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Early 50s sailfish restore

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Well, my Minifish with its Confederate Gunboat theme, Pirate theme, and Old West theme really garnered some attention in Dago, with tourists aboard the cattleboats lining the rails and clicking or filming away... same for folks on the waterfront, Embarcadero, etc., I even had school buses full of kids debarking and tramping down the Embarcadero while hollering, "I LIKE YOUR SAIL!!!" :rolleyes:

And when I wore my Santa cap around Christmas, folks aboard other boats would film me under way, go figure... thankfully I was incognito in my usual sailing attire, baggy pants & shirt, sunglasses, sailing gloves & nautical footgear, the whole nine yards. My sunglasses were the most expensive component in that ensemble, LOL... oh, yeah, they were also on a goon cord so I wouldn't lose 'em, aye? :confused:

Me own beloved & dear departed mum wouldn't have recognized me under way, and that's just the way I wanted it... but I must admit I was a bit of a showboatin' fool as I streaked past the cattleboats, standing upright and surfing the Fish like some Hawaiian @$$hole at the Banzai Pipeline, LOL. Oh, yeah, and CHUGGIN' a quart o' beer in a custom purple neoprene Costa Rican cooler cup slung over my shoulder with climbing gear, YEAH??? ;)

AAAAAAH, THE GOOD OL' DAYS!!! SO MUCH FUN BACK IN THOSE TIMES... BUT NOW I'M LEARNING HOW TO HAVE A BLAST IN THE BRAVE NEW THIRD WORLD, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS KICK@$$ GUBMINT JOB AND ALL ITS BENEFITS, LOL. :eek:

I'M POUNDING SOME DELICIOUS BLOODY MARYS WITH FRESH KEY LIME JUICE SQUEEZED INTO THE MIX & THE DRINKS DON'T SUCK... :D

CHEERS, YOUSE NAUTICAL HEE-ROES!!! I'M BACK TO THIS SURFING FLICK IN THE HIGH DESERT, LOL. :cool:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Well, my Minifish with its Confederate Gunboat theme, Pirate theme, and Old West theme really garnered some attention in Dago, with tourists aboard the cattleboats lining the rails and clicking or filming away... same for folks on the waterfront, Embarcadero, etc., I even had school buses full of kids debarking and tramping down the Embarcadero while hollering, "I LIKE YOUR SAIL!!!" :rolleyes:

And when I wore my Santa cap around Christmas, folks aboard other boats would film me under way, go figure... thankfully I was incognito in my usual sailing attire, baggy pants & shirt, sunglasses, sailing gloves & nautical footgear, the whole nine yards. My sunglasses were the most expensive component in that ensemble, LOL... oh, yeah, they were also on a goon cord so I wouldn't lose 'em, aye? :confused:

Me own beloved & dear departed mum wouldn't have recognized me under way, and that's just the way I wanted it... but I must admit I was a bit of a showboatin' fool as I streaked past the cattleboats, standing upright and surfing the Fish like some Hawaiian @$$hole at the Banzai Pipeline, LOL. Oh, yeah, and CHUGGIN' a quart o' beer in a custom purple neoprene Costa Rican cooler cup slung over my shoulder with climbing gear, YEAH??? ;)

AAAAAAH, THE GOOD OL' DAYS!!! SO MUCH FUN BACK IN THOSE TIMES... BUT NOW I'M LEARNING HOW TO HAVE A BLAST IN THE BRAVE NEW THIRD WORLD, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS KICK@$$ GUBMINT JOB AND ALL ITS BENEFITS, LOL. :eek:

I'M POUNDING SOME DELICIOUS BLOODY MARYS WITH FRESH KEY LIME JUICE SQUEEZED INTO THE MIX & THE DRINKS DON'T SUCK... :D

CHEERS, YOUSE NAUTICAL HEE-ROES!!! I'M BACK TO THIS SURFING FLICK IN THE HIGH DESERT, LOL. :cool:
For the uninitiated:
Dago=San Diego
Embarcadero=Street in California
Cattleboat=Boat lined with Tourists
Banzai Pipeline=Large curling wave, seen off the NW beachcoast of Haleiwa, O'ahu island, Hawai'i.
__________________

When I lived in Hawai'i the beach was pronounced Hah-lay-ee-vah, and it was the "Territory of Hawaii", abbreviated by (today's) USPS as "T.H."

O'ahu and Hawai'i had no apostrophes, and "Rabbit Island", off O'ahu's NE coast, has, today, reverted to some unpronouncable native Hawai'ian words.

(Life was simpler before the apostrophe came along!) :mad:

Oh yes: I have very limited Hawai'ian surfing experience, but I've found that sailing, skiing, and surfing share similar skills and rewards. IMHO.

Now, I return the subject to films--which we used to call movies.

;)
 
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Coastal Redneck

Active Member
For the uninitiated:
Dago=San Diego
Embarcadero=Street in California
More than just a street, although multiple streets border it... the Star of India was always my favorite attraction on the Embarcadero. One night, while returning to Coronado after pounding beers at a raging party in Pacific Beach, a friend & I snuck aboard via the bowline (or bow line, for nautical armchair experts), hanging upside down like monkeys (there were overnight security guards below deck, and they surely would've heard footsteps on the noisy metal gangplank), then we ascended to the main royal yard and enjoyed the view of the city skyline. Got busted a little while later when my drunken friend leapt from the starboard rail and thumped down on deck... the guards heard the fool, and our bloody dirks & cutlasses were no match for their flashlights & security badges, so we were hastily escorted to shore via that same creaking & noisy gangplank I mentioned earlier, LOL. Hopped into the car and split pronto, but we'll always share that memory... nice view from the main royal yard, it doesn't suck, LOL. And sneaking around the forecastle & main deck was awesome too, like something out of an Errol Flynn movie back in the day... maybe a Gregory Peck flick as he portrayed Hornblower, AYE??? :rolleyes:

CHEERS, AND THANKS FOR YOUR OTHER OBSERVATIONS, THEY WERE RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!! :cool:
 
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chucklane92

Active Member
I've been of two minds on this deck question:

1). It's going to look like plywood...

2). It's going to look like wood!

Wood
would be more-better.

:)
Only the deck, paint on the rest, It is plywood, by the same token, painted looks like painted plywood. I like natural but, you are correct, it will look like plywood. Wood would definitely be better. That said, it is what it is. lol
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Just watched this hilarious trailer on YouTube:


Seen the flick multiple times over the years, but I never saw this trailer, lol. Here's the trailer for the "KEANU" flick I watched earlier today, it was so funny I'm about to watch it again and add it to my library on the YouTube TV app on my Samsung 6 Series 65" curved screen, lol. Apologies in advance to the OP, but don't miss the kitten "hood surfing" later in the movie, it is pretty darned funny. Y'all can probably stream the flick for free off "Teh Internetz." :rolleyes:


Okay, I'm DONE thread-jacking tonight, I'm off to watch "KEANU" again, y'all know I'm biased... toward cats, LOL. CHEERS!!! :cool:

P.S. That scene in the Hornblower flick where the hands are all leaping overboard? My passengers leaping off my Laser back in the day, LOL... ;)
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Excellent reproduction of square-rigger masts in Hornblower "trailer" (preview, above).

The 10-foot section just above deck was wrapped entirely with copper sheet. This process kept the deck-crews from being "lanced" by Kingswood-pine splinters, should a cannon ball (aimed low to dismast the ship) hit where it was intended.

Where was I? :confused:

This must be a weekend!

Oh yes...

Most structural plywood is manufactured from Western Hemlock.

Interior plywood "plies", even after WWII, were glued together using cows' blood. (!)
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
I think the natural deck is the way to go. I’d probably do the whole boat without paint. Any wood, even plywood, looks beautiful when stained and properly sealed. I love taking an old neglected piece of wood and bringing out the beauty in it- oars, rudders, daggerboards and decks!
In this case I agree, even though I'm BIG on LP or linear polyurethane paint... been smokin' the $h!t for YEARS, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :eek:

Damn, there's just something fundamentally WRONG with that statement, but I'm havin' TOO MUCH FUN to retract it NOW, LOL... ;)

CHEERS, YOUSE NAUTICAL HEE-ROES, CARRY ON AND MORE POWER TO YA!!! :rolleyes:

HASTA LUEGO, PINCHE MARINEROS!!! :cool:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Try straight epoxy with clear hardener on a section of the bottom. 2 coats. If you don't like it try the stain next. I personally don't think you need the stain.

Here's ZIP with 2 coats of West System 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener. The 207 will not yellow like other hardeners. Every now and then she'll give us a peek of her Interlux Brightside Fire Red bottom, but she mostly sails flat. I never saw the need to do any more than this, skipped the varnish as she gets very little UV exposure.

IMG_1109.jpg

I like the areas where you can see flecks of her original red paint.

IMG_1115.jpg

She had a strange repair under the starboard coaming where there had been some wood rot, I have no idea what the repair chunks were but they are hard as iron. The coaming mostly covers it and someday I'll cut that out and put in a new dutchman.

IMG_1116.jpg

Meanwhile it's part of her heritage.

IMG_1138.jpg

Galloping Horse.

IMG_1148.jpg

I highly recommend that you consider adding a rubrail and toe rail. They look great and the toe rail is functional. After some research I believe this model is what Alcort called the Sailfish 14 Deluxe, it had an added splashguard and rails, she dates around 1953. The aluminum spars are not period correct. I'll fix that someday as well.

IMG_8823.jpg

Note the incorrect bow handle, it does not have the tab that covers the top of the stem.

ZSA ZSA bow before.jpg

Found old new stock on ebay

IMG_8305.jpg

Then there is a 16 inch keel strip that wraps the bottom of the stem.

IMG_8312.JPG

A full paint job looks good too. We have used single part epoxy paint, oil enamel and single part polyurethane over primer, the primer is the bridge between the epoxy and the paint.

IMG_1074 2.jpg
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
This is epoxy with regular hardener, first coat on our Standard Sailfish WINNIE. Special Clear Hardener is the way to go.

IMG_1177.jpg

Valspar Ultra enamel over the epoxy

Audrey and Winnie 19 may.jpg

Added rub rail for looks.

IMG_1218.jpg

Sitting on a padded canoe chair.

IMG_1878.jpg
 

chucklane92

Active Member
Try straight epoxy with clear hardener on a section of the bottom. 2 coats. If you don't like it try the stain next. I personally don't think you need the stain.

Here's ZIP with 2 coats of West System 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener. The 207 will not yellow like other hardeners. Every now and then she'll give us a peek of her Interlux Brightside Fire Red bottom, but she mostly sails flat. I never saw the need to do any more than this, skipped the varnish as she gets very little UV exposure.

View attachment 36030

I like the areas where you can see flecks of her original red paint.

View attachment 36031

She had a strange repair under the starboard coaming where there had been some wood rot, I have no idea what the repair chunks were but they are hard as iron. The coaming mostly covers it and someday I'll cut that out and put in a new dutchman.

View attachment 36032

Meanwhile it's part of her heritage.

View attachment 36033

Galloping Horse.

View attachment 36034

I highly recommend that you consider adding a rubrail and toe rail. They look great and the toe rail is functional. After some research I believe this model is what Alcort called the Sailfish 14 Deluxe, it had an added splashguard and rails, she dates around 1953. The aluminum spars are not period correct. I'll fix that someday as well.

View attachment 36035

Note the incorrect bow handle, it does not have the tab that covers the top of the stem.

View attachment 36037

Found old new stock on ebay

View attachment 36038

Then there is a 16 inch keel strip that wraps the bottom of the stem.

View attachment 36039

A full paint job looks good too. We have used single part epoxy paint, oil enamel and single part polyurethane over primer, the primer is the bridge between the epoxy and the paint.

View attachment 36040
I was actually considering a rub and toe rail, I wanted to keep it correct for the era so, I was hesitant. Also considering the splash guard and I was planning on a keel strip. Some places I go are a bit rocky. The boats look incredible and I'm going to take all of your suggestions and use them now that I know they are period correct. Thank you very much for all of your input in this. I hope to have her ready for this season. I will keep you and everyone updated.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Alcort tried a lot of things. The toe rail covered the top of the rub rail, and they both worked to protect the deck seam. We used some solid pine trim from Lowes that I cut down to a width that would take the toe rail deck curve. The toe rail is eased with a tiny roundover bit on each top edge, enough so it doesn't skin a leg with a sharp edge. The rub rail top edge is square so that it nestles under the toe rail, and the rub rail bottom edge is eased.

We saw two different style keel strips. Keep in mind that the keel strip has a T shape so that it nestles in between the bottom plywood panels and also overlaps the edge of the panel to protect it. The keel strip on the 1963 wooden Sunfish was about 3/8th inch proud, the keel strip on the Super Sailfish was about 3/4 inch. We split the difference and designed what we call the "Hunter Skeg" that will help the boat track straight and resist leeway, especially if used as a kayak or SUP, but is not so big to be a hindrance to tacking. Sea Trials were successful.

Hunter Skeg Photos

Hunter Skeg. Shown before we rounded the edges with a 1/8th inch roundover bit on a compact trim router.

Hunter skeg.JPG

Hunter skeg 2.JPG

Hunter skeg 3.JPG
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member

Then there is a 16 inch keel strip that wraps the bottom of the stem
.
As an aviator, you'll appreciate this anecdote.

A senior pilot landed his (also) senior Republic Sea Bee on a paved runway, forgetting to put his gear down.

Watching mechanics observed, "Not again!"

The pilot wandered over, and asked if they'd replace the brass keel strip (again).

This was Laconia, NH, only about ten years ago. I haven't seen a SeaBee in a very long time. :rolleyes:
 
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chucklane92

Active Member
Alcort tried a lot of things. The toe rail covered the top of the rub rail, and they both worked to protect the deck seam. We used some solid pine trim from Lowes that I cut down to a width that would take the toe rail deck curve. The toe rail is eased with a tiny roundover bit on each top edge, enough so it doesn't skin a leg with a sharp edge. The rub rail top edge is square so that it nestles under the toe rail, and the rub rail bottom edge is eased.

We saw two different style keel strips. Keep in mind that the keel strip has a T shape so that it nestles in between the bottom plywood panels and also overlaps the edge of the panel to protect it. The keel strip on the 1963 wooden Sunfish was about 3/8th inch proud, the keel strip on the Super Sailfish was about 3/4 inch. We split the difference and designed what we call the "Hunter Skeg" that will help the boat track straight and resist leeway, especially if used as a kayak or SUP, but is not so big to be a hindrance to tacking. Sea Trials were successful.

Hunter Skeg Photos

Hunter Skeg. Shown before we rounded the edges with a 1/8th inch roundover bit on a compact trim router.

View attachment 36057

View attachment 36058

View attachment 36059
This is very helpful, the keel strip is the one area where there is damage. I plan on replacing it. Now I know what to expect and I will go with your recommendation on the size. Thanks again!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
It just occurred to me that the plywood's light grain is slightly raised above the dark grain. (Winter growth=light grain/summer growth=dark grain)

To increase contrast (make it more "zebra-like"), a light sanding will increase the contrast.

Just a thought. :)
 

chucklane92

Active Member
It looks great! What product did you go with? Stained first, or did the sealer darken the wood?
Thanks. It's a minwax sealer/ stain that says it is compatible with epoxy and spar varnish. I also used some wood hardener in a few areas. I think also minwax, I will have to look. I wanted to get something on it. It's in my garage and it gets some big temperature and humidity swings out there. If it was summer, It would have waited until I had the bottom done. I have worked with this before just not on boats. If you mess it up you can re-sand and reapply.
 

chucklane92

Active Member
She'll need to be light sanded anyway, that fir will be a little fuzzy and most likely the sealer raised the grain a tiny bit.
She'll need to be light sanded anyway, that fir will be a little fuzzy and most likely the sealer raised the grain a tiny bit.
She will be light sanded for sure. and at least scuffed between coats when I get to the finish which may be a while. Now that it's sealed, I need to flip her over and work on the keel strip etc. that we discussed. Still have along way to go, just wanted to protect the wood. Thanks again.
 

chucklane92

Active Member
It just occurred to me that the plywood's light grain is slightly raised above the dark grain. (Winter growth=light grain/summer growth=dark grain)

To increase contrast (make it more "zebra-like"), a light sanding will increase the contrast.

Just a thought. :)
It will be sanded several more times. Thanks :)
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Wow!!! Signal Charlie & Skipper, I gotta tell y'all that the work ya do on old boats is EXCELLENT, right up there with a very high standard of workmanship!!! Looking at those pics of yours, I feel as if I just visited a Sailfish Museum, lol... VERY NICE WORK, and I say that as a hand who has worked on (or aboard) small craft all of his life. You are to be commended for your high standards & work ethics... enough said, except to tell the OP that HIS boat is looking good too, keep it up, alla youse nautical hee-roes, you are keeping history ALIVE!!! :cool:

Somehow, this reminds me of an E-Z-GO TXT Fleet golf cart I wrenched on yesterday, #10 was TOTALLY THRASHED in every way and had not run for awhile, but I went through that cart and repaired or swapped out everything that needed such work. Now the cart ROARS like a NASCAR rig on the starting line at Daytona, lol... I backed off the governor all the way and turned up the cart speed, then went offroading out at the far end of the driving range, where landscaping work is still being done and there are dirt banks & berms, aye? :rolleyes:

Picture me hiking out (or leaning to starboard and grasping the seat rail) in a white E-Z-GO golf cart with a 13hp Kawasaki motor tuned & turned up to the max, drifting on the flats and carving the banks while fishtailing like a drunken fool in a Cadillac on a Saturday night, LOL. I had that cart up on two wheels on more than one occasion... I was hoping to impress the Beverage Cart Cutie who seems to have taken a shine to me, she sure is one fine-looking woman, and the clubhouse was in sight as I ripped around in my cart. Awesome weather too, I felt like Ivan Stewart in the Baja 1000 as Cart #10 took some SE-WIOUS ABUSE, LOL... :eek:

Anyway, carry on with your heroic restorations of small craft, you are all NAUTICAL HEROES in my book, AYE??? OP, that boat is looking good, I might hafta make an offer on her in the near future, lol. Ship her by rail to this little burg in southeastern Arizona... heaps of railroad history here, passengers used to detrain here to take the stagecoach to Tombstone, and to this day an unbelievable amount of freight passes through on the southern rail route. More cross-country freight than any other line, since the northern routes are iced up or dealing with delays in bad winter weather. I can see it all from my home on the hill, I call it "My Little Train Set!" ;)

Some of these freight trains are 1-1/2 to 2 miles long, no lie, I've seen a record 8 LOCOMOTIVES hooked up to one train: 4 up front, 2 in the middle, and 2 bringing up the rear, and NONE of those engines looked as if it were being idly towed, 10-4? The other day, a westbound train got hung up trying to pull the grade outta town in wet weather, didn't have enough engines to do the job so it blocked one crossing in town for HOURS, LOL. Thankfully, I have an alternate route to the golf course, just gotta jump on I-10 for a moment and a bridge or overpass crosses the rail line. Damn, I LOVE small town redneck life!!! :D

P.S. SOME BANDIDOS BURGLED THE GOLF COURSE CLUBHOUSE THE OTHER NIGHT AND MADE OFF WITH THE OFFICE SAFE, NETTING SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS IN THE ROBBERY... LEFT A PRY BAR WITH FINGERPRINTS AT THE SCENE, LOL. THE SPIRIT OF THE OLD WEST IS STILL ALIVE!!! WYATT EARP & HIS BROTHERS HAD NOTHIN' ON THESE GOLF COURSE BANDIDOS!!! :confused:
 
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chucklane92

Active Member
Looks like the hull, (bottom) was fiberglassed. Looking for recomendations on how to handle this. Thanks in advance!
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Two issues: wood and fiberglass.

IMHO:
The fiberglass looks pretty good. My only concern would be delamination, but I'm not seeing any. I do see delamination of the fiberglass material as inevitable. :( Don't moor this boat! :eek:

Patch the small points of damage; especially, taking care of the edges. The bulk of the covering can be smoothed to make a nice finish. Here, I'd use a long (2x17-inch) auto-body sanding block. They're made also in compressed-air models, or handmade of thin plywood, with two handles glued on.

The wood part needs some more thinking. ;)
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Looks funky, but that's due to age... since some prior owner already applied glass to the bottom, I would NOT try to remove it in any way, even though that keel strip looks like $h!t, an absolute train wreck, LOL. I'm thinking you should incorporate what "solid" glass is left in your restoration, and do your best to replace that ugly keel strip, perhaps using a little further fiberglass work to seal the deal, AYE? I don't know how much of a "purist" you are, as far as the Sailfish class goes... moi, I'd want a boat which is not only SAFE but SEAWORTHY. If ya wanna go the other route and stick to tradition, well, the Sailfish heroes at this site can probably offer better advice. At least you're working on this bad girl and bringing her back to life, that's the important thing... if ya have to adapt, improvise & overcome problems due to age, rot, etc., well, what means MORE to ya? Having some "perfect class model" or getting out on the water? Moi, I like getting out on the water, LOL. Especially with a soft cooler full o' beer and a bad@$$ lunch, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! CHEERS!!! :cool:

P.S. Keep up the fine work, you'll have that bad girl sailing yet, and more power to ya... going through this restoration & refurbishment is half the fun, LOL. :rolleyes:
 
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