid that will work. It even LOOKs like a better dinghy.

Hypalon is the longest lasting dinghy material. I second the motion for chaps, although hypalon is really tough, eventually the UV gets to it, and it wears off its reinforcing scrim. Using darkish sunbrella will slow that process. Lighter is nicer to sit on, but doesn't absorb as much UV as the darker colors. I'd probably go for dark grey, but any dark color that you like that will go attractively with your sail covers.

By the way, Sail Rite has brilliant instructions for making dinghy chaps, and there is a Sewing Group here on CF (under "Community") that has some feedback, as well. You might want to add a pouch with a securing flap, for mosquito repellent and maybe additional sunscreen.

We had an old hypalon Achilles that lasted very well, before we started using bigger hypalon dinghies.

Ann
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:37   #4
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Agree the Achilles is the best looking and best reputed. The folding transom aspect does keep me thinking about the hypalon Zodiac though - would be very nice to have the option to toss it below if needed and stows a full foot shorter than the Achilles (5'09'' vs 6'09'') Reached out to defender regarding the hypalon zodiac and they said it's been in the box since they bought it from Zodiac (2 remaining of the last 26 they produced of this model in hypalon ending in 2015). For what it's worth anyway.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:12   #5
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Avon RIBs last a very long time --I've had mine 26 years and still going
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:52   #6
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

I’d say that if you’re willing to spend ~$2,500 go for the Achilles. - just note it is a really small dink vs the others.
However! If, say, the PVC is expected to serve you well for 10 years vs. 20 years with Hypalon (any comments from the others here? - I only had Hypalon AB) I would go with the Zodiac PVC - I have better uses for additional $1K out of pocket upfront.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:57   #7
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Had a caribe and loved it
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:33   #8
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

I have a Plastimo https://www.plastimo.com/en/mooring-...n-ii-8872.html
. Very happy with it. Light (65 lbs), folds easily, very good for rowing, very good sandwich floor. The oars are fixed so they can't fall off etc. Maybe the material is slightly thin, a concession towards the weight.
I've had Zodiacs before, they were good in the 80's but has declined since.
Having a sandwich floor or aluminium/wooden planks makes no difference regarding abrasion from sand etc.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:42   #9
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

Defender link shows it only weights 84 pounds, cannot be a real RIB.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:55   #10
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

When it comes to re-certification time, the Zodiac would cost you a fortune.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:36   #11
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

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Originally Posted by Davie J. View Post
When it comes to re-certification time, the Zodiac would cost you a fortune.
Davie, why would you recertify a dinghy?
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Old 01-09-2020, 13:38   #12
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

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Originally Posted by Bill whitmore View Post
Avon RIBs last a very long time --I've had mine 26 years and still going
Yes, remarkable how long a well-made Hypalon RIB can live.

My Zodiac YL 340 is 12+ years old, in Southern California sunshine its whole life, still tough as nails. Of course, the newer models have nice storage features.
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Old 01-09-2020, 14:17   #13
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

I'd go with the Achilles. Excellent quality dinghys and support.
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Old 01-09-2020, 14:49   #14
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

I've had an Avon and presently have an Achilles. Mine is an RIB hypalon with a FOLDING TRANSOM. Surprised no one mentioned the positive oar locks on the Achilles RIBs. The transom and oar locks sold me.
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Old 01-09-2020, 15:11   #15
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Re: Zodiac Hypalon - Any good?

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.
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