Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Zodiac Inflatable Boats

  1. Founded December 22,1896 the Societe Mallet, et de Pitray would become the Zodiac of today’s notoriety.
  2. Zodiac started out making balloons, airships, and airplanes.
  3. The first aircraft to aircraft photograph was taken by Andre Schelcher a pioneer in automatic balloon photography.

    First Photo Of Aircraft To Aircraft
    First Photo Of Aircraft To Aircraft
  4. It wasn’t until 1934 that designer Pierre Debroutelle (an accomplished hunter and outdoorsman) designed/manufactured an inflatable kayak thus causing the genesis of modern Zodiac Inflatable Boats.

    Pierre Debroutelle 1936 Zodiac Inflatable Boat Designer
    Pierre Debroutelle 1936 Zodiac Inflatable Boat Designer
  5. The first military orders of Zodiac Inflatable Boats was in 1937 by the French Aeronauticale to load ordinance on seaplanes for the war effort. Zodiac MILPRO Inflatable Boats are used by military and Special Forces to this day and have been used in every conflict since their introduction.
  6. Zodiac did not invent the inflatable boat, it’s use has been documented as early as 880 BC. Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II greased up some animal skins to cross a river with troops. Zodiac’s Pierre Debroutelle invented the “U” shaped inflatable hull and wooden transom inflatable boat that we are familiar with today in 1937 and patented it in 1943.
  7. In 1952 Dr Alain Bombard ( then a 27 year old intern at the hospital  of Boulonge-sur-Mer) crossed the Atlantic in a 10 man Zodiac Inflatable Boat with no food or water to prove a person could survive off of the sea alone until rescue or landfall. His use of Zodiac’s patented hull design with a wooden transom and a patented wooden keel would propel Zodiac into the forefront of boating and survival at sea. Dr. Bombard’s boat is the predecessor of the Bombard Commando series we all love today at IBC.

    Pierre Moreau Assembles Wooden Keeled Inflatable Boat 1950s
    Pierre Moreau Assembles Wooden Keeled Inflatable Boat 1950s
  8. In the early 1950’s Zodiac began manufacturing inflatable lifeboats. In 1957 France issued a decree making it mandatory that all ships have inflatable lifeboats instead of wood or metal aboard and in use because of the lives saved by the introduction of the Zodiac Inflatable Lifeboat.

    The Zodiac Puteaux Factory 1950s
    The Zodiac Puteaux Factory 1950s
  9. Zodiac Inflatable Boats were often the first modern craft that indigenous peoples saw as explorers made the world smaller thru the 20th century. Missionaries to military units all used the Zodiac Inflatable Boat as their tool of choice when it came to the rough and tumble nature of exploring uncharted waters and lands.
  10. Zodiac’s involvement in the boating industry has created one of the safest and most efficient boating modalities afloat today, and the Zodiac, Bombard or Avon brands we have come to love all live under one roof and have done so for over 100 years. Think about that before buying that cheap knockoff!
    Aeronavale 1937 Zodiac Torpedo Bomb Handling Inflatable Boat
    Aeronavale 1937 Zodiac Torpedo Bomb Handling Inflatable Boat

     

Dr. Alain Bombard solos across the Atlantic Ocean with no food or water in a Zodiac Inflatable Boat
Dr. Alain Bombard solos across the Atlantic Ocean with no food or water in a Zodiac Inflatable Boat
IBC specializes in life rafts for commercial,military,and recreational boaters and pilots
IBC specializes in life rafts for commercial,military,and recreational boaters and pilots