The once ubiquitous grey Avon redstart..

Debenair

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2 Dec 2009
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285
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Devon
Appears to be making a comeback.
After several seasons of increasingly rare sightings of this endangered species I have seen 10 of them in the last week (not counting my own).
Is this an example of their longevity, light weight, and general superiority, or are boaters here in the SW simply more discerning?
All bar my own are the original sharp nosed design and look in remarkably sound nick.
Between my old one inherited from my parents 20 years ago and the new bluff-bowed model acquired secondhand from a lovely man in Lymington 4years ago (only inflated once and never got wet), I have had a solid transom slatted floor Narwhal(not bad) and a Honwave 2.4. (Much too heavy for its size and the devil to pack down to anything of a decent size).

Is the Renaissance of the Redcrest a result of cheap Chinese dinghies falling apart , a return to a superior product, or due to something else I am missing?
 

pvb

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16 May 2001
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UK East Coast
They're beautifully made, and they do last. I sold my old Redseal last year as I wanted a smaller, more easily stowable dinghy. The Redseal went on eBay and sold for £250, and it was *cough* 20 years old! I've got a little Zodiac Cadet Aero 240 now, which is lovely and also seems well put together.
 

Tranona

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10 Nov 2007
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Just contemplating buying one of the new Olite dinghies to replace my Avon - not because it is no good, after all only 30 years old! but bit too heavy and bulky for my old bones.
 

machone

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31 Mar 2009
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159
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Holland
The boat I am renovating used to have an Avon redcrest. I have been trying to replace this with something of similar quality. Any recommendations? I was going to go for a zodiac aero hypalon but they stopped making them and now only do pvc in ridiculous colours - white!!?? I would like an aero floor and a v if possible but as yet haven't found anything of the same quality as the Avons.
 

BabaYaga

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19 Dec 2008
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Sweden
The boat I am renovating used to have an Avon redcrest. I have been trying to replace this with something of similar quality. Any recommendations? I was going to go for a zodiac aero hypalon but they stopped making them and now only do pvc in ridiculous colours - white!!?? I would like an aero floor and a v if possible but as yet haven't found anything of the same quality as the Avons.

One of these might be an option:
http://www.achillesboats.com/boatmodels/dinghies/lt/
I have used a LT2 for 30 years and recently replaced it with the same model – not because the old one was worn out, but out of fear that the market niche would become too small and production cease.
Small, round-tail (=rowing), lightweight, high quality and high price is not a combination that suits everyone, but I am happy with my purchase. I think it will see me out.
 
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ex-Gladys

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29 Aug 2003
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Colchester, Essex
Issue for me with Avons ( and I used to have a Redcrest) is the tube diameter, modern dinghies with bigger tubes don't have keep you drier... My memories of old Avons go back to where they were black...
 

PaulRainbow

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Suffolk
Recently inherited a Redcrest when i bought my latest boat. Not unpacked it yet though.
 

Colvic Watson

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23 Nov 2004
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Norfolk
I'm taking delivery of a near 20 year old Avon Rover RIB this weekend, I've never had Hypalon before, what's the care routine and how do you patch it?
 
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Tranona

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I'm taking delivery of a near 20 year old Avon Rover RIB this weekend, I've never had Hypalon before, what's the care routine and how do you patch it?

Little specific care needed - just wash it with soapy water couple of times a year. with a RIB you avoid its one weakness which is where the floor joins the tubes and dirt, sand etc get in there - although no different really from other soft floor dinghies.

For repairs make sure you buy the correct hypalon repair kit with 2 part glue. The Polymarine kits sold by most chandlers are fine. Ideally you pop into your laboratory and beg some toluene to clean the area first, but nasty stuff and I have successfully patched without it. Even though the tubes are very UV resistant, you might want to make a cover for it as that keeps the whole inside pristine, particularly stopping birds from using it as a lavatory.
 

{151760}

...
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We had a Redcrest many years ago, which was excellent, but eventually died. I bought a Seago PVC transomed cheapie. It was tiny, only just rowable, not suitable for loads or long distances, and fragile. I punctured it twice in the first season, not through abuse. So I bought another Redcrest on eBay for £95. It needed a few patches to reinforce some worn areas, but is otherwise fine. It rows better, will take four adults easily, and is lighter. The outboard bracket is a bit of a pain to fit, and you invariably get a wet bum, but it suits us much better.
Hypalon is no different to repair to PVC, you just need the correct glue.
I bought Toluene in a can in Harwoods, Yarmouth IoW, recently.
 

NickRobinson

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23 Dec 2007
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Near Burton-on-Trent
6841908_orig.jpg

I bought a nearly new (old stock) Beaufort round tail. Dodgy brittle plastic rowlocks but otherwise high quality.
When I researched, it seems they got out of tenders but still make submarine escape equipment and survival gear so better than the average Argos offer?
I'm assuming its the same firm... http://survitecgroup.com/news/canadian-navy-chooses-survitec-s-market-leading-submarine-escape-suits
 

VO5

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14 Sep 2009
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Gibraltar, RGYC.
My Redcrest must be more than 30 years old at least. I have reinforced under the bow with a triangle of black 3mm rubber, as a precaution when beaching.
Other than a very very slow leak on one of the valves it still renders excellent service whether rowed or motored.
I have replaced the original mild steel bracket with a stainless one and fitted a slatted floor.
It can carry four adults and shopping without a squeak of complaint. I have ditched the original clumsy wooden oars and replaced them with modern jobbies, unsinkable, made of aluminium alloy I bought in the USA.
 

Chris_Robb

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15 Jun 2001
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8,040
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Haslemere/ Leros
My Red Seal is 3 mters long. Made in 1990, and in the med sun all day, shows no sign of any problems. Rated for 5 adults, I have had 7 in it. Its light enough to be lifted onto the foredeck every time we sail by one person, so we never tow it (when it would resemble an out of control ballon)

I tried to sell it on ebay in 2008 - to replace with a more modern one - no takes at all.

Now I wouldn't change it for anything
 

Kelpie

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15 May 2005
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Afloat
Got my Redcrest for £50 off eBay and it has been brilliant. Briefly swapped it for a mate's Seago but we agreed to swap back again. If I ever actually used an outboard then maybe I wouldn't be so keen, but as a basic rowing dinghy it is perfect. Using en electric pump I can have it launched in about three minutes, so never tow it anywhere.

I got a slightly smaller 'Avon 7' off a forumite last year as a backup, it is even lighter and easier to carry down the beach, but the Redcrest i a better alrounder.
 

neil_s

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28 Oct 2002
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Chichester
I have a Redcrest and a Redstart. The Redcrest keeps your bum drier, but they both fit in the cockpit locker. This Spring, I learnt how to replace the mushrooms in the old black A4 valves so no leaks, either. I am thinking of making some slats, but up to now I've managed OK with the soft bottom.
 

Hadenough

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9 Jan 2011
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No fixed abode
Just watched a Redstart with an outboard go out of the Marina in the usual style. Three adults, kit bags, dinghy hogged as hell. Smiling into the sun until they enountered the slight swell in the river and got wet arses. Horrible things. They may last forever but!
 

Ludd

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3 Feb 2009
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Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
I have a Redcrest and a Redstart. The Redcrest keeps your bum drier, but they both fit in the cockpit locker. This Spring, I learnt how to replace the mushrooms in the old black A4 valves so no leaks, either. I am thinking of making some slats, but up to now I've managed OK with the soft bottom.
For a slatted floor---Ikea single bed base slats with rubber end stops. Transforms an Avon ,improves motoring and rowing . Curved slats, curve downwards.
 

johnalison

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14 Feb 2007
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Essex
We got a new Redstart in 2000 when our 27yr old Redcrest started leaving black marks from its strake. The old one had had new valves but no other repairs in spite of intensive family use. The later Redstart actually has larger tubes and rows better. It'll see me out.
 

machone

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31 Mar 2009
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159
Location
Holland
Thanks babayaga, I hadn't seen them. Can only find dealers in the US, do you know anybody in Europe who sells them?
 
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