sunfish body is waterlogged

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Chris Fiedler, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Chris Fiedler

    Chris Fiedler New Member

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    I own sunfish #96. One of the first 100 sunfish's ever produced.

    It must weigh 300 pounds. I believe that the "" innards"" must be waterlogged. These older boats are made with a bottom "tub" and a seperate deck top which is pinched together and held with a full length metal clip.

    Has anyone out there experienced this? More importantly, what can I do about this?
     
  2. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    Chris,

    Waterlogging is common in many classes of sailboats, and usually worse in older Sunfish as the interior foam used back in the day was more prone to absorb water than the newer, closed cell foam. Use the "Search" feature on the Forum and you will find a number of posts dealing with a heavy hull (i.e. waterlogged) and how to dry them out.

    For the record, the deck and hull of a Sunfish are glued together with fiberglass resin and a lot of temoporary clamps and the metal (aluminum) trim that covers the joint is not structural and just protects and hides the joint.

    A new Sunfish weighs about 130 lbs. but most of the older boats wesre more in the 135 - 140 range new, right out of the box. You will never get a 300 lb. Sunfish back to new weight, but you can get it a lot closer to the 145 - 150 range using inspection ports, moving air, some heat (a 40 watt light bulb will suffice) and a lot if time.

    Good luck with the project.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  3. Chris Fiedler

    Chris Fiedler New Member

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    ALAN - thanks for the reply. QUESTION ?

    I am unclear about "" inspection ports"" That sounds like some kind of opening into the hull? I can say for sure that there is NO opening or port into my hull.

    Therefore - I was considering splitting apart the deck and hull so I could acces the heavy foam inside. I thought that I could possibly scrape out the old foam and then instal some type of new foam - then glue (or resin) the deck back onto the hull. Does that sound feasible?

    Chris





     
  4. tag

    tag my2fish

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    Chris,
    Splitting apart the hull at the deck joint is generally discouraged. Instead, the usual suggestion is to install a new inspection port (or two) - this will give you access to the hull, as well as give you the necessary openings to start some airflow through the hull to dry out the water-logged foam blocks on the inside of the hull.

    You should check out the Sunfish KB & FAQ - it's up on the upper left part of the web-page (or linked here: http://www.sunfishforum.com/content.php?pg=kb). There are many tips there, including:

    I didn't weigh my Sunfish in advance, but was able to get it down a ton in weight - down to about 145 lbs with (2) inspection ports and a small fan blowing over last winter. A lot of people have done it this way (or similar), so I'd give it a try.

    cheers,
    thad
     
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  5. tag

    tag my2fish

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    Chris,
    Here is a picture of where I cut the hole for an inspection port just behind the splashguard:
    [​IMG]

    I have an older model fish (early to mid 1960's), so I don't have the storage compartment in the back of the cockpit, so I chose to install a 2nd inspection port in the back wall of the cockpit.
    [​IMG]

    I used a roto-zip tool, and it cut through the deck very quickly. after that, it's really easy to install the inspection port with a bit of 3M 4200 sealant (or 5200 if you never plan to remove the ports) and some stainless screws/fasteners.

    if you plan to dry it out over the winter, I would leave the ports off until the spring - it will give you more access to the inside of the hull if any repairs are needed.

    cheers,
    thad
     
  6. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    TAG's advice is spot on. Separating the hull from the deck is amost never a good head as you will never get a good seal again, especially around the daggerboard trunk and the mast hole. Install the inspection ports at TAG suggests and then get a 6" duct fan from any home store (Lowes, Home Depot etc.) Put the fan in one of the inspection port openings and let it run for months. A lightbulb in the interior of the hull will also add a little heat and speed things up. Caution: duct tape a 1/4" screen mesh over the openings that does not have the fan in it to keep out mice, squirles etc. - you do not want these critters setting up housekeeping inside your hull!

    Good luck. Let us know how it worked out.

    Alan Glos
     
  7. TopSpin80

    TopSpin80 New Member

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    I had a really heavy boat, added an inspection port, put in a powered dessicant dryer rod, and thne put 2 samll computer fans one blowing into and one out of the port. Normally they drying proess takes months, 2 weeks later my hull wasn't perfect, but lost a good 30-40 lbs. I think I have some pictures I'll try and post tomorrow.

    Ernie
     

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