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Question on year of AMF Sunfish

Jon Young

New Member
Greetings from a new member. I owned a 1976 Alcort for seven years and upgraded to a larger daysailer, looking to go back to a Sunfish. I'm talking with a seller in a neighboring state, the boat has no hull number, so it's definitely pre 1973. I've become aware of cockpit design issues with the 71/72 year causing irreparable cracks in the hull. This boat has a small cockpit with storage compartment, flanged edge. The mystery is that there's an aluminum channel at the cockpit/deck joint. There's also an aluminum edging around the gunwhales. Anyone have a clue as to what year this boat could be? Thanks for any help.Sunfish 2.jpg
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Is the boat in question the one in the pic? What color is the hull? If the hull is yellow, I am pretty certain by the color scheme it is a 1975 or a 74. Based on the new style rudder it is a 1972 or later, but again, I am pretty sure that color scheme is from 1975 or else 74. If the hull is white, I think it could maybe be a '73.

You are saying there is an aluminum channel where the white tub hits the underside of the deck? I don't think that is a mystery, just an aftermarket addition. All boats up thru 88 had aluminum edging at the gunwales, and from say 67 or 68 on thru 88 had the same aluminum material at the cockpit opening on the deck. BB
 
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wjejr

Active Member
I have a 1971 (storage area, old rudder style) that I just picked up last winter. I have read the same article on cockpit design problems and was a bit worried. Other on this site said, "Fear not," and so far the boat seems totally solid. I will keep my fingers crossed. I was also advised to trailer or car top the boat upside down, which is excellent advice no matter what the vintage.

Best of luck to you.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
"...the boat has no hull number..."
It appears this boat should have a hull number; in that case, a significant repair may have been done to the transom. You could use that knowledge to have the present owner reconsider his price. :cool:
 

Jon Young

New Member
Thanks for the replies. Beldar, the hull is yellow. The aluminum mentioned in the cockpit is a trim strip around the bottom edge. The detail I was looking for is the glass joint between the cockpit side walls and the deck, which is apparently not visible to the naked eye, you have to stick your noggin into the cockpit and look at it from that angle. Regardless, I've decided to proceed and am picking her up on Friday. I don't have a trailer yet (ordered one on Amazon, same trailer as Harbor Freight but for less money), will transport her in the 8' bed of my F150 with tailgate down and will invert her for the ride. New sail also on the way from Intensity Sails. I bought a main for my O'Day Daysailer II from them and have been very pleased with it. Thanks for all the help, looking forward to splashing her and kicking up a wake!
 
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Jon Young

New Member
Picked her up yesterday....12 hour day from Tennessee to Georgia and back. There are a few issues, but I wasn't expecting perfection for what I paid. I need to install an inspection port to replace the bow handle, some glass repair to do around the halyard block, fortunately the mast well is intact. I'm guessing she got turtled or had a sword fight with another boat or a tree. Some crazing around the edges of the cockpit, one line that might require more than just gelcoat. Looks like deck will get painted. Upper boom is toast, hoping to buy blank tube stock if I can determine the specs on the metal. Tiller, rudder and daggerboard are wood painted white, needs stripping and varnish. DePersia bailer is badly corroded, some deck rigging improvements and new sheet and halyard. Oh well, I needed a project to keep me off the streets.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks for the update. Got any pics to share?

Mast -

Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 10' (3.05 m)
OD: 2-1/4" (57.15 mm)
Wall Thickness: .083" (2.11 mm)


Spars -

Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 13' 8" (4.17 m)
OD 1-1/2" (38.1 mm)
Wall Thickness: .065" (1.65 mm)
 

Jon Young

New Member
Thanks for the update. Got any pics to share?

Mast -

Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 10' (3.05 m)
OD: 2-1/4" (57.15 mm)
Wall Thickness: .083" (2.11 mm)


Spars -

Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 13' 8" (4.17 m)
OD 1-1/2" (38.1 mm)
Wall Thickness: .065" (1.65 mm)

Thank you sir! There's a welding shop nearby, I plan on paying them a visit Monday.
 

Throwdown

Member
I'm currently on a work trip that's going to pay for my sunfish! I'm loving these pictures and would love to see A lot more of you post pics, particularly before and afters!
 

Jon Young

New Member
I think it will be a little more complicated than that. Here's a pic of where the deck is cracked and lifting around the halyard block. I'll take any advice on how to proceed with the glass repair, I've never worked with it before, although I do have 25 years experience in woodworking including restoration of antique moldings using polyester resin fillers. Just going to take my time and get it right. There's also been a repair on a small section of the rub rail that needs redoing. Extra bonus pic of the hull,which looks great, no issues at all.IMG_1054_1.jpg IMG_1055_1.jpg IMG_1056_1.jpg
 

Jon Young

New Member
Here's a little stump the stars question....how is it that there's no drain plug on the deck? Has deck been replaced?
 

tag

my2fish
As Wavedancer mentioned, the drain plug is right near the end of the splashguard. See the arrow below.

sunfish drain.JPG
 

Jon Young

New Member
Checked with local welding supply places, all I can get around here is 6063 with .125 wall thickness, raw finish. I'm wondering three things: Will the end caps fit with the extra wall thickness? Will extra weight be a factor in boat handling? Will raw finish be that much of an issue in a fresh water environment, especially since I'll trailer the boat and store in climate controlled garage? Discuss.
 

danpal

Active Member
Trying to source an aluminum pipe in order to make a mast has been discussed quite a bit on this site and I don't think I've heard of anyone who's been successful. Your best bet is to find a Sunfish dealer and buy new or to find a used mast on Craigslist. Craigslist is how I found my second mast and spars which were only $100. Much cheaper than buying new but you have to be patient.
 

sailcraftri

Well-Known Member
Non anodized mast should not be an issue. Long ago all masts were that way until they had places that could anodize such long tubes. I replaced a mast on my O'Day 23 using non anodized to save $300. I just kept it waxed every year and it was fine. Non anodized will just oxidize faster unless treated as I did.

End caps won't fit with the thicker wall but you could try measuring the current end caps and see if you have enough material to shave them down. Extra thickness will be heavier and as such would affect your righting moment, but your weight low on deck probably will mean you won't see a significant difference.

That being said I would look around for used masts or new ones. I have new old stock masts in Rhode Island, bt shipping is difficult. You could go to www.uship.com ans see if anyone is willing to bring it to you because they are making the trip anyway.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
In fresh water, anodizing gets worn away at the gooseneck and at each sail clip, resulting in black marks where it is worn away. I think your whole boom will end up blackened pretty quickly without anodization. I'd buy a real boom.

Also, painting the deck and getting a finish equivalent to what you have now will be hard. I don't know that anything needs to be done with the halyard block area, and even if you do repari it, a spot patch with orange will probably end up looking better than if you paint the whole deck. That boats looks to be in pretty darn nice shape for a '73.

If you want to minimize any further halyard block damage, put a halyard cleat on your mast. Then just run the tail loosely thru the deck block and cleat it. There will be minimal upward force on the block. Just be sure you do run the halyard to the deck cleat, or if you flip the rig will fall out.
 
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Jon Young

New Member
I went to the local West Marine to get some glass repair materials ( I am going to do a small surface repair at the halyard block, the deck peaks about 1/8" close to the crack). As fate would have it, the chap at the register lives close to me and has a barn full of spare parts for all sorts of boats, including Sunfish spars, think I found a used one close to home.
 

Jon Young

New Member
Update on progress and a question. Finally got around to buying a proper upper boom, and have ground the high spot at the crack down flat for wetting in some fresh cloth and resin. Cut a hole for inspection port near bow to remove rotted backing block for bow handle and add a replacement made of cypress.

I am going to paint the top deck, wondering about removing the aluminum rub rail first. I notice that the original rivets don't go all the way through, any problem replacing them with ones that do? Also, will a modern replacement bailer fit on a "73 hull?
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hola
You can buy rivets that don't go all the way through, I recommend aluminum, available at your local hardware store. They should be 1/8 inch diameter and set no more than 1/4 inch deep. The reason they don't go through is to prevent sharp edges on the bottom part of the trim. If you decide to use deeper rivets, make sure you file away any sharp edges of the trim and new rivet.

Yes modern bailer will fit

Cheers
Kent
 

Jon Young

New Member
Thank Kent. I guess drilling out the existing rivets is the fun part, eh? I suppose the hole goes all the way through the glass flange, since the rivet has to spread out on the backside in order to hold.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thank Kent. I guess drilling out the existing rivets is the fun part, eh? I suppose the hole goes all the way through the glass flange, since the rivet has to spread out on the backside in order to hold.
That is a quick and easy job. Yes the hole goes through the flange, but not the bottom part of the trim. Use a 1/8 inch bit to drill out the center of the rivet and be careful not to go all the way through.

Be careful removing the trim, it is easy for it to bend around the rivet holes and shear into two pieces. If it does, you can reinstall it, put a rivet in the old hole then 2 new rivets on either side of the original hole.


 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Will the end caps fit with the extra wall thickness? Will extra weight be a factor in boat handling?
"Weight aloft" is to be avoided.

My guess is that the "wall-thickness" relates to the inside diameter. I'll agree with the above posts that a Craigslist search is the best thing you can do. The Sunfish design was a "bendy" rig; meaning, you'd be losing speed with thicker spar walls.
 

Jon Young

New Member
After a loooong hiatus, I'm back to tinkering on my fish. Flipped her over to get my first real look at the bottom. There are some cracks at the front and rear of the daggerboard slot (guessing a previous owner ran her hard aground at flank speed), I gouged them out with a small chisel. Now wondering if I need to do a grind and glass layup, or tempt fate with a Marine Tex patch. I pressed with the heel of my hand to test for movement, none detected. What say the sages?IMG_20150928_141824.jpg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
"...Now wondering if I need to do a grind and glass layup, or tempt fate with a Marine Tex patch. I pressed with the heel of my hand to test for movement, none detected..."
My three 70's Sunfishes each have that damage which, with a heavyweight on board, doesn't take a particularly hard hit to make. :(

Marine Tex isn't cheap. As the damage has undergone some "discovering" already, I'd substitute the two-part Marine Tex purchase into a two-part West® epoxy repair. Mix by volume, and you don't have to buy their expensive pumps. :rolleyes: After long use, they pump bubbles into the mix anyway, which confuses the ratio. :confused: I use their "slow-set" catalyst for extended time and ease in setting up the repair, and check on my work in the morning.

A professional's steps can be found on this site, using the Search function for "biaxial". ("Search" is a little dim box in the upper right).
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Although cheaper pop-rivet guns are available, the solid feel of this gun by Arrow makes it my choice.

Photos 3252017 65530 PM.bmp.jpg

Mix by volume, and you don't have to buy their expensive pumps. :rolleyes: After long use, they pump bubbles into the mix anyway, which confuses the ratio. :confused:
Having said that, don't skip yard sales. ;)

Photos 3292017 82634 PM.bmp.jpg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Hola...You can buy rivets that don't go all the way through, I recommend aluminum, available at your local hardware store. They should be 1/8 inch diameter and set no more than 1/4 inch deep. The reason they don't go through is to prevent sharp edges on the bottom part of the trim. If you decide to use deeper rivets, make sure you file away any sharp edges of the trim and new rivet...Yes modern bailer will fit...Cheers...Kent
Stores always seem to be out of 1/8" (length) pop rivets. :confused: The tops of rivets can also be "sharp". Take a small socket to tap the edges (only) down flat.
P8210017.JPG

.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Although cheaper pop-rivet guns are available, the solid feel of this gun by Arrow makes it my choice.
Use a Big Daddy, especially on larger stainless, you'll never look at your Arrow again. I have an Arrow too, for quick and dirty, but it won't touch a 1/2" 5/16 rivet after a couple.Big-Daddy-39031-Riveter-Large-Rivet-Gun.jpg
 
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