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Old 13 April 2009, 05:21   #1
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Country: USA
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Advice on a used Avon 10' RIB?

I'm looking at getting a used boat and I'm located on the coast of North Carolina. My plan was originally to buy a new inflatable and outboard, but tax season dashed any hopes for that this year... so I'm considering this boat. I looked at a used Avon 10 foot rigid hulled inflatable (fiberglass hull) today that I'm guessing to be a 1990-ish vintage. The hull overall looks good, all the seams look solid and hold air well. There is some wear at the edges of the seams, but I don't see any signs of the seams opening or leaking. The fiberglass hull looks good, just a bit dirty, stained and some surface scuffs. The fabric is faded (hypalon, not vinyl) and has one small patch near the bow that is pealing off but still holds air and I think should be replaced (about 1" x 3" in size). It comes with a 2 stroke Nissan 8 hp pull start outboard that looks to be a similar vintage and except for some scratches and dirt, looks fairly well maintained. It doesn't come with a trailer (it was kept as a dinghy on the deck of a big sport fisher) so I'll need to factor that into the price. The guy is asking $1100 but I think I can probably get it for a couple bills less than that. I've got a couple questions:

1. This boat is by all accounts about 20 years old. My understanding is that Hypalon lasts a pretty long while, but how many years more can I expect to get out of it?

2. I remember seeing some sort of chemical to "rejuvenate" hypalon fabric, anyone know what I'm talking about? Does this stuff really work?

3. I'm thinking about getting a cheap trailer from Harbor Freight (like this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90153 or this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=5002 ). Any advice on using this with a 10' RHIB? I wouldn't let the trailer go in the water, I'd just use it to transport the boat to the ramp and then hand carry it into the water (it's all salt water here).

Used outboards in the 8-9 hp range are going for $700+ in this area, so I figure if I get a couple years out of the boat I got my money's worth.
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Old 13 April 2009, 12:53   #2
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The wear at the seam edges: are you talking about loose polyester threads? Pretty normal for hypalon boats.

20 years, while old, is not that unusual for a good quality hypalon boat. Assuming the fabric is not crazed or cracking or worn through, you should expect quite a few more years out of it. The patch should probably be replaces, but that can be deferred for a while if it's not leaking now (might be good to find out exactly what size hole it covered, though.)

There is no magical "hypalon rejuvenator", as far as I know. Clean the tubes to remove dirt and oils, use a product to remove oxidation (there are several different brands and strategies to do this), then protect with a good quality UV inhibitor (I like 303 Aerospace; YMMV.)

Sounds like a fair deal at the price asked; better still if you can talk them down a couple of hundred.

A boat that size would not need anything fancy in the trailer department; you could probably modify a flat utility trailer to work pretty well. I've seen a huge number of boats that have the weirdest looking trailers in the last couple of years here.

BTW, getting a trailer that would survive launching (or one that can be replaced easily after it falls apart due to launching) will make things a hell of a lot easier.

jky
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Old 14 April 2009, 03:31   #3
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I have a 1985 Avon Searider 4.0M. It has original tubes that have been well cared for, and they still perform admirably. Avons are awesome boats, so I would highly suggest you go for it. The 303 treatment is also highly recommended.

As for a trailer, these boats are so light, especially a 10 footer, the Harbor Freight trailer should work fine. Just make sure to either treat it for salt use or wash it down immediately after launching to prevent corrosion.
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Old 14 April 2009, 07:00   #4
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Country: UK - England
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I had a few years ago ( 3 I think ) an Avon R310 - so about the same length - with an 8hp Johnson . I t was a great little boat & on flat water flew along at about 15 knts. Mine was a similar age to the one you are looking at and had no problems at all . It was 100% airtight & as usual for boats of any age had clealry been 'used' so had all the same signs of use as you describe.

After I sold it however it saw it was left out deflated in some seriously cold ( for the UK) weather and this meant the seams were pushed apart by moisture freezing - but even that is repairable with a bit of the correct glue !

I paid 600 a few years ago with no engine - so seems a fair price based on that. LOve to see some pics if you get it !

Oh as an afterthough - I use ' Rib Revive' from the 'Rib-shop' - a well known UK RIB specialist - no idea whats in it - but it works well to cleanup even the worst looking tubes & then as said some form of protector is vital. Not sure if thier is an equivalent you can get closer to home ?
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Old 14 April 2009, 11:23   #5
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West Marine has some kind of "Inflatable Boat Cleaner/Conditioner" stuff; I have a bottle, but have yet to try it.

jky
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