Sunfish Coaming

Thread starter #1
I recently acquired a mid-seventies Sunfish which sat outside under trees for fifteen years. It is my first experience with a Sunfish. The hull is in nice shape, but I am in the process of refinishing it with Interlux epoxy. I would like to remove the coaming which looks like it is held on by pop rivets. Am I correct, and can I just drill them out and replace them after I spray the hull? Also, there are three holes on the coaming that are empty. Two are on the ends and one in the center........what was there? Thanks for the info!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#2
Someone else will respond as to whether you can just drill out the rivets and replace them, but concerning the extra holes, the ones in the ends might have been to run a piece of shock cord from one hole,behind the daggerboard, then to the other hole. That way the shock cord keeps the board up when you lift it offwind. I don't know what the hole in the middle might have been for.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#3
Rub rail is easy to remove just drill out pop-rivet heads with 1/8 drill bit. When reinstalling DO NOT
drill through bottom of Rub Rail. Check hull deck seam, most likely you will find the hull seam split
near the ends of the splash rail on each side. This is where the boat flexes the most.

Later boats had splash rail pop-riveted on. If you can afford it replacing with rivet-nuts
is the way to go.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#5
I find the term coaming too broad when applied to Sunfish made of fiberglass. Coaming is used in aviation, kayaks, and to describe the raised bases of hatch covers. With fiberglass Sunfish, I prefer the term splash guard.

When I had the necessity to replace a ripped-off splash guard on a borrowed Sunfish, the splash rail had previously been replaced :oops: with sheet-metal screws and Liquid Nails adhesive. (Rough duty from kids). Reasoning that the splash guard could be ripped off a third time, I filled the original holes, moved the splash guard " back, drilled new holes, and reattached the splash guard with stainless sheet-metal screws. Maybe it was moved " —I forget. ;)

Copy and Paste Bullet Point, Symbols, and Characters | Steve Bizuns

The ends of the splash guard sit above the factory's Styrofoam structural blocks, so access through any inspection port is problematical. My own well-seasoned ex-racer (Sunfish #1) has ragged ½-inch holes where four former attachments had pulled through. :( A short sailing season doesn't help, so I'm still working on a fix. :confused:

Pictured below without the long plastic insert, this toggle should do the job—and I've bought a few—but they're never where I need them. :rolleyes:

 
Thread starter #6
I find the term coaming too broad when applied to Sunfish made of fiberglass. Coaming is used in aviation, kayaks, and to describe the raised bases of hatch covers. With fiberglass Sunfish, I prefer the term splash guard.

When I had the necessity to replace a ripped-off splash guard on a borrowed Sunfish, the splash rail had previously been replaced :oops: with sheet-metal screws and Liquid Nails adhesive. (Rough duty from kids). Reasoning that the splash guard could be ripped off a third time, I filled the original holes, moved the splash guard " back, drilled new holes, and reattached the splash guard with stainless sheet-metal screws. Maybe it was moved " —I forget. ;)

Copy and Paste Bullet Point, Symbols, and Characters | Steve Bizuns

The ends of the splash guard sit above the factory's Styrofoam structural blocks, so access through any inspection port is problematical. My own well-seasoned ex-racer (Sunfish #1) has ragged ½-inch holes where four former attachments had pulled through. :( A short sailing season doesn't help, so I'm still working on a fix. :confused:

Pictured below without the long plastic insert, this toggle should do the job—and I've bought a few—but they're never where I need them. :rolleyes:

Yesterday when I posted this request, I referred to the info "Sunfish Rigging Instructions" that was written by LaserPerformance on the correct part name. They refer to the splash guard as COAMING. Not wanting to be wrong I referred to it as such. I removed the SPLASH GUARD yesterday and found the hull be in reasonable shape under the guard . I have built two aircraft from plans where I have had to make everything that wasn't standard aircraft parts. Repairing this will be pretty simple, and I am leaning toward pop rivets as it was made originally. Thank you for the info!
 
Thread starter #8
Rub rail is easy to remove just drill out pop-rivet heads with 1/8 drill bit. When reinstalling DO NOT
drill through bottom of Rub Rail. Check hull deck seam, most likely you will find the hull seam split
near the ends of the splash rail on each side. This is where the boat flexes the most.

Later boats had splash rail pop-riveted on. If you can afford it replacing with rivet-nuts
is the way to go.
After reading your post I decided to remove the rub rail, which was painless. The hull and deck seam is tight, and now I don't have to fool with masking the rub rail for painting. And...... the outcome will be better. My splash rail was also riveted on. Thanks for the info!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#9
Yes, just drill them out. Buy replacement rivets from a Sunfish parts house like APS., they need to be closed end.

Did the Super Sunfish have holes for sail control lines?
 
#10
The Super Sunfish did have holes in the coaming for double ended controls for, I believe, the outhaul, cunningham and vang. It was a very slick rig and very similar to the Force 5 sail control rig.

Alan Glos
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#11
The Super Sunfish did have holes in the coaming for double ended controls for, I believe, the outhaul, cunningham and vang. It was a very slick rig and very similar to the Force 5 sail control rig.

Alan Glos
It didn't have a hole in the middle as the vang was like an original Laser vang, as it was entirely fastened to the boom and mast. The SS also had two holes at the end of the coaming - one for outhaul, and one for the cunningham.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#12
Maybe I can find a wrecked Sunfish and cut out the portion shown below in white.


From the standard factory mold, the white area is somewhat raised above the deck, giving minimal splash protection, some sliding-around resistance, but a great deal of deck strength. (When new, anyway :rolleyes:).

Does anyone see the huge potential in this normally-discarded section—which I'd call the coaming ;) —lifted from a Sunfish "clunker" that was going to the dump? (Besides the aluminum trim value, that is).

:)
 
#13
The new cockpit is wider which is nice, but the old ones were stronger around the edges. Pre-hiking strap you could stick your feet under the lip to hike. The glass was thicker and the trim helped. The new boats the edge is much thinner and prone to cracking even in the somewhat raised area even though you don't hike from it.
 
#14
The new cockpit is wider which is nice, but the old ones were stronger around the edges. Pre-hiking strap you could stick your feet under the lip to hike. The glass was thicker and the trim helped. The new boats the edge is much thinner and prone to cracking even in the somewhat raised area even though you don't hike from it.
My pre hiking strap boat does have those larger edges, which are extremely prone to collecting dirt when the boat is stored upside down
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#15
OK...Say the coaming is now cut from the wrecked Sunfish, and I'm ready to cut out the rear deck. But is there enough fiberglass material in the rear deck (X) to completely cover the removed coaming? :(


Fullscreen capture 4182018 75554 AM.bmp.jpg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#17
Presently, I'm six hours away from viewing my three Sunfish, so this present stage is guesswork. :oops:

I'm not cutting anything—yet—because I don't have a wrecked Sunfish—yet. :confused:

With about 60 regular viewers here, I'm hoping to share the view that a Sunfish shouldn't go to a landfill without giving up every usable part. The coaming removal is the start to make every wrecked Sunfish a valued "donor-Sunfish". :cool:

Why are you doing this?
;) Here's a hint:
I'd prefer a thinner fiberglass panel to cover (and bond to) the removed coaming part. (But if the rear deck actually fits, that will be OK, although heavier than necessary).

.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#18
OK...Say the coaming is now cut from the wrecked Sunfish, and I'm ready to cut out the rear deck. But is there enough fiberglass material in the rear deck (X) to completely cover the removed coaming? :(

View attachment 25738
Why are you doing this?
I've just arrived at my #3, #4, and #5 Sunfish. It must have been the perspective in the photograph. There's plenty of fiberglass material in the rear decking to complete my latest "air-project". :)

Which is, to take a wrecked Sunfish, then:

1) cut the cockpit coaming from the deck, cutting slightly outside the highest part.

2) lay the cockpit coaming over the rear decking as a template—as far aft as possible.

3) mark, then cut the decking material somewhat larger than the coaming. Leave a margin of about 1½ inches.

4) grind away any fiberglass underneath the decking that remains stuck to it. (The part attached to the cubby). This makes it a curved piece of strong fiberglass sheet that conforms to the curved coaming. :cool:

5a) Remove the aluminum trim, save.
5b) Optional: cut away the aluminum trim, and now "strengthened" by a fiberglass edge, mail it overseas. ;)

6a) Bond the (rear-deck) sheet to the coaming, smooth the edges.
6b) Optional: Add vinyl trim to the edges of the sheet.

Drop the new "hard-tonneau-cover" (rescued from the wreck) onto your Sunfish. It should be a tight fit.

Think this needs a new thread / topic? :confused:

 
#19
Go for it.

I would want my sunfish as waterproof as possible, you will never get a airtight seal. There is foam in the back of boat you would have to remove which is structural. When sailing in waves they roll over the back of the boat. Tiller handle is going to be very high up off the deck.
 
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