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Is this a Sunfish?

roger l

New Member
I saw an add for a 14' AMF Alcort sailboat. The owner does not know what the boat is. It looks like a Sunfish but the fish on the sail is not correct. Does anyone know what this boat is.

Thanks
Roger L
 

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Alan Glos

Active Member
The hull looks like a Sunfish hull but it could also be a Sunfish "clone" that is very similar in design and looks - post more photos of the stern, deck, cockpit, splashrail and I can comment more accurately.

The sail is a Sailfish sail. The Sailfish is the original sailing surfboard that was the precursor of the Sunfish. The sail will work on the Sunfish as long as the mast fits snugly in the mast hole, but the Sailfish sail area may be a little less than an standard Sunfish making it a little slower in lighter winds where more area is a bonus.

More photos! Also look at the Yahoo Sunfish group for their clonefish files and photos.

Alan Glos
 

NightSailor

Captain
Yes. That is a Sunfish. The Sail is from a Sailfish. You can sell that and get a new sail, and have a nice looking boat.

That is an old boat, but the deck looks nice.

Ask if the bottom has any cracks. It looks like the old style rudder--you don't want that.

If the price is very low and you have some mechanical skills it would be worth picking up. I would not pay more than $150 to $200 for it.
 

roger l

New Member
Thanks for the information. From the add the guy is asking $500.00 OBO for the boat. He said it was left in the garage at the house he bought and he knows nothing about the boat. I might give him a call. Where is a good place to get Sunfish parts?

Thanks Again

Roger L
 

NightSailor

Captain
Thanks for the information. From the add the guy is asking $500.00 OBO for the boat. He said it was left in the garage at the house he bought and he knows nothing about the boat. I might give him a call. Where is a good place to get Sunfish parts?

Thanks Again

Roger L
Roger,

You should weigh the hull. If it is really heavy, then you will have to dry it out. This is a good way to haggle on the boat. It sounds like he is asking way too much. But if the hull is dry, and it was stored inside, you might have found a really nice boat. If he got it for nothing tell him it is pre-1968, and stress that it is the old style rudder that falls off, and it doesn't have the storage compartment. He got it for nothing, he should take $200 for it. Bring cash and tell him you are looking at three boats, and buying now or never. If he says no, count out 10 $20's in front of him. And ask him if you have a deal.

I'd offer at most $250 for it.

The deck looks nice, but you will have to cut a hole in it to fix the rudder. Have you seen the bottom? If it has cracks then that means fiberglass and gelcoat repairs. Not hard or all that expensive, but it means water got into the hull--again, what is the weight of the hull?

I sell Sunfish parts if you need things, Private message me.

I presently own 4 including one of this vintage, I can tell you what I'd do to bring it up to my standards.

If I was buying this boat here is what I'd change.

New Sail with a window ~$200, without a window $175. I recommend a window--it is easier to see when heeled over. With tell tales installed $5 There are lots of budget sails out there. Fine if you are just starting. The sail shown in your picture will work. But it is ugly. Why not have a beautiful new sail. It is so much nicer. I just bought my fourth Sunfish, with a nice sail. Even though it is a nice sail, I plan to put a brand new one on it, but I will look at it again before I decide, it might just need a window sewn in.

Adjustable Gooseneck ~$28 Need to adjust the balance of the rig for different wind conditions.

New Rudder and rudder mount--Try to find that used. I have one I can sell you if you can't find it locally. You have to have a new rudder. you will hate the old one. Also the new one pops up if it hits something protecting the blade.

To install a Rudder mount you need an access port. $22
Rudder mount hardware--$37

I put a racing clam cleat on the mast with two 3/16 pop rivets, 35" up from the base of the mast in line with one of the halyard holes at the top of the mast. $15

New Sail Rings. 25 pack for $18

Two more 6" access ports inside the cockpit to access either side of the daggerboard truck, and to help dry out the hull in the off season. NOTE: The one on the far side is not secured. These fit flush when screwed on.

Also used to install a hiking strap. The one shown is brand new, just a little dusty from cutting the access holes.

Hiking strap. ~$30 See picture below I like to pick a color that matches the coaming.

NOTE: To install a hiking strap on the boat you show might be difficult. You need access to the inside of the boat. That means, if you want a hiking strap, you will probably have to cut three access ports or four to do this, and to help dry the boat out in the off season, and for installing the rudder. You could skip the hiking strap and hook your feet under the cockpit. This works ok if you have shoes like Crocs to protect your feet.

I have a used mainsheet I can sell you. Perhaps what is with the sail will work. I'm sure it is old and crappy looking. If I were you I'd put a new 1/2" thick line on in a solid color. With shackle and an double braid eye splice--pick your color line. 26' in length, either 3/8" or 1/2". ~ $12 for the shackle--you can reuse your old one, line $39 depends on thickness. It is a short piece of line. It is cheap. Pick a cool color that will bring you pleasure to use.

New halyard. Pick a 3/8" white line with a colored fleck the same color as your mainsheet. No need for a shackle-- ~ $30

Harken 205 Base, with stand up ratchet block--list price for this is over $100, I can't recall my price. I'd have to look it up, if you are interested.



Here is a picture of how I rig my mainsheet. This is overkill. Never use a fly swatter when you have nukes. I like nukes. I like the best possible mainsheet arrangement. This is it.

This is an older boat purchased for $250 at the end of the season, that I just brought up to my standards. My feeling is: if the boat is cheap, why not trick it out and make the rigging really nice. I sail big boats and I'm used to dropping thousands into boat parts. I've spent over $8000 on winches for my big boat. To be able to have the latest and greatest hardware for less then $200 is nothing to me. But you don't have to go crazy like I do, unless you want a really cool boat, better than the typical Sunfish and in many ways better than the new Sunfishes.

That is why I always custom splice my mainsheet to my shackle. I think tying a bowline is easy, but sloppy looking. I'll post a picture of how I splice my lines. It looks really nice.

I also replace my boom blocks with Harken Carbo Blocks. ~ $44 for a pair. You can also buy velcro mainsheet guides to keep the mainsheet from drooping from the boom and snagging your lifejacket on the gybes $8. These are sold in pairs. I find one in the middle between the two blocks works well. Some people make these out of duct tape--I think that looks like crap.

Note the access ports in this picture. I bed these in 4200. A tube is around $15 and is enough to do the drain plug and caulk the coaming.

Many people get by with just a bronze hook. Other people put on a swivel base. I have a used one, slightly bent for $30, new those are $65. I bent this one down, to make it easier to release. The eyelet shows some wear, not visible in this picture. It is better than a bronze hook, and very usable, but not the best.



I also pull out the bronze drain plug. They don't open easy and the parts fall off. I like plastic. I buy and extra cap or two and have them ready so I always have spares. I post something on how to do this. I hesitated for years on doing it and then discovered it was quite easy. Now I'm switching my last two boats over to this method shown below. It is so important to be able to drain your boat. So people put a drain on the transom. This is a bad idea--if you lose it, your boat fills up with water. If you lose this cap, you can still sail and the boat won't take on much water.



What else. You need some light low stretch line to attach the head and clue of the sail. 2" should do it. less than $2.

There are a few more things you can do. I sell Stainless Steel bow handles. They don't blister and corrode. ~ $30.

So you can see it all adds up. You don't have to do it all at once. Make a priority list, and start from there. Things like a sail and new lines, put at the top. A hiking strap can be at the bottom when you have everything else perfect.

I prefer to buy cheaper boats and fix them up. Because even a nicer boat will need work to bring it up to my standards. I like to keep my total cost as low as possible, while having as nice a boat as possible. I typically have $600 into a boat that I could resell for about $800.

You should know, the newer boats have a storage compartment under the deck behind the cockpit. That is rather nice, and it makes installing a hiking strap easier.

On the other hand. Your boat has a very nice looking deck. It looks well cared for. I don't care too much about the storage area, you can buy a sock that fits in an access port to store things and keep them dry. If you have two access ports, you can have two socks for storage--and things won't float away when you capsize. Things like a water bottle you can attach to your lifejacket. It is hard to make a deck look nice. It is one feature I look for when shopping for a Sunfish.

I personally like restoring the older boats. Some of them have rarely seen colors and deck stripes. My oldest Sunfish has a twin stripes on the bow--steel blue and a deep maroon. I like them both much more than the newer striping found on Sunfishes. I also very much like a solid ivory, or off-white deck. You can paint a deck and make it look good, but never as good as a nice gelcoat deck.

I also like nice graphics for the boat name. Some people go to the hardware store and use cheap lettering. It looks cheap, no matter how careful you apply it.

A boat name is a very special thing. It deserves a lot of thought. I've already chosen the names for my next two Sunfishes and the color sails and rigging they will have. For example, one will be Hornet and have a black and yellow striped sail. I think it will look good with the black Sunfish emblem on the yellow field. In any event, take your time and carefully pick a name for your boat. Poorly chosen names reflect poorly on you. Simple and short is generally good.

Vinyl graphics make the boat super nice looking, and professional--the girls notice things like nice lettering, new hardware, and new rope. It presents a statement of who you are. Are you a clod or cool?

Here is an example of what I sell for vinyl graphics. I use Times Roman, all caps, any color. Personally, I always use 3" tall in Red for Sunfishes because it is bright but easy to read. I think black is a bit too much contrast on a white hull. If I had a dark hull I'd use a light color like yellow or white. Cost is $20-$30 for two sets of identical names, one for each side. Cost is dependent on the number of letters. No refunds on names.

Here are two I've done. Now that is sharp looking.



Good luck with your boat, whether it is this one or another. Sunfishes are great fun.

They are more fun with a pair of them. Find a buddy to sail with, or buy a second boat to invite people out.

Conrad
 

roger l

New Member
Thanks for all of the GREAT information. I do not know if I want a real project boat at this time. However, what is the dry wieght of a Sunfish hull. If I go to look at one I can take a scale with me and weigh the hull to see if it is full of water.

Thanks Again
Roger L
 

NightSailor

Captain
Bring two scales and put it on both. Add the two together.

The total weight of a Sunfish is around 130 lbs. Without the rig? It must be around 100-110 lbs. If it weighs more, it can be dried out, but it involves a little work.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
A Sunfish without the rig should weigh about 125-135 depending on when it was made (ones from the '60s and '70s weigh more than the boats made today.) BB
 
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