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flyingjib 02-18-2013 05:10 PM

Zodiac HP Air Floor Inflatable Boat
 
Looking to purchase a decent dinghy. Does anybody have any exprience with this particular Zodiac?

Zodiac HP Air Floor 8' 6" Inflatable Boat

I have a C&C 30 MK1 without davits. Looking for a dinghy that can be stowed away in my lazarette. Under 9'. Any feed back is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Aaron

svHyLyte 02-19-2013 08:40 AM

Re: Zodiac HP Air Floor Inflatable Boat
 
Aaron--We have the West Marine 310 by Zodiac which is essentially a somewhat longer version of the boat you are considering and that we purchased for exactly the same reasons you described as a replacement for a 15 year old worn out West Marine dinghy with a plywood floor. While the shorter boat you're considering may perform somewhat better than ours, I have to say that if I had it to do over, I would go back to the shorter, plywood floor, dinghy or buy one of the shorter, folding transom rigid hull boats such as the Genesis. Advertising not withstanding, the HP floor just isn't rigid enough to allow the boat to perform particularly well. As an effort to improve matters, I bought an electric inflator that allows one to dial up the pressure one needs--14.7 PSI--and is much better than the foot pumps that come with the boat but the improvement was marginal. It will do for us as we already have it but I certainly won't replace it with another when the time comes.

FWIW...

SecondWindNC 02-19-2013 09:44 AM

Re: Zodiac HP Air Floor Inflatable Boat
 
Like nearly everything, it's a tradeoff. I've found the air floor models to be much easier to assemble and stow. However the planing ability and handling are slightly compromised compared to traditional slat-floor inflateables. My experience is with the 285 model, just a few inches longer than the one you're considering. I have used it with two outboards - with a 4hp it will plane only with one person, and you have to shift your weight forward to get up. With a 6hp it will plane more easily and with more people aboard, but of course the 6hp is heavier to deal with when moving from the rail to the dink and back.

If size and weight for stowing is your top priority, the air floor may be a good option.

MarcHall 02-19-2013 10:47 AM

Re: Zodiac HP Air Floor Inflatable Boat
 
After years with an Avon Roll-Up 3.15 I purchased an Achilles with an inflatable floor a couple of years ago.

The Achilles is all hypalon and after seeing a few Zodiac PVC boats fall apart in a couple of years of Southern Califorina sunshine I believe hypalon is the only way to go. As far as I know Achilles is the only boat where both the boat and the inflatable floor is made of hypalon. There are other brands where the floor is PVC but the rest of the boat is hypalon.

Very happy with the boat, its about a foot longer then Avon but with the inflatable floor it is significantly lighter. Much easier to move around on land or on the boat deck. Pretty simple to inflate and launch from the foredeck of the boat. Easier to beach land and launch.

One of my requirements for the inflatable was that it be able to carry two scuba divers with all gear and be able to get up on plane. The Avon and Achilles met this requirement with a 15HP 2 stroke Mercury engine. With the large inflatable wheels mounted on the transom the Achilles is very easy to beach launch and land particularly since the wheels when in the down position extend past the bottom of the engine.

Regards
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish, Crealock 37, Hull 207
Slipped in San Diego.

sww914 02-19-2013 11:39 AM

Re: Zodiac HP Air Floor Inflatable Boat
 
I thought that the air floor looked like a good idea until we got to San Diego. I saw many many air floor dinghies there that had had the floor delaminate inside and the floors looked like sad grey footballs.
I bought a PVC dinghy to save money.
After 1 1/2 years the seams are splitting. It's still under warranty but we're in Mexico and the nearest dealer is in Guadalajara, a couple hundred miles away.
I wish that I'd bought a hypalon RIB.

dabnis 02-19-2013 12:14 PM

Re: Zodiac HP Air Floor Inflatable Boat
 
We had a similar model, can't remember exactly the number. We used it for fishing on Northern California rivers. A 2HP Honda moved it along at what I would guess to be about 5 knots. The inflatable floor worked fine and was easy to fold up and stow in the car. We used it for about two seasons with no problems, even with a lot of beachings and shallow water use. Sold it for almost what we paid for it.

Paul T


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