Installing Hiking Strap on Old Sunfish

Thread starter #1
I have a 1977 AMF sunfish without a hiking strap. Is there an easy way to attach one without putting in an inspection port? If there is is there plans on how to do it? Any help would be nice. I would like to do it before the season starts.

Thanks!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#2
To my knowledge, you do need a port to insert the back up plate for the forward attachment point(s) of the strap.

I had a '79 fish and did just that. I am not a handyman or used to working on boats. But this job was relatively easy. An additional benefit is that a port allows one to check for leaks, remove condensation, etc.
 
Thread starter #3
To my knowledge, you do need a port to insert the back up plate for the forward attachment point(s) of the strap.

I had a '79 fish and did just that. I am not a handyman or used to working on boats. But this job was relatively easy. An additional benefit is that a port allows one to check for leaks, remove condensation, etc.
Thanks, how much does it cost and what kind of tools does that require? What is the easiest way to install an inspection port? I know that it is always good to have one, but where is the most beneficial spot to have one, centered, or off to one side, between the daggerboard slot and the front of the cockpit?
 
Thread starter #4
To my knowledge, you do need a port to insert the back up plate for the forward attachment point(s) of the strap.

I had a '79 fish and did just that. I am not a handyman or used to working on boats. But this job was relatively easy. An additional benefit is that a port allows one to check for leaks, remove condensation, etc.
Thanks, how much does it cost and what kind of tools does that require? What is the easiest way to install an inspection port? I know that it is always good to have one, but where is the most beneficial spot to have one, centered, or off to one side, between the daggerboard slot and the front of the cockpit?
 
#6
Thanks, how much does it cost and what kind of tools does that require? What is the easiest way to install an inspection port? I know that it is always good to have one, but where is the most beneficial spot to have one, centered, or off to one side, between the daggerboard slot and the front of the cockpit?
Most of the inspection ports I have heard of are located behind the splash guard and ahead of the daggerboard trunk. However I don't know if you can reach the hiking strap backup plate from there.

There is a guy in our fleet that has two inspection ports on the forward wall of the cockpit. I don't know why they are there but they are. Obviously reaching the hicking strap backup plate would be easy from either one of those cockpit locations.

I have a 1973 Sunfish and the previous owner put an inspection port between the daggerboard and the port foam block. He was rebedding the port block and thought that location was a good one for the job. I know you can reach the hiking strap backupplate from there.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#7
Thanks, how much does it cost and what kind of tools does that require? What is the easiest way to install an inspection port? I know that it is always good to have one, but where is the most beneficial spot to have one, centered, or off to one side, between the daggerboard slot and the front of the cockpit?
Annapolis Performance Sailing sells a Hiking Strap Retro Kit. This is from the website:

Don't have a hiking strap on your Sunfish?

If you're looking to install a simple system on your recreational boat, this is the perfect kit. The kit includes a black webbing hiking strap, mounting plate, eyestrap, screws and tie down line -- everything that you're going to need.

Most importantly -- instructions are included as well.

V79512 Hiking Strap Retrofit Kit $27.95


PS: You would still need to buy a port.
Regarding the location of the port, I put mine right in front of the daggerboard slot. You need to be able to reach the front of the cubby to install the mounting plate.
 
#9
Annapolis Performance Sailing sells a Hiking Strap Retro Kit. This is from the website:

Don't have a hiking strap on your Sunfish?

If you're looking to install a simple system on your recreational boat, this is the perfect kit. The kit includes a black webbing hiking strap, mounting plate, eyestrap, screws and tie down line -- everything that you're going to need.

Most importantly -- instructions are included as well.

V79512 Hiking Strap Retrofit Kit $27.95


PS: You would still need to buy a port.
Regarding the location of the port, I put mine right in front of the daggerboard slot. You need to be able to reach the front of the cubby to install the mounting plate.
Yea, I ordered that hiking strap kit because it said "instructions were included". I don't know what happened but there were no instructions provided to me. I think I know what to do on my own. Won't know until June when I try to install the hiking strap.
 
#10
you might consider using toggle anchors (kind of like molly anchors for hanging heavy pictures or mirrors on drywall) rather than adding a port and backing plate. (westmarine.com item # 1244755) i'm in a similar situation. i have not committed to the anchors yet but they seem like a good option. this was a suggestion to me from a fellow in the laser forum.
 
#12
What looks like the solid bar is actually hinged in the middle and is the toggle. You drill a hole, closes the wings insert into the hole and the wings spread out. Best I can figure the other end is a cup that accepts a screw of some kind and it would be the size of the hole you'd need to drill. And it looks like it can be shortened to match the thickness of the mounting surface.
Not sure of just a single layer of glass would be thick enough for it to work.
 
#13
Thanks for the explanation: they don't look like any toggle I've seen before, but should work just fine.

"...Not sure of just a single layer of glass would be thick enough for it to work..."
It would be stressed, fer sure.

I'd make sure the strap was "on the floor" before cinching-up the toggle; otherwise, one step could stress-crack the fiberglass. (Or make sure the strap has enough stretch above the floor to prevent a mis-step from damaging the fiberglass.)
 
#14
Those toggles are becoming more common for home use. The metal part is solid and you push it into the hole sideways. While pulling the metal part against the interior wall by the plastic loop, you slide the plastic collar down until it pushes against the exterior of the wall, like a zip-tie. You cut the loop off and insert screw. same concept at the old toggle bolts, just a lot faster.
 
#15
I have the same issue. Would like to attach a hiking strap but not an inspection port. Has anyone tried the method described above and did it work out?
 
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