Can you ID the year? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-10-2015   #1
 
Trinity County, California
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Can you ID the year?

I recently visited a friend (mid 40s) who had told me stories of rafting with his grandfather as a teenager. I had always pictured the rafts that I remember from that era. Lo and behold, we pulled this (see photo) out of his garage.

I was expecting the square stern and minimal rocker of the earlier Avon's, but the 18" tube diameter, thick floor, and very small D-rings surprised me.
Can you help identify what year it is? Do you know anyone who might be interested in it?

P.S. Grandpa added the yellow on the perimeter to protect the tubes.

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Old 05-10-2015   #2
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Mid eighties if I had to guess. 84 if I only get one year. The valves make me want to guess earlier though. Early eighties and earlier usually have a yellow rub strake. I cant really make out the valves except that they are not recessed A-7's in a boot which would be typical of the mid eighties. Before the A-7's usually you see military valves. It almost looks like it has the old metal stem valves that the domars had, classic for sure. The bigger tubes make me think it is a later model squareback so I'll stick with the 84 designation. My 86 has the white strake. Not sure what year they changed or if the square backs had the white strake earlier. Avon never bought into the obnoxiously big d rings that many of the early boats had, at least none that I have seen. Those d rings are smaller than normal though which makes me think this was ordered as a paddleboat. Gotta love old avons!

If there is a tag, the last 2 numbers will give you the year.

I'd take it and try and salvage some good material off of it if you are going to dumpster it.
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Old 05-10-2015   #3
 
Trinity County, California
Paddling Since: 1982
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Thanks for your response. I apologize for not getting some close ups to help with identification. The boat does have military valves.

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Old 05-10-2015   #4
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Would look hanging in a bar in rafting country~

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Old 05-10-2015   #5
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
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If it still has the serial #, the last 2 digits are probably the year.
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Old 05-11-2015   #6
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And the first 3, usually alpha, are a clue to the mfr.
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Old 05-11-2015   #7
 
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Sheridan, Colorado
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I'd guess late 70's, maybe 79. Are the D-rings flattened or tubular as all new D-rings are? The flattened D-ring would indicate a little earlier manufacture date. We are restoring a 1977 Spirit that has the same bootless A-7 valves as your raft and the flattened D-rings, it's a 1977. The rubstrake would have been yellow, but after they've been exposed to 20 or 30 years of sun the rubstrake appears white.

If you're ever in the area we'd love to have a look at it.
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Old 05-11-2015   #8
 
Othello, Washington
Paddling Since: 1975
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Avon

Resembles an Adventurer I bought in '75. Bought a pro in '76 with the same type of valves but the stern was round. Plastic D-rings also. Inflatable Boat in Portland is selling renamed Avons (MilPro). Zodiac has reintroduced them into the US.
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Old 05-11-2015   #9
 
, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
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I would agree, mid to late 70's looks like some of the rafts we had in the Outdoor program...
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Old 05-12-2015   #10
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I lost. Just got a squareback in the shop that looks a little newer than this one ( d rings and valve wise) and its a 77. Those that guessed early to mid 70's win. The year ID is a patch on the stern, if its still there.
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