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.

Baia Delfinos and Santo Antonio

A fine day today with light and variable winds.

We set off just after 09:00 bound for Santo Antonio with a lunchtime stop at Baia Delfinos about two miles away

Baia Delfinos anchorage


After lunch we weighed anchor at 13:00 and motored back to Santo Antonio


And that is it until later in the year. Kiriwina will be laid up and we will see how good Durabrax antifouling is.

Magalhaes Day 2

Our neighbours in the motor launch took off early to search for their dinghy. They returned an hour later still dinghy-less.

An expensive weekend for them. They also lost part or their weather canopy while searching last night.

The anchorage at Magalhaes.
The day was overcast with south winds easing. We took a trip across the bay to explore a small creek which required landing in light surf and manhandling the dinghy over a bar. Thereafter we poled inland through temperate jungle.

Later that evening there was a barbeque aboard the steel Brazilian boat


Final trip for this summer. We went to Magalhes with a group of boats. The forecast was fine at first with strong southerly winds and rain developing later. It was a short motor sail (mostly motor) with a huge difference in speed due to the hull being perfectly clean.

Magalhaes is a very pretty spot with plenty of water, good holding and excellent shelter from winds E through to SW.

It can be crowded but was quiet when we arrived.

Zeejutter, a 1925 dutch built converted lifeboat now under Brazilian flag and in the capable hands of Marco.

As forecast the rain came through late in the afternoon.

Very heavy rain with strong winds.

The rain had mostly passed by sunset but around 20:00 an adjacent motor boat called for help having failed to secure their dinghy.

We went aboard and motored downwind and along the shore. No sign of the dinghy.