Free Sunfish

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Thread starter #1
I still don't have my land-legs back. I am just back from a 1600 ocean mile yacht delivery and guess what fell into my lap?

I just scored another free Sunfish from a nice older couple from my yacht club. I really like the light gray decks and hull on this one.

Unlike the last free Sunfish I got, which was in need of many repairs, detailed in my thread: New Life for SCUD (1968 Sunfish) , this boat was in much better shape. It is a 1980 and sat outside upside down, since 1995. The last beach decal was dated 1994. The sail was in decent shape, and it and the spars were stored inside, in a dry basement.

I spend a few hours scrubbing the deck and bottom. I expected some serious stains, but most of it came clean with soap and water. A second pass with a scotch-brite pad took off the rest. A turn around the gunwhale brightened up the rub rail. I will probably remove some of this to get the edges cleaned up.

I found only one real problem area. It was hit on the port side just aft of the forward stripes. Most of this damage was to the hull, and a small amount of damage was done to the deck. The repair was not professional, but seems to be decent have sealed the area from moisture.

I have not weighed the boat but it does not seem heavy. In fact the boat is in just nice shape that I may make it my racing platform--if I get into that this year.

The blade and rudder are both in nice shape too.

The cool thing is this--I have most of the parts I need to make the boat meet my standard.

So far, I've removed the metal drain plug and have a plastic plug I plan to put in tomorrow. I installed a Racing Clam cleat on the mast, and sealed it with 4200.

I photographed the sail--a nice white, blue and light blue pattern, removed the sail, and folded it up--it is going on eBay in the next few days. This sail is in really nice shape. I think I'll start the bidding at $100--that is how nice it is. There is only one small patch, and one section of the white panel shows a small amount of dirt--which will probably clean up.

I drilled out the gooseneck fitting and installed a quick release fitting.

I found a gray hiking strap--perfect for a gray hull and deck, and installed the aft end hanger. I need to check, that might be intended for another Sunfish. I also found an access port and sock--given to me by a friend, so that goes on tomorrow to complete the hiking strap installation.

I removed the bailer. It seems to be dirty, but in good shape, but I have an extra one, so I'll put the new one on.

So what do I actually need? I ordered two new harken carbo boom blocks (I'll use my other spars with Race Lite blocks if I race it), and I ordered a Harken 205 swivel base and a ratchet block. I have two more swivel bases--not so nice quality, but I plan to sell those to pay for the new hardware.

I'd also like to put on a brand new NP "Islands" sail.

So how is everyone doing? I've been away for a while. I'm looking forward to putting my keelboat in the water this week.
Thread starter #2
Someone please delete the other two threads. My system was slowed by network traffic and it looks like I posted this thread more than once.
Thread starter #6
I'm jealous, wish I could find a free sunfish.
Put an ad on Craigslist, looking for a free sunfish any condition. You will get some responses. If the boats you get are too beat up, part them out to buy a better one. Coamings are worth $75 for example. If one or two worhtless Sunfishes can be used to finance one decent one--there you go, a free Sunfish.
Thread starter #7
Sounds like a nice boat. I am pointing you to a thread on forum that you might have missed having been away, it talks about a different mainsheet set up that you might consider if you haven't ordered your blocks yet.

Got a "Page not Found".

Blocks were ordered yesterday. I have 5 Sunfishes, and plan to rig them all the same way, except for one set of spars I'm using Race-Lite Blocks to keep it legal.

Would love to know more details about this other scheme though.
Thread starter #9
Sorry for the bad link to the thread. This is the thread.
Mounting a Harken 240 Mount on Super Porpoise
Interesting mainsheet hardware. I like it. It does everything I'd want it to do.

In my case the 205 swivel base works well and give me an easy release. I don't use any of the pads provided for the cam cleat, so it takes a deliberate action to lock it in, and come free easily. I'll be sticking to that method so all my boats are rigged the same. I'm planning on putting a kids program together and want every boat to be rigged well and identical. The only differences in the boats will be colors on the sails, deck stripes and hiking straps. I paid an average of $500 for each boat with all the upgrades--carbon hiking stick, hiking strap, new NP sail, new lines, block, swivel base and cam cleat, mast clam cleat. Most of the cost was in upgrades. Two boats I bought in the fall, off season, for $250 each. Two were free. One I paid $500 for and it needed nothing but a newer sail. Many of the parts were paid for by selling other gear I'd accumulated from people who just wanted to get rid of stuff. I get lots of things for free.

I also give lots of stuff away for free to promote the sport. For example I gave away a dagger board dolly to a family with a Sunfish that had no way to move it around. It was a nice one, I'd updated the wheels to wide tires make it easier to roll on sand. My ultimate goal with my sunfishes is to get an inexpensive program going to introduce kids and adults to the sport. I'm putting all my boats on one trailer so that I'll be mobile as well.

Sailing as a sport has declined 70% since 1978, and 30% since 1995. It is up to people like us to promote the sport and get people into it and hooked on it. US Sailing is not promoting the sport, they are too busy collecting money. Sailing needs less bureaucracy, less fees, and more individuals promoting the sport.
Thread starter #12
I spend a few hours compounding the hull yesterday and it has a bit of a shine to it now. Next step is to pull the aluminum trim off and hit it again with a power buffer. I should be able to bring back the old shine to it. Next step is to flip it over and do the bottom. I'll try and post some pictures as soon as I find my camera.

I'm naming the boat DIXIE since it is Blue and Gray. That fits with the military theme on all my Sunfishes. I'll see if I can find a couple Confederate Flag decals too.

I just ordered a racing sail, and with a little luck I'll have it on Friday and be able to apply my numbers. I might use this boat for racing on Sunday if all my parts are in by Friday.

I am still feeling quite lucky with this boat. Perhaps that will continue into the weekend.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I'll see if I can find a couple Confederate Flag decals too.
Seems racist. Maybe you can omit the flags. This is cut and pasted from Wikipedia concerning South Carolina and the "wonderful" confederate flag....BB

In 2005, two Western Carolina University researchers found that 74% of African-Americans polled favored removing the flag from the South Carolina State House altogether.[26] The NAACP and other civil rights groups have attacked the flag's continued presence at the state capitol. The NAACP maintains an official economic boycott of South Carolina, citing its continued display of the battle flag on its State House grounds, despite an initial agreement to call off the boycott after it was removed from the State House dome.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has prevented South Carolina from hosting any championship sporting events in which the sites are determined in advance.[27] This NCAA ban on post-season championships in South Carolina has been strictly enforced, with the exception of HBCU Benedict College. In both 2007 and 2009, the school hosted the post-season Pioneer Bowl game, in violation of the NCAA ban, though no action was taken.[28] On April 14, 2007, Steve Spurrier, coach of the University of South Carolina football team, made an acceptance speech for a community service award in which he referred to the flag on the State House grounds as "that damn flag". This statement was also inspired by the actions a local fraternity on that same day, whose members created controversy as they waved the battle flag while being videotaped for SportsCenter.[29] On July 6, 2009, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced a decision to move three future baseball tournaments out of South Carolina citing miscommunications with the NAACP concerning the display of the Confederate flag in the state.[30]

Thread starter #16
I'm going to put the Confederate Flag on there anyway. I think it is a cool logo. It matches the theme and colors of the boat. I don't think anyone will be offended. If they are, they are probably people that get offended by anything.

I spent another hour compounding Dixie's bottom. It is looking better and better. I still need to buy a buffer to put a real shine the hull and deck. Later today, I'm filling some small voids in the layup and perhaps I'll start grinding off the old repair and redoing that. It will be hard to match the gelcoat color, but that will be worth the effort--Dixie is shaping up to be my best Sunfish. It would look real good with a nice color match. One interesting fact is the damage is right about where I put name graphics on the port bow.

I'm rather picky about name graphics. I use Time Roman font in red 3" letters for all my Sunfish names. I won't be able to put both sides on until I make this bow repair--some added motivation to get it done quickly. I'll need a 3"x 4.5" vinyl Confederate Flag--that might work out rather well for covering up the damaged area.

I polished my other Sunfish, WASP today. It got new name graphics today. I bought WASP last year from a friend who used Home Depot vinyl letters. It looked ok, but not great. I peeled off the old name letters, de-gummed the residue, buffed out the discoloration, and applied the new letters. Now it has a really sharp looking name. I'll be putting on my two WASP graphics on as soon as I find them. WASP will be my race platform--at least in the short term.

This same fellow dropped off a 5" inspection port and fat bag with a bunch of other Sunfish parts a few months back. That port is going on WASP next. DIXIE will get a new Viking 5" inspection port and a Bottle-port. I'm looking forward to getting that in along with another hiking strap--The one I started to put on DIXIE was intended for WASP. Basically I inventoried what I had and ordered enough parts to make both boats identical to my other three Sunfishes. Many of my parts are due in on Friday. I still need to pickup a NP recreational sail for DIXIE--my choice is the Bikini style sail and another hiking stick. I found one last bag of sail rings left, so I'm in luck there. I destroyed all the old ones removing DIXIE's old sail. The would not have held up in any case.

I'm still a bit stunned with my good luck and the minimal amount of work I've had to do so far on DIXIE. When I think about the amount of time I spent on SCUD last year, it seem like I'll have DIXIE done in a few weeks.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Honestly, I don't see why so many people find it offensive, it's a part of history and the flag of the south!
It was a flag that represented the Confederacy, which was founded to maintain slavery, which Lincoln was trying to abolish. As the Wikipedia article pointed out, African Americans, not surprisingly, find promotion of a "country" that was meant to ensure slavery lived on, to be offensive. I bet your perspective would be pretty darn different if you were African American.

Nightsailor, I find it funny that you're a yankee naming you're boat "dixie", but it's a neat theme and don't let anyone talk you out of it. Perhaps use one of the confederate national flags instead of the battle flag. The ignorant won't know what "stars and bars" is, but they will know the battle flag because the white trash kkk gave it a bad name. They might figure it out if they wiki it though.

BB, I don't want to get into this with you, but don't preach about what you don't know.

SCV camp 4 secession
It was a flag that represented the Confederacy, which was founded to maintain slavery, which Lincoln was trying to abolish. As the Wikipedia article pointed out, African Americans, not surprisingly, find promotion of a "country" that was meant to ensure slavery lived on, to be offensive. I bet your perspective would be pretty darn different if you were African American.


I would also like to second that you shouldn't use wikipedia as the information is incorrect.

The civil war wasn't about slavery. There's more to it than that. And I'm not going to get into it, but either way, people who get offended by the confederate flag are narrow minded.
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