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Archive for the ‘Inflatable Boats & Kayaks’ Category

Zodiac’s creative genius has led it to patent a great many of its products, accessories and exclusive models. For this reason, their brand has been chosen as our demonstration unit for this section.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of inflatable boat, Zodiac originated many of the major concepts that have led to modern development of the inflatable like the inflatable keel, the Futura hull, the H2P inflated floor and the Ribster. Paralleling this, it has patented many of its original technical features: ie. the removable tube and adjustable oarlocks. These assembly methods for accessories (hand rail, stoppers) and advanced industrial technology are best illustrated by the way the transom is welded to the inflatable structure.

Because it belongs to a dynamic international industrial conglomerate. Zodiac has the technological ability to constantly develop new techniques using the latest high tech materials. For you, this is a guarantee that the boat you have chosen is better designed, better equipped, more efficient; a real asset!

Winning features, identifying signs
Inflatable keel, partially recessed valves. full length floorboard are the signs of a real Zodiac, the world leader, whose major characteristics have often been copied.

Inflatable Keel
Patented by Zodiac, this additional air chamber situated between the floor and the bottom creates a hull shape giving secure, comfortable handling characteristics.

Towing Rings
Oversized, stainless steel, towing rings capable of withstanding pulling forces of up to 1/2 ton, they are correctly positioned for efficient towing using a “V” system.

Semi-recessed Valves
Patented by Zodiac. Provides for quick inflation/deflation, allows easy adjustment of the pressure and is doubly airtight. Gives a continuous pressure reading when equipped with a valve pressure gauge.

Internal Bulkhead
Totally sealing one compartment from the other, its conical floating shape equalizes the pressure in the tubeset.

Rubbing Strakes
Protecting the boat from bumps and knocks and the passengers from spray, Zodiac is the only manufacturer to have perfected the fitting of rubbing strakes by a welding procedure. The majority of Zodiac boats benefit from this system.

Floor With Rail System
Designed for fast easy assembly and strengthened by stringers, this aluminum framed floor features an integrated rail system, exclusive to Zodiac, which allows the fitting of accessories and the tying down of equipment.

Carrying Handles
Ergonomically designed to allow a good comfortable grip, these handles are positioned in carefully studied places to make carrying easier.

Marine Ply Transom
Carrying the weight of the motor and the large forces and vibrations it generates, the transom is designed to cope with extreme stresses.


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Reinforced Cone Ends
Efficiently protect one heavily attacked zone of the boat.

Self-bailer
Using a non-return diaphragm system, simply remove the plug when under way and any water in the boat is quickly drained.

Thermo-bonding, Marine ply transom, Strongan™ Duotex*, Floor with rail system, Internal bulkhead, Towing, rings, Reinforced cone ends, Self-bailer, Semi-recessed valve, Carrying handles, Rubbing strakes, Inflatable keel

Thermobonding
Exclusive to ZODIAC, a robotized hot assembly technique originating from the aeronautical industry. Much stronger and more precise than old fashioned hand-glued methods, the resulting seams are virtually indestructible.

Marine ply transom
Carrying the weight of the motor and the large forces and vibrations it generates, the transom is designed to cope with extreme stresses.

Strongan™ Duotex
High performance fabric, exclusive to ZODIAC, Strongan™ is a 3rd generation plastomer which bonds impervious inner and outer layers to a dense polyester support cloth. It resists cuts and abrasions and is easily repairable in the unlikely event of a puncture.

Floor with rail system
Designed for fast easy assembly and strengthened by stringers, this aluminium framed floor features an integrated rail system, exclusive to Zodiac, which allows the fitting of accessories and the tying down of equipment.

Internal bulkhead
Totally sealing one compartment from the other, its conical floating shape equalizes the pressure between them.

Towing rings
Oversized, stainless steel, towing rings capable of handling pulling forces of up to 1/2 tonne, they are correctly positioned for efficient towing using a “V” system.

Reinforced cone ends
Efficiently protect one heavily attacked zone of the boat.

Self-bailer
Using a non-return diaphragm system, simply remove the plug when under way and any water in the inflatable boat is quickly evacuated.

Semi-recessed valve
Patented by ZODIAC, this system provides for quick inflation/deflation, allows easy adjustment of the pressure, is doubly airtight and well protected against sand and other debris. All this while being comfortable for passengers. When equipped with a valve cap pressure gauge you have a continuous pressure reading.

Carrying handles
Ergonomically designed to allow a good comfortable grip, these handles are positioned in carefully studied places to make carrying easier.

Rubbing strakes
Protecting the boat from bumps and knocks and the passengers from spray.

Inflatable keel
This additional air chamber situated between the floor and the bottom creates a hull shape giving secure, comfortable handling characteristics.

View inflatable boat products, accessories and other innovative boat and marine products here.


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Inflatable boat and inflatable kayak materials and fabrics

posted by The Captain @ 1:23 PM
Thursday, May 31, 2012

A major component of an inflatable boat is obviously the fabric. Inflatable boat fabric technology has evolved greatly over the last 20 to 30 years, and now includes plastomers, polyurethanes and other fabrics, which can sometimes be stronger, lighter, thinner and less expensive to assemble than the original rubber fabrics. Of course it costs a great deal of money to develop new fabrics or even to switch manufacturing processes to use them. Many manufacturers, big and small, don’t have the will or the resources to do this, and that’s why they generally hide that fact by resorting to condemning new technological advances in fabrics.

For instance, Zodiac’s fabrics have always been on the leading edge of technology and their willingness to research and experiment has led to some innovative new fabrics. These new fabrics are developed to be the best for their intended use. Fabrics used for a small tender don’t need to be the same as those for a large RIB, because the intended use is not the same. Some manufacturers do not have the means or know-how to employ different fabrics, so they just use one. In these cases the consumer, may end up paying too much or getting too little.

Most fabrics consist of a strong, close-weave mesh of polyester or nylon material which is sandwiched between 2 coatings to provide extreme flexibility, superior air and water tightness, as well as resistance to abrasion and the sun’s UV rays. Zodiac uses a polyurethane fabric called “Strongan” and assembles their inflatable boats by thermobonding the fabric.


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Heavy Duty Fabrics
Some inflatable boats are still made from a rubber-based fabric called Hypalon. While this is still a very good material, its major downfall is that it can only be joined by gluing, done manually. Problems including poor bonds, delamination of seams or fabric can still affect these glued fabrics. Today, many inflatables are manufactured from polyurethane fabrics, although larger inflatables (particularly RIBs used for rescue or military purposes) use hypalon because thicker hypalon fabrics are still considered to be stronger and more durable than polyurethane. There are some hypalon fabrics that are “2-ply” or a double unit made up of hypalon/weave/hypalon/weave/hypalon and are used for extreme situations including bumper padding, bow skirts, anti-chafe patches and similar applications.

Seams
Apart from its superior toughness and durability, Zodiac’s Strongan fabric allows the use of Zodiac’s computerized machine-welding process known as “thermobonding”, the welding of fabric using hot air. Two sealing strips are thermally bonded to the butted fabric seams in a continuous electrothermal process. A highly airtight seal is created when the narrow inner strip literally melts into the collar material. The wider exterior strip functions as a overlapping structural connection and a sealer against water penetration. Thermobonding creates seams that are typically stronger than the fabric itself and produces a better seam than any hand-gluing method.

View inflatable boat products, accessories and other innovative boat and marine products here.


Sea Eagle Fisherman's Dream Kit

Zodiac’s creative genius has led it to patent a great many of its products, accessories and exclusive models. For this reason, their brand has been chosen as our demonstration unit for this section.

Hulls
The Flat Hull
This hull usually comes with a slatted floor, making for a light, quick to set up tender. Generally reserved for inflatable boats which don’t need to plane or cover long distances.

The V-shaped Hull
Created by combining a rigid floor with an inflatable or wood keel. This hull design helps planing. Improves navigational stability.

The Futura Hull
Exclusive to Zodiac. Reserved for larger inflatable boats. Offers optimum handling, precision and comfort.

Floors – The floor influences total weight, time and ease of assembling

The H2P Floor
The fully inflatable boat concept reinvented by Zodiac: the inflatable H2P air-floor is made up of two layers of fabric held together by thousands of polyester cross-stitches; when inflated to high pressure this air cushion becomes as rigid as a traditional floor, but is much lighter and takes up less space. Soft to touch the H2P air-floor absorbs bumps and resists tears.
Developed by Zodiac, the only manufacturer to master its use on large boats, the H2P is fitted to models from 2.40 m to 4.70 m.

Roll-up Floor
If you envision a nomadic style of navigation, choose a boat where the floor can be left in place be it slats or an auto-rolling rigid floor or, the lightest and quickest of all, the H2P air-floor.


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Floorboards
If you expect to set the inflatable boat up only several times a season, the traditional floor with strengthening rails is an excellent alternative. Choose between marine plywood or aluminum, particularly resistant to shocks, or a composite floor with its inherent lightness.

Assembly
Assembly is quick and easy: just simply inflate. The whole boat fits in one bag: no lost fittings. The floor can be removed: easy maintenance.

Navigation
A light boat; easy to launch: easy to pull ashore. Smaller outboards: exceptional performance. Tenders easy to pull on board: less strain on the davits.

Decks
Two Types of Decks
The fully equipped decks provide seating and maximize storage space, by using the area between the deck and the hull. Flat decks are for those who require free space to carry a maximum number of passengers or equipment, or for creating a customized layout.

The Hull is Fiberglass
Fitted with an inflatable buoyancy tube for added stability and safety. Particularly suited to intensive navigation on choppy water. A deep V ensures an easy ride in heavy seas. A progressive V planes quickly, even with heavy loads.

The Removable Tube System
A clever concept, for most of its semi-rigid models, the tube is equipped with a cuff that slides into a slot on the rigid hull.

To install it, slide the cuff starting from the bow into the built-in slot on each side of the rigid hull. Tightness is secured once the tube is inflated.

Entirely removable the tube can be disassembled and folded for maintenance, repair, storage and transportation.


View inflatable boat products, accessories and other innovative boat and marine products here.


Sea Eagle Fisherman's Dream Kit

Load Carrying Capacity
A key feature about all inflatable boats is their incredible stability. Conventional dinghies and small sport boats rock almost uncontrollably whenever anyone moves about. Inflatables, with their buoyancy tubes, sit flat in the water and are almost impossible to flip over. This offers a feeling of security to even the most nervous boaters and allows swimmers or divers to slide back on board without upsetting the boat. More buoyancy of inflatable boats means bigger load-carrying capacity. Inflatable boats are designed with built-in buoyancy. The inflatable collar, or tubeset, is the key that allows inflatable boats to carry very heavy payloads in a safe and stable manner. An added benefit is that they are virtually unsinkable, and can generally operate even with one or more chambers of the collar deflated.

High performance
Most of today’s modern inflatable boats easily match conventional runabouts for speed and handling, while some of the more sophisticated rigid-hulled inflatables are clearly superior to ordinary fiberglass or aluminum boats. For instance, the Virage range of sports boats features Zodiac’s patented Futura speed tubes to produce amazing lift and stability. Because the Futura hull merely kisses the water, it creates less drag and thus requires less power to reach incredible speeds while performing with absolute safety. The big rigid-hulled inflatable superboats are equally impressive. With deep V-keels up forward and flat planing sections aft they can produce an astonishingly comfortable ride in tough offshore conditions, yet maneuver with ease in the tightest dock or harbor.

Non-marking features
Inflatable boats are the ideal yacht tender because of all their basic advantages including: lightness, stability and buoyancy. Unlike regular dinghies, they’re easy to lift on board. With special rubstrake glued or thermobonded to their sides, inflatables won’t damage or mark your yacht’s hull or deck. Purchasing an inflatable tender almost guarantees the elimination of scuff marks and scratches on your yacht forever.


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Stowability
Inflatable tenders are much easier to store than conventional dinghies. When deflated and folded into its carry bag a typical 8 foot inflatable measures about 3 feet x 2 feet and weighs about 80 lbs. At this size, you can see that an inflatable tender is easily stowed in a locker on board, below decks or in a closet or shed at home. They’re also very convenient to take on picnics or on vacation, even in a small car.

Collar (buoyancy tube) design
A unique feature incorporated into many rigid-hull inflatables is the removable collar. The collar is securely attached to the fiberglass hull using a tongue-and-grove method and can be easily slid off whenever necessary. This system allows for convenient storage, maintenance and repairs.

Lightweight air-floors
Some of the more advanced inflatables, like Zodiac’s Fastroller, feature a special High-Pressure inflatable air floor. Made of two layers of fabric, connected by thousands of tiny “drop stitches”, this floor can be inflated to a high pressure, creating a floor with rigidity equal to sheet of plywood a fraction of the weight. Best of all, they can be completely deflated and stowed in only minutes without removing any parts. This high pressure air floor is softer on knees and backsides too.

Transoms
Given the size, weight and power of outboard engines today, the transoms of inflatable boats must be strong enough to withstand enormous vibration and stress. Many inflatables use multi-layer wood transoms that are glued or “thermobonded” to the collars. The result is a high degree of structural strength that reliably absorbs stresses exerted by outboards.

View inflatable boat products, accessories and other innovative boat and marine products here.


Sea Eagle Fisherman's Dream Kit

  • When boating: learn and respect the local regulations and practices. Do not neglect the safety rules, this could jeopardize your life and the lives of others.
  • Before setting off, make sure you are thoroughly briefed and feel comfortable with operating the boat. You will be responsible not only for its safe and correct operation but also for the behavior and safety of yourself and your passengers.
  • Never leave port without the essential safety equipment: lifejackets (PDFs), foot-pump, repair kit, paddles/oars, maps, license and the other necessary equipment required by law in your area.
  • Do not exceed the authorized number of persons or weight.
    No alcohol or drugs: Do not drink alcohol or take drugs before or while operating your boat. Maintain passengers sobriety.
  • Always use the stop switch lanyard: Your outboard comes equipped with a stop switch safety lanyard to prevent a runaway boat in case the operator falls overboard. Attach it to the operator, it could save a life.
  • Ensure you know the distance you can cover on your supply of fuel. Fuel usage varies with sea conditions. Always keep enough fuel to enable you to reach land.
  • The propeller is dangerous. Always keeps hands away from the propeller.
  • Use personal flotation devices (PFD’s): PFD’s are required equipment. Wear them.
  • Make sure your passengers remain seated: sitting on the buoyancy tubes may be comfortable at rest or at low speeds provided your passengers use the grab line. At planing speeds, in rough water or during sharp turns, all passengers should position themselves in seats or on the floor. We will take no responsibility if this warning is disregarded.
  • No bow riding: Bow riding is illegal in most areas and is extremely dangerous.
  • Be especially careful when docking: Arms and legs may be injured if they are outside the boat.
  • Keep clear of swimmers and divers: Always avoid areas where divers/swimmers are in the water. Keep a sharp lookout especially when operating near beaches and launch sites. Shut off the motor when operating near someone in the water.

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  • OBSERVE THE RULES OF THE SEA. LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR BOAT CORRECTLY AND TO RESPECT THE NAVIGATION RULES. TAKE A BOATING SAFETY COURSE TO IMPROVE YOUR KNOWLEDGE. ALWAYS OPERATE WITH COURTESY AND RESPECT.
  • Mooring and towing:
    For mooring: use the lateral D-rings
  • NOTE : WHEN MOORED, THE SELF BAILERS SHOULD REMAIN OPEN TO DRAIN THE RAIN WATER.
  • For towing:
    Inflatable boats should always be towed using a bridle; never use a single line attached to the bow handle. Use the 2 lateral D-rings made for this purpose.
  • Lifting – Davits:
    WHEN BEING HOISTED OR PLACED ON DAVITS, THE BOAT MUST BE EMPTY (NO PASSENGER, NO EQUIPMENT) AND TIPPED TOWARD THE REAR. SELF BAILERS SHOULD REMAIN OPEN TO DRAIN THE RAIN WATER.
  • Hauling on trailer:
    The boat must be properly inflated. Adjust the rollers (or supports) of the trailer to fit the shape of the boat. Haul the boat onto the trailer using the lateral D rings. The bottom of the transom must rest on the trailer bunks. Place the motor in the down position so that it can rest on the support provided on the trailer. The self bailer should remain open. Tie down the straps and ensure the buoyancy tubes are protected against chafing.

View inflatable boat products, accessories and other innovative boat and marine products here.


Sea Eagle Fisherman's Dream Kit

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