Finishing up my 1983 Sunfish

norcalsail

Active Member
#21
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.
 
Thread starter #22
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?
 
Thread starter #24
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
#25
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!
 
Thread starter #26
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
#27
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.
 
Thread starter #28
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.
 
#29
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

Thread starter #30
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
#31
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. :(

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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:

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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
#32
This is what you need. :cool:

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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.

.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#33
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.

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#34
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
#36
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.

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