'63 Sunfish project

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by breadwinner, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. breadwinner

    breadwinner New Member

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    I recently acquired a 1963 sunfish. The hull itself is very structurally sound with no soft spots and completely dry. The cosmetics of the boat leave something to be desired. While the boat sails great as it is, i decided that I must tackle some things to leave myself with a nice looking and sailing boat. My main concern is the deck. It used to be red but the previous owner has since sprayed it with grey spray paint, (why is beyond me). I was wondering if i had to remove that paint before i could paint over it, or would sanding and prepping the surface be adequate? Also I've been reading up on the use of rubbing compounds to restore the shine to the hull of the boat? people's thoughts appreciated. The hull is chalky and not very glossy. I will be sure to include pictures as the project unfolds.
     
  2. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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    It used to be red but the previous owner has since sprayed it with grey spray paint, (why is beyond me).
    Probably painted it a lighter shade because those dark colors got hot as hell in the sun.


    I was wondering if i had to remove that paint before i could paint over it, or would sanding and prepping the surface be adequate?
    IF – if the new paint is compatible with the old and doesn’t make it blister or crinkle it will still only attach to the hull by the old paint. Why not strip off the old and get a solid bond where you know the prep work was done in accordance with the new paint’s requirements for adhering solidly to fiberglass. If the original red still looks good and you don’t mind the dark color you might just polish it up.


    The hull is chalky and not very glossy.
    Here’s some advice that’s been kicking around lately. Wash the hull to remove the loose dirt. Start a test area with a simple boat polish. If that doesn’t work try something more – a gelcoat restorer or a rubbing compound. If those don’t return the shine move up the scale to soft scrub cleansers. More aggressive than that it’s full-on abrasive cleansers and as a last resort, 400-600-800 grit wet sanding. If none of those get it, only a paint job will give back the shine. Along the way any wax based cleaner will block other chemical cleaners For example, rubbing compound will block out gelcoat restorer so after using rubbing compound wipe the spot with alcohol to remove the wax before trying a gelcoat restorative. Quit along the way at whichever step shows promise. Starting at that step work the whole hull in the reverse order. For example, if the soft scrub got results move from the test spot to soft scrubbing the whole hull, followed by rubbing compound, finished off by boat polish.

    .
     
  3. breadwinner

    breadwinner New Member

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    Ok, I have learned a ton about this boat and about sunfish in general. I spent the better part of saturday sanding, wet sanding, polishing, and waxing the bottom of the boat. I'm going to wait until next season to fill in the major scrapes and repaint the bottom. I also ordered a gallon of spray on paint stripper to remove the terrible grey spray paint. I did a test spot and the red fiberglass underneath is actually quite nice it just needs a little restorer and some wax. A guy I sail for gave me a mainsheet block and a rudder cheek from a boat that he sold a while ago. I'm probably going to go ahead and convert it to the new rudder system. I guess my only real question is, is it possible to install an inpection port in the back that would allow me to access the rudder area but also intall a hiking strap? Oh and would putting a drain plug in the back of the boat make it not class legal? thanks
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    I don't know how long your arms have to be to update the rudder and install a hiking strap, all from one port.

    PS:
    1.Waxing the deck will make your boat slippery.

    2. Putting a drain in the back is not a good idea. The internal foam supports divide the hull into compartments. Consequently, water taken in won't drain well towards the back. There is a drain near the splashguard on the starboard side (at least on newer boats). And the ports that you are going to install will help to sponge out any water, if necessary.
     
  5. breadwinner

    breadwinner New Member

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    I think that I will be able to do everything from one inspection port in the back. While I truly appreciate the advice and feedback I would like it to be known that I am not new to sailing what so ever. In other words, I know that waxing something makes it slippery. This is actually a desired propery of the boat because it allows you to slide and shift your weight forward and backwards. Not that I don't appreciate advice, but give me some credit here.
     
  6. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    Red has been historically a very difficult color to keep from fading from the sun. OTOH, white reflects a harsh glare in bright sun. Grey is at least a neutral color: not too hot for sitting and not too much glare. (Like red).

    I'm facing the same fading problem with my red deck gelcoat. I expect to use an aggressive auto paint compound that I just found that itself needs reconstituting from a dried-out condition.

    A pricey boat-deck cleaner/polisher was just wasted effort from two years ago. :(
     
  7. breadwinner

    breadwinner New Member

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    True, red is difficult. I am using a product called "Driven" they make a restorer and a wax, both of which are amazing. Put it on with a buffer and the shine is amazing. I'll post some before and after pics soon. Also "Wizard" is a wax you can get at KOI auto parts stores and works very well on boats.
    The grey spray paint looks like battleship color, so terrible that I believe my complaints are warranted
     

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