As i am upgrading this year, it is time to retire an old friend... but i wondered if anyone else had an older one... or if anyone else had owned the same RIB for as long as myself ???
I have a 1978 Avon Searider... brought from new... its been used every weekend in the summer for 28 years... its been a dive boat, a rescue boat and a "speed boat" in its time... and has never let me down ! When i first owned it, people used to crowd around it on the beach... unable to comprehend that it was a "blow up boat" with fibre glass floor ! "RIB????" they used to say... i still think it was the first RIB ever on Anglesey, North Wales... and its still out performs a lot of ribs !!
Admitedly... the transome is now supported by 10 years worth of re-built fibre glass... the original seats rotted, although i managed to find some from a 1989 boat that fitted perfectly... and the windscreen has been replaced twice...but apart from that its in tip tip condition... 2 Mercury Enginees have performed beyond expectations.... a little 40hp Blue band was never ready to die !! finally, after strapping the starter motor back on for the 5th time i upgraded the engine in 1995 !
I have also never changed the old seating arrnagements... i was never tempted by the jocky seats.... althought most seariders i see now have been chopped and changed many many times... why don't ribs come with windscreens anymore ?? in the cold or rain... they are a god send !!
I can not say enough good thinks about this boat... its a true pioneer of RIB'ing and has out lived many of my friends "new age RIBS" with tubes that last 10 years !!! If there are anymore Seariders in service of the same age... then maybe a "Searider Appreciation Society" is in order !!!
But i am now faced with a new dilema.... after i pickup my new 7.2... what will i do with my old friend.... surely its worth a place in any boat museum !!!
Any fellow Seariders share the same love for the old classic !?