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Old 29-08-2006, 21:06   #1
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Looking for advice from inflatable owners..

Just acquired a 1994 Avon 3.15. For a 12 year old inflatable, it appears to be in remarkably good shape, no leaks or repairs to the tubes. It has an inflatable keel, and a folding plastic floor, with two plastic thwart seats. Engine that came with it is an 8hp Johnson, also 1994.

I'll be keeping it on stern davits and there appear to be lifting rings on the transom and also on the tubes, just forward of the forward seats. Am I correct in assuming these are lifting rings?

Obviously I want to get as much life out of it as possible, so my questions are:

How harmful to its service life is rolling it up? And when I do roll it up, is it best to keep the floor in place, or take it out?

Is it best to keep it inflated while in storage?

I know sunlight is bad for it, so I intend to buy a cover for it.... I'd like the cover to be good, tight and sturdy enough to keep it on the dinghy when the wind is up... any suggestions where to buy such a cover?

Is there any practical way to protect the keel, when pulling it up on a beach or a dock?

Any other maintenance tips?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 29-08-2006, 21:53   #2
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I bought mine in 1984

It's a Boston Whaler (Japan built) and it's still in very good shape. It's much like yours except it has wood floorboards.

The main killer is the sun. If you're not going to use it for a while deflate it, fold it and put it away in a dry non-freezing place.

If you get any scrapes/cuts on the bottom they can be patched from the inside. One trick I've learned is, there is a product called DIP-IT. It comes in differant colors and used to coat tool handles. I thin it down with a xylene and brush it on the bottom side scraches, 3-4 coats. And when it dries it's like a new section of rubber. Of course the bottom spots have to be preped and cleaned with a dry solvent.

Mine stays in the water when not in storage so I don't care what the bottom looks like. The color (red) almost matches the bottom anyway.

BTW Stay away from the barnicals.........................._/)
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Old 29-08-2006, 23:03   #3
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Thanks!!

1984, huh? That's very encouraging. I had no idea Boston Whaler made any inflatables. Maybe somebody else like Avon made them and Boston Whaler branded them?
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Old 29-08-2006, 23:33   #4
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It's probably older, I bought it from a couple in Anchorage in 84. I'd have to look at the title to be sure. 6 months later I bought a 9 hp Volvo Penta OB and I still have that too, and it still runs great. Only paid $600. for each.

They just don't make'm like they use'ta......................_/)
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Old 30-08-2006, 03:04   #5
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Hi,
I was always told it is best to keep them inflated in a dark place when stored as opposed to deflating. I can only guess this minimizes wear on the folds one creates when folding it up - plus allows a free flow of air over the surfaces.
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Old 30-08-2006, 05:48   #6
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The old Avons are hypalon and are very sun and chemical resistant. Rolling the dingy will cause some poorly attached parts, like the rubrail, to peal off. (My shortcomings with attaching parts would take another thread.) I pull the floor forward about two inches prior to rolling. It makes the transom lay flatter and the whold package roll tighter. Be careful not to remove the floor and clean the dingy. It will make the floor stick and the dingy noisy. Mine's a '96.
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