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My new project boat.

Hey guys and gals. This is not actually my first post but I thought I would post a few words of introduction and pics of the project that spurred me to find this site. I'm located in panama city in north west florida on the gulf. I'm 65 now but back in my childhood growing up i spent my time on the 100s of lakes, bays rivers and gulf here. As a teen I spent my summers on the beach as a life guard with a small fleet of 10 sunfish and a couple hobie cats renting to tourist and teaching sailing. In the past couple years I've wanted to purchase a sunfish and teach the grandkids how to sail. Well I'm not sure how it is in your area but finding decent sunfish bones is like finding a pair of chicken lips here. And when you do they are at a premium and never a trailer. Down here everyone has a 4x4 pickup truck so we can haul them fairly well without one. I missed a couple buys over the past couple years that were within an hour drive but the other day I found one down where the apalachicola river dumps into the gulf. That's about 1.5 hours from me. It seemed to be what I was looking for and the year was exactly the same year boats I once rented out and sailed. It is a 1976 AMF. The hull is dry and no apparent hull damage. It had all the parts other than the tiller was broken and spliced together. I've already made a new one. Needs small parts and hardware to get it in the restored conditioning I like in all my boats. It also had some sort of homemade 2 wheel dagger slot beach cart . (Not sure I like those due to the wear area) it's not the color scheme I like but i couldn't be choosy down here. I always preferred the red white and blue. It was green and white. I'll attempt to post a couple picks.
 

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Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Doesn’t look like much of a project! Funny, my primary Fish is red white and blue but green and white is my favorite combo. Your sail looks to be in good shape and you’ve got the ‘new style’ rudder. And it’s not overweight- a huge plus! You’ll be sailing in no time.⛵
 
LOL yep your correct. Overall I lucked out. I've got too many projects now. I was due a shorter one. The worst part on this rig is that the cleat pulled out and I'm going to have to refurb and reinstall blind without cutting an inspection hatch.
Will try to replace 2 grommets in sail today. Any suggestions out there for getting that done? Besides a harbour freight grommet kit. Lol
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Stick a toothpick or paper clip in the screw holes from the halyard cleat and feel around to see if the backer block is still there. May be rattling around in your hull or may be in place but rotted. I’d try to inject thickened epoxy into the holes, then drill new pilot holes. A cleat about 42” up on the mast will help to take the enormous pressure off the deck cleat, but the deck cleat will hold the mast to the boat when you capsize.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Found using this forum's search feature, this is the latest on grommets (and other stuff).

I'm not sure how I bought a '76 Sunfish and sail that is white and teal-blue. :oops:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Congratulations on your new boat! Does she have a name yet?

You are indeed lucky to find a boat in that great of condition down here on the Gulf Coast. Most have been dispatched by hurricanes or have horrible UV damage. I'd highly recommend finding a secure place to store her, under cover or in a garage/shed. And also invest in a Dynamic or Seitech dolly, your back will love you for it.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
For grommets we would HIGHLY recommend purchasing a spur grommet die set and spur grommets from Sailrite. You'll want the proper size for the inner diameter. FYI the spur grommet die set is different from a regular grommet die set. And I assume you'll need some sail repair tape. Post a photo of the area in question please.

Spur grommets grip the material better, less chance of pulling out. You can use brass, bronze or chrome plated brass to match what your sail has.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I had a similar situation with a saltwater sail.

I wrapped a five-inch length of dacron sail-repair tape around the old grommet location(s) and punched a new grommet through the tape. (First, crush the old grommets with Vise-Grip pliers to remove them).


P3270014.JPGP3270015.JPGP7210001.JPG

I'm ready for the next grommet repair! :cool:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
You're lucky that it's only grommets that are needed to complete your sail.

"Storm-tossed", the sail tore along both spars. Aside from the defective grommet, showing more of the sail would have shown you this side! :eek:

P1010002-002.JPG
Or more :( . This was a racing sail, so I made a grand effort to save it.

Considering all I had was a Sears zig-zag sewing machine—it turned out pretty good, and was sold with my Porpoise II.P1010004.JPG
 
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Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I bought
“Ripstop Kite Paraglider Sail Repair Nylon Tape 2" by the foot” on eBay. Comes in green and in white. Inexpensive and I’ve been very pleased with it in repairing my sails.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
The adhesive on sail repair-tape is not forgiving: :confused: avoid a drafty location. (You need three hands--an assistant will be appreciated). ;)
 
Good info. I'll make sure the first mate is around. I found the... by the foot colored tape. Ordering this morning when I get a break. I was wondering how good sail tape worked....if it was cheesy and would peel off in use or humidity down here in florida. Thanks
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Good info. I'll make sure the first mate is around. I found the... by the foot colored tape. Ordering this morning when I get a break. I was wondering how good sail tape worked....if it was cheesy and would peel off in use or humidity down here in florida. Thanks
It was more like a thin cloth than tape. I have a pic of small patches on my Phantom sail somewhere. Round the corners, patch both sides evenly. Might use a plastic card to seal it onto the sail.
 

chris williams

Active Member
I think you are taking the right approach to grommet repair. However, it is possible to do it with very simple items. My Mom did the repair in the pic around 1980. It has a layer of duct tape covered by some cloth that was around the house that she stitched into place. The grommet is from a kit we picked up at Jo-Ann Fabric I believe. I used it for several seasons til getting a new sail. I just found the sail again, and am thinking of rigging it on some spars. Those sails then were pretty flat and I think this could be a good sail to use in a super-heavy air regatta. 8A0664CD-01FC-4263-80F2-7F1018CA3EEC.jpeg
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sailrite sells adhesive backed insignia sailcloth in different colors that would work well on the seams. Wrap it around both sides. It should be stitched as well and then add the spur grommet.

The insignia cloth is also useful to make fun sail decorations. We made the skull and crossbones for this sail.

Viper Okaloosa Island 2.jpg
 
Wow. Cool custom color job.
I'm thinking about getting the white $119. Racing sale from infinity. It doesnt have the sunfish on it. I would like to cut a custom green one to match my boat.
 
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