1963 Alcort Wooden Sunfish CHIP Restoration

signal charlie

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Thread starter #38
Primed with TotalBoat Topside Primer, mixed gray and white together because that's what I had. Sanded lightly with 120. Laid out the stripes and swoosh.

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TotalBoat Halcyon for the daggerboard. Love the Pour Pack! And no sanding between coats. Clean up with soap and water. I only put on a couple of coats so I don't know how it looks if you are one of the 6-8 coat people.

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Two coats of Interlux Brightside Largo Blue and TotalBoat WetEdge BluGlo White. I laid down one thinned coat with a brush then hot coated the second coat, filling grain along the way. I had planned to put a skim coat of fairing over the entire deck but ended up just filling screw and nail holes instead, and a few deep gouges, that way we can still enjoy the wood grain pattern up close.

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signal charlie

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Fit the rudder assembly to the hull, had to trim the last inch or so of the keel strip so that the latch plate fits over it.


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Rudder and tiller with 2 coats of TotalBoat Halcyon Rugged Amber Gloss Varnish. The Pour Pack is very handy, and the soap and water cleanup was nice. We have been getting soft satin finishes with a couple of coats, and have not put on a lot of coats to build layers to see if it gets a deep gloss like Epifanes or Pettit, so not sure how it will perform if you want a deep gloss. Recoat in one hour, no sanding between coats.

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Fitting the rub strip. Screw heads will be puttied over and it will be painted to match.

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The "Moaning Chair" is described by Howard Chappelle as an essential tool to have, the place where you sit and ponder what you have either just screwed up or are about to screw up with all of your other tools. Moaning chairs come in all shapes and sizes and can be found next to favorite beverages. Moaning chairs should be available for all of the "usual visitors" as well so they can point out any mistakes the builder might have missed.


We always have 2 projects going, a primary boat and we have what we call a moaning chair "boat", the boat we work on while we contemplate issues with the first boat or just take a break from it for a bit to appreciate it. Our Moaning Chair boat today was SCOUT, our 1960s Grumman 17 double ended canoe. We have toyed with the idea of a sail rig for a while, and pulled together some bits for a 41 sf gaff rig. Old mast that Alan brought us, it is a bit longer than a Sunfish mast so not sure what it goes to. Then we went to Lowes for closet rods for boom and gaff, some 1x8 pine for a mast step, painter's drop cloth and some clear RustOleum to seal up the cloth weave. The Grumman is nice because it already has fittings in the bilge for a gunter rig and sheet block, plus predrilled holes in the gunwale for a thwart, that took the guesswork out of where to put the rig. We went simple with control boards, she will steer with the paddle, like the Seminoles used to do.

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Got enough bits together for a test sail to check balance and controllability.

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L&VW

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#43
How would it sail now that the center of effort has been moved aft?

For your canoe, you could get away with a single leeboard, but the crossmember should be made of metal. The crossmember should be shaped like an "L", with the bottom about the size of a postcard, and, if aluminum, ⅜" thick. Its two-clamp placement would be about one foot aft of the mast. I'll send a picture of the shape I'd copied from Grumman, but re-made and enlarged in ½" marine plywood.

Those original parts were sold to a chap in Maine, who wanted sail-power for his Folbot kayak—Of which, I have two. :confused:

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#44
How would it sail now that the center of effort has been moved aft? For your canoe, you could get away with a single leeboard, but the crossmember should be made of metal. The crossmember should be shaped like an "L", with the bottom about the size of a postcard, and, if aluminum, ⅜" thick. Its two-clamp placement would be about one foot aft of the mast. I'll send a picture of the shape I'd copied from Grumman, but re-made and enlarged in ½" marine plywood. Those original parts were sold to a chap in Maine, who wanted sail-power for his Folbot kayak—Of which, I have two. :confused:
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:) As promised—The general shape of the Grumman leeboard for their sailing canoe. Although this leeboard (1 of 2) is almost twice as wide as the original, the shape follows the leading and trailing edges. Put another way: you could remove the center 2-½ inches, vertically, and have the size and shape of the original.

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signal charlie

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Great! WHat's the length, I was thinking a Shadow or Barrington board may work, although we are going to try adding a mizzen first...to the canoe.

Back to CHIP, we sanded the rubrail with 120 grit on a DeWALT random orbital sander and applied the first coat of paint.

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signal charlie

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Sail is laced onto the spars with 1/8th inch diameter line from New England Ropes.

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Installed the coaming and some other bits. Made the floorboards and applied first coat of paint.

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She seems to be ready for Sea Trials...

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signal charlie

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CHIP moved off the finishing dolly and onto WAVE's Dynamic Dolly, preparation for Sea Trials.

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Current state of the Sunfish Shack, (L-R): Penobscot 14 ST. JACQUES, 1955 Alcort Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA, 1981 AMF Alcort Sunfish MADISON, 1982 AMF ALcort Sunfish PHOENIX and 1963 wooden Alcort Sunfish CHIP.

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signal charlie

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Sea Trials! CHIP did awesome, 14-17 mph winds and a lot of chop on the bay. We shipped a lot of water into the cockpit. The rig held up great, she felt very stable and the sail set beautifully.

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L&VW

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#51
Great! WHat's the length, I was thinking a Shadow or Barrington board may work, although we are going to try adding a mizzen first...to the canoe.
It's 31-inches from bottom to the point of attachment. (The original had a 4-inch handle which made it unnecessarily longer :( so I left it off).

Back to CHIP...:cool:

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signal charlie

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Thanks L&VW! Nice to have measurements to get in the ball park, then get creative with handles, control lines, edge shapes, lengths etc...
 

signal charlie

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Functional Check Float (FCF) and Sea Trial report for CHIP 17 Jul 19:
So the Skipper and I wandered out to the dock to see if it really was 98F heat index and it was, but while we were out there we noticed that the breeze was blowing steady around 12-14 knots, perpendicular to the shoreline, perfect for a long reach out and a long reach back. We both had the same thought at the same time. I asked her if I took CHIP out would she take pictures. She said no, but she'd take her out and I could get pictures. We knew we would not be out long with the heat and So she went to get the PFDs and the camera and I went to the garage to get the sail. Took the sail down to the beach and then rolled CHIP from the Sunfish Shack over to Sunfish Beach. We had already test rigged CHIP the day before so the setup went quick. I stepped the mast and left the sail down.

Next I pinned on the rudder. We leave the wing nut loose on the carriage bolt, slide the bottom of the vertical plate into the latch plate, pin the top of the vertical plate then tighten down the wing nut. We leave a little play so that the rudder can release if it hits something hard, but not too loose as to pop out under sail. While I was back at the stern I attached the sheet snap shackle to the bridle.

Next step was to get CHIP in the water, so I rolled the dolly down the beach, got CHIP into the bay and Skipper pulled the dolly back up onto the beach. Took a peak in the cockpit bilge, no water, good. Spun CHIP around, raised the sail and tied off the halyard to the halyard cleat. On the wooden boats there is no block, just a cleat screwed to the side of a wooden mast collar. The Old School way to secure the tail of the halyard is to wrap it around the base of the mast and halyard, that takes about 25 wraps and I didn't want to take time to do that while the boat was bucking in rolling waves, plus it is impossible to get the sail down quickly if needed. Got the sail up and let it luff.

Skipper climbed aboard and she put in the daggerboard. We keep it simple with just a retaining line so she can adjust it easily and pull it out when beaching, for us a bungee adds complication. She took off on a beam reach and was out past the end of the 250 foot dock in no time. She did a couple of tacks to make sure the rudder and rigging were working right and then headed out to the Deep Blue.

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The early wooden Sunfish does not even have a sheet hook, so in the spirit of Vintage we didn't add one. If you are thinking about getting a gym membership, I'd recommend getting a wooden Sunfish. Sail it for a few months then buy a Sailfish, aka the "Total Gym." The vintage sheet was a little slick, plus 75 square feet of sail was working to pull that line out of Skipper's hand. She wore her sailing gloves, but she said she should have got the leather palms wet first so they gripped a little better. She did lose the sheet once but since there was no hook-swivel-cam-ratchet-spring-block-HarkenStan-cleat to capture the sheet, the sail just luffed into the wind. She took the tiller and steered the bow back into the wind, and when the boom came back over the boat she grabbed the sheet and was off like a shot again.

The bow submarined beautifully and the V shaped coaming got a workout. It was surprisingly effective, has a nice forward angle to the top edge and shed all but the biggest of bow waves. The wooden Fish hulls are not as deep as the fiberglass Sunfish, maybe 3 inches or so more shallow, so they don't skim as many wave crests. The bow is a little sharper though, and not as tall, so CHIP kind of pierces the wave vs punching it. And I tell you what, there is no oil canning with these wooden hulls, and no wet foam. Now check out the tiny tiller extension in the photo below. Not only is it small diameter, it is tapered from the tiller bolt down to the tip. And varnished! That was a little bit of an issue. It needs some gaff tape to give it some grip - Done!

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Did we mention the vintage 5 panel sail set beautifully? Skipper knows how to maneuver a boat for a photo shoot, puts the rail down for a little theatrical effect.

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One of my favorite shots, enjoying the wave form under the hull, perfect conditions to catch a stern wave. We can almost see the daggerboard. The sail looks great with the foot and luff set close to the spars, I'm convinced that line lacing is better aerodynamically than the sail rings, the spars act as end plates to send the airflow aft to the trailing edge of the sail. If the airflow escapes mid spar then it creates turbulent flow. Alan can chime in, I believe he ties his sails, each grommet individually. Our marlin hitch is the lazy way :) The sheet hangers worked well, but that was probably because we had taut sheets with that wind

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As soon as I went out I thought I'd see if I could fill the cockpit up with water. Note how I'm holding the tiller extension down by the stubby end. I also found out quick that the floorboards were slick, and my foot slid up off the floorboard and into the cockpit recess, not a good spot. There is a lot more space under the cockpit lip side to side, I think it would be good to block that are off with a towel or, pool noodles or a wooden box as it is an ankle twister. Maybe make little storage boxes to go there.

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signal charlie

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No Wake Zone. Not for CHIP!

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I think we'll start calling this the Daggerboard Shot. I'm getting there, but not as close as Skipper. And capsize doesn't count.

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We got CHIP back to the beach, on the dolly, up into the yard and down rigged. Took the sail off and rinsed off the blades. I opened the drain plugs, we got about a 1/4 cup out of the bow compartment and maybe cup out of the aft compartment. My guess is that I did not get the cockpit bulkhead completely sealed, we can do an air leak test to find out. CHIP got rinsed off and went proudly back to the Sunfish Shack, with tall tales to tell.
 
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