Starting at the BEGINNING


Well-Known Member
1) What width works best for a sling set up frame? Any thoughts?
3) Where is a good place to look for those sling belts. What are they? Thoughts?
I just stumbled on my supply of 9-inch "retired" fire hose (measured flat).

That would be perfect! Try Craigslist.
Thread starter #42
Thanks for the insight. The boat is still sitting in my back yard (for now), baking in the hot Texas sun. The computer fan has been constantly going for about a week and a half now.

As recommended above, I am building my saw horses today, so I can get that boat in the garage. (Im going to try the non-sling route first. If saw horses do not give me what I need, Ill be looking for those fire hoses, as L&VWs suggests). I leave for a vacation at the end of the week and will be gone for close to a month. Im hoping that by the time I get back the boat will be dry. (It should be between 85-100 degrees in that garage until the middle of September.)

When I get back, Ill set for on the leak test, repairing leaks, then set forth to sand and paint.

Here is a question to you guys. I have rewired that computer fan as listed above in the video. I have wire nuts insulating those spliced wires. Would you guys be comfortable letting that computer fan run while you were away from your house for a month? The thought of that makes me nervous. What say you guys?

Thanks again to all who are contributing here,

PS- Tag,
I'm sorry to have confused your my2fish blog with L&VS. I mistakenly thought he was the author. I love your website. Your blogging (and this site) has given me the confidence to roll up my sleves, have some fun, and take pride in bringing a dead boat back to life. I think making those memories fixing and then sailing, with my two little kids will be more than worh all this effort. But as I said before - besides my family, Its nice to have some passion in my life again.
Thread starter #43

Finished the sawhorses. The boat will be up on them and drying by mid-morning tomorrow. Made each horse for around 10 bucks. Lets see if they get the job done.



Well-Known Member
I have rewired that computer fan as listed above in the video. I have wire nuts insulating those spliced wires. Would you guys be comfortable letting that computer fan run while you were away from your house for a month? The thought of that makes me nervous. What say you guys?
Indoors, I'd secure all the wires with tape, and keep combustibles away from the area. If it makes you nervous, you could move the whole works to the back yard. (Secured up-side down, tape the wires down, and assume the worst in possible winds). Yours is a low-current application, which is safer. (I'd be comfortable, regardless). :)

Tape the extension cord connection(s), if that also makes you nervous. :rolleyes: (But I don't think that's necessary, either). For years, rain or shine, I've had extension cords running all over this 200-foot-long lot outdoors. Never a problem, except that several extension cords connected together tend to reduce current to electric tools, and cause them to fail. :(

For fire hose, Craigslist turned up 75-foot hoses at $35 each length. Link:

Fire Hose assorted lengths
Thread starter #46
Thanks bro! Just placed my order. Delivery tomorrow. Plugged in before we leave for vacation. Excellent.

I know its prob a waste of money, but there is no price on peace of mind. I dont want to spend this vacation worrying about my DIY-electrician work, burning down my house in my absence.

Thanks guys,


Well-Known Member
The "spring" turned out well, but it's 'way too strong. I'll have to cut it in half lengthwise. Later, I thought, "Why not simply use a batten from an old Tornado sail?" :confused: I'm still puzzling over what to bond to the ends, and perhaps bond to the Styrofoam blocks. There's a piece of Trex around here somewhere. :confused:
It's now cut in half lengthwise, re-sanded, and re-coated with resin. There could have been more of a curve put into it. :oops:

I've decided what to put on the ends that's cheap, isn't heavy, prone to rotting, or soaking up water. (And readily available after about an hour ;) ). Sharp edges were ground onto the extended fiberglass spring tips. A cut-off wheel was used to make the ridges shown.

'Will wait for the rain to stop before installing it (to push the two forward foam blocks laterally—back firmly in place—no two-part foam required). :)

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Well-Known Member
BUT, I could have simply modified a new or used sail batten. (Of which, I have ten or twelve 5-footers). :confused:

You don't need to spend the big bucks for West System's epoxy pumps. :cool:

The ratio of epoxy to hardener is 5:1, so you can measure it out from the cans. I found that with "slow" hardener, relatively small total amounts are needed. The larger "soup spoon" is actually too large. Small plastic spoons were sufficient measurers on a hot day, because even "slow" hardener becomes "fast" when outdoors in the sun! :eek:


Thread starter #50
In Alaska on the family vacation........... Cant help to think how my old Sunfish is doing, drying back home in the garage. Do you guys think there will be a noticable change in weight when we return home? It will have been about a month since I opened her up and got air moving through her. (About 100 degrees in the Texas Sun, and 110 degrees in the Texas garage!)

Why cant I stop thinking about getting home anf fixing up my old boat?

Cheers to you all,
Thread starter #51
Hey guys,

Back from vacation!

As of today my Sunfish is finally dry. It weighed in at 136 pounds this morning. Thanks to the hot Texas sun and a garage that is about 110 degrees, it went from 178 pounds to 136 pounds in five weeks. I used a fan in the stern inspection port and put another fan inside the boat, forward of the splashguard inspection port.

Thanks to all for insight to get started on this project.

I stuck the old cell phone inside her and took pics of the foam blocks. To my surprise, they seem to be held in place solidly. Looks like lots of supoort foam holding the blocks into place. I've tried to wiggle the foam blocks to inspect their stability - they seems to be held in place well. The thumping I heard when I rolled the boat over when I first got her, must have been all that water sloshing around inside of her hull.

(Above is an old pic of the blocks when I first cut the inspection ports)

Above is the same spot this morning. Nice and dry inside.

So I've read here that one should not do hull repair until the boat is dry. Now mine is. So Im guessing that I need to do a leak test, to find how the water is getting inside the hull over time?

Which method do you guys use?
How to find that leak!

Or this one?
Sunfish Sailboat Repar Notes

Or do you have a technique I should use.

1). Am I right to think that a leak test is next step on my way to a boat rehab?
2). Do the foam blocks look secure? because they feel like they are.
3). What is the best leak test method?
4) got any tips for a rookie on his journey?

Cheers to all,


Active Member
I think both methods are fairly similar. I do the same thing in MUCH larger boats, with a squirrel cage mounted in the companionway. You can do a house as well on a larger scale. For smaller stuff, like the fish, stick your soap solution in a spray bottle, but the paint brush should work well too. Like one method said, watch TOO much pressure inside the hull. It only takes a LITTLE to find leaks and create bubbles where they are. can see the difference in color in the foam with the 2nd pic looking MUCH dryer. Congrats! Keep posting results!

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Your mast tube looks fractured at the bottom and the polyester resin coaating is missing from a section of it. You need to saturate the cloth on the tube with thickened epoxy resin (or polyester) rand apply another strip of fiberglass cloth/epoxy to that white area.

The wooden backer block for the halyard cleat screws is missing, probably what was rattling in the hull and it also appears that you are also missing the halyard fairlead backer block. You can use cypress or several other types of wood to replace, or use machine screws/washer/stop nut with a metal backer plate. If you use wood coat it with resin before installing as well.
Thread starter #55
I just completed the mast tube leak test. I filled the tube completely to the rim and started the clock. After my two hour timer went off, I went to the garage to check it out; expecting to see no water in the mast tube. After two hours not a drop of water leaked out. The tube is not leaking at all.

My questions are now:

1) could that second pic above, show extra remaining pieces of glass from the hull of the boat that were wrapped around the bottommof my mast tube?
2) is the mast tube structurally sound the way it is?
3) do i need to put on those reinforcing layers of glass on the tube even though its not leaking?
4) where is the best place to get cypress wood or a metal backing block? Home depot/Lowes?
5). Do you think I need to make another inspection port forward of the mast tube to put in the halyard fair lead and halyard cleat backing block?
6) is it possible to get the backing blocks in their correct place using the inspection port from the splashguard? (Ive got long arms, but not that long, methinks).

Thanks again for all the help. Im grateful, truly.

Warm regards to Wavedancer, Signal Charlie, & Mixmkr,


Active Member
If you can reach that area, I would take 1/4" aluminum plates and epoxy/glue them to the underside of the deck. After the epoxy has set, then you can drill and tap for machine screws to mount your deck hardware. No leaks, won't pull out, won't ever loose a backing black and much stronger (the bigger the alum piece you use). Should be able to find aluminum plates at the hardware store or online. Don't need much. I easily get "backing plates" from my local recycling center. You can even "gob" epoxy on the plate and stick it in with a long rod, etc...if you can't reach it. What I did was cut out the hull bottom, epoxied my aluminum plates and then glassed up the hull bottom. No ports needed on the deck , etc.

Check this thread...
New Backing Plates |
Thread starter #57
Hey guys,

1) could that second pic above, show extra remaining pieces of glass from the hull of the boat that were wrapped around the bottom of my mast tube (the white area)?
2) is the mast tube structurally sound the way it is?
3) do i need to put on those reinforcing layers of glass on the tube even though its not leaking?

Looking for my next step in my rehab,


Active Member
Personally, I think to do a proper fiberglass job on the tube, you would need to remove the foam that runs up to it, so you have enough area surrounding the tube for the new fiberglass cloth and resin. Just fiberglassing the existing exposed area isn't really accomplishing a complete job. That said, I'd find any hull leaks (via the pressure test/soapy water)...fix those if possible and move on and just enjoy and sail the boat. If you see cracking around the tube, looking down into it from the deck, then maybe yes...some reinforcement. Otherwise it can be too easy just to obsess with stuff that isn't worth it. Figure the tube has lasted this long anyway?? My $.02

last thought... preventative maintenance is always a good thing, but maybe in this case...if it aint broke, don't fix it. Sail it until it breaks (if it ever does...), then do a proper job removing the adjacent foam for a good "tabbing" of fiberglass cloth and resin.


Active Member
As many leak test procedures will tell the amount of pressure you put into the tiny Sunfish hull. Not much is needed. A ShopVac into a sealed hull could exert more pressure than desired, easily. The smallest amount in the small fish hull, will easily make bubbles, where the hull is leaking.