$25 Sunfish-It's true! I'll Prove It!

Thread starter #1
Well I can't exactly prove it cause I paid cash and didn't get a receipt...but I did buy the boat AND trailer for $25 this past Saturday. I found the ad on Craigslist here in Dallas. By the time I drove 30 miles to pick it up the lady told me she had about 20 emails, but she honored our deal cause I was first to respond. I did stop on the way to her place and bought two new tires/wheels at Northern Supply for the trailer for $46. Put them on and headed home with the boat.

Check out the picture of it when I got back from buying it. I'll post another picture when done. I fugure it will take me a couple more weeks or so.

So anyway...the boat has no physical damage of any kind. It's faded and somewhat water logged (it's probably 50lbs too heavy) but the mast and booms are fine. The rudder, tiller and centerboard are in great shape. I've already removed the tiller/rudder hardware, sanded and put 3 coats of spar varnish on the wood pieces. I put it all back to gether this morning over coffee...looks great. The sail is shot so yesterday I ordered a new one online for $139 and a new set of sail rings for $16. Today I stopped at West Marine and bought two 4" and one 6" inspection ports. I'll cut the holes and blow some fresh warm air through the hull space and get the thing dried out.

*******How long should it take to dry? I've no clue.

I plan to re-paint the hull and deck with Interlux two part. First I want to drill the rivets and remove the aluminum trim because a couple rivets have pulled out and most of those remaining are rusted/corroded. I plan to fill the original rivet holes with epoxy and then drill fresh holes after painting. I'm going to paint the bottom dark blue and the deck a light creme color. Going to paint the trailer dark blue to match. Finish the trailer with some creme pin striping and chrome moon hubcaps. I'm telling you...it's going to be a rockin little boat.
I did the same to a 78 light blue hull, turned out pretty nice. I also used Interlux 2 part system. The hull took 1 quart of primer, 2 quarts of Interlux Perfection Royal blue. Interlux is hard to work with, the temp and humidity has to be just right. Take a look at Vaspar Marine paint, it is easier to use and cheaper and maybe a better paint. I tried to post the pictures with no luck. post your email address and I will forward the pictures. The paint has be on there 3 years and many races with no peeling or fading. One draw back each scratch shows orignal hull color if is deep enough. Everyone will love the color. Good luck and happy sailing.

Hotfish came from the temp of the blue paint laying in the sun.
Thread starter #3
Hotfish...thanks for reply. I think my wife has already nixed my color choice. She says to paint it back original colors. Geez Louise...that's her name...Louise...anyway. Tonight I cut the holes for the deck inspection ports. It was easy with the jigsaw and metal cutting blades. Cut like butta! Foam inside was soggy but still solid. Hopefully in a couple days it will dry. I rigged up a box fan with a big heavy duty black plastic trash bad as a funnel, with a dryer vent hose inserted in the stern hole i cut. I've got great air flow. Tomorrow I will park it in the driveway and let the sun shine on the black plastic trash bag for heat. We'll see. Stay tuned...I'll post pics soon.


Upside down?
Staff member
Good approach, but, from what I have read, it may take many days in the sun to completely dry the innards of the hull.
Thread starter #5
Drying for many days in the sun...Well I hope it doesn't take too many. The good thing about the inspection ports is that I can leave them open all the time (in the garage) so eventually it will have to dry.
Thread starter #7
Re: $25 Sunfish-Hull Question

I discovered the starboard side of the cockpit floor (where it meets the hull) is not bonded to the hull. It appears the port side (where the bailer is) is well bonded. I'm wondering if this is normal or do I have a separation issue. In the event I need to get the two parts stuck back together I would appreciate any comments from those who may have some experience with this.
Thread starter #8

Deck finished with two coats of West PreKote primer and three coats of Brightside White urethane.

Hull finished in the same manner as deck but instead of white I used the Brightside in the Hatteras Off White which is really more of a pale yellowish beige. Nice contrast from the deck. Tomorrow I will flip it back over and tape off the area to be striped. That will also be striped in the Hatteras Off White against the pure white deck. It should be very subtle but obvious. I had a pair of sunfish logos made in black stick on (vinyle I think) for the hull sides. I painted the coaming black so there will be a little black detail work. Hope it looks like I'm imagining...if so cool.
Thread starter #9
Went out for about 2 1/2 hrs this past Sunday. Our lake is big, about 26,000 acres so it gets pretty choppy in a stiff breeze. I'm not sure what the wind was but all the big sail boats were heeled WAY over and were running reefed mains. I was in the thick of it with them. There were moderate white caps...not angry but pretty good size waves. They were kind of rolling with troughs between. It was the first time for me sailing this fish and the first time ever sailing a fish in conditions described. What I noticed was the hull slapping against the bottom of the cockpit tub whn hitting good sized waves. Clearly the hull is not completely bonded to the tub. SHOULD IT BE? Also after I loaded the boat on the trailier, I opened the rear inspection port and saw a little water inside. When I got home I vacuumed out about a gallon. I'm not sure where it got in...maybe the trunk? I replaced the bailer with a brand new one so it shouldn't be leaking there??? I'm really not too worried about a little water getting in cause it's easy to get it out and with three inspection ports there is plenty of ventilation. Overall it was a blast and I'm going out again this weekend...after I mow God's little acre. Yes...grass is growing in Texas!
hi sounds like a blast,my fish is still in the shed being painted ,still it wont be long now.... have you though of fitting a drain plug low down on the transom,makes draining any water out much easier. cheers john


Upside down?
Staff member
No need for another hole in the hull; you already have three big ports to get rid of the water. Rather, find the leak with the soap bubble test; then fix it.

BTW: fish don't drain well from the stern because of the foam and cockpit partitions. Moreover, there's a perfectly legitimate drain near the right hand splashguard.
Thread starter #15
I broke down the trailer last night for paint. I got a cheap sandblaster gun at Northern Tool and a couple bags of play sand. Tomorrow going to cover up and get down to business with it. I'm going to spray with urethane to match the hull color...Hatteras White. Might even do a little diamond plate on the frame for a bling effect.
good luck! I sandblasted my trailer about a year ago - it was a VERY messy process. it didn't help that the day I did it was very hot and humid... so major sweating mixed with little grit bits of sand all over me.

I'm pretty happy with the final results, though. I ended up just brush priming and then painting 2 coats of Rustoleum black paint on the whole thing. I also replaced most of the fasteners (bolts, washers, nuts, etc.).



I'm not sure where he bought his, but Intensity Sails has this race-cut one for $139.99.

It is not "class-legal", so you can't use it for official class racing, but for recreational sailing it should be more than adequate. APS also sells a similar one. Neil Pryde sells colored ones for a similar price.

All of these non-class-legal sails won't come with a Sunfish logo, though. You can make your own logo with insignia cloth, though.

Thread starter #19
Lowes and Home Depot sell a paper-like jumpsuit in their paint department. It's about 10 bucks. For another 5 bucks I bought the head sock. I put on the suit and head sock, goggles and got after it. When finished I was as clean as the trailer.