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1976 Sunfish or AMFlite

fhhuber

Member
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.
Crawl in from the transom, not the side.

The back of the boat will come down as you pull yourself in, making it easier to get in.
There should be a good series of handholds as you get in.
And the boat is less likely to capsize again while you aren't quite in it yet.

And.. consider making or buying a rope ladder, tied to the hiking strap and with a grab line run to the transom.
Pull the rope ladder out over the back of the boat and you can have your feet help to get you in the boat.

For me the issue is getting up on the daggerboard of the Vagabond 14. The board tends to be about 2.5 ft above the water when the boat is on its side. This thing has a 20 ft mast which means it takes quite a bit of leverage to pop it back up.
No successful solo capsize drill yet...
I'm making a rope ladder with grab lines to be run to each side for pulling the ladder down right behind the daggerboard. Once I can get on top of the board I should be able to get the boat upright.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
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.
It would mean drilling a ¼" hole in the gunwale, but an outboard starter cord or a short line looped through a PVC pipe, stirrup-fashion, could be attached. When no longer needed, the hole can be easily filled.



The assist doesn't need to be on both sides, as the boat's position can be shifted by moving the boat around so the assist can be reached.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
This rope ladder idea sounds potentially dangerous. If you get a foot tangled in it you could get dragged by it if the sail somehow fills and the boat sails itself, or if the boat flips during the reboarding process you could get trapped underwater. I'd suggest only sailing with a crew if you cannot get back into the boat solo without these dangerous assists.
 
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JohnCT

Active Member
Get an inflatable paddle float or foam swim aid. Stick it between your legs before you climb in. Nothing to get tangled in.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
This rope ladder idea sounds potentially dangerous. If you get a foot tangled in it you could get dragged by it if the sail somehow fills and the boat sails itself, or if the boat flips during the reboarding process you could get trapped underwater. I'd suggest only sailing with a crew if you cannot get back into the boat solo without these dangerous assists.
That actually happened to me, sailing my 20-foot Tornado catamaran.

Approached by two speeding "gin palaces"—one on each side—I stood up, and grabbed a shroud. My Tornado was thrown upwards, but my two-handed grip wasn't strong enough to stay aboard. I landed in the water, but not before getting both feet tangled in the mainsheet. :confused:

Thus lightened, the Tornado sailed speedily onwards, and there I was, being towed by both feet! Although I was heading "safely" to the lake's shoreline, my first concern was towards my PFD "lifejacket". It wasn't designed for the opening at the waist to scoop up water, and speed that water at my face! :eek:
 

TedCombs

New 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.
It’s a Winflite. Was manufactured by AMF who also made Sunfish. Has an identical deck and hull but did not have the cubby hole behind the cockpit. Wooden splash guards and wooden rails inside sides of cockpit were standard, as well as a line instead of a cable for the bridle.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
It’s a Winflite. Was manufactured by AMF who also made Sunfish. Has an identical deck and hull but did not have the cubby hole behind the cockpit. Wooden splash guards and wooden rails inside sides of cockpit were standard, as well as a line instead of a cable for the bridle.
Altho this is an old thread, FWIW the deck was once piece on a Windflite as it combined deck, coaming and cockpit into one piece. The hull and deck had rolled edges similar to current Sunfish.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
The Rest of the Story...

I epoxied stainless/steel nuts to the s/s bracket, and using a wire fed it through a hole cut below the bow handle. The intention was to position the plate so a stainless/steel bolt would fit into it. :cool: Can you guess what happened next?

P7260067.JPG

The bracket fell off the wire and went "clunk" inside the hull.

:(
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Oops, here's the first part of the story, brought back into the picture:

PART 1:

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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