Sunfish Pickin Pensacola

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by signal charlie, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    I bought a mast, sails and spars on craigslist from a guy last year, he offered hull gratis but it was in SAD shape. It scared me so I backed away. Fast forward to 2013 and I feel ready to tackle it as a project, so we called and he still had it. Picked it up and brought it home for restoration. It has been over sanded, painted, transom is ugly and hull is really crunchy, lots of gel coat missing and a crack on keel.

    Good news is boat has a hole in bow, inspection port in stern and crack in keel, so there is now way water cloud be trapped in the boat and saturate the foam :) it is a pre 1972 hull and the weight is not too bad at 144.5

    The boat told my wife "Merci beaucoup" when we hauled her out of the yard, so her name is "Merci."
     

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  2. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Headed to the car wash with Merci for a little bath and exfoliation. A lot of the old blue paint came off, boat was originally white over white with blue bow stripe. The funky blob on the stern deck did not come off, but I found later it sanded off, yay. And the mast step holds water, double yay. Foam is in decent shape, inside transom a few screw holes but not damage, and hull is going tramsluscent.
    No one has flagged me down and offered to buy the boat form me yet.
     

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  3. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Boat is a pre 1972 with a new style gudgeon screwed on to a plate, plate glued and screwed to the transom with 10 screws. there is an inspection port on the aft deck so why there is not an internal backer and machine screws, i am puzzled. Couldn't stand to look at the "custom" rudder fitting so we took it off. Hoped screws would come right out, nope, they were frozen. So grinded screw heads off, still stuck. Discovered custom plate was aluminum. Drilled screws out, still stuck. Gently pried. Finally came off. Cleaned it up and applied a salve of rustoleum

    Also sanded half the deck, blob came off! And started sanding paint off of trim. Test sanded the chine, it has a lot of gouges through the gelcoat, maybe someone used a finder on it? It will need fairing compound vs a few dabs of marine tex. sprayed a light coat of blue to see how boat will look After, also will help me find peaks and valleys during old paint removal.

    And moved Merci onto her trailer. Bella's buyer didn't need trailer so voila! We flipped her over and threw a blue cover on her, let her warm in the Florida sun for a few days and dry out a bit.
     

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  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    :) You are a courageous rehabber!
     
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  5. tag

    tag my2fish

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    Agreed.
     
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  6. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Thanks! Courageous? Very kind, Sir. Maybe more like obstinate...difficult to cure... :)

    She might end up Navy biplane trainer colors, light grey hull, yellow deck, red and blue stripes. Custom sail with Stars and Bars insignia..

    Fair winds,
    Kent
     

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  7. Satch4621

    Satch4621 New Member

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    This will be a fun one to follow. Great work so far. Keep the photos coming and good luck!
     
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  8. Cavi

    Cavi Member

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    fine line between courageous and crazy.....Best of luck, keep the pictures comming!!!
     
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  9. danpal

    danpal Active Member

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    I'm sure one of the things that was said after they attached that gudgeon was "it might not be pretty but it's never going to come off!". Little did they know....
     
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  10. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    danpal that made me chuckle, thanks!

    ....and overnight I found that I can summon and dismiss rain by placing the tarp on or off of the boat. Tarp off, rain starts; Tarp on, rain stops. O dark thirty fun!

    K
     
  11. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Instead of a tarp, I use a paint brush—so I can go sailing. ;)
     
  12. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Merci got a little red paint on her during Zip's roll and tip. I did a test patch to see what the paint would cover, and now when I sand I can see peaks and valleys....lots of them. We have picked out Merci's colors, WWII Army Air Corps Stearman trainer markings in honor of Alex "Red" Bryant's service. She's going to have one cool rudder!. Also got a used coaming off ebay, gave it a base coat of yellow. Sand, putty, paint down the road
     

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  13. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Trimmed out damaged parts of hull. Found 2 pounds of dirt inside so far, a loose foam block on the port bow side and the backer blocks are missing for the halyard block and cleat. Next we'll make some backer plates and rebuild the keel and hull. Evaluating whether foam needs to be replaced or not, the extra weight may have been dirt!
     

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  14. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Fast forward, took the trim off, because I am going into the hull to reset a block. The first few feet came off ok with me pulling by hand, but when I got close to a rivet hole the metal started to tear a little, so I looked for something to nudge it off. Found a 2x4 nearby and used its flat surface to tap off the trim..and filmed at the same time :)



    Kent
     
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  15. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    The first hurdle on Merci was the chewed up bottom. I sprayed an area, rolled an area then puttied an area with the intention of sanding and seeing how smooth I could get the hull. About 1/3 of the hull has significant gelcoat damage that needs to be smoothed. By painting with a contrasting color first I was able to sand through the paint with 120 grit on a random orbital sander and see the peaks and valleys. My concern was that I would get into raw fiberglass, but luckily I didn't. I thought that an epoxy putty might smooth out the gouges, but it only added a layer to sand off. Anyway I found I could sand down to the epoxy as needed and get a smooth surface, if not we would have been done and Merci would have become a bench.

    Now that I know Merci will sail again I can save that part for later and move on to splitting the hull. We need to split the hull and reset the port bow foam block. I was worried all of the foam would need to be replaced but it is in decent shape, except for several pounds of dirt trapped inside from a hurricane submersion. Before I got to that I rehabbed some old saw horses and built a cradle for them to roll around in, that way I can move the boat from driveway to shed to garage as desired. I also cut out some removable bunks for the sawhorses so the boat will be stable when resting on the hull.
     

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  16. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    I drilled out trim rivets with a 1/8 inch bit and nudged the trim off with a 2x4. Then took an exacto knife, found the hull/deck seam at the bow and opened a slit. Got the seam open and then used a putty knife with hammer taps to go down the side. I wandered off seam a few times and used the xacto knife to get lined back up. SPlit the port side all the way down to front of cockpit and the starboard side just past the stripe. The bow block was ugly, bow handle backer block is gone and the port block was loose. Removed the bow block and port block IOT to clean out dirt and prep hull for new expanding foam. While hull is open I will repair two areas of the hull from inside that originally were going to get blind patches. I had intended to repair all the hull punctures from outside, but when I cut one repair hole I saw that the port bow foam block was loose.
     

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  17. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Pulled out the old expanding foam, then rinsed out the hull to prep for fiberglass patches. Mast tube looks great but all of the backer blocks are gone.
     

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  18. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Taped cutout keel section back into place, cut out fiberglass patch for the inside and epoxied into place. Figured out I need more than one layer for stiffness, I'll add that later. Also cut out a backer strip for the bow patch and made a backer patch for the damaged keel section under the cockpit.
     

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  19. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Inserted the keel backer patch under the cockpit, used a cardboard backer patch, epoxied into place and held it in place with strings and paint sticks. Did the first round of sanding on the other patches, I'll have to add some fiberglass and epoxy putty and fair out the patched area.
     

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  20. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Added 3 additional layers of fiberglass inside for the keel patch just ahead of daggerboard trunk. To reach this area I needed a paint stick to position the cloth, a cup on a stick to pour the epoxy resin and a long handled brush to embed the resin. I used one of the foam blocks to prop open the deck. Also put 4 layers of cloth under the bow handle hole and then let Merci get a little sun.
     

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