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Old 12 April 2021, 12:18   #1
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Identification number doesn't match known age of boat?

Hi Everyone,

I've got an Avon Inflatable W525 and for the insurance they need to know the age of the boat.

The identification number riveted to the transom is GBAVB52563J607 which I am lead to believe should tell me this is a 2006 boat, with a model year of 2007. Now - here comes the confusion.

I have testimony that this boat was purchased and used by my club in the 1990's. I also have an archived copy of the clubs old website stamped and dated from 2003 (via archive.org so I know it's genuine) clearly showing the same boat. There is no way this boat is from 2006, so why does the identification number age it as this? I also have plenty of other photos and testimony all pre-2006. The club never owed two of these, and if it isn't the same one I've got in the photo that's a huge mystery because every last bit looks identical. Lastly I've got paperwork (including binders full of email conversations) that reference this boat. Guess what? All pre-2006.

I would ask Avon, but I can't seem to find a single contact email or phone number. I know they were taken over by Zodiac, but the Zodiac website shows me no way to contact them and I doubt they'd have 1990's records to hand.

Does anyone have any idea what might be going on here? I need this boat insured but I can't accurately date it.

Thanks all in advance for the help.
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Old 12 April 2021, 13:39   #2
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Any chance that 0 is actually a 9 ?

I'm going to be cynical and suggest your insurer don't really care if your boat was "probably 1996" or "maybe 1997" or even if its 2006. Take a photograph of the plate, keep it safely, put the date you believe it to be (to your best estimate) and if you can include the HIN on the insurance paperwork. The only issue will be if its actually a mid 90's boat and you put in a claim for the value of a much newer boat. Since you aren't going to do that, I think there's more chance of any claim being "improved" by your seemingly newer HIN.
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Old 12 April 2021, 14:01   #3
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I'd just give them the age that you can back up based on your documentation and the years that model was available. It's not uncommon for the stamp to have a digit incorrect.
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Old 12 April 2021, 14:06   #4
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Avon's with a transom have a second HIN stuck to a tube in the bow section.

May be this one is more clearly readable.
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Old 12 April 2021, 14:08   #5
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Going off topic, I do think it's a shame Zodiac bought, and then killed, Avon.
I thought the quality of Avon stuff was always top notch.
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Old 12 April 2021, 14:30   #6
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Going off topic, I do think it's a shame Zodiac bought, and then killed, Avon.
I thought the quality of Avon stuff was always top notch.
I completely agree, I have three of their products and they just go on and on.

I particularly love my Rover 310, with my Tohatsu 9.8 it's a great fun little boat.
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Old 12 April 2021, 16:21   #7
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Thanks everyone. Unfortunately that serial number is 100% correct and clear as anything on the back - there would be no mistaking it at all. The entire boat is actually is in extremely good condition, but it's not seen a lot of use. The HIN looks like it was stuck on yesterday though it's that clear.

I will have a look in the bow as I had read that there was a second 'hidden' HIN but I didn't think anyone would know where it was by nature of it being hidden. Failing anything more solid I will advise the insurance company of the oldest we know it to be and go from there.

Currently I am trying to work out when they first started making the W525, just to check I am in roughly the right area. My other thought is the VIN on the trailer dates it to 1986, so perhaps the boat is the same but I don't know when they started producing them. I'm also pretty sure the HIN system didn't exist in 1986.

I know the boat had a new engine around 2007/2008 (currently got a 50hp four stroke on it) and I did wonder for a minute if maybe for some reason it got a new transom. I am not sure about this though.

Thanks for all your help so far - really appreciate it.
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Old 13 April 2021, 00:54   #8
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Originally Posted by jm123 View Post
Thanks everyone. Unfortunately that serial number is 100% correct and clear as anything on the back - there would be no mistaking it at all. The entire boat is actually is in extremely good condition, but it's not seen a lot of use. The HIN looks like it was stuck on yesterday though it's that clear.

I will have a look in the bow as I had read that there was a second 'hidden' HIN but I didn't think anyone would know where it was by nature of it being hidden. Failing anything more solid I will advise the insurance company of the oldest we know it to be and go from there.

Currently I am trying to work out when they first started making the W525, just to check I am in roughly the right area. My other thought is the VIN on the trailer dates it to 1986, so perhaps the boat is the same but I don't know when they started producing them. I'm also pretty sure the HIN system didn't exist in 1986.

I know the boat had a new engine around 2007/2008 (currently got a 50hp four stroke on it) and I did wonder for a minute if maybe for some reason it got a new transom. I am not sure about this though.

Thanks for all your help so far - really appreciate it.
Are you sure the boat wasn't replaced with an identical boat at the time of the engine replacement? That would make far more sense, not sure what Avon's hin numbers system was like pre ce days but the hin format as shown is the ce style format which was standardised in 1998 prior to that many boats had no hin nos & many were in a different format. Is it possible the original boat had a mishap which was kept quiet & replaced by insurance & not just an engine upgrade?
It certainly sounds like you have a newer boat than your being told.
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Old 13 April 2021, 02:56   #9
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Jm I reckon you are over thinking this. I have similar ideas to Beamishken.

You have a boat you want to insure which has a clear ID and were it not for the club "hearsay" you would just insure it as the age the ID indicates. Had you just bought it privately that's what you'd do. And that's what I'd do.

After all I think you are only considering an age range difference of perhaps 10yrs and I'd say condition and demand would likely be the greatest factors in value not the exact year so there is no attempt to mislead or advantage yourself.

In fact I think you might get in a world of pain if you insured as an age in the 1990s that the club chat makes you think it might be then had to claim giving the ID no. which indicated a different age and possibly different boat. Just the sort of thing to get a claim thrown out.

Also I know on some Zodiac models another place for the ID was under the transom clamp plate... long shot but worth popping that off to look.
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Old 13 April 2021, 04:10   #10
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There were subtle visual differences in the Avon range, particularly towards the end of their production, that some on here may be able to date.

Why not post a couple of pictures of the boat in question?
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Old 13 April 2021, 04:45   #11
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If you've got 2 cross references of the hull numbers that tell you it's a 2006, I'd use that for insurance purposes. If it were ever stolen, it's the hull number that would be declared to the police.
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Old 13 April 2021, 05:17   #12
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>>>If it were ever stolen, it's the hull number that would be declared to the police.

Yep that's my feeling... they will not be interested in old email copies and club member recollections.
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Old 14 April 2021, 05:59   #13
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Originally Posted by jm123 View Post
I would ask Avon, but I can't seem to find a single contact email or phone number. I know they were taken over by Zodiac, but the Zodiac website shows me no way to contact them and I doubt they'd have 1990's records to hand.
Any Avon dealers on Google that you could ring who might be able to check the number?

Couple of random results:
https://shop.chastheboat.co.uk/pages/avon-inflatables
https://www.adecmarine.co.uk/buy-mar...on-boat-spares
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Old 15 April 2021, 06:58   #14
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Hi All,

Well turns out those of you who thought it was actually that newer and I was being told the wrong thing were correct.

It's definitely 2006 and the trailer it is on has been confirmed as being 2007 by Indespension.

Apparently everyone who told me it was the same boat seemed to have forgotten it was actually newer and I've had it confirmed that we replaced the old one with a newer one. The new one was absolutely identical to the old one, so impossible to tell apart in photos. Everyone who was there at that time seems to have left though so I think there was some confusion!

Thanks for all your help, and sorry that was a bit of a wild goose chase after all!
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Old 15 April 2021, 10:54   #15
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Ahh well all sorted in the end.
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Old 15 April 2021, 10:55   #16
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Even better, you probably got a bargain!
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Old 16 April 2021, 14:41   #17
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And a valuable lesson in not taking old club codgers memories as Gospel....
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