Unboxing Zodiac Dinghy

This morning I went to collect my new Zodiac Cadet dinghy.

As is usual in Argentina there was a lot of friction. It took almost an hour to take my payment and issue an invoice. By the time I had the dinghy in the car around 90 minutes had passed.

Back home it was time to unpack and compare with my now retired 2002 Suzumar dinghy.

The Zodiac comes with a much better bag. Adjustable with robust handles and straps. I went through 4 bags with the Suzumar.


The ends fold in and are secured with an adjustable strap.

Dinghy unfolds as per the folding sequence detailed in the handbook.

Lower transom. This is very vulnerable to abrasion when dragging the dinghy ashore. On the Suzumar I added an extra sacrificial strip. Looks like one might be needed here as well.

Four inflation valves.

I was surprised at how effective the supplied bellows pump was. Inflation was as fast or faster then when using my Compass Marine pump with the Suzumar.

There are four valves. Two for the tubes, and one each for the keel and floor.


Fully inflated. The aft floor corners are rounded leaving spaces to pump out water. Zodiac recomend leaving the floor in the dinghy when inflated. I'm not so sure about that given how much sand and debris ends up in a dinghy.

There is no rope handle on the tubes. Zodiac have fitted straps with two carry handles on each tube.

The oars are two part. An aluminium shaft which slots into a plastic blade. This looks superior to the Suzumar oars where the aluminium shaft was split in the middle and suffered from galvanic corrosion.

When stowed the oars are secured with a sliding clip aft. A substantial rubbing strake is fitted.


Sadly the Zodiac valves are of a different type so my spare Suzumar valves are now obselete.
This Zodiac valve has a better protective cap.


I'm not sure about this rowlock on the Zodiac. A plastic shaft snaps into the tube fitting. I looks a bit fragile to me so I think I will need a spare. It is quicker to install though.

Valve with cap removed. Integral tag with maximum pressure.

I like this one way drain valve. The Suzumar had a plug which was lost when the lanyard failed from UV damage.

Drain valve outboard.

The seat has a snap fit mechanism which looks superior to the hook strap arrangement on the Suzumar which failed twice.

Sliding lug floor securing arrangement. The Suzumar floor just sat in place.

Keel and high pressure floor valve.

All in all I'm pretty impressed with this dinghy. I should be. It cost about twice as much as the Suzumar.

I won't get to use it until later this year. Vamos a ver.