Help identifying and restoring a 1968 or earlier Sunfish

How to restore 1968 Sunfish with original fittings

  • Yes restore Sunfish with original fittings

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • How to find fittings for early an Sunfish

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
Thread starter #1
My very first boat was a Sunfish, I lost it over 15 years ago. My cousin recently found a Sunfish on Craig's listand gifted it to me and my daughter. We were so excited! It was our second day sailing when we were hit on the port side by two very young boys in a 420. The damage was extensive, pie shape piece out of the deck and two fractures in the hull, and the trim is damaged. As a result of the damage I started researching replacement parts, which lead me to the history, and now I'm hooked. I have proof the boat is older than 1968 because there are yearly recreation stickers on the side of the hull dating back to 1968. The Rudder fittings are the Earlier Rudder Hardware, but the shape of the wood on the rudder suggests that it was replaced, and not retrofitted properly, causing damage to the deck surface and the rudder, rudder pin....etc. I had no idea the boat I had was a a vintage Sunfish. Is it possible or even worth the effort to restoring it's original specifications? C
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#2
My very first boat was a Sunfish, I lost it over 15 years ago...The Rudder fittings are the Earlier Rudder Hardware, but the shape of the wood on the rudder suggests that it was replaced, and not retrofitted properly, causing damage to the deck surface and the rudder, rudder pin....etc. I had no idea the boat I had was a a vintage Sunfish. Is it possible or even worth the effort to restoring it's original specifications? C
Just about every Sunfish is a vintage Sunfish. ;) So, short answer—no. :(

Is insurance involved, or are you picking up the tab for the damage? :oops:
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#6
With enough money you could make it look like the day it left the factory. I'd
say if it was your first boat and it had sentimental value go for it. As a craigslist
find, use it for learning fiberglass repair or hit craigslist again for another Sunfish.
Post some pictures and you'll get a dozen comments on how to fix it. Starting from
scratch you going to need about $100 in materials to get started with repairs and
more to finish depending your finishing preferences. I'd snag another Fish as
soon a possible to get the kids sailing again and work on the broken one at
leisure. No pressure, no time constants. Look for a Fish with the updated
rudder post 1972. Best would be to find someone selling just a hull but
you may not be in the geographical nexus of used boats like I am.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#7
the owner's of the 420 picked up the tab for repairs.
Unfortunately the damaged area will be noticeable. :(
If your Sunfish is already repaired, then this suggestion comes too late. :oops:

Maybe you can get the damage repaired properly (at their expense) and update the rudder at the same time—at your expense?

Older Sunfish rudder parts are available at eBay (used), but the supply is spotty, and the early rudders continue to be troublesome from what I've read. The later rudder is a big improvement, and nearly bulletproof. :) Now, as to "snagging another 'Fish"—as suggested above:

I've kept a spare Sunfish as a "standby Sunfish" for my sailing friends who visit; however, friends nowadays are bringing their own Sunfish—and nobody's used my spare Sunfish for several years. :(

It's the best of my three Sunfish, but I'd be willing to part with it—complete—for $975. It'd be a 4-hour roundtrip for you, and loading it starts with carrying it up a steep hill about 100-feet to a driveway. (Two determined friends carried their Sunfish up that hill just yesterday! Two being the minimum team for this "team-lift"). Alternatively, if the wind is right, there's a straight 1-mile sail to a beach next to a roadway.

Here's the previous seller, giving a "farewell-pat", as I drive off with his pride and joy. ;)
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#13
I understand "sentimentality". :)

My BIL bought me a small outboard engine. After years of happy use, it started developing "ethanol issues", so I had it repaired at replacement cost :confused:, then stored it away. All that said, I don't understand how a small sailboat could've damaged your Sunfish to that degree. :(

I've put months of happy sailing in my oldest boat, with camouflage-colored duct tape keeping the water out. The off-season is the time for repairs, at least until the lake warms enough so it's safe to sail again.

:oops: 'Not sure why I have a camouflage wide-brim hat, and camouflage flip-flops, as I can never find them! :confused: But camouflage duct tape hides defects on my old Sunfish. (At least, I think it does). ;)

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