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Old 30 August 2020, 11:10   #1
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Country: Ireland
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5m Searider Deluxe Restoration Project

Hey All,

I Have just about completed a budget restoration of a 1993 Avon Searider Deluxe 5 meter model.

I found it difficult to find any good info, tips and trick for restoring this model so I thought I might post my work and what I have learned here for other people.

Enjoy! :-)
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Old 30 August 2020, 11:16   #2
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Country: Ireland
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First thing to do was strip it down completely and clean it. The flooding hull chamber was full of mud (about 100kg worth) so that had to be cleaned out. Then the tubes and fibergalss cleaned and inspected.

The keel was pretty dinged up and would need work. The tubes were pretty good for their age and still had a bit of life in them.
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Old 30 August 2020, 11:20   #3
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Country: Ireland
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After that it was flipped over so repairs to the hull could be completed.

The end of the keel had taken a beating over the years so that was buuilt back up with fiberglass and then treated to some nice new gel coat to seal it up. Most of the nicks and dings were filled and sanded.

The whole hull was sanded down ready for primer and antifouling.
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Old 30 August 2020, 13:16   #4
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I decided I did not want the back-to-back seat configuration. This meant I needed new mounting points to secure the aft seat box. To do this I fiberglassed some teak in front of the existing hard points for the transom support.

I then covered them in gel coat. The colour doesnt match but they are extremely strong and physically blend into the floor quite well. Important for people with bare feet.

The funny brown colour is expoxy resin thickened with wood dust which made an excellent filler top bed the teak in.
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Old 30 August 2020, 13:20   #5
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I plugged up the hull with a standard inspection hatch. I wanted it to be easilly reversible in case I wanted the flooding hull functionallity again. This has proven to be quite a functional modification.

The holes at the front were made slightly larger with a dremel and standard screw in bungs were installed. Again these are easy to reverse depending on the conditions.
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Old 30 August 2020, 13:31   #6
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On of the most successful modications I made to the original design was to the seat box covers.

The original design has access through a hole under each seat cushion. The makes each seat box quite wet.This is because the seat acts as a large funnel collecting water and pouring it directly into the box.

By hinging the whole top of the box access is made a lot easier and also larger items can be stored.

The rear box is used for wet items and there is nothing sensitive to water stored in it.

The forward box lid is split with the drivers side secured with bolts all round. This is because the engine controls are mounted to it and so it cannot hinge. The isnt really an issue as there is plenty of access through the forward passenger seat lid.

The battery for the engine resided under the driver seat in its own compartment which is seperated by a piece of plywood mounted with two pieces of 90 degree aluminium.

The hinges were standard pressed stainless steel hinges that I bent around a circular bar in a bench vice to make them fit the rim of the seat box.

The lids were made of sheets of marine ply bonded together with epoxy and painted up to look pretty.
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Old 30 August 2020, 13:39   #7
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The engine that was on it was an excellent engine unfortunately it was beyond economical repair. A second-hand Evinrude Etec 75 stroke was sourced at a good price.

This was was a good fit for the boat. WIth one person on flat water it will push the boat to 35 knots (on the GPS) but it does tend to chine walk a bit at this speed.

The engine does weight a bit more than the old Yamaha and this weight is noticable however it is still within the Avon specs for the boat. It helps to have the flooding hull plugged to add an extra bit of bouyancy.

A bit of water still tends to flood in over the transom cut-out if you slow down quickly so a hypalon baffle accross the cut-out to reduce this is next on the to-do list.

Note: The upside down stanction bolted to the transom on the starboard side is for an all round white navigation light.
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Old 30 August 2020, 13:58   #8
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The throttle was relocated from the centre of the seat box to the outboard side of the helm seat so as to allow better access when climbing through the seats. It was also moved forward for better ergonomics for the driver. This has proved to be quite a successful modifcation.

A new grab handle was added for the forard passenger as there is not much to hold onto on that side.

A Garmin Stryker 4 was added primarilly for depth readings. An added benifit is the rudimentary GPS function it gives.

The base seat cushions all had to be remade from scratch. They were made with some marine ply, foam and leatherette. This was folded (not sewn, so they dont leak and absorb water) and stapled with stainless steel staples.

The light switch was placed there ot fill a large hole that was there before.

There is non-slip tape added to the seatbase lid between the seats.

Pretty much everything else is what came with the boat.
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Old 30 August 2020, 14:05   #9
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The fuel tanks live behind the aft seat. This area acts as a secure spot for tanks and oil and such. Two 25-30 litre tanks can be stored here easilly.

A grab handled was added between the seats as a good inboard holding point for the seat occupants.

I have heard from people that moving the seat this far aft can cause the boat to bog down as it tried to get on the plane. This is because with four people on board there is a lot of weight aft. I would say this is true to a degree but it is not a huge concern and the superior layout of the seats more than makes up for this.

Note that with the way I have modified the seats it is quite simple (6 fasteners) to put them back to their original back-to-back configuration any time.
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Old 30 August 2020, 14:18   #10
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This is her on the water now. She goes well and is an excellent medium weather rib.

Some notes for anyone considering the Deluxe versions of the Searider:

The deluxe has a lot of "retro cool" type attractive points to it. However, it is an inferior version of the Searider for two big reasons:

There is a HUGE amount of space wasted up forward under the bow cover. This space is incredibly hard to access and certainkly not usable by any passenger. When compared to the fully open jocky-consoled versions of the searider there is a lot of missing space.

This is not an all weather off shore boat like the jocky-consoled version. The boat can certainly handle it but the occupants get a terrible ride in this configuration.

This is especially true if you are a big person as your hips get stuck in the original Avon bucket seats and take beating when going over any sort of waves at speed. The buckets seats also feel anything but secure and any serious lateral jolts on the boat could easilly throw somebody out. This is the reason I fitted new handles inboard of the seats. The security of a jockey console is far superior.

I have seen somebody out there has put super duper suspended bucket seats in one of these and it looks epic and may be the answer to these issues but this was a budget restoration so not for me I am afraid.

If I could only choose one boat to go to sea in it would be a Searider but it would not be the Deluxe version. That said this is the boat I have and I am going to enjoy it to its fullest! :-)
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Old 30 August 2020, 14:21   #11
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Note: Some day I shall learn to use spell check. Today is not that day.
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Old 02 September 2020, 08:53   #12
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Country: UK - England
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I found the space under the dodger on my searider really useful, toss a couple lifejackets and the main fuel tank up there, looks really well done though, I envy the original bucket seats
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Old 09 October 2020, 10:34   #13
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A few shots of s successful project back on the water.

I managed to get a few shots of her zipping around the lake.
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Old 09 October 2020, 19:25   #14
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Awesome job mate, Cheers.





Cheers
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Old 11 January 2021, 16:55   #15
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I have the same boat and love it.

In the bow I have a millitary box fixed with the battery and fire extinguisher. I can put four 25 liter portable 'boat' fuel tanks and a cool box with 24 cans of beer in to bow too. keeps the rest of the floor free, with is very useful, especially with watersports.

I have mounted suspension tractor seats. There are very comfortable as the suspension is 15 cm. Probably the best decision ever. For passengers I have originally mounted hand handles on the tube. It improves the safety a lot for passenger I guess.
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Old 13 January 2021, 05:24   #16
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We had one of the older ones with an orange hull for years, loved it!!
We had about 80l of fuel tank in the bow and it definitely helped the ride.
Great work by the way!
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Old 13 January 2021, 10:44   #17
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Amazing job, in the process of doing something similar to my SR4. Like the idea of the hinges on the box lids. Iím going to nick that idea 👍👍
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