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Inflatable Dinghy FAQs Inflatable Dinghy FAQs
  • Safety Equipment
  • Navigate Safely
  • What size outboard
  • Trailers
  • Winter storage tips
  • Minor repairs
  • What type of hull
  • What type of floor or deck
  • How to choose the right model
  • Safety Equipment
    • Pleasure boating with an inflatable has always brought with it the promise of "getting away from it all. Boating is a pleasure for everyone, as modern boats are more and more reliable. For you to fully enjoy your Zodiac, may we remind you of a few simple safety precautions.
    • If this is your first inflatable, make sure that you are thoroughly briefed and feel comfortable in operating the boat. You will be responsible for not only its working correctly but also for the behaviour and safety and safety of the passengers aboard and the well being of other boaters. We suggest you treat others with the same courtesy you would like thewm to extend you. Observe the laws of navigation applicable in your country and always adopt a serious attitude concerning safety regulations.
    • It is the captains responsibility to be informed of weather conditions and be informed accordingly. Get information about any local navigation dangers, be aware of tides currents and sea conditions. Before leaving port always inform someone ashore of your eventual destination and your approximate time of return.
    • Learn how to judge the distance you can cover on a full tank of fuel keeping in  mind that the amount of fuel used will vary considerably with sea conditions. Always keep enough fuel available to enable you to reach a shelter.
    • Never leave port without the essential safety equipment and the engine repair kit. Be an example, always wear your safety jacket and be sure that children and non swimmers never take them off.

    Navigate Safely

    • Carefully read and understand the owners manual supplied with your inflatable. Follow the recommendations contained within. Obtain handling and operation experience before assuming control of the craft.
    • Observe all navigation rules and respect the proper use of channels. Learn to control your boat correctly and stay within the realm of your capabilities.
    • Be sure there is a personal flotation device for you and each of your passengers.
    • Always attach the stop switch safety lanyard before starting the motor and while it is running. Before setting out, check to ensure that the stop switch lanyard works properly and shuts off the engine when pulled.
    • Passengers should remain seated while the engine is running. Passengers may sit on the flotation tubes provided they use the grab line. When planning, in rough water or during sharp turns, all passengers should be inside the boat and not seated on the tubes. NEVER allow anyone to bow ride.
    • When using a crane or davits, all passengers and loose equipment must be removed and the bailers opened to allow water to escape.
    • The international Alpha flag indicates divers are in the water. Know this sign and keep a safe distance from the area.

    What size Outboard?

    • Over-powered, your boat can be difficult to control. Under no circumstanses should you fit an outboard which exceeds the maximum permitted engine power.
    • Under-powered you may not have that margin necessary to go upwind or against the currents.
    • For quiet activities you do not need a very powerful engine: 8 hp ios sufficent for a 4.2m boat.
    • For sportier activities such as water skiing or diving you will need at least 30 hp.
    • With smaller outboards, go for tiller control, it gives directcontrol over the boat and allows for quick maneuvring.
    • Above 25 hp, for greater comfort and safety, we recommend you choose a steering consol.
    • The weight of the outboard has a direct effect on the handling of your inflatable. For the same power output, choose the lighter outboard.
    • Check the length of the motor shaft (short, long or edxtra long). Each model is designed to accept one or the other, not both.

    Trailers

    • Most inflatables can travel in the boot or on the roof of a car or van, making it possible to travel more often and in many more places. An inflatable is also easily transportable with a trailer. Before purchasing a trailer, you must take into consideration the weight of each of the elements as well as the adaptability of the trailer to your itenery.
    • Do not hesitate to purchase a trailer that is slightly more robust than the weight you will be transporting requires. Be sure that the wheels are wide and well adapted to long trips, and of course a spare tyre is necessary. Choose a trailer with numerous rollers on the ramp sp that your inflatable is well protected and prefer a tipping hinged shaft that will make loading and unloading easier. To secure your boat, use the rings on the hull and also have two straps that you can slip into the boat handles to secure the boat.
    • Get all the necessary information from your motor vehicles bureau about trailer driving regulations and make sure you get supplementary automobile insurance for the trailer.
    • Get used to the additional size you will be handling by practicing simple manoeuvers like passing, backing up and parking before departure.

    Winter Storage tips

    • When vacation is over, prepare your boat for winter storage. Wash it with soapy water and rinse away sand and debris. Check the condition of the valves and the self bailer. Are there signs of wear? You can detect air leaks with soapy water. Once inspected thoroughly, your boat is ready for storage. If you hjave little space, it can be folded into its carry bags but be certain its perfectly dry. If it will remain inflated, deflate the tubes a bit and if you leave it on the trailer make sure the inflatable is straight and not tilted.
    • If you have a RIB with a removable tube, take off the tube, yo be able to clean it and the rigid hull better.
    • A final tip, keep away rodents who might make holes in your boat.

    Minor Repairs

    • Small leaks and tears are sometimes inevitable but not very dangerous because you can repair them yourselve. In spite of what you may have heard to the contrary, the repair kit that is supplied with your boat contains all the necessary material for a quick repair. You do not need to be an expert, you can do it yourself.
    • Repairs are affected by cold gluing, not vulcanisation, in a dry moderatley heated place but if you have a problem while navigating, small emergency leaks and tears can be repaired by pulling the boat up onto the shore, in a dry place. Follow the instructions scrupulously and be especially careful about using the appropriate glue for your boat fabric.
    • Before setting off, be sure that your repair kit is complete, it will be a precious aid if an emergency repair is necessary. If you have a major tear, do not try to repair it yourself but consult the nearest approved service station.

    What type of hull? 

    • The flat hull, usually comes with a slatted floor, making for light, quick to set up tenders. Generally reserved for boats which do not need to plane or cover long distances.
    • The V-shaped hull, is created by combining a rigid floor with an inflatable keel. This design helps planing and improves navigational stability.
    • The Ribster hull is a unique concept, a fully foldable semi-rigid hull giving the lightness and reduced size of a folable inflatable.
    • RIB, the hull is in fiberglass and fitted with an inflatable bouyancy tube for added stability and safety. Particularly suited to intensive navigation on choppy water. A deep V ensures an easy ride in heavy seas. A progressive V planes quickly, even with heavy loads.

    What type of floor? or deck?

    • Inflatable floor, when inflated inflated to a high pressure this air cushion becomes as rigid as a traditional floor, but is much lighter and takes up less space. Assembly is quick and easy and the whole boat fits in one bag. The floor can be removed for easy maintenance
    • Slatted floor, is suitable where the floor can be left in place if you choose a nomadic style of navigation.
    • Solid floor, if you expect to set the boat up only several times a season. Choose between marine plywood or aluminium.
    • Two types of deck, the fully equiped decks provide seating and maximise storage space, by using the area between the deck and the hull. Flat decks are for those who require free space to carry a maximum number of passengers or equipment , or for creating a customised layout.

    How do I choose the model I require ?

    Why have a slatted floor ?

    • Ideal as tender
    • Very quick and easy to use.The floor slatts provide a stable platform and remains fitted inside the floor and rolled up  with boat .So nothing to remove.Ideal for short trips to and from your boat and car etc.

    Why have an inflatable floor?

    • Ideal as tender
    • You get the stability of a full floor with usually less weight and again no floor to constantly remove, the floor stays in the dinghy when you roll it up.
    • Ref sports boats. This means that a 4 mt plus boats can be easily transported and carried by a couple of people.Also light and needs less HP to drive it along.Also you get even more bouyancy.

    Why have a solid floor roll up floor?

    • Ideal as tender.
    • This provides a stiff floor to stand on and a stiff floor making performance good, due to it not flexing much. The floor can hinge in and roll up inside the dinghy to pack up without to much trouble, and the quality of construction is excellent.

    Why have a Solid floor tender and sportsboat?

    • This solid interlocking floor panals(Which can be packed in a bag for storage or transportation]. When locked together,these provide a stable stiff floor to stand on and protect the floor material underneath from being damaged by the loads you put inside the boat when in use.
    • This will also provide a stiff rigid hull shape  and push the keel out to provide a vee shape to enhance better performance and handling stability.The aliuminium floor is mostly suitable for load carring requirements ie.work boats and diving boats.If you keep the boat inflated on a trailer or use the wheels that fit on the transom ie.you do not pack it up everyday.This is the best option.

    People decide type of boat with the following in mind

    • Length of boat
    • Width of boat
    • Internal dimensions
    • Weight
    • Tube diameter
    • Persons(carry capacity)
    • Or load capacity
    • Max HP
    • Max weight of motor
    • Packed weight and sizes
    • Floor options
    • Inflation  points
    • Material or fabric

    All boats will be supplied packed in boxes c/w

    • Oars/Paddles
    • Bag
    • Pump
    • Repair kit
    • Floor type
    • Makers warranty
    • Ready to use
    • Ready to fit motor. [except sevi boats which are economy boats compared to the rest, made by zodiac and better than the beach type, but the prices are great. They dont take outboards and dont have carry bags]

    Safety equipment | Navigate safely | What size outboard | Trailers | Winter storage tips | Minor repairs | What type of hull | What type of floor or deck

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