Sunfish Repair help

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by lymantuttle, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Srqsunfish

    Srqsunfish New Member

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    I have heard of strange leak spots, but most times it is a left over hole from a removed screw or something simple. Mast steps and dagger board boxes can also be the culprit, but removing the trim would be my absolute last thing to test.
    Good luck
     
  2. sherpa_driver

    sherpa_driver New Member

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    Thanks, I have searched all over the boat and find nothing but a few spider cracks. They are barley even there. I am hoping it is something around the hardware that can be fixed easily. I plan to paint the boat next and have been reading up on painting gelcoat. Has anyone had any luck painting over gelcoat?
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    The hull to deck joint isn't out of the question, just lower on the list than other possibilities. Leaks are often something not obvious or even visible to the naked eye. As mentioned, the bailer seal is a candidate and visual inspection may or may not reveal a faulty gasket. An air test, on the other hand, will disclose any and all leaks no matter where or how small they are.

    . . . and without the need to float the boat for hours. The typical leak test can be accomplished in your own driveway in about 30 minutes and is a much more comprehensive method.


    Gelcoat paints easily, but leaks should be addressed first. You are probably removing the trim anyway in order to paint so the effort wouldn't be wasted for the leak test, in this case.

    The paint most often used is any quality top-side paint. Polyurethanes such as Epifanes, Interlux, Pettit, and Awl Grip being among the more popular. Success relies strongly on the preparation and each brand has detailed prep instructions (beyond the can label) at their web page.
     
  4. lymantuttle

    lymantuttle New Member

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    Re: Sunfish Repair help -- Update on weight

    It's finally starting to get warm/hot and dry here in North Carolina and I've been able to leave the boat outside, wrapped in black trash bags, and with a small computer fan running. The boat has been shedding weight fairly quickly now. Just wanted others to know that the trash bag method works really really well in hot sun with a computer fan. I have two access ports open. I have the fan in back and the access hole by the bow handle open. I'm going to start the repairs now and keep on drying it out in the sun to see if I can lose some more weight.

    Didn't think I'd get here this fast, considering I started at 220 lbs!

    Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  5. sherpa_driver

    sherpa_driver New Member

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    I did the leak test today and really paid attention to all the places in here that everyone says to watch. Unfortunately i found three leaks all along the sides where the deck meets the hull. Since the piece of trim is still on the boat i will need to remove it. But before removing it I noticed that the revit holes don't go all the way through. Does anyone have any advice on how to safely remove the trim without causing anymore damage?
     
  6. sherpa_driver

    sherpa_driver New Member

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    Also, has anyone ever experminted with something other than the aluminum trim? Like a rubber or some kind of hard plastic instead. Thoughts are that I could just glue it on instead of all the rivits.
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Sure...
    • Drill the head off the rivet
    • Slip off the trim
    • Poke the rivet out the bottom
    • Resin up the holes
    • Re-drill for the new rivets
     

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  8. Srqsunfish

    Srqsunfish New Member

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    I have worked on several old sunfish trims, the pop rivet should only go thru the top side of the trim and the fiberglass.

    To remove them, you should use a bit about the size of the existing rivet head. Go slow until the head comes loose, then use a smal bit to get into the hole (center of the rivet body) and pull the center piece out. Once you get the hang of it, it should go very quick.

    Keep the trim in a safe place so that you do not mess it up.

    Before you re-install it, you can polish it with Fritz and a buffing ball attached to your drill.
    William
     
  9. sherpa_driver

    sherpa_driver New Member

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    I drilled out the pop rivets and the trim came off nice and easy. I was able to see the seperation right were i had marked it from the leak test. It seems hard to believe that there was that much water in the boat with such tiny seperations. But after several leak tests they were the only three i found.

    Has anyone ever ran a bead of marine silicone or something along the inside of the trim just for extra seal? it seems to me a small bead of something would work well and as long as I repair the seperations correctly I have no intentions of taking the trim off again.

    I have decided since I have the trim off and work doesn't seem like its ever going to give me a day off, I am just going to go all the way and sand her down and repaint. Might as well put in the time, it will pay off later. Wish I would have had a place to work on her all winter. Now I have a place but little time.

    I will post pics soon.
     
  10. sherpa_driver

    sherpa_driver New Member

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    Is removing the coaming the same as removing the trim? Just drill out the pop rivets? They look quite larger.
     
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    When your repairs are complete, don't forget to leak test again. These leaks may be masking smaller leaks in more critical places below the water line, which might better account for the water you discovered.


    You could. Removing the trim after that would probably distort it beyond re-use.
    .
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    The hitch comes if one spins in place. You either need to hold it from below or use a putty knife between the coaming and deck to apply sufficent friction.
     

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