In 1934 a brilliant Zodiac engineer, Pierre Debroutelle, devised an inflatable kayak. Then, in 1937, the French Naval Air Service asked him to develop it into a prototype fitted with floats arranged in a U. As the forerunner of the modern Zodiac ...
... it marked the opening of a new marine market which was to flourish with the advent of the leisure society. Since then, Zodiac has of course continued to develop its boats. By 1969 the company was the world leader and benchmark for the sector. In fact the name "Zodiac" has become synonymous with the finest in inflatable water craft. From patents to awards, Zodiac perpetuates the spirit of innovation. Its latest creations, in 2008, are n-ZO and Medline IV.
Zodiac: six historic dates:
- 1934: Pierre Debroutelle, Zodiac engineer, devises a prototype inflatable kayak.
- 1937: He refines this forerunner of the inflatable boat for the French Naval Air Service.
- 1969: Zodiac becomes the world leader in inflatable boats.
- 2003: Zodiac wins a prize for its innovative V-shaped hull design "Acti-V".
- 2008: Zodiac launches the new RIB generation n-ZO.
- 2008-2009: Zodiac is Official Supplier of RIBs for the Vendée Globe.
Technological pioneer Zodiac has sold more than a million inflatable boats worldwide since its inception. Indeed Zodiac is the world's leading boat builder in its sector. The firm's expertise is equal to the toughest specifications, and is the driving force behind most major innovations which carry inflatable boat design forward. As an endorsement of its technological strength and unique expertise, Zodiac is Official Supplier this year to the most prestigious solo international race: the Vendée Globe. As such, Zodiac is partnering Roland Jourdain, skipper of the 60-foot single-hull Véolia Environnement.
The epitome of seagoing fun, Zodiac has delighted leisure sailors since its foundation, no matter what product they require: semi-rigid inflatables, flexible boats, dinghies or life rafts. To own a Zodiac today is to benefit from leading-edge technology applied to leisure, regardless of the activity or the sailing skill involved.
Continuing an innovative tradition
Zodiac lies behind the major innovations which have brought progress to inflatable boat design (the inflatable keel, the Futura hull and the high-pressure inflatable deck). As a pioneer in inflatable boat design, Zodiac has been inventing novelties, and reaping the rewards, for 70 years:
The Innovation Prize, the Excellence Trophy... today the brand continues to carry water sports forward. Special achievements include the patented INTL-L system of the Cadet Fastroller and the design of its very latest flagship, n-ZO, the new RIB generation.
Rate this article :