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Help with sunfish age

MattyV

New Member
Thank you all!

I filled the mast hole (is there a technical name?) with water. It went down 1/2 inch in 4 hours. Should I worry about sealing that up?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Thank you all! I filled the mast hole (is there a technical name?) with water. It went down 1/2 inch in 4 hours. Should I worry about sealing that up?
The technical name is "mast step". (The dictionary says, where the mast is installed, in wood or metal boats). :rolleyes:

Did the leak stop after 1/2 inch in 4 hours? If so, then that's where the leak is, and can be seen--and stopped with resin or Thixo.

First, press firmly in the suspect area, and listen for a possible tear. A weakened area, especially one you can see and feel, would benefit from a fiberglass patch.

Definitely time for a new bailer and a new sail. That one is probably the original. Intensitysails.com
When you can see your driveway through the bailer, you need a new bailer! ;)

I've got two like MattyV's. (Doesn't this call for a 3D printer to make a replacement "cap"?)

But you can sail without it--just carry something to bail with. I carry a common water bottle, with the top cut off. (Cost-free and harmless if sat- or stepped-on).

You can save the $50 for a new bailer by searching "freeze plug" as an alternative device.

Lots of Sunfish sails have faded or missing logos. One of my sails had a logo that "ran", which is odd for a sail expected to get wet. :oops:

The manufacturer's name should appear at the "tack" (the corner where the spars are connected). No name="Brand X". :rolleyes:
 

brockenspectre

New Member
I see a lot of stress cracks around his mainsheet block. This is a mod that I was thinking about adding to our 1985 Sunfish. Are the cracks there because they didn't use a stiff enough backing plate? I'd hate to do the mod and then add even more cracks to the deck.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I see a lot of stress cracks around his mainsheet block. This is a mod that I was thinking about adding to our 1985 Sunfish. Are the cracks there because they didn't use a stiff enough backing plate? I'd hate to do the mod and then add even more cracks to the deck.
More cracks are likely. :oops:

On my ex-racer Sunfish, I ground the cracks away and built up a postcard-sized 1/8 inch mound of mat fiberglass. Faired to the deck, it turned out well. :) Painting a matching color was another story. :confused:

It would be more desirable to shape a backing plate, but the cracks would remain exposed. :(
 

MattyV

New Member
A few more questions: I am pumped to get to work this weekend on the sunfish:

1. I have a divot - for lack of a better word - in the top of the boat. I do not think it is a hole, I scientifically tested this by putting my mouth over it and blowing air as hard i could. It went no where other than popping my ears. Test completed, I now need to know how to go about filling this hole. Any advice?

2. The splashguard has seen better days, I am planning on Krylon fusion to get it back to its glorious blue - should i worry about filling the scrapes etc that you see in the pic or just paint it shiney and go?

3. I ordered some 3M Marine Restorer and Wax, it will arrive this weekend. Should i pick up a polisher of some sort or just use elbow grease and hard work? I am going to attempt to do this rather than paint.

I have thus far:
1. Ordered a ratcheting block - thank you for the suggestions, I got a Harken 2135
2. Ordered a drain plug
3. Ordered a haylard.
4. Ordered a new lower mast cap

To do:
Fix the divot
Paint the splashguard
Varnish the rudder and daggerboard
Replace the bailer
Install all the new stuff I have ordered
Order/find 10ft side rail
Rivet the new and unattached rail on the boat.

Any of you folks Central Florida Sailors - suggestions on where to take the family sailing?

Thank you all for the conversations, answers, suggestions and warm welcome!

Matt


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L&VW

Well-Known Member
1) Buy a quart of Breyer's Ice Cream. Remove the paper cover. remove and save the plastic film that covers the contents. Throw away the ice cream. Put a small blob of stirred Thixo in the divot, press the plastic film over the blob, and smooth it out to match the contour of the deck.

2) Put a small blob of Thixo on the splashguard damage, and smooth it out, making it a little "proud' of the surface. You may have to return to this again. When it's finally set, sand it fair. Mask tape the splashguard with a couple of feet of newspaper surrounding the work area. Spray on a day that has no wind. Two thin coats are better than one heavy coat.

3) A polisher will make the work go much faster, but the upper deck of your boat is an unforgiving surface to make the polishing mistakes of swirls and burns. :oops:
 

MattyV

New Member
Thats harsh! Who throws away ice creme!?!

Thank you so much for the feedback. I’ll be doing all this on Sunday hopefully. I’ll report back and with updated pics and hopefully good news.

Matt V
 

MattyV

New Member
Thank you so much for all the advice everyone. I decided to paint the stripes and splash guard. I used 3m marine fiberglass restorer and wax on the baby blue. I got the front handle replaced. I got halyard line and finally got the sail up. I found the hole and fixed it in the mast step. I have a few more things to do but I think once I get the block I could sail her already!
 

MattyV

New Member
Of course I have a few more questions:

the gooseneck needs to be adjusted about 30 degrees. I cannot get the screw loosened. I feel
like I am about to strip it. Thoughts?

The metal line that the sail hooks to in the back has a weird connection on it. Looks like it may be missing one of the 2. Is this needed? Do I add one or remove one? The minifiah I have just has a rope. No nubs anywhere.

Thanks all!

Matt

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danpal

Active Member
I would consider replacing the traveler. It's bare wire and will saw through whatever you attach to it. It looks like it was originally a 3 loop traveler but someone cut through the crimp for the middle loop and also stripped all the plastic off.

You can replace the wire traveler with rope similar to what you have on your minifish.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
WD-40 on the gooseneck screws for a few days in a row and get a screwdriver with the best fitting tip. Tap screwdriver with hammer as you are turning.
 

MattyV

New Member
I would consider replacing the traveler. It's bare wire and will saw through whatever you attach to it. It looks like it was originally a 3 loop traveler but someone cut through the crimp for the middle loop and also stripped all the plastic off.

You can replace the wire traveler with rope similar to what you have on your minifish.
I have a metal clip that attaches to the traveler so the metal wire doesn’t bother me too much. Is there an advantage to rope vs metal if I am not worried about wear?

Matt
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Well, the sheet needs to slide from side to side so that piece of metal will probably get in the way of that happening, so line would solve the problem.

Your boat is the only one I’ve seen of that color and the sail is unique too. It’s a nice find!
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Great job with the paint and polish! The sail does look pretty cool, even though I recommended replacing it earlier. Great color, and that big patch looks like it was well done and gives it character ;)
I would leave your metal traveler in place for now, too. Just take off that metal piece or bits of plastic coating that will inhibit the mainsheet clip from sliding.
Looks like you’re ready for sea trials!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
WD-40 on the gooseneck screws for a few days in a row and get a screwdriver with the best fitting tip. Tap screwdriver with hammer as you are turning.
A tip when using WD-40: the gooseneck is cast of malleable bronze, so use two hammers. One hammer is held stationary, and acts like the anvil: the other is used to tap. Tapping makes temporary microscopic voids for the WD-40 to penetrate through capillary action.

If the machine screw does come out OK, I'd replace it with a new one. (Bronze if you can get it).

If it breaks off :oops: the rest may be lodged "permanently"; however, you may be able to drill it out. If drilling doesn't send the threaded part out, enlarge the hole to a quarter-inch (6mm) and use a stainless "Nylock" nut and bolt (for fresh water use).

Use the minimum torque to hold the spar in place, as the spar can be "shrunk", or "necked-down" through excessive tightening of the gooseneck.

Like yours, most of my five Sunfish were purchased with an electrical tape "wrap" under the gooseneck fitting. (Probably to reduce galvanic action--especially in saltwater).

The metal and plastic pieces on the bridle may be readily removed by grinding or crushing. Use Vise-Grips to crush. Harbor Freight sells $10 grinders which come in handy for other tasks as well. I recently down-sized carpeting using this grinder. :cool: (But be careful. I almost set my roof on fire with it. :eek: Story for another day). :rolleyes:

If your metal connection there is spliced onto the mainsheet, it's probably the factory's device. Either way, is safe to use. A bowline knot is what I use. Lacking the original stand-up bridle, I'd go with the knot: It'll save on incidental cosmetic deck markings.
 

MattyV

New Member
I have the gooseneck soaking now. I also have another gooseneck that came with the boat, so if need be I will drill out the other and replace with the other one. I was very lucky: extra sail, gooseneck, and sail rings all in a random box that came with the boat.

I was able to get the metal stop off of the traveler, good advice on the vice grips. I'll try the metal, but it does not feel smooth in places, so I will most likely swap to rope soon.

Matt V
 

shorefun

Active Member
WD 40 is not very effective as it is not a penetrant. Much longer story behind this but my brother is a gifted car mechanic and I have been playing with antique cars since I was 5. If the threads are stuck the penetrating fluid are not getting in unless you are heating it. Impact will break stuff free.

I actually did a test where I used Kroil on the studs for a Model A Ford engine block. For a week I kept them wet. When it came time my brother looked at the studs and corrected predicted the studs that were going to break. They had some corrosion at the edge of the block. So I dried the surface with a rag and we pulled the studs. Not one had oil in the threads.

For removal of the broken studs I welded nuts to the top. Then sprayed penetrating fluid and the fluid had gone the full length of the threads. So the heat cycle was able to break it free and help draw in the fluid.

We had a stuck nut at the yacht club. Couple of wacks with the hammer and it came right apart.
 

Sailflow

Active Member
Take your time on the gooseneck screw and it will come out. As mentioned get a screw driver blade that fits tight with no play. You may want to replace the screw with gooseneck adjustment. Much easier than the screw. Racers adjust the gooseneck before every race to the wind conditions.



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MattyV

New Member
Thanks for the suggestions! I hit it with a hammer, I put some WD40 on it, and then I used science and I hit it with really cold upside down compressed air, an IT trick of mine, this allowed me to get the old gooseneck off and the new one on in the proper angle to the spar.

Next to the daggerboard and rudder!

Matt V
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the suggestions! I hit it with a hammer, I put some WD40 on it, and then I used science and I hit it with really cold upside down compressed air, an IT trick of mine, this allowed me to get the old gooseneck off and the new one on in the proper angle to the spar. Next to the daggerboard and rudder!
Matt V
1) I've found "the proper angle" isn't at a right angle (90°).

The gooseneck tends to "cam" when tugging on the halyard, which jams :mad: the raising of the sail.

The raised gooseneck naturally wants to hang down (with gravity), when the opposite position is more satisfactory.

So, "anti-gravity" also applies to Sunfish. ;)

.
 
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MattyV

New Member
Take your time on the gooseneck screw and it will come out. As mentioned get a screw driver blade that fits tight with no play. You may want to replace the screw with gooseneck adjustment. Much easier than the screw. Racers adjust the gooseneck before every race to the wind conditions.



View attachment 44073
I ordered one of these so that I can play around with the mounting of the gooseneck.

I also received my new block for the mainsail. I am getting antsy to get on the water!

Daggerboard is sanded and disassembled, not in that order. The advice I have received is to seal it with west systems epoxy and then some varnish for UV protection. Does that sound reasonable to the more of the experienced members of the forum, which is everyone compared to me!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
West Systems will be great, or other similar epoxies. We like to use the 207 Special Clear Hardener, which was recommended to us by a marine carpenter who does high end yacht interiors, you get the most natural color that way. Other varnishes usually have amber hues which are also beautiful and may blend in some dark spots better. No need for varnish unless you leave the blades outside and they get months of UV exposure.

2 coats of West 105 Epoxy resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener

207 West.jpeg

Zip 207.jpeg

FMI: https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/west-special-clear-hardener/


Trivia: Who invented the first clear varnish and when?
 
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