New to the Crew, What am I in for?

Alright! The #8 oval tops were perfect! #10 was right out.
And that bent bolt that came with the kit? NO idea what it was for, when thought I bout a bag of two replacements, hah. Turns out another bolt was in the kit to attach the tiller and rudder.

Now… WHY no nuts with the bolts for the rudder mount?! And the holes aren’t large enough for the provided bolts. This kit needs some love. So many things are off.
Okay I have come to the conclusion that the SunfishDirect conversion kit isn't. It's a hull access port, a modern rudder and gudgeon package. The re-enforcement bracket is longer than the height of the transom, so I would have to cut it down to use it at all. So with that, the drilling, and lack of appropriate hardware, it's clear that this may have been a viable kit in the past but has now drifted enough that several elements of the shipment aren't applicable.

Going to finish the install this weekend, then picking up some scaffolding (I'm replacing two upstairs windows soon) to use as a suspension rig to invert the hull and get after that damage.

I'm actually pretty excited about transitioning to this. I'm going to learn sooo much. Hopefully not the hard way, hah!
 
Is it still a transom if there is no interior area?
Transom, yes. Lazarette to me would imply an accessible storage space, for that I would say no.

Too bad about the kit needing some rework /parts to be useful. Were you thinking of pre-drilling the bolt holes to match the gudgeon and then trimming the backing plate to fit?

You'll like having the scaffolding. I made the mistake, after 18 some years of ownership, of leaving it out last winter. The plywood deck did not do well with snow and rain. I was thinking about putting a layer of fiberglass cloth and resin on its replacement. Say, what about some Kiwigrip (non-skid for bigger boats)...? :)
 
I think the reason why your internal aluminum backer seems too tall is because of the wood block. The backers they get are for new boats with no wood block. Older sunfish had the wood block for attaching the deck rudder hardware. You can see it in your hole. You could shorten the backer. i have used washers on the inside to spread the load over the stern. I would cut the backer with a hacksaw as you have it, drill holes and attach. There is no wrong way as long as you spread the load.
 
I think the reason why your internal aluminum backer seems too tall is because of the wood block. The backers they get are for new boats with no wood block. Older sunfish had the wood block for attaching the deck rudder hardware. You can see it in your hole. You could shorten the backer. i have used washers on the inside to spread the load over the stern. I would cut the backer with a hacksaw as you have it, drill holes and attach. There is no wrong way as long as you spread the load.
Thanks for the insight!

I went for your first suggestion - shorten the backer.

First, I created a template of it from a spare cedar roofing shingle. Then I cut the template down to fit the space, and transferred the new size to the backer.

Secured the backer in a vice and cut it down to size with a hack saw. It’s not pretty, but it fits.
I’ll drill and install tomorrow. In the mean time, I took a close look at the hull damage. It’s superficial, and has no obvious soft spots. I may start preparing it tomorrow, since I need time tonight to learn what to use to fill the depression and protect the repair.

Checked the mast hole too. It appears to be in reasonable shape.

Thanks for the guidance along the way!

I’m still staying close to home to help a family member, but looking forward to putting in to a local lake here soon.

Mitka
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So after dry-fitting the backer I found that the bottom did not sit well in the hull. I went to grind it down, which led to my drill press, and next thing I knew I was fully engaged in installing the gudgeon

Once again the kit bolts let me down. No nuts, and too easy to strip. I’m back to the local hardware store tomorrow to get more reliable bolts with matching nuts.
 
It still seems crazy the kit didn’t include nuts with the #10/32 screws. Seems #10/24 is more available here, so using those and some lock-tight/lock nuts to keep the maintenance low.
 

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For those following along, there are two wooden backer blocks inside the ALCORT fiberglass Sunfish hulls 1960-1971. They are secured with adhesive and a fiberglass strip. One block is under the deck and the horizontal hinge plate (deck plate) screws into that. The other is along the keel and the latch plate screws into that. The blocks can be removed or trimmed for the new style gudgeon backer plate to fit.

There are two different gudgeon backer plates. The one pictured below has a hump in the middle to fit over the carriage bolt cove on the transom that was molded into the hull during manufacturing. For a short time after 1971 AMF still used molds with the transom cove, even though the new style rudder mechanism was in use.

Seems we missed a washer when we did the rudder conversion on our 1965 ALCORT Sunfish WAVE. One installation tip is we buy a deep socket that fits the specific size nylock nut that we choose, and a nut driver handle. It is hard to get pliers or a wrench inside this space to hold the nut while the machine screw is tightened.

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Eventually the factory molds caught up and the transom was flat all the way across, and there is a flat metal gudgeon backer plate available for repairs on those hulls.
 
You got it in! Those washers will work. And what LP does nowadays is copious amounts of 3M 5200 between the gudgeon and the transom, functions as you adhesive and sealant.

A lot of folks consider rudder conversions but very few make it all the way through. Nice work! You'll enjoy that shiny new style rudder system and added value to the boat.

I forgot, does she have a name yet?
 
Thanks! I still have to close all of the original holes of course, but it was good progress for the weekend.

As for a name, my vote is “Auburn Run”, having purchased her after making a quick run to Auburn with my daughter to buy the Sunfish. But it’s her boat, so I’m waiting for an answer from a teenager for now ;)

So… what should I use to repair the scratch in the hull coat and fill in the holes? Nothing seems deep enough to warrant fiberglass. :)
 
And on a separate note, I put my kids’ old Lego jumble bag (example: Amazon.com) to a new use as a blade bate for the rudder and dagger. Seems to work okay as an over the should bag for the equipment.
 
M, did you figure out which materials you'll use for the hull and scratches? Nice repurpose of the bag. I am hoping to take an old speedboat cover I saved and make covers and bags for the Sunfish.
 
Hi, it looks like THIXO; the glass matting seems to be okay.

Still working out the best place to work on the repair since I don’t have the shed built yet. Maybe get wheel her around to the driveway/garage this weekend. Shoot for first launch next weekend!
 
The "hull" is composed of a thin layer of polyester resin compatible gelcoat (similar to thick paint) over the fiberglass matrix of woven roving and polyester resin/hardener. The gelcoat is there to protect the fiberglass from UV and to make the boat look pretty.

For hull scratches, assuming one means gelcoat scratches and not fiberglass damage, a gelcoat repair kit would work.

If a total repaint vs gelcoat is planned, we choose our brand/color of paint and then use their fairing filler to fill in scratches. A gelcoat crack draws in paint and the crack will translate back up through the paint unless the crack is widend a bit and filled with a fairing filler. Our favorite FAIRING filler lately has been TotalBoat TotalFair, then TotalPrime, which is compatible with other epoxy based paints. Pettit EZPoxy has its own EZFair and Intelux has similar.

For spot repair on beach bangers (A. Glos, 2014) a rattle can (A. Glos) spray of Rust-Oleum White Satin hides different color spots from 3+ feet away. It can be easily sanded off later if a more involved off season repair or gelcoat is later desired.

Insert random squirrel on a bosun's chair below:

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Thanks. It seems I am looking at mostly a gel coat patch, but there was a little damage to the underlying material.

Here is a picture. I used a Dremel to clear out the surrounding edges and immediate damage. You can see the slight depression, about 2-3 mm relative to the surface.

Can I get away with just a gel coat repair, knowing that I’ll refinish the boat at some point next year?
 

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Okay, just ordered Total Boat fairing compound for the divot, and their gelcoat to finish it.

Gave the Sunfish a wash today. Rewiring the trailer next weekend too.
 
Ah, thanks for calling that out!

I'll take a look tomorrow. Seems the price/volume is higher than what I need for this little repair. I bought the fairing compound already, but not the gelcoat. We'll see if I find a repair-oriented product to use over it.
 
Ah, thanks for calling that out!

I'll take a look tomorrow. Seems the price/volume is higher than what I need for this little repair. I bought the fairing compound already, but not the gelcoat. We'll see if I find a repair-oriented product to use over it.
Tops is correct, but you just need to overcoat with the proper primer if you really want to gelcoat.
 
Tops is correct, but you just need to overcoat with the proper primer if you really want to gelcoat.
Okay thanks. Went ahead and ordered everything. I’ll test my technique on a piece of scrap wood, then get the hull repair underway.

My plan is to get her on the water during the fall break in September.
 
Looks nice Mitka, what did you use? Are you going to do any gelcoat now or wait? I understand you on wanting to enjoy a bit more of this season before it wraps up.
I chose Total Boat based on the feedback. Doing primer and unwaxed gelcoat today for the damaged areas. If I get my shed in order over the winter I’ll take on a repaint. If I learn that it gets waterlogged between now and then I’ll consider pulling the entire deck and replacing foam, adding hiking strap support, etc.
 
Today was exciting! I received the rudder conversion kit and new bow handle from Sunfish Direct today. Looking forward to installing both this weekend.
No new screws with the bow handle, and the backing plate isn’t predrilled. So “kit” in quotes perhaps.

Congratulations. You will enjoy the ease of using the new rudder immensely (though installing it will take several hours.)

One tip I might share from the rudder conversion I did on Ruby - a '71 (last year manufactured with the old rudder style): That stainless steel plate that you mount to the inside of the transom and bolt your rudder gudgeon bracket to is supposed to fit nicely inside the curved part of the transom. BUT, there is likely to be some stray lumps of fiberglass on the inside of the transom that may make it hard to get that stainless steel plate to lay flat. You may need to either carefully grind down some of those fiberglass lumps to get the plate to snug up properly to the transom. You can see in my photo how, even after grinding some of the fiberglass lumps, my plate still didn't lay perfectly snug. However, it is not a major issue as you are going to have 4 stainless steel bolts going through to the gudgeon to hold it all together.
Below is the final product, using a rudder that Alan Glow built for me. And a shot of the inside of the transom with the plate mounted to the transom.

I wish you the best in your retrofit. We'd love to see final pix.

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Hi @Tops , we’re close!

Seems the trailer wants more attention before it’ll cooperate. It’s older so the spindle side is non standard, making it tricky to service the hubs.

Going to plan on this Sunday. Pretty excited about it. Just replaced all the rigging and the hull is in good shape now.
 
Okay...

Over October I worked on rewiring the trailer and shopping for a new axle. That slid into November, and I am so glad that it did!

Last weekend I stopped at the local Tractor Supply to wander the aisles, but cruised by the trailers out front on the way in. There had been a Malone Microsport (MicroSport™ 2 Kayak Trailer Package (2 Sets Bunks, Spare Tire)) parked out front since May for around $1800. This time though, they marked it down to $800 clearance! I didn't think twice, and bought my way out of the trailer repairs I had underway.

I'll be hitting the local hardware store this weekend for some large pipes to store the mast and sail that I can mount on the trailer.

At that point I will be all set for sailing the local lakes, and for trips down to Panama City as our schedule permits. Pictures soon.
 
I'm curious if anyone who has opened up their boat for repairs, has reglassed the hole instead of installing a port? If you cut the hole with a good hole saw, it seems like it would be a fairly easy reclosure.
 
I'm curious if anyone who has opened up their boat for repairs, has reglassed the hole instead of installing a port? If you cut the hole with a good hole saw, it seems like it would be a fairly easy reclosure.
Yes, mast step repairs can be done that way. Good approach IMHO, although I never had the pleasure :) of doing that.
 
I'm curious if anyone who has opened up their boat for repairs, has reglassed the hole instead of installing a port? If you cut the hole with a good hole saw, it seems like it would be a fairly easy reclosure.
I have not done so with any of my ‘fish. However, I had a Sears surfwind that I bought damaged and did exactly that. I cut open a square hole in the front port side of the hull so that I could reinforce the interior and add some foam for flotation. When finished, I glassed the hole, and used the boat for several years
 
Yes, mast step repairs can be done that way. Good approach IMHO, although I never had the pleasure :) of doing that.
Internally, the Sunfish mast step is heavily layered with fiberglass.

I wouldn't cut the deck any closer than the deck's cleat--which also takes a heavy load.

Because "structural-Styrofoam" blocks access from the side, one's best approach is from the bottom. Repairs through the bottom can strengthen the hull (against "oil-canning") and where imperfections in finish are seldom seen. :cool:

("Oil-canning" gets its name from old-style oil cans, which dispensed a minimal amount of oil by pressing once on the bottom of the oil can. Sunfish hull bottoms, after many years of use, can develop this analogous, undesirable, condition).
 

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