Zodiac Pro Open 850 Optimum NEO

Fast and furious.

by Gary Reich
Zodiac is to inflatables as Kleenex is to tissues — folks assume that any generic rigid inflatable boat (RIB) is a Zodiac. But the well-known French inflatable company’s new Zodiac Pro Open 850 Optimum NEO isn’t any ordinary inflatable.


  • LOA: 27'11"
  • Beam: 9'10"
  • Draft:
  • Weight: 4,800 lbs. w/engines
  • Fuel Capacity: 150 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 12 gals.
  • Power: T-Yamaha F250 outboards
  • Price: $193,332


The 27-foot, 11-inch long Zodiac Pro Open 850 center console has the inflatable tubes you’d expect, but they are strapped to a solid fiberglass hull designed for some serious work. This boat performs amazingly well in choppy waters, with a whopping 24 degrees of transom deadrise, stepped hull, sharp entry and tons of forward flare. She’s extremely stable, too — not only because of the inflatable tubes, but also due to her generous 9-foot, 10-inch beam.

The hull is solidly constructed, to boot. An extra-thick fiberglass lamination schedule was ordered, and there’s not a splinter of wood in the hull. Composites are used in the transom, and a foam-filled stringer system reinforces the hull for durability and a solid ride. All that strength means you can sport the Open 850 with as much as 500 ponies worth of outboard power, which will jet this boat to a top end around 62 mph.

On deck, the Open 850 has plenty of room for hanging out. Aft at the transom is an upholstered bench for two with individual backrests, while forward of the center console is a padded seat for two more, surrounded by a sturdy stainless steel bow rail. Snap in the large sunpad cushion for the foredeck and you’ve even got a sun-worshipping platform.

A Jabsco head is discretely mounted under the center console unit, accessed via a clever hinged door. Behind the helm is a leaning post with some concealed stowage, drink holders and a stainless-steel grab rail.

“The all new Zodiac Pro Open 850 Optimum NEO offers many exciting new features, including: a helm console with a full head and sink, bolster helm seating, four-person transom seating, a bow sunpad, fiberglass t-top with powder-coated rails, larger 150-gallon fuel tank and much more,” says Brent Reed with Reed Yacht Sales in Grand Haven, Michigan. “She’s a very exciting new product from Zodiac for the dayboater who wants a stable and dry ride, to the family that would like to use her for fishing and/or diving.”



South Shore JUN17