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Early 50s sailfish restore

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Oh, I guess they added glass in '59, the "Early '50s" line in the thread title threw me, pfffffffft. So, was that cr@ppy-looking blue "glass" actually manufactured by the builder? Damn, they did $H!TTY WORK in those days, AYE??? CHEER-I-OH!!! :confused:
 

chucklane92

Member
I'm thinking I will have to leave the glass, probably sand it some to level it and apply a bit more gel to seal it back up. As far as the keel strip goes, I definitely have to replace. I'm wondering if I should replace it and then tie it in with gelcoat. Not sure on this.
 

chucklane92

Member
Oh, I guess they added glass in '59, the "Early '50s" line in the thread title threw me, pfffffffft. So, was that cr@ppy-looking blue "glass" actually manufactured by the builder? Damn, they did $H!TTY WORK in those days, AYE??? CHEER-I-OH!!! :confused:
The glass is not factory. It looks much more recent. I would guess it was done when it was painted yellow. The keel strip was probably done at the same time. my guess is sometime in the 70s or early 80s
 

wjejr

Active Member
I'm thinking I will have to leave the glass,

Hi there. If you have a mind to do it, you can remove the fiberglass, especially if it was done with polyester resin. What you will need to do is find/borrow a heat gun, or better yet an infrared speedheater (google that) and heat the fiberglass until it starts to bubble/blister/smoke. Once it is hot, you should be able to slide a large putty knife blade under the edge and then simply peel the glass off. You will need to wear work gloves so that you don't burn your hands and to protect them from the glass fibers. Also, you want to obviously do this in a well ventilated area.

I removed fiberglass from a 24' boat's bottom, sides, and deck, using a speedheater, and I was amazed how easy it was (picture). I literally took the glass off in rolls. Keep in mind, however, that this was for fiberglass set in polyester resin. I have heard that glass set in epoxy resin is more difficult to remove, and I believe it, but I have no experience with that. Given that you say the glass was likely done in the 70s or 80s, my bet is that your boat is polyester.

Personally, I would be inclined to take the glass off. Glass is heavy, and if water gets between the glass and wood, it will be heavier still. The wood will also rot. Given that the boat wasn't originally glassed, there is, IMHO, a much higher probability water will find it's way in.

Hope that's helpful.
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I have never seen a wooden Sailfish glassed by Alcort. But they did have the wooden keel strips and rub strips around the daggerboard trunk. How much does she weigh? If she is getting into the 150-160 range I would consider removing the glass, either by the heat gun method OR, take a deep breath, replace the bottom planks. If you don't mind the weight as far as moving her around, leave it and repair the chowdered up spots. She'll sail fine with a little extra weight.

CHIP and ZSA ZSA copy.jpg
 

chucklane92

Member
I think it must be one coat, I think she is under 100 pounds, I would guess 80-90. I don't think it's factory because it doesn't look professional. I think I will leave it for now, mainly because it is in good shape (seems strong) and I can always remove it in the future if need be. If I replace it in the future I will probably be at the point where I want to replace the bottom planks. If I leave the glass, what is you opinion of putting a coat of resin abit 1/2 to 1" up the sides to seal the seam? Just a thought, I have no idea if it's a good thought. LOL
 

chucklane92

Member
The keel strip was attached separately and was only about 1/2" (rotted) keel looks fine (under glass). What height would you suggest for the replacement?
Thanks again!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
1/2 inch keel is fine to match what can be salvaged. If the rest of the keel is soft/rotten to screwdriver probing, go ahead and peel it out and replace it. We went with 3/4 because that is what ZSA ZSA had when we got her. Not sure if that was factory or not, but we have noticed that these shallow V hull wooden boats have noticeable leeway unless a bigger daggerboard is added, and/or the keel strip is deepened a bit.
Strictly tribal knowledge on our part, we are not Naval Architects :) But Skipper is descended from 1770s French Sea Captain/Patriot Pirate Pierre Surget and 1840s Navy Sailing Master Lt Benjamin Hunter, she converses with them as needed, sometime they just butt in and add their 2 cents. Mostly they laugh at me, my roles are Movable Ballast, Landing Party and Trailer Mech.

Float Test. She leaked along the top deck seam and daggerboard trunk. So we did an air leak test, found the leaky seams, cleaned them out with a half moon blade on an oscillating multi tool. Then put thickened epoxy into a syringe and injected that into the seam, all sealed up now.

ZSA ZSA test float.jpg

Dishwashing liquid sprayed along seam with low pressure, low volume air through drain plug hole.

seam leak.jpeg


IMG_8086.JPG

For where the fiberglass is chowdered up I would use TotalBoat Total Fair fairing compound or epoxy mixed with fairing filler. Easy to sand but it provides enough hardness in those non-structural areas.

ZSA ZSA's Restoration Blog
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
The mystery deepens... and the plot thickens like a pot o' resin with too much catalyst, lol. :eek:

And to make matters more complicated, here we have feeding time at the zoo, plus shots of Crackhead on my unlit bar at 0600 this morning (still dark outside).

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Threw in a shot of Master Mechanic MuuMuu the Barn Kitty showing us fools how to break dance on the cowl of a Toro mower, plus some shots of the Dragoons and the Stronghold (cheesy Canon cam doesn't do the place justice, many of those crags are hundreds of feet high with difficult world-class climbing routes on 'em, lol). :rolleyes:
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Yes, you can use pretty much any paint as long as the fiberglass is lightly sanded, to give it tooth for a primer to attach to. The key is to use the same family of primer, fairing compound, thinner and paint. No mixing and matching. Also read the instructions for prep, most can be found on line. We get the surface mostly smooth and then put on a coat of primer, it is easier for us to see hills and valleys when the surface is all one color. Fair as desired. Light sand. Another coat of primer. Sand. Paint. Sand. Paint. Sand. Paint.

Dabber paint.jpg
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Good advice there, as usual... epoxy is good, but I always favored LP or linear polyurethane for small craft with hulls that flex or "work" in a seaway, the paint takes the abuse and holds up pretty well. Lasts awhile too before it has to be repainted... I once painted my Laser with purple LP paint on the hull, gleaming white deck above, and that boat used to get heaps of compliments from folks on shore and on the water. The glare off the gleaming white deck was fierce for those without decent shades, you can tone that down by choosing a colored deck if you want... some colored hull & deck combos look very nice. I always enjoyed that part of refurbishing a boat: selecting paint colors. I'd also mix it up over time, changing the color scheme or combo every so often. Black spars look good too and go with many paint schemes on hull & deck. Cheers!!! :rolleyes:
 

chucklane92

Member
Good advice there, as usual... epoxy is good, but I always favored LP or linear polyurethane for small craft with hulls that flex or "work" in a seaway, the paint takes the abuse and holds up pretty well. Lasts awhile too before it has to be repainted... I once painted my Laser with purple LP paint on the hull, gleaming white deck above, and that boat used to get heaps of compliments from folks on shore and on the water. The glare off the gleaming white deck was fierce for those without decent shades, you can tone that down by choosing a colored deck if you want... some colored hull & deck combos look very nice. I always enjoyed that part of refurbishing a boat: selecting paint colors. I'd also mix it up over time, changing the color scheme or combo every so often. Black spars look good too and go with many paint schemes on hull & deck. Cheers!!! :rolleyes:
I thought poly had UV issues when in the sun a lot.
 

chucklane92

Member
Yes, you can use pretty much any paint as long as the fiberglass is lightly sanded, to give it tooth for a primer to attach to. The key is to use the same family of primer, fairing compound, thinner and paint. No mixing and matching. Also read the instructions for prep, most can be found on line. We get the surface mostly smooth and then put on a coat of primer, it is easier for us to see hills and valleys when the surface is all one color. Fair as desired. Light sand. Another coat of primer. Sand. Paint. Sand. Paint. Sand. Paint.

View attachment 36303
I like that boat!
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
That is a pretty boat... as for mine, I kept it under a tarp when not in use, the boat up on her rail in a cradle on the northern side of the ol' beach cottage, less exposure that way. I reckon ANY paint will take a beating if left in the direct sun, same way the gelcoat on fiberglass will take a beating over time. One of my seven brothers had a saying: "Sunlight is the mortal enemy of plastic!" And he was right, lol... furthermore, when ya get right down to it, fiberglass is just another form of plastic, it'll take a beating as well but the abuse takes longer to manifest. Plastic grocery bags and beer coolers, those take less time to get destroyed by the sun... but in the end, even a glass boat will get hammered, UNLESS the owner refurbishes it every so often. Moi, I usually waited no longer than two years to repaint hull & deck, but that's because I like bright colors on the water, a paint scheme that stands out and reflects my commitment to the boat. Who knows? If you're gonna leave your boat in the sun, maybe epoxy would be a better choice... I would suggest a cover at the very least, let the cover bear the brunt of the solar abuse and keep your paint looking better for a longer period of time. I'm back to my cold beer after work, Cheers!!! :cool:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Any coating has UV issues when in the sun a lot. Marine coatings are more expensive because of the UV inhibitors. The top of our runabout looks great because it is covered with a cover and sits under a cover. The side of the boat, especially the west facing side, is taking a beating from the Florida sun and that coat of Rustoleum Marine Topside needs a recoat ofter 5 years. Maybe I should turn her each year like they do Old Ironsides. Look what the sun did to the annual registration sticker, it used to be red.

50A20568-5318-40D6-BEB9-689668D9B461.jpeg

56BD6FAE-6DC7-4D08-978E-FEB3B1426A69.jpeg

Meanwhile WAVE's topcoat of Interlux Brightside looks great after 9 years, because she doesn't get direct sun. Here's Capn Jack with WAVE, he taught us a lot about small boats. WAVE is a 1965, Jack decided that she needed 1968 stripes and he tracked down the 1984 Riviera sail.


Jack WAVE back yard  2012.jpg
 

chucklane92

Member
Any coating has UV issues when in the sun a lot. Marine coatings are more expensive because of the UV inhibitors. The top of our runabout looks great because it is covered with a cover and sits under a cover. The side of the boat, especially the west facing side, is taking a beating from the Florida sun and that coat of Rustoleum Marine Topside needs a recoat ofter 5 years. Maybe I should turn her each year like they do Old Ironsides. Look what the sun did to the annual registration sticker, it used to be red.

View attachment 36327

View attachment 36328

Meanwhile WAVE's topcoat of Interlux Brightside looks great after 9 years, because she doesn't get direct sun. Here's Capn Jack with WAVE, he taught us a lot about small boats. WAVE is a 1965, Jack decided that she needed 1968 stripes and he tracked down the 1984 Riviera sail.


View attachment 36329
beautiful
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Lots of people use the roll and tip method. Personally, I find the right brush is as important as the right paint. Without a helper I find the roll and tip to be too stressful. With my last two Sunfish I just used a brush- and the Wooster Short Cut is the only brush I use. Of course, prep is the key, as is the proper temp/humidity. And don’t forget the tack cloth just before painting. Put on some great music to get in the zone.9EE2C686-28CD-4A29-B1CD-0002697160D8.jpeg93F0BA33-FFE7-469C-813A-58443920AFCF.jpeg
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Nice work, BB, those boats look darned good! I used to brush mine too, couldn't be bothered with a sprayer, lol... but as long as the prep work is thorough and the painting is done under favorable conditions, the effort will lead to excellent results. My bar was to see reflections in the gloss paint, didn't have to be mirror reflections, just fairly smooth reflections, lol. And of course the boat would look good from ANY distance on the water, no doubt about it... Cheers!!! :cool:
 

chucklane92

Member
I thought poly had UV issues when in the sun a lot.
The reason I'm hesitant with poly is simply, in the upstate NY climate, when I used poly on my deck and a picnic table, it peeled within one year. I used primer sealer, sanded between coats and it was 70 degrees. I'm a little gun shy. This happened several times. I think it mau be due to the temperature swings 95 to -15 over the year. Spar varnish holds up well. I have never tried epoxy paint on wood. Still undecided.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Try some Interlux Awlcraft 2000....the relative to Awlgrip...and boatyard favorite. It's expensive, but has incredible durability. The 2000 can be final sanded and buffed and also applied during non favorable weather, unlike Awlgrip (where the clear coat rises to the top when curing), but will not fade, and depending....can be a 20 year paint. Horizontal surfaces level out like a champ while surface prep dictates final results. I've even used it with disposable Preval sprayers or carefully brushed. In comparison, the paint is thin ..or should be reduced to....and can "run" very easily. A professional when spraying, can get "car finish" like results.
 
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chucklane92

Member
Try some Interlux Awlcraft 2000....the relative to Awlgrip...and boatyard favorite. It's expensive, but has incredible durability. The 2000 can be final sanded and buffed and also applied during non favorable weather, unlike Awlgrip (where the clear coat rises to the top when curing), but will not fade, and depending....can be a 20 year paint. Horizontal surfaces level out like a champ while surface prep dictates final results. I've even used it with disposable Preval sprayers or carefully brushed. In comparison, the paint is thin ..or should be reduced to....and can "run" very easily. A professional when spraying, can get "car finish" like results.
thanks
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
The reason I'm hesitant with poly is simply, in the upstate NY climate, when I used poly on my deck and a picnic table, it peeled within one year. I used primer sealer, sanded between coats and it was 70 degrees. I'm a little gun shy. This happened several times. I think it mau be due to the temperature swings 95 to -15 over the year. Spar varnish holds up well. I have never tried epoxy paint on wood. Still undecided.
Hmm, that was on wood, yeah? And mine was on fiberglass... also, I was on the beach in Coronado, where the range of temperature was nowhere near as great, the weather actually quite mild. Maybe that last suggestion would be best for your boat, Interlux is a good brand... it's just that the LP always worked best for me, and I refurbished my boat often enough for the paint to look good. I DID have a bad habit of showing off at times by sailing Polynesian style right up onto the beach, usually when good-looking women were in the vicinity, LOL, and of course rocks or gravel will tear up any paint, no matter how good it is. Gelcoat as well, for that matter, but I always found it easier to fill scratches & repaint than gelcoat the entire hull... with the painting option, the hull & deck always looked awesome afterward, and the price was reasonable. Remember, I'm a notoriously cheap b@stard, though I'll bag the best LP money can buy, LOL. :rolleyes:
 

chucklane92

Member
Hmm, that was on wood, yeah? And mine was on fiberglass... also, I was on the beach in Coronado, where the range of temperature was nowhere near as great, the weather actually quite mild. Maybe that last suggestion would be best for your boat, Interlux is a good brand... it's just that the LP always worked best for me, and I refurbished my boat often enough for the paint to look good. I DID have a bad habit of showing off at times by sailing Polynesian style right up onto the beach, usually when good-looking women were in the vicinity, LOL, and of course rocks or gravel will tear up any paint, no matter how good it is. Gelcoat as well, for that matter, but I always found it easier to fill scratches & repaint than gelcoat the entire hull... with the painting option, the hull & deck always looked awesome afterward, and the price was reasonable. Remember, I'm a notoriously cheap b@stard, though I'll bag the best LP money can buy, LOL. :rolleyes:
When I was in my 20s, we were showing off in a friends bow-rider speedboat and hit a sandbar on Sacandaga Reservoir at about 20-25 knots. 3 of us launched, the boat stopped quickly, we did not. LOL Suffice it to say, the good-looking women were laughing much to hard to be impressed.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Haha, that's funny... almost like a scene from "The Three Stooges" where they go boating, aye? Probably wasn't funny to you at the time, but in retrospect it's downright hilarious. You'd think some of those women would show some sympathy to you... er... mariners errant (like knights errant, only at sea, lol). Anyway, I'm enjoying the start of a wonderful 3-day holiday weekend (paid holiday, of course), it was a good week at work but also a long one, 10-4? Good news is that I'll soon be taking paid vacay in Dago, only two months away, and I'll be taking a second paid vacay in the fall, so I can get some ocean sailing in as I visit friends & family who still live in Coronado & San Diego. Damn, this stiff Margarita is doing the job, I drank two beers after I got home but now I'm graduating to hard liquor, lol... could've had a rum drink, there's a full bottle on my bar, but I'll have that later, maybe during the Daytona 500. Tonight it's Blue Agave City, I like the tequila blanco, lol... or is that tequila blanca? Who knows, and who cares? Cr@p tastes pretty good no matter whatcha call it, lol... :confused:

I'M OFF TO POST SOME PRIMO PICS IN ANOTHER THREAD... KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOU DA NAUTICAL MAN!!! CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:

Edit: Oh, yeah, I recall at least one time when I misjudged my Polynesian-style landing on the beach at Shelter Island and did a John Wayne Combat Roll in the sand, looking like an absolute fooliot, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! So you're not the 'King of Goofy Marine Stunts' after all, lol... I should've been wearing a Marine uniform when I pulled the John Wayne Combat Roll, would've added some "Hollywood Cred" to the maneuver (if there IS such a thing as "Hollywood Cred"). :eek:
 
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chucklane92

Member
Haha, that's funny... almost like a scene from "The Three Stooges" where they go boating, aye? Probably wasn't funny to you at the time, but in retrospect it's downright hilarious. You'd think some of those women would show some sympathy to you... er... mariners errant (like knights errant, only at sea, lol). Anyway, I'm enjoying the start of a wonderful 3-day holiday weekend (paid holiday, of course), it was a good week at work but also a long one, 10-4? Good news is that I'll soon be taking paid vacay in Dago, only two months away, and I'll be taking a second paid vacay in the fall, so I can get some ocean sailing in as I visit friends & family who still live in Coronado & San Diego. Damn, this stiff Margarita is doing the job, I drank two beers after I got home but now I'm graduating to hard liquor, lol... could've had a rum drink, there's a full bottle on my bar, but I'll have that later, maybe during the Daytona 500. Tonight it's Blue Agave City, I like the tequila blanco, lol... or is that tequila blanca? Who knows, and who cares? Cr@p tastes pretty good no matter whatcha call it, lol... :confused:

I'M OFF TO POST SOME PRIMO PICS IN ANOTHER THREAD... KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOU DA NAUTICAL MAN!!! CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:

Edit: Oh, yeah, I recall at least one time when I misjudged my Polynesian-style landing on the beach at Shelter Island and did a John Wayne Combat Roll in the sand, looking like an absolute fooliot, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! So you're not the 'King of Goofy Marine Stunts' after all, lol... I should've been wearing a Marine uniform when I pulled the John Wayne Combat Roll, would've added some "Hollywood Cred" to the maneuver (if there IS such a thing as "Hollywood Cred"). :eek:
Enjoy your trip
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Moving slowly on this glorious 3-day weekend... paid holiday Monday, of course, lol. Man, oh man, those margaritas were good last night, but I'm payin' the price now, I'm a little shaky, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :confused:

Meh, I'll get over it... waiting on some friends to arrive so we can all eat a late breakfast of sausage, eggs, country gravy, flapjacks with real butter & real maple syrup, tall glasses of whole milk to wash it all down, etc. Health food, don'tcha know? Lol... ;)

Been contemplating a cold beer as a hair of the dog that mauled me last night, but so far it has sat unopened on the table in front of me... it's in a cooler cup, so no worries. Maybe I'll man up in a few moments and crack it... it's a bit scary at present, lol. :eek:

AWESOME WEATHER, MY MILLION-DOLLAR VIEW OF COCHISE STRONGHOLD IS GOOD AS EVER... CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:
 
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