Need help with serial number...

Thread starter #1
I recently acquired an AMF Alcort Sunfish the my parents purchased back in the late 80’s or early 90’s by my recollection. I have tried to research it, included the information posted in the FAQ section of this forum, but something doesn’t make sense. The serial number on my hull is AMF74780M791. Based on what I read I think it was manufactured in 7/91 (July 1991) which makes sense based on when I think they bought it (new) from Backyard Boats in Alexandria, VA. However, if it was manufactured in 1991 all info I have found suggests the manufacturer should be SLI, not AMF. It has aluminum rub rails and a large AMF Alcort Sunfish label in the cockpit. The boat is in very good condition and the biggest job is just going to be getting it cleaned up. I’ve attached a few pics. Thanks in advance for your help. CA4FF3E5-F49F-47A7-A182-23105064798A.jpeg 0776D6C6-3F0D-4188-95E2-6BEB72EEE4CA.jpeg B242F5A7-A7C7-4AD1-8028-EE5CE650D254.jpeg
 
Thread starter #3
Nice looking Sunfish! I believe, based on the Model year format, it was made in April, 1979
Thanks, all things considered the hull is in really good shape and I think a little elbow grease and some light cutting compound and wax will clean up the deck and hull. I just went out and removed the sail from the spars so I can take it to a sail shop today. Because this boat was used (not too many times)/stored (probably hasn’t been touched for 30 years) near the ocean, the grommets on the sails are corroded. The corner grommet is in the worst condition because the “S” hook it was rigged with was not stainless and it rusted while sitting for the last 30 years which also impacted the sail in that corner. I have already ordered a new sail, and I know it will probably cost more than a new sail to bring this one back, but if it can be repaired I will probably do it for the sake of nostalgia. I do have a much newer and very slightly used North Sail coming to me this week and I have all new lines for it. I need to order a new bow handle because the salt air/water got to this one a bit.

The spars and mast have some pitting on them, but I think I am going to see how they hold up before I consider replacing them.

Regarding the manufacture date, I get the year 1979, but why April? If the last letter is “I” wouldn’t it be September 1979?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#4
That is a 79. The sail looks almost unused. I wouldn’t get a new one. That grommet may be fine too. Boat looks fantastic!

Since you have already ordered a new sail, if the new one isn’t an authentic Sunfish sail, you’ll probably be able to sell this sail for more than you paid for the new one.
 
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#5
September would be letter B. I= April. As for the pitting on the spars, I just learned here that JB Weld is a good way to fill little pits. When you switch out your bow handle leave one screw in until the new one is started, just in case that backer block drops off into the hull. That ‘clunk’ is a terrible sound on a hull with no inspection port!
 
Thread starter #6
Thanks for the tip about the bow handle. I dropped off the sail this morning. They are going to replace all grommets, patch one very small hole we found, stitch the border of the original “class approved” label (was not stitched originally, but starting to come off), patch/reinforce the tack corner, and then wash the sail for me. Estimate is $200 or less. It’s really more about preserving the original sail than anything for me. I started washing it this afternoon, but a big thunderstorm is rolling through so my activities have been suspended for the afternoon.

There is some water in the hull which I need to figure out. The drain plug would not budge, so I need to apply some lubricant to try and break it loose.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#7
I have a somewhat older '79. Like yours, it has red trim colors and a deck of a light-beige color. Except for a mainsheet block, it has no other modifications.

If you can hear the water inside the hull, I'd try to get it out. While acknowledging that a stuck Sunfish drain plug can be a difficult fix, "P-B Blaster" is a better choice than WD-40.

If all else fails, a left-hand drill bit of ⅛" diameter can be used to drill a small hole to get P-B Blaster on the remote side of the plug, and then to drain the water out. (A left-hand drill bit could possibly get the plug to withdraw on its own). The plug is brass, so it can be "rescued" for re-use with solder or a bronze brazing.

.
 
Thread starter #8
I have a somewhat older '79. Like yours, it has red trim colors and a deck of a light-beige color. Except for a mainsheet block, it has no other modifications.

If you can hear the water inside the hull, I'd try to get it out. While acknowledging that a stuck Sunfish drain plug can be a difficult fix, "P-B Blaster" is a better choice than WD-40.

If all else fails, a left-hand drill bit of ⅛" diameter can be used to drill a small hole to get P-B Blaster on the remote side of the plug, and then to drain the water out. (A left-hand drill bit could possibly get the plug to withdraw on its own). The plug is brass, so it can be "rescued" for re-use with solder or a bronze brazing.

.
I put some PB Blaster on it earlier, but no luck so far. If I can’t get it out I may drill a hole in the deck tomorrow and then put in an inspection port. Any advice about that approach?
 
#9
Is the boat very heavy? If you can turn it over by yourself I’d say give that PB Blaster some time and use a big screwdriver. Or remove the entire drain plug- it should come out easily by prying up the edge then removing the 2 small pins. Don’t lose those pins. Now you can soak the whole assembly and hope it frees up or replace the deck drain entirely (see recent thread). There are benefits to inspection ports, but don't cut a port unless it’s waterlogged or you need access for repairs.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#10
1) When I see a Sunfish inspection port, I think the hull needs (or has needed) work. (That it's not a "dry" boat). :(

2) Personally, I have a conflict with saving the original sail, yet modifying the
deck. :confused: (But will give a "like" to the sail-saving concept).

Harbor Freight has a set of left-hand drill bits for less than $14. Drain the water, and simultaneously, just-maybe, back out the plug?
 
Thread starter #11
I can lift/flip the boat on my own, but I can hear some water sloshing when I lift the low end up. I think more water enter through the mast hole while I was cleaning because some of the resin appears to be missing.

I am using a very large screwdriver, but still not budging. I was thinking about putting a new drain in the transom tomorrow rather than an inspection port. Thoughts? 2FBF9636-DE4A-4FF8-BDCC-787FED77FCE1.jpeg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#12
The consensus here is, "don't bother".

I only installed one because my Sunfish is stored on a ramp. Still, it took weeks before I could get it to drain beyond a drip, and then later remove the Styrofoam bits that irregularly clogged it.

If yours is stored on a ramp, determine which side your Sunfish prefers to lean, and install it on that side. :confused: Guess which side I'd picked?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#13
The consensus here is, "don't bother".

I only installed one because my Sunfish is stored on a ramp. Still, it took weeks before I could get it to drain beyond a drip, and then later remove the Styrofoam bits that irregularly clogged it.

If yours is stored on a ramp, determine which side your Sunfish prefers to lean, and install it on that side. :confused: Guess which side I'd picked?
Yes, there is a lot of foam back there so it’s hard to get water flow out of a transom drain.
 
Thread starter #14
The consensus here is, "don't bother".

I only installed one because my Sunfish is stored on a ramp. Still, it took weeks before I could get it to drain beyond a drip, and then later remove the Styrofoam bits that irregularly clogged it.

If yours is stored on a ramp, determine which side your Sunfish prefers to lean, and install it on that side. :confused: Guess which side I'd picked?
My dilemma is that boat is now stored at my weekend house, so I am limited in the days/time I have to work on it. If I don’t get the water out today then it is going to sit in there for a minimum of two more weeks, and that is assuming I figure out a way to get it out the next time I am here.

If I remove the whole drain plug assembly, do I just pry it up using a thin drywall knife or something similar to that?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#15
My dilemma is that boat is now stored at my weekend house, so I am limited in the days/time I have to work on it. If I don’t get the water out today then it is going to sit in there for a minimum of two more weeks, and that is assuming I figure out a way to get it out the next time I am here.

If I remove the whole drain plug assembly, do I just pry it up using a thin drywall knife or something similar to that?
If the boat has been there for years with water in it, what is two more weeks?

I think there may be a pin in that metal drain you need to drive out - not sure as my current boat is newer than yours. But there is a way to pry the whole thing out.
 
Thread starter #16
If the boat has been there for years with water in it, what is two more weeks?

I think there may be a pin in that metal drain you need to drive out - not sure as my current boat is newer than yours. But there is a way to pry the whole thing out.
Thanks. The boat has been under a deck upside down for thirty years probably with some water in it, but not a lot. It is now cleaned up and in a garage when it can have a chance to dry out if I can get the water out. There is more water in there now as a result of washing.
 
#17
Don’t put a drain in the transom! Pry out the deck drain assembly. It is easy. If you google ‘Sunfish deck drain’ you will see a picture I posted on this forum about 3 years ago. Yes, you may need to remove a bit of silicone but just pry the assembly up then grab the two little pins with needle nose plyers and lift. Drain the water out. Reinstall original drain if it frees up after soakng, or just replace it and go sailing:)
If there’s more water in the hull after washing it then you have a big leak somewhere. You mentioned chips in your mast step. Fill the mast step with water and it should stay full. If it doesn’t you’ve found at least one leak!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#18
The foamy yellow "glue" the factory put in to hold the Styrofoam blocks in place will absorb the water in the hull. This adds weight to the hull.

Find a helper, and using the daggerboard trunk as the center, use a bathroom scale to weigh your Sunfish. About 134 pounds is a good weight to find, although different manufacturers of Sunfish list different weights.

In the meantime, I'd suggest tipping the boat on its side; sometimes, there can be partially-split seam, hidden by the aluminum trim. (So water may drain out). Try tipping on one side for a few hours, if no water drains out, then try the other side.

To dry out a heavy Sunfish, two inspection ports in heavy Sunfish are best installed—one in front of the daggerboard and one in front of the rudder. "Dry-out" is slow: two inspection ports can speed up the drying process by many weeks.

From the history of your boat, I don't think it's going to be the dreaded "heavy Sunfish".
 
Thread starter #20
Don’t put a drain in the transom! Pry out the deck drain assembly. It is easy. If you google ‘Sunfish deck drain’ you will see a picture I posted on this forum about 3 years ago. Yes, you may need to remove a bit of silicone but just pry the assembly up then grab the two little pins with needle nose plyers and lift. Drain the water out. Reinstall original drain if it frees up after soakng, or just replace it and go sailing:)
If there’s more water in the hull after washing it then you have a big leak somewhere. You mentioned chips in your mast step. Fill the mast step with water and it should stay full. If it doesn’t you’ve found at least one leak!
Thanks to your advice I have successfully removed the drain assembly and drained the boat! I think the drain is toast due to the level of corrosion, it was never going to open (see below). I think a replacement drain is going to be the way to go. It took just shy of two minutes of a steady stream of water to empty it. The water was basically clear and no debris of any sort came out. I think the mast step is the primary source of water intrusion and will be the first repair before I bother air testing the hull. I will research the best way to seal the mast step, but I am sure I may have some more questions so I will create a new thread when we get to that point. I can’t thank everyone enough for the advice and guidance. 22C0C7AB-59E2-4DFC-8D72-3E82F95D5B1C.jpeg 1BF55682-9758-4BFF-92CD-D33AC40335FB.jpeg B6C7E18F-B0DD-499D-A6B7-E91A0AEC5870.jpeg 90D02DCC-451A-4034-A302-A8A11756839B.jpeg 1011525A-08A8-4B09-9ED6-7FB1A7C3AD1E.jpeg
 
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