Heavy Sunfish

Thread starter #1
Hey everyone, I just bought a 1978 Sunfish and once I got home and pulled it off the trailer I noticed it was heavy. The hull looks to be in amazing condition, but it doesn't have any inspection ports, so I figure it is time for that. I am planning on installing just one behind the splash guard. When I first moved the boat, I heard a swish noise so I opened the drain plug and a small amount of water came out. I would appreciate any recommendations for fixing the boat.
Thanks Josh
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#4
That's about 4 gallons of water in the foam, mostly the expanding foam. There is some interesting
info on the net about using Desiccants to dry out boats. No sure which would be faster, a fan
or the Desiccants. Probably not both since the hull needs to be sealed for the Desiccants to work.
 
Thread starter #5
That's about 4 gallons of water in the foam, mostly the expanding foam. There is some interesting
info on the net about using Desiccants to dry out boats. No sure which would be faster, a fan
or the Desiccants. Probably not both since the hull needs to be sealed for the Desiccants to work.
Thanks for the recommendations, I went ahead and cut the inspection port hole and did the light bulb and fan method. Hopefully it works quick.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#6
Congratulations on finding this hull and converting it to fun... :)

"Quick" is affected by drying hulls faster:

1) in northern states, where humidity is lower,

2) receiving "solar-gain" from direct sun: cut, open, and spread black plastic to hasten this effect,

3) directing the fan's breeze internally—"swirl" using the longest dryer duct that will fit, or...

4) cut two ports—fore and aft.

Drying is measured in weeks—not days. Weigh the hull weekly to measure progress.

.
 
Thread starter #7
Congratulations on finding this hull and converting it to fun... :)

"Quick" is affected by drying hulls faster:

1) in northern states, where humidity is lower,

2) receiving "solar-gain" from direct sun: cut, open, and spread black plastic to hasten this effect,

3) directing the fan's breeze internally—"swirl" using the longest dryer duct that will fit, or...

4) cut two ports—fore and aft.

Drying is measured in weeks—not days. Weigh the hull weekly to measure progress.

.
Thanks for the advice, I have been doing this project inside so hopefully humidity won't be a factor in slowing the process. I will definitely do number 3 and I really like that recommendation. I will update on the weight of the hull next week for first progress. Thanks
 
#8
I just finished drying mine out - at least as far as I'm going to go. It already had a 4" inspection port at the aft end, and I added a 6" port just aft of the splash rail. I used the light bulb and fan method. I could really 'feel' the moisture in the foam at the rear, but the front foam felt dry so I kept the light at the aft end. AFter 3 weeks in my garage during relatively low humidity, she went from 138 lbs to 130 lbs, and that's where it's going to stay for now. Good enough for me for a 33 year old boat.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#10
I just finished drying mine out...I could really 'feel' the moisture in the foam at the rear, but the front foam felt dry so I kept the light at the aft end. After 3 weeks in my garage during relatively low humidity, she went from 138 lbs to 130 lbs, and that's where it's going to stay for now. Good enough for me for a 33 year old boat.
This may be the forum's first documentation of Sunfish weight loss! :)

That works out to 3 lbs per week. (Which is sure to taper off). :cool:

Or, to put it another way, your Sunfish lost more than 10 deciliters of moisture per week. ;)

.
 
#11
This may be the forum's first documentation of Sunfish weight loss! :)

That works out to 3 lbs per week. (Which is sure to taper off). :cool:

Or, to put it another way, your Sunfish lost more than 10 deciliters of moisture per week. ;)

.
Or, my scale has a lot of variability! LOL

But honestly, both my wife and I agreed that the boat felt lighter when lifting it on to the scale. And from the foam blocks that I could feel, they were dried out compared to when I started.
 
Thread starter #12
Or, my scale has a lot of variability! LOL

But honestly, both my wife and I agreed that the boat felt lighter when lifting it on to the scale. And from the foam blocks that I could feel, they were dried out compared to when I started.
Thanks for the post on this. I will look forward to seeing my boats weight drop over time.
 
Thread starter #13
Hey everyone I have an update for the three weeks of the fan and a light running. The boat was stored in the house while I did this and I used rubertex to go around the fan so it would have a nice seal going in. I ended up going from 160 pounds down to 142. Three days ago I used an air duct to position the air inside the boat.
 
#14
Hello-- glad to hear your Sunfish is drying out! I have an older boat which I'm hoping to dry out as well. I'd like to install two ports, one 5 inch port behind the splash guard (or on the front-most wall of the the cockpit), and another 4 inch one in the aft end of the boat. Any suggestions out there on which placement is better for the front port-- behind the splash guard or on the front-most cockpit wall? And as for the rear port, where specifically have people placed those? I don't want to cut holes anywhere that will affect the structural integrity of the hull.

What kinds of fans do people recommend to get airflow? I would think anything would be better than nothing.

Lastly, any recommendations on gloves to use to keep out the fiberglass dust (already have a respirator, safety glasses, coverall suit, etc.

Thank you in advance,

--Peter
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#15
If I had it to do over again, I'd only install one port, and that would be in the front-most cockpit wall. (What the US Navy would call the bulkhead). :cool:

I'll be re-installing mine, as the silicone sealer never "set-up", being out-of-date. :oops: But this Spring, I'm going to use 3M's 4200 or 5200 adhesives to attach it. (Carefully position the port, put down masking tape, spread adhesive, clamp it using sheet metal screws at 3-o'clock and 9-o'clock, remove tape, allow overnight set-up, then drill and bolt it in—using the same ¼-20" aluminum nuts and bolts as installed presently). This leaves the slight curvature that exists in the bulkhead unaffected. The port I installed is termed a "Portlight" in catalogs. The net-weight added=only 2 pounds. :)

Try portlights of less bulk from eBay, where $45 portlights with two securing dogs—not three as in my installation—are available.

The foredeck remains intact, the transparent portlight can be opened slightly for ventilation, bailing is easier, a full-length kayak paddle can be stored forward, repair-access to daggerboard trunk, spray-rail rivets, and Styrofoam blocks is easier—and one small "4-inch-muffin-fan" can be directed rearward—via a natural tunnel through the Sunfish—circulating a drying breeze throughout the hull:
Ultimate Inspection Port... | SailingForums.com

For little money, outdoor-drying muffin fans are available as solar-powered! :)

A rear inspection port can be installed, but be sure to note the position of the factory's supporting-blocks, as pictured here:
Gudgeon bolts rusted out: how to extract? | Page 2 | SailingForums.com

For other questions, check the handy resources at the red arrow and the black arrow:

Fullscreen capture 432017 33744 AM.bmp-002.jpg

.
 
Thread starter #16
Hello-- glad to hear your Sunfish is drying out! I have an older boat which I'm hoping to dry out as well. I'd like to install two ports, one 5 inch port behind the splash guard (or on the front-most wall of the the cockpit), and another 4 inch one in the aft end of the boat. Any suggestions out there on which placement is better for the front port-- behind the splash guard or on the front-most cockpit wall? And as for the rear port, where specifically have people placed those? I don't want to cut holes anywhere that will affect the structural integrity of the hull.

What kinds of fans do people recommend to get airflow? I would think anything would be better than nothing.

Lastly, any recommendations on gloves to use to keep out the fiberglass dust (already have a respirator, safety glasses, coverall suit, etc.
Thank you in advance,

--Peter
I installed one six inch inspection port between the cockpit and splash guard, and it fits and looks nice there. The larger size allows for me to push more air thorough it. I used just over a eight inch in diameter fan and ran it on full power. While the fan was blowing I opened the drainplug to have an exit for the fan. Then I tied the wire to a light on the cleat and let a light hang while the fan was blowing to spread hot air throughout the boat. Don't let the light touch anything just let it hang. Later in the process after about 2.5 weeks I installed a small air duct to position the air to different sides in the back. When I did this I removed the light. Hope this helps and if you have any questions I'd be glad to help.
 
Thread starter #17
If I had it to do over again, I'd only install one port, and that would be in the front-most cockpit wall. (What the US Navy would call the bulkhead). :cool:

I'll be re-installing mine, as the silicone sealer never "set-up", being out-of-date. :oops: But this Spring, I'm going to use 3M's 4200 or 5200 adhesives to attach it. (Carefully position the port, put down masking tape, spread adhesive, clamp it using sheet metal screws at 3-o'clock and 9-o'clock, remove tape, allow overnight set-up, then drill and bolt it in—using the same ¼-20" aluminum nuts and bolts as installed presently). This leaves the slight curvature that exists in the bulkhead unaffected. The port I installed is termed a "Portlight" in catalogs. The net-weight added=only 2 pounds. :)

Try portlights of less bulk from eBay, where $45 portlights with two securing dogs—not three as in my installation—are available.

The foredeck remains intact, the transparent portlight can be opened slightly for ventilation, bailing is easier, a full-length kayak paddle can be stored forward, repair-access to daggerboard trunk, spray-rail rivets, and Styrofoam blocks is easier—and one small "4-inch-muffin-fan" can be directed rearward—via a natural tunnel through the Sunfish—circulating a drying breeze throughout the hull:
Ultimate Inspection Port... | SailingForums.com

For little money, outdoor-drying muffin fans are available as solar-powered! :)

A rear inspection port can be installed, but be sure to note the position of the factory's supporting-blocks, as pictured here:
Gudgeon bolts rusted out: how to extract? | Page 2 | SailingForums.com

For other questions, check the handy resources at the red arrow and the black arrow:

View attachment 22680

.
Excellent and very detailed response, thank you for the the ideas.
 
#20
If I had it to do over again, I'd only install one port, and that would be in the front-most cockpit wall. (What the US Navy would call the bulkhead). :cool:

I'll be re-installing mine, as the silicone sealer never "set-up", being out-of-date. :oops: But this Spring, I'm going to use 3M's 4200 or 5200 adhesives to attach it. (Carefully position the port, put down masking tape, spread adhesive, clamp it using sheet metal screws at 3-o'clock and 9-o'clock, remove tape, allow overnight set-up, then drill and bolt it in—using the same ¼-20" aluminum nuts and bolts as installed presently). This leaves the slight curvature that exists in the bulkhead unaffected. The port I installed is termed a "Portlight" in catalogs. The net-weight added=only 2 pounds. :)

Try portlights of less bulk from eBay, where $45 portlights with two securing dogs—not three as in my installation—are available.

The foredeck remains intact, the transparent portlight can be opened slightly for ventilation, bailing is easier, a full-length kayak paddle can be stored forward, repair-access to daggerboard trunk, spray-rail rivets, and Styrofoam blocks is easier—and one small "4-inch-muffin-fan" can be directed rearward—via a natural tunnel through the Sunfish—circulating a drying breeze throughout the hull:
Ultimate Inspection Port... | SailingForums.com

For little money, outdoor-drying muffin fans are available as solar-powered! :)

A rear inspection port can be installed, but be sure to note the position of the factory's supporting-blocks, as pictured here:
Gudgeon bolts rusted out: how to extract? | Page 2 | SailingForums.com

For other questions, check the handy resources at the red arrow and the black arrow:

View attachment 22680

.
Thanks! For now I'll stick with one six-inch port in the front cockpit wall (bulkhead). You mentioned positioning the fan so that it's blowing rearward. Wouldn't I want to blow outside air forward into the boat to dry it out? Or would it be better to blow the heated air (by way of a light bulb) out of the boat. I could see either potentially working. Also, it seems like gravity will make it difficult to hang a light bulb through an inspection hole in the bulkhead as opposed to down through a port hole behind the splash guard. Am I right on that? (It seems like gravity will want to move the bulb against the fan). Thanks again for the detailed advice
 
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