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To wash out the inside of the hull or not?


Active Member
Work on my 1971 Sunfish has been proceeding at a good clip. Today I cut a hole for a 5" inspection port. Looking into the hole, there was no water sloshing about, but the humidity inside was very high. When I placed my hand on the dagger-board trunk, it definitely got wet from the condensation.

I don't know the history of the boat, but since it belonged to someone in Gloucester, MA, I have to believe it was used in salt water to most of the time. Surprisingly except for the bailer, all of the screws for the splash guard and the drain on the starboard side screwed right out with little sign of corrosion, so maybe it got sailed somewhere else? The inside of the boat looked and smelled fine.

So my question is, should I wash the inside of the boat out with fresh water? My feeling is if there had been salt water in it the salt residue would continue to attract moisture. The folks at Intensity Sails recommended I do that, but I wanted to get some other opinions.

Thanks for your help!

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I don't think there is any need to, not much inside to corrode but there are wooden and foam things inside that don't like trapped water. The flip side is I've cleaned out trashed boats before but be sure to let the fully dry afterwards, and you'll see nice clean fiberglass inside.

Rob C.

I know this was posted a while back but have you weighed your boat? I am willing to bet the foam has gotten waterlogged over the past 43 years which is the reason it is so humid in there.

The best way to fix that problem is to put it in the garage this winter and hang a 40 watt incandescent light light bulb inside the hull with the inspection port open and leave it there until spring. Just be sure to tape some rat wire over the opening so the mice in your garage don't take up residence inside your hull which will be very warm and inviting with that light bulb burning in there all winter.

My 1978 Sunfish lost 20 lbs when I did that.