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Help with sunfish age

MattyV

New Member
Hello all,

I recently (Sunday) bought a used sunfish. It is a little beat up but half the fun is going to be fixing her up. I would love some assistance on what year she might be.

She has the cooler area in the back, no metal badge I can see, a white rubbery bailer. Hopefully someone has a clue as I am currently sunfish clueless.

thank you much for any thoughts on the topic!
Matt
 

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Look at the molded in numbers on the transom. Should end with two digits and a letter. Those last two digits are the model year.
 

MattyV

New Member
Thank you so much, she is a 1981 Sunfish in faded blue!

I have a few (million) questions but I will try to be brief tonight.

1: wrong.jpg This looks wrong compared to other pics I have seen, but also it looks like it is kinda made for it not to go through the boom but through that end cap instead. Thoughts?

2: what are these.jpg What the heck are these things? (screwdriver as pointer) I have not seen them on other sunfish. Also that pulley looks after market - should I keep it?

3: Cracks.jpg There are cracks like this all over the boat, are these fill with some sort of epoxy or marine tex and then sand pre-painting?

Thank you so much for your help with these answers. I also have a minifish but my father-in-law took immaculate care of it before passing it on to us so I have never had to do anything to her at this point.

Matt V
 

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tag

my2fish
1. Right side boom either has the wrong end cap or needs to be flipped end for end.
2. Jam/clam cleats for the mainsheet. Can’t see the mainsheet pulley very well. I’d try it out before replacing it.
3. if the small cracks aren’t leaking any water, I’d just leave them and go sailing.
 

MattyV

New Member
Are the jam/clam cleats useful for a novice?

Thank you so much for the reply, also I love your blog, I have been researching sunfish for a while now and your site has been very informative and useful! Thanks for having it out there on the internet.
 
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MattyV

New Member
My scale comes in from Amazon tomorrow to weigh her, my wife would not let me use the glass scale in the bathroom for some strange reason ;) If it weighs too much, I'll start looking for leaks.
 

tag

my2fish
Just use the cleats with caution. If you have the mainsheet cleated and a big puff of wind comes too fast, you might not have time to uncleat the line. And then you’re tipped over and swimming!

Plus... if you have a guest ride along, the cleats are in a bad spot for where they’d likely be sitting.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
3. if the small cracks aren’t leaking any water, I’d just leave them and go sailing.
It's the thin gelcoat finish of the deck that is sensitive to added hardware. Even with backing plates, cracks have appeared in my deck.

The cracks are an indicator of local stress, so you can expect (and ignore) them. They're especially difficult to hide, if using paint. Keep the desireable gelcoat finish for as long as possible.

Fading in gelcoat can be "compounded out". Reds--not so permanent.

Dark paint gets hot. Light colors increase UV glare--possibly affecting eyesight in one's later years.(Especially cataract lenses, which can't be replaced).

My newest Sunfish has an original baby blue color, which works very well.

Those cleats will test your reflexes! ;)
 

sailcraftri

Well-Known Member
1. Boom end, eye bolt should go through boom and not end cap. As mentioned maybe boom is backwards or rotate boom so opening n end cap is away from other boom. Looks like boom end cap is held in place with a screw which is where your eye bolt should be.

2. Mainsheet clam cleats not the best. In heavy air if you need to quickly release you almost have to pull the mainsheet in to release. Cam cleats would be better but the best is to not have any cleats and use a ratchet block for the mainsheet.

3. I use a glass scale to weigh my boats. Works fine. Make sure you are on a hard flat surface. I bring a 3/4" piece of plywood for under the scale when I look at boats in case there is no hard surface. The glass scales can be slippery. I have considered gluing a piece of carpet on it. I had an older scale that needed to be pressed to "on and indicate 0.0" before you stepped on it to weigh your self. Proved very difficult to weigh a boat as it usually turned off before I could balance the boat on it.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
1. Boom end, eye bolt should go through boom and not end cap...
It looks like you've got all the hardware you need there, but a hole is missing. :(

It'd be a good idea to fix that first, as a torn sail at that corner can result! :oops:
 

MattyV

New Member
So this leads to a follow up. If I should not paint my fish m, what product to shine up the existing gel coat? I might remember 3m fiberglass restorer? I read way too many forums before I bought and it all kinda runs together.

If I do remove the cleats as I will almost always have 2 people in the boat suggestions to fill?

Thank you all so much for all of Thai invaluable info!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Also, does anyone know what kind of sail this is? It is an extra I received with the fish.
Thanks again!
Matt
We've seen this sail earlier. Mayflower/Snark?
("Snark" is a real sailboat, according to their web page). ;)
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Congratulations on your new boat!

You need to straighten the boom interlocking bolts and reinstall it, or buy a new one. The rusty screw should go away and the bolt should go through the metal spar. Some folks put that outhaul end cap with the tab on the forward end of the lower spar (boom) to act as a bumper so that when the spars are lowered to the deck that the interlocking bolt does not scratch the foredeck gelcoat.

Make sure to line everything up so that the boom blocks are on the bottom of the boom, not flipped over. Outhaul cap upright. Forward end outhaul cap pointing down.

image.jpg

IMG_7897.JPG

All the previous posters missed the fact that you need a bottom cap for your mast. The parts folks here in the Forum can set you up.
 
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MattyV

New Member
Awesome, thank you! I have already ordered a new cap for the mast - i took it off as it was in bad shape and I had to know what was inside the mast (disintegrated cork evidently).
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
The Harken block shown in your photos is fine. They last forever. Is this a ratchet block or just a regular free wheeling block? The ratchet version will have a little "swirch" on the side not shown in your photos that allows you to switch from ratchet to free wheeling mode.

I am glad you are getting a end cap for the mast. Without the cap, the mast will damage the bottom of the mast hole as the raw edge acts like a cookie cutter as the mast rotates when sailing. I suggest you fill the mast hole with water right to deck level and see if the level drops. If "yes" write back and I can describe how to fix it - it is pretty easy.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

MattyV

New Member
I'll fill the mast hole with water tomorrow and report back, it had water in it since i bought it that did not drain out but was not to the top. I did weigh the boat and it is around 135lbs. Not too bad for a 1981 that I don't think had excellent care.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Following up on what Alan said, I assumed the two pics you showed were both sides of the block and that there was no switch....but upon further review, I see the same scratch in the same place in both pics, so it is 2 of the same pics. So then I looked at the other pics you posted, and this one seems to show that your block may be busted, to use another nautical term. The metal part appears to be hanging off the left side of your block, and it looks like maybe the adjoining plastic is gone. So it may be time for a new block even if this one is a ratchet. However, ratchet blocks have a sheave with I think it is 8 sides (that is what helps grip the sheet when letting the sheet out.) This sheave appears to be totally round, and if so, this block is not a ratchet block.

What sail color does this boat have? I have seen a LOT of Sunfish over the years, and I don't think I have ever seen this particular color scheme, so if the boat has the original sail I am wondering what it looks like.

1612927287711.png
 

tag

my2fish
Looks like it might be a Harken H019. Or maybe an 001? if it works still, you can try it out. The ratchet switch version would be a nice upgrade.

I’ve used a Harken 2135 for years. Just last year I switched to an Allen 60mm.

314325A6-D8AB-4720-98B0-BE4018DE82CE.jpeg
 

MattyV

New Member
This is the sail that came with the boat when i bought it. I have no clue if this is the original sail or an after market one. It does have a sunfish logo on it. Il63441152562__A62F2465-2269-44E4-A3F8-AE86729FD847.jpg

Ill get a better pic tomorrow.

Matt
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
This is the pulley that i have currently - is it good or bad?
It's bad because it's not a ratchet block, and as beldar noticed, it's missing half a cheek. Half of the ball bearings may be missing as well.

The ratcheting version is H019, which you may prefer for retro aesthetic reasons :cool: Of the two blocks that tag showed, the Carbo Harken is a little less expensive and the Allen a bit more so. All are in the USD 80-95 range, which may be a large percentage of the value of the complete boat, but I'd still say it's money well spent.

_
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
This is the pulley that i have currently - is it good or bad?
A part (cheek) has broken off. It's some sort of early reinforced plastic and still usable as it is. I have one or two like it, but not Harken, and there's no ratchet in either one.

Having sailed (1) without any device, a conventional block (2), or using the "Sunfish hook" (3), please add a selective ratchet block--facing the right direction :confused: --and you'll be way ahead.

Advertise at this forum for a used ratchet block and you won't go back. (Rebuild kits are available--just in case :oops: ).

Keep that block spring, and reattach--compressing with Zip-ties--until bolted-up. (Then cut the Zip-ties).

That Mayflower sail could be sold here at our ForSale forum--$60?--but it could be handy someday as a "loaner" or a spare.

At 82 square feet, it's slightly larger than the factory Sunfish sail.
 
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MattyV

New Member
Also - I may have done this wrong: Well see what you guys say, apologies for any terminology or bonehead moves, this is all very new to me! :)

It looks like I may need to put the end cap with the hole on it back into place. I found a rounded end cap and used it (I have a few spare parts in a box that was in the cockpit). If that is wrong please let me know.



IMG_5579.jpg
 

chris williams

Active Member
That sail has a big repair, but may sail fine. If the stitching seems in good order and sail cloth doesn’t show any signs of disintegrating (odds are it is ok) you can give it a try. If you have aesthetic concerns, then it is new sail time!!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The end caps look good. The one with the tab is an outhaul end cap for the other end, some folks use it on the forward end as well with the tab down as an option to help prevent deck gouges from the eyebolt nut. You'll be okay with regular caps as long as you are attentive to the bolt rubbing on the deck.
 

shorefun

Active Member
When looking for parts give Shoreline Sailboats a try for parts. They have had some good prices on parts in the past. I got a new Vanguard line kit for like$29 last year. You just email them what you are looking for and they will get back to you with prices.
 
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