What's new

Wasn’t expecting to find this

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
Took advantage of a 75 degree sunny day today in Chicago, to sand down Red, my super Sailfish. She is going to be gifted this Christmas to a Dad, from his grown children. The plan has always been to paint her with fresh white paint. But then I saw how gorgeous the wood on her is, underneath a bunch of latex paint….

Anyone know if sailfish were made from mahogany? Oak? Something else?56483713-2BBC-498E-A09B-90D431114CC5.jpeg447C7ABC-A064-43E6-822B-C88062D9CEA7.jpeg
So now I’m thinking I need to scrap the idea of painting her and instead just restore all her wooden glory?
 

Attachments

LVW

Active Member
The wood could be anything, but oak is unlikely. I like wood, but plywood is likely Western Hemlock, whose grain doesn't do anything for me. :(

You can sand-away, but nearing the end of your sanding, uncover a stain or repair that needs additional carpentry work to make it perfect. (Delaying delivery).

Those are the negatives. If you spend the same amount of time on the paint job, it can be made to turn out spectacular.
 

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
The wood could be anything, but oak is unlikely. I like wood, but plywood is likely Western Hemlock, whose grain doesn't do anything for me. :(

You can sand-away, but nearing the end of your sanding, uncover a stain or repair that needs additional carpentry work to make it perfect. (Delaying delivery).

Those are the negatives. If you spend the same amount of time on the paint job, it can be made to turn out spectacular.
Appreciate that reminder! I’m thinking of using a paint stripper to get a quick idea of if there any major problems. The family that will sail her really hopes it can be stained and varnished up. But a pretty boat that leaks or has other problems will not hold a candle to a tight boat with a spectacular paint job.
I may even do a hybrid finish - if there is a big flaw, it may paint a glossy red patch in the middle of beautiful mahogany
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
She's looking good. Most likely quality fir plywood deck and hull with oak planks. The fir ply shows a lot of grain, which doesn't bother us. A few boats did have mahogany ply but there's too much grain in that deck. That said...

We found damage on the bottom our our Sunfish so we repainted just the bottom and left the topsides bright, coated with West System 105 resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener. The 207 does not need varnish unless you plan to leave her out in extended exposure to UV, as 207 does not blush or turn amber.

ZIP deck bright Finish.jpg

Zip on the beach.jpg


While the paint is off it is a good time to leak test the seams, trunk etc... and seal up any voids with thickened epoxy injected with a syringe.

Zip rudder chain.jpg
 

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
Thank you!!! I tried stripping a section of her deck today, and I could t get it to budge! Our beautiful 75 degree weather dropped to the 40’s, so hoping that by morning I’ll see some more of the actual plywood. Right now I’m planning to do some custom painting on her over any patched or other problematic areas. The new family that is buying her has some great ideas and I’m having so much fun doing this for them. Really appreciate hearing about what resin/hardener you used too.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
See if you want to thank me after you're done sanding.

That good plywood is pretty robust but take your time and don't go too deep or you'll go through the top veneer, and that does not look good. You can expect to find a scarf line somewhere in the middle of the boat where two sheets of plywood were connected, so you might start in the middle and sand around until you find that to make sure there will not be a color difference in the 2 different sheets of ply. On ours it was right behind the daggerboard trunk.

IMG_8165.jpeg

How good are you with cutting wood? I might suggest to add a rub rail, it helps protect the top seam and gives that little extra edge to grab onto after a capsize, also lifting the boat. Our "Sailfish 14 Deluxe" actually came with a rub rail and toe rail, very handy. Also a Dry Dek coaming and fancy bow handle. What type bow handle is on your boat?

IMG_1074.jpeg

FMI: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/p/alcort-super-sailfish-zsa-zsa.html
 
Top