Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pickin: Wooden Sunfish, Wooden Super Sailfish and Super Sailfish MKII

I was looking through images of wooden Sunfish and found a wooden Sunfish at the Old Tyme Marketplace in Marshville, NC. I contacted the owners Beth and Russ and they were happy to sell me the boat, as they wanted to see it restored and sailing again. Hooked up the pickin trailer and hit the road for a quick rescue. We decided to name the boat "Chip" and got him added up for the ride to Florida.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Chip is a 1963 Sunfish, serial number 11501, most likely factory built, and is pretty chippy. Appears to have been light blue with white primer. It took me years on other boats to notice that the Alcort data plate depicts both a Sailfish and a Sunfish!

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The rudder assembly deck plate was still on the boat, I removed it for transport. You can see where it screwed into the transom and you can also see remnants of the rudder pin keeper chain.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Mast step.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Hull needs some work, one section near the scarf joint is delaminating, but hey, it's wood and we can repair or replace that section.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

On the way back from North Carolina, I had the brilliant idea to check Craiglslist for other boats. I spent the night near Greer, South Carolina at a Holiday Inn Express.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The next morning I called on a wooden Super Sailfish that was listed on Craigslist. The Super Sailfish is the big sister to the first wooden Sailfish. Alcort built an 11'7" board boat with a sail, daggerboard and rudder and then designed the Super Sailfish, which measures around 13' 7". Both boats were available from the factory or as a kit, and the Super Sailfish even had DIY plans. The pictures looked good, the Super Sailfish appears to have all the parts except the sail. After a short wait I got a call back and arranged to go see the SS.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Judging by the rudder, this Super Sailfish appears to be a mid 1950s boat, most likely kit built.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

I went to look at the boat, and that is a story in itself. The boat had been purchased in Auburn, NY years earlier and head been stored in a barn. The seller in Greer had an extensive sailing history but had not sailed this boat very much. He had to cut a path back to the shed with his tractor so we could look at it, and the dogs were a big help both inspecting and loading the boat.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Our first true "barn find" fit on the top rack neatly. And because of her farm heritage we decided to name her "Zsa Zsa" after Zsa Zsa Gabor of Green Acres fame. Funny thing was that the dogs only started barking when I brought the trailer back to load the boat.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Next I headed down to Greenville, GA to look at a fiberglass Super Sailfish MKII.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

We made a deal on the Super Sailfish MKII and we were able to load it on the trailer by flipping it and suspending it below the top rack.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

A new pickin record, 3 boats! The trailer pulled great and we made it back down to Florida.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

We started unloading the boats and I was most interested in the Super Sailfish MKII sail. It is vintage, made by Ratsey and Lapthorne out of City Island, NY. They made sails for Alcort for a long time and this sail has a nice buttery feel to it.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

I really like the Sailfish logo, it has a lot of energy.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Sanded a test area on Chip, she will clean up real nice!!

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

You can tie a lot of knots with 25 feet of halyard.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Super Sailfish MKII needs a mast base cap...

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

...and a halyard cap.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The Super Sailfish spars are in great shape the sail not so much.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Super Sailfish bow is missing 14 inch metal strip that forms bow and keel trim.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Paint is shot but the wood below has minimal checking.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Super Sailfish hull weighs 140 pounds.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

We borrowed the MKII sail for the Super Sailfish and I put a rope bridle on the boat, we don't care for the 3 loop wire bridles. The Skipper took out Zsa Zsa, she didn't tack very well with that elephant ear rudder and short daggerboard.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The Super Sailfish took on a lot of water, so we'll have to figure out where the leak is.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013


From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Not sure how a drain plug ended up here?

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Next we rigged the 1963 Super Sailfish MKII and took her out. Her name is Sweetness. The hull was pretty dirty but cleaned up well, data plate worn but we could still make out the hull number.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Sweetness sails great but she is a wet ride!

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The MKII rudder is quite a bit larger than the Super Sailfish rudder.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The dagger board is around 36 inches, our Shadow board will work much better.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Chip's turn on the scale next, he weighed in at 158 pounds.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Chip got a new bow handle. The wooden Sunfish bow handle has a tab that goes down the front to hide the chine seams.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Chip's mast step and halyard cleat.

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Float test for Chip, he leaked a little but should seal up.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Just forward of the bailer is a scarf joint in the plywood that is beginning to delaminate. It will need to be repaired or replaced.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Chip is ready to head out. All we need now is a bowtie and a long sleeve shirt.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Here's the latest additions to the restoration queue, l-r 1963 Super Sailfish MKII Sweetness, 195? Super Sailfish Zsa Zsa, and 1963 wooden Sunfish Chip. We will keep Sweetness, a friend wants Chip and we will try to find the leak on Zsa Zsa.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

2 comments:

  1. i just found this accidently. hope you made it home without incident and hope to sail together someday.

    Chuck in Knoxville

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Chuck,
    Had a great ride home, the boats didn't make a peep. We sailed the Knoxville boat (Bandit) and the Kingsport boat (Smoky). The outhaul on Smoky broke and the Skipper wasn't out long, but everything else worked ok. Bandit sailed great but we had a few issues with the tiller extension, we don't use them a lot so that was different. SInce the sail I enlarged the cockpit drain in Bandit and added a bailer. Also wet sanded a bit.
    Nice meeting you and your wife, I'll check in next time we are through Knoxville.
    Kent

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