Wood, Aluminum Mast Combo...?

Thread starter #1
I have an opportunity to purchase and restore an older Sunfish. The seller says that the mast is a combination of wood and aluminum. Is this an older version, or a quick fix to an old problem??
 
#2
Some of the original Sailfish had the wood/aluminum masts, but I have never seen one on a Sunfish. My guess is that this was a Sailfish mast that was used on the Sunfish in question.

Maybe Wayne will weigh in - he's the expert on Sunfish construction information.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
Thread starter #3
The seller has indicated that the boat dates to the late 50's, if it was 60's he thought it would have to be the early 60's. My though is that it is an original kit Sunfish. Not sure if the kits were sold with a combination wood alumium mast or not but I will know more when I see the boat.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
#4
The seller has indicated that the boat dates to the late 50's, if it was 60's he thought it would have to be the early 60's. My though is that it is an original kit Sunfish.
Are the spars wood too?

As Al pointed out the wood/metal combination was a very early design. I have it in a 1940s Alcort blueprint, however, 1950s brochures just show an all wood (Sitka Spruce) mast.

Not sure if the kits were sold with a combination wood aluminum mast or not but I will know more when I see the boat.
I've only seen it in the drawings for the original home-builts. The practice seemed to disappear when the boats were kit up.

Possible someone needed to replace a 1950s wood mast and the wood/metal arrangement was recommended, much like today's reinforcement kit for the modern aluminum mast.
 
Thread starter #5
I spoke to the seller and the hull has no serial number badge that he is aware of and the sail is a heavier grade of Nylon then the original, so I am assuming that the latter has happened. The first owner either ripped a sail or upgraded to race perhaps and the mast was swapped out at that point along with the sail. I will know more this week-end however.

Thnaks for the help so far.
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
#6
I spoke to the seller and the hull has no serial number badge that he is aware of and the sail is a heavier grade of Nylon then the original, so I am assuming that the latter has happened. The first owner either ripped a sail or upgraded to race perhaps and the mast was swapped out at that point along with the sail. I will know more this week-end however.
Grab some pictures even if you don't end up buying the boat

There weren't serial numbers on the wood boats.

In those days racing was pretty informal...

Photo - LIFE Magazing
From the Sunfish_Sailor Sailfish Archive
 

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Thread starter #7
I just spoke to the owner and the Sunfish has wooden spars and the combo aluminium/wood mast combo. It also has a rounder combing as opposed to the "v" combing on the later models. Rope binding on the sail to spars connection?

Please help me date this boat.
Thanks
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
#8
Please help me date this boat. - Thanks
Sending flowers and chocolates might be a good way to start things off.

Maybe wear a bow tie your first time out, she's a bit of an old fashioned girl.


I just spoke to the owner and the Sunfish has wooden spars and the combo aluminium/wood mast combo. It also has a rounder combing as opposed to the "v" combing on the later models. Rope binding on the sail to spars connection?
Mid-1950s
 

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