What model is it ? To restore or not to restore ??

Thread starter #1
Hi all -
I'm new here to the group. I've got what I THINK, is an older Sunfish. (metal bailer, no storage trunk in hull/cockpit, and no ID plate any where so I can't identify it's age, or even the fact its a Sunfish) It's in rough shape - has been patched poorly in several places. No sail, missing daggerboard & rudder, and alot of hardware is missing. I got it for free from a neighbor who was going to trash it, but thought I might be able restore it. I'm pretty handy with tools, and think maybe it's something I could handle - IF its worth it. Thnks for input and advice. I've already read some on the site here - looks like a great resource !

1) Can anybody tell from the pics what model it is ? Sunfish ? or something else ?
2) Is it worth restoring ?
 

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#2
From the pictures, it looks like a sunfish (I will not confirm that without more pictures though). Defiantly not the original rudder hardware. Looks like it would be a project, but one that can be completed. Expect to spend some money on parts. http://www.apsltd.com/ is a pretty user friendly website to look at prices. You can also search the forums here for used parts. As the boat sits right now, it does not have much monetary value.
 
Thread starter #3
From the pictures, it looks like a sunfish (I will not confirm that without more pictures though). Defiantly not the original rudder hardware. Looks like it would be a project, but one that can be completed. Expect to spend some money on parts. http://www.apsltd.com/ is a pretty user friendly website to look at prices. You can also search the forums here for used parts. As the boat sits right now, it does not have much monetary value.
From the pictures, it looks like a sunfish (I will not confirm that without more pictures though). Defiantly not the original rudder hardware. Looks like it would be a project, but one that can be completed. Expect to spend some money on parts. http://www.apsltd.com/ is a pretty user friendly website to look at prices. You can also search the forums here for used parts. As the boat sits right now, it does not have much monetary value.
Thanks for input and parts website. I'll make a list of parts needed and prices, and probably go ahead with it.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#5
Financially you will probably be better off finding a complete boat in better shape than this one. But if what you want is a project to work on, then you sure have it!! B
 
#6
I noticed even though it's an older boat someone had updated it to new rudder fittings. I hate to say it but you be better off selling parts off of it and look for a complete boat.
FYI: be sitting down when you look up the prices for all the parts you'll need.; and you'll know why I said go for a complete boat.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#7
I am with beldar boathead on this one...
More in general, it depends on how much you value your time. Parts and all will run you at least $300.

PS: :) I am interested in that sail; how much are you willing to sell it for?
 
#8
It could be done but you just have to keep your eyes open for deals on parts. My Sunfish is a hull that washed up in a hurricane and I managed to put together an entire rig for under $400 bucks. Most people posting parts for sale on this forum and on Ebay are somewhat delusional about what old Sunfish parts are worth. There was a rudder assembly on Ebay a couple of weeks ago for $400, and you can buy a complete Sunfish for that.

The better deals are usually found on Craigslist. I posted an ad on my local Craigslist under boats titled (WTB Sunfish parts) and I got 15-20 emails offering me parts as well as several complete boats in various stages of disrepair. A lot of people in coastal areas have old Sunfish or parts of old Sunfish lying around in their garage or basement that haven't been used in decades. I ended up picking up another complete Sunfish and an old wooden 1950s Sailfish for nothing from people who responded to my ad and just wanted the old boat out of their garage.

If you are anywhere near the coast a complete sailable Sunfish from the 60s or 70s can usually be bought for $400-$500. Don't spend much more than that on parts and repairs because that is all a 40+ year old Sunfish will be worth when you are done restoring it.
 
#9
Hi all -
I'm new here to the group. I've got what I THINK, is an older Sunfish. (metal bailer, no storage trunk in hull/cockpit, and no ID plate any where so I can't identify it's age, or even the fact its a Sunfish) It's in rough shape - has been patched poorly in several places. No sail, missing daggerboard & rudder, and alot of hardware is missing. I got it for free from a neighbor who was going to trash it, but thought I might be able restore it. I'm pretty handy with tools, and think maybe it's something I could handle - IF its worth it. Thnks for input and advice. I've already read some on the site here - looks like a great resource !

1) Can anybody tell from the pics what model it is ? Sunfish ? or something else ?
2) Is it worth restoring ?
Dktag - I will reinforce what previous replies have said. Do not restore that boat. Unless there is some sentimental value like it once belonged to your favorite uncle and he would stow you in the cockpit as a toddler and use it to deep sea fish for grouper it is not worth it. You will spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars and hours and will then have a very old boat. Parts will break or fly off only when the wind is really blowing good and you are hanging over the edge of the boat several miles from shore.
Buy a boat off Craigslist, they pop up all the time. There is plenty of information on this forum about choosing a good boat that I wish I had followed prior to buying the boat I did last summer. I could see that the boat was cosmetically bad, but didn't have a clear idea that this also meant the boat would leak and require way too much money and effort to get dry. The boat does have an awesome tiller, and I am clinging to it being a good buy on that basis. I am too proud to get a frequent buyer membership at West Marine and really hope to stop giving them my money soon.
Find a boat that will work as is and will get you on the water sailing. That is what it's about.
 
Thread starter #10
Thanks all, for the advice. There's no sentimental attachment to the boat, so no strong feeling of need to restore this particular one. I've done some scrounging around online and made a quick preliminary parts list. Yes, it is adding up quickly but I think I could still come in under cost of getting a whole boat (around here) ready to sail, from Craigslist, etc. I live in KC area ... yes, we do have lakes here :) but I'd be on smaller bodies of water. But, as pointed out I wouldn't know the history & condition of what I've got. So I'm going to rethink this one and do some looking around before I take the 'project plunge' with this one. Thanks again for the advice - appreciated.
 

danpal

Active Member
#11
You could also go the route I went.
  1. Purchase hull (no fittings, splash guard or rub rail) $50 (Craigslist)
  2. Find a hull in really poor shape but with rub rail, splash guard, bow handle etc... free (Craigslist)
  3. Used rudder / tiller assembly (Ebay) $130
  4. Bailer assembly $29
  5. Used rudder bracket $20
  6. Used daggerboard $40
  7. Bullseye fairlead $5 (West Marine)
  8. Cheap lines (Lowes) $10
I also had a slightly bent mast and spars from a 1960's / 1970's wooden Sunfish I had as a boy along with the original Ratsey & Lapthorn sail.

All told I spent about $285 but I was able to spread out the cashflow over a few months so my wife wouldn't notice. :D
 
Thread starter #13
Thanks all, for the advice. There's no sentimental attachment to the boat, so no strong feeling of need to restore this particular one. I've done some scrounging around online and made a quick preliminary parts list. Yes, it is adding up quickly but I think I could still come in under cost of getting a whole boat (around here) ready to sail, from Craigslist, etc. I live in KC area ... yes, we do have lakes here :) but I'd be on smaller bodies of water. But, as pointed out I wouldn't know the history & condition of what I've got. So I'm going to rethink this one and do some looking around before I take the 'project plunge' with this one. Thanks again for the advice - appreciated.
You could also go the route I went.
  1. Purchase hull (no fittings, splash guard or rub rail) $50 (Craigslist)
  2. Find a hull in really poor shape but with rub rail, splash guard, bow handle etc... free (Craigslist)
  3. Used rudder / tiller assembly (Ebay) $130
  4. Bailer assembly $29
  5. Used rudder bracket $20
  6. Used daggerboard $40
  7. Bullseye fairlead $5 (West Marine)
  8. Cheap lines (Lowes) $10
I also had a slightly bent mast and spars from a 1960's / 1970's wooden Sunfish I had as a boy along with the original Ratsey & Lapthorn sail.

All told I spent about $285 but I was able to spread out the cashflow over a few months so my wife wouldn't notice. :D
ok now you;ve got me thinking maybe again, on this one. :) this is certainly a budget i could live with, if i were going to do the project. curious - what kind of shape was the hull in and did you have to do much work to get it in shape ? i've not done any fiberglass repairs (altho i've done plenty of other construction & general fix it repairs and i'm pretty good with tools,etc) so not sure what to look for besides the obvious (ie. holes, cracks, etc) in the fiberglass surface. mhirte makes a good point, but i'm not so anxious to get on the water, that i need to have one in great shape without any repairs needed.
 

danpal

Active Member
#14
The guy I got the hull from owned a boat yard. One of his employees had stripped the hull in order to repair and paint it. The employee left without finishing it and left it behind. All the parts were lost but it was in fairly good shape.
 
#15
ok now you;ve got me thinking maybe again, on this one. :)........ mhirte makes a good point, but i'm not so anxious to get on the water, that i need to have one in great shape without any repairs needed.

I’d ask myself two questions:

1. As it is now, does the hull leak?

2. How heavy is it? Is it, say, too heavy for you and a buddy comfortable lift onto some car roof racks?

If the answer to both is ‘no’ then you have the possibility of having yourself a ‘beater’ Sunfish – one you can mess around with (or lend out to kids and the folks you wouldn’t want using better equipment) and also perhaps even be able leave down at the local beach or sailing club without much fear of theft. I wouldn’t put major money or effort into ‘restoration’ in the usual sense, as you probably won’t get a positive financial return (if that matters) but having a spare beater for beginner or unorthodox sailing activities never hurts.

At our local sailing club we have a number of Sunfish hulls like that – where the owners have moved away or something and just left marginal boats behind. These have one of two outcomes:

a. If the hulls are easily repaired to the level where they are dry, and they can lifted without killing anyone, they become one of our ‘club boats’ – beaters that kids use for lessons and non-sailing newcomers or visitors can mess around with.

b. If the abandoned hulls are too far gone, they go in a salvage area where they are usually raided for parts before hitting the dumpster.

I’d check the leakage situation and weight. If it passes, or still looks reasonable, I’d start with a couple of holes for ports, a properly installed bracket rudder and some work on the transom, and work my way forward. Even if you give up – or eventually come across a better hull – you can still use or re-use whatever blades, hardware, and sail you come up with. Then maybe you'll have two boats. As long as it's more or less seaworthy, it's better to have an ugly Sunfish than no boat at all.
 
Thread starter #16
I’d ask myself two questions:

1. As it is now, does the hull leak?

2. How heavy is it? Is it, say, too heavy for you and a buddy comfortable lift onto some car roof racks?

If the answer to both is ‘no’ then you have the possibility of having yourself a ‘beater’ Sunfish – one you can mess around with (or lend out to kids and the folks you wouldn’t want using better equipment) and also perhaps even be able leave down at the local beach or sailing club without much fear of theft. I wouldn’t put major money or effort into ‘restoration’ in the usual sense, as you probably won’t get a positive financial return (if that matters) but having a spare beater for beginner or unorthodox sailing activities never hurts.

At our local sailing club we have a number of Sunfish hulls like that – where the owners have moved away or something and just left marginal boats behind. These have one of two outcomes:

a. If the hulls are easily repaired to the level where they are dry, and they can lifted without killing anyone, they become one of our ‘club boats’ – beaters that kids use for lessons and non-sailing newcomers or visitors can mess around with.

b. If the abandoned hulls are too far gone, they go in a salvage area where they are usually raided for parts before hitting the dumpster.

I’d check the leakage situation and weight. If it passes, or still looks reasonable, I’d start with a couple of holes for ports, a properly installed bracket rudder and some work on the transom, and work my way forward. Even if you give up – or eventually come across a better hull – you can still use or re-use whatever blades, hardware, and sail you come up with. Then maybe you'll have two boats. As long as it's more or less seaworthy, it's better to have an ugly Sunfish than no boat at all.
I ended up giving the hull away to a young kid and his dad who will take it on as a project. I decided I'd rather look around for one thats in better shape, after what it would cost to get this one up to speed. Thanks for your advice here on the hull leak and weight. The hull wasn't heavy, and I'm not sure it it leaked - never did the leak test. Your advice is valuable, along with the other I've rec'd which I'll keep so have in hand when I look for another.
 
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