Getting ready to start repair

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by joel2, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    I was able to turn boat over (by making a drainage hole) and got water out of sunfish. I started the leak test. So far just found a few along the metal trim. There has to be more given the amount of water that was in there. In the meantime I was going to order inspection ports, if someone has a preference or if all the same, is there a better deal. I need to start ventilating.
    My question is, if I should keep the ports at a minimum, how do I know best places, if I can't see inside yet?
    Also how do I fix holes where metal trim is? All I see is fiberglass repair instructions. Thank you
     
  2. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    You'll need two ports since you boat is water saturated to the max. One just forward
    of the stern, one behind the splash rail. Stick a computer case fan over one port
    and run for 4 months to remove 65% of the water. It's a long process.

    Remove trim rail, find hull seam split and open further till you get enough room
    to insert epoxy fiberglass mat then clamp shut with many spring clamps. Might
    as well remove all the trim rail and do a complete inspection. Easy off, easy on if
    someone did not goof up the rivets before you got the boat. Hull seams split most
    often around the splash rail area when the boat flexes in the middle.

    Lots of threads here on installing inspection ports but I don't know how to bring
    them forward.
     
  3. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Joel2, from this posting—for background:
    Help with water filled Sunfish please | SailingForums.com

    OK, the hole is drilled somewhere, and most of the "loose" rainwater is out. The yellow expanding foam is water-logged, and the white Styrofoam remains—hopefully, in good condition. The boat is still heavy. :(

    To the rear of the V-shaped splashboard, install one 6-inch inspection port centered in the deck. There are inexpensive inspection ports on eBay using the Internet, but you can find the same examples at West Marine stores—and pay double. :oops:

    In front of the transom's stainless-steel gudgeon plate, install one 4-inch inspection port centered in the rear deck, about three inches forward of the rearmost portion of the boat. Depending on the year of your boat, expect to remove a fist-full of white Styrofoam. The Styrofoam functions as a light, but strong, support for the decks—and for emergency flotation, should there be some severe misadventure. It's OK to tear out this small portion.

    For fans, again, go to eBay, and search for a "muffin fan". Available powered by house current, they're especially quiet, insensitive to voltage drop, not expensive, and can operate 24/7 to move a lot of air. Solar and battery-power are also options. It could take weeks, as the water is slow to leave the yellow foam.

    It's best that the boat be placed in the sun—the fan(s) individually protected from rain and strong winds. One of those large red plastic milk cartons, weighed down with a big rock and a plastic sheet or a plywood sheet would be enough. Tied-down would be even better. Inverting the boat would gain heat from the sun, and protect the fan(s). :cool:

    Look inside the forward inspection port. If the foam squeezed-out along the bottom of the Styrofoam blocks is especially soft and sponge-like, I'd remove it by hand. It's messy—but faster. The yellow foam was applied at the factory to become a "glue" to hold the Styrofoam blocks in place. Leave some yellow foam at the block's bases for support, but remove as much of the excess yellow foam as you can reach. Foam at the top is less important to remove.

    Drying will take place "on a curve". It's likely the boat won't be thoroughly dry even after months of muffin fan use. Use a bathroom scale to see how progress is going. You can probably stop drying at 140 pounds. If progress is unsatisfactorily slow, add a second muffin fan, pushing wet air upwards from the opposite inspection port.

    I suspect you don't have a leak, but the boat had been left tilted so the cockpit could catch water. The full and distended cockpit sent rainwater into the hidden, and sometimes leaky, 90-degree seam between the deck and the cockpit tub.

    While alternating left and right nostrils, sit cross-legged, and breathe slowly but deeply for 20 minutes. You should be feeling better about this Sunfish in a jiffy. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  4. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    Thanks very much, I don't think I will get to the ports immediately and I will look at this then, but here's my crazy question today.
    The boat has tons of soap left on it now. I know I should rinse it off or put acetone on it. Is that urdent? Is it really bad to leave it this way until I get back to it in a few weeks?
     
  5. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Rinse the soap off, but don't allow excess water into the mast step or cockpit. The soap-test doesn't require much more than the same percentage as dishwater.

    Unless the mast step "holds water", that hole is another way for rainwater to find its way into the hull. I'd put a stopper in it, until the hull is thoroughly dried. Small cracks in the cockpit could allow rainwater into the hull's interior. Unless inverting your boat for drying, close the smaller drain hole on the deck—keep the (large) bailer hole open.

    It would be helpful to know the year and manufacturer of your boat: we'd want the first three and last three digits on the transom.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  6. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    The hole was drilled at the lowest point on the rear of the boat while the boat was upside down and filled with water. How to patch that?
    Now the boat is right side up, but still on the ground. I'm sure on the trailer would be better?
    I will search for the year of the boat.

    I looked up muffin fan and I feel like I will close my eyes and pick any that look nice. Don't know what I am looking for. Also I'm unclear exactly where this is going. On the inside of the 6" hole or outside? with a venting? Wait to put 2 fans? Only start with one?

    I'm removing yellow and white foam that is very soft?

    You don't think I have a leak? The boat was not tilted really. The 90 degree seam between the deck and the cockpit tub is leaking? But I didn't see any bubbles in the cockpit. Not really sure where exactly you are referring?

    Any help is great!!
     
  7. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    You only need one fan over the 6" hole. It will move quite a bit of air between the two
    inspection ports.

    I usually do my work on the trailer but a couple good saw-horses would also work.

    Yellow stuff is expanding foam. That's where most of the water is and will take longest
    to dry out.

    You can patch the hole in the transom from the inside with fiberglass, bevel and fill the
    outside of the hole with epoxy and micro-balloons or fiberglass filler.
     
  8. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Check the specs on the muffin fan. You'll want one that is about 6", and runs on 110-120v household current If the Sunfish is to dry outdoors, one with a metal cage would help to keep yard debris from fouling the blades. One would be enough, but what do they cost, $10 apiece? :rolleyes:

    The serial number, if there is one, would be on the upper right side of the transom. Give us the last three digits.

    More info here:
    Yikes, My 1966 Sunfish weighs 270lbs without any drainable water in it! | SailingForums.com
     
  9. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    sorry for not knowing anything at all;
    here's the
    fan,

    I just want to make sure this will be safe to run long term, outside under a tarp, without monitoring (I'm not at the location for maybe weeks at a time).
    Just plug it in and that's all that's needed?
    or there's one that has a high speed:

    link

    thank you for the link and any additional info.

    Really the 2 extremely small bubbles I found I'm sure is not the way the whole boat filled up with water.

    First time out my boys got stuck under an overpass bridge, the mast is bent!
    I'm thinking this is where the damage is. How do I do a leak test inside that area? How do I even reach it?
    Still go with 6" and 4"? Why not bigger?

    thanks
     
  10. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I'm seeing used fans for 99 cents! They do last forever, and for that kind of money, there's nothing around to beat that. Get a milk crate for rain protection, plug it in, and visit every few weeks.

    'Guess you could put in an 8-inch inspection port, but that's not going to dry it any faster--and only a marginal gain for access. The mast step can be repaired from the outside.
    .

    Check the mast hole (step) by filling it with water. It should stay at the same height, only losing water to evaporation.

    Did you mean the bent piece is the mast or the upper spar? Either are expensive to ship.
     
  11. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    The fan has no ground plug. Make sure it's plugged into a
    Ground Fault Interrupter socket. From what I can find the
    GFI will still work without equipment ground. I'm not sure
    you will not get shocked before the GFI trips off.
     
  12. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    The mast is bent. Also, I don't see a smaller drain hole. I really should fill up the mast hole!? After finally getting the water out of the boat.
     
  13. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    The idea is to fill the mast step and see if it is leaking into the hull. If it is, you need to fix it or a whole heck of a lot more water will get in the hull when you actually sail the boat.

    Also, assuming the hole you drilled in the transom has a diameter of your thumb or smaller, you can just fill it with Marine Tex - no need for fiberglass repair. BB
     
  14. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Fill up the mast hole. If it doesn't leak down, there's no harm. If it does leak down, drain it out. You've still got months of drying ahead.
     
  15. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Did the image post?
    About to cut this....
    Will trace this and that should be right size? And location?
    There is no serial number.
    When cutting the back hole is there a possibility that there will be foam blocks where I cut because we don't know what year boat this is?
     
  16. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    At 10' long, bending a Sunfish mast takes a lot of effort: the 14' spars bend more readily. Either can be carefully straightened—by eye— between two trees growing close together.

    I gather you're installing an inspection port on the rear deck. (No picture appears to me presently). I suspect you'll have to remove some Styrofoam. No harm in that...

    Use the paper template that came with the port; but otherwise, re-check that the hole you cut will fully accommodate the inspection port. Alternatively, you can use the inner port body as a template, and cut the hole ¼" larger than your markings—keeping in mind that the attaching screws (or pop-rivets) must have some room to "grab".
     
  17. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    [​IMG]
    How do I upload the image? It's not working?
    I'm not worried about fixing the mast,
    I'm thinking about the condition of the mast hole and where the water is coming in.
     
  18. joel2

    joel2 New Member

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    The middle hole was ok but the back hole was not successful. The side of the circle closest to the back was obviously attached to support so now I have a cut circle still attached to the boat. I hope it's not difficult to fix later but should the circle intercept this one or in front of it?? I thought I followed the advice of a few inches from the rear of boat.
     
  19. Sailflow

    Sailflow Member

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    Happens to all of us. The back port you will cut into the wood that supports the rudder bracket. You just might need a longer blade on the back section. The wood is a a couple of inches wide and an inch thick.
     
  20. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    There is no support structure except a foam block and expanding foam in the rear of the boat. If you cut a hole the fiberglass you wish to remove is probably stuck to expanding foam. Take a screwdriver and gently try to break it loose. The rear inspection port is places far enough back to cover the screw holes of the old rudder bracket or as far forward as 4 inches. Anyway, after you open the hole you will probably have to remove some foam and the old rudder backing plate. Did you cut deep enough to go through the wood backing plate?
     

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