Zodiac: From Flying Machines to RIBs

Zodiac has a unique history rooted in inflatable airships, dating to 1879 when a Frenchman made a maiden balloon flight that changed the course of his life forever. Maurice Mallet in 1896 founded the company that later became Zodiac.

Today, Zodiac is one of the world's premier manufacturers of inflatable and rigid inflatable boats. The company's RIB line includes the Yachtline 1 RIB, Yachtline 2 Deluxe and ProJet series.

The Yachtline 1 buoyancy tubes look great in white and serve to protect a yacht from damage when it is moored alongside. Using a moderate V-hull, planing is quick and easy, even when fully loaded. The YL2 range is a comfortable, well equipped tender. Designed to be craned aboard, they have a compact profile ensuring a minimum of inconvenience when stored. The ProJet 350 offers both the security of a semirigid and the verve of a jet. The inflatable tube guarantees floatation and stability.

The Yamaha 83 HP jet engine takes full advantage of the rigid hull. Its light weight, 250 Kg., means it can be handled by a crane.

All Zodiac boats have a number of signature features, including: Thermobonding, a robotized hot assembly technique originating from the aeronautical industry; Strongan Duotex, a high performance fabric, exclusive to Zodiac, Strongan is a third generation plastomer which bonds impervious inner and outer layers to a dense polyester support cloth; Internal bulkhead, totally sealing one compartment from the other, its conical floating shape equalizes the pressure between them; Towing rings, oversized, stainless steel, towing rings capable of handling pulling forces of up to 1/2 ton; Semi-recessed valve, patented by Zodiac, this system provides for quick inflation/ deflation, allows easy adjustment of the pressure, is doubly airtight and well protected against sand and other debris; and Inflatable keel. Patented by Zodiac, this additional air chamber situated between the floor and the bottom creates a hull shape giving secure, comfortable handling characteristics.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 51,  Aug 2001

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.