Review by Kevin Goulding
Avon 760 Searider
Now that Avon Inflatables are part of the Zodiac International Group, both staff
movement and technology sharing is now beginning to bear fruit. With Avon Seariders
already very well developed and highly regarded in a consolidated professional
market, it must have been hard to see how this pedigree could be taken to its
next stage in the 21st century.
By bringing together probably the world"s best tube manufacturers in
Hypalon ™, Avon at Llanelli South Wales, with a hull design from
probably the world"s best professional RIB hull designers, ZHT in Vancouver,
Avon Inflatables have launched an awesome world beating pair of new models
for the military and commercial market sector.
This new Super (my description) Searider has recently been launched
to service a mid-size professional RIB requirement. Designated the Searider
760 (7.6m) this unit is very competitively priced within this market
sector. All new Avon professional craft are designed for global use,
no matter how demanding the operating conditions. Professional sectors
include: offshore oil, fire & emergency, safety, search & rescue,
law enforcement, fishery patrol, customs & excise, harbours, marinas,
coastguard and defence.
On first viewing, the obvious differences between the existing Searider
range and these new models are the squared off bow and the transom extension.
The hidden difference is without doubt the hull form but a little more
about this later.The squared off bow provides more buoyancy for managing
head seas even better, as does the assistance given by the increased
This new feature is also very useful when commercial work involves
a "nudge" up to mooring/navigation buoys or when having to provide
access over the bow in certain rescue situations.
The transom extension is 300mm, which keeps the power unit installation
completely remote from the deck platform. The advantage in keeping the
deck clean and tidy can"t be overemphasized on a working rig. The transom
extension also keeps the deep vee hull length to 7.3m making the boat
lighter in weight and more responsive whilst still performing as a 7.6m
Hull form is completely new to the Searider range. First of all, the
hull keeps the tubes above the waterline when at rest. For this deep
vee hull the change in tube height has made the performance astounding,
no doubt aided by a little deadrise and a small planing pad.
The hull and tubes have been specifically designed to work together
to provide exceptional stability in adverse sea states. This latest Searider
certainly makes for a very fast take-off and you are literally up and
on the plane
in a matter of seconds.
The seven valved tube-set are Hypalon ™ as expected from Avon
and finished to their highest standards with plenty of reinforcement
patches, extensive grab handles and tie down points. Heavy duty rubbing
strakes are fitted along the tubes.
The fastening system for the tubes is deck bolted with straps to the
transom for easy removal and refitting. The fitting of the tubes above
the waterline also means that the deck level is a little higher. Some
may feel that you are sat on, rather than in the deck as on the more
traditional Searider designs. A benefit of this is that the deck always
Pushed hard with twin 150hp outboards and completing fast tight turns
very quickly demonstrated the boat"s remarkable safety and security performance.
Indeed it"s the attributes of a large flat deck, comfy fat tubes which
when fitted to a performance hull makes the new Searider an exceptionally
Avon 670 Searider
This is another new model from the Avon Searider stable
introduced at the same time as the larger 760 model. Based on
the same hull design
as the 760, although of a shorter length and narrower beam, it retains
the squared off bow and transom extension but carries a slightly smaller
tube diameter. This model is obviously lighter in weight and can be
powered by much smaller outboards. The difference in "footprint"
will suit some
professional users and although a smaller craft, it"s overall performance
other than top end speed was comparable in every respect to its larger