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Old 28 April 2018, 10:43   #1
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Humber refurb and retube - Tilley inflatables

So our Humber Ocean Pro 6.3 had been on a mooring for over 8yrs and after many “botch jobs” repairing the tubes at the rear, and many “refreshes” it was time to do it properly for my Dad’s 70th.

Humber tube design was never great IMHO as they had the cone Hypalon laid over the tube itself with water flowing over the lip edge, bizarre. The cones had come away “again” and the Hypalon was knackered. All the colour had gone out of the tubes despite many attempts to clean and rejuvenate each season. Click image for larger version

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I didn’t fancy using them for a re-tube as a high volume, margin extracting Company. We had also had poor service and standard of work at some Northern companies when we did work in 2014. So the hunt was on.

The late Paul Tilley had a great reputation, and after some investigations about the current set up the family run business seemed a great option. Paul’s daughter Sam now runs the business and couldn’t have been more helpful and understanding in terms of what we wanted and how it could be achieved. Sam clearly knew her stuff and was competitive price wise, but it was the level of interest in the work that made the decision.

With a full job sheet and annotated drawing, followed by a few phone calls and discussions around options and ancillary work outsourced to a local boatyard, everything was agreed.

After a delivery and Work date was agreed a deposit was paid. Then we put new bearings and hubs on the trailer for the road trip. However the snow in March stopped my 532m round trip!!! In the end I managed it, though the narrow lanes in M6 roadworks by J17 are certainly fun at 4am in the dark and rain when alongside the big wagons!!!! Then there’s the joy of Devon’s country lanes with a phat RIB behind you and a tractor round a bend... glad we put new brakes on and had Brembo’s on the RR!!Click image for larger version

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Old 28 April 2018, 10:48   #2
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Humber refurb and retube - Tilley inflatables

We then found on arrival that our tubes are oversized and that we couldn’t “jigsaw” the pieces of Hypalon out of a short roll. I wanted to understand what that meant as it would require a longer roll of Hypalon and Sam cane good. After 20mins I understood the ways in which tubes can be made and how they are cut from the standard width rolls. We have one run of Hypalon all along the top and bottom, with a seam hidden in the strake, so you need a J shape piece. If that piece is more than half the width of a roll, you need almost twice the length. Typical!
There’s a reason mass produced boats have straight sections with angles and a seam at the Bow and each angle. It saves money! Less Hypalon used.

The old tubes!!Click image for larger version

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Old 28 April 2018, 10:50   #3
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The boat was then left with Tidel - Tilley inflatable. The workshop is clean and professional and the staff all friendly and helpful. Paul had worked there for 6yrs and was clearly passionate about his work.Click image for larger version

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Old 28 April 2018, 10:58   #4
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Humber refurb and retube - Tilley inflatables

Collection was put back because of the snow, they had a backlog of work, but I asked if it could be done by the Skerries RIBnet trip, Sam said probably not but would see what she could do. Sure enough she rang last week and said they could! Perfect.

We had Black Hypalon (went against fabric impression as it’s hard to clean) with the Carbon patches cut at an angle like the ospreys often do. Patches were placed on the tube where we step on it to go from console to bow, and the same where we step to get around the bench to the stern. (All thought through) They had swatches of all the colours possible!

We also asked for a double layer of Hypalon under the rear third for where it sits on the mooring and weed is scrubbed off each year. Double D strake over the bow for the mooring chain to sit in, using the hollow D section to put rope through and attach over the mooring line to stop it jumping out and hanging/rubbing the Hypalon.

Two sections of strake on the bow front 1/3 above the D section, and one below, for when we’re pushing on the jetty when rough. Barnacles don’t agree with Hypalon!

D ring lifelines, and real rope. Pressure relief valves. Bow underside protector (for when we are on the jetty) Humber logos front and rear in yellow (a nod to the old girl’s past).

Full valet. New oil reservoir bracket. New GPS. Console hinge bracket replacement. Anti foul. Merc Speedo replacement. 6 grab handles. Elephant trunk. There’s probably more!
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:02   #5
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Humber refurb and retube - Tilley inflatables

So yesterday I set off at 5am for 266 miles of thinking what could be wrong, would it be a mess, etc

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The boat was immaculate!!! It looked brilliant. They have clearly undertaken the work with pride. All the edges of work done are immaculate. They were still finishing when I arrived in terms of clean up. The two lads who has done it clearly making it look smart for collection, but I was 3hrs early. Sorry!

I noticed the 4 grab handles were where they were before, but we asked for one set on top in front of the console. Not a problem, they fitted two whilst I waited!

Then I realised the Double D section on the bow came over the front much further than previously for protection inside the boat from the chain. However the threaded rope would be much further back and down to hold the mooring chain from lifting. As such, in chop/waves it could bounce off the crown of the bow and on to the sides and wreck the tubes. I asked if the D section “could” be cut on the crown? No worries! Paul went and did it, but he wasn’t happy. He grabbed some spare section, showed me what he could do, cut it out and then said what did I think. It looked much smarter and put less stress on the rubber. 1/2 hr later it looked like it was done originally. Then in 15 mins he threaded rope through, spliced two loops and put a caribena on. So we undo the Caribena, pull the chain over and attach to the deck, then clip the rope over the top to stop it bouncing out. Perfect.

You can see it in the photo
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:05   #6
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Humber refurb and retube - Tilley inflatables

The boat itself was so clean, Paul said to me “I’ve replaced all the screws and bolts on your jockeys and bench seat with new stainless, the old ones let the boat down once we’d done all the rest of the console/bench and A frame etc” How cool is that! That’s the kind of care and pride you want someone to have. I doubt Humber would have done that.

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Old 28 April 2018, 11:09   #7
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Humber refurb and retube - Tilley inflatables

So we are truly happy with it, the old man was also really chuffed, though it didn’t look this clean after a 6hr tow in the rain! LOL

Even lost a strap 5hrs in, it had rubbed through. Need to source two decent thickness straps.

A glass of vino and I was asleep.

I couldn’t recommend Tilley Inflatables enough, Sam and the team are a credit to Paul Tilley and the reputation he had built in the industry, just search on here for that. I do hope They go from strength to strength. Judging by the number of boats in there, it looks like they will!!

Sam may come up for the Skerries trip and be blagging a ride from Caernarfon at Ty Calch. She races sidecars with her fella on Anglesey sometimes, she must be mad!

If you are thinking of a retube or refurb, please do consider them, a genuine caring family run business.

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Old 28 April 2018, 11:34   #8
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It’s now getting serviced/dewinterised ready for launch on 11th.
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:42   #9
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Looking really good that!!
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:44   #10
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Cheers Matt!
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