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Old 04 November 2015, 11:58   #1
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Avon Searider 5.4 or Zodiac 5.5 Pro Open

Hi All,

Which would you consider to be the better boat out of these two....

Avon Searider 5.4 or Zodiac 5.5 Pro Open

The Avon has a 75hp two stroke Mercury selling for 4k

The Zodiac has 100hp 4 stoke Yamaha seen for 7.5k

Both appear to be in good condition.

Thanks for your help with this.http://www.rib.net/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
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Old 04 November 2015, 12:17   #2
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Pro Open.

Field changeable tubeset, integral fuel tank, no wood.

Seariders are cool, but in the boating world, they're outdated in terms of construction.

I should don my nomex flame suit now...
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Old 04 November 2015, 14:02   #3
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OK I suspect you aren't asking the question you at first appear to be.

If the question was which is better:

A brand new SR5.4 or a Zodiac Pro Open 5.5 you may get different answers to -

Which is better a 20 year old SR5.4 or a 5 year old Pro Open?

Added to that you've put different engines into the package.

The Americans are big into their field changeable tubes. I get why in a millitary setting. For a leisure use - you wont have a spare tube set in the garage to swap over if you damage one. We seem to have much more competition in the UK for re-tubing which I think keeps costs down so even though its more hassle we pay about 1/3rd of what the Yanks pay for toobs!

If the wood is intact may be no issues.

You need to define your intended use.

Removable fuel tanks can be good as well as bad.

There are plus and minus points for most things...
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Old 04 November 2015, 14:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
OK I suspect you aren't asking the question you at first appear to be.

If the question was which is better:

A brand new SR5.4 or a Zodiac Pro Open 5.5 you may get different answers to -

Which is better a 20 year old SR5.4 or a 5 year old Pro Open?

Added to that you've put different engines into the package.

The Americans are big into their field changeable tubes. I get why in a millitary setting. For a leisure use - you wont have a spare tube set in the garage to swap over if you damage one. We seem to have much more competition in the UK for re-tubing which I think keeps costs down so even though its more hassle we pay about 1/3rd of what the Yanks pay for toobs!

If the wood is intact may be no issues.

You need to define your intended use.

Removable fuel tanks can be good as well as bad.

There are plus and minus points for most things...
30 min unskilled labor with no climate control to install a tubeset is nice, as opposed to spending 20 labor hours hand gluing that beast on.

Integral fuel tank = lower center of gravity, more deck space, more capacity

Wood is wood... In a marine setting, it is either rotting or rotted is my personal view.

Pro Open was released in 1998 if memory serves?
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Old 04 November 2015, 15:50   #5
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To clarify, I am currently looking to buy a Rib between 5m to 6m. I have seen a 1989 Avon Searider 5.4m for 4k also I've seen a 2005 Zodiac Pro 5.5 for 7.5k.

I do not have any experience to draw upon therefore seeking advice which would be the better buy.

Is the Zodiac a better ride than the Avon? Is it worth spending the extra 3.5k and if so why?

Thanks for the feedback so far.
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Old 04 November 2015, 18:20   #6
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Still not sure you've defined your use case. For example:

- SR has a flooding hull which makes it exceptionally stable. Great if you expect to sit at low speed / stationary for long periods (fishing, coaching, safety cover etc). The Zodiac has a built in fuel tank which might achieve similar when FULL.

- Distance being covered. The 2 stroke will drink petrol faster than a student at a free bar. But if you are not expecting to do huge hours and distances then that may not matter

- Seating Layout - any differences? Will one work better for you

- Where will you fuel?

In terms of the valuation of the boats - Are the engines the same age as the hulls? How many hours? What state are the tubes? What about trailers?

- How long will you own it?

Quote:
30 min unskilled labor with no climate control to install a tubeset is nice, as opposed to spending 20 labor hours hand gluing that beast on.
But higher tube purchase price? I doubt many people in the UK glue their own on.
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Old 05 November 2015, 06:06   #7
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The 100hp Yamaha was not one of their better motors. My mechanic recommended staying away from the F100 when I looked at one not too long ago. Might want to check with your local mechanic to get an opinion on the motors.

As far as what Office said, slide on tubes do offer the convenience of being field replaceable. Not that you might have a spare set but in the long run it keeps the cost down. On this side of the "pond" , there are far less repair shops capable of doing a quality job retubing a Rib with glue on tubes. I have been in this industry for close to thirty years and seen many retube jobs hacked and customers left without a quality looking job. The Rib industry is much smaller in the US than in Europe so talent for fixing them is smaller as well.

Best of luck with your search!

-Chris
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Old 05 November 2015, 16:17   #8
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I almost bought a 5 yr old 550 pro 4 months ago with a Yam 100. I had the cash and was about to head off to pick it up when a storm hit preventing me from doing the 4000 km round trip.

Fate happened and a 2014 pro 550 tour came on the market much closer with a Yam 70 f which I got for the same money, it had barely been run in. In the last 4 months I've done 130 hrs in some very poor conditions and have found I'm blown away by the performance.

The newer boats have wider planeing strokes making them better at handling the small engine and getting up on the plane easy. Unlike the Gemeni 550 I tried the zodiac is extremely dry and fun to handle.

Sea conditions here are rarely bellow 2 m swell with 1.5 seas. I've owned many boats over the years and find my Zodiac the most fun I've ever had in any boat.

Jon
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Old 06 November 2015, 03:56   #9
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Thanks all for the advice/input/feedback

Decided on the Zodiac...
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Old 07 November 2015, 06:06   #10
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I have a 5.4m for sale for 1250.. that leaves if your budget goes to 7k 5750 to find a lovely 90hp to put on it then you can have a great dry searider with a new or nearly new engine. Avon last year's I have a 40 year old Avon redress but engines are the key bit as they can break done. buy a decent older hull and put a newer engine on it and have a big smile on your face. that is the searider great handling in the chop zodiac hull less so.
Having been in the middle of the Atlantic being transfered in a force 6 in a searider 5.4m with a 75hp I can not recommend them enough
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