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1976 Sunfish or AMFlite

wardie

Member
Just purchased A 1976 Sunfish from the original owner and it came with a Trailex Trailer for $300.
No cubby hole in back and wooden coaming. Boat is in fantastic shape. Heck I thought the trailer was worth more than the entire purchase price. Even has little hook for main sheet..all original boat was surprised at no cubby and wooden coaming.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Well, it is certainly not a 1976 Sunfish. It might not even be a Sunfish. You will have to post some pictures so we can see what it is.
 

wardie

Member
Well, it is certainly not a 1976 Sunfish. It might not even be a Sunfish. You will have to post some pictures so we can see what it is.
it has a split wooden coaming and that little hook for main sheet?

The bridle is made from rope. Instead of two eyelets it has two holes drilled on the flange of each side of the deck. I am supposed to pay tomorrow and pick up but I definitely don't want it if it's a fake sunfish. The Trailex trailer os cool though. I wondered why no opening in the rear
 

JohnCT

Active Member
Yeah, I'm on the pictures needed here side.

Holes drilled in the flange for the bridle? If I'm not mistaken, '76 should still have aluminum edging.
Wood coaming?
Definitely not stock
 

wardie

Member
tHE WOODEN COAMING/SPLASH GUARD IS SPLIT IN TWO HALVES RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. THE DRAIN IS LOCATED ON STARBOARD SIDE AND THE COCKPIT DRAIN IS IN THE REAR PORT SIDE OF COCKPIT. aLL BRASS COCKPIT DRAIN?

i'LL ASK FOR SERIAl numbers
 

fhhuber

Member
Minifish?
Minifish is shorter than Sunfish. No cubby. Drilled holes for the bridle with it just knotted under the lip on each side.
This matches the description so far...

But the combing is molded into the upper deck Just vinyl stickers for the wood look.
Mini cockpit drain is center front of the cockpit.
Hull drain in the deck port side.

I'd expect wood dagger board and rudder for a Mini.

Mast and booms are shorter and the sail is smaller than Sunfish, but some people put full size sunfish mast/boom/sail sets on them.
OEM Minifish sail will have a small fish superimposed on the normal Sunfish logo.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Given what you say about the traveler/bridle, this could be a Windflite or an AMFlite, which were made by Alcort and AMF as discount versions of the Sunfish. They had the rolled deck edge, but I thought they did not have a bailer in the cockpit, but I could be wrong. So if that is what it is, it is not necessarily a bad thing, it just cannot be raced with Sunfish, but the parts are interchangeable. BB
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Just purchased A 1976 Sunfish from the original owner and it came with a Trailex trailer for $300. No cubby hole in back and wooden coaming. Boat is in fantastic shape. Heck I thought the trailer was worth more than the entire purchase price. Even has little hook for mainsheet..all original boat was surprised at no cubby and wooden coaming.
Read up on Trailex trailers here; even new, not everyone is happy with them. :(

You're right to want a genuine Sunfish, but I'd buy it anyway—just for the trailer. You can always sell a complete, but nice, fake Sunfish in nice condition for $300 without the trailer. Purchase a genuine Sunfish and swap the interchangeable parts to your liking. :cool:

I race against a neighbor's Windflite every season. He's not very skilled, so I beat him every season—but to be fair, I should carry a passenger, like he does. :p
 

fhhuber

Member
Model Year Format
AMF 59483 M 84 G
Manufacturer: AMF Alcort
Hull Number: 59483
M = Model Year Format
Model Year: 84
Month of Production: G (Feb)

Production Month Letter Codes:
A = August; B=September; C=October; D=December; F=January; G=February; H=March; I=April; J=May; K=June; L=July

*****************

Looks like a Feb 1976 sunfish code...

But...

My Minifish is AMF34493M78B
Which also looks like a Sunfish code, but isn't.
1978 Minifish made in September

We can confirm your boat's age and that AMF made it....

Measure the HULL from nose to tail and width at widest point.

Take a picture that shows the mast step to back of cockpit.
 

wardie

Member
Ok the ad said it was a Sunfish this is a Mini Fish big difference. My club doesn't race Mini Fish. The boat is in very good shape and the Trailex Aluminum trailer clean I am supposed to pay him $300 tomorrow. I 'd like to get the trailer and I think someone might give me $300 for the Mini Fish. How desirable are they? I just don't want to get stuck with a Mini Fish that at 250 lbs. put me close to weight limit. Thoughts anyone??
 

fhhuber

Member
Minifish is an "odd duck"

Mainly useful for training new people how to sail. Good little boat but not enough out there for a racing class.

Probably mine will end up donated to the local HS sailing program.

Yes, if you find someone who wants it, it can sell and its worth more than $300.... But you have to find the right buyer.
 

wardie

Member
I ended up backing out of the deal citing that even though listed as a Sunfish it isn't. My club races Sunfish no class for Mini Fish..it would be a Odd Duck if you will. Hated not to have the Trailex Trailer.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
For future Minifish discussions it is great for kids and very small adults. The hull weighs 89 pounds but it is still too heavy for the Skipper to move it herself. Your knees will be under your chin, and the boat sails about the same as the Sunfish. I did sell a few because the buyers wanted something they could car top, so if they are happy lifting it and sitting in it, then it is a great option.
 

wardie

Member
Ok I ended up buying the boat. I listed the AMF number in an earlier post. After searching on the forum and measuring the boat (13'9") I think I have an AMF Windflite? Here's some pics anyone know for sure? I read that the hull exact to a Sunfish and all halyards and sheets same in fact can run in Sunfish class but was sold through Sears?
 

Attachments

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Ok I ended up buying the boat. I listed the AMF number in an earlier post. After searching on the forum and measuring the boat (13'9") I think I have an AMF Windflite? Here's some pics anyone know for sure? I read that the hull exact to a Sunfish and all halyards and sheets same in fact can run in Sunfish class but was sold through Sears?
A confirmation could be found on the sail. If the sail hasn't been replaced with a Sunfish-type "fishy" logo, the logo for Windflite is very different. I'm thinking there are actually two different logos, but they share the common theme of one (or two) triangles.

From a distance, the logo is unintelligible—a triangle with a line across it. :confused: ???

From a distance, there is harmony! :) ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
 

sailcraftri

Well-Known Member
If nothing else you can sell the Windflight for at least the $300, maybe more, then keep the trailer and look for another Sunfish.
 

wardie

Member
Ok trying to mount a Hexarachet block for Main Sheet. The area behind the daggerboard slot doesn't look wide enough to mount the block and unlike a Sunfish the cockpit isn't open so you could put bolts through? Do I glass a wooden block then mount spring eye shackle to it? I just am not sure what to do?
 

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Alan S. Glos

Active Member
Based on the photos and the Hull ID, I am 99% sure you have an AMFlite, a very nice Sunfish clone made by AMF, the same company that was also making the Sunfish. As long as the hull is not damaged or waterlogged, $300 is a great price. The hull (underbody) is exactly the same as a modern Sunfish, but the deck and cockpit are one piece unlike the deck and separate cocking components on the Sunfish.

Trailex trailers are nice, light and easy to tow, but the early models had some structural issues in the main beam. Check where the bunks attach to the beam and look for cracks or other "issues." New, a Trailex trailer sells for $900+.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

wardie

Member
Thanks Alan. I posted that I was unsure how to mount the hexarachet since the cockpit is one piece not allowing the ability to reach in and put bolts to hold the spring eye shackle??
 

oldpaint

Active Member
How about replacing the existing hook with a mahogany block that has an eyestrap on top for the hexarachet?

The trick would be to predrill the mahogany accurately and also to replace the existing screws (one at a time so as not to loose the backing block in the hull) with longer ones. I'd also put some adhesive caulk on the mahogany to give it a little added strength. You could put the hook back on the mahogany if you felt like it.
 

wardie

Member
Wavedancer I did check the search and their isn't anything about mounting a block on an AMFlite it's altogether different than the Sunfish. I think Oldpaint has a good option.
I love this forum always good answers and plenty of help. Thanks guys
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Wavedancer I did check the search and their isn't anything about mounting a block on an AMFlite it's altogether different than the Sunfish. I think Oldpaint has a good option. I love this forum always good answers and plenty of help. Thanks guys
Yes, Oldpaint has a good option, and you have different options to add the Hexaratchet. The simplest would be to use the present hook mounting blocks and screws. A bracket could be hammered from a heavy piece of aluminum or stainless-steel into an L-shape base. A handrail bracket can be bought for $3:


What I'd do is bolt the Hexaratchet base to a 2½-inch slab of [non-cored] fiberglass. (Cut from an abandoned boat, saved from an inspection port opening, purchased from a boat repair shop, or purchased "prepreg"). Countersink the flathead stainless steel machine screw heads, grind the fiberglass slab to a very coarse finish. Using a belt sander, flatten the AMFlite area where it is to be mounted, sanding down through the gelcoat—which is a relatively weak base material. Remove the hook. Sand down vertically to the area where the hook is, but glue-in thin wood dowels where the screws were removed. (To reattach the hook later).

Using epoxy with "slow-set" hardener, build up layer upon layer of fiberglass cloth, all pre-cut, approximating a flat, horizontal, 2½-inch area to bond the previously-prepared slab of fiberglass. (With Hexaratchet already bolted-on, with Nylock nuts facing upwards). The pre-cut pieces of fiberglass cloth should be added at 45-degree angles. Any "voids" should be sanded out, and re-epoxied. The result can even be sanded to a mushroom-shaped result! Round-off the edges, so that the entire unit can present a minimal hazard to elbows or knees. Reattach the hook.

Lightweight and custom-made, you'll end up with the strongest part of your boat!
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
The above handrail bracket is made of steel. Grind off the flange and sharp edges, drill holes to match the Hexaratchet and existing hook mount, then hammer the bleep out of it until it points the way you want it. :)
 

tag

my2fish
I recently added a block to my Minifish, and ended up installing an inspection port on the deck of the boat, left of the the daggerboard trunk. gave me plenty of access to attach make all necessary below deck connections.

 

wardie

Member
Tag could you post a picture of where/how the port looks on the Minifish?

I'm not sure what boat I have a Windflite or a AMFlite? Both have been referenced here. Can anyone tell me the differences or are they the same. My registration says AMF Cort?

My boat is in very good shape. It's light and I'm really hesitant to put a port in her or grind and place fiberglass on her. Where you mounted your block can u go through daggerboard slot?

Listening to all great advice here.

I spent 40 minutes on a capsize drill last night. My friends won't let me go out till I can prove I can get in the boat if I fall out. So far I can only launch myself halfway in before I stall (probably my belly hanging up) and then the boat (with my weight on the side) tips over. I'm working on some options. Had a Sunfish before and sold it because of same problem. Thought after rehabbing my shoulders this year it would be easier but not? Suggestions other than to sell the boat because I'm determined to get in at some point.
 

Lafayette Mike

Active Member
Tag could you post a picture of where/how the port looks on the Minifish?

I'm not sure what boat I have a Windflite or a AMFlite? Both have been referenced here. Can anyone tell me the differences or are they the same. My registration says AMF Cort?

My boat is in very good shape. It's light and I'm really hesitant to put a port in her or grind and place fiberglass on her. Where you mounted your block can u go through daggerboard slot?

Listening to all great advice here.

I spent 40 minutes on a capsize drill last night. My friends won't let me go out till I can prove I can get in the boat if I fall out. So far I can only launch myself halfway in before I stall (probably my belly hanging up) and then the boat (with my weight on the side) tips over. I'm working on some options. Had a Sunfish before and sold it because of same problem. Thought after rehabbing my shoulders this year it would be easier but not? Suggestions other than to sell the boat because I'm determined to get in at some point.
I don't have a problem getting into my Sunfish, but my Laser is a little different.....Here is what I have found....

The sunfish has a natural "grip" inside the cockpit, the Laser does not. I grab the traveler with my right hand and help that to pull myself into a position that I can grab the hiking strap, then flop in.

I am considering creating a small "ladder" and attaching it/coiling it around the rear hiking strap attach point. It would simply be a relatively short line with a bowline created loop at the end that I could use to "step up" into the boat. Not sure if I want to trail it off the transom, or make it such that I can route it through a cleat that already exists on each gunwhale. I'm going to try some combinations this weekend and will let you know how it works out.

Mike
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Where you mounted your block can u go through daggerboard slot?
"Arthroscopic Surgery"? :p

:) You certainly could: I've done something similar to replace a missing bow handle bolt in an old canvas-covered kayak. From inside, the bow was a 4-foot reach, so I glued a washer and nut to a straightened coat hanger (end-loop), and "found' the bolt and tightened it successfully. :cool: (Then broke the bond of glue, and withdrew the coat hanger).

You'll need to drill a ½-inch hole, and much patience to match the nut (or tiny rectangular wood backing plate) to the bolt (or the screw). Then epoxy a patch over the hole.
 

wardie

Member
wow Light and variable winds you must be a school teacher in another life because you have tons more patience than I :)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I'm about to be tested again. :confused:

I've decided to reinforce the bow handle with bolts and a stainless steel backing plate, using "arthroscopic surgery". I'll be threading the plate below, with the nuts already affixed.

So far, I've hammered the stainless steel plate flat, (flattening an angle-bracket found in my pile of stainless steel stuff).


Also drilled a ½"-hole, to be hidden under the bow handle. More material will be removed to allow access behind the wood. Using a thin hook, 'discovered that the wood backing plate is nearly 1-inch-thick mahogany :oops: and didn't take much drilling pressure to break it free. :eek: (But held on, and snapped back with one back screw).

That kind of ample thickness means a longer [replacement] screw can be used to keep a "compromised" bow handle on.

I'm going to use the thinner plate shown above, but a thicker stainless steel plate could be bought at a hardware store as part of a u-bolt clamp.

Mistaking a weaker glue for the glue I wanted, I've since removed the clear glue holding the nuts to the bracket, and will use epoxy instead.

More, as the adventure continues. :)

.
 
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