Sunfish with blue hull

Beekeeper

Active Member
I picked up a 76 Sunfish today and the hull is a light blue, at first, I thought it was painted but the owner said it was original gel coat. The hull is waterlogged, not sure of the weight but by the look on my wife's face it was heavy, me, I pick thing up and put them down! It had a lot of dark blue spots on it, at first, I wasn't sure what they were, then the owner said that they were Gorilla tape, whenever he hit something or he thought it was a bad spot he'd tape it then paint it blue, jeeze. The highlight was when he pulled out the other parts, all new, mast, spars, sail, daggerboard and rudder and tiller, said he had only used them twice. The blue hull with white deck and blue and red stripes was a pretty nice-looking boat, hope I can keep her original, depends on what's under the tape. I'll get some pics up soon.
 
I picked up a 76 Sunfish today and the hull is a light blue, at first, I thought it was painted but the owner said it was original gel coat. The hull is waterlogged, not sure of the weight but by the look on my wife's face it was heavy, me, I pick thing up and put them down! It had a lot of dark blue spots on it, at first, I wasn't sure what they were, then the owner said that they were Gorilla tape, whenever he hit something or he thought it was a bad spot he'd tape it then paint it blue, jeeze. The highlight was when he pulled out the other parts, all new, mast, spars, sail, daggerboard and rudder and tiller, said he had only used them twice. The blue hull with white deck and blue and red stripes was a pretty nice-looking boat, hope I can keep her original, depends on what's under the tape. I'll get some pics up soon.


IMG_1368.jpeg
 
Oh boy, this is one of the roughest hulls I've picked up, none of the foam blocks were attached, in about 30mins I pulled out maybe thirty lbs. of soaked foam blocks. Every time I pull off the gorilla tape there's a hole. Almost looks like the foam had some infestation, with holes burrowed through the blocks. Only thing left inside the hull is the large blob of foam in the rear that weighs about 30lbs too much. I have a buddy that said, bring it over, I'll put it in a dumpster, wack it a couple times with my excavator, done deal . I hate doing that, gotta think this over, I know I can make it work, maybe break even, or adopt her into the family.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20230712_164347.jpg
    IMG_20230712_164347.jpg
    2.6 MB · Views: 102
  • IMG_20230712_164409.jpg
    IMG_20230712_164409.jpg
    895.7 KB · Views: 98
  • IMG_20230712_164416.jpg
    IMG_20230712_164416.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 105
  • IMG_20230712_171658.jpg
    IMG_20230712_171658.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 124
  • IMG_20230712_171703.jpg
    IMG_20230712_171703.jpg
    2.2 MB · Views: 103
We had one boat that had zero foam inside, a 1971. It was light and sailed great. We didn't have it long enough for extended use to see if there was ever any oil canning.

Buttercup Audrey test sail.jpg


So for structure...I have oft wondered if we could laminate new blocks from Owens Corning pink foam board (Lowes) or the green Foamular insulation board that Home Depot sells. Both are extruded polystyrene (XPS) closed cell. Glue them together with an adhesive (expanding foam) or tape them with 3M HVAC tape.

As for flotation, I think it would be near impossible to sink a properly sealed hull. But there is a certain amount of buoyancy that the foam offers, how many pounds per cubic foot we don't know. And whether foam was added specifically for added flotation we don't know.

Another thought is some type of fiberglass I beam.

Think back to the late 50s, Alcort was an early adopter for fiberglass. They went from wooden/plywooden boats with wooden spars, bronze hardware and cloth sails to fiberglass hulls, foam structure, aluminum spars, nylon sails and synthetic rigging.

Of course you could stuff the hull full of float bags, maybe place some strategic stringers inside...
 
I have the sections of block that I cut out, in smaller sections of course and have them sitting in the sun. I was thinking of putting them back in, in a staggered pattern in that area after they dry out. The blob of foam in the area behind the cockpit is now the only saturated area and it's pretty heavy and will take quite some time to dry out.
 

Back
Top