1976 Sunfish or AMFlite

#21
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
 
Thread starter #22
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
#23
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.
 
Thread starter #26
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
#27
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
#28
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. :)
 
#29
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.

 
Thread starter #30
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.
 
#32
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
#34
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.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#36
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. :)

.
 
#37
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
#38
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
#39
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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