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If you are in the market for an inflatable boat or just a boat in general you have likely come across a Zodiac boat.
The first question that is normally asked is regarding the safety of Zodiac boats or the inflatable boats in general. Most of the time people wonder, “How safe are they since they can get punctured when poked with a sharp item”?
Surprisingly Zodiac boats are very safe as they are practically unsinkable even when punctured. This is all thanks to the multiple chambers air in them which is designed to help the boat maintain its buoyancy even if one of the tubes gets punctured.
Punctures to the tubes is actually not a very common occurrence especially when compared to how often many people expect it to happen but even if there is any such puncture, they can be easily repaired.
Zodiac boats are really on the same level of safety as any other traditional boat and in fact, maybe even safer! This is because if a traditional boat is damaged you start taking on water fast while a Zodiac boat can get damaged and still not sink!
Its no wonder why even the Armed forces, the Thunder-cat racers, and more happen to use these forms of boats.
These boats also are pretty hard to tip over when boarding or re-boarding which takes their safety to an even higher level as compared to their counterparts.
Moreover, these boats are very easy to maintain
Overall, the Zodiac boats are very much designed to be quite safe. As described before, if there was any doubt over the vulnerability of the tubes all you have to do is study the design of the boat to realize that it is centered prominently around safety, stability, and performance.
Since these come with multiple chambers of air they will continue to have the same level of buoyancy, support, and hence stability even when a tube or a two get punctured (which happens to be a very unlikely event).
That pretty much sums it up about the safety issue of the Zodiac boats. Now that we have covered this very important question, it’s time to hop into some of the other common questions that people might have about Zodiac boats.
The following are some common questions that we hear people ask about regularly.
Are Zodiac Boats any good?
The following characteristics and features of these Zodiac boats definitely point to the fact that they indeed are good:
- Stability & Support centered mechanism
- Made of extremely tough fabrics
- Ease of handling
- Proper balancing of buoyancy
- Back-ups in the form of multiple air chambers
- Easily repairable even if there is a rare instance of punctures
With these and many other features included in them Zodiac boats are really good and are a good choice for many people who are looking for an inflatable boat or simply one of this size.
What are Zodiac boats made off?
Zodiac boats are actually made with extremely tough fabrics such as Hypalon, which is the brand name of Chlorosulfonated polyethylene or CSM, Polyurethane or PU, and Polyvinyl chloride, the PVCs.
These materials are abrasive-resistant in actuality which means they don’t break or puncture easily and also won’t get damaged by simply rubbing up against something underwater.
How to store a Zodiac inflatable boat?
It is recommended to keep your Zodiac boat inflated rather than storing them in a deflated state. However, there are ways to properly store them even if they are deflated.
Below are listed some of the ways for storing Zodiac boats when inflated and deflated respectively:
Storing when inflated
Storing of Zodiac boats when inflated is pretty simple. It just needs some space to set the boats up and some extra room to have enough space for regular checking. Regular checking is necessary to look for any drops of air pressure in the tubes due to varying temperatures when stored for a long period of time.
Since the surface of the tubing will become taut and resistant against getting punctured, the seams and the attachments tend to hold up the best when under the pressure of being inflated.
Storing when deflated
The storing of Zodiac boats in a deflated fashion is recommended only for short periods until they are able to be reinflated. Ideally this should not be for more than a few days at most.
Below are listed some important methods in storing the Zodiac boats when they are deflated that can minimize the potential problems that may arise.
- Properly wash it before storing it deflated. This is done to ensure that there are no traces of residues and microorganisms that might sit on your boat.
- Once the washing is done, make sure it is dried well enough so that there’s no lingering moisture.
- Make sure that the deflated boat is kept in such storage areas where there aren’t large temperature swings (like hot in the day and pretty low during the night). This is to ensure that there isn’t stress on the tubes and seams of the boat due to temperature swings.
- A more convenient and simple solution is to store them on the boat trailer itself (when there’s not enough room indoors) with some good covers to cover it up to protect it from the elements. Also, this way you can have quick checks on the boats as needed.
What is the best way to clean a Zodiac inflatable boat?
Well, most of the time it is preferred that you just rinse your inflatable boat off with fresh and clean water. Once you are ready to store it you will want to make sure that it is stored only after it is completely dry so that you can make sure and avoid moisture from lingering on the surface of the tubes.
If it is clear or if you feel it needs to get an actual additional cleaning, then you can turn towards some mild soap and water. Ideally you will just want to use a soft nylon bristle brush if necessary but if no scrubbing is required then just use soap and water.
Are Zodiac inflatable boats safe on Oceans and oceanic waters?
Well, since Zodiac boats are made of extremely tough and durable materials, the Zodiac inflatable boats are indeed sea and ocean-worthy and are very much suitable to hold up against the saltwater.
If the waves are quite large however the boat can easily get swamped so that is something to be aware of if those conditions arise.
Can a Zodiac inflatable boat sink?
No one can truly say that any boat is unsinkable as we all know where that got the Titanic! However, the chance of tipping over is much less for the Zodiac inflatable boats as compared to many others designs and styles of boats.
The design efforts of a Zodiac inflatable boat exclusively concentrate on stability, safety, and performance. So, the chances of the sinking of this boat are pretty low but it could still happen if the circumstances are right (or wrong).
I hope this article has been helpful in answering some common questions that we hear surrounding Zodiac boats and their durability and safety.
As is often attested to by its users, the Zodiac inflatable boat offers a smooth riding experience and is impressively durable despite not having the traditional hull materials that many boats have.