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Old 09-20-2017, 05:18 PM   #1
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Zodiac coming unglued

My eight year old 11' Zodiac Rib is coming unglued from from the hull. it has detached itself from the transom, the chine, and completely from the bow. The tanks seams are welded so no problem on the welded seams.
when I called the repair center in Alameda Ca I was told this is to be expected with a plastic boat. He said I was lucky to get this much life out of a Zodiac.
I had a 10 Zodiac rib for more than ten years, gave it away because the fabric was starting to show threads on the surface, it was giving away again and as far as I know its still out there in use.
The fabric on this boat is stained but looks like its in good shape. This boat has set on deck under a Sunbrella cover most of its life. The boat hasn't been pounded rough conditions or over powered. The glue is sticking to the fiberglass hull but failing on the polypropylene hull fabric.
Anybody else having issues with a Zodiac rib?
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:45 PM   #2
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If its hypalon (or its equivalent) it should last for many more years. If it is polyprop or vinyl, its toast. In fact, many only get 5 years. That's why the non-hypalon ones are cheap...
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:00 PM   #3
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It probably is toast. Because of that,feel free to "have a red hot go"(Aussie expression) at fixing it. What`s to lose?
If it`s possible to get at the failed areas,try a polyurethane glue,Sika makes one which works, doubtless there are others. It is one part, sets slowly, so you can get everything set up while you can get at it, but thin and runs,which can be both good and bad. Unlike contact cement glues(Sika make that too, allegedly waterproof), which is set the instant you bring the 2 surfaces together.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:36 PM   #4
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https://www.nrs.com/product/1904/cli...palon-adhesive
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:39 PM   #5
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Yep, had this issue before with a PVC Zodiac RIB after a similar lifespan. I think everyone does. I've seen and read about fixes with 5200 or other glues that supposedly work (though often don't look so hot), but never tried it personally.

Hypalon (more expensive) boats, the fabric starts to wear and seep air but the glue joints last a long time. PVC boats, the seams are welded and last forever but the glue joints - accessories and tubes-to-hull - fail after several years. You can clean and re-glue them, but it's a messy process and not a permanent fix.

I replaced the PVC Zodiac with a hypalon 1996 Avon that I am happy to report is still solidly glued together.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:18 AM   #6
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Just finished reattaching starboard sponson to transom on my Zodiac YL310. Had to repair the port sponson detachment last year. Use Polymarine 2 part pvc adhesive, take everything apart that's unglued and prep meticulously, then follow the 2 part Polymarine instructions carefully, including waiting a week before launching the dinghy and stressing the repair. I can't speak to the chine and bow repairs, but the transom reattachment's seem to perform as good as new.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:55 AM   #7
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I bought a Zodiac inflatable dinghy. The third year, the wooden transom rotted clear through making the boat unusable. The local authorized Zodiac warranty repair place refused to repair it so it was toast and I had to replace it. I figure over the lifetime of the boat and the number of times I used it, it cost me about $100 per use.

I bought a different brand dinghy and will never buy a POS Zodiac again.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:03 AM   #8
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I'm trying the two part glue

The two part glue is expensive, I used a 1/2 pint can at $57 WM prices on the transom. It looks like it will take at least that much more for the bow. It's a shame that this is a problem with PVC as this is a good riding and turning boat that looks good. I have a coup[e of hypalon boats, one is a dive boat that was bought in 1985 that the fabric and glue joint are still in good shape, the wood not so good. The other is a 11' rib that is ten years old and holding up great. Both Achilles. The pvc fabric on the Zodiac is in good shape and the glue holds well on the fiberglass, is this a problem with all pvc boats or just Zodiac.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scary View Post
My eight year old 11' Zodiac Rib is coming unglued from from the hull. it has detached itself from the transom, the chine, and completely from the bow. The tanks seams are welded so no problem on the welded seams.
when I called the repair center in Alameda Ca I was told this is to be expected with a plastic boat. He said I was lucky to get this much life out of a Zodiac.
I had a 10 Zodiac rib for more than ten years, gave it away because the fabric was starting to show threads on the surface, it was giving away again and as far as I know its still out there in use.
The fabric on this boat is stained but looks like its in good shape. This boat has set on deck under a Sunbrella cover most of its life. The boat hasn't been pounded rough conditions or over powered. The glue is sticking to the fiberglass hull but failing on the polypropylene hull fabric.
Anybody else having issues with a Zodiac rib?
My understanding on a lot of the Zodiacs is that they used PVC material or Strongan Duotex to give it it's technical name. A lot of early Zodiacs for the leisure market from the mid 80s had the seams on top running under the rope cuff on the sponsons. Trouble with this - is that in warmer climates - they were exposed to UV light and heat and constantly fluctuating temperatures weakened the bond.

PVC is used in most production manufactured boats. There are several tests to check if you are unsure which fabric your inflatable RIB or dinghy is made from. A. Back of Fabric; If you can see the inside of the tube, through the valve, Hypalon is a dark grey or black on the inside. PVC is the same color on both sides.

Below is a great site for repair materials:
https://polymarineshop.com/

Preparation here is the ABSOLUTE KEY and below again a good site to check

inflatable boat repair information and procedures about gluing and fabrics

Cheers Steve
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I bought a Zodiac inflatable dinghy. The third year, the wooden transom rotted clear through making the boat unusable. The local authorized Zodiac warranty repair place refused to repair it so it was toast and I had to replace it. I figure over the lifetime of the boat and the number of times I used it, it cost me about $100 per use.

I bought a different brand dinghy and will never buy a POS Zodiac again.
Same here. My 12' Grand Raid Zodiac near sank on me during a dive off Dania. Ft Laud authorized repair shop would not touch it. Consider a PVC Zodiac a 5 year solution, then throw it away. Now owned by Avon, I believe.
I have a Avon 10' hypalon still in use, made in 1976.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:33 AM   #11
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A friend gave us the exact same boat a couple of months ago. It sat in his garage for a few years and generally looked like it was in good shape, except it was beginning to unglued at the seam. We fully inflated it and planned to re-glue. Fortunately, the front seam blew up while it was still in the yard. We tugged around the transom and it just came apart. It was sad since it was a nice RIB, but lucky it wasn't in the water with an engine and us aboard!
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:39 PM   #12
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After having 5 RIBs over the years and EVERY single one leaking, coming unglued, etc., I finally just went back to a all fiberglass dink. Bought a 14' Edgewater.
Got tired of dealing with it those darn blow ups.
I'm so glad I made that decision. I love never having to worry about the air issue.
It's always ready to go and will last a lifetime��
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:46 PM   #13
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Our Mercury hypalon inflatable started shedding the davit mounts; glue failed. Put it back together w/West system G-Flex. So far has held well.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:25 AM   #14
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The less expensive Zodiac boats have tubes glued to the hull (so do a lot of other boats). The higher cost ones often have slip on tubes.

If the tubes are still good, they can be reglued. The environmental conditions need to be correct for a good bond. Proper repair places will have a conditioned space to due the repair and allow for curing.

You can do the repair on your own but you are taking a chance with the weather (mostly temp and humidity during the cure).

I've had a brand new hypalon rib start coming apart at the seams. I had a Zodiac PVC rib that lasted a long time.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:13 AM   #15
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There's a reason they are called deflatables.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:10 AM   #16
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How to identify inflatable boat tube fabrics

what is my Zodiac made of? - RIBnet Forums

These are good sites for info too.....

Infact they also have some of the exact same vebage as posted earlier in this thread....
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:20 AM   #17
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My Zodiac life raft (10 years old) came apart completely at the seams during inflation for its second re-certification.
It was a valise raft and had always been kept in a dry lazarette out of the sun etc.
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