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Tips on Inflatable Dinghy purchase please


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Whatever happened to Avon, I loved them.

 

Ha - well, Avon were bought out by Zodiac, who then stopped making the Avon branded small yatchsmen inflatables a few years ago (RedStart, RedCrest, Rover etc). The only Avon's made now are the huge Rib type tenders for super yachts.

So, now you are stuck with the likes of Zodiac's 'cadet' range etc, which is in PVC, not hypalon fabric.

 

I know all this because I spent a long time trying to figure out why the hell I could not buy new Avon's in NZ, or even order them overseas.

 

Finally I found a lightly used Avon RedCrest on T/Me for auction - I won the auction, but boy did I pay for it as someone was trying to outbid me, obviously knowing the quality reputation of these hypalon made Avons as well - my wallet still makes whiny protests each time I open it months later.

 

I only have a 23 footer, and my intention will be to store the Avon on deck, aft the mast, half inflated, with the uninflated half folded up.....that is when my boat finally is relaunched and I get to sail her again. Time will tell if this arrangement will work.

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Second that, I'v had up to 15 years out of hypalon and that was full time live aboard use. Yes the avon rowlocks would take a standard oar and you could put full force into them and not break them. I would put a redstart at 80-90% of the rowing efficiency of a comparable hard dinghy. I've yet to find another inflatable that comes close.

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