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Old 19 August 2015, 11:01   #1
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First time owner achilles SPD-4DX

I have been using a seahawk 4 up until now, but even with mods it just doesn't move like a real boat. So when I saw this come up on kijiji for a reasonable price, I jumped on it.

Being a first time owner I have some questions. This achilles is 30 years old, is it hypalon or pvc?

When I fold the end cones over the transom it kind of makes a noise like crumpling acetate sheets, is it supposed to do that?

If I plan to refinish this using SRC tuff coat will I have to take off the entire outer coating?

The drain valve was missing, the seller gave me a replacement that was oversized and said I could cut it to size and fit it in there. He also said that the little flapping valve was simply sealed by hydrostatic pressure when in the water and that there wasn't supposed to be a plug or anything on top; is that true?

Will cleaners like zep fast 505 damage the fabric?
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Old 19 August 2015, 11:36   #2
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Originally Posted by nabiul View Post
I have been using a seahawk 4 up until now, but even with mods it just doesn't move like a real boat. So when I saw this come up on kijiji for a reasonable price, I jumped on it.

Being a first time owner I have some questions. This achilles is 30 years old, is it hypalon or pvc?

When I fold the end cones over the transom it kind of makes a noise like crumpling acetate sheets, is it supposed to do that?

If I plan to refinish this using SRC tuff coat will I have to take off the entire outer coating?

The drain valve was missing, the seller gave me a replacement that was oversized and said I could cut it to size and fit it in there. He also said that the little flapping valve was simply sealed by hydrostatic pressure when in the water and that there wasn't supposed to be a plug or anything on top; is that true?

Will cleaners like zep fast 505 damage the fabric?
It's hypalon. You'll get a crumpling sound with the material, that's normal...but if there's crinkling, inspect the material for degradation or canvas-like stiffening. There may be a latex sealant coating INSIDE the tube, in which case, you're hearing the latex sealant coating crinkle.

The boat should have a drain plug...it looks like a rubber bath stopper.

Hypalon is pretty impervious to most detergents. Make sure it is non-petroleum / non-silicone. One of the best hypalon cleaners I've found is Purple Power degreaser.

I wouldn't use coat it with anything...just leave it as naked hypalon.
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Old 19 August 2015, 11:56   #3
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The valve looks like this right now without the brown flap.

http://saturninflatableboats.ca/infl...lveRepairs.jpg
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Old 19 August 2015, 13:17   #4
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I looked up this purple power stuff and apparently it can strip paint and damage plastic surfaces?
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Old 19 August 2015, 13:38   #5
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I looked up this purple power stuff and apparently it can strip paint and damage plastic surfaces?
It depends how you dilute it. I usually do 20% detergent / 80% water. It doesn't take much. As with any heavy duty detergents, it will oxidize rubber and strip wax from paint if you're not careful.

If you want to stay on the safe end, then use a standard boat soap or a non-toxic, safe soap such as Simple Green. However, these cleans will likely not removing scaling or embedded dirt from the hypalon material.
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Old 19 August 2015, 15:42   #6
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Can you take a look at the floor and see if I have everything, except for the missing middle connector. And whats up with the back, why does it have extra pieces screwed to the bottom?

http://i.imgur.com/eYZOdds.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/qVd1VLJ.jpg


I have to say it looks like it's in pretty good shape for 30 years old. There is some abrasion on the left tube for some reason.

http://i.imgur.com/2HWr7A2.jpg

Also I have a piece of triangular fabric that goes on the front of the boat, what is it for?
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Old 20 August 2015, 08:48   #7
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Originally Posted by nabiul View Post
Can you take a look at the floor and see if I have everything, except for the missing middle connector. And whats up with the back, why does it have extra pieces screwed to the bottom?

http://i.imgur.com/eYZOdds.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/qVd1VLJ.jpg


I have to say it looks like it's in pretty good shape for 30 years old. There is some abrasion on the left tube for some reason.

http://i.imgur.com/2HWr7A2.jpg

Also I have a piece of triangular fabric that goes on the front of the boat, what is it for?
You appear to be missing a floor batten. Other than that, it appears complete, although those back two floorboards do not look original.

The small strips of wood on the bottom are stiffeners to prevent flexing from the outboard.

The triangular fabric piece goes on the top at the bow? That is a spray hood.
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Old 20 August 2015, 11:14   #8
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If I'm not mistaken, you are looking at the bottom of the floor in the top pic. All the added wood pieces face upwards, or you wouldn't be able to get the battens in the channels on the sides (between the tubes and the added hatchet shaped wood pieces.)

Agree with Office; as far as I'm aware, all Achilles boats are hypalon. I've seen a fair number of 20 and 30 year old Achilles boats used regularly for diving.

jky
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Old 20 August 2015, 11:22   #9
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Agree with Office; as far as I'm aware, all Achilles boats are hypalon. I've seen a fair number of 20 and 30 year old Achilles boats used regularly for diving.

jky
Funny thing : Achilles isn't a boat manufacturer...they're a technical textiles manufacturer who happens to make inflatable boats. They use their own hypalon/csm material for boat production.
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Old 20 August 2015, 13:19   #10
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Awesome thanks for the help guys! I'm going to try making a replacement connector and see if I can't be out on the water this weekend.
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