New to site, have a few questions

Thread starter #1
Hi,

I have a 1967 SF that's been in my family its entire life. I sailed it as a child and as an adult. A few years ago it sat on its trailer and a crack developed where the runner was. I just had it fixed and it looks pretty good.

I was wondering what is the best way to store it? I was thinking about building a rack for it and would love to know what's best.

Also the deck appears to have oxidized. I rub a little 220 on it and I can see a little of the original red. I was wondering what would be the best way to clean it up and paint it? I can get pics up tomorrow if it would help.

I am new at repairing this boat so I don't really have a clue about even the type of paint that I would need.

Last but not least, is there a link to doing a leak test? I did a search and didn't come up with the actual process.

Thanks in advance, Tricia
 
Thread starter #5
Thanks NS. All these years I had no idea that it should be stored upside down.

I cleaned her up yesterday and now I'm checking on other leaks. I need to weigh her. I suspect she's probably heavy. Also found some smaller surface cracks. Need to check here to see what others have done with them.

This is a great forum.
 
Thread starter #6
If anyone could give me an idea of what I should do with the deck I'd appreciate it. First picture is untouched, as is.


A little buffing:



Area where fiberglass is coming through:




In cockpit, flaking away:


I have read a little bit about painting and gelcoat. What wouold be my best stragedy in these areas?

Thanks for all the help.

Tricia
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#7
Some want a pretty boat (that's dry). Obviously, your hull needs TLC to make it pretty.

Others 'simply' want a dry boat. In that context, what did your leak tests show? Fixing the leaks should be the first priority.
 
Thread starter #8
I haven't completed the leak test yet, but it certainly makes sense to do that first. :)

Ok...leaks...check for leaks.
 
#9
Sanding the deck with a random orbital sander would clean it up some. The gelcoat is warn off is spots. If it was my boats I'd still run a sander over it with 220 grit to pretty it up some. take it easy on the spots that are worn through, although the area neat the access port looks pretty bad.

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/6-Random-Orbit-Sander/EN/index.htm

There is something going on underneath that--the good thing is you might be able to fix it from the inside since the access port is right there. A small mirror and a flashlight will help you inspect the inside--or a camera set on macro for a closeup.
 
#10
I got the same oxidation problem with my deck. I went 400 wet sand then 600 wet sand then fiberglass buffing compound. Every day I hand rub the buffing compound. Looks better but I think the oxidation goes too deep to completely remove. I have got to the point where I can see a nice reflection.
 
Thread starter #11
NS,
After the rain lets up I'm going to get in the access port with a camera to see what is going on back there. Thanks for the info on the sander. I was looking at them but didn't know which one would work best. I saw that one at HD the other day.

Web,
The bow handle came apart earlier this month and the pretty red color was under it. I buffed a little bit of the area where it had been and could see a vivid red. I was just afraid to do too much because of the other badly exposed areas. With time and hard work I think I can get most areas looking "better". Just not sure about the exposed area. I'm wondering if trying to match the red(when I get that far) and spraying a fine gelcoat over those areas is the answer.

Looks like I will be:
Leak testing it this weekend
And maybe buying a sander

Thanks folks. This is all very helpful

Tricia
 
#12
Bet you got the same Red color I have. Seem the previous thread about 'Gel Coat.' I was supplied with some very good information. Seems to be that the Gel Coat has to be at least .020 thick to keep from cracking, that means at least 3 coats. Some here have had good luck with Gel Coat, I've found that the application is highly technical, fought with things that can go wrong and best left to professionals unless you are willing to accept a few failures along the way and a good size learning curve. I'm going to see if I can find a body shop willing to do the bottom of my boat. I asked a few people and the moment I mention 'Gel Coat' the discussion is over.

Colored deck's are cool, what ever happened to Green, Red, Blue and Yellow?
 
#13
Bet you got the same Red color I have.
When the sun bleaches out the color you can make the deck shine, but the color will be gone forever. You get a shiny dull color deck in that case.


Seems to be that the Gel Coat has to be at least .020 thick to keep from cracking, that means at least 3 coats.
The only place I've ever found the particulars of gelcoat is in the spray equipment manuals and the industry literature or professional books. Everything I've seen on the net boils down to brief comments needing more info to be able to use. In my boatyard the geolcoat specialist tells me .020" is the target. The window is .016 - .020, too much and the stuff cracks, too little and it can blister after it sits in the water awhile. He talks big yachts, but says the application doesn't change with boat size.


Some here have had good luck with Gel Coat, I've found that the application is highly technical, frought with things that can go wrong and best left to professionals
I took lessons from the sprayshop guy. It's involved - lots of practice needed to get good. Probably burned through a couple a hundred dollars worth of gelcoat in the process. Was working from 55 gal drums so can't say for sure.


Colored deck's are cool, what ever happened to Green, Red, Blue and Yellow?
They get hot - really hot. They bleach out too.
 
#14
Go with a two part epoxy paint, Imron (automotive), Endura or AwlGrip (the best). These paints provide a very hard finish that is far more water penetration resistant that gelcoat and much more fade resistant. These paints are best applied by someone who has a fair bit of experience with these products. The gelcoat on your Sunfish is likely near the end of it's life, every buffing removes some and the shiny period becomes shorter and shorter.
 
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