What's new

New to the forum - Deck Plates - just rescued an 81 Sunfish

Wtevansjr

New Member
I learned to sail in these 35 years ago. I have never owned one, but that changed a few days ago.

I found a complete but derelict Sunfish with hull issues that’s been sitting outside soaking up moisture but otherwise not being used. It’s been sitting for 5-10 years by my measure and it’s going to get a full restoration.

I clocked her at 205 lbs somewhat unscientifically on a bathroom scale which would mean she has 9 gallons of water saturation! She will be on a diet in my heated shop for a few months before I start any glass and hull work.

I just ordered 2 Beckson DP40-W Screw-Out Deck Plates - 4", White.

My question for for those that have used deck plates to access / dry out their hulls is where did you place them?

If you could do it again would you set them differently?

I was going to place one on centerline forward of the daggerboard and aft of the splash guard. The other, also on centerline, aft of the cockpit on the transom deck.

I would like to “miss” all of the internal structure, ribs, foam blocks etc and I think after tapping it out my plan would do so.

I saw a video of an owner who placed them on the forward vertical wall of the cockpit. I suppose that’s an option, but I remember sailing these around as a kid with the cockpit full of water. I expect my girls to do the same. Therefore cockpit placement seems hazardous to me.

Any thoughts before I start making holes?

Take care,

Bill Evans
 

Attachments

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Congrats on your new boat! You picked some good spots for the ports. You might cut through a little white foam block back by the rudder and find a big yellow blob of expanding foam. Pull out most of the yellow foam, except for along the edge of the white flotation blocks. Throw it away. That might be about 30 pounds of your saturated foam weight. Your hull should be around 139, and 145 is not uncommon. At one point AMF went from hand mixing the expanding foam and carefully pouring it, to getting the new fangled foam gun, and foam went everywhere! That nugget of info was passed along from Howie, he worked at Alcort from 1960-1978, then did warranty work for AMF for another 10 years.

The 4 inch ports are tight to work through, I'd put a 6 inch up front so you can reach further in and sponge out as needed. Leave the rings off while you work on the boat and tape the raw edge of the fiberglass with blue tape to protect your arms. And wear long sleeves.

PS Lowes sells a RustOleum spray paint that matches that stripe color, Lagoon maybe?

649abc28-f250-4c7d-bc53-3dadba2f3222_1.5a850c118cc6dcd0db84473d6f20915e.jpeg

Here's her sister boat Madison.

Kent Madison bungee.JPG

Photo shoot in Seaside, Florida a few years back.

IMG_9823.jpg
 
Last edited:

Wtevansjr

New Member
Great advice. Thank you!

I have much to adress on this little boat. I was going to go all white but might stripe it to match a chosen sail in the patten it has now to keep it consistent with the vintage.

That’s down line and one of the last decisions I will likely make

I have already acquired new lines and purchased all new hardware as well as a hiking strap however. Couldn’t help it.... (intensity sail)

I will document it all starting with a new thread. Likely next week when I cut into it.

Step 1 - cut holes and dry her out.

Step 2 - find a rudder cheek and pin.

The boat had no pin and the bottom bracket of the aluminum cheek was broken off. I could buy the plastic one but I was going to keep and refinish the wooden rudder/tiller and centerboard and I was thinking the aluminum cheek was the way to go (period consistent - more robust - kids etc). Of course I have to find one first. $90 seems absurd and it has to be more fragile and temperamental than the aluminum version. Of course I don’t really know that to be true. It’s just my first instinct. If anyone reading this needs to set me straight don’t be shy!

Cheers,

Bill Evans
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
New info, just this week:

Rudder cheeks are available here in aluminum, brass, or bronze. You'll have to get in line for the foundry to fire up.

To find the seller, do a search for "bronze", "brass" or "foundry".
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
New info, just this week:

Rudder cheeks are available here in aluminum, brass, or bronze. You'll have to get in line for the foundry to fire up.

To find the seller, do a search for "bronze", "brass" or "foundry".
Thanks.

Looks like the seller is a member named “Eastlake and Vineyard LLC

From their post “...cheeks start at $125.00 for aluminum, $150.00 for brass and $175.00 for bronze.”

Take care,

Bill
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
That's him. :)

Why not heliarc the broken-off part? (Or fabricate the missing aluminum part?)
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
BTW Welcome to the Forum! You picked the best boat in the world to mess about with!

In the whole scheme of life, the prices for new Sunfish parts are low. Check out other sailboat part prices! While the nylon cheek may break, I think I've read of one, the metal can get crusty inside from corrosion. We have no preference. And keep in mind that the nylon cheek has been around 20 plus years, 72 boats just raced with them in the Worlds a few days back. There are several used part sellers on the Forum and they usually chime in if they have the part. Or you can post a Wanted Ad by clicking the SUNFISH FORUM drop down box at the top of the screen.

When you say pin do you mean the pintle and spring that is part of the rudder cheek? That cheek assembly usually comes together with cheek, pintle, spring, retaining washer, lock clip and cotter pin. The newer pintle has the cotter pin added, that is definitely preferred. You heed to order the 2 pop up tension springs separate.

The fun part about restoration is you can stay classic and "period correct" or use the hull as your family's new canvas and have fun that way. VIPER got painted Kingston Gray and striped with adhesive backed sailcloth, the sail is from FX, for her US Navy VF-84 Jolly Rogers tribute scheme.

IMG_3293.JPG

MERCI got Army Air Corps colors as a tribute to Al and Cort, the founders of ALCORT.

Merci after.jpg

Fun boats, one stick one string. Providing smiles for 65 years :)

Have the girls named her yet?
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
BTW Welcome to the Forum! You picked the best boat in the world to mess about with!

In the whole scheme of life, the prices for new Sunfish parts are low. Check out other sailboat part prices! While the nylon cheek may break, I think I've read of one, the metal can get crusty inside from corrosion. We have no preference. And keep in mind that the nylon cheek has been around 20 plus years, 72 boats just raced with them in the Worlds a few days back. There are several used part sellers on the Forum and they usually chime in if they have the part. Or you can post a Wanted Ad by clicking the SUNFISH FORUM drop down box at the top of the screen.

When you say pin do you mean the pintle and spring that is part of the rudder cheek? That cheek assembly usually comes together with cheek, pintle, spring, retaining washer, lock clip and cotter pin. The newer pintle has the cotter pin added, that is definitely preferred. You heed to order the 2 pop up tension springs separate.

The fun part about restoration is you can stay classic and "period correct" or use the hull as your family's new canvas and have fun that way. VIPER got painted Kingston Gray and striped with adhesive backed sailcloth, the sail is from FX, for her US Navy VF-84 Jolly Rogers tribute scheme.

View attachment 34663

MERCI got Army Air Corps colors as a tribute to Al and Cort, the founders of ALCORT.

View attachment 34664

Fun boats, one stick one string. Providing smiles for 65 years :)

Have the girls named her yet?
Our last little boat (a CL16) was “Blondie” so “Blondie II” was floated. “Butt Muffin” or just “Muffin” seems to be the front runner right now. Daughters 17, 15, and 11... nieces 18, 16, 10, and 2. Nephew 4... I am not arguing with the process. I just order and apply the marine grade vinyl decal! They are also picking the new sail color which will define the stripe color if I add one.

I will find a cheek and pintel spring or I will just buy the nylon one I guess.

Psychologically I would rather buy a complete assembly as listed in the ebay add or even spend 2 to 3 x for the modern glass / aluminum version of the entire assembly than buy a bracket without a pin for $150. I am glad this owner has taken the time and talent to bring the forged parts into being but it’s outside of what I am willing to do in the name of logic in this case given the alternatives.

No doubt his costs are what they are and one day if these boats are no longer supported the niche of one off production may prove to be invaluable. As I see it now however, their are amble cashes of used parts out there. I will find one or buy the $90 one WITH the pin and spring. My haul up/down springs are intact and serviceable.

I will place an add and haunt ebay for now. This boat is not going to see the water until at least May. I have time.

Bill
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
Our last little boat (a CL16) was “Blondie” so “Blondie II” was floated. “Butt Muffin” or just “Muffin” seems to be the front runner right now. Daughters 17, 15, and 11... nieces 18, 16, 10, and 2. Nephew 4... I am not arguing with the process. I just order and apply the marine grade vinyl decal! They are also picking the new sail color which will define the stripe color if I add one.

I will find a cheek and pintel spring or I will just buy the nylon one I guess.

Psychologically I would rather buy a complete assembly as listed in the ebay add or even spend 2 to 3 x for the modern glass / aluminum version of the entire assembly than buy a bracket without a pin for $150. I am glad this owner has taken the time and talent to bring the forged parts into being but it’s outside of what I am willing to do in the name of logic in this case given the alternatives.

No doubt his costs are what they are and one day if these boats are no longer supported the niche of one off production may prove to be invaluable. As I see it now however, their are amble cashes of used parts out there. I will find one or buy the $90 one WITH the pin and spring. My haul up/down springs are intact and serviceable.

I will place an add and haunt ebay for now. This boat is not going to see the water until at least May. I have time.

Bill
And I left out TWO more nieces.... 15 and 13.... lots of small hands will touch this little boat as it will intimately live at an owned family vacation home in Murals Inlet SC after it’s Clevelabd Ohio suburb restoration.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Thanks.

Looks like the seller is a member named “Eastlake and Vineyard LLC

From their post “...cheeks start at $125.00 for aluminum, $150.00 for brass and $175.00 for bronze.”

Take care,

Bill
There is no need to buy these parts when quality used original equipment is available from sellers on this board or eBay, or you can buy new (albeit plastic) from the Sunfish manufacturer.
 
I put my front port behind the splash guard and there is no foam down there. In the back there is foam that you might have to cut through. I should have put my rear hole about two inches further back and I would have missed part of the foam block. Front hatch is 6" and rear is 4".
 

Attachments

Wtevansjr

New Member
Thank you! I initially ordered 2 4” deck plates (pictured). After the feedback I received here I ordered a 6” and plan to return one of the 4’s.

It’s my intention to put a 6” aft of the splash guard and a 4” aft on center near the transom as you have done.

All of the deck hardware has been removed To include the aluminum toe rail. It’s intact and set carefully aside. I am not sure yet if I will replace that aluminum with another material such as rubber. I digress - That’s downline. Right now I want to open her up, inspect, and air her out.

Bill

Ps - here is my broken and badly corroded rudder cheek I have mentioned. I do not intend to attempt a repair and I don’t have the broken piece anyway... unless anyone wants it it’s ultimately going in the trash.
 

Attachments

Wtevansjr

New Member
Check this out! I just cut the aft 4” deck plate only to find this. And yes it’s waterlogged.

One poster mentioned I might find a blob of expanding foam but this was more than I expected by far.

It’s about 4” thick.

Last, this hole placement missed the longitudinal foam block.

The bottom of the radius is 2” forward of the aft transom edge for future reference.

Bill
 

Attachments

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oh that's a small blob by comparison! Start scooping. Leave a little of the yellow expanding foam where it holds the white blocks in place. There is also a white block that comes back about a foot from the cockpit, so go easy up in that area.

hoops stern foam blob.jpg

Between thhe fore and aft blobs we removed 38 pounds.

hoops foam.jpg


Morning dew over the white structural foam blocks and aft you can see where the foam blob lives, amidships, behind the cockpit. Hard to see, but there is a center block forward that runs about 30 inches back behind the bow handle.

Sunfish foam block location.jpg
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
Scooping complete. It’s all out as far as I can reach forward.

The starboard flotation block aft section - let’s call it a 10” worth - is deteriorated as if it dissolved. Not sure what to do with that yet.

The deck seam on this little boat is good all the way around. I think water intrusion came from the hill bottom damage and then (based upon staining) pooled starboard low and aft which might explain what I am seeing. Again - this boat is a rescue...

I am reluctant to split this hull just to mess with a small section of block.

I will wait until the 6” plate shows - cut that hole aft of where the splash guard was - and then sniff her out with a borescope from the airport before I get crazy.

A 40 watt bulb, a fan, and a month in a heated garage might do more good than introducing problems by splitting the deck from the hull... I hope!

Bill Evans
 

Attachments

Wtevansjr

New Member
Looks good. How much did you scoop out?

A Home Depot bucket or two...

Just cut the 6” deck plate hole. There was more foam up there. I think the guy with the foam gun was a little trigger happy on this boat...

Notice in the shot looking forward that there is a huge blob at the bow as well. I don't plan to split the deck on this boat so I will try to dry it out as I doubt I can get to it from the forward 6” hole but I will try.

Also every backer block for deck hardware was laying in the bottom of the hull. I will have to re-back everything. Not a huge surprise and yes the wood was totally saturated as well.

Here is the drying operation in full swing... 60w bulb + Small fan + a few weeks should do it.

The beer is a Sierra Nevada Torpedo. I thought it apropos... CDC60CE8-7877-467F-AFA1-A9C2E791D585.jpegC171173E-02C1-4216-AA2A-D30AB08BDD44.jpeg

Cheers,

Bill
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I agree, don’t split the hull. You’ve got all the right things going on with your ports and bulb and fan. The holes in the deck from the splashguard will give you ventilation, too. You can reach to mount most new backers with those access ports, except the bow handle- hope you’ve still got a bite on that.
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
She is drying out nicely and I have gotten creative with a scraper on a pole and cleared out a ton of foam. I am going to add another lamp as well as the heat could be higher without being too hot. A week or so of that and I will perform a weigh in. It already “feels” lighter.

Could anyone here take a measurement please of the rudder cheek dimension from the top of the pintel spring bracket to the bottom edge of the bottom bracket? I might fabricate something and weld it into the rudder cheek I have after a little media blasting and then just buy a new pin for 7 dollars....

I just need a dimension or two.

Bill Evans

Ps - if I wanted to put a SMALL amount of closed sealed foam under the styrofoam block edges in a few spots as shown in the YouTube video is that 2 part product still the thing to use or is there something better for the job?
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
Thanks for the measurement but after bead blasting it and getting semi serious about prepping it to weld/fabricate something - no.... it’s smoked. There are a few cracks and it’s basically falling apart. I will buy one.

Bill
 

Wtevansjr

New Member
Update! It’s been a month. I gave the boat a weigh in yesterday. Again - All of the hardware and the splash guard has been removed which is likely good for a pound or two...

146 pounds. She started at 205! Hard to believe there was 59 pounds of water saturation (plus or minus a little hardware)!

6-7 lbs to go then I will start blasting away and update with pictures.

Bill
 
Top