Attaching coaming / splashguard on vintage sunfish

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by heatm1s3r, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. heatm1s3r

    heatm1s3r New Member

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    Hello - first time Sunfish owner and I couldn't be more excited!

    I have a pre-1973 Sunfish that has a leaky hull. I read around here that its often the coaming / splashguard that is the issue. As I was taking it off I saw that it was attached with a combination of wall anchors (yuk!) and what I would describe as "rubber butted well nuts."

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    I took all of them out and sanded/razored down some of the built up paint around the holes. Next, I ordered the "magic sealed rivets" for the coaming but the holes are way too big from the previous fasteners. What would be the next best course of action?

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    I was thinking of finding filling in the holes and then re-tapping them an appropriate size for the rivets. I'm not too sure what material one would use to fill-in the holes. Any thoughts, suggestions and commentary would be appreciated.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    Or caulk the heck out of it and thru bolt with larger washers on the underside, since you have an inspection port right there. The hull is pretty thin to grind out a depression and fill the holes...but doable. I might go with my first suggestion though.
    I wouldn't bother tapping the holes either....too thin of a deck. But you could lay a piece of glass on the underside, lightly fair the holes on the topside out and fill with fiberglass, marine tex or epoxy... whatever is easiest. Just some 10 x 24 machine screws with a 1/2" washer will work just fine.... and caulk!! Use a decent silicone...no bath tub caulk pleeze!
     
  3. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    I'd recommend replacing the original 10-24 Rivnuts. I think you can get the
    tool and nuts you need for about $45 at Harbor Freight. The ability to attach with
    screws makes storing and repairing damage much much easier. It looks like you
    may be able to use the original holes without grinding and patching.
     
  4. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I kinda like those "rubber butted well nuts". Anyone know if they were factory-original?

    "Like", because the recurved design of the splashboard makes it snag on stuff. If a misadventure doesn't rip the splashboard off—it damages it—making for an expensive replacement or a difficult splashboard repair. :confused:

    Caulking is difficult to remove, and too many types repel paint, making "fish-eyes" in new paint. :(

    My splashboard deflects a lot of wakes here—where cruiser- and other powerboat-wakes overwhelm small boats. While the splashboard adds strength to the deck, I don't see a need for caulking or a hard-securing method beyond the rubber well-nuts. Hardly any water gets under my non-caulked splashboard; however, I'll get wakes into the cockpit over the rear deck! :eek:

    IMHO, the well-nuts appear like a good (and watertight) compromise. :)

    .
     
  5. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Food for thought:

    Google found "rubber well nuts" in aluminum, brass, and stainless steel varieties.
    rubber well nuts - Google Search
    I never thought of color in a selection, but I have red and blue splashboards:

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  6. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    those look like useful items. Like the colors!
     
  7. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    I'd glass over the holes with a couple of layers of 4 or 6 oz cloth and redrill them for either rivnuts or rivets.
     

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