Thrift Store Sunfish!

Thread starter #1
Hey guys, I just picked up what appears to be a model year 2000 Sunfish with "X Vanguard" markings on the transom. I've included some pics below. This is my first Sunfish and I'm not too familiar with what to look for but aside from it missing the daggerboard and some rips in the sails, it appears that it could be restored without too much effort.

My last sailboat was an O'Day 15 I had in college and loved it. It's been many years since those days but I'm looking forward to sailing again. We have some small ponds nearby and larger lakes and waterways within half hour's drive. The boat did not come with a trailer and I managed to haul it home in the back of my Honda Pilot, lol.

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#2
dang, if you got that for $200, that is a STEAL.

looks like the wood parts could stand to be re-finished.
a new sail can be bought from Intensity Sails (less than $150).
do a leak test.

ask questions! and congrats on the great find!
 
Thread starter #3
dang, if you got that for $200, that is a STEAL.

looks like the wood parts could stand to be re-finished.
a new sail can be bought from Intensity Sails (less than $150).
do a leak test.

ask questions! and congrats on the great find!
Sounds great. Thanks. I actually talked them down to $150 since I had no idea of the relative worth of the boat and I was concerned about daggerboard replacement.

Here are some additional closeup pics of the boat now that its home:

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#4
that's a great deal, you're very lucky. you could probably add a zero to that number and have no trouble selling it if the hull is in good shape (no damage, no leaks). I have a 2000, same color pattern and everything (paid $750 and figured that was a steal at the time!).

the sail tears can be fixed with sail tape if you want to keep the original sail.
but unless you plan to sail in Sunfish Class-approved races, I'd spring for the new "race-style" sail from Intensity Sails. Race Style Practice Sail for the Sunfish®

while you're there shopping at Intensity Sails - get the quick-release for your gooseneck control as well.

it's hard to see what is there for the mainsheet controls, but I'd probably upgrade to a ratchet block with a rubber boot or stand-up spring. on my 2000 Sunfish, I didn't bother adding a cam cleat, but they can be nice. see my blog post w/ mainsheet block upgrades
 
#5
Nice find... sail looks a bit tired, probably look ghetto if ya taped it up and might still fail ya anyway, I'd take Tag's advice and pick up a new one just for the peace of mind. Hull & deck look pretty good, but you'll still wanna check seams, joints, mast step, daggerboard trunk, etc. Some light sanding and coats of varnish for the woodwork, and your boat will look like a million bucks, LOL. Funny coincidence, I paid $200 for my Minifish off C/L, dumped another $200 or so into her, and she was good to go, a solid little boat for thrashing offshore or sailing the length of the Salton Sea. Really can't go wrong here, even if you upgrade with new sail, gear, etc., and you decide the boat is NOT for you, you can sell her and turn a profit. But I say keep her and sail her, don't base your decision on a mere voyage or two. CHEERS!!! :cool:
 
Thread starter #7
I really appreciate the feedback! I'm checking out some videos on how to do a leak test. I have found a couple of quarter coin sized chipped spots on the hull with spider cracks and one on the top edge rear of the cockpit. I suppose I'll need to apply fiberglass patch to those or is there another method? Perhaps an epoxy filler?

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On the daggerboard, intensity sails have a few of those as well so I'll check that out.

When I tried to mount the rudder onto the boat, I found that it appears someone reversed the hinge pin. The smaller end is at top! I'll have to remove that and turn the pin around. The large pin is also bent:

68898280_2501642086565301_5221401611582046208_n.jpg

Here are a few more shots of the sail rigging. Appears to be in good shape so I suppose I'll just need a new sail.

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#8
Thrift stores usually have good "pricers". :oops: Most of us have spent $200 just on the lines!

Some moron pried the rudder off! :mad:

That $8 pin should be replaced. The old pin will straighten today, but will snap-off upon a second hit—risking a
lost rudder! :(

The arms on the gudgeon were twisted and its ends were bent apart. They should be returned to parallel. I think the pin will work in either orientation. Do I hear a confirmation? :)

.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#10
dang, if you got that for $200, that is a STEAL. looks like the wood parts could stand to be re-finished. a new sail can be bought from Intensity Sails (less than $150).
do a leak test. ask questions! and congrats on the great find!
The North sail is widely considered one of the finest. (I have a Ratsey & Lapthorn in red, but it's much older).

The rips can be fixed with "sail repair tape". During the repair, a second person is desirable to hold the sail as flat as possible.

Last week, during a windstorm, I had a three-year-old Neil Pryde sail rip :eek: at the head—all in the same panel. (About eight straight cuts, almost like a razor had been used) :oops:.

Unable to locate my usual sail-repair tape, I used some clear Gorilla tape. "New" a couple of years ago, it's like clear packaging tape, but maybe four times thicker. I'll let you-all know how it works out. :)

BTW: Gorilla tape, former only in black, is now available in white. (Not necessarily for sails).

.
 
Thread starter #13
I now see that the rudder hitch pin *Would* work from either direction. However, since my pin was bent, it would not retract fully back into the pin shroud holder, which meant that the top pin could not retract enough to prevent it from slipping off the transom mount (only the small collar was exposed). In trying to bend the lower pin back in line, it broke right off! So, now with the spring fully sprung without the bent pin holding it back, the rudder will stay in place, but without the bottom pin. So, I guess I'm going to have to add that to the purchase list.

I'm thinking that just to get the boat seaworthy, and since I'm going to have to spring $175-200 for a daggerboard (unless you guys think I can DIY one - I'd just need measurements if they exist online), I'm going to forego new sails and just try some clear sail patch tape. I like the look of the North Sails and once I get the dirt off of them (I think this boat was barn stored in dirt), The sails should be fine for atleast a start.

While I wait on the sail patch tape to arrive, my first course of action is to get some gel coat kit and mend these 3 cracked places.
 
#15
Great buy. I would go with the Intensity sail and look on eBay for a dagger board. Unless you love woodworking, you will have more time and materials in building a good daggerboard than buying a nice one off eBay.
The pin is easily replaced and I have 3 sunfish, two pointed one direction and one upside down as I wasn't paying attention when I replaced it. They are relatively cheap at under $15.00, last I looked.
The patches can be done with marine tex if they aren't structural. On one small gelcoat patch I put tape around the area, then I placed marine tex in place and then laid wax paper over it and smoothed it out. After hardening, removed the tape with a knife and it looks great from 2 feet away.
 
Thread starter #16
Update: I just weighed the boat and it comes in at 125 pounds. I read here (How to Buy a Used Sunfish) that it should be between 115 and 130 pounds, so I'm guessing that's good, albeit a bit on the high side perhaps.

I just ordered the replacement rudder pintle from intensity sails and the sail patch tape from Amazon. I could not find a gooseneck quick release for sale on the intensity sails website so I may try to find one of those at a local bike shop perhaps.

51resjXsQZL.jpg

To keep things simple for now (and cheap) I've decided to try to repair the original sail and see how it goes. I'm fairly OK with woodwork so I'm going to see how difficult a DIY daggerboard is to make before buying one.

On another note, while I was weighing the boat I noticed that the drain siphon appears to be facing the wrong direction!

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#17
Update: I just weighed the boat and it comes in at 125 pounds. I read here (How to Buy a Used Sunfish) that it should be between 115 and 130 pounds, so I'm guessing that's good, albeit a bit on the high side perhaps. I just ordered the replacement rudder pintle from intensity sails and the sail patch tape from Amazon. I could not find a gooseneck quick release for sale on the intensity sails website so I may try to find one of those at a local bike shop perhaps. To keep things simple for now (and cheap) I've decided to try to repair the original sail and see how it goes. I'm fairly OK with woodwork so I'm going to see how difficult a DIY daggerboard is to make before buying one. On another note, while I was weighing the boat I noticed that the drain siphon appears to be facing the wrong direction!
That's an easy fix. :cool: Loosen the nut inside the cockpit, and rotate the bailer counter-clockwise from the outside. Re-tighten, and you're good to go. There should be a largish O-ring keeping the bailer off the hull, but some owners have tossed it, and glued the bailer to the hull. :confused: I think the O-ring was part of the intent to reduce impact damage on hard surfaces. (Bailers can break). :(

BTW: 125 pounds is a good weight. :)

.
 

wjejr

Active Member
#18
I love woodworking, but when it comes to the daggerboard, the performance of the FRP daggerboard is hard to beat. That daggerboard has a true foil shape, and the performance improvement is immediately noticeable. You can replicate that shape in wood using NACA foil templates that you can find online, but it’s a ton of work to do it right. I made a rudder a while ago using the NACA templates, and while immensely satisfying, I haven’t yet had the urge to do the same with the daggerboard, even though it would probably be easier.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
Thread starter #20
I’d just get the FRP daggerboard from Intensity Sails. I have it - love it.
I think I'll probably do that. Its at $195 now, but I saw on here where it has been on sale for $160. I'm sure a bargain at either price compared to the non replica version, but I have a bit of time before I'm done with the other stuff I need to do so hopefully I can catch it on sale before then.
 
Thread starter #21
We just had some rain storms come through. The sail cleaned up pretty well between the rain and a light scrub with soft brush. I know it may not last, but there's just something cool about having the original sail on the boat. Plus, I've always been a bit envious of the boats equipped with sails bearing that distinctive "N/S" North Sails logo.

I noticed while cleaning the sail that (1) several of the clip rings were broken (2) The mast base cap was missing and (3) there was no cleat on the mast to secure the halyard.

Another trip to Intensitysails.com. Great that they have pretty incredible prices.
 
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Thread starter #24
Just an FYI, no cleat required on mast to secure halyard. Original equipment is a cleat on deck for this purpose
That makes sense now. I guess that's why I don't see any holes in the mast where this would have been.

I do like the way the boat is rigged with the slip knot + 2-1 leverage loop here:


Question: Since I don't already have holes in the mast, would I just use some stainless self tapping screws to fasten the cleat to the mast?
 
#26
Question: Since I don't already have holes in the mast, would I just use some stainless self tapping screws to fasten the cleat to the mast?
for the mast cleats, I installed them just below the limit allowed by the Sunfish Class (max height for the cleat is 48″ from the base of the mast). I used the blue masking tape to mark off the 48″ limit. I used the 3M 4200 sealant behind the cleat, and fastened it on with #10 stainless steel sheet metal screws – I had to pre-drill the mast with small pilot holes.

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Thread starter #27
I picked this up at Home Depot today to use for the gel coat chip repair. Should be OK? Also will work for air sealing the hull at the screw points of the fasteners?

locktite-marine-epoxy.jpg

From the packaging:

  • Ideal for through-hull fastening and deck fittings
  • Sealant is fast setting with 24 hour cure
  • Delivers a watertight, flexible bond
  • Use above or below waterline once cured
 
Thread starter #29
while you're there shopping at Intensity Sails - get the quick-release for your gooseneck control as well.
Apparently they don't sell those any longer. However, I was able to borrow one from a bike seat from my basement (another thrift store find). The gooseneck was a bit hard to work loose from its position. Its still a bit hard to move, even with the bolt completely removed. They had some sort of white tape around the spar under the gooseneck. It was positioned at 21 inches from the spar end.

it's hard to see what is there for the mainsheet controls, but I'd probably upgrade to a ratchet block with a rubber boot or stand-up spring. on my 2000 Sunfish, I didn't bother adding a cam cleat, but they can be nice. see my blog post w/ mainsheet block upgrades
I only have the "Race-Lite" pulley for the cockpit main sheet controller, same as the two on the boom.

As an upgrade, I like your idea. I also see an option for this. Thoughts on the deadeye vs the ratchet pulley setup above?



Ronstan Swivel Cam with Fairlead Great for Sunfish Mainsheet.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#30
I picked this up at Home Depot today to use for the gel coat chip repair. Should be OK? Also will work for air sealing the hull at the screw points of the fasteners?

View attachment 34020

From the packaging:

  • Ideal for through-hull fastening and deck fittings
  • Sealant is fast setting with 24 hour cure
  • Delivers a watertight, flexible bond
  • Use above or below waterline once cured
"Reads" like a good RTV sealant.

Loctite came onto the market as a thread-sealer, and continued to add grades, including some that weren't meant to budge-ever. :eek:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#31
Apparently they don't sell those any longer. However, I was able to borrow one from a bike seat from my basement (another thrift store find). The gooseneck was a bit hard to work loose from its position. They had some sort of white tape around the spar under the gooseneck. It was positioned at 21 inches from the spar end.



I only have the "Race-Lite" pulley for the cockpit main sheet controller, same as the two on the boom.

As an upgrade, I like your idea. I also see an option for this. Thoughts vs the setup above?



Ronstan Swivel Cam with Fairlead Great for Sunfish Mainsheet.
Expensive, and not what you want. Unless you have race-car driver reflexes, a gust can capsize a feller before the mainsheet can be released. :confused:

I like the block shown in the above videos, and I think you will, too. :)
 
Thread starter #33
Expensive, and not what you want. Unless you have race-car driver reflexes, a gust can capsize a feller before the mainsheet can be released. :confused:

I like the block shown in the above videos, and I think you will, too. :)
Well, its not the exact same as in the video, but just ordered the Harken 2135 57mm Single Ratchet Swivel Carbo Block NEW for $50+tax on Ebay.

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Davearoy

I Love Sailing
#36
That's an easy fix. :cool: Loosen the nut inside the cockpit, and rotate the bailer counter-clockwise from the outside. Re-tighten, and you're good to go. There should be a largish O-ring keeping the bailer off the hull, but some owners have tossed it, and glued the bailer to the hull. :confused: I think the O-ring was part of the intent to reduce impact damage on hard surfaces. (Bailers can break). :(

BTW: 125 pounds is a good weight. :)

.
Congrats on your new to you Sunfish find. I found mine for $125, all parts included, I think it is a 1970’s Mfg. My question is, how did you weigh the Hull? Thanks for sharing your find, good Luck with it. Look for a used Jet Ski trailer, they can be found cheap on Craig’s List or on Facebook Market place, I got my trailer for $150. LOL
 
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