Old Avon material questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
Scotsman
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Old Avon material questions

Hi All,

I recently purchased a 1985 14' Avon raft. It's a classic and generally still in very good shape. The following questions are based on what type of 'rubber' this boat is most likely made of:

1) What kind of material is this boat made of?
2) What kind of glue should I use for repairs / adding D-Ring patches? (FA4844 doesn't seem to work though I've done lots of work with it successfully on my NRS river cat.
3) Where can I take it (I live in Jackson, WY) to get the yellow surrounding ribbon and gray seam tape replaced? (Probably best to leave that to the professionals.

Thanks

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 286
It’s hypalon.

Stabond 2 part for glue for what is a available these days. Bostik is what they used for Avon rafts when built but not available in the states anymore. Clavey used to import it in special but no longer with the death of Avon.

No idea on JHole area but get a quick quote on getting a rub strake done first. Done right, it’s like removing a 40ft long patch, monster amounts of surface prep and then applying a 40ft patch. The strake itself ain’t cheap either just for the materials. Make sure the boat is worth it. It’s a shit ton of meticulous work.

Edit; same deal goes for seam work, too. Get a quote first, then a tissue to mop up the tears.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Its hypalon, the good shit! No reason 4844 shouldn't work if its prepped right. Stabond is good and then there is Shore, another Clifton product.

As mentioned, the rub strake and seam tape is a very time consuming project that sucks up shop hours. Replacing neither of those has to do with air holding ability so if you have time over money you may want to give it a go on one piece of seam tape. At least then you would have a better idea of why you are going to pay a pretty penny for it all to be redone. I would be happy to get it done for you if you choose to go that route. I can look into finding the yellow strake if you'd like. I only have grey.

All that said, if the rest of the boat is not in pretty top shape I will likely try and talk you out of doing that much work to it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
Scotsman
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Old Avon - Material Questions

Hey Zach,

Thanks for the great info. I get it about effort and cost, etc. - although the tubes are in excellent shape so I thought the boat has many more years of service. It doesn't seem to me that the seam tape / rubbing strake are essential to holding air. Are you advising otherwise?

I'll try the Shore glue on this one - but the FA4844 just doesn't set up well. As far as I know it should be a contact glue (on proper prep and waiting for the right tackiness) The glue is new and in good shape. It almost seems like it needs an accelerator, which I know it doesn't - at least from previous repairs / patch additions I've done of previous boats (NRS tubes).

From what you say, and from another answer on this forum - it's more than the boat is worth to have it repaired - which is a bit sad. But thanks anyway for your great advice.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
Scotsman
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Thanks Griz, I'll try the Stabond 2. The tubes are in great shape generally but based on your advice - and another answer - I'll skip the professional repair. Do you have any idea if the seam tape is essential to holding air - or it is just cosmetic?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
 
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Seam tape is definitely essential for air retention. A raft is just a whole bunch of glued together sections held together by the seam tape.

That said, also keep in mind they have seam tape on the inside of the tubes too and that is probably is far better shape than the outside tape due to lack of UV damage and abrasion.

Bottom line, if it holds air for a couple days ok then I’d just roll with it until the “wheels come off” and you can get a newer boat. And it being a Avon, that could be quite awhile.
Good luck with it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
 
Portland, Oregon
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I had a 16' Pro for a couple of decades. It was an ancient boat when I got it. I, too, bought the outside seam tape, but never got around to installing it. Eventually I forgot about the stuff. After many years and many miles, the boat is in another's hands and is still going strong. I used Shore on a couple of justifiable spots and I've never had a Shore patch fail. Just follow the directions.

Assemble your tools and materials and Read The Directions! 1. Clean with Toluol. 2. Cut patch material a couple of inches bigger (on all sides) than the tear. 3. Buff the proposed area just enough to give the surface some "tooth" for the glue. 4. Lay the patch on the raft and use a ball point pen to make small indexing marks so you know precisely where you're going to lay the thing. 5. Give the patching area a very thin coat of glue ... let it dry thoroughly (20 minutes or so.) 6. Dab a few points on the topside of your patch so you can lay it out and it won't curl up under the glue, stick it upside down on something (The boat?) then give it a thin coat of glue and allow it to dry. 7. Give the glue on the raft a second coat very thin coat, and allow this coat (#2) to dry. 8. Give the glue on the boat a quick, thin swipe of toluene to bring the surface back, and let it go just to a good "tack." 9. Apply your patch material (Hypalon) and use the closed edge of a tin can as a "roller" to give some real pressure and weld the material ... working out any "bubbles" you may have inadvertently left. By now the cook should have been doling out snacks and sandwiches, and things should be getting ready for relaunch.
10. Don't over-stress it for a few hours, but then you can just forget about it, probably forever. It is now a forever part of the old Avon raft, just as it would be from the factory. It's not coming off without some heroics and a heat gun.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
 
Portland, Oregon
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There's a trouble with the old Avons that nobody mentions. You'd better love the thing, because unless you toss them on the trailer with sand in the bilge, leave them forever in the sun, or hide under them in a Grizzly attack, you've got a lifetime supply of Raft. You're stuck with no excuse to buy anotherA few hundred miles of rough road with sand in the bilge will kill any raft. Clean them, feel for sand, clean them some more. Get anal about it, and they will serve you forever.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
 
custom woodworking
Join Date: Jul 2006
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You might want to look at my "For Sale" post for a 14ft non self bailer raft. Its similar to yours but in a lot better shape. Perhaps you could buy mine for less than it would take to fix yours. Its only a 7 hour drive South on US 287. I would include a couple pieces of gear in the price if you paid full price. I have several different pieces to choose from. Tom
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotsman View Post
Hi All,

I recently purchased a 1985 14' Avon raft.

1) What kind of material is this boat made of?
2) What kind of glue should I use for repairs / adding D-Ring patches? (FA4844 doesn't seem to work though I've done lots of work with it successfully on my NRS river cat.
3) Where can I take it (I live in Jackson, WY) to get the yellow surrounding ribbon and gray seam tape replaced? (Probably best to leave that to the professionals.

Thanks

First off. Congrats. Great boat.

1. Cooper Rubber. Hypalon. Best on the planet.
2. 4844 sucks on cooper. Either Stabond or 1065. If you're used to 4844, you'll like 1065 better. I think DRE sells it as "shore" and IT sells it as 1065
3. I dunno but Inflatable Technologies has pristine new rolls of the original yellow rubstrake for your vintage I'm sure they'll sell you some.
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