The once ubiquitous grey Avon redstart..

fredrussell

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Apt that a thread about near-immortal dinghies has been resurrected!

My redstart is currently in the ‘back of shed’ stage of the Avon dinghy life cycle.
 
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I'm a huge Avon Redstart fan. I have a copy of their original handbook and they are even recommended as surf boats. Part of the handbook says "If traversing rapids or shallow weirs it is essential to adopt canoe methods. Sit facing forward and use two blades Rob Roy paddles". How many modern dinghies would have enough confidence in their construction to say they can hop over shallow weirs! Definitely my go-to dinghy, I rather rave about them on my blog:

Avon Blog Link
 

Refueler

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The plastic roll up floor common in Avons of a certain vintage
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was replaced with an air floor that I belive was developed by Avon to replace the heavy roll up floor.
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It seems that the air floor with thousands of strings solved the weight problem and provided a fairly rigid floor resistant to hogging over waves.
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Perhaps the air floor was the ancestor to Stand Up Paddle boards?
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Air floors of various and even custom sizes are available on Ebay

The vintage of this thread would be the roll up plywood slat floor. Which I still have the Hypalon material part and one slat if I I ever wished to make another ... but guy before me created a solid floor in two pieces which is marvelous on the water but so heavy ....

My Avon has finally developed a slow leak .. its soft after about 24hrs .... and the large black rubber towing / painter part has pulled away from the bow .... leaving a horrible rough glue area ....
Thinking about how to replace without all that work to remove 40 yr old glue. Maybe to glue on two ring patches to create a bridle ... one either side of bow.
 

Crowblack

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Exactly. Few people keep even PVC dinghies over the full life span. They tend to go with the parent boat when it changes hands and they really are not expensive to replace. If anything the market is going the other way with the lightweight (shorter life?) sector expanding.

Remember the Avon dates from the era when there were few marinas and more people anchored so durability was important - but my first Avon cost as much as an equivalent size PVC one does now - so roughly one third the price in real terms.
My fourpenorth, - - - moved to an electric outboard about a year ago and my much loved Redstart now resides packed away in the garage.

Problem was being a roundtail the weight of the battery hung so far aft you had to sit very far forward to compensate particularly at full chat.

Remedy was to dig out an ancient Wetline with sponsons aft of the hard transom and try the outboard on that - - much better no tipping and could actually sit on a sponson and look forward.

So one problem solved, one to solve - that of the weight of the Wetline which when I weighed it came in all up dinghy, oars and seat at 28kg.

Solved by buying a 3D V keel 230 same size as the Wetline but this time all up weighed at 19kg. Now used it a couple of times rowing, motoring.

Much as I loved the Redstart the 3D with it's rigid blow up V keel is much much easier to live with, lightweight, easier to row, doesn't skid sideways so much when motoring plus it's drier into a chop and retrieval over the rail just as easy. And oh - nearly forgot the rigid floor makes it safer for an elderly gent to get into from the boat.

Agree there's a lot to be said for modern design.
 

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johnalison

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Foldability is another virtue of the Redcrest, as well as durability and good rowing performance. I can easily get my light grey version into my cockpit locker but few dinghies with transoms, even though that was something I would have liked. Mine is now 20 yrs old and almost pristine, but the last time I used it the stern valve was 'lazy' and didn't close properly without the cap.
 

davidmh

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Bought my Avon Redcrest new in 1979. The only thing I have changed are the valves, The originals were the hair-pin style. Fabric still very good.
David MH
 

Seashoreman

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Bought my Avon Redcrest new in 1979. The only thing I have changed are the valves, The originals were the hair-pin style. Fabric still very good.
David MH
Was it a difficult/expensive job to replace these?
Anyone got a search links to this please.
I have a Redcrest with slow valves, I have to screw caps on asap or it deflates.
Not sure if its worth investment.
 
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