Need to remove the deck off of a rolled deck sunfish

sunfishsailer2374

New Member
I just bought a SLI sunfish, and I saw that there is a spider's nest in it. This and the fact that I want to make sure that the mast step is in good shape, all of the backing plates are not rotted, and the fact that I want a backing plate to hold the hiking strap up in the back of the storage compartment and there are no problems with the foam are the reason I need to take the deck off of this sunfish.

Please let me know the best way to do this, I know this has been done before but cannot find anything besides this post "splitting-the-deck-on-a-newer-hull" (the websiste will not allow me to send a link sorry!)
 
Hi Alan,

Are you sure? why would cause it to be trashed if I seal it with Epoxy? The reason is that I got one of those wire things with a camera on the end and could not find the spider's nest after again after looking for an hour and that would mean a lot of inspection ports.
 
Thank you Beldar, and Alan. I appreciate your responses. But I do not understand the specific reasons for your points, is it that the boat will be flimsier or that it will take on water?

Thanks
 
If you have an SLI Sunfish, it was built with blocks of foam glassed into the deck, topsides and bottom of the hull, and if you separate the deck from the rest of the hull, you will risk having these blocks delaminating. Also, despite how carefully you re-epoxy the deck to the hull, you will never get as tight a seal as the original factory fabrication and risk leaks and even structural problems.

Alan Glos
 
In the early days of Sunfish, a crew performing warranty repairs on waterlogged Sunfish would separate the hull and deck. Lift up the edges as much as possible; and replace the wet foam. Then reseal everything up. In this repair situation out in the field, the bond was most likely not as good as when the boat was first built as Alan has mentioned. Later this was determined to be too costly and drying out a hull instead was the way to go.

That amount of work of detaching the deck from the hull and then reattaching to kill some spiders seems over kill. A bug fogger will do the job injected in the deck drain or the breathing hole in the cockpit. One inspection port in front of the daggerboard trunk and behind the splash coaming and using your snake camera, will give you any info you need to look at your mast step. Filling it up with water and seeing if water drains out of it is the very first step you should do.

If you still want to separate the hull and deck, I would use 3M-5200 or Plexus instead of epoxy for the re-glue.
 
What year is your boat? In 1986, boats switched to aluminum backers. Have you done a leak test as that would tell you if the mast leaks or other sections.
 

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1. It would be near impossible to cleanly separate the rolled deck edge from the rolled hull edge, compared to how easy it is to do on the straight flange per 1988 boats.

2. It is never good to separate an entire seam, as the hull and deck get too wiggly to get them back together in proper alignment, unless you have a jig and hundreds of clamps.

3. If you were to get the deck separated, with the rolled edge, you can't lift the deck like you can on an older boat because that rolled edge makes the deck too stiff.

4. What we'd suggest is cutting inspection holes into the bottom near the areas you feel you need to look at/repair, and when you're done, fiberglass those holes closed using little internal backer rings to attach the cut pieces back onto the boat. You'll see an epoxy line that is saw kerf wide when you're done, which the fish don't mind looking at.

5. It is easy to overthink this, but have fun and do what you think you must. Take pics!!

Merci bow foam hood open.jpg
 

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Only do an inspection port. If you need two to look at the mast step condition, do one between the daggerboard slot and the splash rail on the centerline to see what you are cutting into for the second one. The others did a nice job saying DO NOT remove the deck.

If you are worried that the mast step may leak, just pour water in it to see. If no leak, just go sailing and save lots of time and hassle.
 
1. It would be near impossible to cleanly separate the rolled deck edge from the rolled hull edge, compared to how easy it is to do on the straight flange per 1988 boats.

2. It is never good to separate an entire seam, as the hull and deck get too wiggly to get them back together in proper alignment, unless you have a jig and hundreds of clamps.

3. If you were to get the deck separated, with the rolled edge, you can't lift the deck like you can on an older boat because that rolled edge makes the deck too stiff.

4. What we'd suggest is cutting inspection holes into the bottom near the areas you feel you need to look at/repair, and when you're done, fiberglass those holes closed using little internal backer rings to attach the cut pieces back onto the boat. You'll see an epoxy line that is saw kerf wide when you're done, which the fish don't mind looking at.

5. It is easy to overthink this, but have fun and do what you think you must. Take pics!!

View attachment 60384
I've been reading advice from these responding experts for decades, and I agree with the above opinions.

There is way too much risk for scant gain.
 
Yep, do not separate rolled edge. Too hard to realign. They are sealed with Plexus. Far better to do inspection ports. You you can vacuum out the offending nest. Just spray a whole can of killer into the hull and close it back up, bugs dead. Rolled edge boats fittings are not backed with wood blocks so won't have rot. Keep it simple!! Store it in a spot you won't have spiders in the future :)
 

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