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Sunfish Upgrades 2022

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
Lee,

If not metal, what does the 2022 Sunfish hull use for internal back-up plates? Wood (VBI - Very bad idea) or something else?

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Lee Montes

New Member
Lee,

If not metal, what does the 2022 Sunfish hull use for internal back-up plates? Wood (VBI - Very bad idea) or something else?

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
I. Am not 100% sure what they are using right this moment. For some reason I think they are using marine wood. But I mAY BE WRong. I think when the report came out in 2021 they were thinking which material to use for the boats made in 2022.
 

joe c

banned
Lee,

If not metal, what does the 2022 Sunfish hull use for internal back-up plates? Wood (VBI - Very bad idea) or something else?

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
the problem with using aluminum steel ti etc plates is they need to be threaded. so in the event of a cross thread youd be totally screwed (see what i did there?) plus galling seizing corrosion... or youd have to have access to get a nut on it. with the lasers at least, using 3/8" ply in the past was a really bad idea for longevity. was a 3/4" sheet of ply really too much for blocking? Then again....they were/are cheap boats. and im guessing no one figured anyone would be sailing one made 20 years ago much less 40. i mean its a production boat built cheaply not intended to last. at least if you want to move something, you dont need a tap to reinstall it. ymmv

Hi @Lee Montes been subscribed to your channel for a bit now. Good stuff. Big help and great info on vendors and products. Thanks dude.
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
JC,

Points taken. For decades Sunfish were built with scraps of hardwood fiberglassed into the underside of the deck under the bow handle, halyard cleat,
rudder hardware etc., and the fittings were simply attached with wood screws. Time passed, water got into the blocks, rot took over and the fittings pulled out. The metal plates worked better but, yes it was possible to strip the threads if you cross threaded a screw or over-tightened a screw. In this case, one could go to a larger self taping screw or make new, larger threads in the plate with a proper thread tap and avoid the need to install an inspection port and install a new plate.

You are right, nobody probably thought Sunfish and Lasers would last as long as they do, and we are left to be creative making repairs. That said, I would still prefer metal back-up plates over the (sure to rot eventually) wood plates.

Alan Glos
 

joe c

banned
JC,

Points taken. For decades Sunfish were built with scraps of hardwood fiberglassed into the underside of the deck under the bow handle, halyard cleat,
rudder hardware etc., and the fittings were simply attached with wood screws. Time passed, water got into the blocks, rot took over and the fittings pulled out. The metal plates worked better but, yes it was possible to strip the threads if you cross threaded a screw or over-tightened a screw. In this case, one could go to a larger self taping screw or make new, larger threads in the plate with a proper thread tap and avoid the need to install an inspection port and install a new plate.

You are right, nobody probably thought Sunfish and Lasers would last as long as they do, and we are left to be creative making repairs. That said, I would still prefer metal back-up plates over the (sure to rot eventually) wood plates.

Alan Glos
me too...but im fairly mechanically inclined like you. (intense backround in woodworking light machinist mechanical backround from vintage motorsports) most people cant use a tape measure correctly. the laser2 i ripped apart had 3/8" fir or pine plywood blocking. looked to be off fall from the internal gusseting bulkhead construction. not solid hardwood. id think a solid block would be waaay too prone to spliting. even epoxied. (i live in partial fear of the ratchet block ripping out of the floor of my laser2 on heavy days. hehe) the problem with going to a larger dia machine screw is youre limited by the size of the hole in the fitting etc..the nice thing is you could relocate the fitting, and put a small blockoff plate in its place with the larger screws. or you could even then drop the fitting onto that. of course thats if youre not racing. my guess is most racers arent using hulls much older than 5 years old max. and theyre well taken care of. now recreational junk....well thats another story. :)

im a little new to this dinghy hull stuff. did they at any point actually have some kind of metal plate below deck fittings? just curious about what years etc. man that would add a ton of work for fabrication. and its not the most uh.....skilled of trades. lol. they were turning out lasers at some insane rate from what i remember. i cant imagine sunfish being any less mass production based process. and once its done....just zip the fittings down with stainless screws. what i did find interesting at least with my laser2 stuff, each hull was built to a spec it seems. so some got blocking for spinnaker cleats and some not. so if your boat wasnt rigged with a spinnaker you didnt get the stuff underneath to be able to simply add it. obviously the sunfish were all the same rig for the most part i guess.

i do believe these were and are still boats that are cheaply made, with the intention of being something people can have fun with, but not intended to last for years. and to also make it affordable for people who want to learn and to go fast. racers at the pointy end no matter what will always need the newest stuff. so theyre not even in the equation. new season, new boat. and if you want any chance at keeping up, youll probably need close to the same. and if you know a little and are adventurous,,,,you can get a cool little boat thats very managable and over a winter pretty much go from a wreck to something you can have a total blast with come spring.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
4acers at the pointy end no matter what will always need the newest stuff. so theyre not even in the equation. new season, new boat. and if you want any chance at keeping up, youll probably need close to the same. and if you know a little and are adventurous,,,,you can get a cool little boat thats very managable and over a winter pretty much go from a wreck to something you can have a total blast with come spring.
If you attend major Sunfish regattas, such as the North Americans or Midwinters/Nationals, you will find both newer and older boats at the top of the fleet. By “older” I typically mean back to the late 90s or early 00’s. But I’d also say most of the big events have 1 or 2 of the old metal edge boats in the top 15 or 20.

Laser/ILCA sailors seem convinced that you need a new boat, but older Sunfish in good shape with a reasonably new sail are as fast as new boats.
 
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