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Sunfish upper boom/spar...

trist007

Member
It's been bent and I have bent it back into place several times. I took the sunfish out in high winds 22+ and the spar has bent right where i set the clove hitch. Anyhow, I can't find any sunfish retailers locally. It was going to cost $500 - $600 for shipping alone from some retailers. I was thinking of making one out of wood. I wanted to see what you guys have done.

-Tristan
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
Tristan,

I sell used (unbent!) upper Sunfish spars, $35, you pick up in Cazenovia, NY near Syracuse. Where are you located?

Making one out of wood would probably not work - not strong enough for a 75 sq.ft.sail.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Tom L.

New Member
Check prices at your local metal supply company. I bought aluminum pipe for a Sunfish mast for $142. You just need to know the correct dimensions:

Length: 13' 8" (4.17 m)
OD 1-1/2" (38.1 mm)
Wall Thickness: .065" (1.65 mm)

 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
It's been bent and I have bent it back into place several times. I took the sunfish out in high winds 22+ and the spar has bent right where i set the clove hitch. Anyhow, I can't find any sunfish retailers locally. It was going to cost $500 - $600 for shipping alone from some retailers. I was thinking of making one out of wood. I wanted to see what you guys have done.

-Tristan
Just how "bent" is it? I've straightened spars using two trees. (Forked trees).

While you're waiting, remember to order anodized replacement spars.

If it's a severe "bend", you could try a "splice".

Well-inventoried hardware stores may carry aluminum tubing/pipe of different/greater gauges. Buy a two foot section that's a tight fit, mark the center, and drive the splice into each "bent" spar--restoring it.

If part of the "bend" is flattened, straighten what you can, grind away the bent parts, and substitute a factory-sized section between the repaired ends.

Glue and/or pop-rivet appropriately.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Just catching up to this thread, and you already have some good replies... in fact, they're ALL good, lol. In your case, a trip to the nearest metal supply company or industrial warehouse is in order... Handy Metal Mart in National City (San Diego), CA, used to be my go-to metal mart. At your local metal supply joint, you may not find what you need in terms of replacing the entire spar, but you SHOULD be able to find an insert & sleeve to repair a badly-bent or broken spar. By insert, I mean a tubular section fitted inside the original spar: a sleeve would then cover the outside, though you may not need it. An insert would be longer than its corresponding sleeve, if you use both in combination. However, you'll probably only need an insert, as long as the wall of the tubular insert is thick enough, aye? :confused:

I'm thinking there's probably another thread which covers this topic, I seem to recall replying to a similar question about a bent or snapped spar. Either way, you cut the spar, including whatever can't be bent back into place, then slide your insert into each spar section, making sure the spar sections are lined up the way they originally were, and using 2-part epoxy glue (not resin, but glue) to secure the insert in place. If there's a bit of play between insert and spar sections, use a rectangular piece of thin sheet aluminum cut to desired size and wrap the insert with that prior to insertion. When I repaired my Laser mast this way, I wound up using sheet aluminum wrapped round the insert, as well as sheet aluminum wrapped round the spar before the cover sleeve slid into place. No worries... :D

Sounds complicated, but it's actually quite easy, though you want your materials laid out right there as you do this job: spar sections & tubes ready to fit together, pre-cut and pre-bent or pre-rolled sheet aluminum if needed, epoxy glue, a good rubber mallet, a smooth household hammer or ball peen hammer for tapping things into place, an impromptu "punch" (think I used a metal file) for tapping things like sheet metal into place with the hammer(s), some rags, acetone & some latex gloves. As usual, I went with overkill on my mast repair, so it was heavier than than the original, but it NEVER broke again, lol... the mast originally snapped not far above the deck, a common failure point due to the leverage of the rig, and the tendency of any solidly-built step to firmly "hold" the foot of the mast in place. SNAP!!! ;)

Since your spar is so much smaller in diameter compared to my old Laser mast, you'll be working with a lighter insert, and a lighter sleeve if you should need one. But I would recommend using tubular aluminum for your insert, NOT a wooden dowel as some hand once mentioned, the aluminum will last way longer once it is glued in place (and possibly riveted as well). Don't bust out the pop rivet gun until you absolutely need it, the epoxy glue I used on my Laser mast was more than enough to hold everything in place, especially since the fitted "shims" or aluminum sheet sections made everything snug. Not heller tight, but SNUG... I had to gently tap everything into final position when I repaired my mast. Oh, yeah, I had a large piece of cardboard under my work area, just to avoid a gluey mess, lol. :eek:

CHECK THIS SITE FOR PREVIOUS THREADS ON REPAIRING BROKEN SPARS, I KNOW THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN DISCUSSED BEFORE... :rolleyes:

P.S. Once you're done with the repair, a clean rag dampened with a little bit of acetone will serve to wipe the repaired spar clean of any residual glue... :)

Oh, yeah, if the bend is so slight that you can simply bend the spar back into place WITHOUT going to all this trouble, then THAT is what you do, lol... :cool:
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
But I would recommend using tubular aluminum for your insert, NOT a wooden dowel as some hand once mentioned, the aluminum will last way longer once it is glued in place (and possibly riveted as well). Don't bust out the pop rivet gun until you absolutely need it, the epoxy glue I used on my Laser mast was more than enough to hold everything in place, especially since the fitted "shims" or aluminum sheet sections made everything snug. Not heller tight, but SNUG... I had to gently tap everything into final position when I repaired my mast. Oh, yeah, I had a large piece of cardboard under my work area, just to avoid a gluey mess, lol. :eek:

CHECK THIS SITE FOR PREVIOUS THREADS ON REPAIRING BROKEN SPARS, I KNOW THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN DISCUSSED BEFORE... :rolleyes:

P.S. Once you're done with the repair, a clean rag dampened with a little bit of acetone will serve to wipe the repaired spar clean of any residual glue... :)

Oh, yeah, if the bend is so slight that you can simply bend the spar back into place WITHOUT going to all this trouble, then THAT is what you do, lol... :cool:
That could have been my suggestion. :oops:

However, that suggestion should have referred to a spar that was bent or broken near its (less-stressed) tips or ends. Rather than a store-bought birch dowel, I'd look for a discarded broom handle made of oak or other strong hardwood.

(Now that I think of it, I once repaired an aluminum lawn chair using a short length of Schedule-40 PVC pipe).

A "splice" of thicker aluminum tubing would be best at the two places where the spars are in contact with the mast.

When I replaced my broken mast, the wholesaler had 20-foot anodized lengths, so I ordered four 10-footers. As expected, they'd made perfect through-cuts. :cool:

(Don't use a standard roundy-round pipe-cutter, or your caps won't fit...! :confused: )

Saving on shipping costs, those three "spares" all sold through this forum.

Win-Win... :)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I once used a section of broomstick to repair a broken aluminum leg on my favorite Coleman camp chair back in the day... the chair had traveled a million miles with me and been through heaps of adventures, so it had sentimental value and I didn't wanna just toss it. Cut a section of broomstick, fitted it into the holes and then added screws on either side of the break, worked like a champ for several more years. I finally wore out the canvas seat and back on that camp chair, but damned if I didn't get my money's worth out of it first. People nowadays are too quick to toss stuff which can still be repaired and used awhile longer. Call me a cheap b@stard, but I like getting my money's worth out of things, which explains why I'm driving a 20-year-old car, lol... hey, 'The Mighty Camry' still fires up with one turn of the key, and it's pretty reliable, so I'll drive it into the dirt, or until it dies on me, whichever comes first. :rolleyes:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
We seem to be on the same wavelength, although you probably don't have a comprehensive collection of broomsticks or PVC-sections like mine :D .

You've seen pictures here of my pickup truck "car-topping" various Sunfish. It's 26 years old, and soon I think I'll buy it a present of a Florida "Antique" plate. :)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I think I need an antique plate... and not for my car, lol. ;)

As for keeping an older vehicle, why swap it out when it still works fine? I'm not one of those guys who needs a new vehicle (or phone) every year... :confused:

If I ever meet the woman of my dreams---which seems unlikely at this point---she's gonna love me for my SWEET DISPOSITION, not my friggin' ride, lol. :rolleyes:

Of course, if I ever hit the Big-Time, I'll immediately buy a Lamborghini Aventador and use it as my "daily driver"---burnin' rubber as I troll for tickets, lol. :eek:

I'll actually hide in the bushes and wait for speed cops to roll up on me, then burn out in front of 'em and get that piece of Italian junk moving at 200+ m.p.h. :)

Frame the "driving awards" later (once I'm outta jail), put 'em on a wall in the Pool Room so I can display 'em to guests and claim bragging rights, lol. :cool:
 
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