Working on a wooden Sunfish

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by hillbob60, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. hillbob60

    hillbob60 New Member

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    My Dad and I built a wooden Sunfish in the summer of 1971. I remember my Dad buying the kit at the New York Boat Show in the Colleseum. When my Dad bought the kit, the salesman told us that this was one of the last kits for a wooden Sunfish; they had been discontinued.

    Now for my question. When we built the boat, there was one step that we didn't do: there is a block of wood on the inside of the hull that the mast block is screwed into. This block was supposed to be glued to the underside of the deck and we forgot to do that. When the boat was repainted many years ago, the mast block was unscrewed from the top, and you guessed it: the block dropped off. Now there is a block of wood bouncing around on the inside of the hull whenever we tip the boat on it's side to drain it. Is it possible to repair this problem? Yes, it does leak quite a bit as well. How would I go about repairing leaks in this wooden Sunfish?

    Also the deck drain plugs (not the cockpit drain plug) were removed and are now holes in the deck that we put cork into. Can hardware be re-installed in these holes?
  2. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Fixing the loose backing block should be the easy part. Just install an inspection port into the deck. There are a number of posts on here about these ports, but get a screw in 5 or 6 inch port. has a good selection if there is no boat store nearby. You will have access to the inside of the hull and can remount that block.

    I don't know if leak detection in a wood fish would be much different than a glass fish. Seal up all known holes (like the deck drains) except one with say a good patch of duct tape. The blow into the remaining hole - a bike pump is good for this. The run a sponge with soapy water over all seams on the boat and look for bubbles. Don't use more than a couple pounds of pressure as you could pop solid seals by "inflating" the hull.

    I assume you could reinstall the deck drains. Someone else may have more thoughts on this. BB
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    BB's advice is a viable soultion. You do need to be careful where you place the access opening due to the cross-members.

    Another option would be pulling the deck and resealing all the seams with today's higher-tech materials.



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