Please note this thread has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new thread.
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    victoria
    Posts
    240

    Default lifespan of an inflatable

    how long is an inflatable good for?I'm looking at an older Zodiac-Hypalon I believe.What do you look for in determining condition-apart from leaks.

  2. #2
    Captain deejaycee_2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    3,446

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    I would say about 5 years depending on how you take care of it .....
    __________________________
    ... THE MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER IS NEVER ENOUGH ...

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    I have a 1990 Avon-(hypalon)- No leaks, 1 smal patch- so far so good. I've had it about 3 years and was well cared for by previous owners.

  4. #4
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    victoria
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    so-apart from obvious leaks and cracks-what do you look for in determining condition?The seller says the boat was used in the summer on a lake and stored in its bag the rest of the year out of the sunlight.He has a 5 hp Honda 4 stoke out board used under the same conditions and is looking for $1100 for the package.

  5. #5
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    Is the material soft/flexible, discolored/faded, valves in good shape, seams look sound not peeling back, few patches/scrapes, transom in good shape. In orher words has it been taken care of stored out ogf the sun etc.

    I will say, I think I hold a minority view on this board about longevity. I believe Hypalon holds up much better than PVC and mine doesn't get a lot of use, but I do use it on the coast and up to about 2ft seas. So far holding up well.

  6. #6
    Petty Officer 1st Class nobrainsd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    It is not always easy to tell if a boat has water leaks, particularly while sitting in someones driveway! I would suggest you do what I did to locate leaks and check the seams in my boat, inflate the boat and fill it with a couple of inches of water (being careful not to splash water outside of the boat). Small leaks in the floorboard and water seeping at seams on the transom will be obvious.

  7. #7
    Vice Admiral TOHATSU GURU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    TAMPA
    Posts
    5,980

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    It's not unusual to see 20 year old Hypalon boats. It's very unusual to see 10 year old PVC boats. Virtually all Zodiacs are PVC, not Hypalon.
    Elvin
    My answers are like Zen...It may not be the answer you want, but it is generally the answer you need.

    The 3 Rules:

    1) Look in your service manual first...Then ask me if it is correct.
    2) Understand that your desire to repair your engine does not mean that you have the ability to do so.
    3) If you are confused, take your engine into a dealer..Then let them be confused...At least, in theory, they sent someone to outboard 101.

  8. #8

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    So the Saturn are also PVC, is it worth the difference in $$$ to get the zodiac pvc vs the saturn pvc?
    You only need two tools in life - WD-40 - and - DUCT TAPE - If it doesn't move and should. Use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the DUCT TAPE.

  9. #9
    Vice Admiral TOHATSU GURU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    TAMPA
    Posts
    5,980

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    Material aside look at the differences. A dealer network for Zodiac that will perform warranty repairs versus no dealer network for Saturn. If you want a compromise I would look at Mercury. In between on price with service available in every(almost) state.
    Elvin
    My answers are like Zen...It may not be the answer you want, but it is generally the answer you need.

    The 3 Rules:

    1) Look in your service manual first...Then ask me if it is correct.
    2) Understand that your desire to repair your engine does not mean that you have the ability to do so.
    3) If you are confused, take your engine into a dealer..Then let them be confused...At least, in theory, they sent someone to outboard 101.

  10. #10
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    victoria
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    Pardon my ignorance here-but I asked the man selling the Zodiac whether it was PVC or Hypalon-and he said he couldn't see anywhere on the boat what material it was...so how do you tell?

  11. #11
    Vice Admiral TOHATSU GURU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    TAMPA
    Posts
    5,980

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    In general, Zodiac does not produce a boat in Hypalon that is available to the public, so it has a 99.999 percent chance of being PVC.
    Elvin
    My answers are like Zen...It may not be the answer you want, but it is generally the answer you need.

    The 3 Rules:

    1) Look in your service manual first...Then ask me if it is correct.
    2) Understand that your desire to repair your engine does not mean that you have the ability to do so.
    3) If you are confused, take your engine into a dealer..Then let them be confused...At least, in theory, they sent someone to outboard 101.

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    What's the year and model?
    If it is a consumer model after about 1990 it is going to be PVC. I understand that there are different qualitiy levels of PVC. I have not had direct experience with Zodiacs but my impression is that they use a high quality material which MAY hold up better than the many of the Asia models. Zodiac seems to have a good reputation and there are satisfied owners out there. Certainly see many more older Zodiacs for sale than Asia brands. Again not speaking from experience and trying to "flush out" some opinions. Maybe someone else can comment.

  13. #13
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    Of course if its Deejaycee's boat-life will be measured in weeks not years no matter what its made of!

  14. #14
    Seaman Palssonater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Manitoba
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    My MKI and MKIII Futura are 21 years old with no major repairs. Patches here and there but that's the fault of the operator. Keep them free of grit and gravel, dry and out of the sun and you'll have em forever.

    At the end of the day, they are not that hard to repair.

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 1st Class nobrainsd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    I have a 98 zodiac futura made with pvc. I inspected a number of used boats before I bought it. I have to admit that a well made hypalon boat (like the dink we used with our Westsail) will stand up to exposure and abuse much better than a pvc boat. It is also true that many of the hypalon boats I looked at had been directly exposed to excessive amounts of sun and were in really bad shape. Certainly a well cared for garage stored boat is the best bet regardless of material type.

    The tube seams on the zodiac pvc boats are heat welded. I only saw heat welded seam issues on pvc boats that were totally sunbaked. I have never had issues with my tubes. However, the speed tubes, the pvc bottom seams and the transom are just glued in place. I looked at a number of older pvc boats that all had issues with these seams. I would expect them to be an issue at some point on any zodiac. Filling the boat with a few inches of water (the bathtub test) will show that even some pretty good looking boats have water leaking at points along the floor and seeping at the transom. It isn't always obvious without a test. I have repaired my Futura and none of the seams have separated or leaked since (almost two years). I go out to surf in my boat and it takes a pounding running over shoaling swells. I like my pvc boat, but think that anyone buying a used zodiac should expect to do some work on these seams at some point depending on age and exposure.

  16. #16
    Captain deejaycee_2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    3,446

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    hey I am not that bad ........ I only replace mine once a year ....

    Quote Originally Posted by jnewtonsem View Post
    Of course if its Deejaycee's boat-life will be measured in weeks not years no matter what its made of!
    __________________________
    ... THE MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER IS NEVER ENOUGH ...

  17. #17
    Cadet
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    I bought a used 1986 Zodiac MKII 14 footer a few years ago. There are plastic cones at the pontoon ends that are glued on. I had my first air leak around the cones the end of last year, and was able to re-glue them and the seam by myself. (Zodiac Dealer wanted $500, glue was about $45.) My boat is made of PVC, and so far has held up to Minnesota summers and winters. I was told by Zodiac that the best way to store them is inflated and out of the sun. Not folded up. I was also told that storing a boat folded up is the worst way. If you buy an older boat have the seller inflate it and spray all the seams with Dawn dish soap mixed with water in a spray bottle before you buy it. The leaks, even small ones, will bubble up and be exposed. Put some water in the bottom on a dry drive way and see if any leaks out of the floor seams. I was told that I should watch my transom because as the glued surfaces grow old, the wood transom may separate from the boat. So far, not a problem. I run a 15 HP on mine, it's rated for 55 HP. If you find leaks in the seams be ready to glue if you buy, or it may cost alot to repair.

Similar Threads

  1. Inflatable boat ,which inflatable floor is best??
    By crazy charlie in forum Inflatables and RIBs
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: March 6th, 2010, 08:24 AM
  2. 115 SPL Lifespan
    By Bushleaguer in forum Johnson & Evinrude Outboards
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 17th, 2008, 11:40 AM
  3. Lifespan of a Fiberglass Hull
    By atengnr in forum Boat Restoration, Building, and Hull Repair
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: August 27th, 2007, 11:33 AM
  4. bearing lifespan????
    By jippie98 in forum Trailers and Towing
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: December 3rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
  5. Cost of Spares and lifespan
    By goldenmonkeyboy in forum Non-Repair Outboard Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 5th, 2003, 05:50 AM
  1. iboats Forum Directory - Over 100,000 forum posts organized by topic