Sunfish rebuild

Thread starter #1
hi all

Noob here and first time post. I just was given a sunfish from my dad. It's been sitting behind his house for 20+ years with no use.

I'm not new to sunfish as our family had a sunfish rental business while I was in high school and college. After I left my dad sold all but the best one (now mine).

While back there a slab of ice fell from the roof and damaged the hull.

It's also covered in some sort of "moss" or something.

I want to get it going for some sailing this summer. Any ideas on how to remove the "moss"? Also, it's been 25 yrs since I've done any repairs so any threads that help me would be appreciated. I tried the search a few times but it just locked up my browser.

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Webfoot1

Active Member
#2
Use a electric power washer, makes short work of the job and not
enough pressure to do damage. I've never tried a gas pressure washer but
I think it would work fine if you use a wide nozzle and don't crank
the pressure up. Set it up like you would when spraying vinyl siding
on a house.
 
#4
hi all

Noob here and first time post. I just was given a sunfish from my dad. It's been sitting behind his house for 20+ years with no use.

I'm not new to sunfish as our family had a sunfish rental business while I was in high school and college. After I left my dad sold all but the best one (now mine).

While back there a slab of ice fell from the roof and damaged the hull.

It's also covered in some sort of "moss" or something.

I want to get it going for some sailing this summer. Any ideas on how to remove the "moss"? Also, it's been 25 yrs since I've done any repairs so any threads that help me would be appreciated. I tried the search a few times but it just locked up my browser.

Pics:
Search this forum for how to check for leaks. That will help you decide whether you need to fix that crack immediately. Eventually that crack will likely need to be fixed, and you can find a lot of good information on this forum. You can find a lot of information online, or you could pick up a book written by one of the forum member. https://www.amazon.com/Sunfish-Owne...qid=1493854749&sr=8-1&keywords=sunfish+repair

Mike
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#5
You DO have a major repair on your hands! :(

Having never tackled a repair involving the daggerboard trunk, perhaps someone else here can offer some suggestions. Most likely, cutting the damaged square foot of hull out will be necessary—as a start. Most readers here will be very interested in watching your progress. :)

With nearly 10,000 views, the following thread—including professional videos—is a worthwhile "read":
Starting at the BEGINNING | SailingForums.com

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Webfoot1

Active Member
#6
Doesn't look too bad, broken keel area forward or rear of the slot is
common. Careful use of Dremel tool for grinding will
remove minimum amount of material. As long as the Dagger Board
trunk itself is not damaged should be a easy repair.
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks for all the replies!! I'm traveling now but will check the centerboard trunk to see if the damage is there as well when I get back this weekend.

I need to get a pressure washer anyway for our deck. I'll try with a little less pressure to see if it takes care of things.

I'm pretty sure it will leak as I can see broken fiberglass webbing under the gelcoat, but I'm. It sure. Either way I'll fix it before trying to launch.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#9
Congrats on your free boat :)

I'd consider putting an inspection port on the deck just forward of the daggerboard trunk. That is a great area to reach a few of the backer blocks and get to the trunk for repairs. Reinforce inside then grind and repair from the outside. Then you also have a place to put a storage bag and can sponge out any water that gets inside as needed.

Cheers
Kent
 
Thread starter #10
First the good news! I picked up some sawhorses, a pool noodle, and soft scrub with bleach and did a quick clean.

I weighed it and I think she is dry...110 pounds, which seems light, but I can pick her up by myself and I'm no weightlifter.

Secondly, HIN: AMF64423M78H, so she's a 1978! I don't know what all the other numbers/letters mean. It's the same year as my jeep cj5 I restored in 2016. I hope that's a sign of good luck , though that rebuild was a lot more than I expected, and it looks like this one will be as well.

Pic1: a better shot at the centerboard trunk. You can see delamination as well as the crack that flows toward the starboard about 5"from the middle. You can't see it but there is an open bit of bare fiberglass that is about the size of an elongated penny about an inch inside the opening. I'm not sure if that's a problem or not. No visible cracks at either end inside though!!
IMG_2246.JPG

Pic2: some loss of gelcoat down the center line halfway between mast and bow.
IMG_2233.JPG

Pic3: some loss of gelcoat at bow
IMG_2234.JPG

Pic4: crack on starboard side even with front of cockpit. There are stress cracks at every rivet (4) under trim just above it.
IMG_2232.JPG

Pic5: crack on port side about even with the front of the splash guard
IMG_2245.JPG

Pic6: crack along enter at cockpit drain
IMG_2237.JPG

Pic7: spider crack and loss of gelcoat port side halfway between back of cockpit and stern
IMG_2247.JPG

There are several cracks along the trim but not easily seen with a pic. There are also some other spider cracks and a few questionable spots that I'll have to investigate with a leak test.

I didn't do any cleaning or inspection along the topside yet. Ran out of time.

Wow...more than I originally expected. Thoughts?
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#11
Time to put on the respirator, break out the grinder/sander and see
what's under the damaged gelcoat. Then you'll know what repairs
are needed while still being at a zero investment point. No better way
to learn fiberglass repair than on something you got for free.
 
Thread starter #12
After considering my other current projects and the additional work that I discovered yesterday I don't think I'll have time to pull this together for sailing this season. I think I'm still committed to resurrecting the old girl, but it'll have to wait until the weather turns cold. Unfortunately, in Wisconsin that will come all too quickly.

So now I have a couple of things to consider:
1) where to store it. I searched the site and see there are lots of threads about hanging from the rafters or mounting to the wall in the garage. If someone has a link to a particularly awesome setup then let me know, otherwise, I'll just figure this one out.
2) how to set up a "shop" in my unheated, unfinished, car using garage during the offseason so I don't have to ask my wife to park outside, freeze, or cover everything with dust. I have time on my side for this, but if there are suggestions I'd appreciate it.
3) What tools/protective equipment will I need. Again, I have time on my side for this one. I haven't searched the site yet, but if there is a list somewhere or suggestions I would appreciate it.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
There are a variety of tools you can use, multiples for one step like hand sanding or power sander. Look over the posts with pictures and you'll see some of the tools used. Check out our Small Boat Restoration blog post on tools and see which ones you have and which ones you might like to have :) "Hey honey, I bought a 13 inch planer today, I'm sure I needed that for this fiberglass repair!"
Small Boat Restoration: Tuesday Tool Of The Week: Wagon

We sand outside on nice days, used a variety of dollies to move the boat around and work stands/sawhorses/carpenter benches to hold it. If you must sand inside you might hang a curtain of painter's plastic. We have a random orbital sander that can hook up to the shop vac, it gets most of the dust but not all.

As for protective equipment you'll need a dust mask suitable for fiberglass, a long sleeve shirt that can get ruined with epoxy, gloves, nitrile gloves, ear plugs maybe and protective eyewear.

As always you'll need duct tape.

Here are some repairs similar to yours.

And here is the same thread on a 2003 Vanguard repair

PS you spelled drainbamage wrong... :)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#14
If there's room in your garage to hang your Sunfish from rafters, try using heavy fabric straps. I used old fire hose outdoors when repairing a catamaran hull to keep it held at "working height". Positioning for access and sanding was easy.

In warm months, I have a horizontal oak tree branch that would lend itself to Sunfish repair--just as it did to pull an engine from a car!
 
Thread starter #15
I do have room to hang from the rafters.

I've seen some interesting contraptions from my jeep-rebuilding research that allowed them to adjust the angle and height of the body (aka "tub") for easier access while welding/repairing. It seems that using straps would be a simple way to modify the angle and height easily on a small boat.

Thanks for the recommendation!!!
 
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