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I have a soft spot.....

Well actually another Sunfish I've looked at does.1631947557203.png

Been stored outside under a tree for years, bow handle is ripped out of boat, bailer ball is shriveled to the size of a pea and underside has some spots that are very soft and oil can with very little pressure. Rudder fitting on stern is bent and Seller could not attach rudder, (I'm sure it can be straightened out easily). Sail is good candidate for drop cloth. Picture makes boat look better than it really is. Boat was light enough.

Centerboard has seen many hard underwater objects invisible to prior sailor.

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The trailer needs all but I've restored plenty of those. I would paint it in same theme as my boat...same as this.

Seller contacted me yesterday...he refused my $400 offer for boat and trailer last week. My interest lies in getting a trailer I can customize for my current boat and to use this as a guinea pig for cosmetic restoration purposes. He did mention a gent from Cazenovia had called on the boat but passed without coming to see it.

My question is relative to the soft spots on the bottom of the hull. Is this a terminal condition? Structural failure? I would appreciate any thoughts.

I have no interest in opening up the hull and adding, say, a balsa "core".
I've used the search function but no specific answer.

Funny another one popped up as well on local CL.....at least I'll get some opportuniy to A/B a few!!

Appreciate any advice
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
If the soft spots were forward of the cockpit, that could be due to long-term "beatdown" of the Styrofoam logs. The fiberglass can be pushed down over 1/4". :eek: This condition can result in "oil-canning": Starting at the BEGINNING

The term probably originated from the flexible metal bottom of antique oil-cans--where a single press would shoot out "just enough" oil.

I've just used some Great Stuff to successfully firm up the deck of my ex-racer.

It's their Pond & Stone variety (black): pieces of which I've tested for soaking-up water. (It won't).

With the leftover Pond & Stone, I've filled the interior of a new mast, and sealed the new caps with Shoe-Goo. There's still more Pond & Stone remaining from one can.

After I tackle the bottom of the Styrofoam logs, I think I'll be ready for next season!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Those daggerboard notches look intentionality cut!

His tensioner spring would normally be set to port, but if he sailed with the board reversed, the board might stay in place for selected tacks. (And why bungee cord is the better alternative).
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sounds like a structural block Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) or two may be loose. Not terminal. But could be a lot of work to properly repair, which would involve adding a deck plate or splitting the deck/hull seam for access. Sometimes you can stand a boat on edge and hear the XPS blocks slide around, and/or the wooden backer blocks for the deck hardware.

There is no need to add balsa cores, simply repair the hull with similar marine grade materials that were used in construction.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
For recreational use, loose blocks don't make a difference. The boat will make some bad noises when hitting chop, but the boat will not fall apart or spring a leak as a result. Tons of old Sunfish out there with loose blocks (wouldn't be surprised if it is the majority) and they sail on with most sailors none the wiser. You wouldn't want to race it, but to sail and enjoy it will be fine.
 
We did move the boat and I did not hear any loose items rolling around.

On old larger boats (with cabins), there will be delamination on decks but I'm not familiar with the construction of a Sunfish. And the soft spot here is on the hull, not top.Are they solid glass?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
For recreational use, loose blocks don't make a difference. The boat will make some bad noises when hitting chop, but the boat will not fall apart or spring a leak as a result. Tons of old Sunfish out there with loose blocks (wouldn't be surprised if it is the majority) and they sail on with most sailors none the wiser. You wouldn't want to race it, but to sail and enjoy it will be fine.
I've seen it written here that loose Styrofoam logs are the result of bad trailers. That, combined with dampness compromising the yellow "glue" is a formula certain to loosen Sunfish blocks. :(

Having installed the Ultimate Port in my ex-racer, "bad noises" can be seen flexing the hull's bottom. :eek:

If I were to carry a 10-pound anchor adjacent to the daggerboard trunk--given rough water or even light wakes--I could watch it being flipped from side to side!

With the topsides now immobilized with black Pond and Stone, I look forward to stabilizing the bottom during the off-season using the same Great Stuff foam product. :)
 

Pippins

New Member
Great stuff expanding foam is for your house. It is a one part foam that is neither structural or water resistant. I have used the total boat 2 part expanding foam to secure blocks. It works well and at 6 pound density is structural enough for the application.

In the first photo you can see my first attempt to get the foam in location. The bag with the tygon tube was too small to effectively push the viscous and setting foam down the length of the tube. The second attempt used the larger diameter pex tube and was more successful. Note that if you do this use multiple bags over the first bag, the mixture will get hot and will weaken the bag. After making the bottom of them block secure I ended up using a small cup on the end of a stick to pour small batches of foam where needed.

The second photo is the pre repair situation. I think this boat was made on a Friday afternoon. Sorry I have no after photo, if I remember I'll take one next time I am at the boat.

2021-09-14 16.19.50.jpg2021-09-14 16.19.39.jpg
 

Pippins

New Member
Well, the hit was self induced. The blocks were always loose from the poor application of the original foam bonding glue not being aligned to the block properly. I was always planning on fixing the blocks but I broke the block while flexing it out of the way slightly to put backing washers for rivets to reattach a loose deck coaming.

Reinstalling the block was actually easy, just rotated it clockwise to the daggerboard trunk and poured line of foam under the area where the block was going to be, pour the foam and rotate back into the puddle as the foam was setting up (takes only 4 or 5 minutes). I did do a few dress rehearsals of the needed moves before attempting for real. After the pour for the bottom foam, I turned the boat upside down and poured the two part foam into the area between the top of the block and the deck. One trick I learned was to wait a bit until the foam firms up a bit before pouring if you need it to be a bit more viscous, and as it starts to set you can use a stick to trowel it into place in the areas where there is a large void.

I wish I could say I got the block in the perfect location, but if you notice I said to use two bags? At the end of my pour the first bag ruptured and I was on cleanup duty and got the block located slightly inboard from the original location as I was more concerned with the nasty foam that was now in my hair.

All in all I am happy with the fix. This is my father's old race boat, he has a new one now. This boat feels much stiffer and is actually dry and light (110 pounds). This boat will be used a guest race boat. My objection to great stuff comes from a competitive place and I am willing to spend a bit more for light weight, longevity and stiffness. We are on these boats for about 26 or so events a year in 3 seasons for racing and it's nice to have confidence in the equipment.
 

aborgman

Member
My objection to great stuff comes from a competitive place and I am willing to spend a bit more for light weight, longevity and stiffness. We are on these boats for about 26 or so events a year in 3 seasons for racing and it's nice to have confidence in the equipment.
The great stuff will be significantly LIGHTER than the 6lb density foam you used.

The 6lb density foam you used will be much stiffer.

Longevity? As long as you use the right Great Stuff, and make sure it cures (which is the difficult part in high volume pours) - they should be pretty similar.
 

Pippins

New Member
The 6 pound density is super stiff, that is why it was used. You can get the same type of foam in lower density if desired. The total volume used for the top and bottom was maybe 20 or so ounces (volume measurement, not weight). The weight added was around 6 ounces (20 fluid ounces expanding to 60 or so fluid ounces, or 0.063 cubic feet times 6 pounds per cubic foot, this could also be confirmed by the weights of what was actually poured in which was surprising little)

I would trade the stiffness for the weight within reason. My father is finding his new boat (20 pounds heavier but noticeably stiffer) considerably faster then the old boat.
 
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