Restoring an old AVON inflatable

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by jimisbell, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. jimisbell
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 68
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    Location: Gulf Coast

    jimisbell Junior Member

    I just read an old thred (2004) in which there was a discussion about installing a fiberglass bottom on a boat that came with a soft bottom. I am interested in that if there is any newer information and I am also interested in the best material for resurfacing the dinghy.

    It holds air now but is quite old so I feel now is the time to take action.

    I got it for $50 in a garage sale and it held air so I figured I couldnt loose. It has several large patches on it where a squirl had tunneled thru it while it was rolled up in the garage. The patches were put on using 3M 5200 and they seem to be holding. BUT, should I try to remove them and do it over? I am of the school that says, "If it aint broke, Dont fix it."

    Is there a way to figure out wht material it is made of, Hypalon (probably not as it is old), PVC, or Neoprene?
  2. bilgeboy
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Boston

    bilgeboy Senior Member

    You can't lose for $50. A functional Avon in any cosmetic shape is worth a few hundred bucks.

    I think epoxy coated ply would make a nice new floor. I have a "spare" dink as well in similar condition, considering the same repair. Maybe even a layer of 6oz cloth on top would make it "indestructable".

    I would think removing 5200 would be an enourmous PIA. Maybe better to glue new material over top of all old repairs. Just a thought.

    Let me know how it goes and good luck,

  3. jimisbell
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Gulf Coast

    jimisbell Junior Member

    When I asked about a hard bottom, I was not talking about the floor, I was talking about the bottom. The floor in this Avon is fine. But there was a thread a couple of years ago about putting a fiberglass bottom with a v shape on to an inflatable that orriginaly came without the hard bottom.

  4. wet-foot
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Location: canada

    wet-foot Senior Member

    If the boat is made by Avon its gotta be hypalon "I THINK". As far as old patches, I would get a few d-rings and practice attaching the d-rings. if they stay put after a couple weeks I would then repair all the bad areas with hypalon material. Repairs are rather easy to do, use heat from a hair dryer or heat gun and pull off the old patches with ordinary pliers. Use MEK to assist in cleaning off the old glue. Hypalon sands easily, just knock off the top glaze and watch you don't sand into the neoprene. As far as glue goes I've tried a few different types but the only one to bring success is Avon glue ( goes with the boat right ) other types were a disaster for me. All you do is apply 3 coats of glue to the patch and patch area. It dries tack free and as I'm sure you already know once you touch the 2 piece together there is no going back. If you get the old girl in top physical shape you can make her absolutely beautiful with a new paint job. Hypalon paint is easy to apply and holds up nicely.

    There is no reason why you can't add a removable hard bottom to a roll-up. If you can inflate the floor use some mould release and lots of hair spray and glass away. Zodiac actually has a 14 footer ( I believe that's the right length ) with something like this. Since you are now a hypalon glue expert you can create the bow pocket to hold the nose in place. Why not just bolt the back to the transom? Looks like a removable hard bottom to me! I can see taking on a 10 to 12 footer for a first go, not too expensive and should be much easier than a big boat. Good luck and happy boating.
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