Zodiac Boats: Inflatable Boats And Rafts For Rescue, Fishing, Commercial Use, And Just Plain Fun
The most recognizable brand of inflatables is Zodiac Boats.
I notice many people use the term "Zodiac" to refer to inflatable boats no matter what brand it is.
An enviable position to be in as a company!
Zodiac uses their own high quality trademarked fabrics, such as Strongan. I read they have a goal of using no glue in their recreational boats. I am not quite sure how they will accomplish this as they still glue the transom in on all their sport boats, and floors and accessories are also glued on.
On all their PVC and Polyurethane boats they use heat to weld as many seams as possible. This process, also called thermo-bonding, creates a seam that is stronger than the fabric.
All the Zodiac recreational boats are made of PVC, but they are starting to introduce a new polyurethane fabric.
Zodiac's new fabric called "Sharc Duotex" is a polyurethane coated polyester core fabric. On their informational brochures they claim Sharc Duotex is "better than PVC", "tougher than PVC", and has "better UV resistance than PVC".
Important for Zodiac..... it can also be welded!
Zodiac is not the only company moving toward polyurethane coated fabrics.
Even though Zodiac boats makes quality products, it is still very important for you to know how you are going to use the boat. Just because you buy a higher price brand does not mean you are buying the right boat for you.
My very first inflatable was a Zodiac inflatable boat. But alas, at 30 years old (you might call that past its prime) it was not going to be the best boat for me.
I wanted to go far and wide - in the large lake near home and on extended ocean adventures. The threat of seam failure due to the age of the glue was the deciding factor not to keep that boat.
The reality that old glue can not be relied upon is one reason Zodiac inflatable boats found a better method to assemble their tubes.
Zodiac boats also has a whole line of military and professional boats that can be viewed on their zodiacmilpro.com website. You can often find boats from these lines at dealers like defender.com as well as storefront Zodiac retailers.
If you are considering a high quality boat, Zodiac is one of the brands to consider.
All are good quality. (OK, most are good quality, to be totally honest, their Zoom line is a glued PVC made-in-China product. Even some Zodiac reps are not impressed with the quality!)
Not all are super durable!
There is a difference.
Make sure you know that difference before going shopping.
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