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Old 19 January 2010, 14:37   #1
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Country: USA
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Make: Achilles
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Free boat, new to SIBs, going to be a project..

Hello all! I'm so glad to have found this forum because last night I picked up an elderly Achilles LS-4 (8') SIB that was bound for the dumpster. I got it home and inflated it, it appears to have to small slashes near the rear cones that need to be patched. The slashes are about 3-4" in length, but only leak air for a fraction of their length. My concern is that one of the scratches is about 1" from the seam where the transom attaches to the tube. Will this be a long term problem? The air keel and hull seem to be in decent shape. The tops of the tubes seem sun faded, and it's got water line/grunge marks on the bottom of the tubes, leading me to believe that it spent a lot of time inflated and sitting in the water.

The boat is grungy, and has no floor, no seat, no outboard, and no oars. There are two large patches of velcro where the seat would go. I believe it's hypalon, and the plate says it can take a maximum of 6hp.

I intend to use it on local waterways with my family, just exploration and having a nice day out kind of thing. Fun-to-dollar ration must remain high

So my plan (and please chime in with corrections or suggestions!) is:

1. Inflate and scrub the boat down with a soft bristle brush and simple green/water
2. Inspect for other leaks, wear and tear.
3. Find motor, both a trolling motor and gas. There's a lake near my house that only allows electric motors, but my kids have wanted to explore it for ages.
4. Buy a hypalon patch kit (I work down the block from Clavey so supplies should be easy to get) and follow the directions from them (and here) religiously.
5. Build floor and some sort of seating

??. Once we've gotten it put back together and used it for a season or so, I may go the Tuff Coat route and really try to restore the boat to as close to 'new' as I can. Your thoughts?

I'd love to hear advice about to setup a trolling motor, what brands of (used) outboards work well, floor plans/designs and anything possible about Achilles boats. Thanks in advance!
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Old 19 January 2010, 19:33   #2
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Howdy;

I would work on the tubes first; as if you find you can't get them to hold air, there wouldn't be much point in fitting all the other stuff.

As long as your patch jobs are done well, I don't see a problem with the cut near the transom mount. 3-4" long is long enough to start thinking about sewing the tear prior to patching, or at least going with both an inside and outside patch.

Quote:
1. Inflate and scrub the boat down with a soft bristle brush and simple green/water
Good start. I think a stiff nylon bristle brush may be more in line though.

A gentle wipedown with acetone or MEK may renew the surface somewhat as well. Don't get too carried away.

Quote:
2. Inspect for other leaks, wear and tear.
Inflate, spray down with soapy water, look for bubbles. Also take a good look around for blistering where the hypalon material is separating from the fabric underneath.

With a 6hp limit, I'd look at swapping motors when needed rather than mounting both. You're going to want to keep weight to a minimum, since you're not going to have a lot of extra hp.


Hope this helps;

jky
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Old 19 January 2010, 21:01   #3
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Thanks! Yeah I was planning on only 1 motor at a time. Our local lake is electric only, so I wanted to have that option. There's plenty of other spots nearby that will need a 'proper' outboard.

I got a patch kit and pump today and will give it a vigorous scrubbing tonight. I'm trying to figure out a lot of the hardware details, such as floor board designs, and oar attachments. For an 8' boat, what's the idea oar size? I'll post photos later, and maybe some of you fine folks will help me figure out what else I'm missing
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Old 19 January 2010, 23:52   #4
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Photos from tonights scrubbing. I found a few more holes, but I should be able to patch them all with the kit I got from Clavey.
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Old 19 January 2010, 23:54   #5
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What sort of prep should I do to reglue some of the seams, where the material is lifting?
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Old 20 January 2010, 03:29   #6
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: Cossack
Make: Avon Searider
Length: 5m +
Engine: outboard 75 hp 2 str
MMSI: 235067342
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Achilles web site

Have you looked at the Achilles web-site?

http://www.achillesinflatables.com
http://www.achillesinflatables.com/p...og%20Final.pdf

Your boat may be a bit older than those shown (!) but the photos may help - it looks like some models had a hypalon and wooden slat type floor that removed and rolled/folded up and newer models an inflatable inner floor.

It's just possible that Achilles may be able to supply a new floor, at great expense no doubt though.
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Old 20 January 2010, 06:45   #7
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: curach/Earl
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Engine: 3.3 marinar/10 hp
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Good luck with doing her up mate,and happy days afloat ,im looking for a similar projesct myself but a bigger sib tho
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Old 20 January 2010, 11:38   #8
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West Coast Inflatables in Fairfield should be able to source the oars for you; though they're not going to be cheap, I'd think. Their contact info is:

West Coast Inflatables
4227 B Lozano Lane
Fairfield, CA 94534
(707) 429-3995
http://westcoastinflatables.tripod.com/

A small inflatable like yours should be OK going with a couple (or even one, I suppose) canoe paddles from a local sporting goods store. Personally, I think it's kind of a last ditch thing, and is damn near impossible to make any headway trying to row a motorized boat in any case (but that's just me.)

Few other references:

http://shop.inflatableboatparts.com/home.php?cat=48

http://www.inflatablexperts.com/infl...les_Parts.aspx

http://www.inflatableboats.net/achilles/

jky
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Old 20 January 2010, 14:56   #9
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Thanks for the links to the Achilles website, they have back catalogs! I've determined that the boat was made sometime between 1984 & 1988, and now I've got photos of the factory floor, which will help immensely.

One of the things I'm noticing: The larger boats appear to have the stringer system on the side, but the smaller boats (LS2/4 DT2/4) don't show stringers, just the hinged floor. Are stringers critical in a boat that is 8'8"?
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Old 20 January 2010, 19:06   #10
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Don't know about critical, but pretty much anything that adds stiffness is a plus.

jky
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