Attaching coaming / splashguard on vintage sunfish

Thread starter #1
Hello - first time Sunfish owner and I couldn't be more excited!

I have a pre-1973 Sunfish that has a leaky hull. I read around here that its often the coaming / splashguard that is the issue. As I was taking it off I saw that it was attached with a combination of wall anchors (yuk!) and what I would describe as "rubber butted well nuts."

I took all of them out and sanded/razored down some of the built up paint around the holes. Next, I ordered the "magic sealed rivets" for the coaming but the holes are way too big from the previous fasteners. What would be the next best course of action?

I was thinking of finding filling in the holes and then re-tapping them an appropriate size for the rivets. I'm not too sure what material one would use to fill-in the holes. Any thoughts, suggestions and commentary would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help.


Active Member
Or caulk the heck out of it and thru bolt with larger washers on the underside, since you have an inspection port right there. The hull is pretty thin to grind out a depression and fill the holes...but doable. I might go with my first suggestion though.
I wouldn't bother tapping the holes either....too thin of a deck. But you could lay a piece of glass on the underside, lightly fair the holes on the topside out and fill with fiberglass, marine tex or epoxy... whatever is easiest. Just some 10 x 24 machine screws with a 1/2" washer will work just fine.... and caulk!! Use a decent bath tub caulk pleeze!


Active Member
I'd recommend replacing the original 10-24 Rivnuts. I think you can get the
tool and nuts you need for about $45 at Harbor Freight. The ability to attach with
screws makes storing and repairing damage much much easier. It looks like you
may be able to use the original holes without grinding and patching.


Well-Known Member
I kinda like those "rubber butted well nuts". Anyone know if they were factory-original?

"Like", because the recurved design of the splashboard makes it snag on stuff. If a misadventure doesn't rip the splashboard off—it damages it—making for an expensive replacement or a difficult splashboard repair. :confused:

Caulking is difficult to remove, and too many types repel paint, making "fish-eyes" in new paint. :(

My splashboard deflects a lot of wakes here—where cruiser- and other powerboat-wakes overwhelm small boats. While the splashboard adds strength to the deck, I don't see a need for caulking or a hard-securing method beyond the rubber well-nuts. Hardly any water gets under my non-caulked splashboard; however, I'll get wakes into the cockpit over the rear deck! :eek:

IMHO, the well-nuts appear like a good (and watertight) compromise. :)