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Archive for the ‘Inflatable Kayaks & Canoes’ Category

According to the Guiness Book of Motorboating, the history of the inflatable boat goes back as far as 880 BC, when the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II ordered troops to cross a river using greased animal skins, which they inflated continuously to keep the vessels afloat. In ancient China, during the Sung and Ming dynasties, inflated, airtight skins were used for crossing rivers.

It was 1839, however, that the first inflatable boat pontoons were tested by the Duke of Wellington. In 1840, the Englishman Thomas Hancock designed inflatable craft and described this work in “The Origin and Progress of India Rubber Manufacture in England” published a few years later. In 1844, a Lieutenant Halkett designed a round-shaped inflatable boat which was used in several Arctic expeditions. The Frenchman Clement Ader devised a floating vessel too. Indeed, many other pioneers invented craft that foreshadowed “inflatables”. In 1913, the German Albert Meyer came up with a fairly novel design. By 1920, his company, A. Meyer Bau Pneum. Boote, was marketing his “pneumatic” boats, of which nine were already in use by the German Army.


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In France and Great Britain, Zodiac and RFD claim paternity of the first modern inflatable boat . In 1919, RFD’s founder Reginald Foster Dagnall tested an inflatable on Lake Wisely in England, and went on to improve its design in the 1930s. This boat was the ancestor of the one-person inflatable liferaft. In France, Pierre Debroutelle came up with a prototype for an inflatable boat in 1934.

The first boat of its kind to be certified by the French Navy, Zodiac’s model probably sparked the development of the civil and military inflatable boat industry. Unlike its counterparts, the boat improved by Pierre Debroutelle in 1937 was actually designed in a U-shape, with the two lateral buoyancy chambers connected by a wooden transom patented on August 10, 1943. This version was the direct predecessor of today’s inflatable sports and pleasure boats.

Since then many new manufacturers, new models and new designs have hit the market. Inflatable boat are no longer a little dinghy on the back of a large pleasure yacht, but can range up to 45 ft in length and longer. “Rigid” hulls of fiberglass or aluminum have evolved from the original fabric floors, luxury components and even cabins now grace the decks of many inflatable boats. Contrary to the name, inflatable boat, on some inflatable boats of today the only thing inflatable is the collar around the perimeter gunwales of the deck however, the inflatable boat lives on and becomes more popular year after year.

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Looking for an inflatable kayak dealer

posted by The Captain @ 12:37 PM
Friday, May 25, 2012

As you may already know, specialization in the design of today’s inflatable kayaks is now in the forefront of the minds of the manufacturers and designers. Each distinct group is specifically designed for a different set of applications and is built and equipped with different components and equipment. Most inflatable kayaks today fall within one these specific categories.

If all you need is a small inflatable kayak to get you from ship to shore, then a typical inflatable tender is the best answer. If you’re after a medium sized boat for diving or watersports there are many choices as well. If a large rigid-hulled inflatable (Rigid Inflatable Boat or RIB) for recreation, rescue or work is what you need, there are again many exotic designs available with a wide variety of standard and optional components. The choice of inflatable kayaks is quite wide through the entire spectrum, ranging from very compact models with simple slatted or inflatable floors, to larger tenders with inflatable or wooden keels and solid wooden or aluminum floors. To avoid confusion, before buying, or even shopping for an inflatable, discuss and decide on exactly what the uses or requirements will be for your new inflatable boat. This will minimize the models to choose from, which in turn will minimize confusion.

Dealer Location and Reputation
The location of the inflatable kayak dealer is important because you don’t want to have to travel too far for you inflatable kayak needs. Whether it’s parts, repairs or just technical support and friendly customer service tips, a close dealer can be a close friend. In particular, as a new boat owner and perhaps new to inflatable kayaks, you may have questions, need to claim warranty, or need regular servicing to maintain a warranty. Any way you look at it, closer is better.


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Pricing
Years ago, kayaks were the some of the most expensive small boats on the market and only a few people could afford them. This was due to the use of exotic materials and the hours of meticulous hand labor which went into their construction. Now, the boats still use the best materials, but in the late seventies, the companies started investing millions of dollars in computer-driven assembly equipment. This enabled prices to be dramatically reduced as economies of scale rose, enabling more and more consumers to enjoy affordable inflatable boating. Zodiac and its sister company, Sevylor, are now the leading low-cost producer thanks to these technological investments. So be wary of inflatable prices substantially below the Zodiac/Sevylor line. They may be either produced in developing countries by unskilled labor, or marketed by companies who are unaware of the importance of profit margins. They will be glad to see your dollar today but may be unwilling or unable to fix a problem later, or supply that much needed spare part.

Warranties
You may be enamored with inflatable kayak competitor’s claims, all of whom will promise they have the best or longest warranty. There was even a lifetime warranty offered some years ago by an inflatable kayak company that soon enough disappeared. A lot of manufacturers use attractive warranties as a substitute for quality or proper boat design, or simply to shore up a lack of product features. You should also be sure in your own mind that the company will be around long enough to deliver. Zodiac has been building inflatables for over 50 years and offers a limited 5-year warranty. And they have the whereforall to be around for a long time.

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Inflatable kayak tubes or sponsons

posted by The Captain @ 12:31 PM
Friday, May 25, 2012

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 boats and kayaks , 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.

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.


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

Rubbing Strakes
Protecting the kayak 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 and kayaks benefit from this system.

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

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

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.

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Inflatable kayak glossary

posted by The Captain @ 1:42 PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ANCHOR FAIRLEAD: device that provides chafe protection on the bow of the boat and through which the anchor rode is lead.

BENCH SEAT: rigid plank on which to sit while rowing.

BILGE PUMP: electric pump to remove water from the hull.

BOLT ROPE (or flange): a flap of material containing a section of rope which is used to slide into a slot in the hull to hold a buoyancy tube in place (also used in a similar manner for attaching seat cushions).

BOTTOM OF THE HULL: The part of the hull that’s under water. Its form is a determining feature in the boat’s navigation capacity.
CAVITATION: a situation when the propeller gets air or insufficient bite in the water and loses its power. Can happen due to motor mounted too high, seas conditions and tight turns.

CHOPPY WATER: Agitated sea due to waves and wind coming from different directions.

COATING: interior and exterior covering of fabric by a flexible sub- stance. The interior layer assures air tightness, the exterior insures resistance to abrasion.

COCKPIT: the area of the boat occupied by passengers. Floor drains provide for removing accumulated water.

CONE REINFORCEMENT: rigid caps that provide protection for the ends of the buoyancy tubes.

DECITEX: weight measurement of the thread that constitutes the textile strength.

DECK: a horizontal platform on which you may stand. Large boats may have numerous decks.

D-RING: A ring whose metal part is D-shaped. Used especially when beaching and towing.

FLOOR: a surface on which you may stand. Floors may be slats in fabric sleeves, interlocking or hinged sections of wood, aluminum or composite materials, or fiberglass as in Ribs.

HAND RAILING: profited grab rail for passengers to hold on to while navigating.

KEEL: (for a foldable boat) the inflatable lengthwise part found under the boat, between the boat bottom and the floor. The inflatable keel is a supplementary safety compartment.


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LACING CUFF: a flap of material (usually positioned on top of the tube) through which life lines are lead. Lacing cuffs frequently act as upright reinforcements for the buoyancy tube.

LIFE LINE: line around the boat to help passengers keep steady while navigating and when boarding.

MOTOR BRACKET: physical part of the boat to which the engine is mounted.

MOTOR SHAFT: That part of an engine that goes from below the motor head to the propeller. This height is variable for a given horsepower, it can be short, long, or extra long.

OARLOCK: U-shaped, circular or other shape which holds the oar and secures it to the buoyancy tube permitting movement for rowing.

PLANE: Transitory phase during which the boat goes from pushing the water at low speed to sliding over it. Usually this phase is accompanied by porpoiseing as the boat overtakes its own bow wave.

PRESSURE GAUGE: measuring instrument that indicates the level of air pressure in the buoyancy tube.

RUBBING STRAKE: Composition of resistant flexible lateral bands that protect the boat from damage caused by rubbing (ie. against the dock).

SELF BAILER: device that permits accumulated water to exit the boat, while not permitting water to enter the boat. Usually, a plug wilt he used to close the self bailer when the boat is at rest, anchored or not operational.

STRINGER: aluminum lengthwise bars that lock the floorboard elements in place when mounted on the boat (foldable boats).

TILLER ARM: a lever with controls used to steer and throttle an outboard motor when a remote helm station is not used.

TRANSOM: structural component of the hull of the boat on which the motor or motor bracket is mounted.

TRIM TABS/TRIM FLAPS: extension of the bottom of the hull beyond the transom that aids in stability and planing.

WATER EVACUATION PLUG: found at lowest part of hull’s stern. It permits water to evacuate from inside the hull (boat out of the water).

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


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Inflatable kayak general information

posted by The Captain @ 1:38 PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Initially, inflatable boats were developed for use in the navy for transporting torpedoes and other cargo as well as other applications. Over time, recreational applications evolved for the smaller boats including pleasure, tender and fishing. When the stability, flotation and seaworthiness of inflatable boats became more known, lifesaving and rescue agencies around the world began using them as tenders on their larger vessels. Today, rescue and military agencies around the world use inflatable boats, particularly RIBs, for many applications inshore and offshore. Some of the many applications of inflatable boats and inflatable kayaks today include:


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Yacht tenders, Pleasure boating, Scuba diving, Fishing and hunting, Watersports, Search and Rescue, Emergency lifeboats, Workboat applications, Personnel ferrying, Drug Enforcement, Army/Navy transport, Special military ops., Security Patrol, Fisheries patrol, Law enforcement ….and many other applications.

Now, there are many new manufacturers, new models and new designs to have hit the market. Inflatable boat are no longer a little dinghy on the back of a large pleasure yacht, but can range up to 45 ft in length and longer. “Rigid” hulls of fiberglass or aluminum have evolved from the original fabric floors, luxury components and even cabins now grace the decks of many inflatable boats . Contrary to the name, inflatable boat, on some inflatable boats of today the only thing inflatable is the collar around the perimeter gunwales of the deck however, the inflatable boat lives on and becomes more popular year after year.

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


Sea Eagle Fisherman's Dream Kit

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