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Chine repair 1967 sunfish

Robin U

New Member
I have a 1967 sunfish that had what I thought to be a minor crack on the chine. When we got into it, we discovered that it was an old repair that had broken down and when we got that all removed we have a 3 foot hole that is about 3” at the widest point. What we decided to try is putting some 1/8 inch thick PVC slats inside the hull for support. We plan to use Thixo Flex and pop rivets to attach the slats to the hull since the Thixo Flex bonds with PVC and fiberglass. Then fiberglass over the hole with 1708 and epoxy and finally build up and shape the chine with thickened epoxy. This is our first attempt at fiberglass repair so if anyone has any feedback or can tell us if we’re on the right track, it would be appreciated. 3571BBD8-0B00-41E8-BD4B-4C73F6B956DA.jpeg05B66720-730F-427D-AE3B-BE70CCAF6BEB.jpegF0954455-2585-4062-B8EA-0E549C772952.jpeg37879150-3E70-4717-ADCE-16515BF79AAC.jpegCBBB733F-AAF4-4979-BD71-B8C6D2C5E54D.jpeg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Fiberglassing is kind of fun, even if you don't know what you're doing! ;)

Yours is a fairly common repair.

If you had access to a wrecked hull, I'd cut a piece out to fill in the hole. Rivet it, use as a backing, then build up layers over it.

Got lonnng sail battens? I've got a dozen, but it's too long a drive.

You could stretch 4-inch fiberglass tape over a disposable [like masking tape] surface, and build two layers over it. The object of this exercise is to make a backing. Rivet and bond inside and build layers, adding layers until the epoxy smokes through the cup. (I use slow-set catalyst to stretch my minutes over the repair). Leftover epoxy goes to "whip" the ends of ropes, and to make permanent repairs of splintered wood products, like wooden stairs or docks.

Thickened epoxy is handy and strong, but the tube starts out half-empty--and the stuff's not cheap. :eek:

Next? ;)
 

Robin U

New Member
Fiberglassing is kind of fun, even if you don't know what you're doing! ;)

Yours is a fairly common repair.

If you had access to a wrecked hull, I'd cut a piece out to fill in the hole. Rivet it, use as a backing, then build up layers over it.

Got lonnng sail battens? I've got a dozen, but it's too long a drive.

You could stretch 4-inch fiberglass tape over a disposable [like masking tape] surface, and build two layers over it. The object of this exercise is to make a backing. Rivet and bond inside and build layers, adding layers until the epoxy smokes through the cup. (I use slow-set catalyst to stretch my minutes over the repair). Leftover epoxy goes to "whip" the ends of ropes, and to make permanent repairs of splintered wood products, like wooden stairs or docks.

Thickened epoxy is handy and strong, but the tube starts out half-empty--and the stuff's not cheap. :eek:

Next? ;)
Thanks for the help. The slats I have should work like the sail battens. Wish I had an old hull to work off of but this is our first sunfish and they are hard to come by around here. Sounds like we are on the right track and we’ll keep posting to the forum as our project progresses. Thanks again!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
A friend asked if I'd seen his Sunfish, as it had disappeared from his mooring "overnight". I don't know what he'd been smoking, but it hadn't been on his mooring for 7-10 days. :oops:

'Guess that's how such repairs (as yours) become necessary? :confused:
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
Robin U,

Your plan is spot on.

Just curious - where in Central NY are you? I am in Cazenovia just south east of Syracuse. I have done a bunch of these Sunfish chine repairs and am happy to consult if you have questions: aglos@colgate.edu

Alan Glos
 

Robin U

New Member
Robin U,

Your plan is spot on.

Just curious - where in Central NY are you? I am in Cazenovia just south east of Syracuse. I have done a bunch of these Sunfish chine repairs and am happy to consult if you have questions: aglos@colgate.edu

Alan Glos
Thanks Al! We bought the bailer from you a few months ago. We really appreciate your input. It turned into a bigger project than we first thought but we're going to give it a shot. We'll post pictures as it goes along. Thanks again!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Too late to edit the above. :rolleyes:

I guess I meant right angles (before I dropped off to sleep). :oops: Now that I've checked for hurricane damage--drizzle only--no damage...continuing...

String or duct-tape would work: The idea being,
1) to approximate the chine's corner,
2) to reduce sag of wet tape,
3) limit the quantity of build-up needed.
 

Robin U

New Member
Too late to edit the above. :rolleyes:

I guess I meant right angles (before I dropped off to sleep). :oops: Now that I've checked for hurricane damage--drizzle only--no damage...continuing...

String or duct-tape would work: The idea being,
1) to approximate the chine's corner,
2) to reduce sag of wet tape,
3) limit the quantity of build-up needed.
Makes sense. Thanks!
 

Robin U

New Member
Here’s where we’re at with this repair. After some help from Alan Glos and L&VW, we added several more slats to keep the spacing to a minimum. Three layers of 1708 fiberglass went on great. We built up the chine more to shape it with thickened epoxy with glass fiber and silica thickener for strength. We finished fairing the major damage on the chine and the other spots on the hull that needed it. Maybe some more sanding and fairing and then we can start on the deck. The deck looks pretty good so it shouldn’t be as bad as the hull (hopefully). Then we can think about painting. We’re very happy so far. We’re learning a lot!7C825DC3-4231-4674-9DC8-0BB239877A9D.jpeg7C825DC3-4231-4674-9DC8-0BB239877A9D.jpeg656DB4E2-1447-4A7E-85B3-7355DBA5FBFC.jpeg6CD21F7A-4E26-4EA4-9115-3DB781B80B3C.jpeg920421F5-BB54-4E4F-8103-D59DC15ECCA3.jpeg
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Magnified, I see a lot of straight lines in your sanding. Are you truing the chine-edge by hand? Backing the sandpaper with a long block of wood?

I use a belt sander, but it must be kept moving to lessen heat buildup in the fiberglass substrate.
 
You may find a bow sander helpful for the chine curves. Making a cheap longboard sander for the other surfaces out of a piece of plywood and a couple handles can also provide a flexible sanding tool for the more subtle curves.
 
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