Barn find. Should I?

Thread starter #1
Hi, all. I'm new here. I've been looking for a sailboat for a few months and came across this (see picture below) for sale online. It is about 30 minutes from my house so I plan on checking it out in the next couple of days. I've read a few of posts here on what to look for when buying a used boat or trying to restore. I *think* I know what to look for and *think* I could have this ready to go in the spring. I'm fairly handy and like the idea of working a project with my family.

I'd love to hear thoughts on what red flags/deal breakers to look for. I plan on giving the hull a thorough inspection and may even show up with a scale to get a good sense of its weight. It also looks like it is missing almost all the rigging hardware.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Seller is asking $100.



PS: I have a couple other pictures that I need to resize before posting, but they mainly show a couple different angles and the mast.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#2
Assuming the mast and boom/gaff is present the deck trim is going to be your biggest
cost. New trim comes in 5 foot sections at $25 per. Seven sections needed at to replace
all. Looks like you need four or five sections. See if you can get the seller to come down
to $75. Check the bottom for the usual fiberglass damage to the keel. If no repairs
are needed I'd say it's a solid project at that price. There is a benefit to finding hull
damage in that you get to learn fiberglass repair which is what Sunfish is really
good at teaching along with sailing. Sort of a win-win situation.
 
#4
Other than major hull damage, the most important thing is weight. This is a 1972 or older hull and if it has leaked, the interior foam may be soaked/waterlogged. Weigh the hull on its side balanced on a decent bathroom scale. If the bare hull weight is over, say, 145 lbs, I would pass...but at $100, you have a decent parts boat eve if you don't restore the hull.
A post 1972 Sunfish with the new style, spring loaded kick-up rudder might be a better buy. You can find them at about $500 if you look hard enough.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
Thread starter #6
Thanks for all the great responses. Certainly plenty to consider. I am leaning toward passing, but may go check it out given that it is so close by. Beldar, good eye. Looks like the rudder fittings and corresponding hull fittings are missing. Am I crazy for wanting it more for being from the 70s? Here are a couple more pictures.
20171221_133450.jpg

20171221_133504.jpg 20171221_133504.jpg 20171221_133542.jpg
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#7
Unless you really are careful, you'll end up having $500 in it quick. Still a $500 boat done to your satisfaction is still a good deal in my opinion. Too bad there isn't a trailer involved. That would make the icing on the cake taste better
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#8
Assuming the mast and boom/gaff is present the deck trim is going to be your biggest
cost. New trim comes in 5 foot sections at $25 per. Seven sections needed at to replace all. Looks like you need four or five sections. See if you can get the seller to come down to $75. Check the bottom for the usual fiberglass damage to the keel. If no repairs are needed I'd say it's a solid project at that price. There is a benefit to finding hull damage in that you get to learn fiberglass repair which is what Sunfish is really
good at teaching along with sailing. Sort of a win-win situation.
IMHO, at $75, this boat rates "marginal value". Otherwise, Sunfish of the 1970s are solid boats. Somehow, I now own five! :confused:

Even if the rudder parts are present, I'd want the option to move to the 1972+ spring-type rudder. By regularly checking Craigslist and eBay, you should be able to get a complete late-style rudder for less than $300. New, the pin and gudgeon are relatively cheap. (Other new rudder parts are available from advertisers here but, even off-season, a three-week delivery isn't helpful). You'll need a rear inspection port. I'd offset it four inches from the centerline.

I'm impressed that the labels are in good condition. This hull may have had a gentle life, but became "Project Sunfish" due to cosmetics. Somewhere along its lifespan, it unwillingly became a parts-boat. :oops: With shipping, it seems every essential Sunfish part is pushing $150. :(

If determined to have this boat, I'd check the bottom for defects, and consider installing two inspection ports to bring its weight down.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#9
Assuming the mast and boom/gaff is present the deck trim is going to be your biggest cost. New trim comes in 5 foot sections at $25 per. Seven sections needed at to replace all. Looks like you need four or five sections. See if you can get the seller to come down to $75. Check the bottom for the usual fiberglass damage to the keel. If no repairs are needed I'd say it's a solid project at that price. There is a benefit to finding hull damage in that you get to learn fiberglass repair which is what Sunfish is really good at teaching along with sailing. Sort of a win-win situation.
An option may be to replace the aluminum trim—entirely—with vinyl automotive "windlace". (2@$25 each). Equipped internally with aluminum "teeth", it is normally hammered-on with a wood or rubber mallet. The wide Sunfish margins may require epoxy or a 3M product to make an attachment reasonably permanent. Windlace:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/...FsXvL0sARHlk1wUTm0bz_VWXNZdgg5KhoCVsEQAvD_BwE

Perhaps from resting "on-edge" in soil, my latest Sunfish has a short section of aluminum trim that had corroded to the consistency of Swiss cheese. A piece that would fit into an 8"x11" envelope would suit me just fine. :cool: Anyone? :)

.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#10
You can put the drain plug on Ebay for $65. Then you have a $35 dollar project.
Vinyl trim will only work till the boat is flipped on it's side, then the fiberglass lip
will get crunched. I've never found a source of rounded u-channel except for
Sunfish suppliers. Perhaps it is manufactured in lots only for Sunfish applications.
The rudder mount assembly is on E-bay right now for $45. It come with a frozen
drain plug with would net you $65 if you could free it. Anyway projects always
are a money sink, the just provide something useful to waste time on.
 
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