1964 ALCORT Sunfish ANNA

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We were procrastinating on the Catfish repairs and wooden Sunfish build, so what better way to get over that than to buy a sunburnt 1964 ALCORT Sunfish off of fb Marketplace? Threw a dolly on the ole picker trailer and off we went to Waverly, VA.

They were asking $700 and had a sad medical story, so we humbly paid $700. They didn't know how to sail and had traded services for the boat, never got around to sailing, so her history is cloaked. All the period correct parts are mostly there, the hull was light, spars semi straight, factory blades with only a little flaking bondo. Sail...yes, there is a factory sail. Loading was easy peasy.


The deck was a dark red/maroon, and other than the burnt gelcoat it is pristine. It will be interesting to see if wet sanding produces an acceptable return to glory. And yes, the hole is supposed to be there in the Serial No. plate, that's the hull vent for early 60s boats. Original hull color visible through the vent hole.


It seems she had a lady skipper at one point.


Sunfish circa this age had hull drains on both sides. We're missing a cap on this side and the entire drain housing missing on the other side.


Hopefully I can save the bolt from the corroded nut.


I suspect a fracture here, an air leak test will tell the whole story. The rest of the hull is in great shape. Did I mention she's light? :)


Probably will swap out the bow line...and bow handle unless it will polish a bit. All of the backer blocks are solid.


This is a factory sail. not period correct, notorious for having the logo bleed onto other panels. It has mouse holes and torn grommets, we may repurpose it into sail bags. I told Skipper I wanted to run it through the washing machine, and she said "after you wash all the spider nests off of it." Hose down complete.


I've shown Skipper about 10-15 Sunfish over the last year, this one spoke to her. It spoke to me also. ANd in one of life's strange coincidences, we independently came up with the same name...ANNA. Our good friend Murray's sweet wife was named ANNA. And recently we met a nice young girl named ANNA who wants to learn to sail.

Here's ANNA tucked away in the Carriage House with her Nutshell Pram Sister EXCUSE ME. Swapping sea stories. Two hours of TETRIS were required to get to this point involving two garages and the Sunfish Shack, but that's a story for another time.


Pop quiz time: What's the next thing we'll do to ANNA?
From all appearances, the bow handle is chrome-plated Zamak, so it's not going to clean up well.

My old Porpoise II had one (identical) of chrome-plated bronze, so I wanted it for my Sunfish. Alas, it was bolted in place, with no way to stop the inside nut from turning. :oops: I sold the complete Porpoise II for $320, so I doubled my investment!

Using a suggestion from a different website, I temporarily restored its maroon finish by rubbing Vasoline into its seriously-faded gelcoat. With only a minimal amount of effort, it looked really good for one season, and "beaded" water well.

I'd be curious as to how the splashguard is secured in this undamaged vintage example. (Bronze fittings?, riv-nuts?) A chronology among all years would interest me--although my many restorations need to stop after I've "unloaded" my most recent Sunfish (hull-only) purchase. :confused:
The coaming is held on by machine screws into rivnuts, like our 1965 boat. I think AMF is when the switch to rivets happened.
Gotta love those older boats! They are solid. My ‘67 (Free Bandaid) also has the deck drains on both sides. Wonder what year that went to starboard side only. I’ve also had very early hulls with deck drain at the bow.
That's the same color of the 1966 that we picked up last fall, after lots of wet sanding I gave up and painted her Total Boat Largo blue. Just got a new sail from Neil Pryde for her to work with the new color. I'll some pics up when I'm finished. The one I got from the Boy Scout camp is a 60's model too, but the plate is gone. My 66 and the one from the camp.


  • IMG_20221020_163125.jpg
    675.1 KB · Views: 55
  • IMG_20230418_160229.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 53
....but I just bought a DeWALT cordless 20V Dual Action buffer...

I will be very surprised if we can bring the color back after talking to CHIP at Sailfish LLC. He says the gelcoat gets porous and it is tough to get all of the old wax etc gone before we'd run out of gelcoat. What we've found is that the initial gelcoat from ALCORT/AMF/LovelessDegarmo/Pearson/Vanguard/LP gets thinner and thinner as the boats got newer. These early hull were built almost bombproof, so it will depend on what kind of mood Mr. Gelcoater was in that day in Waterbury.

If we paint, we'd look for a fun color to compliment one of the Orca sails that we have. Maybe we put a little pirate hat on the killer whale or have a Sunfish chasing it out of the water... We aint agin some color, and Skipper likes the little Shamu logo. And we like the yeller that we have used on a few boats. Please stand by:


PS We lowered the price on the Shamu sails.
ANNA is on the work dolly, ready for some more work on the deck to see if we can get it to a uniform and acceptable color.
"Not Hi Either"
Andyatos, look closely, there is a letter in the name that either fell off or was removed. When you spot the shadow of where the old letter was, the name might make more sense.
Ah... I found it. Seems the tale is of Sunfish and her relationship with a... "girlfriend".

- Andy
ANNA got a bath, scrubbed her with Comet and then an air leak test. We found a spot on the port chine, visible in the photo below and another tiny spot on the starboard bow just under the trim. Everything else was sealed up tight, even the rudder pin keeper chain screw hole.

For the Moms out there, these cordless wet/dry vacs are nice to do the air leak test and to suck water out of the cockpit and mast step. Mother's Day is coming up fast, Skipper suggests buying one and telling the family "Thanks!"


ANNA Aerobatics, she did an aileron roll so we could get a better angle on hull repairs.


A closer look at the work dolly bunks.


I'll get a photo ASAP but this boat has cracks on the deck around the cockpit, just over the flange for the cockpit tub below. They might have gone a little light on the fiberglass that day in Waterbury. Surprising for a boat of this vintage.

What are your techniques and materials fro reinforcing the deck around the cockpit?
If they don't leak I'd go sailing... Hate to put a port in that beautiful boat, just maybe in the cockpit tub side though, then glass the underside of the deck through that. But I'd rather be sailing :)
I'd put glass in the corner the cockpit tub makes with the deck on the inside of the cockpit and inside the hull, try to reduce the amount that area can flex as much as possible
These early hull were built almost bombproof, so it will depend on what kind of mood Mr. Gelcoater was in that day in Waterbury.

I wouldn't blame Waterbury. They probably built them with the average sailor's weight in mind and, back then, smoking kept average Americans' weight down. Today, we're notably heavier, to the point that Europeans can readily spot us! (Speaking for myself, of course). ;)

Moreover, tacking the Sunfish vigorously--as we do today--puts more stress on the cockpit tub margins.

Before the cracks appear, a little intervention (with scant penalty in boat weight) should be acted upon: use 3- or 4-inch cloth "tape". Biaxial tape is best.

We're gathering materials for the fiberglass repair, woven roving showed up a few days ago. And we used a heat gun to remove old vinyl, then sanded off the adhesive residue. In order to even out the good gelcoat that was underneath with the sunburnt gelcoat, we'd have to sand off a LOT of good gelcoat. We tried one area and the good glecoat got thin real fast.


There is a big section of gelcoat on the bottom that has shrunk and cracked. Once again a gelcoat repair would be extensive grinding, and we like to paint. So we are leaning towards a gentle sand, fair, prime and paint. If someone else down the road wants to invest the large amount of time and money, they'll still have factory gelcoat to play with.



We always have at least one side project going, like the Catfish repair, but we decided it was time to expand the Sunfish Shack. We're adding a 5 x 16 canoe cubby and then another 16 x16 covered deck, so the Sunfish can have one side, the canoe the middle, and the Catfish, Penobscot 14 and Nutshell Pram the other side.



Skipper's back is healing, the water temp is coming up and we'll be out sporting Geezer Rigs very soon! I'm 99% sure that the Tactician on 4677 is Aileen Shields Bryan, Al Bryan's spouse. She's Cornelius Shield's daughter, and accomplished racer on her own, and the brain power behind developing the Sunfish. She's shown up in a few of ALCORT's marketing photos.


Aileen Shields Bryan.png
Gotta love those older boats! They are solid. My ‘67 (Free Bandaid) also has the deck drains on both sides. Wonder what year that went to starboard side only. I’ve also had very early hulls with deck drain at the bow.
Plastic "Marine Drain Plugs" are available from AliExpess for 50 cents each. Stainless is triple that! :eek:
After circling this Sunfish hull for several months, we've decided that the hull is beyond economic repair, when combined with the fact that the mast has a slight bend, booms are not exactly straight, rudder blade has a chunk missing, etc...The big issues with the deck are the cracking around the entire cockpit and soft foredeck.

In NW Florida we would have fixed this conglomeration of crusty bits and had a fair replica of a Sunfish, and sold it for enough money to cover parts and materials. Now that we are in Virginia and the supply/quality of Sunfish on the market is much better, it makes more sense to make ANNA a parts boat to recover some of the money spent. All in all a good learning experience and the money went towards the seller's medical expenses.

For us it's a tough decision, we've only salvaged one other Sunfish, to save WAVE. But luckily we have other things to keep us busy at the Boat Works, giving the Granddaughter boat rides.