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!