Saturday, June 29, 2013

Low Cost Tarp Covers


Making two temporary covers out of a 12x16 tarp.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Fold tarp in half and cut so you have two 6 x 16 pieces.

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Make tiedowns loops out tape.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

This tarp was not trimmed.

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This tarp was trimmed.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Update: The gaff tape did not hold, will experiment with gorilla tape next. And tarp over cockpit filled with water, need something underneath to hold it up.



Low Cost Sunfish Storage

I used the multi used trailer to pick up some v crimp metal roofing and noticed that it would be perfect for building a small Sunfish lean to. This panel is 2 feet wide and 16 feet long, so you could buy two panels at about $35 each, some screws with bushings, and some 2x4s to make a frame and make a cover simple enough that it just keeps direct sun, rain, snow, leaves etc... off of the boat. The tin will get hot, but underneath the temperature is 15-20 degrees cooler. Build the shelter where it is just tall enough to fit the boat under, cover the sides if desired. One caution though, the edges are very sharp so frame the cover in a way that will protect passers by from sharp edge or turn edges under.

Our Sunfish Phoenix thought she was getting her own personal sunshade.

From Small Boat Restoration


Wooden Sunfish Gooseneck

Our wooden Sunfish Zip's spars had the same gooseneck as the current ships. We have seen another wooden Sunfish in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum that has a leather yoke vs metal gooseneck, so we are not sure what is prototypical.

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

The gooseneck on Zip was shimmed, and underneath is a hole drilled all the way through the boom. We removed the metal shims and put two layers of gaff tape on the spar to protect the wood.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bronze Sunfish Fittings

Bought some bronze hardware, most made by Wilcox Crittenden. Pieces include a halyard cleat, boom blocks for wood spars, halyard blocks, cockpit hooks and some eyestraps. Made in the good old USA. One boom block will go onto Zip's boom and we will also add add sheet block to the cockpit to help manage the sheet like newer boats.

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Highlander Trailer

We bought back our Highlander trailer today, had sold it last year with Tilly, a 1965 Sunfish that was our first restoration. It is a nice trailer that is set up for a Sunfish, we will use it for local pickin of single boats, and the Magic Tilt double decker for multiple boats.

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Sprayed the trailer with cold galvanizing compound, and Sunfish stripe from the early years on the fender. Highlander is hanging out with Dolly and Beaucoup.

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Splashguard (coaming) for Merci and Gaff Tape

Got a box in the mail a few days back, what could it be?

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It's a coaming for Merci, purchase from ebay for about half the cost of new, shipping included. There are a few holes that need repair but Marine Tex will take care of that.

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Merci will be blue and yellow, so I put a base coat of yellow spray Rustoleum on. This will help identify areas that need epoxy putty to seal cracks or low spots in fiberglass.

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Gaff Tape, some of the coolest tape ever. It is made of fabric so that can be shaped, and the adhesive does not leave a residue like other tapes. It is used by the entertainment industry to temporarily tape down cables on stages. I like to use it to protect spars, a cushion for wood to wood contact, ex keeping the tiller or interlocking hardware on Zip from scraping deck or between yoke and spar. It probably developed from use of similar materials aboard sailing vessels, it would be good when whipping rigging. Speaking of sailing, i found it interesting sailors used to work at theaters when in port because they knew how to work all of the rigging for the stage. The back stage of a theatre looks a lot like a sailing ship, and I've been told the language is much similar :)

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Heron fishing from top of dock.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wooden Sunfish Zip Bridle, Bow Line and Daggerboard Retainer Upgrade



Working on the bridle. 3 loop bridle was a near capsize disaster.

From Small Boat Restoration

Cut a line just a bit longer than the stern is wide, leave excess for figure eights or stop knots.

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We like to use clip mainsheet to a block, it seems to glide easier.
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Made a bow line so Zip doesn't get loose at the saloon.

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Added a daggerboard retainer line,clip and eyestrap, don't want to be chasing that if there is a capsize.

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2nd day of Summer comes to a glorious end.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

1952-4 Wooden Sunfish "Zip" and 1977 Brother "Neptune"

14 Jun 2013:

We picked up a 1952-4 wooden Sunfish, reportedly one of the first 20 built by the Alcort partners and delivered to a friend. It sold from an estate in Waterbury and has been living a quiet life in the rafters of a garage in Grand Island NY for 7 years. A restoration was started but never completed, so boat is taken apart but most parts are accounted for. The current owner likes the restoration work we do and would like to give us the wooden boat, and sell us her 1977 sister Neptune. Here is the first picture we saw of the boat, which we decided to name "Zip"edeedoodah.

From Small Boat Restoration

Jeff gave Zip a bath before we showed up, so I don't get to take the "barn find" photo. She looks good on those saw Buffalos, which ended up coming home to Florida with us :)

From Small Boat Restoration

Loaded Zip up at the house and headed over to Niagara Sailing Club to pick up Neptune. A little duct tape will keep padding secure on spars and ratchets off the hull for the 1156 mile ride. The modified Magic Tilt trailer rode great on the way up, we'll see how it goes heading South through Erie, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinatti, Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery and into Florida.

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Zip and Neptune take a break with the big rigs in Pennsylvania.

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Here is Zip's deck edge trim, made of mahogany. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad lantern made the trip down from Grand Island, I saw it hanging in the garage in the first photo and Jeff threw it in with the deal.

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From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

We bought this rudder pin 2 years ago and have been waiting for the boat to show up.

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Wilcox and Crittenden boom block for wooden boom.

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It fits!

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Mast collar and halyard cleat before.

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Mast collar and halyard cleat after. Used teak oil on wood and lemon juice/salt on the cleat.

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No bow handle so I used the bow strap , trailer frame and towel to fashion a hold down.

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Zip and Neptune arrive at Jack's Boat Yard. Merci is making fun of their Canadian accent, Phoenix is egging her on and Cyane is sleeping.

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I tied a line through daggerboard well to keep Zip from sliding aft.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Here is my "Bill Knot" named after a friend who ties some beauties.

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I had to secure wood spars to aluminum to keep them from flexing too much.

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Lacing sail using marlin hitch.

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Spar interlocking hardware.

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Old North Sail, made in Canada. And wooden spars made of Sitka Spruce!

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From Small Boat Restoration

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Double decked Neptune. The foam noodles worked great and she didn't move at all during 1156 mile ride home.

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From Small Boat Restoration

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From Small Boat Restoration

1977 Sunfish

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Wooden floorboards.

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Tried some paint stripper, we didn't like the residue and staining, so we switched to sanding.

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Rigged for racing.

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Sanding through red/primer/red/primer to fir plywood using random orbital sander an 80 grit sandpaper. 120 would have worked as well.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Ergonomic testing.

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Painted white so you can see if weeds hung up on rudder.

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Deck is nailed on.

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Old repair to rotted area, this will be cleaned up in a few weeks.

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Bits box.

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Neptune's sticker.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Neptune heading to new home.

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From Small Boat Restoration

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From Small Boat Restoration

Zip checking out the beach with Scout,

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Mahogany splashguard.

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Details on the mast.

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Rudder on right.

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Temporary shelter for Zip.

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Sanding continues.

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From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

Screwdrivers were on sale at Sears, wanted new ones to remove splashguard backer.

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From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

Killed the sander, Ace was the place for helpful new sander.

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

The dry vac hooked up to the sander, kept dust down.

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Tiller bridle eyestraps.

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Splashguard backer screws needed to be cleaned out and removed.

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From Small Boat Restoration

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Part of backer had to be coaxed loose.

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Deck hardware that came with the boat.

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A coffee can and bucket come in handy for keeping track of tools and hardware.

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One backer rail split, area will clean up nice.

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From Small Boat Restoration

A couple of hull screws came through the side.

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Decl will be lighty sanded and repainted red, full sanding this Winter.

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Painting the hull, see roll and tip video on youtube video bar.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Rolled some extra paint onto Merci...

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and the chocks.

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Zip's bilge.

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Deck edge sanding.

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Ready for vacuum and acetone wipe.

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From Small Boat Restoration

West System epoxy applied, 105 epoxy and 207 hardener.

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From Small Boat Restoration

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Floorboards, cockpit, deck edge and backer rail painted Interlux Brightside Fire Red.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Halyard and sheet.

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Mast collar reinstalled, checking gooseneck setting.

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Line whip for the halyard, a fun, easy project.

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Mast has a nice taper to it and a sheave at top. The bottom section is aluminum and had something that looked like old masking tape on it. For aesthetics I wrapped the bottom section in gaff tape, it will help protect mast step as well.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Set the gooseneck aka yoke at 24 inches, halyard will be at 60 from gaff outhaul. This setup is good for a nice, lazy sail.

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Not really sure that a gooseneck was prototypical for this year, as it had copper shims and there is a hole through the spar underneath. An early Sunfish at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has a leather yoke, so some research is required. In the meantime I am padding this area gaff tape.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Sail went up real nice and the spars made a pleasing thunk against the mast when the breeze shifted.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Attaching bridle and bridle eyestraps, grabbed a philips head out of habit, older screws are slotted :)

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Installing rudder fittings, found a screw had been sheared off inside the transom, so I drilled the shanks out, starting with tiny bit and working up through the bit sizes until screw could be installed.

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The carriage bolt actually goes through the transom! I tried to line the fittings up like the not-so-old style rudder and the holes didn't line up, bolt was hitting transon. Took out boat and deck plate lined up perfect over a big ol hole in the deck I had been ignoreing.

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Keel plate and carriage bolt.

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Rudder is rigged. The groove in the keel plate is very deep, the rudder will not pop up and will have to be installed just before launch. No running up on the beach with this setup. We love the keeper chain for the rudder pin.

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From Small Boat Restoration

Mahogany splashrail backer and steam bent splashrail installed.

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Painting the deck edge trim.

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Zip is back in the water for a test sail, she sailed beautifully. She didn't want to gybe but gave a smooth, solid sail. Had a small leak It stopped so maybe boat swelled up a bit, we will check that out before next sail, maybe wet the boat inside and see if water drips out. Our wet vac is handy to get water out afterwards. And the 3 loop bridle almost caused a capsize, we are going to deep six that bridle.

From Small Boat Restoration

From Small Boat Restoration

I don't know who was more excited, Zip or the Skipper.

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Zip's fan club, we even made t-shirts :)

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Boat measurer swung by...

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The fir plywood is fabulous!

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From Small Boat Restoration

Zip sails, Summer Sailstice 2013.

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Summer 2014: Zip takes a dip.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

18 May 16:
1953 Alcort SunfishZip's bottom never got the full strip and paint, so we are going to spruce it up for the Bagdad Riverfest. Paint swatch test, we are going to use Rustoleum Topside marine paint Bright Red, which is the color on the right bow and a small stripe over the Interlux Brightside Fire Red. The oil base of the paint will help condition the wood.


Belt sander with a light touch, 40 grit then 120. The shop vac with a HEPA filter hooks up to the belt sander, plus I wore a mask, goggles, hat, gloves and a long sleeve shirt...and pants. Putty knife to scrape out seam compound and clear a groove for Pettit Flexpoxy.


Found a nice scarf on the port side bottom.


21 May 16:
We got an invite to bring some boats to the first Bagdad FL Riverfest. The park was built on the site of an old sawmill and has great access for canoes and kayaks. Our 1953 Sunfish Zip and 1950s Sailfish Winnie got to attend this year.

Road trip!






to be continued...