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Old 16 November 2005, 08:57   #1
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Portland, ME
Boat name: Sea Hag
Make: avon
Length: 5m +
Engine: 115 mariner
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10
Modification Advice - transom extension, console

I have picked up a dirt cheap avon 5.4 searider. It has a 115 mariner, and i think they are both from 1987 or so. This boat has the flooding hull with the two holes in the bow, and the larger in the stern. I ran it this summer without any issues, but would really like to do a couple of things:

Console with T-Top and leaning post (like the US Coast Guard)
Fuel tank in the deck
Transom entension perhaps?

I was looking at the locales coastie rigs this summer, and found one on an auction site that was a pretty decent approximation of what I would like to do. (I started bidding, but it got real high, real fast). Below I attached a couple pics.

I can do a lot of work myself, but of course, having a pro do it would be great.

Any thoughts/suggestions would be great. I am from Portland, Maine - so if anyone can reccommend a shop up there, that would be great too.



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Old 16 November 2005, 09:48   #2
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Country: USA
Town: Marblehead, MA
Boat name: Bouncy Pumpkin
Make: Avon Searider 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: Evinrude 90 E-TEC
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 390
Welcome!

Always happy to have another US member aboard. Particularly someone local with the same boat! I've also got an ex-USCG 5.4 Searider, in Marblehead, MA. Not far away at all. Haven't been to Portland for a while, but it's a great town.

IMHO, 115 hp is quite a lot of engine for the boat. I have an 80 hp, and the boat chine walks quite a bit at WOT. It's only rated for 90 hp max, but that's okay.

Consoles like those pictured are tough to find. You can check the West Marine catalog, they have some stand up consoles, and leaning posts, as well as T-top solutions. You're going to run into some decent $$. T-tops should be easy to have custom built in or around Portland I would imagine. I suspect the cost of custom vs a WM stock item wouldn't be terribly different, and you'd get a better result from a custom. Getting a custom console made should also be pretty acheivable in/around Portland. I'd be a bit more hesitant to go that route though, as you're having to deal with a custom, one-off molded item, which would likely be more expensive and heavier than a stock one. Again, you may get a better fit, as a the SR is rather narrow on the interior.

Stock stuff would be all bolt in, pretty easy for a DIY job. I wouldn't be afraid to tackle that sort of work if you're reasonably handy. Ask around at some marinas or yacht clubs for sources of who does decent glass work and T-tops. I'm sure you'll come up with a few local options to investigate.

Fuel tank in the deck would be tough, unless you're willing to give up the flooding hull. I think that's one of the great features of the Searider. But I tend to spend a fair abount of time just bobbing around, so it's important to me. You'd also have to cut up the deck to install one... I'm not sure that's a worthwhile trade off, but that's just one opinion. Personally I like having portable tanks, so I can buy cheaper gas ashore when my RIB's in the water for a few days.

I'm not sure what you'd hope to gain with a transom extension. I've fitted Naticus Smart Tabs to my SR, as have a couple of others here, with very good results. Dramatic improvement in hole shot, lower planing speed are the primary benefits. I'd highly recommend trying these prior to spending bucks on custom glass work. I found mine, NIB, on ebay for about 1/2 of retail. If I ever get another RIB, or powerboat, I wouldn't hesitate to pay full price, they're worth every penny. An appropriate prop is important too. With a 115 on the back, I wouldn't bother looking for top end speed, you'll have that. I'd look for a more "torquey" prop for better hole shot and pulling power.

I'm tempted to add a towing post as you pictured. I hadn't really thought of it before. I do a lot of coaching and support for sailboat regattas, particularly disabled sailing. I'm towing 3000 lb sailboats on a regular basis. For that, I'd like your 115! A towing setup like that would be nicer than the bridle with snap hooks that I've spliced up to attach to the stern eyes. I should look around for someone to make one for me. Might take up too much space in the boat though...

Here's a pic of my RIB...
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Old 16 November 2005, 12:53   #3
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Country: USA
Town: Portland, ME
Boat name: Sea Hag
Make: avon
Length: 5m +
Engine: 115 mariner
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10
thanks for the info!

my goal is tyo gain usable space on deck. Right now i have a home-made console and seat in there. worked fine, but there is no place to put anything!

To be honest, I wasnt a huge fan of the flooding hull - while i do a fair share of puttin' around, i think the added functionality of a 25 gallon tank in the hull would be worth it.

the 115 is a monster - my guess is that we were seeing close to 45kts at wot. Would a 90 4stroke be lighter? Im not looking for top speed, rather, dependability for long trips. Ideally I'd like to be able to extend the range and do some travelling.

Currently I have the tank under the console, and the battery in the stern. The homemade console is heavy, and there is not much space underneath. I am thinking that a prefab from West Marine with a custom t-top may be my best bet. I think i can fab up a bow locker, and fill the bow holes.

Any thoughts on dropping the tank in the deck? You think it is just a matter of cutting the deck open (overly simplistic), supporting the tank (some liquid foam and composite beams?) and reglassiing the deck back down?

As for the hull extension, I havent seen many outside of the hardboat world, but I really do like the concept. The coastie hurricane in the pic above looks to have a similar setup. I like that I could raise the transom, and run cables through it back to the engine, cleaning up the aft area. Having said that, it is a HUGE project.

Maybe i am missing something here? Anyone have any tips on putting a tank in the hull?

thanks!
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Old 09 December 2005, 14:37   #4
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Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vingernon
my goal is tyo gain usable space on deck. Right now i have a home-made console and seat in there. worked fine, but there is no place to put anything!
One other option would be to have someone fab up a console out of aluminum. Lot lighter than glas or wood for the same strength.


Quote:
As for the hull extension, I havent seen many outside of the hardboat world, but I really do like the concept. The coastie hurricane in the pic above looks to have a similar setup. I like that I could raise the transom, and run cables through it back to the engine, cleaning up the aft area. Having said that, it is a HUGE project.
Have you looked into pre-fab motor brackets? They're a bolt-on thing, I believe. Nice thing about them is they reclaim space that the motor takes up.

Don't have any links offheand but they shouldn't be too hard to find. You could also have the bracket built out of Al.

Quick pic of my boat (primarily for the console, but you can see the bracket, as well. 2 for the price of 1.)

jky
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Old 09 December 2005, 16:02   #5
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Country: UK - Wales
Town: Southampton
Boat name: DynaMoHumm/ SRV/deja
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Engine: Cat3126 Yam 90 &70
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I like the idea of an Ali console! But you could make your own out of GRP

Lots of questions to answer but the 115 will live on the searider quite happily but a bit of transom reinforcing would be good, but that will take up some deck space! if you do however go for a ninety then make it a yamaha 2 stroke

Inboard tanks may well bugger up the flooding hull and you don't want to be doing that. Does the bow space have anything in it presently.

what kind of conditions do you or will you be using your boat in

One of my friends David Manning did this with his searider I thought the fuel arrangement was sensible
My boat
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Old 15 March 2006, 09:04   #6
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Country: USA
Town: Portland, ME
Boat name: Sea Hag
Make: avon
Length: 5m +
Engine: 115 mariner
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10
forgot i even posted this here!

Anyway - the reason I asked these questions is to gain deckspace. We typically go fishing and cruising around, and the current setup works ok, but isnt very polished-looking. Basically I have a homebuilt console and a single pedestal seat. The 24 us ga. tank lies beneath the console. for storage I have a couple dry bags that are locked in place with a cord in the bow. This setup works great when we are under way and at any speed. The problem however, is that getting onto plane takes forever with the big heavy console, the gas tank, and the flodding hull. I am already filling the flooding hull as seen in the attached thread, and I found a nice leaning post on he net (4 rod holders, underseat storage, only 32'' wide).

As for a console, this is the hardest part. There are various available at west marine etc, but they are designed for Boston Whalers. While I think I could make them fit, I am worried that they will look like crap. I also found a couple at the local carolina Skiff dealer that look ok - but again, not a perfect fit.

That leaves getting some sort of locker for the bow. Nothing huge, but I would like to be able to stow life jackets, anchor, odd&ends, and water bottles someplace that isnt under foot all the time. Again, I am thinking of fabbing up a simple plastic or grp tiangular box that would fit right in the bow.

It's odd that in Portland, ME I am having trouble finding someone who does custom glass work at a fairly resonable price.

As for the transom extension - my goal there would be to gain deck space. While this will be a next winter project, I still think it has merits. Supposedly there are a number of performance gains associated with the extensions as well.

Anyway - anyone have any thoughts or ideas that I am missing?
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