Starting at the BEGINNING

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Whitecap, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Good job!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  2. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Times 2!
     
  3. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Yes to the above, plus, a nice "presentation". :)

    The leaks at the deck hardware are probably of no consequence. The leak appearing at the top of the daggerboard trunk should be isolated since the opening may be below the waterline—which is likely.

    I found my keel damage "spidered-out" quite far from the apparent impact site. What I tried to fix with MarineTex was visible damage only about 2 square inches—the serious West epoxy repair covered about 1½-square feet! Since then, I've sanded it fairly flat and even, but will wait until next season to fare it out better and paint it.
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Regarding the previous post, the leaks above the waterline are of consequence if you sail in waves and/or higher winds when water is likely to wash over the deck.
     
  5. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    Hi everyone,
    So while company is recuperating from dinner, Ill take a second to post the final leak.

    Before I do, I must say that I am concerned about that daggerboard leak, simply because I havent a clue how to "isolate it" and then fix it. Ill need some help with that one.

    As for the two dings leaking on the side of the boat, Im planning on using this technique to fix it.



    Or depending how sever it is, maybe this:



    Thoughts?

    As for the other leak that has me a bit concerned.... Here it is:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The first pic above shows the missing rivet, on the starbord bow, abeam the bow handle. The next pic shows the missing rivet (look for the arrow) and the semi-circles on the sides are showing the three places where the bubbles were forming.

    Do you guys think this is multiple leaks, or one big leak? Or could it be that replacing the rivet fixes this problem? A trim leak was actually the problem I was dreading the most, for I found very little info out there to fix it when I did all my initial research.

    Im going to need a bit of help here. Sealing the fixtures, sealing up those holes, setting up the backing boards, repairing the two leaks on the side I feel confident in all these steps, but the daggerboard leak and the trim leak, both have me a bit nervous.

    Expertise and experience are always welcome!

    Gratitude as always,
    Whitecap
     
  6. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    man...that's a knurling looking hull. I might start saving for some new trim too. By the time you paint it, etc. that trim is gonna stick out pretty bad. I am assuming at this point that the "journey" is as enjoyable as the potential of endless days of sailing. I understand that as I am the same way. However that hull almost makes it borderline to me to watch the $$...fix 'er up as best and get it on the water. If you're into total restoration, of course jump in...but .....
    That said...I inherited a '69 hull that was fairly rough..but it's a great boat now. I don't worry about the scuffs on the bottom side too much as I pull it up on the shore, while I go get my trailer. It's going to get used and scratched... but I am careful.
    It seems you're learning a lot which is huge, but if your bow handle leaks a bit and you have a couple of inspection ports.... hey... well...maybe you get my point.
    Great thread and always ready to offer $.02.
     
  7. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    First, I agree with Wavedancer - fix all the leaks, not just the ones below the waterline. The deck leak should be an easy fix. The rivet is not the problem - the joint between the deck and hull is broken. Drill out enough pop rivets (without going thru the bottom of the trim!!) so you can pull the trim away from the lip of the deck/hull joint. If it is not completely obvious where the leak is, do another air test. But probably you will need to use a cutting disk on a dremel tool to open the crack between the hull and deck up wider. You can also work in a cut off hacksaw blade to do the same. You are trying to clean out the crack and enlarge it a bit so there is room for epoxy in there.

    Once that is done, use a West syringe that you bought at West Marine to squirt a lot of epoxy in there, then clamp the deck and hull together. Once it hardens, reattach the trim with pop rivets. Use stainless or aluminum - it does not matter. Someone on here can tell you the right size of rivets.

    To Mixmkr's point, you will now incur the expense of a rivet gun unless you know someone with one or already have one.
     
  8. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    ya know...maybe mentioned earlier...but if you're going to completely paint your hull...which it looks like it's crying out for ;-D .... consider some "surgery" to allow access to all your hardware, daggerboard trunk if needed...etc Then you can do proper repairs and put in killer backing plates for your deck hardware and ditch the cheezy wood blocks. While you're fiberglassing...a couple extra holes won't matter really and you're going to paint the whole thing anyway.....right?
     
  9. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Well, if this is someone's first foray into fiberglass work, it may be best to keep fiberglass work to the minimum required. Just a thought.
     
  10. Charles Howard

    Charles Howard Member

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    I agree with Wavedancer, Beldar and Mixmkr, fix the leaks and just sail the hull. It is a good hull to practice glass on but it is an older hull and great for sailing and pulling up on a beach and not having to worry about if you scratch it up like a new hull. You can always be on the lookout and put the money in a newer hull.
     
  11. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    Ok gents....I hear you loud and clear..... And message in the argument is starting to make sense to me. The real value in this process is that I am learning some great new skills (which I am), understandind how to maintain and repair the boats I plan to teach my young childern to sail on, what to look for in the next Sunfish I buy, and building those relationships with people that will give me advice of maintaining my Sunfsh as we grow older together.

    Now that the above posts are sinking in, I realize that this may not be the boat to make completely pristine new again, the value of time/money may make this one a loser. But what I think I am hearing reputable members say here, is just complete the necessary work, learn those new skills along the way, and get her on water. (Right now it is beautiful and hot in Texas with continuous 5-15 kts wind out of the South (like normal - great sailing weather).

    So now, let me learn some more from you guys. Help me prioritize these repairs. What needs to be completed, and what does not. At firts glance, I am thinking that all the easy stuff first - the helm cleat, the traveler cleats, the holes from the old rudder system, and the two impact areas on the port side, which will let large amounts of water into the boat, should be able to completed with very little stress, Im thinking.

    The daggerboard leak and the joint between the deck and the hull are the time consuming and possible complitcated repairs - correct?

    Do you guys think I can just bypass those two repairs, sponge up the warer in the hull after each sail for a season or two?

    Beldar - this is my first foray into anything like this. And its awesome so far! I think your suggestion has merrit and keeping the repairs at a managable level will keep this project moving and not sitting in my gatage, as I let the uncertainty and cost/time of complicated repairs slow it down.

    Charles Howard - yep, as my first boat ever, Im sure Im goint to beat it up alonlg the way, as I learn how to sail it, and get it back up on the boat lift. This old beat up, starter boat, will be a great place to start - and scratching the Hell out of it along the learni png process wont sting at all then.

    Mixmkr - Thanks for the reality check, bro. Keeping the relationship between time and money is important to me and my wife (who is exceptionally frugal but understands the need for passion and fun). Keeping the repairs to an acceptable minimum, producing a safe, relatively dry, but ugly boat seems to be the practical thing to do at this crossroad. Also, thanks for pointing out the option of doing some extra "surgery" on it if Im going through the entire restoration process. I think I am not going to go that rout, but if a repair takes me in the neighborhood, I may use the opportunity to fix those backing boards along the way. Good call, sir - STARTER BOAT!

    Once again, thanks gents.........

    Now help me with insights on what NEEDS to get completed in order to make this boat sail ready, and lake-worthy.

    Warm regards to you all,
    Whitecap.
     
  12. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    That's what I do! :p
     
  13. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    That's certainly one approach that I would seriously consider but for the following:
    Currently, the hull is nice and dry inside. Some of the water that will leak into the hull during a sail will be absorbed into the foam, depending on how long you will be sailing and how fast you get to sponge out the innards afterwards.
    Decisions, decisions...

    PS: Charles Howard put it well; like him, I would rather sail than spend (considerable) time making my toy pretty.
     
  14. Sailflow

    Sailflow Member

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    Your only trying to seal, as it is an old boat. The deck holes are easy and a good place to start. Get a countersink bit for your drill and use it enough to get some fresh material showing. Clean with acetone and use 5 minute epoxy to fill. You could stick a little fiber glass in to prevent the epoxy from dripping down in the hole. The hole under the trim, follow what has been said before. Use a broken hacksaw blade to get the bad glass out. I would just seal with epoxy, maybe fiber glass depending and acetone. I would try not open it much just clean and fix.

    I would look at marine tex for the repairs on the side, you might have to epoxy and glass. Just sand to get some fresh material and fix. None of the side hole are very big so you don't have to worry about rebuilding for strength just sealing.

    Also, make sure the hole on the bottom of the boat where the old rudder fitting is sealed.

    Once the above are done I would air test with the boat upside down. You can then bubble test the centerboard trunk. You would tape only the deck side and leave the bottom open so you an bubble inside the trunk. Find the leak, sand, epoxy and maybe a little glass depending. Often the joint between the trunk and the hull would leak after some use. Hopefully the boat didn't take hard hits with the board down.

    Your repairs are manageable. Take a couple at a time to get started and you will move along quickly when you get the hang of it. Just clean very well with acetone. Your just trying to seal.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    The pop-rivets you'll need are 1/8" x 1/8", and in aluminum. Stainless steel requires a lot of pressure to seat, so it tends to crush the fiberglass. :oops:

    For some reason, the 1/8" x 1/8" aluminum pop-rivets seem to be in short supply; recently, I had to look through several stores, and ended up with the right-size pop-rivets—but in white. :confused:
     
  16. paintboy

    paintboy New Member

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    I would just try and seal up the leaks and run a buffing pad on the hull to shine it up a bit and use it. That's what I did with my sunfish so I can teach my kids how to sail and not worry if they scratch it or if it gets bumped loading on the trailer. Looks like you have a fun project and are enjoying it like I have with mine.
     
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  17. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Whitecap's boat has already dried out pretty well—once—and Texas winters are cold and dry. ;) As recommended here a few years ago, a "natural sponge" makes sponging out the innards easier. (And I agree). If you capsize, :confused: first rescue your natural sponge! ;)

    If Whitecap is determined to do these repairs, I like the "cut-out-and-epoxy-the-inside-of-the-piece" type of repair. (Strong and fast). While the video repair guy used fiberglass [sail] battens to support the cut-out piece, you can also put resin on the inside, and surround the piece with an extended inch of fresh, hardened, fiberglass. (Or use wood tongue-depressors instead of battens). Place the piece on a plastic sheet, and place the piece directly on the hull adjacent to the repair while you wait for it to set. Trim the margins so the piece can be easily put back in from the inside. With battens, use a weight or bungee to secure the piece while it sets.

    Remember that epoxy (when hardened) has to be sanded between layers. This can be avoided by using "slow-set" hardener—building up layers at the same time—and working-in the resin with a "flux brush" so there are no "white spots". A special metal (or plastic @ $9) roller is better than a brush. The metal roller (@ $30) can be re-used many times, by burning-off the residue with a propane torch. (Any brush will work to spread the epoxy, but a stiff-bristled brush—like a flux brush is better—and much cheaper).

    There's a great deal of satisfaction in doing a fiberglass repair—plus—West system epoxy (like using a pressure washer) will have you looking around the house for other things to "work on"! :)

    Repair sources are recommending the use of an "orbital sander" for fiberglass repair. I'm using a grinder for the heavy "bites", and a "belt sander" for the rest. Keep any sander moving across the surface, as the sandpaper will get clogged from the heat generated from the sanding operation. On the belt sander, the belt can be reversed for additional use. :cool:
     
  18. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    LAVWs,
    Are you saying that instead of using battens, I could put down a piece of way paper, or plastic sheet on my boat, law down some glass and resin, in strips, le it dry, then remove it from the wax paper or plastic sheet. Now we have esentially made our own "batten" strips to use on the repair.

    Now take those home made strips, resin them in place, which will eventually allow the repaired area to rest on the strips, back in the repaired area's original spot. Like the above video shows. Once the repair is in place, use resin to join the repair with the homemade "battens". Then tie the repair area in place with a block, of wood, as the video shows. Once dry, grind away the gel coat about an inch or so on each side of the cut line you made for the repair, allowing room for the glass and resin. Law down enough glass in the removed gel coat area to make it level with the existing gel coat. Not too "proud", as the video explains. Last a bit of sanding, faring, then sanding.....

    Here is a video from west system, where they make their own backing as well. (Using a plastic sheet, cloth, and peel ply.



    That video makes it very easy to understand how one could make their own "battens". I dont have any battens...... So the idea of making them seems cool to me. Any other ideas out there on what I could use instead of batons?

    Am I understanding you correctly?

    Also, I will be using "slow-set" because it is so freeking hot here in Texas right now.
    Last, I understand from my research the "tapping" the brush onto the resin and apoxy is a better technique than using the brush to "paint" the resin on the glass once its in place. Removing any bubbles is critical (the same purpose a roller would serve), if I understand it correctly.
    Here is a video that shows the process at the 6:00 minute mark.


    Ill be headed to West Marine next week. Since the store is two hours away, Id like to get everything I need in one pass. Knowing that I have a bunch of holes, nicks, and dings to fix, what exactly should I get?

    Equipment list?
    I have nothing now..... What do I need?

    Thanks again,
    Whitecap
     
  19. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    I will do all the repairs except the daggerboard and the trim leak. I think I MAY do those next season.

    Thoughts?
     
  20. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    Oops.... I screwd up that first video..... Wrong one.

    Here is the west system video showing how to make your own backing (in this case, battens could be made using the same procss). If I understand correctly.

     

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