New to forums, a few questions...

Thread starter #21
Glad you got the old girl on the water. Now you know what needs to be done before the second sail.

In no order:

The metal bail on the inside of the coaming probably housed a compass in the past. You can remove it without worry.

I think (?) your rudder problems stem from the keel plate. I am guessing that at some point the flat head attachment screw stripped the threads in the keel and somebody moved it forward into a new hole. Remove the flat head screw and see if I am right. If so, put the plate on a solid surface, flat side down, and gently hammer it smooth. It is bronze so you won't damage it if you are careful. Then epoxy the holes in the keel, let the epoxy cure, position the plate over the original hole and drill a new pilot hole and reattach the plate in the correct position.
Keel plate=latch plate? If so, if you recall that plate wasn't attached when I got the boat. There was only one hole that was stripped when I got it, but the whole area had epoxy on it. Yes, that was my thinking. I think even just moving the plate aft an inch or so will shorten the length of travel of the vertical plate. But am I correct that the vertical plate should be actually vertical?

As for the spring plate, make sure it is flat, and hammer flat if not. Consider turning it over if it has lost some spring. Make sure the forward round head attchment screw is snug as any play will reduce he spring tension.
Spring plate looks OK. I snug down the wing nut, spring compresses flat, but the plates don't flex at all and aren't close enough.


Bailer: Post photos. Is it metal or white plastic? Where does it appear to be leaking?
Got this taken care of. It wasn't snugged down tightly and was leaking around the bailer.

Halyard cleat: A mast cleat is good, and an easy install, but you still need the deck eye and a deck cleat to secure the loose end of the halyard to the deck - if you don't you risk losing the entire rig if you capsize the boat.
Hadn't thought of that!

If you need parts (horn cleats, deck halyard eye, new bailer etc.) let me know. I can sell you a box full for pretty cheap.
Is the deck eye the other missing piece there then? Planning to hit you up for some parts. Still doing inventory of what I need...
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#22
What Alan said. Also check the bottom of the vertical plate and the groove in the latch plate for wear, they might just be worn out, causing a loose fit.
 
Thread starter #23
No obvious significant wear, seems like it would hold if it has tension. Still not sure if I was understanding Alan correctly. Basically the question is if the latch plate (keel plate?) should be moved aft (and maybe reshaped), so that the vertical pin is vertical...
Just remembered that I'll have some time to get back out there tomorrow evening, so if that's the case I might try repositioning tonight.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#24
Yes, move it aft. Also make sure the spring plate is not bowed. If it is, make it flat or maybe flip it over. Make sure the spring plate forward screw is snug.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#26
I suppose you could put a shim under the spring to get through the next few sails. Also check the deck plate to see if the spring hump is still humpy.

k
 

wjejr

Active Member
#27
Hello,

As Allan mentioned, you will need a rudder tube that goes over the carriage bolt and prevents side to side play. If you don't have that tube, the rudder is likely to pop up.

The tube is 1/2" OD x 1/4" ID x 5 1/4". I just looked at the McMaster Carr site and the stock number is 8628K27. The price is $11.09 for 5'. I seem to buying it by the foot, but that has evidently changed.

I have been sailing my 71 Sunfish for 3 or 4 years, was sailing in 18 mph last week, and I have never had the rudder pop up unexpectedly. You can find pictures by searching for "Sunfish rudder tube" to see what it looks like.

Good luck!
 
Thread starter #30
I moved the plate aft so that the vertical plate is parallel/vertical. I also hammered it flat for good measure. It kind of curved upward a bit after I moved it, which I guess it's supposed to do. Anyway, much better fit of the rudder now, much more tension on it. Good news is the screw seemed to drive in pretty solidly.
 
#32
Nola Mike,

All good. The old style rudder system is like old fashioned downhill ski bindings; set the tension too loose and they release too soon (and down you go halfway through a turn); too tight and they don't release when they are supposed to (and break your leg). There is a setting on the wing nut tension where the rudder will stay in the down position under normal sailing conditions but will kick up of you hit a stump or forget to raise the rudder when beaching. That said, the new style (post 1972) rig is a huge improvement as the stainless steel rudder head side springs work far better than the old bronze hardware rig. I have done several retrofits, and my customers are always pleased with the results. The downside of the retrofit is the cost, about $600 if you can't find a used rudder assembly and the other hardware.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
Thread starter #33
Yeah, looks like the new style rudder is a big improvement. It would probably be cheaper to find a whole new newer style 'fish than to retrofit though. Don't know how often a deal on just the rudder hardware comes up (guessing not often). At least for now, I think it'll be functional. Actually, my biggest issue is that it's a pain to put down.

Wait, I just had a (probably obvious) revelation. I had assumed that in order to put the rudder down, the bottom part was put in first and then the horizontal pin. I just realized that it makes a hell of a lot more sense that once the pin is in, the rudder bottom snaps in place. If that's the case, then my biggest beef with this thing is over.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#35
I don't see gudgeons and new rudder assemblies that expensive if you're not worried about class legal. Typically under $300...??? (Intensity??) Plus labor and an access to the interior transom.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#37
I've only sailed the newer style or older boats that have already been upgraded. But my common sense tells me if it is working fine and isn't giving you issues, I'd stick with it. Again, no experience of the older style (except as a kid 45+ years ago), so I have a uniformed opinion. I imagine there are many, many still out there, sailing just fine with the older style. I think it's when you get into consistently much heavier winds and waves, that I've read it becomes more an issue, with popping up. Great forces = likelihood of malfunction. I've never read of the new style having those issues.
 
#39
Glad you got the old girl on the water. Now you know what needs to be done before the second sail.

In no order:

The metal bail on the inside of the coaming probably housed a compass in the past. You can remove it without worry.

I think (?) your rudder problems stem from the keel plate. I am guessing that at some point the flat head attachment screw stripped the threads in the keel and somebody moved it forward into a new hole. Remove the flat head screw and see if I am right. If so, put the plate on a solid surface, flat side down, and gently hammer it smooth. It is bronze so you won't damage it if you are careful. Then epoxy the holes in the keel, let the epoxy cure, position the plate over the original hole and drill a new pilot hole and reattach the plate in the correct position.

As for the spring plate, make sure it is flat, and hammer flat if not. Consider turning it over if it has lost some spring. Make sure the forward round head attchment screw is snug as any play will reduce he spring tension.

Finally reattach the rudder assembly, tighten the wing nut on the bronze carriage bolt and see if the rudder is snug in the "down" position. As for the horrizontal pin, any 1/4" dia, hex bolt with a nylon nut will work fine. You should also get a length of plastic hose to fit around the carriage bolt to reduce the wobble in the fiberglass channel. If the bolt wobbles side to side, this also contributes to unwanted kick-up.

Bailer: Post photos. Is it metal or white plastic? Where does it appear to be leaking?

Halyard cleat: A mast cleat is good, and an easy install, but you still need the deck eye and a deck cleat to secure the loose end of the halyard to the deck - if you don't you risk losing the entire rig if you capsize the boat.

If you need parts (horn cleats, deck halyard eye, new bailer etc.) let me know. I can sell you a box full for pretty cheap.

Good luck with the project.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
#40
I have a horn Cleat on the mast and I think it’s a good idea. But you asked if there was any downside. The downside that I’ve noticed is that it’s harder to lower your sail quickly. First you have to release the cleat on the deck then release the cleat on the mast. That takes time. If there’s only a cleat on the deck it’s both easier to reach and you don’t need to do anything to the mast. Perhaps someone on the forum can suggest a better way to lower the sail quickly even with a mast cleat. But I like how the mast cleat takes the pressure off the deck cleat, so I’m keeping mine.
 
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