What about Avon?
I've been reading virtually all of the rafting threads for some time as I intend to purchase a raft or cataraft in 2009. I'm mulling over which one to purchase. My desire for a raft (or cataraft) is quite simple - float hunting. As such I've been researching the NRS line as well as the Aire and SOAR lines of inflatables. My question is: "Why is there little talk or mention of Avon river rafts?"
Thanks for your thoughts.
I don't think there is a dealer in Alaska Tent & Tarp use to be however not currently Marita use to sell them however I can verify if that is the case still or not.
Couple of other possible why it is not a boat talked about IMO - Cost they tend to be more expensive than most other boats, if you have a maintenance issue AVON is made in England and will not stop what production they are currently in to assist you i.e. you might have a two month wait to receive help if indeed the boat needs to go back to the manufcature for repair.
Now that being said they are a quality boat made from Hypalon, the company has been around from the Late 50's on and I know a couple of commercial guys that run them in heavy water.
They offer a limited warranty 10 year on the fabric and 5 years on the seam again a little short when bumped against some manufactures that make boats in the USA using the same material.
I know ramble rabmle- Bottom Line limited dealership "Possible one", higher cost, limited warranty means less people own them which in turn makes for less opinion about the product IMO.
Hope this helps! Good Boat honest! Tight Lines and Best Wishes
Blue Moose; Your information does help. Thanks greatly.
Originally Posted by BlueMoose
Nova (http://www.novalaska.com/) used to run them. That's where they got their name -- they just spelled Avon backwards. I understand that when they started running Sixmile tours they were ripping them up pretty fast too. I note that they don't use them anymore, although I'm sure Avons are built better today.
Andy Embick, writing in Fast & Cold, said that Avon always had the lightest boats in each class, but looking at their specs, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I'm guessing they upgraded their fabric.
Avon is a very tough boat. I use them in my rental business and they are bomb-prof. The down side is they are a little heavier than some other boats and hurt you in a off strip situation.
Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
Originally Posted by northwestalska
Thanks for the reply and your opinion which I'll be validating soon as I did purchase a 14' Avon. I have two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that hunt and fish with my wife and I (as well as a Beagle and a Water Spaniel), so wisely or not, my decision logic narrowed my raft choice down to an NRS Expedition model or an Avon since both have the heaviest fabric whiich I'm hoping will stand up to dog's nails. I didn't fully consider an Aire simply because I have had no experience with their type of material. I found the Avon on sale which made the price less than the NRS Expedition...so I bought it. I'm thinking that I'll be pleased with the Avon based on some very limited experience that I had years ago with one and your and other folks opinions and experience with Avon.
You're probably going to like your Avon. I used one for 25 yrs guiding and personal use, sold it for way more than I had in it.
They're built tough, though some other brands are built tougher now. Lots of folks in the lower 48 fix them if it comes to that.
Avon was one of the first in the market, and being from the UK were pretty conservative, they got blindsided by other mfrs who offered improved designs, more models, different fabrics.
Avon still makes a lot of life rafts and stuff for other countries Navies.