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Old 10 August 2009, 23:05   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Camarillo, Ca
Boat name: Plan B
Make: Achilles
Length: 4m +
Engine: Outboard 30hp
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 20
Looking at first boat...Help?

First, I must say: What a great site. I have been looking at getting an inflatable for a few months now and the knowledge on this site has been a great help. I am looking for a boat that I can dive and fish from. Also looking for something large enough to take out my wife and 2 young children. Now I'm ready to buy.

I was holding out for some time because my neighbor was going to sell me his 14' Avon w/ a 35hp outboard for $2200 usd. That seemed like a pretty good deal.

While looking at the local classifieds for a trailer, I ran across this: (the ad reads) 13'6" Avon which is pretty big for inflatable with inflatable keel and 4 air chambers and aluminum floor. Boat is great for fishing or diving. 2000 Nssan 30 hp 2stroke 18' trailer. Motor is very reliable start everytime. 2 anchor, rope,foot pump,2 gas tanks, other extras...$1500

Sounds like a better deal! What do you guys think? I plan on checking out the boat tomorrow. What should I look for and what questions to ask the seller?
Thanks for the help,
Matt
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Old 11 August 2009, 01:51   #2
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Country: Canada
Town: British Columbia
Make: Gemini
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp 2 str
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,151
Looks to be a fantastic deal! Both Nissan (Tohatsu really) outboards and inflatable boats made by Avon are very ghly regarded. If the trailer is in good condition, that's icing on the cake A new trailer of that size would cost almost as much as the asking price of the entire package. Be sure to ask the fellow to have the boat inflated to operating pressure (~3.4 psi) while viewing it. You may wish to bring a bottle of soapy water & a brush to brush it over the seams (patricularly at the cones) to check for any air leakage. Also check the edges of the fabric floor to see if there are any areas where the edge has peeled back. Check the transom-fabric interface on bothe the port and starboard sides for any indicators that the transom is solid.
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Old 11 August 2009, 03:56   #3
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Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Aberdeenshire
Boat name: Sula
Make: Ribcraft 4.8m
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu 60hp + aux
MMSI: 235087213
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,267
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As prairie tuber suggests - it seems like a good deal, certainly as a starter boat. You can always trade-up once you've gained some experience and technical knowledge. As well as checking the seams of the boat, also cast your eye over the engine. Ideally you want to test the engine from cold. Don't worry if it doesn't start first time. It will just need a little choke, and if well maintained will start on the second or third pull. Should pump water with steady tell-tale, and run at tick-over with the minimum of vibration or smoke.
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Old 11 August 2009, 09:16   #4
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Country: Other
Town: Lima-Peru
Boat name: Nautile
Make: Sea Rider Boats
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu 18 /30 HP
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,706
I would go for it eyes closed, you are looking at a package of 8 grand or more, if boat is hypalon the better, would suggest get a pressure gauge to have all compartments correctly inflated and fly away with that nice Tohatsu 30 HP 2 stroke engine. Have clients with more than 1,300 tiny tach metered working hours and correctly maintained, specially plugs, still starting at first or second pull from cold.

After serching/testing for what's recommended and if needing some minor repairs on tubes, water pump, plugs, still will be bargain, don't let go this nice opportunity.

Happy Sibbing
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Old 11 August 2009, 10:49   #5
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Country: Canada
Town: GTA
Make: QS 330 airdeck
Length: 3m +
Engine: 15hp Johnson 2-strke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 92
Looks like a very decent deal. The price is too good to be true. Please inspect boat and the motor for problems. I'd not worry about trailer too much.
Motor looks to be a long shaft, not a big of an issue, you'll loose a bit on performance.
It seems the boat has spent fair amount of time uncovered under the sun, as fabric looks faded. The pics are tiny, but on the 3rd one the sib seems to be underflated (wrinkled).

Try to pay a surprise visit to the seller, this way there is a lesser chance for him/her to cover up potential issues.
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Old 11 August 2009, 11:36   #6
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Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Make: BLANK
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
Looks great to me.

Those tubes should come up like new. In the UK we use TFR or traffic film remover which is truck wash. It is caustic based. Use it 50/50 with water and a softish nylon scrubbing brush.

when the tubes are clean use something like 303 to keep them that way.

Good luck!!!

Those Avons are made about 5 miles from me in South Wales.
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Old 11 August 2009, 12:03   #7
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Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
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Price for both seems right.

A 14' boat is fine for diving 3 people (and in truth is not large for a SIB); you will be able to take as many as 6, but space is going to go away (I had 7 on my 14' Achilles once. We were able to move, but just barely. Luckily we weren't planning on diving anywhere far away from the ramp, so my daily parking pass worked out.)

Plenty of room for wife and 2 kids, but you will probably have to come up with some more comfortable seating (depending on the age of the kids, I would be hesitant about them sitting on the tubes as is normal in a SIB.)

If the current owner is willing to take a bit of time showing you the boat, I'd do one other test (in addition to what everyone else has suggested): Deflate each chamber to completely slack, then fill every other one in turn, separately. You should be able to get one chamber near-full without the others inflating (they may become a bit more full due to the baffle flopping, but should not come up firm.) If more than one fills, there may be leaking baffles. That would not necessarily be a deal-breaker to me, but it might warrant a bit more haggling on price. And it's something good to know in case you buy it and develop a leak on the water.

I wouldn't necessarily count on the motor starting on the first pull, either. They rarely do so routinely.

Good luck;

jky
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Old 11 August 2009, 23:11   #8
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Country: USA
Town: Camarillo, Ca
Boat name: Plan B
Make: Achilles
Length: 4m +
Engine: Outboard 30hp
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 20
Update: Thanks for all the great advise. I finally talked to the seller to set up a viewing. No doubt, it was a great deal. Someone got there before me and got it. Oh well, back to plan A: the 14.5' with the 35hp. I will post info on that boat in a few days to see what you all think.
Thanks again for the great advise,
Matt
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Old 12 August 2009, 08:10   #9
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Country: Canada
Town: GTA
Make: QS 330 airdeck
Length: 3m +
Engine: 15hp Johnson 2-strke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 92
I'm sure there more deals to be had later!
So, don't give up.
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