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Old 31 July 2001, 17:28   #1
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Ex Navy Searider

I could have a possibility to buy an ex Navy Avon Searider (around 5m size).
Re-tubing should not be a problem if needed, but the GRP-hull is the thing that I'm worried about.
I'm sure that the hull won't last forever, but can anyone tell any awerage lifetime for the GRP-hull.
Of course the way the boat has been used and the possible damages will effect the hull's lifetime.
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Old 31 July 2001, 18:06   #2
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If it's a Navy sea rider its probably the five point four meter. They are a very strong boat and the hull should be good - particularly if it has lifting points fitted, suggesting mainly deep water work from ship launches. The weak point on the sea rider is the transom in my experience - for more details see the RB4 discussion on this web site - there is extensive coverage of my rebuit 5.4m sea rider there, including technical information on the transom problem. This one, was a civi not military boat, but my navigator runs an ex royal navy 5.4, so we know what were on about. Henshaws retubed mine for me and were about 2K cheaper than avon's quote!

Good luck


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Old 01 August 2001, 05:46   #3
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Yes, Tiger sharks navigator has decided to enter the narrative world, but I will not try and compete with Vernon's wordsmith skills! Not that I usually listen as Iím always staring at the back of his head!

As for the sea rider, I purchased an ex naval 5.4 version just over a year ago. I had the similar reservations, "how hard has it been worked?" how many beaches has it been jammed into?" However on receiving my now pride and joy I have been nothing but cuffed to pieces!

The truth in my mind is that the navy have the time and resources to insure that the boats are maintained and serviced every time the things are used. The boat is approximately 12 years old (but could be more) and shows no sign of structural hull depravation. Although I am having that transom bracket made, best to be safe. My tubes will probably become redundant at the end of this season, but again this does not sadden me as I have learnt to scrape this old set before I go for the Gucci set! The engine was not a navel addition a 5-year-old mariner 90,so therefore could not comment!

The only problem I have found is the seating is very low which means I end up crouching over the wheel, which can cause discomfort over length of time. I intend to raise the seat height and add backrest ASAP.

Hope that helps, If it looks and feels good I'd go for it, the best fun you can have with your clothes on! But as for your question of how long does a GRP hull last havent got a clue!

Russell.


[This message has been edited by Grey C (edited 01 August 2001).]
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Old 01 August 2001, 09:49   #4
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Thank you very much for the answers. Helped me a lot.
Boats are 5.4 m models, so I'm sure we are talking about the same type and model.

Once more, thanks

Jari
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Old 03 August 2001, 17:12   #5
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I still have an ex Ranger Wing ( Our SAS ) 5.4 in service . It is 20 years old and still has the original hull and tubes etc . It might look a bit dog eared , but it is still perfectly servicable . You can't beat Mil Spec for longevity !

Best wishes ,

Stuart www.powerboat.org

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Old 04 August 2001, 17:01   #6
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The Sea rider I have in sight is 10 to 15 years old. It has been used as a rescue and a support boat for a navy vessel. If I'm lucky the price can be very reasonable.

Thanks for your answer.
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Old 01 September 2010, 16:45   #7
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I realize this thread is quite old, but i thought I could give you another two datapoints:
I have a commercial 4m that was bought new around 1985 and the hull is still in great shape. The only scary parts have been getting the bolts out when removing the console for some repair work. I was afraid of breaking a bolt as they were quite corroded in the glassed-in inserts. My new project has been a 1976 (!) 5.4m which was originally military (i've been told) and then was used in a dive outfit. While the hull needed to be refinished (someone had put on anti-fouling), the only structural worry was a small delam on the transom which I filled with epoxy, re-clamped and sealed. Fiberglass pretty much lasts forever, so as long as any encapsulated wood isn't rotten, your hull should be in good shape.
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