Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sunfish Pickin: Fairhope, AL

Got a text with a lead on a Sunfish in Fairhope Alabama and finally had a chance to go look at it. The boat was being lightly used, had a leak from an unknown source and had some damage from a dock encounter. Hooked up the Pickin trailer and headed to Fairhope.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

There were several texts and phone calls, trying to narrow down the condition of the boat. It had replacement rudder parts, decent gelcoat, factory spars and mast. The boat got a little water inside after extended sailing. We narrowed down a price range, based on whether the boat was waterlogged or not. The scale would tell the tale. Got to Fairhope and put the hull on a bathroom scale first thing, and it came in at an amazing 134 pounds. There are a few gel coat chips on the chine, faded stripes and faded coaming, crusty bow handle and some stickers to remove. Otherwise hull is in great shape. Rudder was factory, looked like an older model, cheek was new, tiller and hiking stick in good shape. Daggerboard is a newer plastic model, and tip is broken off. Spars are correct length but gaff has a small bend and interlocking bolt is torn out of boom. Mast is average and is starting to show wear from usage in saltwater in the form of corrosion holes. There was no sail, it must have been damaged in dock encounter

We made a deal, money collected will go to support a medical mission in Ecuador. Kathryn was a big help providing information on the boat and moving parts around, we got the boat loaded onto the trailer and I hit the road back to NW Florida.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

I forgot the curly pool noodles that I use to cushion the spars, so I used my shop towels as backup. Wrapped the spars and mast, used sheet and halyard to secure them to the boat. Then secured the boat to the trailer with a line at the bow and two ratchet straps. Remember not to over tighten the ratchet, the straps can crack the hull.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Sunfish Owner's Manual by Small Boat Restoration

We just published The Sunfish Owner's Manual, 144 pages of info with 230 color photographs.

From SBR 2013

The Sunfish Owner's Manual is a one stop resource for the world's most popular sailboat. Inside there are chapters on the History of the Sunfish, and illustrated chapters on how to Buy, Rig, Sail, Maintain, Restore, Store, Transport and Sell the Sunfish. The Restore Chapter includes Do It Yourself pictures and step by step details on how to conduct common repairs, including foam replacements and rudder conversions. The Manual has an extensive Illustrated Glossary of Sunfish and sailing terms, with 230 photos by the author, taken in the course of numerous Sunfish restorations, for both wooden and fiberglass Sunfish as well as Sailfish. Included are weblinks to top Sunfish information sites, part suppliers and social network sites. There are also links to extended web content located on the author's youtube channel and over 1300 Picasa Web images. The Manual is not only a one stop reference for any Sunfish owner, it would be of interest to owners of other small sailboats as well.

The most fun chapter to write was the Illustrated Glossary, it includes all the nautical and Sunfish terms you need to know.

Get your copy today at Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4286071?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Fair Winds,
Kent

30 May 2014: 75 copies if The Sunfish Owner"s Manual have sold so far, new Second Editions showed up today. They include an added boat yard safety section and expanded Resources chapter.

07 Jul 2014: 100 Copies sold!

19 Jul 2014: 125 copies sold!

03 Aug 2014: 150th copy sold! Lots of good feedback on the facebook Small Boat Restoration page and Sunfish Forum Most recent questions are about painting, and that is covered in the Manual.

Thanks for buying The Manual.

Kent and Audrey

From Lewis 2013

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Merci Hull and Foam Block Repair

Our boat Merci has ridden out several hurricanes, had a botched repair attempt, poor paint job and looks like she spent some time rubbing on some rocks. Other than that, the loose foam block, multiple hull punctures, ripped out bow handle and the homemade rudder attachment, she is in fine shape. There is damage to the hull gelcoat down to the fiberglass, so we are starting out with some exploratory sanding to see how much damage needs to be removed. Once we assess that we can draw up a game plan on whether we will need to fair the entire hull with a compound or just the seriously damaged areas.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

Started cutting holes for blind patches in bow, keel forward of daggerboard and keel under the cockpit, using a rotozip. Make sure the bit is set shallow so it does not cut into cockpit tub.

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

Found a lot of dirt in the hull, used to be mud.

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

Also found port bow flotation block is loose, tried to push it back into place from theis cutout but the old foam is in the way. Merci must have taken quite a tumble in one of the hurricanes to dislodge that block. This changes our plan for blind patches, as now we need to split the hull in order to remove the old 2 part expanding foam and reset the block.

From Small Boat Restoration

Here is about 5 pounds of dirt that we have vacuumed out of the hull so far.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

There are several experiments going on here.
1) I did some light sanding on the chine and sprayed it with blue rustoleum, to see if the paint would cover any of the scrapes. Answer is no. But now when I sand I will know I am getting to good base materials, through all of the chips, scrapes and gouges when all of the blue spray paint disappears.
2) Same idea with the red Interlux Brightside, how much would it cover? Not Much.
3) the white area is epoxy putty, would it fill in the gouges and smooth out the crunchy spots? Nope.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

I sanded a test area with a random orbital sander and 80 grit pads, lots of them, from the port bow back about 6 feet. By watching where the red paint was disappearing from the valleys while sanding, it was easy to see where I needed to sand more. I left 2 hand size areas partially sanded, then rolled/tipped the area with Interlux Brightside Bluglo White. The fully sanded areas came out looking great, the partially sanded areas will need to be completely sanded down through most of the gelcoat. The great news is that the crunchy areas do not go into the fiberglass and epoxy and will not need to be faired! We will be able to see some dips in the gelcoat but the surface will be smooth.

I'll get a better picture, in this one the newly sanded area is so smooth and shiny that it picked up the reflection of the pine tree overhead. I'll also get some picture of how the sanding progressed, down through the red paint and gelcoat to the fiberglass and epoxy.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Built a work cradle that will support boat hull side up and deck side up, with removable bunks, it also has rollers and the sawhorses will come out if I want.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Split the deck/hull seam to get inside for hull repairs. For more information on splitting a deck,see the post on Foam Repair.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Here are the areas to be repaired from inside. As it turns out all of the backer blocks are decayed, completely gone and will need to be replaced, so having the hull split will make that easy. The fiberglass hangar stuck to the deck is for the halyard cleat backer block. The pegs sticking through the hull in the background are the securing rivet nuts (rivnuts) for the coaming. The backer block hanger for the bow handle is broken and needs to be repaired. The hanger for the halyard block backer block is gone also.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

INTERMISSION

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

This piece needed to be cutout, that is crushed and punctured fiberglass where the epoxy is clouded. It needs to be replaced.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Cutting out a fiberglass cloth patch for the inside. Make it bigger than the repair area and cut out 4-5 layers. We only did one at first and it was not stiff enough.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

I cut out the damaged area and taped this keel section back in place.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Epoxied the backer patch into place, 4-5 layers would be optimum. I was able to reach the area with a long handles brush, but needed to tape a stick to the mixing cup in order to get the epoxy poured.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Cut out a backer patch for the bow repair.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Made a backer patch for the keel repair under the cockpit. I used the cut out piece as a form, wax paper so I can remove the backer and slide it inside the hull.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Used cardboard and string to pull the backer patch tight inside the hull. Epoxied everything into place, tied it up with paint sticks while it dried.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Keel patch is drying, it will need fiberglass cloth added where damaged areas are cut out. Completed first sanding to see what areas need to be built up some more.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Added five layers of fiberglass to build up the bow repair, then sanded.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

31 Oct 2013: Added 3 additional layers of fiberglass inside for the keel patch just ahead of daggerboard trunk.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

To reach this area I needed a paint stick to position the cloth, a cup on a stick to pour the epoxy resin and a long handled brush to embed the resin.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

I used one of the foam blocks to prop open the deck.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Also put 4 layers of cloth under the bow handle hole...

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Then 4 layers in the hole and sanded. Test fit the bow handle.

From SBR 2013

...and then let Merci get a little sun.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

While the deck was open we replaced the backer blocks for the bow handle, halyard cleat and halyard block. The old blocks were rotted away. This backer blocks are held in place by adhesive and a fiberglass strip.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

I cut new backer blocks out of rot resistant cypress.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

Secured new backer blocks with 3M 5200 Marine adhesive sealant.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

Found one bridle eyestrap backer block in the hull, so those will be replaced also.

From SBR 2013

Finished the foam reset and epoxied the deck and hull back together. See Foam Repair for more pictures.

From SBR 2013

The bridle eyestrap used to go here, in fact the old one is there in the bottom right of the picture.

From SBR 2013

Went throught the inspection port on the stern and tunneled through the foam to install new bridle eyestrap backer blocks, held them in place with screws while they dry.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

Finished sanding the deck with 80 grit.

From SBR 2013

Flipped the boat and removed 2 coats of old blue paint and gouges in the gelcoat, had to sand through the gelcoat in a few areas.

From SBR 2013

Finished the port hull!

From SBR 2013

Finished the starboard hull.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

Reattached the keel section with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

After epoxy dried, troweled on first layer of marine epoxy putty.

From SBR 2013

Made a blind patch with cardboard, 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and a coat hanger.

From SBR 2013

Epoxied the blind patch into the hull, pulled it tight with the coat hanger.

From SBR 2013

Added 4 layers of 6 oz fiberglass cloth, bonded with West System 105 Epoxy resin and 207 Special Clear hardener. Polyester resin would bond better, epoxy resin is a little stronger. I used 207 Special Clear hardener because that's what I used for Zip's clear sealant coat. The 205 Fast hardener or 206 Slow hardener would work as well, but may have an amber tint. Buy cheap brushes and wipe up runs to reduce later sanding.

From SBR 2013



Chine patch drying.

From SBR 2013

Sanded the chine patch and added a layer of Marine Tex to fill the gaps.

From SBR 2013

Filed down the excess epoxy around the daggerboard trunk with a 4 in 1 file, then test fit a daggerboard.

From SBR 2013

Sanded the cockpit keel patch.

From SBR 2013

Filled gaps on the keel and hull patches with Marine Tex.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Dec 2013: First coat of Pettit EZ Prime rolled and tipped. It went on great and covered a lot!

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-



Testing Pettit EZ Fair epoxy fairing compound. I really like how it dispenses in equal amounts from a caulk gun, mixes easily, spreads like peanut butter and the tube can be resealed.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

I faired all of the patched areas and as many of the pinholes as I could find.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Second coat of primer. Used an Ace trim brush and 3/16 inch nap roller, worked very smooth. Also won a Pettit sweatshirt in a facebook contest.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Need to hit a few more areas with EZ Fair, sand and then we'll be ready for paint on the hull!

12 Jan 2014: Float test for Merci, she did great, no leaks!

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

She liked being ON the water vs being filled with it.

That takes care of the hull and foam block repair. For the rest of the story check out Sunfish Pickin Pensacola Merci

Merci back on the water:

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

From SBR 3: Jan 2014 - Jun 2014

Bonjour!