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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #4
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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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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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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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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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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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #11
Old Avon - Material Questions

Hey thanks villagesmith. Appreciate the time you put into that great advice thanks.
And yes - looking forward to many years more service - amazing how many people comment on this old classic I had no idea I was buying...looks a bit tatty with the yellow rubbing strake and seam seal patches coming off. But I suppose that's 'character.
 

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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Driftwood - but some industrious person added a very nice SB floor to this raft before I owned it. So a bucket boat doesn't work for me as a replacement. Anyway - I've decided to live with it 'as is' after comments from other, above.
 

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FYI - this advice is coming from one of the most knowledgeable folks in the state with respect to raft repair.

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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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #14
Old Avon - Material Questions

Thanks Andy,

I printed that out and put it with my repair kit. I'll be sure to get the right glue.
 

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Post a WTB "Old Avon Rubber" thread someone in the community will get you some. I did the same 4 or 5 years back to replace some patches and a valve on an 83' and I was able to get my hands on plenty. People seem to find old Avons that are being decommissioned and they cut them up and save the material like old Carhartt pants.

One other tip - when you store your boat, if you roll it, be careful not to pinch the old recessed boots - they will crack overtime and replacing the valves is an adventure...

Have fun.
 

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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #16
Old Avon - Material Questions

Hey Thanks Erwin,

Great advice - I'll post that WTB right now...and as for rolling up my boat - alas - I've had to live without covered storage for my inflated boat for some years now...I hate to roll it up in winter - but will be careful to follow your advice on that.

See you on the river.
 

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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).
You do need an accelerator with 4844 on an 84 Avon. I have an 82 and a 94 and use 4844 on them. NRS sells it. You don't need much, like 20 drops per ounce or less. I drill a hole in the top of the bottle when I first open it and tap it to a 10/24 screw so I can get back into it the next time you need to glue something. The accelerator I've noticed will last several years compared to 6 months on the glue. Always thin it a little with toluene to get it to a "run off the brush a little" consistency. Good luck. That Avon will last you many a year with a little loving. :cool:
 

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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.
Wait, what?... Clifton hypalon adhesive is no good on Avon? I thought this shit was the best?

I just bought a can for my avon so I'm an little concerned.

Edit to add:... even stabond is better on Avon? I'm obviously no expert but all the reading I've done suggested stabond is a PVC-PVC glue (average), or a PVC-(something other than PVC) glue (good).

I'd love a little more info if possible, please.
 

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Scotsman
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Discussion Starter #19
Old Avon - Material Questions

To be honest with you, I used Stabond initially to apply 4 D-Ring patches and they all came off so I'm staying away from that. It worked fine on my newer NRS tubes previously - which is why my initial question was - what is this material? And what's the right glue?

But the 4844, with accelerator in the third application worked just fine. It was important to rough up the tube hard with the rasping part of the tool with the wheel on it (whatever that's called) before the first coat. I put two thin coats on each side and allowed 20 minutes in the sun for them to dry - then applied the third coat with just a couple of drops of accelerator , waited until 'tacky' - and there was an immediate bond - so get it right first time!

Oh - and I put glue all over the under-side D-ring patches - NOT just on the grey surrounding part. Who knows if it made any real difference but it felt right to do so.
 

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cupido76:

1. " Wait, what?... Clifton hypalon adhesive is no good on Avon?"
I never said that. Clifton (Royal Adhesive) makes both 4844 and 1065.

2. "I thought this shit was the best?"
That's subjective. There are a lot of great adhesives out there for Hypalon. All of these adhesives have different characteristics that lend themselves to various techniques and conditions. What might be a great adhesive for me repairing all manufacturers boats in a production environment where warranty and liability for my work is at stake might not be a good choice for someone sitting on the side of the river facilitating a repair in a high humidity environment.

That being said, my original statement of "4844 sucks on cooper" is made in the context of 4844 was identified for use with Pennel in mind. Remember, Hypalon has gone generic and each manufacturer can tweak their version molecularly to suit their needs. So adhesives targeted at certain criteria may not bond as well to substrates that don't have that specific criteria.
FA1065 is a Shore company knockoff (made by RA formerly Clifton) that was (for lack of a better term) a broad spectrum mechanical adhesive which is very well suited for various rubber like formulations.

I suppose one could say that Bostik 2402 is "The Best" because that's the adhesive Avon used in production but it had its vulnerabilities and "features" that made some folks not like it.

1065 is a great 1 part adhesive solution for general purpose repairs and attachments. There are ways to improve adhesion but that is another discussion.

3. "I just bought a can for my avon so I'm an little concerned."
Of what? 1065 or 4844? Don't stress it. It's kind of like someone going camping with a new tent. They never set it up before the trip and then on their 1st night out in a rain storm, they expect to be able to efficiently set up their tent.
Experiment with what you have. Get to know it before you need it.
If you're a 4844 guy and can fix your shit, then don't sweat it. If you've never worked with 4844 either in 1 or 2 part systems, my professional opinion is you'll have a lot more fudge factor room with a less picky adhesive like 1065. The goal is to get home.

4. "Edit to add:... even stabond is better on Avon? I'm obviously no expert but all the reading I've done suggested stabond is a PVC-PVC glue (average), or a PVC-(something other than PVC) glue (good)."
Stabond 148 works great on many polymers. Notice i said polymers. Not just PVC, TPU, CSM, CS. I will say that Stabond is not mechanical like 4844 or 1065 and is also a 2 part system. There are techniques that lend its use to folks with a bit more experience with adhesives and boat repair that might exclude it from most folks.

Summary:
There are a lot of factors that go into adhesive choices and their efficacy. What might work for 1 person may not work for another.
My advice is to grab what you think will work for your needs and practice with it.
 
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