1964 Super Sailfish Restoration

Thread starter #1
Just wanted to drop a line here that another wooden Sailfish is being restored, and should ready to go around January, with a splash date depending on water temp. :)

The boat is a 1964 Super Sailfish, built from a kit. My girlfriend's father and grandfather started the build while watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, so the date/age is fairly well documented. I have a few pictures of the restoration process that I will throw up here, but they were taken with a phone, so no promises on the quality.
Thread starter #2
Here is the Super Sailfish, as we found it. Apparently it had been garaged because it was taking on more than a little water. There was also a repair job in the early 80s, but the details were scarce...


Thread starter #5
Once the deck was off, I was able to look closer at the repair that had been done on the early 80s. Upon seeing the repair, more details were forthcoming about the incident.

The boat was tied to the dock when a summer storm came up. The boat turtled and was caught under the dock. As the chop came in, the wave action pounded the hull against the dock stringers. The repair was quickly made so that sailing wasn't over for the season for the grandkids.


Thread starter #11
After fitting both hull panels and an oak keel strip, I laid fiberglass tape down the length of the hull over the keel. This should help with the inevitable beaching that seems to accompany Sailfish. While at it, I also laid the first coat of epoxy to the hull.


Thread starter #12
At this point, the hull has had two additional coats of epoxy. This evening, I will be laying tape over the joint where the hull panels meet the sides. While this adds some weight, the Meranti was significantly lighter than the 1/4" marine plywood it replaced, and this boat is not intended for racing. The additional reinforcement will be valuable in the hands of a new generation learning to sail.
Thread starter #14
wow, that is a LOT of work, but looks awesome so far. keep posting progress pictures as you go along.
It has been a labor of love, and certainly has NOT been cost effective. That said, it has been a wonderful learning experience, and will come in handy as I move forward in building the next boat.


Upside down?
Staff member
Thanks for posting your work in progress, especially because there are very few pictures of the innards of a Sailfish on this Forum.

Very nice work, as tag already wrote.
Thread starter #16
Thanks for posting your work in progress, especially because there are very few pictures of the innards of a Sailfish on this Forum.

Very nice work, as tag already wrote.
I didn't realize that was something missing from the site. Before I put the deck on, are there any specific pictures I should take? This was a 1964 Super Sailfish, built from a pre-made kit.
Thread starter #17
Last night I laid the tape for the hull/side joints. I need to pick up a few disposable rollers this afternoon, so these can be epoxied. This morning, I took a few pictures of the tape waiting for epoxy.

(Don't be thrown by the hitch on the right side. It is a snag in the tape weave that will be sorted before epoxy goes on...)



Well-Known Member
:( I had to look up Meranti wood:

Why not Okoume plywood?

If you buy a metal (aluminum) roller—and do a lot of glassing—you can save some cash by reusing it.

My trailer is similar—mine tilts—and what should a trailer in a similar (good) condition sell for, used? I may have to bump up my price. :cool:
Thread starter #19
Meranti and Okoume are very similar. Okoume is lighter, but is more susceptible to dings and damage. Meranti is heavier but more durable. For my purposes, the more resilient Meranti was preferable as the boat will be used heavily by kids.

Additionally, the Meranti is about $40 per sheet at 1/4". Okoume can be twice that. Strong motivator. :)

I bought this trailer for $200, but it does not tilt. Take it for what it is worth.
Thread starter #20
Sorry for the delay in updating this project. What with the onset of winter and the rainy days of spring, my launch date of January clearly didn't account for the demands of epoxy.

Nonetheless, the boat is progressing well, and I have plenty of photos of the internal structure of the hull.

After completing the taping of the hull, the epoxy was laid. In the future, I will be smart and wet the tape before applying it as wetting it in place is a nightmare.