New owner, older hull Serial# 010013 refurbishing for my daughter

Thread starter #37
That's a new one on me on a metal trim boat, but we haven't messed with fasteners on any metal trim boats 1983-1987. At one point the manufacturer du jour switched to a self threading machine screw with metal plate backer, no nut, but I thought that was when they moved over to the rolled edge boats circa 1988.

But to keep the plate itself (or a wooden backer block) always leave at least one screw in. Loosen the screws a tiny bit, remove all but one screw, swivel the hardware to the side, reinsert at least one screw. Then we tape those screws so when we paint they don't get all gummed up.
I did remove 1 screw from the bow handle very carefully and was able to thread it back in so I may pluck up the courage to do then one at a time. The alternative would be to unscrew until nearly out and support the hardware on small dowels cut to length and as you say tape up the threads to stop them getting gummed up.
Thread starter #38
My 69 fish has all machine screws now, as I put in 1/4" alum backing plates and tapped the screws into them. Doubtful, but possibly the previous owner did something similar. By the way, I don't have any inspection ports on the deck, as I cut out access holes on the bottom, epoxied backing plates as needed and re-glassed my cutouts. Inspections ports are fine, but I preferred not to have any on the my chainsaw cuts fiberglass easily!! ha!
Perhaps that is the answer, where did you make your cuts? I used a grinder to remove this transom and replace it with Cooza board.


Thread starter #40
Hi-jacking the thread. I want to replace my bow handle on my 1998 vanguard sunfish. Should I run away or is there backing wood under it?
Don't know specifically, there are others here with way more knowledge as you will see. I have removed 1 screw from mine and put it back in so there is something holding the nut or a backing plate. I would wait for greater knowledge the guys here have helped me a lot


Well-Known Member
Perhaps that is the answer, where did you make your cuts? I used a grinder to remove this transom and replace it with Cooza board.
Just opposite of the hardware. Slightly cut thru some foam for the bridle eyestraps...but was ok for the mast stuff and bow handle, cutting just off center from the keel line.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
For a bow handle with factory machine screws, take 3 of the screws out, leave the 4th loose, swivel old bow handle out of the way. The bow handle may crumble but the screw will still be there. Put new bow handle on with one screw, snug it down. Remove last screw on old bow handle, swivel new handle into position and install the other 3 screws.

The wooden backer blocks were held in with a strip of fiberglass about as wide as the block, and also a blob of ?adhesive putty? Over the years the putty dries up, the fiberglass hanger can pop loose on one side or completely fall off, the wood rots and disintegrates or falls out of the hanger. It is my assumption that the metal backer plates are held in in a similar fashion, and that 50 years from now there will be similar stories of metal plates rattling around inside hulls.

Oh wait, here's a photo from Yahoo Sunfish_Sailor Photo Library showing how the metal backers were attached at one point, this is under the deck before the mast step hole was cut open. Blob O Putty, metal plate, fiberglass strip before resin applied. Name the plates.

Factory Laser Performance metal backer blocks copy.jpeg

Image from Yahoo Sunfish_Sailor Photos library, some amazing photos in there.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
DarkStar For your bow handle if it has machine screws you'll probably be okay. IF the backer falls off, then you can either repair like the factory tech would do, remove metal trim, split the seam back about 2 feet and work form inside. Reseal seam with fiberglass strip set in thickened epoxy and light clamping. Install trim. Gelcoat is not disturbed with this method. Or cut a hole to access inside and install a port or repair hole.

Here's a video showing how the new style gudgeon is installed, my guess is that the newer metal backer plates are similarly installed.


signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Well, you have to know what you're buying and know how fast you want to get it. snfish1 is Herb B. and he is a great ebay seller, fast shipper. Check out his other items. You can also post a Wanted Ad under the Forum link, Alan or Craig or we might have some vintage bits.

The thing with parts nowadays is to check with the online dealers to see if the part s in stock, otherwise you might get an email back saying the part is back ordered, or no email and wonder where the part is. Check to see if the charge went through, if it didn't that means your part is on back order. We have had hit or miss success with all of the LP Dealers and LP themselves.

Annapolis Performance Center (APS)
Dinghy Shop
Intensity Sails
Laser Performance
Sunfishdirect aka TOAD Marine aka Yankee Boating Center

Most of these business have real people answering the phone, at Yankee Boating Center you could even tell them the colors of your boat/sail and they would match the lines to it.

Insert random canoe yawl photo here...

Thread starter #50
The question for today for the assembled gurus is:
How much structural integrity does the aluminum rub rail and associated rivets provide to the hull and deck joint? I am thinking to remove and replace with a PVC rub rail. I probably could replace the rivets.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sailflow has a great point, the trim protects the seam, it could be split from a hard hit. We find a lot of split seams up on the forward quarters and on the stern corners, the bow and abeam the cockpit where boats are dropped....wait, that is the entire seam, isn't it?! For 28 years they used aluminum trim, I'd stick with that.


Well-Known Member

You can probably tap those blocks back into position with a rubber mallet, then use the two part closed cell flotation foam like TotalBoat Flotation Foam or Fiberglast. I'm tempted at times to use Great Stuff, it is not closed cell but if you don't let it stay wet...hmmmm.... Whatever you use, wear old clothes, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. I got my hand coated with that stuff once and thought I was going to lose a layer of skin.
Went sailing, and must've hit a big wake. Checked my Great Stuff repair of one front Styrofoam log. It had broken loose. :confused: One spot broke free from both surfaces: the other broke the Styrofoam, :oops: but had a "lock" on the hull! :cool:

I'd slopped a brushful of Rustoleum on each of the spots, and the repair (only on the bottom edge) had lasted six years. :)

Now, it needs a major pour of two-part liquid foam--top and bottom, and I know to be careful, due to it's extreme-expansion properties. :confused:

'Time to order, and tip the boat on its side.