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How about a Classic Sunfish Rally??

58984 EW

Member
I'm curious how many of you out there have an old wooden Sunfish/Sailfish, or even a pre-70s Sunfish that you want to show off?

The US Masters Sunfish Regatta (the skipper must be 40 years and older) is being held in Barrington RI in August this year. Barrington is something of the home fleet of the Sunfish Class and it being an event for antiques (myself included) I thought I'd see if there is any interest in some kind of Antique Sunfish show @ the Barrington Yacht Club in August.

I bet it would generate a lot of interest in the national sailing press and regional mainstream media

Eric Woodman
New England Rep. to the USSCA
 

chau8238

67 Sunfish
I have a 67 fish, but it's in no condition for show. I'm about to put a new coat of paint on it though. I'd loved to see some pics of the show in August.
 

Blockhead

New Member
I just got off the phone with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, who has the oldest Sunfish ever sold (their words). They are going to consider lending us that boat as a centerpiece if we can make this come together. This boat was mentioned in other threads
I want to race using this hull as long as a racing centerboard will fit. It will hurt like hell to hike this boat with that coaming, but I will give it a try. Do we have to tell them we want to put it to use?

Chris
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
No way they are going to let us sail her, but that's some boat!
Maybe this one will show.

Once the splash guard is back in place on its support rib (what you currently see), as I was reading, it should be ready to sail.




 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
Where did you get that vinyl wood grain material???? Who needs gel coat? :)
:eek: You did say that in jest..., right?

That's an honest-to-goodness late 1950s wood Sunfish ... no vinyl about it ... just patience and varnish :cool:

... same with this one:

1960s era wood Sunfish



Sailing Texas.com

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rmwmmw

New Member
Those are some good looking hunks of wood. I notice the polished brass bailer cap. Somebody enjoyed boatbuilding if I read the serial number correctly - 31277 ? Factory wood production had long since ceased at that point, but I guess the wood kits were still available into the later 1960's.
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
I notice the polished brass bailer cap.
I've had both all aluminum and all brass. This one looks like a hybrid of parts.

Somebody enjoyed boatbuilding if I read the serial number correctly - 31277 ?
I've puzzled over the early serial numbering logic since nothing fits the progressive serialization list commonly found, until you get a couple of years into the fiberglass generation. This is the only wood hull I've seen that even had a numbered tag..., I wonder if it's actually off a fiberglass hull. All the wood hull tags I've encountered looked like this...


A guess that's as good as any is Alcort was simply stamping the first fiberglass boats with whatever number was printed on the invoice sheet.


Factory wood production had long since ceased at that point, but I guess the wood kits were still available into the later 1960's.
According to the brochures I have, Alcort shop built wood boats were phased out when the fiberglass boats were introduced, Sailfish - 1959, Sunfish - 1960. The kits continued to be available until AMF bought Alcort in 1969.


Even after the transfer of ownership, dealers had residual kit boat inventory up into the 1970s.


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rmwmmw

New Member
That all sounds right to me, down to the serial label coming from a glass boat. I started in a new '63 glass fish, but have never laid eyes directly on a wood version. I suppose they are all up north, cuz wood just don't last down here.

Anyway, we have hijacked the purpose of this thread which was something about a classic boat rally? At the Masters? I'd like to see some old boats.

I recently purchased a '60's fish that looks in excellent shape from the photos. You don't often find one where the footwell gel-coat is still shiny, let alone the deck and hull. The story is that this boat has been in different garages for nearly 30 years. I am eager to pick it up during my trip to the North Americans. This one's got two diagonal foredeck racing stripes, one black and one blue, on a white deck. You have any brochures that might narrow down the exact year? Owner says it's a '68, but the serial number label is gone. Definitely a '60's fish - deck pully, old rudder assembly, no aft cockpit, pre-AMF (still has original ALCORT label on the hull).
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
I recently purchased a '60's fish that looks in excellent shape from the photos. . .
This one's got two diagonal foredeck racing stripes, one black and one blue, on a white deck. . . .deck pully, old rudder assembly, no aft cockpit, pre-AMF (still has original ALCORT label on the hull).
Rick,

Black has never been a color option so far as I have any record of. This makes me suspect right off the striping your boat has was owner added.

The first mention I find of foredeck stripes is in the 1965 sales brochure. It was offered on the white hull only where you could get either blue or red striping.

In 1972 foredeck stripes appeared on all the hull colors and a fore & aft two tone red & blue stripe was added to the white hull options. 1973 saw the first regular application of fore and aft deck stripes for all hull colors.

General deck stripe example from 1972

(see this thread for another brochure picture ... http://www.sunfishforum.com/showthread.php?t=33272 )


The deck halyard block existed through 1975.

Do you know if your "new" boat has the bullet shaped horn cleat, a mast top halyard block, or dual deck drain plugs? Those items were all upgraded around 1966 to the current style equipment.

Oh, and while I was checking I discovered a note in a 1972 (AMF) brochure that kit Sunfish were still available. This inventory must have been inherited from Alcort since I'm positive AMF never made any wood hulls.

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PBA

Member
Actually, I think he may be right. I remember those SCUD pictures from a year ago ago - there were a couple of late '60's boats in my area that had this similar type of "non-matching" dual color stripes - as shown below. If I remember correctly, the deck/hull colors of such boats were light tan, not a regular Sunfish white.
 

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Wayne

Member Emeritus
Actually, I think he may be right. I remember those SCUD pictures from a year ago - there were a couple of late '60's boats in my area that had this similar type of "non-matching" dual color stripes - as shown below. If I remember correctly, the deck/hull colors of such boats were light tan, not a regular Sunfish white.
Interesting, thanks... I'll add that to the "not widely publicized -or- short lived" hulls, stripes, and sails collection.

The Sunfish Bible shows a sail with a daisy print pattern, the other day I saw one with a blue sky and clouds pattern, and I've heard tell of an ocean waves pattern.


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rmwmmw

New Member
Actually, I think he may be right. I remember those SCUD pictures from a year ago ago - there were a couple of late '60's boats in my area that had this similar type of "non-matching" dual color stripes - as shown below. If I remember correctly, the deck/hull colors of such boats were light tan, not a regular Sunfish white.
That's it! A few pictures of the boat can be found in the "FOR SALE" section of the forum. Alcort Sunfish - hull only (Reading, PA) at the following link http://www.sunfishforum.com/showthread.php?t=33071

The owner swears that the hull has not been painted, which was my first question. I too have seen other boats like this one. SCUD's stripes look red/blue in some photos and black/blue in others.
 

rmwmmw

New Member
Oh my. That red boat, 12140, is a duplicate of my old 1963 "Red Baron" 12942. Too bad about the crushed foredeck. The white boat looks like SCUD. Needs photos of bottoms.
 

tag

my2fish
Gents - shortly after I read all of this....and wished I had a really old Sunfish...just went to ebay for kicks and found 3 old school - 2 striped boats for sale in Michigan - very good looking boats!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-Sunfish-Alcort-AMF-Sailboats-Sail-Boats-Extras-RWB-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem5d29ba9ceeQQitemZ400132054254QQptZSailboats

Paul
36474
or skip ebay, and save at least $350 :rolleyes:
http://nmi.craigslist.org/boa/1819588947.html

cheers,
tag
 

NightSailor

Captain
There is a Sunfish gathering at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, Connecticut, on August 14 and 15th.

Any vintage is welcome. Not a racing event, just a wonderful location for pleasure sailing.
 

NightSailor

Captain
That's it! A few pictures of the boat can be found in the "FOR SALE" section of the forum. Alcort Sunfish - hull only (Reading, PA) at the following link http://www.sunfishforum.com/showthread.php?t=33071

The owner swears that the hull has not been painted, which was my first question. I too have seen other boats like this one. SCUD's stripes look red/blue in some photos and black/blue in others.
I own, restored, and named SCUD. The hull is off-white leaning towards tan--except for the Gelcoat spots I did not quite match so well.

You make me laugh.

The stripes are a dark reddish brown, and a teal [blue-green], so you were pretty close in your guesses.

Sometimes the dark stripe looks more maroon to me, sometimes it looks brown, depending on the light. The teal is between blue and green, more to the blue side.

Hope this helps.

I'd love to chat with you some time. You seem to know a lot about Sunfish colors.
 

rmwmmw

New Member
I own, restored, and named SCUD. The hull is off-white leaning towards tan--except for the Gelcoat spots I did not quite match so well.
Job well done. I will go to school on your SCUD posting, as I intend to make some similar repairs to a nearly identical boat. This one, as you should be able to see from the below photos, is a very well preserved version of your SCUD. I am eager to pick this boat up in a few weeks. If you are at the North Americans, you might see it.

The stripes are a dark reddish brown, and a teal [blue-green], so you were pretty close in your guesses.

Sometimes the dark stripe looks more maroon to me, sometimes it looks brown, depending on the light. The teal is between blue and green, more to the blue side.

Hope this helps.
This has me looking carefully again at the additional photos of my newly acquired boat. I'm thinking now that the "white" deck may in fact be off-white, like SCUD. That will be tougher to color match. My real goal in all of this was to nail down a production year, as the boat no longer has the serial number plate.

I'd love to chat with you some time. You seem to know a lot about Sunfish colors.
I will be at North Americans and Masters - your neck of the woods. Colors? Plenty of folks know more that I do. Old brochures that have been cited and/or posted don't seem to list all the color patterns that I have seen. Love the darker gray versions of your current project boat.

Those "maroon" or "brown" stripes might have been red originally. My "Red Baron" had a solid bright red deck that turned maroon with time. You would never know that it was bright red without pealing off the rail or some fittings. Same with "off-white" decks that were originally yellow. These were early 60's boats.
 

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NightSailor

Captain
Job well done. I will go to school on your SCUD posting, as I intend to make some similar repairs to a nearly identical boat. This one, as you should be able to see from the below photos, is a very well preserved version of your SCUD. I am eager to pick this boat up in a few weeks. If you are at the North Americans, you might see it.



This has me looking carefully again at the additional photos of my newly acquired boat. I'm thinking now that the "white" deck may in fact be off-white, like SCUD. That will be tougher to color match. My real goal in all of this was to nail down a production year, as the boat no longer has the serial number plate.


I will be at North Americans and Masters - your neck of the woods. Colors? Plenty of folks know more that I do. Old brochures that have been cited and/or posted don't seem to list all the color patterns that I have seen. Love the darker gray versions of your current project boat.

Those "maroon" or "brown" stripes might have been red originally. My "Red Baron" had a solid bright red deck that turned maroon with time. You would never know that it was bright red without pealing off the rail or some fittings. Same with "off-white" decks that were originally yellow. These were early 60's boats.
FYI. I could have matched the color better. The second time around in my attempt at color matching, I used only a yellow tint and it came somewhat close so I left it like that. Your boat looks fabulous. I wish SCUD looked so good. Then again SCUD was a free boat so I can't complain.

I'm off to do some trailer work today. Following TAD's lead on stacking two Sunfishes with one inverted. I'm buildling a frame out of fiberglass and wood for two trailers--should be interesting. I need to figure out how to store the spars still--probably on top I suppose.
 

rmwmmw

New Member
I'm off to do some trailer work today. Following TAD's lead on stacking two Sunfishes with one inverted. I'm buildling a frame out of fiberglass and wood for two trailers--should be interesting. I need to figure out how to store the spars still--probably on top I suppose.
Amazing. Your posts are helpful. I hope you find mine to be the same.

See images of my spar storage. 8" PVC fits a pair of masts and spars/sails (each in it's own sailbag).

See also: http://www.americanvan.com/ladder-racks/rooftop-carriers/conversion-kit.html

Eventually, when I get around to trailer building, I will incorporate the PVC tube into the design. For several years now, I strap one boat atop the pickup rack. My "main squeeze" boat rides on the dolly, which in turn is straped down inside the truckbed with the tailgate down. I use a pair of 8 foot 2x8's for ramps and roll the boat on the dolly right up into the truckbed. It just does fit.

Downside: the tail end of the boat sticks out about 4-5 feet (not a problem so far). Upside: No trailer woes and a very smooth ride for the boat (provided I don't try to strap the boat directly to the truck).

I guess we're a little far off the path (Classic Sunfish Rally).
 

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NightSailor

Captain
Amazing. Your posts are helpful. I hope you find mine to be the same.

See images of my spar storage. 8" PVC fits a pair of masts and spars/sails (each in it's own sailbag).

See also: http://www.americanvan.com/ladder-racks/rooftop-carriers/conversion-kit.html
<snip>
I guess we're a little far off the path (Classic Sunfish Rally).

I learned a long time ago that sailors need to be humble. I welcome the opportunity to learn from anyone.

My experience is snobby know it all's, actually know very little. I know a good way to give a snob a dose of humility. Do you know how to spot a good helmsman? First show you can steer a good course. Then steer a good course on the ocean down wind in moderate waves. Then steer a good course at night on the ocean, down wind. Then steer a good course downwind at night, on on the ocean with overcast skys. Then do that will a dual wheel set up with one of those screwy compass with curved lubber lines. Then do all that with your compass light out when it is pitch black. Don't ask me how many times I've been in this situation. Compass lights crap out all the time. People that think they can helm are all over the place and breaking deck hardware. Sometimes all you have for a reference is the wind. When sailing downwind, if you go off course, and slow down, the apparent wind shifts all over the place. On a few dark nights my last trip I watched everyone, even one experienced Captain, sail in circles two or three times in a row with unintentional jibes. I laugh every time I think about it.

In any event. I welcome the opportunity to learn from you.

I like your PVC system and it is good to know two rigs will fit in one. I love the caps. I was thinking about making something out of fiberglass, but those are nice. I may use that on my big trailer. I want to carry seven or eight rigs. Perhaps I should be looking at even larger PVC. Could I fit three rigs in a 10" PVC? four in a 12" (if they make such a thing.

For my smaller trailers--I have 2x12 for my cross bracing for the frame that mates one Sunfish inverted on top of the other. I was thinking about two 6" PVC tubes. An 8' tube won't work unfortunately. Two 6" tubes one on either side would work though and they might actually strengthen the assembly. I did not get started on the trailer today. I decided to clean out my tiny garage. My workbench has turned into storage and my only hope was to start tossing things out. I built an L-shaped addtion on to my main workbench, used some rope to store my ladders above the garage door, and used up some paint--painting one wall. i was actually quite surprised to see how much sandpaper, and fiberglass cloth I have--I'm looking forward to using some of that up.

As for the Classic Sunfish Rally. I am still planning to have an event in Norwalk--leave the white sails home. I want as much color on the water as possible for photo opportunities. My goals is to get this event started this year, and I'm writing a few places for sponsorship to see if I can raffle off some things like Access Ports, perhaps a sail, and I've been thinking about contacting LP to see if they will provide a boat to raffle off. If I get a few dozen boats this year, I'll be happy. Next year my goals is 2500 boats, with an ultimate goal of making this the biggest ever Sunfish class rally, or any class for that matter. Connecticut is the home of the Sunfish. The biggest Sunfish rally in the world belongs right here. Calf Pasture Beach and the Norwalk Islands are arguably the most beautiful spot to sail in New England. So, come to this event and help me get it rolling, and you can say you were there at the very first Norwalk Sunfish Rally.
 

Chilidog

New Member
:eek: You did say that in jest..., right?

That's an honest-to-goodness late 1950s wood Sunfish ... no vinyl about it ... just patience and varnish :cool:

... same with this one:

1960s era wood Sunfish



Sailing Texas.com

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You know, that almost look like it would be a fun wintertime project. Are there any plans still around?
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
Are there any plans still around?
Unfortunately, Alcort had already moved to kitting boats by the time the Sunfish idea came along. Sailfish plans were once offered for sale, but Sunfish plans were never marketed. To my knowledge the shop's working drawings have never made it into the hands of the home builder.

There are a number of Sunfish-like boat plans available, both for free and for a nominal fee. You can find many of the links consolidated in threads at Wooden Boat Forum and the File Library at Sunfish Sailor, under Clonefish. Sunfish Sailor also has a downloadable copy of the Alcort Sunfish kit assembly instructions and the Alcort Sailfish prints.

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rmwmmw

New Member
As for the Classic Sunfish Rally. I am still planning to have an event in Norwalk--leave the white sails home. I want as much color on the water as possible for photo opportunities.
Still have blue/gold/white 2006 Worlds sail. If I can make it, I'll bring it.

Connecticut is the home of the Sunfish. The biggest Sunfish rally in the world belongs right here. Calf Pasture Beach and the Norwalk Islands are arguably the most beautiful spot to sail in New England. So, come to this event and help me get it rolling, and you can say you were there at the very first Norwalk Sunfish Rally.
If not for cost, winter weather and liberal politics, I'd live up there. Many years spent running submarines in/out of New London during cold war.
 
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