newbie-just found this woody. maybe 50ish

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by rob herschel, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    [​IMG]

    sail is like new, may not be original. no rot or damage. would like to narrow down age. and any suggestions on restoration.
     
  2. davavd

    davavd OldNSlow

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    If you are serious (and only if, because this will be a lot of work), remove all the paint down to bare wood. If there is any rot hiding underneath the paint, this should help you find it. If the wood is fiberglassed under the paint, I wouldn't disturb the glass unless it seems to have come loose from the wood. If it has, it is probably best to remove all that is loose and replace it. Fix any rot you find by either replacing the wood, or saturating with marine-grade epoxy. Replace any corroded fasteners you come across. Refinish with your favorite marine-grade finish system.

    A good book on wood boat restoration would be very helpful.
     
  3. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i plan a complete stripping and restoration this winter. thanks! do you know if these are rare?
     
  4. davavd

    davavd OldNSlow

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I don't know of any around me, but the deep south is brutal to wood boats. There have been a few posts on here about wood boats, but I doubt there a very many. If you do a nice job, it should be a head-turner. :)
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I concur, a '50s model. From what I know, there does appear to be a couple of anomalies. Your description of the sail ... I surmise the one you have is synthetic, most likely Dacron polyester, an original for that period would be cotton. The mast & spars, those would have been wood ... Sitka Spruce.

    On a nostalgic level, yes. There are a few around, more of the later, '60s style w/smaller splash guard, though.

    Photos - The Sailboat Shop, Austin, TX
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Is there a drain plug in the transom..., or anywhere?

    I would pull the deck. Actually, to do a complete restoration and not just a re-paint, I'd disassemble nearly the whole hull. You just do not want to invest in a superficial spiff-up and have the whole thing crumble from internal dry rot down the road. With these "closed-hull" boats, there's just no other way.

    Doing a full restoration the right way, from the ground up will give you a "way cool" boat you know you can rely on and sail for another half century. Heck, with modern sealers it could go long past that.

    Get in touch with "Judkei" (resident wood "fish" expert - see Wikipedia Sailfish entry) and the other wood boat owners at Sunfish_Sailor ... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sunfish_sailor

    They have copies of the original assembly instructions for a '60s generation Sunfish you can download. Those should be a lot of help with your restoration.


    1957 Sunfish Brochure Page - Courtesy of the Sunfish_Sailor Archives
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Probably assembled with something like 'Weld-Wood", should be able to pop the deck or a hull panel pretty easy. Coating the inside with epoxy would encapsulate the wood and be your best defense. Anything with dryrot would have to go since you can never eliminate wood fungus once it starts, only slow it down.

    If you traced out some ful size plans for the internal structure I'm sure you could trade them for some hardware. Seems the boat was a precut kit and blueprints are rare to almost nonexistant.
     
  7. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    the hull seems dry and solid everywhere. i am very hesitant to disassemle such a tight hull. i have restored about 30 wooden boats so do have some experience. seems to me encapsulation will only work if you can be sure that EVERY edge is sealed, a tall order for plywood. there are what look like small drain plugs along the port rail for each hull compartment. none in the transom or cockpit. how do i tell if it is factory or kit? the edge of the cockpit looks more kit than factory. i assume a serial number will not be found.
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I took a look at one of your other wood boats..., nice work. You're in a much better position than I to judge condition. My suggestions are based on general principle and influenced a little by what appears in your pictures to be several layers of paint..., which I always suspect covers patching and plugging.


    . . . and the deck and bottom may not even be plywood. Alcort was offering an option to use "Harborite" boards. Harborite was a marine grade of a Masonite-like pressboard. The pictured project boat shows this material.

    The construction is "Tack & Glue" using ring-shank nails and what looks to be a resinous glue that gets brittle with age. The assembly instructions picture a can of "Weldwood Glue", but I don't think back then it was the rubbery contact cement we know today. There was also something labeled "Seam Compound" in a squeeze tube and "Sealer #800" in a can.



    Now that's uniquely unorthodox. The instructions call for a screw-in plug (similar to the later starboard side drain) near the bow handle and another in the transom. They recommend opening both during storage for ventilaton.



    Hard to say, but those drain/vents speak to home-built kit. Of the wood boats I've looked over I could never tell and the most meticulously assembled and finished boats owners always said they'd built themselves.

    Right, no serial number. If you're lucky you'll find an oval metal Alcort emblem about 1-1/2" long.

    Time window 1952 - 1959

    And I stand corrected. Toward 1959 the mast and spars might have been aluminum and the sail white Nylon. One indicator is, very early aluminum masts were tapered.


    50s Sunfish Project - Courtesy of the Sunfish_Sailor Archives
     

    Attached Files:

  9. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    wayne what boat did you see? the main spar is tapered. i'll know more when i get all the old paint off. if the deck will come easily without damage i agree getting into the hull is a good idea. as always things are not what they seem on the outside. thanks bob
     
  10. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i'd love to find an emblem like that.
     
  11. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Weld-Wood used was a powder that you mixed with water. Was also used for aircraft wood structures before the advent of epoxy.

    Only way to inspect it without taking it apart is to use a Bore-Scope in the drain plug holes.

    Don't know what you mean by edges, once the epoxy is brushed in it seals all the joints. The good thing about Weld-Wood is you should be able to pop joints loose, it dissembled and reassembled with epoxy it's never coming about ever again. Sort of like why wooden musical insturments are assembled with a pot of hot Hide Glue, so you can get it apart for repairs. As Wayne mentioned, no way to know how well it will hold together until it's in the water. I just don't think the drain plugs are going to do zip for helping dry out the hull after use. I mean, I open the ports on my fiberglass boat after use and I can feel the warm humid air coming out. I can't imagine who a wooden SF can avoid the start of wood fungus for long if used on a regular basis with no inspection ports. If there was no fungus to start with and you coated the internal structure in epoxy wood rot could be prevented. I'd also like to know what was used for internal flotation if anything.
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's been my experience.

    I take my queues from people like these...

    http://www.thewoodenboatschool.com/boatbuilding/wooden-boat-repair.php
    [​IMG]

    ...even if wood Sunfish were just production kit boats, they deserve the same sort of diligence.



    Contact Herb Baker ... herbaker@aol.com

    He's a Sunfish parts trader who often finds that sort of thing for people.
     
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh yeah, I remember that stuff, just not by the Weldwood brand.


    I think that's only going to get half way there. I believe you also need to be able to probe for soft spots that may not be evident by simply looking.


    Not always..., I've seen too many rudders and daggerboards encapsulated without being properly repaired and treated first. They just rot under the varnish or epoxy.


    None..., the wood itself. Just like a wood rowboat or canoe.

    But the pontoon hull design (self-rescuing hull) was an innovation. Swamp the cockpit and it hardly matters. It takes a catastrophic breach to actually swamp the boat.

    Flotation inserts didn't come along until the fiberglass hull, cuz fiberglass don't float. ;)
     
  14. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Newbies may not know that the inserts are a part of the Sunfish structure: when they get loose, the hull will "oil-can". (Bend under force, slowing the boat and—with the Sunfish—make a dull "boing").

    Weld-Wood was a pretty awesome glue in its day. I'm sorry to hear that it deteriorates: I still have a can! :p

    Unfortunately, "rare" does not necessarily mean "valuable". I've got two "collectible" Folbot folding kayaks from the early 60s, but I doubt anyone would drive up to see them for purchase. :(

    The photos here of Sunfish kit-built of wood make me yearn for the day when such projects encouraged teens to design and build "great things". (Keeping teens like me out of trouble—'way back when). ;) :)
     
  15. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    have the deck stripped and everything removed. the deck was covered with resin paper however much of it has peeled off with the help of a heatgun scrapper. that will leave a nice varnished deck. the hull is very tightly assembled. i am hoping prying it up will not destroy anything.
     
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unusual finishing approach, resin paper. Alcort recommended all the countersunk nail head dimples be filled with putty, followed by a plywood specific primer so it would adhere to both the wood and synthetic elements at the edges, and a finish of quality enamel paint.

    Earlier, and throughout the instructions, they remind the builder to apply wood sealer as they go along.

    "the deck was covered with resin paper" ... More evidence this boat is probably an owner-built kit.



    They are ring-shank nails so some splintering would be expected.

    Photo - Judkei Restoration Project
     

    Attached Files:

    • Bow.jpg
      Bow.jpg
      File size:
      86.3 KB
      Views:
      29
  17. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think Weld-Wood deteriorates, it just can't match the Iron Grip of epoxy. I crashed a plane that had hundreds of epoxy joints (Geodesic construction). Not one glue joint broke, all the wood around the glue joints broke. Luckily I did not break ether, I just looked like "Scar Face" for a couple months. Anyway, Weld-Wood is still F.A.A. approved for aircraft.

    Ring nails, I don't know, maybe try drilling the head off, not impossible like clinch nails.

    Can't beat the magic of fiberglass boats for living through abuse. Don't think wooden SF were expected to last like later fiberglass boats. After about five seasons the kids would be grown up and into other things. Good thing about wood boats was easy disposal. A gallon of gas, a match and a shove away from the dock were all that was needed. I still find an occasional burned transom sitting in the mud when I go fishing. If you did that now days those losers on the Five-O'clock News channel would have a field day.
     
  18. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i wish all of it had come up easily. about a 2sq. foot area needs sanding off.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    some new pictures and a mystery: what this symbol might be?
     

    Attached Files:

  20. rob herschel

    rob herschel New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    more pictures, the hull is extremely solid, almost no dents or scratches in the wood. the deck to hull seam is very well fastened and i am now very hesitant to try to open it up. i do not see any indication of rot or weakness anywhere.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page