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Old 24 July 2020, 09:46   #1
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Cirencester
Boat name: Serenity/Flying Fish
Make: Avon SR4 / Excel XHD
Length: 4m +
Engine: O/B 50hp / 20hp
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 59
Avon SR4 Searider Restoration Project

Picked up an Avon SR4 1983 as a new project. I was amazed that the tubes and hull, whilst needing a polish, are in excellent condition. The tubes have held air for the last 2 weeks at running pressure without even a hint of a drop.

Currently has a 55 2 stroke Johnson but the controls and steering are all seized and I cant rely on the motor. Also the screen is broken with part of it missing as you can see in the images.

Trailer is in great condition, towed 50 miles without the hubs getting even slightly warm. So here's the plan.

1) New 50hp 4 stroke Tohatsu efi with electric start, trim and charging loop
2) New stainless A Frame
3) New stainless transom supports
4) Seats to be removed, remade (where necessary) and reupholstered
5) Hull polish and clean
6) New screen to be fabricated and fitted
7) New steering and controls for the motor
8) Starter and electronics batteries fitted under the front port seat with isolator and switch panel, including 12v charging for phones, gopro etc
9) Nav and anchor lights on the A Frame
10) New DSC fixed VHF in the dash, antenna on the A Frame
11) New Garmin GPS Plotter / Sounder flush fitted on the dash
12) New auto bilge pump with manual over-ride
13) New engine gauges (rev / tilt,trim / oil pressure / temp) in the dash

Cant think of anything else. Essentially everything except the hull and tubes will be replaced new for old. Considered engine choice long and hard and decided on the 4 stroke as I have one already and its incredibly quiet and frugal, and I like the 7 year warranty. The 50 should be more than good enough for my needs and fast enough to have some fun but be practical when doing coastal runs along the Solent etc.

Cant wait to get her in the water, much of the work is being done professionally by Higham Marine in N Wales, but with some tinkering by me. I could have done it myself as I did when I fitted out my Excel Vanguard but I know it would take me months to get it all done, Higham's reckon 2-3 weeks and I'll have it back finished and ready to go.

Watch this space
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Old 24 July 2020, 11:36   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: South West
Make: Zapcat
Length: 4m +
Engine: 50 tohatsu
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 239
Looks great, I do like these SR’s. Looks to be a very unmolested example.
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Old 17 August 2020, 05:20   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: Cowes
Boat name: Clear Dawn
Make: Cormate
Length: 7m +
Engine: Verado 200
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 229
Fabulous boat - have fun!
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Old 17 August 2020, 16:47   #4
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Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Glasgow
Boat name: Cesa
Length: no boat
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 212
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Avon SR4 Searider Restoration Project

Very tidy looking, even before the refurb

Do you think an A frame will look the part with that style of layout ? Iíd go for just a single mast pole mounted offset on the transom, custom made in shiny stainless of reasonable dia for a solid look, with the necessary plates for aerials, lights, etc. Single pole might save a bit of stern weight as well. Gonna be good whatever you do Iím sure
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Old 01 October 2020, 16:49   #5
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Country: UK - England
Town: Cirencester
Boat name: Serenity/Flying Fish
Make: Avon SR4 / Excel XHD
Length: 4m +
Engine: O/B 50hp / 20hp
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 59
Progress so far

Hey all,

So, the following has now been completed:
  • New Tohatsu 50hp 4 stroke efi
  • New Steering and remote controls
  • New VHF
  • New Plotter / Sounder
  • New windscreen
  • All new batteries and electrics
  • New NAV and Anchor lights
  • New Extreme roller trailer (not in pictures)

Work left to do, probably winter projects:
  • New seats, in a 2+2 front facing configuration
  • New single fuel tank fitted under the rear seats with deck filler in the seat box
  • Reposition the remote lever higher and more forward
  • Fit a stereo
  • Hull polish

Have taken it out a few times now and have to say the 50hp is amazing. Even with the flooding hull it gets up on the plane in a few seconds easily and will hit 35 knots before it starts to chine walk. Throttling back to just over half throttle it will cruise at 20 knots using very little fuel with the motor running smooth and quiet. In fact it will stay on plane down as low as about 11 knots.

Handles beautifully, can throw it into tight high speed turns and it just spins on a sixpence on the inside tube. Very predictable and safe, and incredibly comfortable place to sit.

The new trailer (not used it yet) will make launching and recovering even easier than it already is.

Overall a fantastic buy and am very pleased with the result. Highly recommend these great little boats.

Some pictures in the PDF, and a link to a youtube video of her first run out.

https://youtu.be/FBM2-3Xq96I
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File Type: pdf SR4.pdf (535.2 KB, 37 views)
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