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Restoring a Super Sailfish

Alan Glos

Active Member
It is a fact that the "Diety of Your Choice" does not deduct from your time on Earth those hours spent restoring old boats. On that basis, I plan to live to 100.

Your Sailfish looks to be sound. Have fun with the project.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
She looks great, happy scraping. We finished our restoration earlier this year. One thing we found unusual but very helpful was the toerail, it offered just enough real estate to put a heel on and stay on the boat. Our boat also had a rubrail and a coaming, it might have been the "Deluxe 14" that Alcort advertised in the early 1950s, before Sunfish appeared. You might consider adding it especially if you are going with a bright finish, it would make a nice racing stripe.

Our restoration.

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MrXC

New Member
She looks great, happy scraping. We finished our restoration earlier this year. One thing we found unusual but very helpful was the toerail, it offered just enough real estate to put a heel on and stay on the boat. Our boat also had a rubrail and a coaming, it might have been the "Deluxe 14" that Alcort advertised in the early 1950s, before Sunfish appeared. You might consider adding it especially if you are going with a bright finish, it would make a nice racing stripe.

Our restoration.

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Thanks Charlie, I've been reading your blog files about your restoration before starting my own (thanks for your posts). Based on what I read on your site, I may add hiking straps next to each rail and (eventually) replace the short dagger board with a more recent, longer model. Thanks for the suggestions on the coming and rubrail.

I was originally planning on using Total Boat penetrating epoxy and spar varnish, but do you think there is any advantage to glassing the bottom of the hull? This past spring's project was glassing in the seats/flotation on my 81 Albacore so I've done some glass work. However I also feel like its cheating a bit!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You're welcome. You are really going to like(need) the longer daggerboard, it makes a big difference.

I recommend you do an air leak test unless you know that the boat is leak free, fix it before you make it all shiny again.

I think there is zero advantage to glassing the bottom, it will just add weight. Unless you plan to use her as a drift boat, then got with Kevlar or Dynel. The plywood that Alcort used was the best. I believe that TotalBoat has a clear hardener in their epoxy system, then put a couple of coats of varnish over that. Give their Tech Team a call at (800) 497-0010.

What are you using to scrape with?
 

MrXC

New Member
Thanks. So far just a heat gun and paint scraper from, the hardware store. My first lesson with this project was that my Riobi cordless heat gun burns through batteries quick. I'll probably pick up a corded model to make more progress.

Thanks for your thoughts on glasswork. I'll stick to my original plan.

I'm already watching dagger boards on ebay!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
That glass idea, I had the same one, to glass the seams on our Standard Sailfish. I started one and it was a mess, so I abandoned that idea fast.

As for coatings, We have been happy with either paint or epoxy on our wooden boats. The wooden Sunfish ZIP only has 2 coats of epoxy with West System with 207 Special Clear Hardener, we skipped the varnish because the is kept under cover and usually inside when not messing about. If she were to spend more time in the sun I'd put on a couple of coats of varnish.

While the wooden boats are in storage, our Penobscot 14 is getting some sea time. Still warm in Florida, due to change over tonight.

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MrXC

New Member
Charlie, thanks again for the advise. Quick questions. First, if I replace the 31" daggerboard with a longer model, do you also recommend replacing the spoon-shapped rudder with a more modern design? If so, will a modern, wood sunfish rudder require much modification to work with the brass sailfish hardware ( I gather from your blog a modern gudgeon is too long for the sailfish)?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Does anyone remember the "Super Sunfish" rig that was available in the early 80's? It was similar to putting a laser/force 5 rig on a Sunfish
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Charlie, thanks again for the advise. Quick questions. First, if I replace the 31" daggerboard with a longer model, do you also recommend replacing the spoon-shapped rudder with a more modern design? If so, will a modern, wood sunfish rudder require much modification to work with the brass sailfish hardware ( I gather from your blog a modern gudgeon is too long for the sailfish)?
I will offer a somewhat contradictory opinion and suggest that you keep things 'original' as much as possible. A Super Sailfish isn't going to be competitive compared to a regular (up to date) Sunfish ever.
 

MrXC

New Member
I'm not concerned about being competitive (I have an Albacore for racing and we don't have a local Sunfish class). This boat is just for fun and launching from a dock with a narrow bridge.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The spoon tip rudder is perfect, it was found on later Super Sailfish, Super Sailfish MKII, wooden Sunfish and fiberglass Sunfish. No need to go to the pointy "new style" unless you happen across the 1971ish old style rudder assembly that had the reinforced head and new style blade, but it has the wrong size vertical hinge plate. The earliest style "Elephant Ear' rudder does not perform well on the Super Sailfish, but it is adequate on the short coupled Standard Sailfish.

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I kept the original bits in case I ever want to go to a dry boat show. Going sideways in a wooden Sailfish or Sunfish is of limited fun value. If you want to tack, upgrade to the spoon tip rudder and spoon tip (or Barrington) daggerboard.

There are two length vertical hinge plates for the old style rudder assembly, the 4 inch plate fits all wooden boats. The longer 7 1/2 inch vertical plate fits the fiberglass Sunfish.

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L-R Wooden Fish daggerboard, 31 inches; Spoon tip 39 inches; Shadow Board around 41 inches but less area due to shaved edge; Barrington board. We use the spoon tip on our Standard Sailfish and Barringtons on our Super Sailfish and wooden Sunfish

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