What's new

Finishing up my 1983 Sunfish

jCruisin

Member
i got a 1983 boat last year thay needed a small bit of work and I’m finally getting around to finishing that work.

First off, there’s old repairs in the daggerboard trunk that need to be redone. Does anyone have any advice for sanding down repairs inside of the daggerboard trunk?

Also, i know this is cheap and not recommended, but if I’m going to be lightly sailing the boat maybe 4-5 times a year on some calm little lakes and ponds near me, am i fine using a few coats of flex seal rver

Second, if anyone knows what i mean when i say the little C ring thing that goes on the rudder with the pintle and spring, mine went missing when i had to take the rudder apart to refinish it. Do i need this?


The rest of these are wish list projects, but i was wondering if anyone has experience attempting these and could tell me how long and expensive you think they would be.

1- kinda simple, was thinking of possibly painting the bottom of the hill in a navy blue and the top in a light gray. Would i just have to lightly sand the whole boat then roll two coats of topside on?

2- removing the metal trim and having the edges covered in something else, just kind of looking for ideas here. Epoxy around the whole thing and smooth it out and paint it?

3-if i was to paint the boat, i had this idea of somehow finishing the foaming (splash guard) in the same like wood stain i have my daggerboard and rudder in. Would it be possible to buy an old wood sailfish or sunfish splash guard and attach that to my modern era sunfish? Would this be stupid
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
DON'T remove the metal trim, not only does it protect the fiberglass flange, it's cost is
worth as much as the boat. If you do remove it I must say, please send it my way cuz
I sure can use it.

Topsides needs the topside fiberglass primer first. Topsides is kind of a soft paint, I mixed
in some Valspar Hardner to try and get it a little more durable.

Need the C-ring. Should be easy to find at any Ace Hardware. I think that's what I did
with mine.

Don't change the splash guard, it's used to stiffen the hull and reduce flexing. Best to
use some faux paint simulation on existing splash guard.

If you are doing little ponds and lakes, make drying out the boat and getting it as light
as possible you're number one task. The weight affects how well it will turn around, if
you look at the hull bottom you're trying to get it to sit up on the water like a drift boat.
Normal weight is 135 lbs. If it comes out under that Super Duper except for earlier
Pearson built boats which were not so Super Duper, just Duper as in, "I've been
Duped!"
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
i got a 1983 boat last year thay needed a small bit of work and I’m finally getting around to finishing that work.

First off, there’s old repairs in the daggerboard trunk that need to be redone. Does anyone have any advice for sanding down repairs inside of the daggerboard trunk?


Second, if anyone knows what i mean when i say the little C ring thing that goes on the rudder with the pintle and spring, mine went missing when i had to take the rudder apart to refinish it. Do i need this?

The rest of these are wish list projects, but i was wondering if anyone has experience attempting these and could tell me how long and expensive you think they would be.

1- kinda simple, was thinking of possibly painting the bottom of the hill in a navy blue and the top in a light gray. Would i just have to lightly sand the whole boat then roll two coats of topside on?

2- removing the metal trim and having the edges covered in something else, just kind of looking for ideas here. Epoxy around the whole thing and smooth it out and paint it?

3-if i was to paint the boat, i had this idea of somehow finishing the foaming (splash guard) in the same like wood stain i have my daggerboard and rudder in. Would it be possible to buy an old wood sailfish or sunfish splash guard and attach that to my modern era sunfish? Would this be stupid
All good advice from Webfoot1. :)

The "C" (or "E") ring is a no-brainer. It's keeping your rudder and tiller from going "glub". :eek: (Although one of my boats' pintels arrived secured by a stainless-steel wire "kluge"—a temporary fix—using fishing "leader" wire).

As for sanding the old daggerboard trunk repair—are you viewing the trunk from the inside through an inspection port? If so, consider using a relatively expensive belt sander made by Bosch. It's about the size of a computer mouse :eek: , but very effective in restricted spaces. :cool: If the previous repair can be torn/peeled away, you'll be way-ahead in this task.

If being viewed from the outside, consider using MarineTex, which can be smeared by hand (and glove), then sanded to make sure the board passes through! :confused:

(I've advocated not discarding one's old and split daggerboard, as they can be used as a "sanding-block". A back-up piece of wood—when a sheet of coarse sandpaper is glued across one side—near the tip).

I haven't tried it (yet), but I'd be tempted to tape over the bottom of the trunk, and pour a quart of prepared resin in through the top. Rock the hull through every extreme axis, then drain the resin out—allow to cure, then sand. Preferably using the "daggerboard-sander" described above. With any luck, the hole, rip, or tear may be small enough for a single coating of resin to stop the leak(s). Using polyester resin would make this an economical fix—rather than epoxy resin, which is relatively expensive. :oops: Every time I think of having to sand-away a previous repair :( this option comes to mind.

.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
You would need to sand with something thinner than the daggerboard. I've
had epoxy beads after a repair and the daggerboard got wedged. If you
do go that route run a cloth through the trunk and try to remove all the excess
epoxy while it is still wet.
 

jCruisin

Member
You would need to sand with something thinner than the daggerboard. I've
had epoxy beads after a repair and the daggerboard got wedged. If you
do go that route run a cloth through the trunk and try to remove all the excess
epoxy while it is still wet.
just a slab of plywood with some sandpaper glued to the side sounds like it’ll work, thanks
 

Alan S. Glos

Active Member
When sanding inside a dagger board trunk, I sometimes use a small sanding drum chucked into a bit extension shaft and a variable speed electric drill, see phots. It makes for quick work sanding inside the confined space of the trunk. Harbor Freight sells the drum sanders and the extension shaft for cheap.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Attachments

norcalsail

Active Member
In his "Sunfish Tuning Guide", Scott Kyle suggests adding 1"x13" strips to the inside of the daggerboard well to reduce vibration. I am tentatively planning on doing this. I think using 1/8th inch thick pieces of carpet will work for this purpose as the daggerboard is 3/4 inch and the well is about an inch wide. It would reduce the play of the board. Has anyone done this modification?
 

Alan S. Glos

Active Member
Yes, this is a common retrofit for racers. Cut strips 9" long and 1" wide and glue them into the top of the inside of the trunk about an inch below deck level. Contact cement works well. If the fit it too tight, sand the carpet with 60 grit sandpaper until the board fits snugly but can still be moved up and down with ease,

Alan Glos
Cazenovia NY
 

Charles Howard

Active Member
The old wood boards had a lot more play in the trunk. The glass ones are a better fit.

Using the loop side of Velcro strips work better on the new boards.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Half oval diamond file for the inside of the daggerboard trunk or a 4 in 1 file is what we have used.

Try out the flex seal, who knows?

1 - 120 grit to give the surface enough tooth for primer to stick to. The very light 120 between coats. Each coating system has instructions, read them. Stick with the same family of primer, thinner, fairing compound and paint for best result.

2- Leave the trim on to protect the seam. I have sanded it when it gets too chunky and I like the "brushed" finish.

3- Sure, paint it or maybe vinyl wrap it. I have thought that retro kits for Sunfish would be fun, wood coaming and spars. Go crazy and glue on some thin veneer planks to the deck or get a wood grain vinyl wrap!
 

jCruisin

Member
Try out the flex seal, who knows?
The 2 coats of liquid flex seal dried, and it turned out better than expected. My daggerboard trunk is sealed with minimal effort and mess.

Also, the wood grain vinyl sounds like a great idea, thanks. I’m tempted between restoring it to make it look like a new boat or a retro one, both look good in my mind
 

jCruisin

Member
Here’s the boat, after just litterally washing it with some car soap and using a high grit sanding block to get some marks off it, i definitely don’t think it NEEDS a new paint coat at all, if i did it then it would purely be to give it a retro boat look. A few more afternoons of wet sanding, scrubbing, and waxing then this boat should be good to go. Shoutout to everyone here who’s given he advice on the boat, i can now say she is watertight and looking not too bad
 

Attachments

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Boat looks great. I wouldn’t recommend painting it. From the factory they are covered with gelcoat, a fairly durable low maintainance finish. Paint is not as durable Or as low maintenance.

Plus it looks fairly retro as it is - it’s 36 years old!! They only started making glass Fish about 25 years before yours was made.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
Can't tell with just a picture. There should be plastic fender washers
between the grudgen and wood rudder at the pivot bolt. Same with the tiller strap
bolt which I see not. Pull the bolts and go get some plastic washers at the
hardware. While you're at it get 2 brass bushing to install in the pivot bolt
holes. You'll prevent the rudder from splitting out at the boat holes.
 

jCruisin

Member
Can't tell with just a picture. There should be plastic fender washers
between the grudgen and wood rudder at the pivot bolt. Same with the tiller strap
bolt which I see not. Pull the bolts and go get some plastic washers at the
hardware. While you're at it get 2 brass bushing to install in the pivot bolt
holes. You'll prevent the rudder from splitting out at the boat holes.
It’s hard to see in the picture, but there are plastic washers there. Is it possible that the pivot bolt is too tight?
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
That or the wrong springs. Ever take a spring to the hardware
store and try to match it? I don't think it happens often. Like any
project ya gotta take it apart before you can put it back together in
working order. I used Stainless Steel bolts, between the aluminum
rudder cheeks and the other stuff I mentioned the unit is pretty
much bullet proof. And it floats, guess why there are so many
Butterfly Sailboats on Craigslist without the rudder unit.
 

jCruisin

Member
Alright so this is an odd issue i had, but I’ll post about it in case anyone could find this useful.

I had refinished my rudder and there was varnish stuck on the rudder head which is why it wouldn’t move. I removed the springs, and got the rusted bolt out with lots of pain and wd 40.
I then managed to fit a hand saw between the rudder head and rudder and saw out the chunks of varnish stuck there.
I pulled the rudder head off and sanded the area it rotates on down then put everything back together.
 

norcalsail

Active Member
Some may have seen Andy's video where I cracked my rudder cheek recently. My pivot bolt was really tight and I smacked the end of the tiller pretty hard. Intensity sent me a new one within a week (very fast I thought). I put the new one on less tight and used some vaseline for smoother operation and it works pretty well. I noticed that to drop the rudder it seemed to help raise the far end of the tiller before pushing it down rather than pushing it at a more horizontal angle. I have another cheek back ordered and will not try to raise or lower this way until the new cheek is here and I can take it with me. I'm still smarting that I ruined our run back to Marconi.
 

jCruisin

Member
Very happy that i got my boat rigged up and everything worked today.
A coat or two of varnish on my daggerboard and this boat can see the water for what is probably its first use of the 21st century.

My one slight pet peeve was dirt and maybe stains on the sail. Any advice to get that out? Would laying it out on my driveway and using some detergent, a hose, and a brush work?
 

jCruisin

Member
New problem :(

So the there is a leak at the seam under the aluminum trim.

I really don’t want to remove the trim, so option one here is just some flex seal over the trim and the edges that’ll probably hold just fine for the season.

How intensive is the real repair of taking off the trim? Really wanted to sail friday and was hoping not to be bothered with this
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
How do you know the leak is under the trim?

Removing and reinstalling the trim is easy. You just drill out the rivers, make the repair and pop rivet the trim back on with aluminum pop rivets. Rivets and rivet fun’s are available at Home Depot, Lowes. Etc. but first be sure the leak is where you think it is!
 

jCruisin

Member
How do you know the leak is under the trim?

Removing and reinstalling the trim is easy. You just drill out the rivers, make the repair and pop rivet the trim back on with aluminum pop rivets. Rivets and rivet fun’s are available at Home Depot, Lowes. Etc. but first be sure the leak is where you think it is!
Blew air into the drain while the boat was wet and soapy, and it bubbled up along part of the trim.
Water also drains from there if the boat is tipped.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Well that proves it! When you take the trim off, I’d suggest widening the crack where the leak is - probably the deck and hull have slightly come apart. You can use a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel to just open the gap a bit, or sometimes you can work a cutoff hack saw blade in and use it to saw the crack a bit bigger. Then (if the boat is freshwater sailed) Jam a big screwdriver in to open the crack/gap up and let it dry overnight. If it’s saltwater sailed, squirt fresh water in before drying.

Then mix up some epoxy or polyester resin and work it in there (boat needs to be tipped so the resin will flow in) and then get the screwdriver out! Lightly clamp it (you don’t want to squeeze all the resin out) wait 24 hours and put the trim back on.
 

jCruisin

Member
Well that proves it! When you take the trim off, I’d suggest widening the crack where the leak is - probably the deck and hull have slightly come apart. You can use a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel to just open the gap a bit, or sometimes you can work a cutoff hack saw blade in and use it to saw the crack a bit bigger. Then (if the boat is freshwater sailed) Jam a big screwdriver in to open the crack/gap up and let it dry overnight. If it’s saltwater sailed, squirt fresh water in before drying.

Then mix up some epoxy or polyester resin and work it in there (boat needs to be tipped so the resin will flow in) and then get the screwdriver out! Lightly clamp it (you don’t want to squeeze all the resin out) wait 24 hours and put the trim back on.
So i took my lazy route and there’s some nice flex seal that is drying currently. Should hold up fine for the season. Next off season I’ll repair it for real.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
How's the flex seal holding up? Did you do another leak test after applying it, or just go sailing? I sure understand your eagerness to get out there on the water.
When you're ready to do the repair it really isn't bad. The hardest part was finding the right size rivets for reinstalling the trim. Don't ask me what it is, but I can mail you a few for your section if you'd like. Since I was painting the boat I ended up removing all the trim, repaired the leak and put a thin Flexpoxy seal around the whole perimeter.
Beldar has a thorough write-up of the repair somewhere on this forum. Here's what mine looked like. The arrows on deck point to where it bubbled in the leak test. A small crack in the seam can let in a lot of water.
 

Attachments

jCruisin

Member
How's the flex seal holding up? Did you do another leak test after applying it, or just go sailing? I sure understand your eagerness to get out there on the water.
When you're ready to do the repair it really isn't bad. The hardest part was finding the right size rivets for reinstalling the trim. Don't ask me what it is, but I can mail you a few for your section if you'd like. Since I was painting the boat I ended up removing all the trim, repaired the leak and put a thin Flexpoxy seal around the whole perimeter.
Beldar has a thorough write-up of the repair somewhere on this forum. Here's what mine looked like. The arrows on deck point to where it bubbled in the leak test. A small crack in the seam can let in a lot of water.
Yeah, I’m really just eager to sail and would rather just half ass any repair than waste a potential weekend of sailing. the flex seal held, but i didn’t use it on a large enough area as a leak test afterwards showed. Some more might do it:confused:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
How's the flex seal holding up? Did you do another leak test after applying it, or just go sailing? I sure understand your eagerness to get out there on the water.
When you're ready to do the repair it really isn't bad. The hardest part was finding the right size rivets for reinstalling the trim. Don't ask me what it is, but I can mail you a few for your section if you'd like. Since I was painting the boat I ended up removing all the trim, repaired the leak and put a thin Flexpoxy seal around the whole perimeter.
Beldar has a thorough write-up of the repair somewhere on this forum. Here's what mine looked like. The arrows on deck point to where it bubbled in the leak test. A small crack in the seam can let in a lot of water.
:rolleyes: I was lecturing earlier about hammering those pop-rivet heads close to the trim:

P8210017.JPG

When, just this week, I opened up my thumb falling/sliding across this pop-rivet. :(

Fullscreen capture 4172019 70952 PM.bmp.jpg

It only takes one bloody episode to inspire me to work :mad: so yesterday, found my $4 Harbor Freight pop-rivet gun, my $9 Harbor Freight grinder, a short piece of trim Alan Glos sent me last year, a few pop-rivets, and went to work. The replaced (dark) piece at the bottom of the pic has more than one hole through it!

Here's the trim's replacement-activity, half-way through:

Fullscreen capture 4222019 92449 AM.bmp.jpg
The labeling on the pop-rivet box is misleading :oops: you need a ⅛-inch diameter and a ⅛-inch "draw-up".
The body length of the (un-driven) pop-rivet (held in the hand) measures ¼-inch. :confused:

.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
This is what you need. :cool:

Fullscreen capture 4242019 62128 AM.bmp.jpg
I've added "NAS" to indicate that my Mom-and-Pop hardware store doesn't sell this particular size as "singles", as they had for other sizes of pop-rivets. :confused:

The body of the rivet actually measures less than ⅛-inch (.122") but may allow for the expansion expected into a ⅛-inch hole.

.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tag

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Boat looks great. I wouldn’t recommend painting it. From the factory they are covered with gelcoat, a fairly durable low maintainance finish. Paint is not as durable Or as low maintenance. Plus it looks fairly retro as it is - it’s 36 years old!! They only started making glass Fish about 25 years before yours was made.
Gelcoat, in case you hadn't seen it before, is pictured below. In fixing up a number of boo-boos on my neighbor's Sunfish, I noticed the white gelcoat had been chipped at the bow.

Fullscreen capture 582019 80810 PM.bmp.jpg

I chipped a little more, until there were no more signs of compromised gelcoat. Then placed a daub of West System's 6-Ten filling material (10-oz tube—akin to Thixto). Another alternative would be Marine Tex, which blends well with white gelcoat. After it's set, sanding fair to the rest of the bow will take place.

.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The seam repair is pretty easy, as well as trim removal and installation. I'd recommend slowly gathering the tools and materials, drill, 1/8 inch metal drill bit, rivet gun, aluminum rivets....(do not use stainless, they create disimilar metal corrosion and are a @*&#! to remove)....aluminum rivets, small file or sandpaper, thickened epoxy for the seam, a few clamps and paint sticks....the paint sticks help distribute clamp pressure, and some plastic sheet to keep paint sticks or clamps getting glued to the boat, nitrile gloves, metal putty knife....

Gathering the stuff will take longer than the repair. It is essential in the meantime to drain any water completely after sailing or it can soak into the foam. If you think a small seam repair is time consuming, try foam replacement!

viper audrey foam.JPG

Check out our cheap clamps, 4 inch thick wall PVC cut into 2 inch wide sections, then cut a slit down the side. They provide adequate pressure for the thickened epoxy and you can get a lot of them out of a 4 foot piece. And that cup on the stern gives you an idea how much the expanding foam expands, it was about 1/4 full when we set it there.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
View attachment 31612

Check out our cheap clamps, 4 inch thick wall PVC cut into 2 inch wide sections
, then cut a slit down the side. They provide adequate pressure for the thickened epoxy and you can get a lot of them out of a 4 foot piece. And that cup on the stern gives you an idea how much the expanding foam expands, it was about 1/4 full when we set it there.
Especially good if you already have 4" PVC pipe. To make installation easier, I've got a pair of special pliers that would spread the gap you'd cut in them—to "edge" them on..

Smaller, stronger, and having many more applications, the 4" Vise-Grips at Dollar Tree stores should be able to do that same job. :cool: Their cost? Just $1 each.

How long they'll stay on Dollar Trees' shelves is anybody's guess. Their needle-nose pliers and over-the-ears hearing protectors are still available, but aren't always on the shelves.

.
 
Top