Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from informed.

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by RMakris, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. RMakris

    RMakris New Member

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    I have recently recieved a 40+ year old sunfish from a neighbor who has used it twice. Now this has been sitting in his yard for a good 38+ years. (Excuse my lack of usage with nautical terms.) Now I've emptied all the water I could but now this white semi solid concoction is under the drain. I don't know the first thing about sailboating or sailboat repairs etc. etc. So I'm not positive if I can take off the top or I'm missing another orifice of the boat lol. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    Installing inspection ports in the deck to dry out you boat is task #1.
    This link says it all.

    http://www.windline.net/iport.htm

    Also search the many threads here about installing ports, and post some pictures along the way, you'll get lots of help. After you get done with your Sunfish you'll have learned enough and had enough fun to want another boat project.:D
     
  3. RMakris

    RMakris New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    I appreciate the advice, obviously this is going to take some time and money, here I thought just emptying the water and cleaning off the mold would be the end and I could sail it lol. Looks like I'll be sailing sometime next summer. Is there any way to sail without waiting so long to get it mint or no? I've emptied out a good 6-20 gallons of water but I'm not exactly sure how or if it will float.
     
  4. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    Should weigh 130 lbs. more or less, time to tip on it's side and put a scale under it. Will not hurt, (well, maybe your back lifting it) to sail it waterlogged, I've done it and had fun. Really hurts performance (a lot) in light winds and does not sail nearly as nice as a dry boat. May not plain-out going downwind. For sure with that much water the foam blocks are saturated logs. If you use the 'black bag around the inspection port hole' method and two 8 inch ports you could probably get rid of a big hunk of the weight in two weeks provided you have enough Sunshine. It's the last 10%/15% of water in the core of the blocks that takes forever (I could smell mine drying all winter).

    Check to make sure the breather-hole in the top front wall of the cockpit is unplugged, you don't want the Sun heating up the inside of a sealed boat and sucking the deck inward.
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    The Sunfish has two drains. One is in the aft - port (back - left) corner of the foot-well, aka - cockpit or tub. This one is called the "bailer" and its intended function is to drain water that splashes in while the boat is sailing. The other drain (you might have 2) looks like a dime size brass slotted screw. It's located in the deck at the starboard (right) tip of the splash deflector. This drain is designed to be unscrewed with a penny and lets you inspect for water that may have entered by way of condensation over time or damage to the hull. Draining the inner hull is accomplished by unscrewing and removing the brass drain plug and rolling the boat up on its side to see if any water runs out.

    Is this deck drain the drain you are speaking of when you say you've emptied all the water and now see something else inside? If so, you may be seeing a glimpse of the styrofoam emergency flotation in the hull cavity.

    The next question is, with all the water drained, how much does your hull weigh?
    (see the Knowledge Base (KB & FAQ) at the top of this page for a detailed explanation of the significance of hull weight)
    http://kb.sunfishforum.com/images/Dried_Sunfish.pdf


    It is STRONGLY advised not to separate the deck from the hull. The two parts were bonded into one piece at the factory. The aluminum trim you see does not hold the two together it only help protect the protruding flange from minor impact.

    If you determine gaining access to the hull cavity is necessary there are other approaches (as Webfoot pointed out) you should pursue before considering anything so drastic.


    Think of it this way, the boat's capacity is around 400 lb (2 adults). If there aren't any severe leaks and the combined weight of crew and water logging doesn't exceed the rated capacity, there's no reason you can't sail the boat and dry between outings. The difficulty may actually lie with lugging a heavy boat to the water's edge. Yup, it's gonna be sluggish, nope, you probably won't win any blue ribbons ... It'll be like having an imaginary friend aboard for awhile ... call him Harvey. ;)

    But, we're getting ahead of ourselves ... first, what's it weigh? Next do a test for leaks (back to the KB for instructions).

    Now you can make an informed decision about what you should do next.
     
  6. RMakris

    RMakris New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    Well to lift it off the trailer was a bit straining. A rough guesstimate I'd say around 220 lbs. I lift weights alot and that was difficult to pull around the ol' uphill lawn. I'll have many more questions that I'll just use this thread for such as "how to set up sails" and "where do I put this wooden rudder". Simple questions that most of you avid sailers will more than likely want to burn me at the stake for. Nonetheless I appreciate everyone's advice/information thusfar and to come.
     
  7. RMakris

    RMakris New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    And yes Wayne. I started reading threads around here not realizing there was styrofoam inside but it makes sense for it to be styrofoam pieces. Miniscule, but there is plenty of it.
     
  8. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    The Administrator of this Forum has forbidden such practices :D
     
  9. RMakris

    RMakris New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    Haha Wave, that's a load off of my mind/skin. Well I weighed the ol' sunfish and it's lookin' about 220 at the moment. Think I can toss it in? :D
     
  10. btsunfish

    btsunfish New Member

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    Re: Restoration of a 40+ year old sunfish, looking for ideas, instructions from infor

    Just a little help with your terminology so you might have a better chance of getting the right answers:
    For "putting on the sails " search "rigging a sunfish". Also, you probably have what we call an "old-style" rudder, which essentially clamps on to the transom (the back of the hull). As both the old and new style rudders came in wood, the term "wood rudder" has little meaning.
    Some other terms you might find helpful:
    mainsheet-used to control the angle of the sail (Using the mainsheet to adjust the angle of the sail is called trimming.)
    halyard-used to raise and lower the sail
    spars or booms-the aluminum poles that the sail is either clipped or tied on to
    gooseneck-the bronze fitting that connects the spars to the mast
    daggerboard-the straight piece of wood that goes in the slot forward of the cockpit (the tub in the middle of the boat)
    tiller-used to control the rudder (the rudder goes in the water)
    (When sailing a Sunfish, usually the sailor does not sit in the cockpit, rather, he or she puts his or her feet in the cockpit and sits on the deck. However, do whatever you feel comfortable with)
    My advice would be to pick up a good sailing book at your local library. It will explain the parts of the boat in greater detail and will also tell how to sail the boat. Also, take a look at the Sunfish files on the Sunfish Sailor Yahoo group. There are some good resources there.
    Don't forget your life jacket :)
    Best regards,
    BRIAN

    P.S. To answer your question, yes, if you feel confident taking the boat out, you can absolutley get out there.
     
  11. btsunfish

    btsunfish New Member

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