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Thread: Zodiacs - wood floors vs inflatable

  1. #1
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    Default Zodiacs - wood floors vs inflatable

    Looking to buy a small tender which will also be used to cruise around while moose hunting. The model I am looking at is the 260 Zoom. Wood floor model weighs 86 pounds while the inflatable floor model weighs in at 67. Would like to stay with the lighter weight model but never owned one with an air floor.
    How do the floors hold up?
    http://inflatableboats.iboats.com/Zo...view_id.668906
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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I just sold a maxxon inflatable with an inflatable keel and inflatable floor. It held up to two dogs going in and out without any issues. If you are going to use it at displacement speeds you will be fine. When on step, mine would would buckle a bit, but not all the time. I think it would work fine for what your application will be.

    I should add that the hard floor is nice if you want to run the boat while standing up using a tiller extension. I seems to add a bit more stability. In an 8'6" boat, this might be a moot point.
    Last edited by spoiled one; 03-08-2011 at 10:23. Reason: add a bit
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I've run both and prefer the wood floors. Mine are actually some sort of plastic/fiberglass which is definitley lighter than wood. As spoiled one suggested it firms up the boat and tends to haul loads better. That all being said they're always heavier but I find it worth the extra weight to have it.

    For what its worth I bought my mine on Craigslist last summer for around $300....I think. They come up fairly regularly so keep an eye out and you may find a decent rig.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    What about this deal?? I have been very happy with both the product and the service from Jim King.

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    Doubt I would ever stand up in it while running the motor but ya never know
    Boat would most likely never get on step as I have a Suzuki 2.5 hp motor for it.
    Stid, thanks, but I am not a fan of Jim Kings products and do not need the motor.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I like the air floor due to the light weight. You do have to pumpt them up hard to get the best performance. If I had a davit and a big enough main boat to handle the weight a rib or wood floor would probably be the better boat, but you can't beat the light weight of air floors.

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    Ordered the air floor model. If they can hold up to two dogs am pretty sure my flat feet will not cause a problem. Appreciate the insight from all of you. Guys on the Hull Truth also added some favorable comments for the air floor as well.
    Have learned my lesson about tenders and that is to keep them as light and small as possible.
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Sounds like you made the right decision. If you're going to be running that small of a motor the solid floor isnt' that necessary. I'm planning on putting a 9.9 on mine as I want to use if for cruising the shores for deer or bear. Its nice to have the inflatable keel and a hard floor when cruising faster. Anyway, congrats on the new boat. Does that make three now?

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    I stand up in mine when cruising for bears. I thought you might do that if you were cruising for moose. It might be a bit short for that, though. Nice tender!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    Sounds like you made the right decision. If you're going to be running that small of a motor the solid floor isnt' that necessary. I'm planning on putting a 9.9 on mine as I want to use if for cruising the shores for deer or bear. Its nice to have the inflatable keel and a hard floor when cruising faster. Anyway, congrats on the new boat. Does that make three now?

    It will make three when I drive down to pick up the river boat. Having the Zodiac shipped to the dealer in the lower 48 and will haul it back with me, saving a couple of hundred $ in freight. Inflatable floor and keel. So it should track ok.
    We had a 10.5 foot tender before. Couple of guys tried to talk me out of buying such a big one but nooooooooooooo, I wouldnt listen. Well, at just over 100 pounds we never wanted to take it off the roof of the Sea Sport to use it. It is one thing for two guys to carry it around in the back yard but to try to get it on and off the boat is a different story.
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    Just a tip on loading a tender using the "armstrong" method. Attach a line along the grab rail/rope at the mid point. While standing on the roof, hoist it up to your gunwale, then lift it the remainder of the way. I did this for three seasons with my old 85 pound tender and it was a breeze. Much easier than trying to man handling it with another from the back deck.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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