Avon / Zodiac Milpro Rafts? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-28-2014   #1
 
Gunnison, Colorado
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Avon / Zodiac Milpro Rafts?

My first post. The Buzz is a great community and has been a good resource as I try to work through my research to buy a new raft. In my surfing I came across the following product and they are currently avialable:

"Avon / Zodiac Milpro Adventurer River Raft: You don't have to be a River Guide or Special Forces Commando to appreciate the quality and worksmanship that goes into each and every AVON Raft. Now available to the public, the Adventurer is 14' of pure dynamite for any white water run anywhere in the world."

I'm told that the rafts are made by Zodiac using the original specifications that the original Avon rafts were manufactured. I think the rafts are build at the same facility even.

What do you think....Avon quality or suspect imitation?

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Old 08-28-2014   #2
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There are two of these in the US, or so I'm told. One of them is at Dvorak's on the Arkansas between Nathrop and Salida. I'd contact them and Zodiac by phone.

I've seen it on the river and it looked nice, though I think it's a 13 footer.
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Old 08-28-2014   #3
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Ron at Riverboatworks in Salida had at least one fourteen footer in stock last time I was down there. He can definitely order them for you if its gone.

They look beautiful, like Avons always did. From what I can tell, they are using the same material that they did a couple years ago when they were still calling them Avons instead of Mil Pro. Its not the old, badass, dark Avon grey material, but nothing is.

Avon Boats have been owned by Zodiac for years. Zodiac has made rescue boats out of hypalon for a long time and they are awesome. If you wanted to pony up the dough for one I dont think you'd be disappointed.

The only negative (my opinion) change that I noticed, during the short look I had at it, is that they did away with the exterior seam tape on some of the seams. It shouldn't be an issue since it is just a protective layer and doesn't have anything to do with the structure but I always liked the protection aspect of exterior seam tape. For the price, I'd like to see it have all the bells and whistles of any other high end boat.

FWIW, Lots of other boats dont have the exterior seam tape, (NRS Otters and AIRE's to name a couple) and I have never seen issues because of it.
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Old 08-28-2014   #4
 
Gunnison, Colorado
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Thanks, I'll follow that up that is relatively close to plan a research trip.
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Old 08-28-2014   #5
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AVON Adventurer River Boat/Raft UAB

In stock and on sale. Either they're new to the market or the dude at Dvorak's didn't know what he was talking about. Looks like the best deal on a 14' raft ever.
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Old 08-29-2014   #6
 
Conejos Canyon & Houston, CO & TX
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dont make them like they used to, or do they?????

lots of good information above. we sold the 'old' avons for years - from the 70's through 2000'ish (mainly motorboats, dinghys and RIB's) and they were great boats

i have been thinking about one of these as well and my only hesitation is that I have heard 'they don't make them like they used to'. specifically from a popular and respected shuttle / outfitter in Vernal who said they just don't hold up like the old avons did, so they have switched to NRS (note this is regarding the 5-10'ish year old avons first made after they were bought by zodiac, not the new milpros)

it would be great to hear some feedback regarding quality and durability of avons from this 'questionable' generation, and also any intelligence about whether the milpros are the same as these, or if they are back to the quality of the 'old days'
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Old 08-29-2014   #7
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They're still made in the UK out of the same material. I bet by the same people. Somebody call them and find out. The outfitter in Vernal has no idea what he's talking about - these boats are too new to have had any problems yet.

The prices at that Oregon shop are retarded and I want the 16 footer!
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Old 08-29-2014   #8
 
Conejos Canyon & Houston, CO & TX
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yep, made at the same shop in wales actually. probably had some staff turnover in the last 40 years so maybe not the 'same' people though

sounds like you are pretty confident neither dvoraks nor riverrunners know anything (despite riverrunners owning many of that generation that did develop problems very quickly).

and also that my question is not legitimate (asking for some recent info, while being pretty familiar with the old ones having sold over 100 of them and being close friends with the former, pre-zodiac, importer)

great to have you on the forum!
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Old 08-29-2014   #9
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I said that the "guy at Dvoraks", specifically the guide that told me a few weeks ago that there were only two of these in America, didn't know what he's talking about. I would suggest that Bill or the communal knoweldge base of Dvoraks is nothing short of comprehensive. The fact that Dvorak's bought one of these only lends credibility to their quality.

I then suggested that statements about the durability on these BRAND NEW boats by "a reputable shuttle / outfitter" is likely unfounded. I never mentioned River Runners, you did.

But anyway, thanks for having me on the forum Tex. I'm just trying to figure out the same thing as the OP before I drop coin on my next boat.

Rowdog, welcome to the forum, BTW. Lots of opinion, and unfortunately egos, on here. Let us know what you learn from Riverboatworks. It'll be worth the visit - Ron has a great shop!
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Old 08-29-2014   #10
 
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Us at River Runners in Colorado have no experience with the new Mil Pros.

The Zodiac/Mil Pro I saw resembled nothing of a Avon. Different tube sizes, thwart attachments, and it looked to be lighter material. Unfortunately I wasn't able to look at it as much as I would have liked, so take it with a grain of salt.

I think they're suspect.
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