If the boat really weighs 200 lbs, it is not going to handle well and it is probably making the nose-diving in waves worse. The rack idea isn't a bad one, but you will need for it to be aluminum or SS. Powder coated steel will rust and it'll quickly be a mess. I'd also try to have it not be as close to the cockpit as you show. Going downwind or on a reach there is too much chance of the sheet snagging on it or your cargo. It may not work at all do to the geometry of the boat, but it seems worth a closer look.
To get the boat down in weight, use the drying techniques on the forum. They work, and replacing the foam is difficult and can destroy the boat.
Lastly, don't bother with a life raft. A Sunfish is unsinkable and you will be a lot better off just staying with it in case of some type of disaster rather than trying to inflate the raft and get aboard (and you won't have to deal with the weight and size of the raft.
I haven't put it on a scale but I am pretty confident that it is right around there. I will definitely have to get more serious about drying out the foam, it has always been on the back of my mind I just hadn't done anything about it yet.
I like the thought about doing it in aluminum, what I may do is mock up a few with steal just because its cheaper. Then once (if) I find a design, do the final product in aluminum. I may even start another thread for those that may be interested, once I get a little more serious about mocking one up.
Yea, I agree with your comment about the raft idea. Somethings sound better in theory than in practice, but I still think there maybe something to it. If you can find a small enough raft, that is not over cumbersome. especially, if equipment fails and you are potentially looking at being out overnight. I definitely get your point though, and it is a fair assessment.
I like this option, but I still think it would be nice to have a set place for everything cleanly laid out where everything has its place strapped in. No doubt though that this is the most budget friendly option. Thanks for the comment!
Okay so I gathered some footage together just from my phone.. so this is like 30% of the footage I have and it’s only during the trip. I did my best to make it not horrindous, but if I am honest I didn’t spend much time on it & just used iMovie from my phone. But here you go! Dropbox - 1080p.mov
If you found yourself sitting on the same tack, and in the same spot, a port installed in the seating area can hold a small storage bag—which can keep lots of cellphone chargers dry. (And still function to dry the hull prior—and to help weight the boat to windward). A second port adjacent to the skipper can hold a sandwich and a bottle of Gatorade or water.
When I dried-out my very heavy Porpoise II, I found the bow foam intact and dry! Only the stern foam was wet. I was going to suggest the Ultimate Inspection Port... , which would be helpful if it's the bow foam that's wet. (To determine if wet foam is weighting the bow or stern, the Sunfish should balance on its edge in the area of the deck drain).
However, centered in the cockpit bulkhead, even that big port won't accommodate a daggerboard or a paddle. (A paddle is essential to have, but would be in the way on a long trip—and could get lost). So, the "ultimate port" would need to be smaller, offset, (maybe tilted?) with its own built-up epoxy-filler coaming.
Before I lost my wood paddle I'd taken a router to it, and thinned it to fit deeply into the daggerboard trunk, to act as an "emergency" daggerboard.
I've found having a second PFD was really handy folded to deflect waves when secured in front of the splashguard. (It's also light in weight, and could aid getting back on board—link).
It is time consuming but doable to scoop out the yellow expanding foam that holds the blocks in place and replace that, they hold most of the water weight. DO NOT replace the white blocks, they are impossible to find.
It is time consuming but doable to scoop out the yellow expanding foam that holds the blocks in place and replace that, they hold most of the water weight. DO NOT replace the white blocks, they are impossible to find. You don't need lots of clamps, we made some out of 4 inch PVC pipe.
I've been storing some white Styrofoam™ blocks from 1957. Used to float a wood swim raft that is "long-gone", they've been stored out of the sun. Only the top ⅛-inch is fragile, and the blocks could be used again.
I suspect a second-hand Styrofoam™ block taken from a damaged Sunfish "donor" would work—but I wouldn't want to be the person who would be trying to fit it in!
Mentioned above, the "Ultimate Inspection Port" won't accommodate a daggerboard, because the daggerboard trunk is centered—partially blocking other wide and unbending items from convenient storage in the bow. A spare rudder and tiller should fit. Generally, paddles do fit, but—excepting Greenland-style paddles—they won't fit a round 6-inch port without modification. Overnight supplies (even a tent—designed to block Florida's no-see-ums) would find a dry home there. .
What we have found with some tiller bolts is that they are a tiny bit too short, not sure if they were factory parts though. We buy stainless replacements at Ace Hardware that are just a bit longer and use them with a nylon lock nut, after they are installed and tightened as desired I trim the excess bolt off with a reciprocating saw.
Co-incidentally: This month's Dutch magazine 'Zeilen' (='Sailing') has a nice article from a man who did a trip with his Laser. He sailed the Dutch Delta in the SW'ern part of the country. Lots of current (tide) and the wind is unpredictable: mostly western, but this summer (very hot), the wind was more or less east for weeks. He embarked on a two-day trip with one night to spend on a small beach. I guess that he did about the same distance (58 miles/95 kms)/
A few pics how he managed to overcome the problem of stowing goods and campings stuff and how he spent the night.