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Showing off my refinished 79 Sunfish

Brian Duchon

New Member
I spent the winter refinishing a 1979 Alcort Sunfish that I purchased for $250 back in 2000. The boat spent the last 4-5 years in storage. It needed a good cleaning, wood needed refinished and it needed some minor repairs. After lots of work and parts we have rechristened her the Miss Maddy in honor of my daughter.
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Refinished 79 Sunfish, new Load Rite Trailer and Intensity Sail with window.
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New adjustable gooseneck from Intensity Sails.
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Garmin GPS and Cobra VHF marine radio mounted in the cockpit.
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Refinished center board, new line and trigger clip.
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New cleat on the mast for the halyard.
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New bailer plug and O-ring. The rest of the bailer is original.
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Night view of the front navigation lights, mast light and stern navigation light.
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Sunfish deck cover from SLO Sails and Canvas in CA.
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New rudder, refinished tiller and new extension and universal tiller joint from Ronstan. Also pictured is new bridle.
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Bow navigation lights.
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Mast light.
 

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Brian Duchon

New Member
I also worked to make sure the boat was equipped with all the needed safety equipment including some equipment not required for my size/location. Safety equipment includes; safety whistle (3), flare gun, distress flag, first aide kit, GPS, VHF marine radio, anchor, bailer, extra line and clips, navigation lights and extra batteries and chargers.
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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Those lights make your fish on of a kind, I guess. Are you really planning to go sailing at night?
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
Those lights make your fish on of a kind, I guess. Are you really planning to go sailing at night?
I can see spending a nice relaxing sunset on the lake where you would be coming in after dusk which is when you would be legally required to display the proper lights underway. Better safe than sorry!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
That boat sports many firsts. I hope you don't need some of them. But to round things out perhaps some sort of spear gun to ward off attackers and maybe a 3 hp electric motor!
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
That boat sports many firsts. I hope you don't need some of them. But to round things out perhaps some sort of spear gun to ward off attackers and maybe a 3 hp electric motor!
I do have my leatherman knife that I could tether to the end of the tiller extension. That would take care of the pirates. I have seriously thought about a small electric motor. Just not sure what my mounting and battery storage options are.
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
I almost overlooked the Bluetooth speaker mounted in the cockpit. I pair it with my phone stored in the port hatch.IMG_20150505_175714.jpg It is made by Cobra and one of the only that I could find that is truly waterproof. Also great sound to match the rugged housing.
 

tag

my2fish
A waterproof speaker - that is a neat idea! I love your little eyestraps everywhere to attach things - very clever idea.
 

andyatos

Well-Known Member
Brian,

First, your boat looks excellent! Your daggerboard looks like it's made of carbon fiber! Very nice attention to detail. :)

Second, because you had thought everything through so well and outfitted your boat so completely, it took me some time to come up with one more item that may be of use.

That's a canoe paddle bungee-ed/lashed to the deck. For those rare but inevitable days (and maybe I should add "nights") when you get becalmed.

Cheers,

- Andy

canoe_paddle.jpg
 
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Brian Duchon

New Member
A waterproof speaker - that is a neat idea! I love your little eyestraps everywhere to attach things - very clever idea.
Thanks! I had my first outing last weekend and I noticed that anything laying on the cockpit floor was in the way. I added the extra eye strap for the speaker to keep it up and out of the way. The added benefit is you don't have to worry about losing anything in a capsize.
 
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Brian Duchon

New Member
Brian,

First, your boat looks excellent! Your daggerboard looks like it's made of carbon fiber! Very nice attention to detail. :)

Second, because you had thought everything through so well and outfitted your boat so completely, it took me some time to come up with one more item that may be of use.

That's a canoe paddle bungee-ed/lashed to the deck. For those rare but inevitable days (and maybe I should add "nights") when you get becalmed.

Cheers,

- Andy

View attachment 17247
Andy,

Thanks for the compliments! It took quite a few coats of stain and poly to get the daggerboard back into shape. Good call on the paddle. I do have a folding Attwood Marine paddle that fits into the storage compartment under the deck. If you come up with any other ideas please send them along!
attwood paddle.jpg
 

andyatos

Well-Known Member
I do have a folding Attwood Marine paddle that fits into the storage compartment under the deck.
Why did I just know that you already had this covered when I made my post. Ha! Well done.

Please remember to post the video from when you sail back to port in the dark... from the drone that was doing the filming that had to auto return to the landing pad mounted on your bow... because you were busy making your Hot, Rum Toddys... from your portable bar. :cool:

Cheers,

- Andy
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
Why did I just know that you already had this covered when I made my post. Ha! Well done.

Please remember to post the video from when you sail back to port in the dark... from the drone that was doing the filming that had to auto return to the landing pad mounted on your bow... because you were busy making your Hot, Rum Toddys... from your portable bar. :cool:

Cheers,

- Andy
Now we are talking! I can fit a few cold beers in the cockpit cubby in a soft sided cooler. But your post has be thinking of maybe a tap on deck? :)
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Brian Duchon

New Member
Wow that is one mac daddy boat! Great job on the restoration. Now you need another boat for racing!
Thanks! I would love to get started on another restoration. I actually thought about looking for an old Sail Fish board to restore. That said I value my life more, my wife would kill me if I bring home another watercraft.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
That trailer looks like you could double stack it, maybe the Commodore would like a kayak or canoe?

http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunfish-double-trailer.html

kayak and Sunfish.jpg

Seriously, I think the Super Sailfish or Super Sailfish MKII could make a comeback as a hybrid Stand Up Paddlefish or fishing kayak. Although the hull is heavier than standard SUPs, weighing in close to 100 pounds, it is very stable and and holds guys who weigh more than 130 pounds. On the flip side it is very light for a sailboat and makes for a sporty wet ride. I paddles well with a SUP paddle because of the small keel. You can take it out with the mast up or mast down.

SUPaddlefish.jpg
 
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gdavies

New Member
I just got one of these for christmas and have not tried it out yet. Looks like it will solve the problem of steering with the tiller while paddling. Also less bulky nas light weight. I have been using the atwood collapsable paddle and it is just a bit too long for the cubby. I also use a "fat bag" in an inspection port for out of cockpit storage.
http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-32154317745271/pradlle.html
Glenn
Where do you sail? I will be In Cleveland area this summer for a couple of weeks. Always looking for a new experience.
Glenn
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
That trailer looks like you could double stack it, maybe the Commodore would like a kayak or canoe?

http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunfish-double-trailer.html

View attachment 17251

Seriously, I think the Super Sailfish or Super Sailfish MKII could make a comeback as a hybrid Stand Up Paddlefish or fishing kayak. Although the hull is heavier than standard SUPs, weighing in close to 100 pounds, it is very stable and and holds guys who weigh more than 130 pounds. On the flip side it is very light for a sailboat and makes for a sporty wet ride. I paddles well with a SUP paddle because of the small keel. You can take it out with the mast up or mast down.

View attachment 17252[/quo
That trailer looks like you could double stack it, maybe the Commodore would like a kayak or canoe?

http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunfish-double-trailer.html

View attachment 17251

Seriously, I think the Super Sailfish or Super Sailfish MKII could make a comeback as a hybrid Stand Up Paddlefish or fishing kayak. Although the hull is heavier than standard SUPs, weighing in close to 100 pounds, it is very stable and and holds guys who weigh more than 130 pounds. On the flip side it is very light for a sailboat and makes for a sporty wet ride. I paddles well with a SUP paddle because of the small keel. You can take it out with the mast up or mast down.

View attachment 17252
The Kayak might be doable. Still working on that one. The trailer could be turned into a double decker with a little fabrication. I also have a Stand Up Paddle Board that I can fit on a ladder rack I constructed out of pressure treated lumber. Also enough room up there for a kayak. The paddle board is actually a converted Mistral Windsurfer that I found abounded in a creek in Arlington, VA. I brought it home preformed some repairs, removed the mast track and installed a traction pad.210853_10100399573703282_949666451_o.jpg
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
I just got one of these for christmas and have not tried it out yet. Looks like it will solve the problem of steering with the tiller while paddling. Also less bulky nas light weight. I have been using the atwood collapsable paddle and it is just a bit too long for the cubby. I also use a "fat bag" in an inspection port for out of cockpit storage.
http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-32154317745271/pradlle.html
Glenn
Where do you sail? I will be In Cleveland area this summer for a couple of weeks. Always looking for a new experience.
Glenn
West Branch Lake is a good one. I also hit Lake Milton and Berlin Lake. Further south is Atwood Lake which is popular with sailors but I have not been there yet.

One thing I am looking for is some sort of tiller tamer for a sunfish. Just not sure how I would run the lines and where to mount the actual unit on the tiller
tillerclose2.jpg
 

MUDSUX

New Member
......Seriously, I think the Super Sailfish or Super Sailfish MKII could make a comeback as a hybrid Stand Up Paddlefish or fishing kayak. Although the hull is heavier than standard SUPs, weighing in close to 100 pounds, it is very stable and and holds guys who weigh more than 130 pounds. On the flip side it is very light for a sailboat and makes for a sporty wet ride. I paddles well with a SUP paddle because of the small keel. You can take it out with the mast up or mast down.

View attachment 17252
I tried SUPing my Sunfish with terrible results. It would just pivot and I would just spin in circles. I tried it with the daggerboard with no improvement. The only way it would go in a straight line is with the rudder on but then I would have to tie a string to keep the tiller straight.
 

Fred P

Member
I also worked to make sure the boat was equipped with all the needed safety equipment including some equipment not required for my size/location. Safety equipment includes; safety whistle (3), flare gun, distress flag, first aide kit, GPS, VHF marine radio, anchor, bailer, extra line and clips, navigation lights and extra batteries and chargers.
View attachment 17226
Have you done a capsize practice with all the equipment to be sure you can recover and no equipment is damaged?

Fred
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
Have you done a capsize practice with all the equipment to be sure you can recover and no equipment is damaged?

Fred
I have not. Still a bit too cold to purposely get in the water. That said I am not too concerned with a potential capsize. Everything is lashed into eyelets in the cockpit, floats and is waterproof. The GPS, Marine Radio and Speaker are also ruggedly built so no real concerns there. Everything is also relatively light so righting the boat should be no issue. I will keep you posted once it gets warm enough to dump it over.
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
Why a tiller tamer?
The Sunfish is just a fun little, easy to rig, dinghy.
I noticed again last weekend that whenever I let go of the tiller it turns to one extreme or the other. Not a huge issue since I rarely let go of the tiller completely but in the event I need to adjust the halyard or deal with another issue it would be nice to know that it will stay straight or in the direction of my choice. I have done some more thinking and I am going to try to use some shock cord to create a tiller control. Basically a shock cord that will run from either side of the stern between the bridle eyelets. In between it will run through another eyelet attached to the underside of the tiller. This should give it enough tension to keep the tiller strait but still allow me to turn as normal when needed. I will post some pictures once I get it all done and do some testing.
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
Got a chance to do some sailing over the holiday weekend.
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I visited nearby Walborn Reservoir. For a Sunday, holiday weekend it was not very busy and the sun, temperature and wind were perfect.
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I ended up sailing around for about 2 hours. I covered 3.5 nautical miles with a max speed of 7 knots.
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Being only my second time out this year it went well. Still making some small adjustments to the rigging. I am going to shorten the daggerboard shockcord so that it attaches to the mast as opposed to the bow handle. I had to adjust it once while on the water and trying to get up to the bow handle is a pain. Moving it to the mast should make it a little easier to adjust if needed. I am also going to work on the above mentioned tiller control line. Just something to put some pressure on the tiller so it stays straight in the event I need to let go of it. I will keep everyone posted.
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
I am also going to work on the above mentioned tiller control line. Just something to put some pressure on the tiller so it stays straight in the event I need to let go of it. I will keep everyone posted.
Can you rig it with a lanyard?

Although it would make for some interesting video, a "tiller control line" will mean that your boat can sail off without anyone aboard! :confused:
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I am still not sure about (safety of) the tiller tamer idea.
Suppose a gust hits and the skipper lets go of the tiller. Then one wants to boat to turn to windward so that it ends up in irons. With the tiller tied down, that won't happen so readily.


PS#1: I see that Light and Variable Winds also has concerns concerning this issue.

PS#2: One doesn't adjust the daggerboard shock cord once it is properly tied. More experienced Sunfishers often use the intersection of the spars to lead the shock cord to the daggerboard.


PS#3: Hopefully I am mistaken, but I don't see any PFDs being worn.
 
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Brian Duchon

New Member
Can you rig it with a lanyard?

Although it would make for some interesting video, a "tiller control line" will mean that your boat can sail off without anyone aboard! :confused:
The boat already has a cam cleat for the mainsheet. If that is locked in there is already the risk of gost sailing the boat. Just a question of if it goes in a straight line or in circles.
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
I am still not sure about (safety of) the tiller tamer idea.
Suppose a gust hits and the skipper lets go of the tiller. Then one wants to boat to turn to windward so that it ends up in irons. With the tiller tied down, that won't happen so readily.


PS#1: I see that Light and Variable Winds also has concerns concerning this issue.

PS#2: One doesn't adjust the daggerboard shock cord once it is properly tied. More experienced Sunfishers often use the intersection of the spars to lead the shock cord to the daggerboard.


PS#3: Hopefully I am mistaken, but I don't see any PFDs being worn.
I guess the term "tied down" is inaccurate. What I really mean is putting some pressure on the tiller so that it doesn't move on it's own. I envision it still allowing me to adjust the tiller as needed the same as without the shock cord. Correct, the daggerboard shockcord does not need adjusted once properly secured. That said I don't always get it right the first time (still learning) and I would prefer to have it closer to the cockpit in the event I need to adjust or remove. I know, I know, I know; life vests, life vests life vests. In Ohio I am not required to wear one due to my age and size of boat. That said depending on the conditions; high winds/waves, boating alone, boating at night or during cold water months I do elect to wear a vest. The boat is equipped with a PDF for each passenger and a throwable PFD. Still I know that I will get some static for my decision. I know my grandma has already gotten on me about wearing the vests.
 

Brian Duchon

New Member
Update on the tiller tensioner. I figured a rather simple solution that should address my issue. I used some shock cord between the bridle eyelets. I then attached a small j-hook to the underside of the tiller. You can pull the cord up to slip it over the j-hook giving it enough tension to hold its position. Still turns with ease and "pops off" if you turn hard enough. It is also easy to "pop" it back into place from the cockpit. Check out the pics. A video is coming soon.
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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Seems like an unnecessary and and potentially dangerous addition. There are hundreds of thousands of sailboats out there without this type of autopilot, and I suspect there is a reason!! BB
 
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