First Sunfish. Your thoughts?

Thread starter #1
Hi all. I’ve been interested in sailing for awhile. I’ve been thinking about building a pdracer since about 2010.... but the wife and I are restoring an old house and I have to choose between building a boat or working on the house.

I found this sunfish (after almost buying a sailfish!) for 300 dollars. It includes rigging and sail. It is missing the gudgeon. I know these photos aren’t great, but any concerning points from this who are in the know? She has been in storage for quite awhile.

I’ve done some research and I know to check out her weight. I know tons about wood and little about fiberglass (although I’m handy, so we’ll change that). I just don’t know what to look for.

Thanks so much!
Chris D1B9962C-0711-4852-98DC-599E8683D562.jpeg 85E9D26F-C16D-4209-A9F4-C89A44189F54.jpeg 9F7C6520-23AF-413F-BBBA-7F6CD1F2AABA.jpeg 93342FAE-3A33-4CA5-B347-10B19A64AC8D.png E443990D-74BD-49CA-9431-F1DF051DEC36.jpeg
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#2
Got my chores done, now I'm drinking a beer or two (or five) before loading cardboard moving boxes. Nice score for 3 bills, deck looks good enough to simply clean & polish. Hull & cockpit, not so much, LOL... if that's a crack in the second pic, you wanna address that first. Don't forget to check the dagger well for cracks, use a bright light if you need it. All cheesy attempts at glass repair should be sanded and re-glassed or re-coated with resin, that crack (if it IS a crack, looks like one to me) should be addressed by sanding and possibly grinding before filling with catalyzed resin, all hull gouges to be filled with the product of your choice (there are options), with the entire hull & cockpit ultimately painted to get rid of the ugliness. Rudder & dagger need light sanding and varnishing, tiller too if it's wooden, hard for me to tell by looking at that one pic. Deck to be cleaned & polished as noted, sail washed if necessary, running rigging checked and replaced if necessary... don't know when the previous owner last replaced the lines, if at all. Fittings & hardware updated as necessary. Otherwise, you're looking good, you'll undoubtedly have a blast aboard that Obamanomic Megayacht!!! :eek:

And now, a quick Sam Kinison reminder for all website paint-haters: "PAINT!!! YES, PAINT!!! SAY IT!!! SAY IT!!!" ;)

Okay, I'm good, just had to get that out of my system... maybe it's the Crudweiser, aye??? :rolleyes:
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
Howdy,

Nice looking, spars, blades and sail. The concerning point is the missing gudgeon, but my guess is there has been a rudder conversion based off of the stripes. Is there an inspection port on the stern, in other words do you have interior access back there? If so installation of another gudgeon would be easy with machine screws, metal backer plate, washers, stop nuts and a little sealant. We need to determine which rudder it was/is set up for. The factory new style rudder had a metal plate with self tapping machine screws, might be able to pop a new gudgeon right back on there into the old holes.

Being in storage good, hopefully she is dry. An early fish, she should weigh around 139 with 5 more pounds not uncommon. Built stout.

Fiberglass repairs take a little time/work, but immensely doable.

Cheers
Kent and Skipper
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#4
I'm partial to blue decks and this one looks really nice. Just for
kicks canvass a couple body shops and see what it would cost
re gelcoat the bottom hull if you did all the prep work.That would be
one sweet Sunfish when it was done. The good news is that polyester
resin Band-Aid patches come off real easy with a putty scraper and heat
gun. If you know wood work you already have a trained eyeball for good
prep work prior to finishing. I'm wishing my blue deck Sunfish would look
as good as this is going to look but UV rays have decided otherwise.
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#6
That's certainly the cheapest method of solving that problem, short of theft down at the marina, LOL... $12 + shipping, reckon you should jump on that offer. :cool:
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks everyone for the nudging! I ended up pulling the trigger. I car topped the boat home.

Because of those nasty patches, I thinks i am going to end up painting the bottom instead of gelcoating. I’ll sand them down and re-resin, but I think that it’s the best option without investing too much money into her (did I mention I have an 1820 Cape Cod to finish too!?). The top I’ll polish and restore the old gel-coat.

This seriously can become an addiction. I’ve spent the entire evening doing research. I want to do things right, but I also want to get her out this season.

Thanks!
Chris
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#8
LP or linear polyurethane primer & paint will do just fine for this sorta craft where the hull flexes considerably under way... I'm glad you pinged on the budgetary factor, not all sailors & "yachtsmen" were born with silver spoons in their mouths, LOL. The only reason I keep harping on paint as a cheap alternative, not to mention custom wooden cradles for trailers, is the fact that "I WUZ BONE A PO' BLACK CHILE!!!" :eek:

Being a notoriously cheap b@stard doesn't hurt either, I'd sooner go dumpster diving for clean lumber scraps at a construction site than pay for welding equipment & services... and I can personally guarantee that paint is cheaper than gel coating, whether you do the work yourself or pay somebody to do it. Meh, I'm used to huffing paint on boat projects, it goes with the territory when you're a "struggling sailor." :rolleyes:

One thing I really like about using LP, you can pick some pretty cool colors... you can use pigment with resin & gel coat, but I dunno, I like the wide range of colors available in good LP products. I've had purple hulls, blue hulls like DC's "Stars & Stripes" (looks great with a gleaming white deck), black hulls like the Kiwi boats... the black hulls are somewhat sinister, they're great for pirate ships, LOL. :cool:

MEH, YOU'LL FIGURE IT OUT, YA STILL SCORED WITH THAT BOAT, AND SOON YOU'LL BE SAILING LIKE A CRUSTY NAUTICAL DEMON, AYE??? ;)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#9
Those metal De Persia bailers are getting scarce (and expensive) :eek:.

I'd spray some PB Blaster inside and out. It's not likely to budge without "chemistry".

.
 
#10
I knew that boat looked familiar- I checked it out about 6 weeks ago! You got a good deal, for sure. The rudder alone is worth $200. You will need an inspection port to attach the gudgeon and some fiberglass work on the hull. May not be sailing next weekend, but you’ll be out there soon enough!
 
Thread starter #12
I just shot Alan a message (thanks Alan!). I’d come pick it up (as I’m on the CT border of NY but you’re almost 4 hours away. Damn big states

I knew that boat looked familiar- I checked it out about 6 weeks ago! You got a good deal, for sure. The rudder alone is worth $200. You will need an inspection port to attach the gudgeon and some fiberglass work on the hull. May not be sailing next weekend, but you’ll be out there soon enough!
Thanks for the bid of confidence! Since you saw the boat. The fiberglass work along the bottom. Since I am painting, isnit salvagable? I have a feeling the damage underneath is pretty bad and I don’t know if I am skilled enough to fix it. My concern is that it looks like they didn’t shave down the epoxy(?) layer and build it up, so it looks like the last level of fiberglass is as high as the gel coat. If I need to redo it, I will. I’m not afraid of a project and if I don’t do it close to right it’s going to bother the heck out of me!

As far as the gudgeon: there are 4 bolts there. Please forgive my ignorance (as the amount of information out there is dizzying) but can’t I just unscrew those and slap the new gudgeon on? That would be preferred!

Sorry for all of the questions!
Chris
 
#13
I didn’t actually see it, but she sent me several good pics. It was the patch on the keel, which prob goes through to the patch in the cockpit, that made me hesitate, but I’m working on another blue-decked Sunfish with the same issue- see my recent thread. Yes, you’ll want to grind off that old patch and see what you’re working with. You can definitely do it- just ask with any questions and search this forum. I think it needed some aluminum trim, too. Maybe post here in ‘wanted’ and someone local may have it. Do a leak test before reattaching that trim, you’ll probably want to seal the seam with epoxy.
No, unfortunately you can’t just screw in the gudgeon. You’ll need a backing plate inside the hull to give it the strength it will need against the force applied to it in the water. Good info here, and with Signal Charlie on YouTube on how to install an inspection port.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#14
Yes, you’ll want to grind off that old patch and see what you’re working with.

You’ll need a backing plate inside the hull to give it the strength it will need against the force applied to it in the water.
I don't see why the old patches need to be ground way and re-done if they seem solid and pass a pressure test. I'd just sand them smooth and hit them with Rustoleum spray paint.

The hull may well already have the backing plate. It may be a 1972 hull which came with the new rudder, or a retrofitted 1971. If it is a 1971, there would most likely be an inspection port already there from the retrofit, but I can't tell as the rudder is lying where the inspection port would be. Note that it is a new style rudder, and there are 4 screws sticking out of the transom, so at some point it had the new rudder bracket on there. Lets hope the plate is in there. If you are in doubt as to whether the internal plate is there, I'd buy the external bracket and the correct machine screws, screw it on and see if the screws bite into a backing plate or not. But if it is a 1972, it is unlikely there is no plate.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
What Beldar said. Buy a handful of machine screws 2 different sizes, start with #8 about 2 inches long and see if they bite. If they do but are a bit loose then try the #10s. They should both be a 32 thread count.

As for paint, the cheapest quickest is Rustoleum rattle can. Good paint, but it coats thin. Spray the bottom with 6 cans and go sailing. Splurge for another 6 cans next season. Just paint the side, who looks at the bottom :)

If you to paint then there are many ways to get the color you want. Our Lowes sells Rustoleum Topside Marine in basic colors. Interlux Brightside, Pettit EZPoxy, TotalBoat WetEdge have their color lines, and you can get anything you want from Kirby Paint, they will custom mix it for you plus they have great selection from their website, mixing paint in the USA since 1846. When you call tell George that we sent you. One more way to get paint is to go buy some oil based (alkyd enamel) house paint and have them mix the color you want, example Valspar Ulta 4000.

No point in doing anything until you do a air leak test or water test. Some nasty looking spot may be watertight and then there may be hard to see "chine bubblers." Recently we used our cordless shop vac as the air source and it worked great, prefer cordless to not have power cords near water.


And like BB said, keep the good patches. One of our boats is like that, because it OUR boat, not one we are trying to sell. If you look close you might see the fiberglass bandaid slapped on our 1965 Alcort WAVE's bottom, she went through a hailstorm while in Texas storage. If I am selling a boat I want it to look smooth but more important I want to know what is underneath it before someone else puts their kid on it.

IMG_0020.JPG

Cheers
Kent and Crash Test Dummy Skipper
 
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#16
Hey Fisher057, side note, but I saw you are from CT as well! Good luck with the restoration of the fish, I am in the process of doing the same to mine... I thought I recalled seeing the ad from your first post! Once your SF is up and going, (and mine too) maybe we can meet up and sail.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#17
As far as the gudgeon: there are 4 bolts there. Please forgive my ignorance (as the amount of information out there is dizzying) but can’t I just unscrew those and slap the new gudgeon on? That would be preferred!
Sorry for all of the questions! Chris
Can you describe the bolts? Are the threads coarse or fine? Is there a head to it? Is the head hexagonal, slotted, or Phillips?

What I'm getting at, is that the existing bolts may be threaded into a pre-threaded metal backing plate already, and you CAN use them.

If they are sheet metal screws, you can sail on a temporary basis, but run the risk of losing the rudder and tiller through "misadventure".

(I have a lot of "misadventures"). :confused:

.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#18
We are here for questions! What would be helpful is a picture of the transom so we can see what you are calling "bolts." Also is there a metal serial number plate on the mid deck or a 12 digit Hull ID Number (HIN) on the upper right transom, that would give us the year. And if the deck is original gelcoat, what is the stripe pattern on the bow, 2 stripes or 3?

There are no bolts with factory rudder systems, only wood screws into the deck and keel backer blocks with old style rudder system up to 1970,

old style rudder.JPG

and then fine self threading machine screws into an internal metal backer plate with the new style 1971 and newer rudder. Your boat picture shows a new style rudder laying on the deck.

Internal gudgeon backer plate

gudgeon backing plate.jpg

Gudgeon

gudgeon.jpg

IMG_5907.jpg

Fire away!

Cheers
Kent and Skipper
 
Thread starter #19
Here is a picture of the screws where the gudgeon was. I’ve also enclosed a closer picture of the fiberglass patch. What will be watertight and fairly unnoticeable after painting? If I sand that sucker down to smooth and apply new resin over it and then paint should we be good? What is acceptable with fiberglass? Should I not feel any of the texture of the fiber? F13AD547-5346-4263-B84E-27D64DF8B0C4.jpeg 2EE0F20E-B196-469F-9E98-B3873E60EFE4.jpeg
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#20
That looks promising. If you can pull on those screws and they feel firm, you are in good shape. Install the new gudgeon with a small bit of marine sealant around the holes.

I'd sand the edges of that patch to makes sure it is mostly smooth. If you want the fiberglass weave to be smooth it might be better to put fairing compound over it and sand that. What you don't want to do is sand away the patch, unless you plan to repair it all over again. I don't think the fish will notice some fabric weave.

K
 
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