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Sunfish drainplug and/or port?

limo7757

New Member
I´m trying to restore my 1970s sunfish and I´m worried of past water damage, as I have no idea what it´s been through in the past. I´m contemplating adding a view port so that I can look inside and check it out, but I´m afraid of messing up or damaging the deck. I also want to add a drain plug to get rid of any water that may get into the hull during times to come. I´ve seen them in the back of the boat near where the rudder attaches, as well as on the side of the deck. Is this needed? And if so, where is the best place for it?
 

wjejr

Active Member
Hi limo7757. Others may/will disagree, but I don't think having a drain plug in the transom is a good idea. There are three problems I see:
  1. The amount of rocker in the boat makes it impractical to lift the bow high enough to have the water drain effectively. Lasers, to my eye at least, have hardly any rocker, and so you only need to lift the bow a little to have all of the water flow to the transom.
  2. The inside of a Sunfish at the transom is filled with blocks of foam and globs of spray foam that was used to glue them. Water is going to have trouble getting around all of that.
  3. Having another hole in the boat can be a problem, whether one forgets to put the plug in, or over time the fitting leaks.
Your Sunfish will have a drain plug on the starboard/right hand side, so that you can tip the boat up and have the water drain out. Personally I think going through that routine more than once or twice, especially if the boat is to be kept on a trailer, would be extremely tiresome. For my own boat (1971), I have an inspection port between the dagger board trunk and the coaming. That position is pretty close to being at the maximum depth of the hull, so any water entering the hull flows there. If there is any water there, I just sponge it out. I leave the inspection port open when not using the boat, I have a cover, so water vapor can escape.

I don't like cutting holes in my boat, but the inspection port in this location is ideal. I have a cat bag for the port and usually place my keys, phone, sun-goop, bow line, etc. in it. Where else do you put all that stuff?

Hope that helps.
 

limo7757

New Member
Wjejr - Thank you so much! I will greatly consider adding a viewport as you suggested.
Charles - I have not air tested my boat yet. I have just recently gotten it and have done very little. Do you recommend I do that, and if so, how should I?
I will try and get pictures later today
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Don’t cut an inspection port unless you have to. If the boat isn’t overweight, your blocks aren’t detached and/or you don’t need to access interior for repairs then you don’t need a port. Do you hear water sloshing around? Have you tried using the drain on your deck? Are you able to move the boat around by yourself? Leak test first, repair what’s necessary, don’t put in more holes than you need.
 

limo7757

New Member
I have not had the chance to take the boat out yet to tell if there is any water that gets in. I want to fix it up before I take it out. I think Im going to do a leak test today to see if I can find anything. Thanks!
 

Mr Mike

New Member
I put in a new drain, a later model rudder, 5" inspection cover to inatal new gudgeon plate and painted my topside with Interlux epoxy paint. I stlll have a leak I haven't fixed yet but the drain takes a cup or so out of the hull after sailing. I put some wedges in side to keep the loose foam from getting out of position. Mine is a 1964 and had been neglected by previous owners but it sails just fine. Your paint job is not that bad. Only you will care what it looks like. Sail the puppy!

Mr Mike
 
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