First post...Bought 1999 Vanguard Sunfish for $300...

Thread starter #1
Hi I have been reading the threads for a few months and was reading a thread about finding great deals...At that time I closed the website and looked at Facebook market place and I found a local sunfish hidden in the classifieds...It didnt look great in the ad but I thought what the heck it's only my time and 30 minutes to look at it...well the boat was sitting upside down on the shore and looked terrible in the photos...but when we turned it over it was solid as a rock and in great shape with no soft spots and only needing minor fiberglass work with a bit of blistering on the flat part of the deck...so I will have to paint the topside with awlgrip...after removing the blistering and dry out the hull if its wet inside ...Then I looked at the rig and gear stored inside. All is in new condition with little use...plastic board ...storm colored sail as new and rudder in new condition...booms and mast as new...It turns out that the doctor who owned it says it has only been sailed 5 times since new... many thanks to whom ever wrote the thread I was reading before I looked again for a boat for sale...
 
#2
Wow, good for you! Smokin’ deal. Please, post a few photos so we can see it. We picked up our first Sunfish a few months ago ... and we still have not had a chance to take it out. Maybe this coming weekend!
 
Thread starter #5
I'm on my way... I have 2 now...Over the years I was able to buy 2 new lasers and a new sunfish...only to have to sell them at a loss because of a hard time selling a lake house and the economy and 7 surgeries...I'm happy to get a great deal because I love the newer style sunfish...
 
Last edited:
Thread starter #6
I picked up the boat today 3 small holes/cracks in the bottom from newbe crash landings and a bit of blistering on the deck from sitting upside down and getting wet in the grass...the hull is stiff and not warped and the foam looks good...the boat is light weight...and the sides are not de laminated...looks like a keeper...I will put my very nice 78 sunfish in the classifieds when I'm ready to sell...
 
Thread starter #9
Progress report ...I have been working on my boat and I found some major damage . The glass that had been damaged was shredded and had to be completely cut out I used balsa sheets and repaired from the inside out with bi axial cloth followed by a a last layer of carbon fiber ...I have all the holes fixed and tomorrow will sand and start fairing with epoxy fairing compound...It has been a fun project so far... I put the boat on a glass enclosed porch at my house and bought a propane heater to keep it warm for the glass work...more to come...
 

Attachments

Webfoot1

Active Member
#10
That's interesting. You know Sunfish flexes around the midpoint of the hull, have you
considered adding carbon fiber to both sides of the hull? You might get some twisting
with just one side stiffened up. If you can stiffen the hull I'm sure performance will
improve in rough water. At the very least the splash rail will not have to carry so much
of the load. Less chance of it pulling out the anchor points on the ends as it often does.
Shoot I'd say carbon fiber the entire hull but that would run into some serious cash burn.
 
Thread starter #11
That's not a bad idea to do the other side .I could do it for $30. It would only require a bit more fairing because that side is already perfect. The reason I used carbon on the starboard side is that the fiberglass on that side had been compromised and had some freeze damage from moisture .The glass had cracked fibers and crazing so bad the glass was ruined so I ground out the damage repaired it and used the carbon to get a thin light weight skin to make the fairing compound easier. This gave me a flat surface to work with . I'm in it this far so doing the other side is a good idea.
 
Thread starter #12
I wet sanded today before putting the fairing compound next week ...I was surprised how easy the carbon fiber sanded I ended up sanding most of the carbon fiber off by the time I got it flat . I now have a perfectly smooth boat to fair . I think I will open up a hole in the deck where the damage was under the seating area and add some glass to the inside where the damage was. There is already glass work done in that spot on the seat area so no big deal...I was a bit concerned over the carbon being too stiff and causing damage elsewhere (thanks Webfoot1 ) In retrospect I'm surprised how much damage was uncovered in the process but I'm getting closer to paint and I am enjoying the project...
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#13
It's a compromise between how rigid the structure is and how much
the hull weighs. If you can carbon fiber yourself down to 125 lbs. you'll
have really nice performance. I've only heard of one Sunfish being less than 125 lbs. and
that was a Pearson Sunfish which made a always contested racing boat but
probably had a short life due to lack of fiberglass resin. I wonder if there would
be a method of putting thin bands/strips of carbon fiber across the bottom of
the hull to keep it from oil canning between the daggerboard and the foot well.
 
Thread starter #14
I am trying to keep it light as I can . It was a light boat to start with so I am guessing 135 to 140 finished...A bit heavy is ok with me if it doesn't bang and slam in the waves. What happened to the boat to damage it was it was laying in the lake on that side for years and the water got in and froze. I have given up on carbon fiber for now and will keep it all glass I think you were spot on in your advice... It did work great to give me a flat surface for sanding. I had a Pearson Sunfish a long time ago mine was very flimsy and was one of the ones that were poorly made ... more to come.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
I'll jump in and offer that the best boats we have had for recreational sailing are the older, heavier boats, the 139 pound hulls were pretty much bulletproof. And the two hulls that we have walked away from out of 30 were ones that had an added layer of fiberglass over the entire bottom.

Your 1999 boat should be 129 pounds.
 
Thread starter #16
I wonder if I could add a bit of 6# foam under the cockpit to stiffen it up while I'm in there or would that create more problems like the cockpit cracking or coming loose?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#17
As an FYI, a lot of boats from the mid 2000s on have been about 125. No idea what the current Chinese and UK boats weigh. I don’t think LP is too big on consistency or QC these days. Also, I think Sunfish flexing midships is unusual so I wouldn’t worry about that.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#18
I wonder if I could add a bit of 6# foam under the cockpit to stiffen it up while I'm in there or would that create more problems like the cockpit cracking or coming loose?
'Can't hurt. ;) Internally-stored charts, registrations, keys and detritus (like Styrofoam™, gum wrappers and expanding-foam bits and pieces) can drift under the cockpit floor. (And hold dampness).

Many of our recreational boats are 50 years old, and American males are averaging 30 pounds heavier than the years these boats were designed/built. (Weight studies have generally overlooked the steady trend away from tobacco—which kept us slim). :cool:

Modern tacking techniques add their share of pounding. :( A few years ago, one of our members indicated he was going to bond stringers internally to strengthen the bottom—forward of the cockpit.

Last summer, I attempted to video the extreme flexing of the hull in relatively gentle wave conditions; however, there was insufficient light available. I'll try again. :)

.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#19
Many of our recreational boats are 50 years old, and American males are averaging 30 pounds heavier than the years these boats were designed/built. (Weight studies have generally overlooked the steady trend away from tobacco—which kept us slim). :cool:

.
Interesting. Just went to 7/11 and picked up a carton of Camels to see if I can drop a few lbs before summer.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#20
I've used expanding foam under the cockpit and it worked well. The glue pads
the factory used often break loose or don't provide enough support when kids
jump up and down on a beached hull. If you can flex the hull under the cockpit
or hear a 'brattttttttttt....' when you plain-out the pads have broken loose.
 
Top