Zodiac Inflatable Boats: Still the Leader After Six Decades
Zodiac Inflatable Boat Reviews
If you aren’t familiar with the history of Zodiac inflatable boats you should be. They are the original designer of inflatables and RIBs, and the company is still the largest manufacturer of inflatables in the world.
Developed by French Navy officer and biologist Alain Bombard almost 60 years ago, the early Zodiac was the first inflatable boat to be fitted with a rigid floor and an outboard motor. Bombard sailed across the Atlantic in 1952 in his first inflatable design, the Zodiac Mark III. In the sixties, the brand gained worldwide attention when ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau used it as a tender for the Calypso on its many expeditions.
In addition to its number one market share in recreational inflatable boats, Zodiac also sells a specialty line to professionals. Zodiac Sea RIBs™
are used by Navy Seals, the Coast Guard, law enforcement, search and rescue, researchers, and in numerous other industries. The Zodiac brand name is often times used as the generic name, with zodiac generally referring any rigid hull inflatable boat, especially those used by rescue personnel.
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A Boat for Every Purpose
Lightweight, attractive, and built to high standards, Zodiac inflatables maintain a high resale value. Each boat is constructed using an industrial robotized thermobonding process on its patented Strongan™ Duotex™ fabric, which delivers maximum durability in protecting against cuts, abrasions, and climate aggressions.
These are just a few of the outstanding Zodiac inflatable boats available to the public:
- The Cadet is a light tender that comes in a variety of styles including one with a RIB style hull. There are 16 models that feature slat, wood, or air floors in sizes from 7' 11" to 11' 2".
- The Classic is a recreational fold up boat that comes in six models from 11' to 13' 10" with either an aluminum sectional floor or high-pressure air floor.
- The Pro Open boats are larger recreational RIBs. There are five models of Pro Open Deck RIBs from 13' 9" to 27' 11", and two Pro Open models at 18' 1" and 20' 4".
Zodiacs are backed with a 5-year warranty on the fabric. The warranty is good in 80 countries around the world.
Where to Find a Zodiac
Go directly to the manufacturer’s North American websites, ZodiacMarineUSA.com or Zodiac.ca (Canada) to configure a boat and place an order. You can also check for new, used, and discontinued models of Zodiac inflatable boats on eBay and Amazon.
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Zodiac Cadet Series - Reviews are all thumbs way up: owners are delighted by the performance and durability of the Cadet Series. Oversized buoyancy tubes provide stable ride when heavily loaded.
Zodiac Classic Series - Great for diving, hunting, fishing, sunbathing, and tendering. V-shaped hull achieves better than average speed and maneuverability. Easily stores in RV or trunk of car.
Zodiac Pro Series - 14' to 28' RIBs for offshore adventure. All the advantages of a hard-shell boat plus lower cost, better safety and low maintenance.
Zoom by Zodiac 230 - A more affordable alternative to the other models in the Zodiac fleet, particularly the outstanding but higher priced Cadet Series.
Zoom by Zodiac 310S - A decent tender made with superior workmanship and quality materials. Planes loaded with 2 adults at 10mph with 15hp motor.
Zoom by Zodiac 350S - The largest of the line, the 350S is an 11'6" yacht tender that can carry a ton of gear thanks to its larger payload capacity.
Zoom by Zodiac 260 - The 260 Aero Air Floor and the Zoom 260S Slat Floor Model are reasonably priced for boaters who don’t want to spend more by stepping up into the Cadet Series.
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