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Old 15 July 2019, 12:56   #1
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Should I buy this Avon?

Hi all,

New to the whole floating around on the water on a weirdly shaped balloon game...Checked out this inflatable Avon Rover R3.11 yesterday. The owner is willing to sell it for $300. Would you buy this to float around in smaller lakes of Michigan, for a couple of years? I might put an electric trolling motor on it. Just want something that won't sink with me on it.

My concerns are:
(1) condition of the fabric (see photos), (2) the abrasion strip is coming off in one place (see photos). Owner dropped some soap water on it to confirm that there was no leak.

Thoughts? Comments? Jokes?
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Old 15 July 2019, 13:55   #2
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Does it stay up for a decent length of time? that rubbing strake can just be reglued and for $300 I'd say yes
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Old 15 July 2019, 15:05   #3
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As long as someone has not attempted to make an air leak repair where that rub strake is falling off, i wouldn't hesitate to get it.

Those little avons are great boats. I have a r3.10
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Old 15 July 2019, 17:04   #4
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To me it looks likes a bad repair to the rubbing strake and it also looks like the tubes have been painted.

I would be very cautious about buying it if this is your first boat - even if you have the diy skills to sort out problems this one may be quite tricky
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Old 15 July 2019, 19:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
Does it stay up for a decent length of time? that rubbing strake can just be reglued and for $300 I'd say yes
Yes! It needs to be inflated up every few weeks
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Old 15 July 2019, 19:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brveagle View Post
As long as someone has not attempted to make an air leak repair where that rub strake is falling off, i wouldn't hesitate to get it.

Those little avons are great boats. I have a r3.10
Didn't see any patches or air leaks from that spot
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Old 15 July 2019, 19:44   #7
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Originally Posted by telecast View Post
To me it looks likes a bad repair to the rubbing strake and it also looks like the tubes have been painted.

I would be very cautious about buying it if this is your first boat - even if you have the diy skills to sort out problems this one may be quite tricky
Don't have much experience with boats, and that's what scares me about this boat. I'd be fine if that trouble spot or the fabric deteriorates slowly over time, and not suddenly. And if it lasts a couple years. Wonder if that's the kind of boats in this price range
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Old 17 July 2019, 06:12   #8
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Originally Posted by marooned07 View Post
Yes! It needs to be inflated up every few weeks
that could just be the valves leaking or just temperature fluctuation the rubbing strake is just that protects the tube an easy repair i disagree that its been painted it just looks like normal material finish it might be hypalon a scratch test will prove with the finger nail if its hypalon you will get little bits of rubber off.
if you do buy it go over it pumped up with water and washing up liquid mix it will blow bubbles where it leaks
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Old 17 July 2019, 14:12   #9
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From personal experience, I can tell you that the previous owner used Gorilla Glue on that rubbing strake. It is incredibly difficult to remove, from the tubes and the strake. You would have to remove the strake enough to grind off the Gorilla Glue (yes, I said grind) without damaging the tubes. If this glue is not removed completely, the 2-part adhesive you need to use will not work.

The knucklehead who I bought my 1995 Zodiac Pro II 550 from did not tell me this. he reattached the bolt ropes back to the bottom of the tubes using Gorilla Glue. No one would touch it, for any price. They told me to just buy new tubes. So, I ended up doing all the work myself. Close to 20 hours labor, over 5 days, grinding it off the tubes and the bolt ropes. Had to be very careful not to grind to hard or deep. After that, the Zodiac shop did the rest and did a great job.

My suggestion: If you can do the work yourself, without cutting corners, and using quality materials, then I would do it yourself. If you don't repair that issue, it will get worse.

Or, if you have the extra money, have it fixed professionally.
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Old 17 July 2019, 14:13   #10
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The finished work on the bolt ropes
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Old 17 July 2019, 14:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
that could just be the valves leaking or just temperature fluctuation the rubbing strake is just that protects the tube an easy repair i disagree that its been painted it just looks like normal material finish it might be hypalon a scratch test will prove with the finger nail if its hypalon you will get little bits of rubber off.
if you do buy it go over it pumped up with water and washing up liquid mix it will blow bubbles where it leaks
What Jeff says, again!
Also try to over pressure it a pound if the owner lets you. Then soap it up. inc the valves. Most boat owners under inflate unless they have an electric pump or a pressure gauge.
Perhaps someone can explain the knee pressure gauge technique if no real gauge is available. I don't remember it exactly but something about a knee pushed on the tube will slightly make a depression but not make any wrinkles.
Perhaps someone else can be more exact.
Also my opinion on a $300 first boat. It's a cheap price to see if you like it and or what direction you go for the next boat.
Enjoy!
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Old 17 July 2019, 14:51   #12
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Looks like it is worth $300. I agree that there could easily be valve issues as is the case with many older boats. Avon valves can have a new spring and rubber stop put on for about $8 in parts for the A7 or a C7. The rub strake is not a part of the boat designed to hold air so it is more cosmetic than anything. Check the whole thing for leaks, especially the valves. Its not just soapy water you want, but make is super foamy. Put that foam everywhere on the seams and valves and you should be able to tell if there are leaks. And leaks are fixable too, but it takes the right materials with the right prep work to be done right. The fabric looks okay and the floor boards look pretty nice too.
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Old 17 July 2019, 14:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloLoco View Post
From personal experience, I can tell you that the previous owner used Gorilla Glue on that rubbing strake. It is incredibly difficult to remove, from the tubes and the strake. You would have to remove the strake enough to grind off the Gorilla Glue (yes, I said grind) without damaging the tubes. If this glue is not removed completely, the 2-part adhesive you need to use will not work.

The knucklehead who I bought my 1995 Zodiac Pro II 550 from did not tell me this. he reattached the bolt ropes back to the bottom of the tubes using Gorilla Glue. No one would touch it, for any price. They told me to just buy new tubes. So, I ended up doing all the work myself. Close to 20 hours labor, over 5 days, grinding it off the tubes and the bolt ropes. Had to be very careful not to grind to hard or deep. After that, the Zodiac shop did the rest and did a great job.

My suggestion: If you can do the work yourself, without cutting corners, and using quality materials, then I would do it yourself. If you don't repair that issue, it will get worse.

Or, if you have the extra money, have it fixed professionally.
Knucklehead is right. Clearly the patch on the avon is expanding urethane "Gorilla Glue" and the owner had no business attempting the patch. But it looks to be only a small area that should not be holding air in. And it's a cheap first boat to see if SIBs are for him. At least when Gorilla glue is used you can easily tell!
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Old 17 July 2019, 15:20   #14
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I agree with knucklehead too. I repair rafts at my shop. Someone just brought me a SUP board that had a seam leak. She tried to use JB Weld for PVC... it obviously didn't work and just made a legit fix that much harder. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right (Hypalon or PVC).
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Old 19 July 2019, 11:17   #15
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Thank you all for the inputs! I asked the owner to drop the price to $250 given the hassle of fixing the poor patch job, which he turned down.

Now there's another ad for an Intex Explorer 5 with wood floor, trolling motor and battery for $300. How much better would this old Avon be as compared to the like new Intex? I know they're in different leagues when new. What I'm trying to gauge is how different would they feel in the water. And if that justifies me taking on Avon's potential headache of the rubbing strake repair.
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Old 19 July 2019, 11:39   #16
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well it's up to you but there's nowhere on that avon that couldn't be repaired easily IMO it looks half decent from the PICS but as a comparison and its from a long time ago we acquired this boat in the photo at the top it had barely any coating on it hypalon fabric, we painted it in silicon paint over and over until it held air for at least two days we then used it to dive out of. take a pump with you and no probs just top it up but give it a good going over you'll be ok
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Old 19 July 2019, 13:00   #17
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I would take an old Avon in good shape over an Intex any day. I have an 13' from 85 with no patches in good shape, and I have an 87 with a lot of patches that holds air tight for weeks on end... no leaks, just patches. Avons were some of the very best boats ever made until Zodiac bought them up. Intex has a low price for a reason, poor construction, poor materials, poor design.
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Old 19 July 2019, 18:00   #18
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Yup another vote for Avon - they were fabulous, totally over spec’ed and last forever!
I’m looking for a sib as a tender and they’re doesn’t seem to be anything available in that kind of quality.
I recently sold my 4m Avon searider from about 1992 and the tubes were just about new condition, mollycoddled with covers but still!
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