It's not a Sunfish, so what is it?

Thread starter #1
I just picked up this boat from a gentleman on the Eastern Shore of VA. The sail calls it a Sun Dolphin, but I can't find any info on it! Do you guys know what the heck I bought? Its got a Gloucester Yachts sticker in the cockpit.
 

Attachments

Thread starter #3
The boat in that Shorty Pen site is the only other one I've been able to find online. It was sold on here I think in Portsmouth VA.

So far it looks to be in good shape. There is a repair on the starboard side that seems to be suspect. I might clean that up. Otherwise there are just a couple dings here and there that I"m going to fill and fair.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#4
Impressive, and has a lot of "modern" features, including the later "shoe-box" construction of Sunfish. Cleat on the mast, plastic halyard block, traveler. Check for impressed markings on the upper-right transom (to indicate U.S., post-1971, manufacture).

Not much information at South-Texas Sailing, but here's another view—about ¾ down this page:
http://www.southtexassailing.com/files/Clone-Fish_Index_L-Z.pdf

Information you already have:
Sundolphin sailboat for sale

So, now, everyone knows there are two of these! ;)





.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter #5
Thank you L&VW. That link is awesome. That Lockley-Newport Boats Inc. Gloucester, VA is definitely the same boat. It has a Gloucester Yachts sticker and I think Gloucester Yachts and Lockley Newport merged in the 80s. I bet Gloucester Yachts made this from the Lockley Newport molds and tried to market it under a new name.

I've got to build a new center board for it and the rudder and tiller need to be resealed. Should be a fun winter project. Seems like adding inspection ports is the thing to do as well. Going to do that so I can see what I'm working with inside too.
 
#6
That clonefish link is great. I have owned many of those, including a sloop rigged
1979 Lockley Newport Sandshark
image.jpeg

The closest one to your Sun Dolphin that was made by Lockley Newport was the Scat (originally called the Panther, 1979-80). There's a pic of an old one for sale (not mine) at sailingtexas.com (search Lockley)
Yes, you are right, Gloucester Yacht Co bought Lockley Newport in 1981 and went out of business in 1988, according to my notes. There used to be a (small) yahoo group when I owned my Sandshark, but it seems to be no longer active.
 
Thread starter #7
That Sandshark is a cool looking boat. Kinda like a Scow.

It sounds like my boat has had several names, Panther, S-Cat, Sun Dolphin... I'm guessing mine is a later model since the other one that was sold on this site was an 87 and also called a Sun Dolphin.


My plan is to add some inspection ports to check out the inside near the cockpit drain. There was a little water dripping from there when I got it. Needs some new lines and maybe a main sheet cleat and then I think it will be good to go.

I'll post some pictures once I get her back together.

Thanks for the info!




That clonefish link is great. I have owned many of those, including a sloop rigged
1979 Lockley Newport Sandshark
View attachment 29927

The closest one to your Sun Dolphin that was made by Lockley Newport was the Scat (originally called the Panther, 1979-80). There's a pic of an old one for sale (not mine) at sailingtexas.com (search Lockley)
Yes, you are right, Gloucester Yacht Co bought Lockley Newport in 1981 and went out of business in 1988, according to my notes. There used to be a (small) yahoo group when I owned my Sandshark, but it seems to be no longer active.
 
#8
Are you sure you need to add inspection ports? Is the boat overweight? You may just need a new seal around the cockpit bailer. No need to add a port for a main sheet cleat, as it attaches under the cockpit lip (at least it does on a Sunfish)
Have you done a leak test?
 
Thread starter #10
I don't think its very heavy. I just noticed some water coming out of the cockpit drain when I moved it. It must have come from inside. I would be happy to just repair the drain but I have no idea how. Its a metal tube of some kind. ill try and take a picture today. I too don't like the idea of cutting a hole in the deck...
 
#12
What are the dimension of the hole, bailer, how much space is there from the cockpit side, hull thickness, etc.

That is not a good looking bailer and having screw holes on the water side is not a good design.

Depending on space I would fill the screw holes and use a sunfish bailer.
 
Thread starter #13
The hole is 1" OD. I think its a standard cockpit drain. Something like this.

WEST MARINE Transom Drain Tubes | West Marine

I think I can get the old one out and put in a new one. Guess you seal the top and then also seal the bottom with some 4200 and hope for a good seal. I think I'd be ok with those screw holes if they had some dang sealant on them. when I took them off they were bare. Should have had some caulk on them to begin with...





What are the dimension of the hole, bailer, how much space is there from the cockpit side, hull thickness, etc.

That is not a good looking bailer and having screw holes on the water side is not a good design.

Depending on space I would fill the screw holes and use a sunfish bailer.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#15
Here is my issue. Bottom of the drain tube is corroded. Likely letting water in while in the floating . Do I just yank this thing out and replace it?
Sunfish vendors sell two lengths of cockpit bailers (~$45).

Since your bailer looks longer than either one, I'd sleeve the longer Sunfish bailer (internally). Keep in mind the design looks like the two surfaces need to support one another—hence the heavy metal tube. Maybe scope-out threaded PVC pipe with four threaded collars?

The area around the screws shows a lot of gelcoat [impact] damage, so it will likely "weep" internally until that surrounding area is "refurbished".

BTW: West Marine's transom drain tube ($10.99) looks very similar to the larger "sink tailpiece" ($4 at hardware stores).

.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#16
Yitch, poor design to start with. With all the stress cracks I'd
grind the gel coat away, fiberglass over the hole and redrill
for a Sunfish drain, if you can make it work. Get a Sunfish drain
before you do anything to see if you can test fit it. If you can
get it to work you'll have a really stable drain. Like the Ford Pinto
and Dexys Midnight Runners, some things were not built last.
 
Thread starter #18
Quick update. Got the old drain tube out and found the drain was actually drilled through some kind of material. It was pretty brittal so the bottom had cracked and broken. Definitely where the water was coming in. Repaired the hole with marine-Tex and inserted a new brass tube. The hold of course isn’t square to the hull so I didn’t get the perfect fit I wanted. The 4200 pretty much cleaned it up. Just need a new protector for the drain tube and it should be solid. 3FE48C50-E3B2-4BF8-8F61-90E7F9B43888.jpeg
 

Attachments

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#19
That shape vaguely looks like a Dutch design from the 20s, 30s: Lark. A small boat, only 13 ft long and very low. The sail on the Lark looks the predecessor of a modern-day sail with long battens.
From the looks of their numbers, the Lark remains an apparent successful class for Holland. I suspect the Lark is a tad faster than a Sunfish.

Had the Lark not been devised, Dutch builders Ten Cate Sports would have had an even bigger success producing the Sunfish—with its much simpler rig.

No stays, no shrouds, no chainplates, no upper rigging, no battens, no fixed rudder, far less maintenance of wood, less tuning of rig—plus—Sunfish provides the benefit of a shorter mast for passing under bridges.

:)

.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#20
Ten Cate has bigger fish to fry these days (pun intended): they're deeply into clothing for the military. I believe that the US Army is one of their biggest 'fans'. Ten Cate has come a long way from a textile manufacturer 'pur sang' to an innovative fabrics producer, situated in two adjacent sleepy towns in the easternmost part of The Netherlands, near the German border.
 
Top