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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Regarding your previous repair:



• That repair's strength relies on about 1/8" of hull-thick epoxy on its edges (not real strong) and a 1" tape that gets thinned by sanding. :oops:

Stronger still, would be a 2" tape epoxied to the back edges, leaving a 1-inch "halo" all around. To conform the "halo" to the hull, tape polyethylene film, saran wrap, or a grocery bag—with the printed side out—to support the "halo" directly adjacent to the hole that was cut. Coat with resin, insert, and proceed as you did. Details here:
"Arthrosopic Surgery" on Sunfish | SailingForums.com

• Where I sail, large and cold :eek: waves (wakes) frequently wash over the bow. :(

While I intend to fix it eventually, one side of my splashboard doesn't meet the deck, and flexes upwards with the waves. :confused: When a wave washes over the bow, I just push down on the splashboard edge, and very little gets through. :cool:

Caulking, though it would add some strength, just adds something else to clean up later. Silicone caulk adds to difficulties with repairs and painting. Since the splashboard mostly sits in the sun, I think I'd try a water-soluble caulk with no silicone. Regardless, any roughness to the finish is hidden by the splashboard! ;)

• Why is the drain plug circled? :confused:

• That's good news on the sealed daggerboard trunk...What a relief! :)
 
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Whitecap

Active Member
Regarding your previous repair:

• That repair's strength relies on about 1/8" of hull-thick epoxy on its edges (not real strong) and a 1" tape that gets thinned by sanding. :oops:

Stronger still, would be a 2" tape epoxied to the back edges, leaving a 1-inch "halo" all around. To conform the "halo" to the hull, tape polyethylene film, saran wrap, or a grocery bag—with the printed side out—to support the "halo" directly adjacent to the hole that was cut. Coat with resin, insert, and proceed as you did. Details here:
"Arthrosopic Surgery" on Sunfish | SailingForums.com
L&VWs,
I'm not understanding your point for certain. I cut out the damaged area, fixed it from the inside, then made a "1-halo" using resin to hold the halo in place, then epoxied the repair back in place, then used two layers of glass over the cut area for strength.

So, I think you are saying to use fiberglass instead of stir sticks as my "halo". Instead of my halo running the length of the opening, as pictured above, have the halo protrude perpendicular to the length of the opening, in multiple spots around the opening? Then make the "halo" supported, inside the boat, by using layers of glass from behind along the opening, which will make the halo stronger. Last, I'm also not sure I understand about the saran wrap or plastic bag. Can you explain further? Thanks for taking the time to post - I want to get better at this, and any feedback will help. This is my first experience using fiberglass (and most of these tools.....lol). Awesome fun stuff!


I did use the above video as my guide, but must have deviated from it somehow, just trying to figure out how.

Let me know if Im understanding you correctly, so I can do a better job next time. This is why I am learning all this stuff on a free, junker, boat! Im sure I will make tons of learning errors, but Im having a great time doing it.

Thanks again for taking time to teach me. Any thoughts on that deck/hull joint? Can it be fixed with filler without cementing the trim in place?

Warm regards,
Whitecap
 

Whitecap

Active Member
PS- the drain plug was circled because it was leaking. A few pages back I documented its repair. I lifted it up a bit, covered it in 3M 4000UV, then reseated it in place. It's air tight now and passing the leak test!
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
I think the idea L&VW is suggesting is the 'ground out" area around the repair may be too thick, NOT allowing for enough build up of new glass to fully support the "patch". Typically you would grind down the edges to almost a point...like a WIDE knife blade. That would allow of several layers of fiberglass cloth to cover the repaired seam, even if the exisiting fiberglass is very thin. Two layers of cloth ought to be sufficient for this hull, while resin (even with filler) basically has no strength on its' own. It's the cloth that has the strength and the resin is the "glue".

And lastly...adding extra layers on the inside, only make it stronger, without worries of the repair (on the inside), not maintaining a smooth surface like the outside, but rather being thicker and "humping up" where the new glass is applied. Hence... fiberglassing on BOTH sides is most desireable...but not always easily doable in all cases, without excessive "surgery" ;-D
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Any thoughts on that deck/hull joint? Can it be fixed with filler without cementing the trim in place? Warm regards, Whitecap
That's not a repair I'm familiar with :oops: and don't know how to proceed. However, others here have suggested separating the seam, and injecting epoxy into the contact edges, then clamping. Buy more clamps, then check with a search. ;) My practice Sunfish is a rescued/retired, saltwater racer, into which, there is no end of water seeping in! :confused:

I think the idea L&VW is suggesting is the 'ground out" area around the repair may be too thick, NOT allowing for enough build up of new glass to fully support the "patch". Typically you would grind down the edges to almost a point...like a WIDE knife blade. That would allow of several layers of fiberglass cloth to cover the repaired seam, even if the existing fiberglass is very thin. Two layers of cloth ought to be sufficient for this hull, while resin (even with filler) basically has no strength on its' own. It's the cloth that has the strength and the resin is the "glue".

And lastly...adding extra layers on the inside, only make it stronger, without worries of the repair (on the inside), not maintaining a smooth surface like the outside, but rather being thicker and "humping up" where the new glass is applied. Hence... fiberglassing on BOTH sides is most desirable...but not always easily doable in all cases, without excessive "surgery" ;-D
Mixmkr has it right. Taper all edges to a very thin surface—first. While there's nothing really "wrong" with the batten approach, the repair can be made stronger. Does the stronger (both sides) repair result in a heavier repair? Yes, but it's one you won't ever have to return to. :)

I described this stronger repair analogy as being like an Oreo cookie, with the filling being the Sunfish hull.

Now that I think about it, a round repaired section can't be installed :confused: just as a round manhole-cover can't fall through. :(

So, now, think of this stronger repair as an ice cream sandwich, with the filling representing the Sunfish hull. It works best with oval or rectangular sections which, when cured, can be re-inserted through the hole you'd made. (Including this particular "corner" repair).

Since the inside fiberglass cloth needs to be evenly-flat all the way around, tape plastic film next to the hole. Place the "wet" back-side repair on it, and finish dabbing resin on it there—while it's flat (yet approximates any slight curves of the hull). :cool:

The plastic film acts like a "release agent", so the entire piece can be removed when "set", sanded, re-daubed with resin, inserted into the hole, and pulled into place. (And leaves the hull clean). Use a bungee cord and heat gun to speed up that "set". To re-use the brush, store the same "wet" (and temperature-sensitive) brush in a cooler to use later. :cool: Use the money saved on the brushes to buy more resin! ;)
 

Whitecap

Active Member
L&VWs,
Ok....now I understand. From my research on this forum and around the internet, there are two mainstream ways to fix a larger hole in your boat. The first way is to grind out the damage, bevel down the edges (increasing surface area for the new material to adhere to), make a backing plate, insert it through the hole, epoxy it in place, then build up the damaged area with new glass. Two examples are below.
And

The other way (the way I did it) is to cut out the damaged area completely. Repair the damaged area with glass (not grinding the damage away), place the newly repaired area on battons which are epoxied into the hull, epoxy in place, fiberglass, then fare. Example below:

Ok, now I understand you guys. What you are telling me is that the first method is stronger and perferable to the second method.

Got it.

I was hesitant to do the first method because the damaged area was on a corner, and I was worried about building up the repaired area correctly. I thought I would screw it up so the repaired area was noticable.

Ill use the other method, the one you are advocating, next time.

Thanks for the insight, gents! Great information here.

Thank you all,
Whaitecap
 

Rudder

New Member
Since your boat is dry and has passed the leak test.

Spray some primer on the exposed resin and fiberglass for UV protection and go sailing.

Finish your repairs after the season is over.
 

Whitecap

Active Member
Gents,
Finished the rudder conversion last night. Also finally mounted the inspection ports. Completed the "band-aid" fix on the deck hull joint. Lets hope it works. Ill do the last leak test when I get back home from this work trip.



Only thing left to do (besides priming and painting - which Ill do this winter) is to get a cap for the lower boom, and to get ropes. Can any of you guys tell me what lines I should be using for non-competitive sailing. Ill be sailing in light to mid winds. Can any of you lend me your experience. What should I be buying, as far as required lines to be used.

Almost there,
Whitecap.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
While it's not impossible to add length to a mainsheet and halyard, my neighbor's Sunfish had a mainsheet that only allowed the boom to extend to 90º to the hull. There were times I'd like to have had three more feet of mainsheet. :confused:

Three more feet of "fatter" halyard will permit raising the sail to a custom cam cleat (arrow):
 

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Whitecap

Active Member
So, L&VWs....... Is the above package good? Is the mainsheet and halyard line long enough in the "recreational line package"?

Is this the kit I should get to rig up my sunfish?

The above deal is 43 bucks. Will these lines be long enough L&VWs? (I assume they are not because of your post?)
Anyone else out there with recommendations for me?

Thanks for the recommendation Sylvan!

-Whitecap
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Those lengths are great. That main sheet may even be a couple feet too long but you can always shorten it. Back in the day they came from the factory with a 24 foot sheet and that as also the max legal length for racing. Now any length is ok for racing.
 

Whitecap

Active Member
Beldar & Sylvan,
Thanks guys, will buy this package and a cap for the upper boom. I should be on the water for the first time, n the next two weeks. Cant wait!

Thank you,
Whitecap
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
BTW, you will not need 5 feet of line for each outhaul. You will probably need about 1 foot or 18 inches each, but that will leave you with a little bit of extra line, and you can use a piece to tie the last grommet to the boom instead of a clip (on the upper and lower boom), and perhaps use some extra to replace the clip right below where the halyard attaches. The plastic clip gets jammed in there sometimes and by using line the sail will still nicely rotate around the boom.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
So, L&VWs.......Is this the kit I should get to rig up my sunfish?
The above deal is 43 bucks.
-Whitecap
Ya gotta start with something! ;)

My borrowed Sunfish came with a 1/8" halyard, that I found to be a literal pain. :(

"Time will tell" when you need a change, or need no change at all. :)
 

Whitecap

Active Member
Now that the "recreational line kit", sail rings, and the lower boom cap have been ordered, I have about five days to wait.

Know this about me - I love music. Love it! I often find myself daydreaming about listening to sailing songs as I sail around my little lake here in Texas.

Is there a way to do this that works well? Any of you veterns out there listen to toons in your sunfish, knowing that you are going to get wet?

Here is what Im thinking:
1) Turn on the blue tooth on my IPhone. Put my iPhone in a plastic bag. Put the plastic bag inside another plastic bag.
Or
1) get one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Plano-3440-10-Waterproof-Stowaway-3400/dp/B00469G31G

Then

2). Get one of these: ECOXGEAR™ EcoPebble Lite Waterproof Bluetooth® Speaker : Cabela's
Or
2) Get one of these: ECOXGEAR EcoPebble Bluetooth® Speaker : Cabela's

Turn on the music on the iphone, which is in the waterproof case or plastic bags, hook up the blue tooth to the speaker, stow the phone in the fat sack connected to the inspection port. Go sailing!

Anyone do something like this?

Help me make it happen! Christopher Cross is calling!


Almost on the water!
-Whitecap
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Formerly, when I capsized, I retrieved my custom wood paddle, my natural sponge, sunscreen, encased camera, water bottle, chewing gum—made sure I still had my hat—and was still wearing my prescription Polaroid sunglasses. :(

Now that I have the Ultimate Inspection Port, most of those things are safely "un-loseable" :) and I can get back to the problem at hand! :confused: A Tide detergent container is stowed in the cubby, and, as it's a tight fit, retains its contents. :cool:



I wouldn't want another item to search for, and possibly watch as an electronic device floated away. :oops:
 

Whitecap

Active Member
My 1968 sunfish has no cubby......... So, I be traveling way lighter than you. Anything I need, Ill sail back to the dock, and get from the house. (At least thats the plan -we'll see how that goes).

The natural sponge, will be already be in the aft inspection port fat sack, soaking up water. (I still need to a natural sponge - where is a good place to pick one up? Size?)

Any of you guys listen to music out there? If so, how are you doing it?

-Whitecap
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Peace and quiet is the beauty of sailing. The sound of rushing water is better than any Jimmy Buffett and singing about cheeseburgers.
 
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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Peace and quiet is the beauty of sailing. The sound of rushing water is better than any Jimmy Buffett and singing about cheeseburgers.
And, since you will be a beginner, I think, it makes sense to totally focus on the sailing.
 

Dennis Connor

New Member
And, since you will be a beginner, I think, it makes sense to totally focus on the sailing.
I agree with Wavedancer. You will need all of your focus to keep your little boat sailing along. On Stars and Stripes I never permitted music on the trip to the race course or during practice, and of course not as I was defending the Cup. We needed all of our focus on our sailing. DC
 

Whitecap

Active Member
And, since you will be a beginner, I think, it makes sense to totally focus on the sailing.
This makes a lot of sense to me.

Ok........ Agreed.

Much........ later on..... When Im comfortable sailing and competent.......... Does anyone else listen to music - besides Tag? If so, how are you doing it?

Good insight Wavedancer!

Thanks guys,
Whitecap

Ps- are all natural sponges the same? Anyone recommend one over another?
 

paintboy

New Member
So I guess mounting a 64" plasma TV with surround sound would be a challenge on a sunfish??? ;) I agree with just sailing and enjoy the trip, leave the electronics at home. ;)
I hope everyone has a great labor day weekend.
 

jpjanke

Member
Wow someone as excited as I am about my "new" boat. Love your list of things to do.
I need to take pictures. Noodles on the saw horses smart. Lead rope as slings.
Just used mr clean erasers on some yellowing on my boat, did a nice job.
Used rubbing compound on lower hull section, small area looks great.
Trying to find out about rigging now, got her sails up, but something looks wrong.
Want to figure it out so I can pack them away and just have the hull to work on.
Best of luck in your new adventure. Happy Sailing
 

Whitecap

Active Member
Ok guys,
My first sailing season is under my belt. I decided to follow your collective advice - make the boat safe and dry, then get it out on the water for the rest of the season. Thats exactly what I did. Thanks to all of you, I spent about four days a week out on the water last season, and it has changed my life. Sailing, with its calming effect, its challenge, and its adventure have blown a new breeze of passion into my life.

In a few more weeks, here in Fort Worth, Texas will be warm enough to get back out on the lake. With all the daydreaming of the water, I thought I might get my boat off my dock slip and into my garage for some sailing season preparation.

I started by using Tag's plans (my2fish blogger) for a Sunfish dolly that will help get my boat from my shoreline and into my garage without any help. It looks like it turned out very well. Here is the Sunfish forum thread showing the pics:
El Cheapo Sunfish Dolly | Page 2 | SailingForums.com

Now that the sunfish is back in the garage, I wanted to put in a hiking strap. I did some research on our website and used these links as my guide.:
Installing Hiking Strap on Old Sunfish | SailingForums.com

Hiking strap | SailingForums.com
Installing A Hiking Strap | SailingForums.com

PARTS LIST: After reading those above links, I knew I would need a few things: (Bought all of these at intensity sails.)
1. A hiking strap.
Intensity Gription Hiking Strap for the Sunfish®
2. A hiking strap fastener kit.
Masthead Hiking Strap Fastener Kit for Sunfish
3. A backing plate (which I used to spread the line and bungie on the hiking strap - see pics below).
Stainless Steel Plate to attach Hiking Straps or Bouyancy bag straps in Opti
4. Two, Viking 5 inch inspection ports with fat bags. My old 1968 Sunfish has no cubby, so storage is most needed.
Viking 5" PolyPro Inspection Port with Fat Bag


Now lets get to work! Because I have no cubby, two inspection ports are going to be needed to do this job. I need the storage, so the plan is to put a bottleport (one that I used in my inspection port near the splashguard) in the forward cockpit inspection port, and a fat bag in the aft inspection port.

1. I started at the front of the cockpit and held the LID of the inspection port in place with my finger. Got my pencil, and traced its outline on the desired spot for my inspection port. (use the LID of the inspection port to make your hole size, not the base of it. If you use the base, your hole will be too big.)


2. Cut on the inside of the pencil line and save the circle for future material. Make your initial puncture of the boat on the inside edge of the circle, so more area of the circle can be used in a future repair. (Pro tip from my research: tape over the edge of the hole you cut, so the fiberglass wont cut your arm as you reach through the hole, when you work the washers, nuts, and bolts. Also, wear a long sleeve shirt.) You should now look like this:


3. About 3 inches from the bottom of the cockpit floor draw a horizontal line, using a level. Grab a hiking strap bracket that come in your fastener kit, and place it on the horizontal line. Drill through each eye hole in the bracket.

4. Grab the bracket again and place the bracket through the front of the hiking strap. Now use the bolts, washers and nuts and attach the bracket and the front of the hiking strap to the forward cockpit. (I also used some old locking washers I had laying around to keep the nuts in place). You should now look like this:

5. Now repeat steps 1-3 on the aft wall of the cockpit. Use the bolts, nuts, and washers to fasten the bracket to the wall.

6. You will see now that the hiking strap does not reach clear across the cockpit. My research shows that line and bungie cord are used to keep it fastened to the aft hiking strap bracket.

7. All the pics of hiking straps that I could find, show a disorganized, squished strap, as the aft hiking strap line bunched up on the bracket and on the strap itself. I thought I might improvise, adapt, and overcome (Marine Corps). As you can see above, I used the backing plate near the bracket and in the strap itself to keep the lines separated (you can see it stiking out just a but in the pic above) . Here is a close up pic below:

8. Now that I can see this might work, I drilled out all the backing plate holes a bit bigger, so I could fit the line and the bungie cord through each hole. It ended up looking like this below:

The goal for me is to have a hiking strap that if I stepped on by mistake, would lay flat on the floor of the cockpit, without snapping the line of the hiking strap, or breaking any hardware of the hiking strap. The bungie chord keeps pressure on the strap, keeping it off the floor of the cockpit at all times. Now I can easily get my feet under the strap.

Here is the final product below. See the strap laying flat on the cockpit. Look at left side of the pic, see how the line is now extended?

Below is the strap with bungie tension it. Look at left side of the pic, see how the line is slack, but the hiking strap is still taut?

9. Now that the hiking strap is complete., I need to fasten the inspection ports in place. Ill coat the backs of the inspection port bases in calk, place the port bases over the holes that I cut. Ill then drill through and bolt one hole at a time, on the edge of the inspection ports. Then Ill run a bolt, washer, and nut through the hole, fastening the port in place one hole at a time, with bolts and nuts that I will buy at home depot. (Pro tip from my research: keep the lid on the port when you are fastening the inspection port to the boat, this will keep the opening from being misshapen, and will allow you easily screw the lid on and off the port.)

Here is what the front of the cockpit now looks like below - a nice hiking strap, and a bottle port that is now in reach.

Here is what the aft of the cockpit looks like below - a nice hiking strap and a fat bag storage area behind my new inspection port.



Hope this helps someone grab the courage to cut into their boat and make it better. Pretty simple project, really.

You can do this too! Thanks to all that helped me figure this out.

Warm regards,
Whitecap
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
SHOW-OFF!

;)

I'm always impressed with the naturally built-in strength of the Sunfish "tub", when viewing the very thin and flexible portions of fiberglass that I cut out of it.

:)
 

tag

my2fish
Very nicely done! I love the addition of the bungee line to keep the hiking strap up off the bottom of the cockpit!
 

jpjanke

Member
Really nice job, both in doing it and showing us how to do it. Thanks so much. Here waiting for warmer weather so I can get our "new " boat out on the water.
 

Whitecap

Active Member
Thanks for the kind words guys. What's really funny is that I wasn't terrified to cut into my boat this time! I must be getting used to this, fix-it yourself stuff. Fear and anxiety seem to be the only real obstacle out there - with all your help, I have the confidence to tackle any of these projects now. I have certainly come a long way - Thank you!

Next fix - my daggerboard.

It has a major crack that goes half way up the board. (crack Does not describe it - it is more like a gaping fissure 1/32 wide. The sides of the crack do not even touch each other). When sailing her last year, anytime I got in a broad reach, the dagger board what vibrate terribly, causing the whole boat to shake. Each side of the split dagger board was moving independantly from the other side. (Almost like I had two small daggerboards connected together by the base of the daggerboard.) Don't know if I can save here, but will try.

Time to do some research on the fix.
It will be fun to give it a shot.

- Whitecap
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
Flawless victory! Thats the cool thing about old Sunfish, you can find-em cheep
and not worry about goofing up learning how to do repairs.

I'd say head down to your big-box store, get some White-Oak or Mahogany planks
and make a new daggerboard. Wood cost is about $18 or so and then a can of
Spar Varnish and bottle of glue. Lots more fun to be done.

If you don't have a fragile heart condition and cost is no object you could use your boat
to practice spraying gel-coat. Crazy stuff the only has a 30 minute working time and is hazardous
to work with. Many a spray gun has been lost in the attempt.
 

Whitecap

Active Member
Thanks webfoot!

Thats definately an option...... i may end up making a new daggerboard if I cant fix my broken one. Ive got lots of filler, resin, and hardner....... lets see if I can fuse both sides together and then fill and reshape some of the major gouges on both sides of the dagger board. My initial research says it can be done pretty easily - we'll see.

I wont make it beautiful (because I have no experience and small mistakes are certain to be made), but I think I can make it functional.

Keep you posted,
Whitecap
 
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