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Sunfish Identification and Restoration

NC28460

New Member
11 new photos by Jojo Cariaso

I recently acquired a project Sunfish that I am unable to identify year. I am hoping I can get some advice on what direction to take with repairs.

I can see:
  • There are no hull stamps visible to identify. I am thinking that previous repairs have covered up any stamps.
  • There appears to be a blue colored sticker that was painted over in the cockpit.
  • Cockpit and rail has aluminum trip.
  • Drain Plug is metal.
  • Previous repairs appear sound but patchwork is visible.
  • Coaming was installed with screws and toggle bolts.
  • When removing deck hardware, all screws were wood screws. Can I use fiberglass repair methods in repairing the boat?
My plan for restoration:
  • Rebuild lip in area left of Gudgeon Bracket. How would I go about doing this?
  • Remove paint and sand down visible patched areas. Repaint.
  • Epoxy repair old Coaming holes.
  • Replace trim and hardware.
  • Perform leak test and seal leaks using Thixo, 3M 4200, and epoxy (if fiberglass).
  • Reinstall Coaming with rivets.
 
Since you have a new style rudder and a storage cubby, but no hull id# , you probably have a 1973 or early 1974. Yes you can use fiberglass repair methods to repair the boat. I would suggest doing a leak test prior to starting any repairs as it will tell you which is the best approach to approaching your repairs.
 
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NC28460

New Member
Pictures? Becareful removing all deck hardware. older boats have wood backers that fall off.
Caution was used when removing hardware. I guess what I can’t figure out is if I have a wooden boat. The deck has a totally different feel from my Pearson Sunfish. I did realize the wood screws would screw into the wood backer blocks after I sent the original post.

I guess my main questions are:
How to rebuild the back edge around the gudgeon? And after sanding down previous repairs can I use epoxy patching methods if it’s a wood deck.
 

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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
What's the weight of the hull and what does the hull look like from the inside?

Unless someone replaced the deck, it is highly unlikely that it was made from a tree.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
That poor boat. Anyway, the rudder bracket is mounted higher than factory, and the gap in the fiberglass lip indicates the boat came with the old style rudder. Since you have a cockpit cubby, the boat is a 1971. They came with a silver sticker with the hull number on the deck. They typically fell off.

I agree with Wavedancer - extremely unlikely that is a wood deck!
 

NC28460

New Member
Since you have a new style rudder and a storage cubby, but no hull id# , you probably have a 1973 or early 1974. Yes you can use fiberglass repair methods to repair the boat. I would suggest doing a leak test prior to starting any repairs as it will tell you which is the best approach to approaching your repairs.
[/QUOTE
That poor boat. Anyway, the rudder bracket is mounted higher than factory, and the gap in the fiberglass lip indicates the boat came with the old style rudder. Since you have a cockpit cubby, the boat is a 1971. They came with a silver sticker with the hull number on the deck. They typically fell off.

I agree with Wavedancer - extremely unlikely that is a wood deck!
Beldar, thank you for the sympathy. The patches although unsightly seem sound and intact. Maybe I need to just scrap the loose paint and just do a light sand and use filler to try and smooth out the patched areas. Not worry about too much paint removal but I would like to paint over another solid color. I don’t know if the exact weight but it was easy to load onto the dolly. If I had to guess, #135-#145.
Then the next step would be to try to figure out how to rebuild the missing lip edge on the rear and reinstall the trim. Has anyone ever used a rubber trim edge like the one in this video?
 

shorefun

Active Member
Lots of interesting repairs. The whole transom is made up and the rudder bracket is too high. I would make sure the screws will actually hold tight by trying to tighten them.

I would not try to sand out any of the patches laying on top of the glass. They are just done wrong. In my limited experience they have very poor bonding. Just the fact they are laid on top says the person has no idea of how to do a proper patch. You MUST sand and feather the area around hole. Then bring it back up to level with glass and not too wet. The on the top patches like you have are usually not sanded properly so there will be no bonding. That means over time they can delaminate. Whey they get heated up they can come off easier then you might think.

It is not very hard to grind the stuff off and lay in proper patches. You can do it pretty quick. I would also say that transom looks really bad. It is just mucked over glass and then repairs to the mucked over glass. So something is really wrong there. Throw in the wrong rudder bracket position. Well personally I want to know that the rudder bracket is solidly held to the transom.
 
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