A few pics of what I have ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by TheGreatOne, May 18, 2009.

  1. TheGreatOne

    TheGreatOne New Member

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    As mentioned in my other posts, I purchased a sunfish not too long ago for $100CD with the trailer, so now I am going to start bringing it back to life. I have no experienced with boats, sailing or anything of this sort. But wanted to start sailing on a budget, so I purchased this boat. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I already purchased some 3m 5200 marine adhesive/caulk.. and 2 6" inspection ports, which will be installed as soon as I the correct hole saw next weekend.

    All other hardware for the boat came with it, including the rudder, daggerboard and mast.

    As visible in the pics, I want to fix the patch work on the hull, dry out the boat, and also make fix the crack in the bottom.

    Any advice or comments would be much appreciated as I have no clue what I've gotten myself into. Thank you


    Link to Pics.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/MrGoodOne/Boat05182008?authkey=Gv1sRgCMvHq-7f_d6rdQ&feat=directlink
     
  2. Memnar

    Memnar Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    Good luck, I wouldn't pour a lot on money into the boat, but instead focus on fixing it and making it nice and getting her into the water vs. making her pristine, as you wont recover the money spent (unless your into fixing her more than sailing her).

    This forum is mostly about fixing up these old boats, so you should be able to find the answers you need already posted..again and again.

    ..these little boats are a blast to sail!

    -Erik
     
  3. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.


    I'd say you paid $100 for a trailer and got a free sunfish. :cool:

    It's not too bad. Make a list of what needs to be done and work down it one by one. I had a lot of things to repair on mine and that's what I had to do to keep from losing determination.

    From the serial number, I'd guess it's a '77 model.
    Do you have the splash rail?
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    That trailer appears to be the boat's nemesis. The hole in the bottom looks to be caused by or at least exacerbated by the rollers. Rollers and thin hulled beach boats don't mix. I strongly suggest rebuilding the trailer with bunks -or- cradles ... anything more load distributing.


    I hate to be the one to say it, but this isn't going to be a budget boat. With the wear & tear and the damage, what you don't spend in money you'll spend in repair time.

    Let me qualify that. You can do some down & dirty patch, plug, and caulk and have a seaworthy craft for a couple of years when the temporary patch work will again leak and you repeat the process every couple of years ad nau$eaum.

    Most Sunfish sailors think in terms of bringing a boat back to a level of repair near original. Not necessarily in looks, but in function and quality of repair. By taking that approach, the major repair cycle is moved out to 20, 30, 40 years. The unspoken philosophy being, fix it once and sail it for a generation ... let your kids deal with the next cycle. Most of the advice here and elsewhere leans in this direction because actually going sailing is more important than constantly fixing ... there are exceptions. ;)


    That crack appears to actually be a hole clear through the hull. Is this about the location of the bottom damage? (see picture)

    If so you should be able to reach the spot easily through an inspection port placed in the deck between the coaming and daggerboard trunk. Removing the damaged fiberglass, laying-up a solid, multi-layer backing from inside, and finishing the exterior should go relatively quick. You would be wise to get a book on fiberglass repair, however.

    Did I read you live in London OT? I use to work from time to time with a company in Guelph and recall there were several sailboat shops and fiberglass outlets in the area where you should be able to get both quality supplies and guidance.

    BTW – your serial number, 60859, shows the boat is a 1969. Check out the Time Line in the NEW TSF Knowledge Base for more details.
    http://kb.sunfishforum.com/images/history/timeline.pdf
     

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  5. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    Looks like most of the holes are in easy to work places. Probably a good real candidate for learning to fiberglass correctly. You could do band-aid patches but what's the point, for not much more money it can be done correctly and the boat will be good for another couple generations.
     
  6. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.



    Yep, Wayne, you're right.

    I have a bogus list. :mad:
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    Figured as much ... had to give you a bit of a hard time about it. :p
     
  8. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.


    I have a bogus brain too. I use it as a paper weight. :D
     
  9. acs026

    acs026 Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    I am impressed with how good the serial # looks :) I wish mine still looked that good on the one I am working on.
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    I guess I should have asked..., to port or starboard?
     
  11. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.


    There are half a millions Sunfishes out there. If you have a unique one, then you are lucky. So many of them look alike. I've never seen a blue deck before. I like it.

    I may be alone in this recommendation, but I think you have a rather nice looking boat. I like the color of the deck. I would do everything I could to polish that up and make it look nice again. The repair on the deck will be hidden by the coaming so that won't be a serious problem.

    My advice is to not put an inspection port in the deck. I like them in the cockpit, like so:

    [​IMG]

    For the bottom damage, that is a fairly easy fiberglass repair. You can probably do it from the outside without an inspection port. You want inspection ports to dry the boat out if it is heavy or to install a hiking strap. In any event (2) 6" ports in the cockpit will give you access to the inside and allow you to place some bracing behind the patch on the coaming if you want, or to add a cloth patch on the inside. You could probably use a stick to reach the problem on the bottom, or a grabber to lay a piece of cloth on the inside of the bottom patch.

    The cockpit damage is no big deal. If there is a glass patch under that resin you are ok. If not, I'd redo the repair with a few layers of glass cloth and do a quicky gelcoat job to cover it. It is not important if the cockpit doesn't look perfect. Likewise the bottom doesn't have to gleam either--it just has to be smooth. The deck is what will make the boat look nice or not.

    People who trailer boats on their bottoms are asking to ruin their boats. Storing the boat on the trailer that way is begging trouble also. If it fills with water and is sure to damage the hull. The best way to store or trailer a Sunfish is upside down or on edge.

    If you sanded the deck down with 220 grit I think it would look good. Same for the bottom.
     
  12. TheGreatOne

    TheGreatOne New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you for your advice everyone.

    In regards to what Nightsailor said, I have already installed one 6" port on the deck, I wish I had read this post earlier since I would have known that I have a "rare" blue deck boat.

    One thing though, the deck seems to have paint chips here and there, should I paint over it? and how and what kind of paint would I use? Please keep in mind that I'm on a budget but want to get the job done right at the same time...

    What process would I use to fix the crack in the bottom? I am not familiar with working with fiberglass, even though I've read numerous posts, and seen various video's. I am still not very clear. Could I use a fiberglass patch kit? and if so then what kind? I saw a kit by 3m called. "3M Bondo auto & Marine repair kit" or something similiar to that.

    Thank you everyone for the help. and thanks for the great comments.
     
  13. acs026

    acs026 Member

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  14. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.


    Just to make this clear, I am by no means an expert on Sunfishes, and deck colors. I was stating that I had not seen a blue deck before. I think it looks great. Well now you have a hole cut in it, so be it.

    I would try to sand and then buff out the deck. I don't think you will need to paint it.

    If you insist on painting, you need to sand the deck to rough it up a bit, fill in an imperfections with filler, sand those, then paint it with a 2 part primer like Interlux 2000E, two coats is good, and sand it smooth and then use a two part paint like Interlux Perfection. When I paint I use the tip and roll method, which is actually a roll and then tip method. I thin the paint substantially with the recommended thinner, and put on three coats. You roll with a thin nap roller, and then drag a brush--I use a foam brush, lightly over the top to pop the air bubbles that form. I like to go thin with the paint and do an extra coat. Then after you pop the bubbles it all melts together and looks sprayed on.

    For the glass repair, you need the right tools. Much of this is posted elsewhere. A 5" grinder with a sanding disk to grind away the gelcoat and delaminated fiberglass. If the material is 1/4 in thick, multiply by 12 and you get 3 inches--that is the typical bevel you need to cut around the damaged area. But these boats are thinner than that, I still like to leave at least 2 inches, or 2.5 inches, 3 max around the work area.

    Then it is a matter of supporting the patch you make from underneath. Some people use hardening spray foam. You can use wax paper to keep it from sticking, and anything else to hold the backing in place--like pieces of wood cut to size. I talk about how I built a patch as shown below in a thread on my boat SCUD. Do a search for SCUD and you will find more informaiton.

    In this job which is not yet finished, I'm awaiting parts. I taped off the area around where I was working to keep it clean. I laid a piece wax paper down, wet up 7 layers of fiberglass cloth in circles starting with the smallest piece first, building up an inverted pyramid of layers, and then when the whole thing was wet with epoxy, I flipped it over onto the hole--which was supported from below by the old plug and a paper cup. This put the largest circle of cloth on the bottom for maximum adhesion all the way around the hole, with successively smaller layers on top. I later added another patch after sanding the first one, and now it is ready to fair it prior to gelcoating it.

    I plan to patch the other hole, and do the deck gelcoat all at once. I can;t do that until my rudder backing place comes in.

    Look at the brigher part of the gelcoat around the patch. This is what all my gelcoat should look like

    You can sand your gelcoat and bring back some nice color, and then sand it with finer grits and even buff it to make it as shiny as you like. I'll be doing that once the rest of the deck is done.

    Here are a few quick shots of the repair.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    You can see how nice looking the blue can be. That red deck looks awesome too. I've never seen a red deck, although I have seen green.

    So what is your deck in those slideshows? Was it green or blue? Did someone paint it at some point?


     
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    As you have now seen, the solid color decks of green, red, blue, and yellow were the norm for quite a few years (1960 thru 1971) Sorry if that’s a disappointment, the colors are a nice visual change from the white and pastels of later years, but as you are soon to find out, they get dog-gone hot in the sun.


    I see what you are saying there does seem to be a coat of paint over the original gelcoat (see picture). For now that’s a cosmetic item that would be better placed low on your list of things to do…, considering your need to stay on a budget and the higher priority repairs for seaworthiness.

    You can get out the wax and a buffer and see if the present paint will come back to life for now. Down the road, next year perhaps, you might decide if you want to strip it off and see if the underlying gelcoat can be restored or if a new coat of paint is called for. Stripping, sanding, priming, and painting will add a good $100+ to your fix-up bill. Your call


    Keep in mind, blogs, posts, and video clips are supplements to help you get through learning curve elements not easily grasped the first time around. They are not, however, a substitute for a detailed text and the material manufacturer’s instructions on repairs and material behaviors. And, none of it can substitute for hands-on practice. I recommend you grab a scrap of 1/8” masonite or something equivalent and patch a 2” hole in it for your first attempt. With this sort of experience under your belt you’ll stand a much greater chance at success with the boat on the first go.

    Did you locate a fiberglass outlet with experienced personnel who can help guide your purchase choices?
     

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  17. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.


    Get a scrap piece of wood, put a hole in it, then repair using the basic steps. It sounds harder than it is so you'll be unsure until you get your hands dirty.

    And use latex gloves
     
  18. TheGreatOne

    TheGreatOne New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks Wayne for your advice about the paint, and everyone for all your help. I think i will hold off on the paint for now and fix up the important things first. Plus I suppose it could help with drying out the boat faster since it heats up the boat.

    So I went ahead and installed a port on the front part of the deck, right after the cockpit openning. The pictures of my first attempt on a boat can be found here.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/MrGoodO...authkey=Gv1sRgCO7Ymcq53Zj-hQE&feat=directlink

    I am just wondering if I can place another 6" port in the back of the cockpit wall to help with drying out the boat, since I don't know if I could install a 6" port at the back of the boat deck. I saw an image of the foam block placements on a site I visited.. and based on the drawing, a 6" port would not fit.. if I am wrong then please let me know. I just want to get this guy dry so I can begin working on the fiberglass.. and then get it out on the water before the summer is over.

    Thanks everyone for your input and help.
     
  19. TheGreatOne

    TheGreatOne New Member

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    I did a search for fiberglass outlet in london and could not locate one on google. I just typed in "London Ontario Fiberglass Outlet" and nothing came up really. Do you mean a place that repairs boats such as the one I bought my ports from?

    I think a fiberglass outlet maybe more cost effective no?
     
  20. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: A few pics of what I had ahead of me, advice would be appreciated.

    Sometimes with Google you have to be creative ... just look at all the different terms to search on ... Polyester Resin; Composite; Boat Repair; Fiberglass Repair; Fiberglass Supplies. . . :confused:

    A couple of local places to call and ask if they know of a boat repair materials supplier

    Fanshawe Yacht Club
    519-451-8989
    London
    http://www.fyc.on.ca


    Heritage Marine
    4075 Breck Ave
    London, On
    N6L 1B3
    (519) 652-2490
    http://www.eversweb.on.ca/HeritageMarineEng



    A little ways up the 401

    Now, this is my kind of supplier…

    [​IMG]

    Noah’s Boat Building Supply store & Composite Warehouse.
    54 Six Point Rd, Toronto, ON, M8Z 2X2
    Phone (416) 232-0522 Fax (800) 894-1783 or (416) 232-0522
    http://www.noahsmarine.com


    Plastic World Canada
    1140 Sheppard Ave West, Unit 8
    Downsview, Ontario, M3K 2A6
    416-630-6745 416-630-9272 (fax)
    http://www.plasticworld.ca


    Here’s your Sunfish dealer – call and ask if they know of a resin supplier in or near London

    Fogh Marine
    901 Oxford Street, Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 5T1
    (416) 251-0384 or 1-800-342-FOGH (3644)
    e-mail: info@foghmarine.com
    web: www.foghmarine.com
     

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