What's new

Strap eye installation

Sailkb

Member
My winter project included painting my Sunfish. Weather was decent so I got the boat out and sanded away. I was concerned about taking the strap eyes off (that you tie the traveler to) concerned that there was a backing board on the inside of the boat that might fall into the boat when I removed the screws. I initially left them on, but as I am preparing to paint, I'm thinking how much easier it would be to remove them. I carefully removed the screws on one strap and heard noting drop inside the boat. Whew, I figured whatever backing was there was origninally glued really good. But when I removed the screws from the other strap, sure enough, I hear the backing board drop on the inside. Advice.... Do I need to install an inspeciton port in order replace the backing board? Or is there another solution out there?? Probably a dumb question, and I think I know the answer, but I'm a little bumbed that I just gave myself another half day project on this thing. :mad:

photo (3).jpg
 

Alan S. Glos

Active Member
You just might be able to snag the errant backing block. Find a long, small shank wood screw. Stick it down one of the deck holes and see if you can engage the wood block and screw it back to the underside of the deck. Then attach the deck eye with one of the original screws, attach the bridle loop and then screw in the second screw. To be honest, it's a long shot, but worth a try. Plan "B" is an inspection port.

In the future. always leave one of the screws attached or you will hear the dreaded "thunk" of the block falling down. For the record, a pop rivet will not work - too much "up" pressure that will eventually pull the rivet through the deck.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Sailkb

Member
Thanks Alan. I think I am talking myself into a port since it will give me the option of upgrading to the new rudder system. I really get annoyed with not being able to conveniently raise my rudder. I guess I would ask the question..... Is a rudder upgrade worth it? My 1969 boat is in great shape and I expect to sail it for many years to come. Any opinions from those who have used both systems would be welcome.
 

Alan S. Glos

Active Member
The post-1972 or "new style" rudder system is, dare I say, vastly superior to the old style system that you have. First, the kick-up system actually works (kicks up when it needs to and stays down when you want it to) and with the solid metal or plastic rudder head, the wood blade is less prone to splitting. Also, the spade shape of the new style rudder blade performs better than the old spoon shaped design. So, yeah, the upgrade is worth considering. The downside is is coat. If you order a retrofit kit from APS Ltd, the cost, I recall it is in the $500 range. You need the inspection port with mounting rivets and silicon goop, a stainless steel gudgeon bracket for the transom with stainless mounting screws and an internal, threaded aluminum back up plate and a complete rudder, tiller, tiller extension assembly. For the record, I have all these parts (used) for sale. E-mail me at: aglos@colgate.edu for photos and prices. You can offset some of the cost by selling the old rudder assembly and the bronze mounting hardware here on the Forum as people are always looking for these items.

If you decide to do the retrofit, the inspection port should be installed about 1.5" - 2" forward of the transom centered side to side. You will need to cut away some of the internal foam to install the back-up plate and to re-attach or replace the wood block for the eye strap.

Good luck with the project.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Sailkb

Member
Alan, I will e-mail you to talk more about what you have. But for now, here's how I thought I would approach the retrofit. I would buy, hopefully used, the hardware. Then I thought I would make my own rudder. I made a racing daggerboard out of African mahogany last year and it turned out well. I have access to woodworking equipment. If I make my rudder, can't I use my existing tiller and extension? I was hoping my only expense would be the hardware and the mahogany piece for the rudder. If the fit for the tiller is different for some reason, I would plan to make that too. BTW.....my local club could care less if I am legal on the daggerboard and rudder so being legal is not a priority. And, yes, if this works out, I would be advertising a pre-72 rudder and hardware.
 

Alan S. Glos

Active Member
You will need the external gudgeon bracket, the mounting screws, the internal threaded back-up plate, the inspection port with rivets and silicon adhesive, and a rudder head with side springs, spring post, s.s. pivot bolt and tiller strap attachment bolt.
You might be able to adapt your old style tiller to fit the new style blade, but the old style brass tiller straps would probably have to be modified somewhat.

I will write you about the parts I have that you might need.

Always nice to see an old 'fish getting an upgrade.

Happy New Year,

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY






I got your e-mail and will reply.

You might be able to use your old style tiller but the brass tiller straps would probably have to be modified somewhat.

Happy New Year.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
Last edited by a moderator:

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
An old trick I have heard about but not seen used is to take the old style tiller and rotate it 90 degrees on its long axis and using it with the aluminum straps on a new style rudder. You then end up with a tall but skinny tiller - I don't know if that is really wise or not. The other choice would be to bend the aluminum straps to fit the old style tiller, but I don't like the idea of bending the straps. You could just make a new style tiller also.
 

Sailkb

Member
I'm with you on bending straps. I'll be making the rudder myself so whipping out a tiller is a piece of cake. That is if I can find a template or borrow one from my local club for dimensions.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Cue slow motion camera.... Noooooooooooooooo...............

I covered that in Chapter 6, the RESTORE Chapter :(

Anyway, Stuff Happens, that's why we have the bumper sticker. Ditto everything Alan said. You might be able to cut or flip the tiller, or make a new one, but the old one will not immediately fit, plus it is a bit shorter.

If you want to do the conversion the way the factory did it, you'd split the stern deck seam and glue in the backer plate. BUT your Sunfish is over 40 years old, bound to have a leak or two from the 30 plus factory holes that are already in it, so why not put in an inspection port to keep an eye on the innards? I posted a pic of the backer block that came out of Merci, it is a little crunchy after 40+ years

I posted info about rudder conversions with pics on my blog, if you'd like to check that out: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/2013/05/sunfish-rudder-conversion.html

Great looking boat, let us know how it goes.
Kent
 

Attachments

Sailkb

Member
Thanks! I have favorited your blog and will be referencing it. I do have an inspection port that I will be installing. I finished painting my boat today. I'll post a pic after I get things put back together. Next step will be to make the new style rudder and tiller while I'm at it. then I will get back to the retrofit. It will be a work in progress to say the least.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Here are some tiller measurements.
Tip: One thing I do is wait until all the rudder hardware is put together and the rudder is hanging on your boat to drill the forward tiller strap bolt hole . That way you can pick the spot that gives you the right deck clearance on the forward end of the tiller. Don't want it scraping your new paint :)
 

Attachments

L&VW

Well-Known Member
"...You just might be able to snag the errant backing block. Find a long, small shank wood screw. Stick it down one of the deck holes and see if you can engage the wood block and screw it back to the underside of the deck...it's a long shot, but worth a try..."
Great idea! :)

Y'know, with digital cameras having an ISO rating of 1600+ you could photograph the exact location of the wood block through one of the holes. You'd need a sunny location to illuminate the scene inside, but I think it would work. I've used film cameras in a similar manner. :cool:
 

Sailkb

Member
Here are some tiller measurements.
Tip: One thing I do is wait until all the rudder hardware is put together and the rudder is hanging on your boat to drill the forward tiller strap bolt hole . That way you can pick the spot that gives you the right deck clearance on the forward end of the tiller. Don't want it scraping your new paint :)
Great advice. I was wondering about keeping the tiller off the deck. Thanks for taking the time to post the pics.
 

Sailkb

Member
Update: I cut the hole in the deck for the inspection port to access the inside. However, I was amazed at how hard it was to cut through the foam to get access to gluing a backing block for the eye straps. For a 45 yr old boat, that foam is in there as tight as when it came out of the factory. I was able to cut out a block of foam on one side but just started shredding the foam on the other side. I finally decided to access the block installation from the deck. You can see where I cut a rectangle size hole to get the block through. I was able to fish the block from inside the deck on the other side, but I still cut a nickle size hole on that side to manage the block from above, i.e. get apozy on it. I screwed a line to the top of the block and tied it off from above while the apozy set. I think I would advise this work (eye strap issues) to be done from the top. If I wasn't installing an updated rudder system, I wouldn't have even needed the inspection port. My plan now is to patch fiberglass where I cut the deck, do a little paint touch up, and install the new eye straps. As far as my retrofit project, you can see I have the new bracket installed. That was a piece of cake compared to working with the eye strap blocks.
photo (4).jpg
 

Cavi

Member
as for the old tiller with the new style straps, why not modify the old tiller, just add some wood strips to the side if all you need is for it to be wider?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Great idea! :)

Y'know, with digital cameras having an ISO rating of 1600+ you could photograph the exact location of the wood block through one of the holes. You'd need a sunny location to illuminate the scene inside, but I think it would work. I've used film cameras in a similar manner. :cool:
I tried my own (previous) suggestion mentioned above, and found that it is possible to photograph the interior through a tiny hole in the deck.

Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show very much of importance. :oops:

P4270136.JPG
 

Rob C.

Member
In the future. always leave one of the screws attached or you will hear the dreaded "thunk" of the block falling down.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY

Or set the boat upside down on saw horses and let gravity keep the backing blocks in place when you remove the screws.
 
Top