Sunfish Pickin Pensacola

signal charlie

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Gathering rudder parts, found a threaded backer plate.
Removed old latch plate backer block from inside the keel.
Removed cockpit trim and sanded off old paint.
Sanded old varnish off if rudder and daggerboard, put on a base coat of epoxy.
 

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signal charlie

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Rolled and tipped base coat of Pettit Ocean Blue on the deck. I like to do this so I can see if I need to fair some more areas, then apply second/third coats. Tried a West Systems foam roller this time, it worked pretty well. Thinned 16 ozs of paint with about a cap of thinner, and it spread easily on a 70 degree day and the brush tipped off the bubbles well.
 

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signal charlie

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Now roll the boat outside to dry, forget to cover big inspection hole in stern, go out of town and Bingo! Flash Flood Watch :(

The Skipper covered up the inspection port hole after a few hours of rain, but next I get to drain a little water. Good news is that the holes in the bottom of the keel are sealed and don't leak :)
 

signal charlie

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Faired some gelcoat cracks, sanded with 120 grit and put on a layer of Pettit Undercoater, tinted with Ocean Blue. Thinned the mixture a bit, then rolled and tipped it with a foam roller. Rolled and tipped second coat of Pettit Ocean Blue, used a 9 inch Sea Choice 3/16 inch nap roller for this coat, and like it a little better than the foam roller. One tip is to use the bigger roller, it lets you apply the paint fast so you can get it tipped before it gets tacky. I covered about an 18 inch wide section at a time, worked from bow to stern and stood on a chair so I could reach opposite side of the boat and save multiple trips from side to side.

That is Merci's Air Corps sail rolled up and laying on the Drascombe, I like the way the blue and yellow contrast each other.
The splashguard is missing a chunk on the port corner and has a crack on the starboard corner. I will rebuild and reinforce with fiberglass cloth, West System 105 epoxy and 205 Fast Hardener.

Pensacola Boat Store (PBS) has great prices and an online store. I picked up paint, woven roving and hardener there today. Check them out at PBS
 

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signal charlie

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Made some fiberglass patches for the splashguard, sanded and faired. Reinstalled all of the deck hardware, sanded the edge trim and riveted that back on. Tip: Be careful handling trim, it can shear in half where the holes are drilled, which happened to one piece on the corner.
Installed transom drain plug. Reinstalled gudgeon, the same bracket that the boat came with but now with the proper internal backer plate. Painted 4 inch yellow stripes and trimmed with one inch white tape, we saw this type of stripe on a WWII F4F Wildcat and liked it. Made a line bridle. And painted the rudder, it is upside down in the picture to keep paint from smearing under rudder cheek.
 

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signal charlie

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Put in the rudder pin, added tension springs and tiller.

I ordered a rivet nut tool and rivet nuts that accept the 10-32 machine screw. Had to drill the 1/4 inch hole out to 5/16 and installed the rivet nut. I put a bead of 3M marine sealant around the flange of the rivet before I installed it. Then drilled new holes in the repaired area, counter bored them, sanded repair and painted with Petit Sunflower Yellow.
 

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signal charlie

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Installed the splashguard, cockpit trim and a swivel cam cleat. Also taped on some navigation markers on the "wing tips" :)
 

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signal charlie

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Hi Danpal
I used 1/8 inch diameter aluminum rivets, that have a grip range of 3/16 - 1/4 inch from Ace Hardware. Big box stores have them also. The pack I got from the Sunfish parts house were way too long.

Use a 1/8 inch bit to clean out old rivet holes. The new rivets still stand a little proud but usually the rivet gun pulled the collar down and they snugged up. For a few of them I drilled all of the way through trim, seam and other side of the trim in order to make them fit. To me that is not a big deal as long as you make sure there are no sharp metal shavings poking out from where you drilled. If there are, knock them down with a file.

I used aluminum because the trim is aluminum, there should be little dissimilar metal corrosion. They are not as hard as stainless, but the trim doesn't get stressed. The aluminum rivets were also easy to drill out when they didn't tighten up the way I wanted :)
 

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signal charlie

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Merci is finished! The Skipper took her for a test sail across the Bay today and she sailed great. The sail from Shurr Sails Pensacola set great and had a nice full draft. Everything worked as advertised and we got buzzed by dolphin and osprey.
 

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#51
Clark (or anyone),
I've read and followed your progress on this project. I see where you only mentioned sanding with 120 grit but with a finish like that it must have gone finer! Did you use anything to "knock down" the final coat? I have put two coats of Rustoleum Marine Coating primer (sanding 120 first coat & 220 second coat) and two coats of their gloss white sanding 360 in between. My question is should I leave the final coat or what grit to use to knock it down without losing the gloss finish?
Thanx,
Harry
 

signal charlie

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Hi Harry,
I only used 120 between coats, just enough to scuff the coat and tried to be real smooth with the final coat. 5-10 thinner (brushing liquid) helped, wipe the hull with acetone or the thinner, use a good 3/16 inch nap roller and good brush. The finish levels out and looks pretty good, but I do have dust bumps. My Pettit Paint adviser says I have to live with that because of the one part paint I used. He also said that you can sand and buff a two part paint, but I am not reasy to make the $$ jump for paint booth, tools and materials yet :)

So as far as I know, leave the final coat alone, maybe wax in a month or so?

Cheers,
Kent
 
#53
Sorry for misdirecting the question to the wrong person.
Kent, thanks for the advice and I had followed the prep and application as you except for using a fine foam roller for cabinet doors (that I liked).
I will wait about six weeks to see if wax is needed. Right now I'm waiting a couple of days for the paint to "harden" before masking the deck prior to applying the red & blue stripes.
Again thanx for your input.
Harold Knutzak
 

signal charlie

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Hola Harold

You're welcome!

Foam rollers are good too, but the way I paint it seemed I was pushing paint around with a foam roller vs rolling it on. I'm impatient so I tend to "flood" the paint on vs taking time for several thinner coats.

Fair winds

Clark=Kent=Signalcharlie
 

signal charlie

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Sold Merci today to an Air Force Officer, he liked the Air Corps scheme. His daughter took sailing last Summer and Merci will be her 8th birthday present. She is staying local so we might see her on the Sound :)

Skipper is sad, but happy at the same time because Merci has her "second wind"

KB
 

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#56
Wow, so many good details in this thread. I'm going to follow your steps as I work to restore the hull I just purchased. First, a stupid question. You made repairs to the holes, cracks, divots, etc, by fiberglass patches or epoxy putty. After that, you seemed to sand the entire hull down which got rid of the extra paint layer, but it looked beige after that, so I'm guessing that sanding took away the gelcoat color? My question is: do I need to be careful to not sand through that layer and into the fiberglass? How "hard" is it to sand through - should I be using 120 grit, or even finer?
 

signal charlie

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Wow, so many good details in this thread. I'm going to follow your steps as I work to restore the hull I just purchased. First, a stupid question. You made repairs to the holes, cracks, divots, etc, by fiberglass patches or epoxy putty. After that, you seemed to sand the entire hull down which got rid of the extra paint layer, but it looked beige after that, so I'm guessing that sanding took away the gelcoat color? My question is: do I need to be careful to not sand through that layer and into the fiberglass? How "hard" is it to sand through - should I be using 120 grit, or even finer?
I sanded this boat to get rid of flaky paint/ chunky gelcoat and to smooth out the edges of deep gouges on the hull. Then I faired big divots with a harder epoxy putty, sanded and did another fairing with softer Pettit EZFair. The sanded and primed, faired last few pinholes and primed, then final sanding before paint.

The beige you saw was where I removed all of the gelcoat and what you see is fiberglass cloth encapsulated in polyester resin. Older resins can be a little more yellow/brown. And YES, do not sand into the resin/fiberglass unless it is already damaged. 120 grit works good but use light pressure and fresh pads on the last bit of gelcoat. Better to leave a tiny bit and fair vs damaging the fiberglass.
 

signal charlie

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I'm glad this thread was bumped back up to the first page. I refurbished old Sunfish and like to think I did a passable job. I'm nowhere in Kent's league, though.
Thanks, it has been fun and everyone on the Forum contributed with great advice, especially Alan G. Add to that the founders of the Yahoo Sunfish_Sailor group.

We have a fun project lurking in the wings for another basket case, going to fix it up like a Navy fighter jet :)
 
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