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Old 26 October 2020, 17:54   #1
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Taunton
Make: Avon
Length: 3m +
Engine: Honda 5ph 4 Stroke
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
First Boat - Avon Classic SIB - Avon Knowledge Needed, Including to Identify!

Good evening all - newly joined member here. After lusting after boats in general, RIB's in particular and SIB's not really at all for a while, and deciding all boats were out of budget, I just made a rash decision and bought an old Avon 3.2m SIB and a cosmetically scrappy 1997 Honda 4 stroke motor for 850 via Facebook marketplace.

I've taken her out already at the weekend - engine was faultless, fired 2nd pull then 1st all day when warm, all tubes are still separated by baffles and hold air, and nothing leaked water. If not a bargain, it seems so far at least it's not been a waste of money and has been an awful lot of fun and excitement.

I'm still not sure what I've bought though. The identifier plate is missing from the transom - from a fair bit of online research the closest I can find is this:

Avon S100 Inflatable Sports Boat- For Sale

Which leads me to believe I have an early 90's Avon Sportboat S100 rated for 10-15hp. Can anyone confirm? Pic of my boat for reference:



As I'm sure you can all identify with, I have very rapidly gone from "first boat- that'll do me without any modification or repair" to having a very long list of tarting up and upgrading to get on with. First few questions if anyone can help- I've searched the forum extensively and cannot find the answers as yet:

1. It has mounting loops for what I think is called a thwart seat (inflatable seat mounted across the boat just fore of centre?) but did not come with one- any ideas where I can source one?

2. The bow dodger is clinging on to life, literally, by some remaining threads - are replacements readily available or is it a custom made job?

3. Seams are generally in ok nick apart from where the inner floor meets the sponsons around the triangular floor section. The triangle section fits poorly and unless knocked in forwards sharply a few times with wooden block and a hammer as show below (is this a good idea or a bad idea?) then it does not contact the inner floor seam evenly all around, and only really contacts where the red circles are shown below:




It looks like this concentration of stress has caused damage to the seams- I know some similar models have a permanent transverse wooden plank mounted here which is often missing and leaves a mess but this model doesn't look like it did, so I think this seam damage (pealing away in a lot of places and some cracking) might have been caused by poorly fitting the nose of the deck? Right hand side:





Left hand side:




To a layman this looks quite bad and a really difficult spot to repair - should I be concerned by this?

4. The very rear of each sponson where the transom attaches has a pealing seam in the same place on each side - looks like a stress point when folded. I ignored the old advice of never pull at a loose thread and pulled a bit. The glue seams fairly weak and was not difficult to pull a little more seam free. Again should I be concerned that glue is generally failing or is this a simple repair with fresh glue and maybe a small reinforcing patch?




Apologies for the lengthy questions - very excited and quite passionate about this little thing already and already looking forward to getting her back to as fine health as possible. Also apologies for misuse of any nautical terms - all new to me.

Thanks in advance,

Ben

(I should add, as a clearly nave newbie, that a marine VHF, basic safety kit and a little more seriousness and preparation are the very highest on the list of things to sort before the next outing)
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Old 29 October 2020, 08:33   #2
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Country: USA
Town: kansas city
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 89
Morning from the other side of the pond.

I have been hesitant to respond to your post, because it may come off negative, but here goes.

That's def an old avon. Can't help you identify it unfortunately. I would say early/to late 80's with those pointed cones. If it has the Hull ID number stamped anywhere, then you can use the last two to identify the year.

The seat is a fiberglass "board" that goes across and hooks into each loop. They are pretty hard to come by as they are commonly broke or lost.

Do you have the rest of the floor? Most the time the floor will keep the nose piece where it needs to be. In regards to your seams/transom coming apart, I would be very hesitant to take that out again without serious repair. Commonly however one finds that the cost/time to repair is more expensive than the boat is worth. Not trying to be negative, however when you state that you can pull the glue seams apart, that is a huge sign that you need to remove the entire transom and reglue.

The floor you may get away with just pulling back the weak stuff and regluing, but from what i have seen in the past, you are just chasing your tail doing this. I once had a little 2.5 meter sib with the floor coming apart that i thought i could take out one more time. It filled up so quickly i was pumping the bilge pump more than i was steering.

Regardless, welcome to the inflatable club. It's addicting.
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Old 29 October 2020, 13:45   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: Taunton
Make: Avon
Length: 3m +
Engine: Honda 5ph 4 Stroke
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
Afternoon and thanks brveagle, I appreciate the honest reply and advice. Perhaps when I said "it seems so far at least it's not been a waste of money" maybe I spoke too soon! Definitely food for thought- sounds like perhaps I have bought a boat a bit too near the end of her life.

Aside from these two areas all the other seams and valves seem pretty much perfect. I do have the complete floor and it matches quit a few other S100 's I've seen online - with the triangle section totally separate and the main 3 part floor just sitting on top of it. No number on her anywhere unfortunately.

I think I'll take a while to digest your advice and do a little more seam repair research and over the next few days might have a but more of a poke and pick around to see just how easily they unpick further and what state the rest of the glue is in. I will certainly do that before considering if and when to take in the water again.

Thankfully at least I'm using the boat max 100m from shore to hop between free dive spots, wearing a wetsuit and and in/out of the boat diving and soaking the inside anyway so some water ingress isn't an issue. Transom failure sounds like it would be a lot worse though.

Thanks for the welcome- with this boat or another I'll be part of the inflatable club

Ben
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