The French company Zodiac originates from the aviation industry. More than 120 years ago, she was engaged in the production of balloons and aeronautics for the French army. But as an experiment, the company created a prototype of a kayak with wide inflatable sides, which was worked on by the chief engineer of Zodiac - Pierre Debrutel, in the 30s of the last century. This prototype is the ancestor of all modern inflatable “zodiacs”.
The next 30 years after the presentation and approval of the model for production, it was actively used by the army to land the military in shallow water or to transport goods, and only in the 60s of the last century, Zodiac became available for general use. Due to the great popularity of sea recreation in the 1970s and other factors, Zodiac has become a kind of synonym for inflatable boats and RIB boats. A separate contribution to the popularization of the company's models was made by the marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who made a large number of films of his research using Zodiac boats.
Two purchases became important for the company. The first deal took place in 1980 when Zodiac acquired the British corporation Bombard, along with their renowned professional line of Commando inflatable boats, as well as the rescue technologies and methods to improve the buoyancy of the vessel even under heavy load which were implemented and into Zodiac's own new models. The second significant purchase took place in 1998, when another British shipyard was acquired - Avon Marine, specializing in the production of exclusively premium-class tender boats and RIB boats. Both of these brands successfully belong to the Zodiac group of companies to this day.
Zodiac Nautic Group is the market leader in the sale of RIB and inflatable boats, with manufacturing facilities in the USA, France and Tunisia. It is also worth noting that the company is actively investing in marine research units.
According to the manufacturer himself, their trademark is the patented high-strength STRONGAN DUOTEX material and the fully automated heat sealing process. Before being sold, all boats undergo several tests in extreme conditions.
The lineup of the company includes 6 lines of inflatable boats and RIB boats: