Fill Spars with Foam?

Thread starter #1
It wasn't easy righting my boat the other day, and I had to do it twice. (Grrr).

I was a little more mellow the 2nd time, which allowed time for water to seep into the spars and made righting much tougher. (I got a Good Samaritan volunteer after a time, so with two of us, it did get righted eventually).

Aside from filling the tiny holes left by the previous owner, and replacing questionable end-caps, how about foaming inside?
 
#2
Let's think about this for a moment,,,,
Time's up.
Air is the most buoyant substance at hand so the more air the higher the spars will float - if they will even float to begin with. It's not a Sunfish so I can't say for sure and will leave that up to you. Displacing some of the air with plastic cells will decrease the buoyancy. Better off to seal the spars against leakage. Even better - wrap some Donkey D,,,,, errr pipe insulation around the upper spar between the sail clips. There's the old bleach bottle trick too. Tie a bottle to the top of the mast.
 
Thread starter #3
Dan said:
"...It's not a Sunfish so I can't say for sure and will leave that up to you. Displacing some of the air with plastic cells will decrease the buoyancy. Better off to seal the spars against leakage. Even better - wrap some Donkey D,,,,, errr pipe insulation around the upper spar between the sail clips. There's the old bleach bottle trick too. Tie a bottle to the top of the mast.
The sail is a Sunfish sail, and the spars/mast seem identical to quality Sunfish equipment.

The Porpoise II—except for variations in cockpit design, traveler, and rudder—IS a Sunfish. (From 50-feet away, anyway).

I'll have to see if the mast has anything left inside it. That may account for the difficulties in righting it from "turtle".

Forget the bleach bottle.

I DO have principles! :)
 
#4
The mast shouldn't have anything other than an about an 1 ' thick "plug" under the end caps that was supposed to keep the mast water free. Didn't work, just kept any water getting in the mast from getting out.
Same for foaming spars, any water that gets in will not come out. Ask anyone who's tried to dry out a sunfish hull once the foam support blocks get wet.

When righting make sure you release any mainsheet cleats, and use the centerboard for leverage when righting. With a little practice even a 120 pounder can bring a fish up from a turtle or laydown.
 
#5
The Porpoise II—except for variations in cockpit design, traveler, and rudder—IS a Sunfish. (From 50-feet away, anyway).
Some Chevys look like Toyotas from a distance. That doesn't make the parts interchangable or the engineering details the same.


I'll have to see if the mast has anything left inside it. That may account for the difficulties in righting it from "turtle".
The air space in the mast and spars isn't intended to float them on either make boat. Preventing a turtle is part skill and part what you add to help. Like Mike said - make sure you release any mainsheet cleats, and use the centerboard for leverage. No one can raise a sail that's cleated and full of water. The mast has little to do with any difficulties.


Ask anyone who's tried to dry out a sunfish hull once the foam support blocks get wet.
But remember that water got there over tens of years of neglect not one capsize.
 
#6
We have a small fleet of Sunfish that we use for lessons (about 13) and regattas, with kids as young as 7 or 8 years old, and they can all right a sunfish, even when turtled. We did experiment by tying a bumper to the top of the mast, but that did not prevent the boats from turtling. The keys we teach (aside from those already mentioned, like uncleating the sheet) are:

-speed - the faster you get around to the underside of the boat, the less chance it has going turtle.
- go high - when possible, go over the top rather than towards the sail. Many of our young racers are quite skilled at this manuever and are able to right the boat quickly and without getter wet (very helpful when racing).
- leverage - make sure you have the board ALL THE WAY down, so you can maximize the righting effect. Make sure you apply as much of your weight as possible to the end of the board. Putting your weight nearer the hull won't bring the boat up very quickly.
- patience - sometimes it just takes a while for the boat to start coming up. This can be caused by factors like how the sail in sitting relative to the boat (it may need to spill some water, or reduce the drag by letting itself "out").

Good luck. Tipping over is just one of the things I love about Sunfish. It can be fun once you get the hang of it.
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks for the righting tips. Speed needs to be in my righting vocabulary. :)

mike4947 said:
The mast shouldn't have anything other than an about an 1 ' thick "plug" under the end caps that was supposed to keep the mast water free. Didn't work, just kept any water getting in the mast from getting out.
Yup. Plug is gone. The weather turned nasty(er) this morning, and had to quit :( . (And didn't peek inside.)

mike4947 said:
When righting make sure you release any mainsheet cleats, and use the centerboard for leverage when righting. With a little practice even a 120 pounder can bring a fish up from a turtle or laydown.
I don't have a cleat for the mainsheet, but plan to add one (or two).

I should have mentioned that my first capsize was in heavy weather and heavy swells: The clew caught a wavetop, and the wind "pried" me over. Righting it was easy. (Hobie sailor here—wanna buy a Hobie?) :)

The second capsize was a case of trusting the former owner's halyard/spar knot—which let go. Again, heavy weather, and it took two of us to right it. The third "stoppage" (no capsize) was a failed halyard pulley.

Today I checked two other lateen-sailed boats in my neighborhood for comparisons: One turned out to be unidentifiable (Sailfish? Old small sail with no emblem), and the other (moored) looked new, but perhaps shorter than my ~1980 Porpoise II. Maybe a Minifish?

Here's an earlier model Porpoise for sale in Texas. Aside from the topside deck and hardware, it looks pretty close to a Sunfish. I don't see a deck-mounted halyard fairlead here...and the rudder attachment, halyard cleat location, and daggerboard are even different than mine! (Typical "Clone" circumstance, I'd guess). I'm going to shop for a Sunfish or two so the family can have "races"! :D





Other details: http://www.sailingtexas.com/ssunfishclonea.html
 
Thread starter #8
'Looked at a Sunfish at an auction site today.

The Porpoise and Sunfish are clearly different molds—top AND bottom.
 
#9
Different molds, different companies, different designs, different boats.

I love the smell of coffee in the morning.
 
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