What's new

Broken bow handle-76 sunfish


New Member
Had this happen on a recently acquired sunfish, I suspect the wood rotted and the screws were then only attached to the deck. Does anyone have experience with this repair?



Active Member
Looks like the rear screws let loose and the handle levered
forward. Lots of recent threads of repairs needing the front
deck popped for repairs, pretty much what you got here. Drill
out the pop rivet heads on the trim with a 1/8 drill and you
will be on your way. Splitting the seams is a matter of taking
your time and a bunch of breaks for a cold beer. Only trouble
you might have is if you hit a tough spot and the split tries to travel off the
seam line. Ain't fiberglass great, you can do repairs with no
special tooling.


Well-Known Member
An inspection port up that way should provide access too.
There's not much space in there for the average hand size. :(

I cut a postcard-sized hole in the side, and it was still tight!

You'll want a backing plate of some kind. I suggest a fitted section of polypropylene cutting board. (One dollar at Dollar Tree). :cool:

To avoid a pull-through of the handle a second time :confused:, bolt the bow handle with machine screws, and secure the nuts with epoxy glue. (They may need periodic re-tightening, but won't pull out).
If you want to see what's involved in splitting a hull and what things look like under the bow handle, just check out my thread on Starting a sunfish project. I'm replacing the handle on my boat with a new one, after it arrives in a week. Fiberglass repair is pretty easy. You can get a kit at any hardware store.


Well-Known Member
Cut out a 6x9 hole around the bow handle, locate (or make) a 7x10 fiberglass plate. Bond (or bolt) a backing plate to the underside, bond the fiberglass plate inside, build up layers of fiberglass, fair, paint, then drill new holes, attach new handle. Go sailing? :)