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70s Alcort Sailfish refresh

Amtorske

New Member
Hi Everyone,

Just got this new-to-me Alcort Sailfish and am very excited to begin sailing. Hoping this forum can provide a little more insight.
I am wondering what material the deck is made out of and if there is anyway to give it a shine/ make the old color come back to life, or if sanding down and repainting is possible. The previous owner said the boat is from the 70s.

Also wondering what is good to use for the non slip areas and whether there are any creative ways of making the boat more comfortable to sit in. Appreciate the help!!

Alex
 

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
The deck is finished in gelcoat Gelcoat - Wikipedia The surface has oxidized. Some folks here will have some ideas on how to try to get it better looking without painting it.

With the exception of padded shorts I don't think there is a way to make a Sailfish more comfortable. This is an example of padded shorts you can get Camet 3000 Sailing Shorts but APS is going out of business and most items are out of stock.

A sailfish is a wild ride when there is wind - you will enjoy it but you are going to get wet!!!!
 

Amtorske

New Member
A wild ride is exactly what I was hoping for :)

If I wanted to go the painting route- do you just sand down to make the surface rough or would i try to get most of the redish brown color off?

I have been reading about others’ restorations of wooden sailfish which seems more straightforward that you sand back down to the wood. Thanks!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
If I wanted to go the painting route- do you just sand down to make the surface rough or would i try to get most of the redish brown color off?
Someone else will know more about painting than me. But the gelcoat is the "reddish brown stuff." When it came from the factory it was a glossy bright red. You don't want to sand it off. First, it is what protects the fiberglass below, and protects you from the fiberglass. Fiberglass is rough and not a suitable finish. Second, it would take virtually forever. The advice other will give will tell you what grit of sandpaper to use to get the deck smooth enough for paint while getting rid of the oxidization.

But I am sure people will tell you how they reco you first try to get the gelcoat to look better. But I don't think you will be able to get it to pass for new! Personally I'd stop after trying to improve the gelcoat - I don't see the benefit of going thru the trouble to improve the aesthetics of the boat - I'd rather just sail it, but of course that is personal preference!
 

MrXC

Member
Looks good. Assuming its water tight, I'd lightly sand it and paint the deck with topside paint and get it on the water. You're going to want to keep the traction pad - I learned last weekend that a slick sailfish deck makes for a very wild ride!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Also that boat is from the 60s. By 1970 they came with racing stripes on the bow. And if that sail number is original to the boat the boat is quite old - that is a low number!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Back then, red colors were the worst when it came to fading. :rolleyes: Eventually, it'll fade again.

The cans of "Rubbing Compound", bought at auto stores, are not aggressive enough.

Professional compounding materials are available, and electric polishing tools are recommended.

An impressive result can be achieved without going to common polishes or the finer sandpapers.

.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome

Congratulations on your new boat. Sure are a lot of Sailfish surfacing recently, those are the boats that started it all for ALCORT and led to the development of the Sunfish. Your boat is a Super Sailfish MKII, meaning she is the stretch model at 13' 7" and fiberglass

Specs Alcort Sailfish Sunfish.jpeg

To make the hull ALCORT sprayed gelcoat, basically a thick, tough paint, into female molds for the hull and the deck and then laid woven roving fiberglass cloth onto the gelcoat, set in polyester resin. Amazingly the fiberglass was laid by the afternoon crew and the moring crew popped the boats out of the molds, then cleaned the molds to be used again later the same day. So your hull is a layer of thin gelcoat protecting fiberglass cloth from UV damage, the gelcoat also makes her shiny and pretty.

The best results to bring back shine we have seen are from a Wizard up in Vermont, he wet sands all of his restorations by hand, no power tools obviously, and gets amazing results. Red is indeed the hardest color to revive, but one of the most striking. I believe he uses 1600 and 2000 grit and goes from there. A good scrub with Dawn and water will help your boat.

ALCORT used to sell Scuttlebutts, shorts with leather on the butt. Other than that, enjoy! You never really sit in one spot long enough to notice.
 

Amtorske

New Member
Looks good. Assuming its water tight, I'd lightly sand it and paint the deck with topside paint and get it on the water. You're going to want to keep the traction pad - I learned last weekend that a slick sailfish deck makes for a very wild ride!
Any idea on how to refresh the traction pad? Seems to be slowly flaking away with some brighter red spots visible underneath.

I have slowly been sanding areas and getting to the bright red underneath, but have to be cautions as some areas are starting to see the fiberglass weave.

Will update with some photos later tonight, but just enjoying being able to mess around with it in the evenings or when the weather isn’t great.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Well, it's a bit unorthodox, but you COULD lose the original traction pad which has clearly seen its day, then use modern surfboard traction pads instead, doctored to suit your purpose... Gorilla Grip comes to mind, and I know that outfit offered some broad low-profile pads in the past. There are probably other companies which make some sort of suitable traction pads... and you could also combine pads to cover the same deck area as the original pad. Just my $.02, FWIW, my best friends ran a surf shop for 35 years and some of those traction pads they sold were quite nice, and the pads even came in various colors & designs, LOL. :rolleyes:

P.S. If you have exposed glass while sanding, you should address that problem before putting ANY kind of pad in place, aye? At the very least, cover the exposed fibers with additional catalyzed resin... again, just my $.02, CHEERS!!! :cool:
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Perhaps Signal Charlie will have a suggestion. Would mixing sawdust with a flat-finish paint work? Missing in sand would be too abrasive I’d think.
 

Bake

New Member
Have a 1970, many gel coat cracks on the bottom of the hull from the internal bracing stanchions. Routed them out with a dremel tool with a rounded conical blue grinding bit. Filled with two part white (light grey) paste epoxy. Using duralux white primer with white duralux paint. Should have been more aggressive on sanding the primer. Second coat of topcoat white goes on tomorrow. Was pretty aggressive in getting it smooth today. One more top coat may not be enough. More paint and primer on the way in case. Deck should hold up well to just wet sanding, no issues like the hull.
 

Deerhunter

New Member
I too am in the middle of a Super Sailfish MKII 1965 restoration.

For paint I have been using Interlux paints. Interlux was recommended by a friend who has restored 14 sailboats. Good enough for him so that's the brand I have been using. So far so good. Make sure to lightly sand between coats.

Also if you remove the handle or side rails for refinishing, I would recommend leaving a screw or two in place as there is a mahogany piece of wood under the deck and it can fall out if your not careful.

I have been looking for a replacement handle but to no avail I tried a sunfish handle but it doesn't fit. I may need to find someone to recast the handle for me.

Have you been able to open the drain plug?
 

Bake

New Member
Thank for the heads up on the screw/support issue. Will be heads up when I flip the boat. Right now not planning on repaint on deck, just hand sanding, etc. I'm happy with the duralux. Should have done better on sanding the primer. Worked on the first topcoat, second topcoat is outstanding. Lesson learned.

Had these stickers made, close. Had to build in PowerPoint, company could not replicate from photo. Calling it pretty good. Couldn't find an existing sticker that matched both original fonts.

Going to try to keep rudder hardware original, had to replace the 71/2" carriage bolt. Cut an 8" down, ground a thumb nut down to prevent the end from getting bent again. Made a spare.
 

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Bake

New Member
Thank for the heads up on the screw/support issue. Will be heads up when I flip the boat. Right now not planning on repaint on deck, just hand sanding, etc. I'm happy with the duralux. Should have done better on sanding the primer. Worked on the first topcoat, second topcoat is outstanding. Lesson learned.

Had these stickers made, close. Had to build in PowerPoint, company could not replicate from photo. Calling it pretty good. Couldn't find an existing sticker that matched both original fonts.

Going to try to keep rudder hardware original, had to replace the 71/2" carriage bolt. Cut an 8" down, ground a thumb nut down to prevent the end from getting bent again. Made a spare.
Forget the one photo. Fat fingered the file select.
 
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