Monday, May 21, 2018

Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 21 May 18 Sea Trials

21 May 18:

We stepped the mast on SMEDLEY, adjusted the side stays, rigged the sail, downhaul, mainsheet and rudder.




Launched SMEDLEY and Skipper for Sea Trials and they both did great. SMEDLEY moved smartly in light winds, the sail set great and SMEDLEY tacked and gybed with ease. The deck was comfortable and there was lots of room to move around, the twin rudders were super cool. Our thanks to everyone, especially Capn Scott, for helping find her and get her back on the water.














Now we prep for her debut at Juana's Good Time Regatta in September.

Log of SMEDLEY.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 20 May 18 Centerboard Uphaul and Mast Stays

20 May 18:

Rigged the centerboard uphaul with 3/16th inch StaSet.






We had some new side stays made and based on the tang pin size the rigger suggested bumping them up from 3/16th inch diameter to 1/4. We'll get it set up and see how we like it, it just looks different now with thicker stays, but we imagine after a few days we won't notice. Certainly won't hurt to have the extra strength.






Log of SMEDLEY.

Moaning Chair

24 May 18:

The "Moaning Chair" is described by Howard Chappelle as an essential tool to have, the place where you sit and ponder what you have either just screwed up or are about to screw up with all of your other tools. Moaning chairs come in all shapes and sizes and can be found next to favorite beverages. Moaning chairs should be available for all of the "usual visitors" as well so they can point out any mistakes the builder might have missed.


See also Galloping Horse and Great Spirit Problem Solving Matrix

Reference: Chappelle, Howard I. 1941. Boatbuilding: a complete handbook of wooden boat construction. [Place of publication not identified]: Allen and Unwin.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Suzuki 4 Stroke Outboard DF2.5 Freshwater Flush

19 May 18:


Ran a motor in a bucket, one of the Skipper's favorite things. Clean water flush after use, looking for a strong cooling water discharge stream. And make sure the water intake stays submerged.




Fresh, ethanol free gas with a fuel additive is optimum. Have fun!

Sunfish and Sailfish Specifications

Here are some Sunfish, Sailfish and SUper Sailfish specifications from the 1960s.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

Another fun flyer, check out the Corvair!

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sunfish Sailboat Hull, Spars and Line Specifications

Here is a list of Sunfish Specifications, provided by Sunfishsailboats.com aka Yankee Boating Center. They have great a great parts and service department, even live people to talk to on the phone. I have bought several class legal sails, line kits and other Sunfish parts from them. One neat thing they will do when you buy a line kit is pick out line colors that will compliment your boat's color.

From Sunfish Sailboat

We bough this Mackinaw sail from them...

From Sunfish Sailboat

and this red and white sail...

From Sunfish Sailboat

and this Newport sail...

From Sunfish Sailboat

and this Mai Tai sail...


Here are specifications for the spars:

Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy
Mast -
Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 10' (3.05 m)
OD: 2-1/4" (57.15 mm)
Wall Thickness: .083" (2.11 mm)

Spars -
Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 13' 8" (4.17 m)
OD 1-1/2" (38.1 mm)
Wall Thickness: .065" (1.65 mm)

Have a great sailing season! Check out our book The Sunfish Owners Manual for more great information

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 16 May 18 Centerboard Pivot Bearings

16 May 18:

The 3/4 inch polyester resin bearings on either side of the pivoting centerboards were broken off. They ride in channels on either side of the centerboard trunk and are used to position the centerboard and provide a pivot point.



We decided to make new bearings out of a 3/4 inch oak dowel. We cut the dowel just a little long and rounded the ends with a 3/4 inch roundover bit on a compact trim router. We held the work piece with vise grips to keep our fingers clear of the router bit.


The old bearings were held in with rusty nails, Skipper used an awl to chip away bits of the damaged fiberglass and start a new hole for the dowel.


Rounded out the dowel hole to just over 3/4 inch with a rat tail file and a rounded diamond grit tile file.



We made the hole just over 3/4 so we could bed the new oak bearing in TotalBoat THIXO thickened epoxy, that epoxy coating helped seal up the raw fiberglass.


Test fit.





Added a small strip of 4 oz fiberglass along the front edge of the board by the bearing, wet out with TotalBoat Low Viscosity THIXO. This will help protect the centerboard should it swing forward of vertical and strike the forward edge of the trunk.




We also used THIXO to build back a damaged area on the tip of the starboard centerboard.




Line for our Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY. On the left is some 5/32d Dyneema that we might use for a temporary side stay and also use for the centerboard uphauls. We also bought New England Rope StaSet, 3/16th for the halyard, bow line, downhaul and outhaul and 5/16th for the sheet. And picked up drain plugs for the transom.


Log of SMEDLEY.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

1963 Alcort Wooden Sunfish CHIP 10 May 18 Frame 17

10 May 18:

We have plans for the Alcort Super Sailfish and are using those as a guide to gather measurements from CHIP. To validate our measurements we will make patterns of the frames and other key components.

The frame measurements include width, outside height and inner height. There are also measurements for the longeron cutouts and lightening holes. We also took another measurement of spacing between the deck and keel longeron, to account for the keel bevel.


Cut not one, not two, but 3 frames to get one that fit for Frame 17 (17 inches aft of the bow). The problem was with my line drawing, not the measurements.


Checked the outer height then worked on the outer edge bevel. It is important to measure the frame to the widest face, which is the aft face on the forward frames. Then there is material left for a bevel.


Crosshchecked the measurements and transferred information to the pattern for frame 17.


We're happy with the pattern!





Log of CHIP.