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Jfuller9

New Member
So since I have been looking for a sunfish, I see alot of pictures on the internet and see the cracks in gelcoat on the hulls. Is this normal for these boats or is this a sign of trouble? New to the game and have started my search. Thanks in advance.
 
The Sunfish built from 1971 - 1975 (during the introduction of the cubby space) seem to have a lot of problems with cracked gelcoat and fiberglass in the cockpit area. I would avoid those year models unless the boat is just exceptional.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome aboard. Gelcoat shrinks with age, so spider cracks are normal. If the cracks look like a sunburst I'd investigate for a point impact that might indicate structural damage to the fiberglass underneath.

A well done patch is not a show stopper, the boats get used by sailors of all experience, so they can take some abuse. The thing to avoid is an overweight boat with water saturated foam inside. Sunfish from 1960-1987 should weigh around 139 pounds, newer models 129. If you can lift an end without straining, it's close in weight....if it takes two people straining to lift it, walk away. We take an old scale with us and weigh it, weighing each end and addng together would be close enough.

The hard/expensive parts to ship are spars, so they need to be in usable shape. Pretty much everything else can be sourced through this Forum, ebay, fb marketplace or craigslist.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
The Sunfish built from 1971 - 1975 (during the introduction of the cubby space) seem to have a lot of problems with cracked gelcoat and fiberglass in the cockpit area. I would avoid those year models unless the boat is just exceptional.
Cockpit-area "spider cracks" are probably due to a heavier helmsman or an ex-racer. The deck is slightly weaker in that area.

You could work under a raised--and inverted--hull and reinforce the spider-cracked deck with a few layers of fiberglass cloth. No further attention would be needed, as the reinforcement is hidden.
 

norcalsail

Well-Known Member
My 2018 Sunfish got its first spider cracks recently. It's in the cockpit area as L&VW mentioned. Still looks really good though.
 
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