Yacht-Finished Tender or Versatile Cottage Boat

Perhaps the best-known name in inflatable boats is Zodiac. The company has been a pioneer in developing these super-safe little boats for pleasure uses, commercial applications and for the demanding needs of search and rescue (SAR).

Hopefully you will never have an “extreme” need for yours, but the virtues and capabilities still pay dividends in everyday use.

Most current inflatable boats are referred to as “RIBs” – rigid hull inflatables. This gives the boat a rigid fibreglass hull and interior floor around which the inflatable tubes are secured. Our test boat, a Zodiac Bayrunner 500 has a very strong composite transom and all of the fibreglass work is hand lay-up.

The tube construction on Zodiacs can be of PVC materials or neoprene. The PVC “Strongon” tube material features a 1100 dernier double weave and weft Duotex material compared to single weave on some other less expensive boats, so the Zodiac is technically about double the strength. However, in spite of that, it’s not much heavier.

You can also get neoprene Hypalon tubes, again 1100 denier. These are favoured for SAR and commercial use. Also, in the blazing sun of the Caribbean, the neoprene will last longer due to having greater ultraviolet resistance.

At the time we wrote this, red and gray tubes were available; this summer Zodiac will also offer white. The tubes contain five chambers of air and each one has a bulkhead with a point, so you always get a pointed end to reduce water intrusion even if a tube was somehow punctured. And the manufacturer says that you can still maintain top speed! That’s a great safety feature.

If you’re not familiar with inflatable boats, you may be surprised to learn that the air pressure in the tubes is only 3.5 pounds per square inch. Sometimes people will increase that to 4 pounds per square inch to accommodate temperature fluctuations that reduce the pressure.

The tubes are removable when deflated which is a feature the SAR people like because they can get an extra set of tubes to ensure that even if it is damaged, the boat can return to service really fast.

The tubes deliver remarkable side-to-side stability for stepping in and Zodiac include many handholds and lifelines to help you. The side fittings and lifelines help to tie it up as required, or to secure cargo. These are very strong. There’s also a rub strip all the way around as well as a splash rail.

Our test boat was well equipped for cottage use or as a yacht tender although the lift points that let you pick it up on davits are optional.

The other exterior features, from the bow, include an anchor roller, centre-mounted cleat and navigation lights.

The interior gives you a comfortable place to sit in the bow and for activities like water skiing, putting the weight of a person forward helps the boat to plane off quickly. Under that area is anchor storage forward and space for other items.

The side console is part of the Bayrunner package on the “Pro” hull. This has storage inside and a removable 12.5 gallon fuel tank underneath. We really liked the grab bar design on the console and the sidebars let people get in or hang on at high speeds. The seat lifts for access to the fuel tank and there is a cooler as well.

Incidentally, the Zodiac Bayrunner comes with two rod holders and according to the Zodiac representative, fishhooks won’t snag the tubes. Because of those tubes, it’s an especially stable fishing platform.

Other features we liked include the sport steering wheel and what we felt were excellent ergonomics, making the boat very comfortable to drive and giving everyone plenty of legroom.

The Bayrunner 500 has a deep vee hull with 22° of deadrise and lift strakes for excellent rough water performance. Once underway at speed, most people will choose to sit on the main seat by the helm console. In terms of performance, this is such a light vessel considering the powerful 50 HP Yamaha, that with the passengers seated at the stern, 12.5 gallons of fuel and other luggage in the aft area, it puts the bow up in the air as you plane off.

Seating a person in the bow helps and an aftermarket accessory that many owners use to increase their load carrying capacity or improve their acceleration for skiing is a “fin” that mounts on the cavitation plate, greatly increasing lift at the stern.

The Zodiac Bayrunner 500 comes pre-rigged for Yamaha engines up to 70 HP, but they recommend 50 for most uses.

The Yamaha has lots of power and was impressively smooth and quiet at all speeds. It also has a quick and effective power trim but it operates so quietly that you have to look at the engine to see where it’s positioned!

Our test boat was equipped with Yamaha LCD type instruments that gave us a tachometer, speedometer, fuel management data as well as engine temperature. Steering was light and easily managed at all speeds and the windy day on the lake was child’s play to the Zodiac.

For safety, convenience and load-carrying in a compact package, the Bayrunner 500 has a lot to offer either the yachtsman or the cottager.

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.