AMF Alcort Division Sunfish Viper and Sugar 2

08 Apr 2015:
We rounded up 2 Sunfish built by AMF's Alcort Division. "Viper" is a 1980 boat that had been holding down a piece of plywood at Coastal Marine Works (formerly Breezy Boat City) in Gulf Breeze Florida. A young man needing some cash had brought in the damaged hull to our friend Jan and he helped him out. The hull had most of the parts stripped, a damaged seam and unsightly fiberglass patches, so it took up residence on a piece of plywood behind the office. Jan sold the business to our friend Allen Pinkston aka "Viper" and we discussed the destiny of the hull several times. The good news was that with all of the holes in it, no water had stayed inside and saturated the foam blocks. "Viper" will get a Naval Aviation tribute paint scheme using VF-84's Jolly Rogers colors as inspiration.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -


"Sugar 2" is a 1983 boat that was doing an admirable job of leaning against a wall at ICC Marine in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She had most of her parts stripped as well and has a big hole in the bow. We bought her as part of a 2 1/2 boat deal from Jim and our friend Loxley brought her over when he came to pick up "Boo." The hull is actually in decent shape, just need a bath and small repair....and a lot of parts. "Sugar 2" will get a tribute paint scheme using S-2F Tacker paint as a guide.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Date Unknown:

Split the seam on Viper so we can access the inside for fiberglass repair. Added an inspection port hole forward of daggerboard trunk.

25 Jul 17:

Restoration resumes on Viper. Lots of old fiberglass patches to remove, used a heat gun to soften the polyester resin and then sanded smooth with 60 grit on a random orbital sander. Removed the cockpit trim by drilling out the rivets with a 1/8 inch bit. Removed old paint from the deck with 60 grit on a random orbital sander.


Viper needs a new backer block for the bow handle...and all of the other deck hardware as well.



The little loop is where the factory hooked up a strap to pull the hull out of the mold.



















26 Jul 17:

Well it took a heat gun running 1150 degrees F AND an oscillating multi tool to burn and chisel off the blob.


Surprise, there was a hole in the boat, with rotting pieces of wood inside...and a small fire, not to worry...


Removed excess two part expanding foam, it had oozed under the storage cubby. It us used to hold the white flotation foam in place, but you only need a little.


You are looking at the bottom side of the storage cubby. At the top of the photo is the white flotation foam that runs along the keel and under the tail end of the cubby, that will stay. The edges of the hull have been faired back in prep for fiberglass repair, all crushed, loose fiberglass has been removed. A backer patch of woven roving and cardboard will be installed inside the hull, then multiple layers of 4 oz cloth will be stacked in the hole, small to large pieces and the last few pieces will overlap the faired area. Fair. Sand. Paint (gel coat if you have the talent).


Waiting for a patch

That's two part expanding foam and the bottom of the storage cubby, some healthy looking woven roving!


28 Aug 17:

Made fiberglass backer patches, formed to the hull shape. Laid down plastic sheet first, then laid out the 4 oz fiberglass cloth and saturated it with thickened TotalBoat epoxy. Covered with another sheet of plastic to let it dry to shape. Once dry the patches will be epoxied inside the hull to form a base for additional layers.





26 Sep 17:

Laid a strip of 4 ox fiberglass cloth to reinforce the hull flange of the deck seam, bedded in TotalBoat THIXO thickened epoxy. Covered the strip with plastic and clamped while it dried.




01 Oct 17:

Removed some excess expanding foam from the stern.



Built up backer patches from cardboard, fiberglass cloth, string and TotalBoat THIXO.


Test fit the patch.


THIXO holds the backer to the fiberglass.


More THIXO to bond the backer patch to the inside of the hull.




Prepping the inside of the hull with THIXO.


Woven roving for the transom corner patch, saturated with Jamestown Distributors High Performance epoxy then bedded in THIXO.


Placed a piece of plastic over the repair to help smooth the epoxy.




02 Oct 17:

Paint sticks held backer patches in place while they dried.



Cut the strings and sticks loose.



6 layers of 6 oz fiberglass cloth to build up each area, close to the thickness of the hull.



Saturated the fiberglass cloth with Jamestown Distributors TotalBoat High Performance epoxy, stacked up the layers then skimmed the top with TotalBoat THIXO.




Test fit the cypress backer block for the bridle eyestrap.


Backer block was coated with epoxy then fastened to the inside of the hull with THIXO.


03 Oct 17:

The work dolly has worked out great. The bunks articulate to support the boat in a lot of different orientations!


Flushed out a pound of dirt.


Checked out the gudgeon backer plate, it is threaded for #8-32 screws and fiberglassed into the hull.





Upgraded the dolly wheels to solid rubber, 6 inch swivels. We can roll the dolly with ease from the carriage house to the backyard Sunfish Shack now.


Replaced the bow handle backer block with cypress. Sealed it with TotalBoat High Performance epoxy and bedded it in THIXO.


Built up the bow flange with one layer of woven roving then 3 layers of 4 oz cloth, saturated with epoxy.


Epoxy backer patch for the hull, 6 oz fiberglass cloth held in place by a piece of cardboard tied snug with strings.


04 Oct 17:

Shaped the bow patch.


Sanded the chine repair.


6 layers of 4 oz fiberglass cloth epoxied into the hull.


05 Oct 17:

Got our TotalBoat flotation foam today from Jamestown Distributors, it is marine grade, closed cell so it won't soak up water. Hey look, we're in the Summer catalog :) Maybe we'll make the Winter catalog as well....


The foam works as an adhesive to secure the blocks in place and stiffen the hull. It also provides flotation. Mix the foam for 25 seconds and pour it quick. Before we poured it we put a strip of blue tape around the top of the white foam block, it mostly holds the foam in place while it starts to expand. Then we clamped the deck/hull seam tight while the foam did its expanding thing.


Clamped the seam tight while the foam expanded and cured. If not, it will pop the seam and make a mess. We try not to pour too much or it will ooze into the inside part of the seam and seal up the deck. That's bad because we still need to open the seam a bit and fiberglass it closed. With just alittle seam to seal up, you can foam the blocks and epoxy the seam all in one evolution, but not with as much seam as we had open.


Skipper thinks she can use the leftover foam for a hat mold.



Sealed the deck to the hull by wetting the seam and 4 oz fiberglass cloth with TotalBoat High Performance epoxy, then bedded the fiberglass strip into the seam with THIXO. Clamped the seam shut with light pressure, just enough to see the epoxy start to squeeze out.







Skipper sez "Float Test!"


All clamps on deck, we had about 20 feet of seam to seal up. Sometimes we do the bow first, then the stern the next day. But we had enough clamps to handle it today.


06 Oct 17:

Sanded the seam to remove excess epoxy. Be careful, the new fiberglass can be sharp.



A girl and her boat.




Float test was successful, just a few small leaks to chase down!

Took on about 1/2 gallon of water over 20 minutes. Ready for air leak test. Taped over all of the holes except for the cockpit bulkhead vent hole. Then pumped low pressure low volume air into the hull through the vent hole, soaped the hull with soapy water and looked for bubbles. Bubbles indicated an air leak.





We put the boat on its side and soaped over the top and bottom of the daggerboard trunk. Pumped in air,
no bubbling = no leaks.


Filled the mast step with water and it did not leak.


09 Oct 17:

We finished up the Sunbrella cover for St. Jacques. Skipper did the sewing, and got it done even with my help. She has made several covers and we incorporated the features we like to make a simple cover, robust enough to ride down the road as well.

Tie down straps as well as a drawstring pocket. Reinforced bow and oar lock points.




Back to work on Viper. Sanded off more old paint.

Sanded the hull with 80 grit on a random orbital sander. Vacuumed the hull then wiped with TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner to remove sanding residue.


Poked holes in the rim of the can to help primer drain back into the can.


Time to prime, getting on to the fun stuff.


Rolled the TotalBoat primer.


Spilled primer, decided to make another floor Sunfish.


The primer covered great and will make a great "show coat" for fairing. It looks perfect from about 10 feet, but get closer and the little bumps and dips start to appear. More work to do.



No vacancy in the carriage house.


10 Oct 17:

Used TotalFair to fill in gelcoat chips, spider cracks, gouges and uneven areas from fiberglass repairs. It is a 2 part epoxy system, mixed it up 1:1 until it was green and applied it with a putty knife. Now you might ask why we didn't fair first vs prime. We like a coat of paint or primer first so we can see where the hills and valleys are. If the surface is all one color it makes it easier to pick them out.



Looks like a TotalBoat store in here. We have been very happy with the quality and affordability of TB,
and appreciate the customer service that Jamestown Distributors provides. And free shipping!




Sanded the fairing compaund with 80 grit on a random orbital sander. Used a shop vac for dust collection.


Rolled on the TotalBoat Wet Edge paint, thinned with a cap full of Special Brushing Thinner to help slow down drying time on a hot day. Tipped with a chip brush.




The Wet Edge covered great and brushed on easily. We rolled the first coat and continued around for a second time for a "hot coat."



11 Oct 17:

Went out to the carriage house today and it was like a sauna. Paint was very tacky. 100F heat index here in Florida with high humidity. Pulled the boat out into the sun for most of the day and the paint started to dry a bit. At the end of the day we kicked the car out of the garage and moved the boat inside, there are two window units out there that can produce some cooler, dryer air.



17 Oct 17:

Faired a few spot with TotalFair, sanded with 100 grit. Rolled and tipped the second coat of TotalBoat WetEdge Kingston Gray, thinned 5 percent because temp was 80F plus.





18 Oct 17:

Sanded with 220 grit. Rolled and tipped the third coat of TotalBoat WetEdge Kingston Gray, thinned 5 percent because temp was 80F plus.




to be continued...


Learn more about your Sunfish in The Sunfish Owner's Manual.

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