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Transporting a Sunfish home

Debbie

Member
It has a vent hole or would expand in the sun and pop a seam. This might help find it. Search results for query: Minifish vent
Yup-my mini has that hole. Never knew what it was! Is there supposed to be a hole in a sunfish back by the stern towards the starboard corner of the boat? The one I'm looking at has one. They had duct tape over it. They said I could buy a plug for it. But I never actually saw the hole because the tape was covering it...
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Sunfish didn't put a drain in the transom, so it was likely owner-installed.

I installed one with a plug. The transom is very thin; the hole difficult to make smooth, so a plug doesn't make a good seal.

It's only that because my Sunfish is stored on a steep ramp that I'm not repairing the drain I installed! :confused:

.
 

Debbie

Member
That is extremely unlikely unless you have sanded all the gelcoat off the boat and then sanded away part of the fiberglass too!! You need to do a leak test. It’s simple and has been explained on here. It’s likely just one or two places where the leak has developed.
Ok I spoke with the guy who does repairs again. I misunderstood him. He thought it sounded like it was leaking around the seams of the boat and that would mean taking it apart and gluing it back together which would be expensive since it’s a lot of work. He said it would also be a lot of work if it’s leaking from inside where the dagger board goes in. He will come air test it to diagnose it. I don’t feel confident to test it myself.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Holy Cow!!! Or maybe just bull$h!t, LOL... lose the "repair guy" and place an ad on a billboard down at the nearest marina, boat shop or auto shop where folks would likely have a clue. Worst-case scenario, use C/L to find someone who knows what the h3ll he's doing in fiberglass repair. Have you inspected the daggerboard well or trunk of your boat for damage? Particularly the lower part of the trunk? How about a visual inspection of the joint where hull and deck meet? For the boat to ship as much water as you describe, the damage would have to be visible. Check the gudgeons too, they may be loose and the mounting holes worn, in which case they might be compounding the problem if the holes go clear through the hull. Check your mast step with a flashlight and look for damage down at the lower end of the tube, another potential contributor to the shipping of water, particularly in rough seas. :confused:

This "repair guy" is clearly trying to rip you off, the suggestions he made were absolutely ridiculous... none of this repair work is rocket science, and you can familiarize yourself with the basics of glass repair by checking out books at the nearest library, Googling your topics or questions on the Internet, and specifically asking folks here at this site (which you've already done, so kudos to you). Jeez, just catching up to this thread reminds me of that old Dead Kennedys tune, "TRUST YOUR MECHANIC"---no future in it for you, that's for sure, best thing to do is edumacate yourself about glass repair, not necessarily so you do it yourself, but so you know enough to NOT get ripped off, aye? I might add that glass repair is NOT solely the realm or domain of men, many women are quite capable of effecting repairs... Breeze Bender is the first person who comes to mind as an example here at this site. :cool:

THAT'S MY $.02, FWIW, I JUST DON'T LIKE HEARING ABOUT FOLKS GETTING RIPPED OFF... WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SMALL CRAFT HERE, NOT THE FRIGGIN' TITANIC. :rolleyes:

P.S. Post pics of the areas mentioned above, including close-ups of the daggerboard trunk, joint between hull & deck, mast step tube (flash should go off if you block enough light), etc. Folks here will help you make things right. :D

Edit: HAD to dig up the video, LOL... :eek:

 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
A quick test of the mast step is to remove the mast, pour water to the rim, wait a day, and see if the water is still at the same level. If the leak is there, we can help you (or the repair guy) in the repair.

After this test, empty out the water. We're seeing frost warnings, and you don't want water freezing in there! :confused:
.
 

Debbie

Member
Holy Cow!!! Or maybe just bull$h!t, LOL... lose the "repair guy" and place an ad on a billboard down at the nearest marina, boat shop or auto shop where folks would likely have a clue. Worst-case scenario, use C/L to find someone who knows what the h3ll he's doing in fiberglass repair. Have you inspected the daggerboard well or trunk of your boat for damage? Particularly the lower part of the trunk? How about a visual inspection of the joint where hull and deck meet? For the boat to ship as much water as you describe, the damage would have to be visible. Check the gudgeons too, they may be loose and the mounting holes worn, in which case they might be compounding the problem if the holes go clear through the hull. Check your mast step with a flashlight and look for damage down at the lower end of the tube, another potential contributor to the shipping of water, particularly in rough seas. :confused:

This "repair guy" is clearly trying to rip you off, the suggestions he made were absolutely ridiculous... none of this repair work is rocket science, and you can familiarize yourself with the basics of glass repair by checking out books at the nearest library, Googling your topics or questions on the Internet, and specifically asking folks here at this site (which you've already done, so kudos to you). Jeez, just catching up to this thread reminds me of that old Dead Kennedys tune, "TRUST YOUR MECHANIC"---no future in it for you, that's for sure, best thing to do is edumacate yourself about glass repair, not necessarily so you do it yourself, but so you know enough to NOT get ripped off, aye? I might add that glass repair is NOT solely the realm or domain of men, many women are quite capable of effecting repairs... Breeze Bender is the first person who comes to mind as an example here at this site. :cool:

THAT'S MY $.02, FWIW, I JUST DON'T LIKE HEARING ABOUT FOLKS GETTING RIPPED OFF... WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SMALL CRAFT HERE, NOT THE FRIGGIN' TITANIC. :rolleyes:

P.S. Post pics of the areas mentioned above, including close-ups of the daggerboard trunk, joint between hull & deck, mast step tube (flash should go off if you block enough light), etc. Folks here will help you make things right. :D

Edit: HAD to dig up the video, LOL... :eek:

I posted on my towns Facebook page and all I got was people wanting to flood the hull!
 

Debbie

Member
Holy Cow!!! Or maybe just bull$h!t, LOL... lose the "repair guy" and place an ad on a billboard down at the nearest marina, boat shop or auto shop where folks would likely have a clue. Worst-case scenario, use C/L to find someone who knows what the h3ll he's doing in fiberglass repair. Have you inspected the daggerboard well or trunk of your boat for damage? Particularly the lower part of the trunk? How about a visual inspection of the joint where hull and deck meet? For the boat to ship as much water as you describe, the damage would have to be visible. Check the gudgeons too, they may be loose and the mounting holes worn, in which case they might be compounding the problem if the holes go clear through the hull. Check your mast step with a flashlight and look for damage down at the lower end of the tube, another potential contributor to the shipping of water, particularly in rough seas. :confused:

This "repair guy" is clearly trying to rip you off, the suggestions he made were absolutely ridiculous... none of this repair work is rocket science, and you can familiarize yourself with the basics of glass repair by checking out books at the nearest library, Googling your topics or questions on the Internet, and specifically asking folks here at this site (which you've already done, so kudos to you). Jeez, just catching up to this thread reminds me of that old Dead Kennedys tune, "TRUST YOUR MECHANIC"---no future in it for you, that's for sure, best thing to do is edumacate yourself about glass repair, not necessarily so you do it yourself, but so you know enough to NOT get ripped off, aye? I might add that glass repair is NOT solely the realm or domain of men, many women are quite capable of effecting repairs... Breeze Bender is the first person who comes to mind as an example here at this site. :cool:

THAT'S MY $.02, FWIW, I JUST DON'T LIKE HEARING ABOUT FOLKS GETTING RIPPED OFF... WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SMALL CRAFT HERE, NOT THE FRIGGIN' TITANIC. :rolleyes:

P.S. Post pics of the areas mentioned above, including close-ups of the daggerboard trunk, joint between hull & deck, mast step tube (flash should go off if you block enough light), etc. Folks here will help you make things right. :D

Edit: HAD to dig up the video, LOL... :eek:

This guy came recommended by a boat store. He works on sailboats and knows Sunfishes. I have asked around and can’t find anyone else. I am not at all confident to do any of this myself I’m afraid I’ll blow the deck off if I try to find the leak and not properly fix the leak.
 

Debbie

Member
Holy Cow!!! Or maybe just bull$h!t, LOL... lose the "repair guy" and place an ad on a billboard down at the nearest marina, boat shop or auto shop where folks would likely have a clue. Worst-case scenario, use C/L to find someone who knows what the h3ll he's doing in fiberglass repair. Have you inspected the daggerboard well or trunk of your boat for damage? Particularly the lower part of the trunk? How about a visual inspection of the joint where hull and deck meet? For the boat to ship as much water as you describe, the damage would have to be visible. Check the gudgeons too, they may be loose and the mounting holes worn, in which case they might be compounding the problem if the holes go clear through the hull. Check your mast step with a flashlight and look for damage down at the lower end of the tube, another potential contributor to the shipping of water, particularly in rough seas. :confused:

This "repair guy" is clearly trying to rip you off, the suggestions he made were absolutely ridiculous... none of this repair work is rocket science, and you can familiarize yourself with the basics of glass repair by checking out books at the nearest library, Googling your topics or questions on the Internet, and specifically asking folks here at this site (which you've already done, so kudos to you). Jeez, just catching up to this thread reminds me of that old Dead Kennedys tune, "TRUST YOUR MECHANIC"---no future in it for you, that's for sure, best thing to do is edumacate yourself about glass repair, not necessarily so you do it yourself, but so you know enough to NOT get ripped off, aye? I might add that glass repair is NOT solely the realm or domain of men, many women are quite capable of effecting repairs... Breeze Bender is the first person who comes to mind as an example here at this site. :cool:

THAT'S MY $.02, FWIW, I JUST DON'T LIKE HEARING ABOUT FOLKS GETTING RIPPED OFF... WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SMALL CRAFT HERE, NOT THE FRIGGIN' TITANIC. :rolleyes:

P.S. Post pics of the areas mentioned above, including close-ups of the daggerboard trunk, joint between hull & deck, mast step tube (flash should go off if you block enough light), etc. Folks here will help you make things right. :D

Edit: HAD to dig up the video, LOL... :eek:

What are gudgeons??
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Stumbled across this and thought of this thread.
It’s actually pretty clever.
Haha, don't knock it if it works, that's just the sort of West African Engineering for which I was famous back in the day, LOL. :rolleyes:

OP, if you wanna trust the "repair guy" that's your call, as adults we all make choices... as for gudgeons, they are mounting hardware for your rudder, the pintles of most rudders will drop into the gudgeons to secure your rudder as you ship it. There are such things as "rudder gudgeons" which are back-@$$wards, but most small sailboats have gudgeons mounted on the stern or transom and pintles mounted on the rudder, to make shipping the rudder easy. :cool:

Any decent library will have books on basic sailing, and those books will have diagrams showing hardware, fittings, sail gear, etc. For me, ROYCE'S SAILING ILLUSTRATED will always be the "Sailor's Bible"---but it has heaps of information which is NOT really needed by a novice sailor. It's a case of "take what ya need out of the book, and don't worry about the rest." Several decades ago, there was an excellent book on basic sailing used in courses of instruction, with clear diagrams and whatnot, I think it was put out by the USCG in association with the Red Cross (?), but don't quote me on that, I could be wrong. Great book, very simple and easy to understand, with diagrams showing the boat and all of its components, points of sail, maneuvers in sequence, etc., etc. THAT is the kind of book you want to read when you first start sailing, later you can check out books like those by Dick Tillman, which explain more advanced concepts, techniques, etc., to further your nautical edumacation. ;)

GOOD LUCK, AND CHEERS!!! :D
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Okay, I just pulled a quick web search and I think I found that book, I believe it's the BASIC SAILING book by the American Red Cross (a.k.a. the American National Red Cross) which you can find dirt cheap on the web... this book was used in courses of instruction at San Diego Naval Sailing Club, and those courses were sanctioned by the USCG. If I remember correctly, the staff down there at SDNSC picked up the books through the USCG in San Diego. Very simple and easy to read, this book covers just about everything a novice sailor needs to know... I saw a used copy on sale for $4.29, a very good investment if you're serious about sailing. Later, as I said, you can move on to more detailed books which deal with advanced sailing, aye? No worries... what's the old Chinese proverb? "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"---or something like that, LOL. :rolleyes:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Air leak test is pretty easy and fun. You can use different types of pumps, like a bike tire pump. Check out our video.


Most likely your leak is in the daggerboard trunk or along the bottom chine. We can talk you through the repairs.

Where do you live? Maybe there is a Forum Member nearby who can evaluate/assist?

As for buying a Sunfish, if you can barely lift the Mini then you will not be able to lift the Sunfish. If you still decide to get it, it will not fit in a minivan. I'd rent a 17 foot Uhaul to go get it. or one of their pickup trucks.

We're pulling for the Minifish.

PS If the Sunfish you are looking at has a drain plug on the transom then that means it has had, or still has leaks. Someone installed it to drain water from the boat. I'd recommend that you keep looking or else you'll potentially have 2 boats to repair.
 
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Debbie

Member
There is a hole in the boat somewhere - his theory does not hold water, so to speak. There is absolutely no way that amount of water is seeping thru the hull itself. Either he does not want to fix your boat or he is clueless.

There is a perfectly good chance a port would not be needed for the fix. The first step is to find the leak. You should find the hull vent hole and tape it over. Then make up a bucket of soapy water. Then blow air into the drain vent and soap the seams of the boat, the bailer area, the daggerboard trunk and draw a bubble over the mast hole. Also soap any hardware. The soap will bubble where the holes/hole are/is. You don’t want to put too much pressure in the hull as you can pop the seams, but given how badly your boat is leaking youlll need decent pressure. And the bubbles will be obvious given how badly the boat leaks. Let us know where it’s leaking and we on the boat d can provide advice on fixing it. You could go to your repair guy and show him where the leak is too to see if he wants to fix it or not.

Sunfish newer than 1989 or so came from the factory with a strap. You’ll have to install one on older boats.
Say I did want to attempt this myself... What do I use to blow the air and how would i know if it's the right amount of pressure?
 

Debbie

Member
Air leak test is pretty easy and fun. You can use different types of pumps, like a bike tire pump. Check out our video.


Most likely your leak is in the daggerboard trunk or along the bottom chine. We can talk you through the repairs.

Where do you live? Maybe there is a Forum Member nearby who can evaluate/assist?

As for buying a Sunfish, if you can barely lift the Mini then you will not be able to lift the Sunfish. If you still decide to get it, it will not fit in a minivan. I'd rent a 17 foot Uhaul to go get it. or one of their pickup trucks.

We're pulling for the Minifish.

PS If the Sunfish you are looking at has a drain plug on the transom then that means it has had, or still has leaks. Someone installed it to drain water from the boat. I'd recommend that you keep looking or else you'll potentially have 2 boats to repair.
I worry about applying too much pressure and blowing the boat apart! How do you know exactly how much pressure to apply?? I live in Schroon Lake NY- up in the Adirondacks, not too far from Lake George. I definitely feel like I would need help with this. The only reason I think I can lift this particular Sunfish is because it comes with this little wheel assistance thing to help me pull it. I can hardly pull mine up on the beach because it is full of water after i sail. I assume a non-leaky Sunfish weighs less than a water-filled mini- wouldn't it? Although I also wonder if i would need more strength to pull the tiller and the main sheet while sailing...I can just about manage that with my mini. I put a photo of the Sunfish- you can see the dolly attached and the duct tape covering where the hole is -right under the spar by the stern.
 

Debbie

Member
About 2 psi. should do it. When the tub vent blows bubbles, that
should be enough.
What could I buy that would use 2 psi. pressure? I only have an electric pump for blowing up an inflatable kayak so the opening is much larger than the drain hole opening in the boat and i have no idea what the psi. is.
 

Sailflow

Active Member
If you look closely at the picture you’ll notice a foam block under the spars/mast, this and a couple of bungees creates enough friction to hold them in place.
As for the boat you can see the cam strap hooks in the cockpit that are secured to the bed of the truck. Simple yet effective.
for 3
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The vent would be a good indicator of how much air us coming out, we wouldn't cover it. It is also a good spot to pump air in, hard to pump much air through that little hole. Your electric pump should work just fine.

FWIW we don't like those transom dollies. That is a lot of stress on that fitting, probably going to work it loose and cause leaks. It is also not handy to pull the boat by the bow handle as it is only held in by 4 screws.

You should be able to handle the Sunfish sheet and tiller just as well as a waterlogged Mini.

Consider checking with Alan to see if he has a good boat for you to buy for next season, he is about 3 hours away.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You might want to weigh your Mini to get an idea if the foam is wet, that will factor in to how much work you may or may not need to do to it. Get a bathroom scale and stand the Mini on its side on the scale.

You know what, why not treat yourself to a new Sunfish!? Our friends at Shoreline Sailboats can set you up.
 

Debbie

Member
The vent would be a good indicator of how much air us coming out, we wouldn't cover it. It is also a good spot to pump air in, hard to pump much air through that little hole. Your electric pump should work just fine.

FWIW we don't like those transom dollies. That is a lot of stress on that fitting, probably going to work it loose and cause leaks. It is also not handy to pull the boat by the bow handle as it is only held in by 4 screws.

You should be able to handle the Sunfish sheet and tiller just as well as a waterlogged Mini.

Consider checking with Alan to see if he has a good boat for you to buy for next season, he is about 3 hours away.
Who is Alan and why would he have a boat? Is he someone who could help me with air testing my boat for leaks or repairing them?
 

Debbie

Member
You might want to weigh your Mini to get an idea if the foam is wet, that will factor in to how much work you may or may not need to do to it. Get a bathroom scale and stand the Mini on its side on the scale.

You know what, why not treat yourself to a new Sunfish!? Our friends at Shoreline Sailboats can set you up.
I did plan on weighing it. Can’t afford a new one!
 

Debbie

Member
The vent would be a good indicator of how much air us coming out, we wouldn't cover it. It is also a good spot to pump air in, hard to pump much air through that little hole. Your electric pump should work just fine.

FWIW we don't like those transom dollies. That is a lot of stress on that fitting, probably going to work it loose and cause leaks. It is also not handy to pull the boat by the bow handle as it is only held in by 4 screws.

You should be able to handle the Sunfish sheet and tiller just as well as a waterlogged Mini.

Consider checking with Alan to see if he has a good boat for you to buy for next season, he is about 3 hours away.
What type of dolly is good for launching? I’ve seen some for several hundred dollars and I couldn’t afford that. A used kayak dolly would be more in my price range.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Evidently all you need is a 1969 Chevy pickup!


View attachment 34632
That's a classic photo... dude standing behind the truck isn't the brightest crayon in the box, LOL. :confused:

I agree with Signal Charlie. I'm really happy with my Sunfish which I bought new last year! Had to throw in a "show off" photo.
Norcalsail, I sure am glad you're enjoying that Fish of yours, and you're learning fast by sailing with those guys up in your neck o' the woods... keep it up, hand, and you'll soon be a seasoned skipper!!! :cool:
 

Debbie

Member
You might want to weigh your Mini to get an idea if the foam is wet, that will factor in to how much work you may or may not need to do to it. Get a bathroom scale and stand the Mini on its side on the scale.

You know what, why not treat yourself to a new Sunfish!? Our friends at Shoreline Sailboats can set you up.
So I weighed my mini with the water it had taken on in the hull and again after draining the water. It weighed 180 with water and 160 without. I find it hard to believe my results were accurate because the Sunfish which weighed 138 felt heavier on the dolly. My boat is on sand so I put down a big piece if wood and put the scale on top of it. I weighed myself first to see that it worked. I tipped the boat onto its side onto the scale right where the drain plug is. First I had the scale about center of the cockpit and it only weighed 117 but I think the bow of the boat was resting on the sand.
 
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