1978 AMF Sunfish SUGAR 2 Restoration

signal charlie

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Looked around and noticed we had no fiberglass Sunfish in the restoration queue, so we spotted one on Craigslist and went to pick it up. One of our restoration buddies had it but he is moving, so we picked up a 1978 AMF Sunfish and drug it home. We named her SUGAR 2, she is the new SUGAR 2 as the last SUGAR 2 didn't get painted in the Navy trainer colors like we planned. So the old SUGAR 2 got her name changed to SUGAR. Confused yet? Frazer and Skipper.


$12 dollars at the carwash, not too bad.

Added and inspection port because we could see the cleat was loose and we heard stuff rattling around. The cap makes a good template for the hole.


We go low tech with a laminate or metal blade on a jigsaw, started through a 3/8th inch pilot hole. Some folks have fancy jigs and rotary cutters. If your fiberglass is nice, put blue tape on the show of the jigsaw.


Started sanding off fiberglass patches with 40-120 grit, 40 on the blob and 120 for the overflow resin. Paint is planned for 2/3 of the hull.


Paint colors that are shooting for.

T 34C 733 over Corpus Christ Bay VT 27.jpg

to be continued...

signal charlie

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So we noticed the bow handle was not stock, took it off and probed with an awl for any remnants of a block underneath, maybe we could fill the big hole with thickened epoxy and screw into that. Couldn't feel anything, so our other trick is to drill a small hole where the new bow handle would cover it up and see if any wood shavings came out. No wood shavings, meaning no wooden block. New plan of attack was to take off the edge trim, split the bow and put in a block, which is easy! Too easy it turns out, the entire seam, all the way around, had been split before and the adhesive they used was very soggy and failing in many areas.


So we split the seam and started removing the crummy old fiberglass spline. Bow foam looks nice.


Since the stern was now open, we went ahead and pulled out the soggy 2 part foam.


So there is the extra 20 pounds that Skipper felt when she lifted the boat....



We peeled off all of the old seam tape and poured the bottom part of the blocks. We used TotalBoat Marine Grade 2 part foam, it balloons out and weighs in at 2 pounds per cubic foot. A trick for this is to lay 3 boards across the top of the blocks side to side to hold them down as foam expands. Put a nail through the boards to hold the block in position. The top gets poured separate.

signal charlie

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Bow backer block cut from cypress, fixed with TotalBoat THIXO. Clamped to dry.


Back to the bow foam, it looks great. The light spot on the mast tube is where resin has chipped away and it will be repaired with THIXO. Hidden in the foam to starboard is the backer block for the halyard fairlead, it is in good shape. The stalagtite is sealant hanging from a molly bolt used to hold the cleat, all of that is gone now and a new cypress backer block is adhered in place.


Another leak area to address, we are going to plug the drain plug hole at the waterline that someone added. Are you on Team Transom Plug or Team No Extra Holes? We like the factory deck drain or an inspection port, there is a lot of foam in the stern that impedes draining and it is not located at a low point.


One trivia item, the fiberglass loop inside the bow was there so the workers had something to hook on to and pop the hull out of the mold.