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70s Sunfish Gelcoat cracking and flexing around cockpit deck.

L&VW

Well-Known Member
My most-used (ex-racer) Sunfish is the same, and getting worse. Should probably heavily reinforce the tub/deck angle underneath--with fiberglass cloth layers or roving. Just "live" with the gelcoat cracks.
:rolleyes:
 

churban

New Member
My most-used (ex-racer) Sunfish is the same, and getting worse. Should probably heavily reinforce the tub/deck angle underneath--with fiberglass cloth layers or roving. Just "live" with the gelcoat cracks.
:rolleyes:
Thanks for the reply. I might lay down a few layers all around underneath to see if it stiffens it up. I don't mind the cracks, just don't want it to fail.
 

po-man sailor

Active Member
I wonder if thats due to sun brittle aging because my little 12 fleet in 70s were abused on the open gulf and beach surf by every size and weight dumb inexperienced tourist imaginable and I never had that gel coat spiderweb cracking. However I did have tons of broken mast , spars, and rudders. :rolleyes:
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Ha, I am referring to the young lady. Your 1976 AMF Sunfish should weigh 139ish. The weight dropped to 129 with the rolled edge boats, Pearson, 1988.
I hate to contradict SC; but the boats were in the mid 120s thru the 80s and have pretty much stayed there. As an active racer I’ve been involved in weighing a lot of boats!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I hate to contradict SC; but the boats were in the mid 120s thru the 80s and have pretty much stayed there. As an active racer I’ve been involved in weighing a lot of boats!
A buyer, interested in starting a Sunfish fleet on a large Florida lake a mile from me, called to stop by to look at my advertised Sunfish. He seemed to know his business, and had bought a Bonair Sunfish.

Self-described as an experienced scrutineer of racing Sunfish, he took less than five minutes looking carefully around the cockpit tubs of my three mid-70s Sunfish, and left. :oops:

None had bailers (or repairs) but that would've been visible immediately, and should not have accounted for a "no-sale". :confused:

What gives? :rolleyes:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Find an old bathroom scale, put the sunfish on its side on the scale and try not to push down or hold up too much to skew the scale. We put donw towels to protect the hull as needed.

Here is a Super Sailfish pre-restoration, she should have weighed 102 pounds. Confused. But when we peeled her checked bottom ply off we found that someone had added styrofoam blocks at one point in her life, as well as 2x4 doublers to the frame, neither of which were needed. We took all of tha out and got her down to about 110, the difference being a thicker top deck and a couple of deck braces under the seating area. We left those items as folks weigh a few more pounds nowadays than they did in 1953.

ZSA ZSA weight pre restoration.jpg

L&VW I know exactly what happened. You had a Picker come by, he was hoping to lowball you, but when he saw what you had (good stuff) and found out that you knew what you had (properly priced) there was no reason for him to hang around. He could have saved himself some time by asking a few questions up front.

Insert last boat photo in you phone or files here...

C637C5F1-DF2A-4BFC-B47A-8AA4BFB21009.jpeg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply. I might lay down a few layers all around underneath to see if it stiffens it up. I don't mind the cracks, just don't want it to fail.
If you haven't started the retrofit yet, search here for "biaxial". It's a stronger cloth for just this application. :)
 

shorefun

Active Member
Having done some glass work on 1980, 1988, 1996 and 2006. Night and day difference in how beefy the early boats are compared to the later ones. The newer hulls are just so much lighter feeling when you pick them up.

The gel coat in the bow is like 1/4" thick and the lay up is thicker then the 96 and 06. The gel coat and glass is thinner on the newer boats. Way different construction techniques.
 
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