I recently have been undertaking various mini rib projects – in size and simplicity and this weekend got another 4m Avon Adventure. I know its not an SR and I missed out on buying what looked like a great SR with a 50 Yam last week for just £1550 , but that’s the way it goes ! (I’ll have another one day!
Anyway this particular boat was up in Canterbury and rather than along drive there and back in one day I broke it up by staying overnight at Medway Bridge Marina on board an old light ship (Europe's oldest surviving LightShip Converted into a Luxury Boutique Hotel.
) which was just great and well worth a stay if anyone is the area .
In the marina I also ran across one of my favourite boats - Fairy Huntsman ‘707’ - again one day !!! ( Maybe?
Anyhow I had some reservations about the boat having swapped some messages with members on here - but felt the engine was always going to be good fun an such a light boat and it looked ‘ok’.
Anyhow I turned up and had a quick look over. The conversation was all rather odd . I was advised about the kill cord – how it should be connected to your wrist, but the previous owner just clipped it to the key as you should always have 2 people in the boat ….how to tow donuts and how the battery is left disconnected to stop it running flat ( I assume if its wired to start the engine it will also charge it when the engine is running ? Or am I missing something ?) . At this point I was just pleased it was electric start ! oh and the battery was sliding about loose inside the console
The transom looks sound with no softness - some minor gel cracks in the deck mould where they flex but nothing I felt was serious. So I duly paid the guys with paypal and off I go .
By all accounts the boat had sat for the last year and not moved so I hitched it up and pulled it out of the drive where it was sat and started to tie it down properly to the trailer ( which again I was pleased with as its quite a nice Indespension roller jobby .) I put the tyres up to about 30psi ( max 32) as I have fear of the being too soft on a long run and over heating and letting go. I took the bung out ( just in case it rained like it did on Saturday which would have filled the boat very quickly , and took the bung out of the hull void only to have a stream of horrid water squirt all over my shoes and jeans- again clearly not been taken out out for a good while !
Strapped on my trailer board ready for the 160miles down to Bournemouth. I went all of 100 yards before thinking the bearings were about to jump out of the hubs, so (out of site of the house I just left ) some quick TLC, lots of squeezes of new grease and a tighten of the nuts & I think l see how they go as I have new hubs & bearings in the boot ! I stopped a few miles later as the rumbling had continued and they were not hot -just sounding bad - so I press on listening for any change in rumble.
An uneventful trip later with no change in the rumble round the M25 & M3 I pulled up at home with no drama.
So once home I could start looking properly - the tubes have not really been cared for, but have no patches or repairs and hold air well and will come up ‘OK’ apart from old patches a good reason not to have white tubes if one was ever needed. The hull is sound and again needs a good clean. It looks like its been taken out and seaweed has been left to dry on it – some light washing has bought it up OK on the bit I have done so far, and the engine seems to start OK ( although I was not keen to use the old petrol in the tank ). There is what seems ot be a ligh on the engine with an oil/ temp sign next to it – I guess this is warning fro the tank and water temp ?
The controls and steering are a bit/very stiff and I found an odd ‘feature’ on the throttle where at WOT the neutral lock engages again so it wont come back off WOT unless you pull the red catch up ! Not ideal and some tinkering in the box needed I think ! And the mid section cowl is cracked ( not a big deal) and one of the lower mount bolts needs some TLC where its been over tightened or corrosion has split the hole.
When I looked at the pics I though it may have been rigged by BHG as they use a distinctive wooden plate on the transom and put lock nuts on the engine mounting bolts and when I looked at the engine sure enough it has the BHG sticker on it, so as I thought it was from then from new in 1997.So it seems it is the original boat to engine set up which is good.
The seat had been DIY covered using mild steel pins ( now rusty orange all round) & in black vinyl so not great, but I’m having these re covered as a free by by a mate of a mate who does this stuff (white with blue piping all round ? )
All in all a think it’ll make a nice little boat when its all sorted and given a once over – got another Ringo which is being donated to another member on here.
As always I have a million pics of before during and after ( ok before and during so far as I need more rib revive ! ) that I’ll add later when I get in ( I'm typing this in place of cancelled marketing meeting at work
I seem to be homing more than I really should of these small RIBS , but its quite nice to fix, repair stuff and give it another go at being used by someone else instead of rusting away for another ten years and as we all know the ‘older’ Avon tubes just seem to go on and on . It may well be for sale in due course so if your after a cheap little RIB for some fun let me know.