Thursday, December 3, 2015

Willow Has A USB Port

Picked up Willow from Lou's Marine, Gary did a great job fitting a new stern light and automatic float switch for the bilge pump. Battery wiring was lengthened as well so it can be moved for bilge maintenance. Another thing we did was add a power port for accessories (searchlight) and a USB port to keep our smart phone charged up. I cut the mounting panel from some scrap marine grade okume and Gary did the install. I asked him to sign the back of it so now he is officially part of the boat's history.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Willow in Sea Oats

Dropped Willow in the Bay and we went for a little cruise. While we were out the oil light came on, indicating it was time for the 20 hour oil change. So back on the trailer Willow went and off to Lou's Marine to spend a few days with Gary. While Willow is there Gary will add power ports for accessories and USB ports to charge our phone. Also getting a new stern light that can be easily removed when we cover the boat, a float switch for the bilge pump and longer wires to the battery so we can move it as needed during bilge cleaning.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sunfish Generation 2 Rudder and Tiller

We are fixing this 2nd generation rudder to use on our 1953 Sunfish, which originally had the elephant ear rudder (Gen 1). The wooden Sunfish uses the smaller vertical plate (4 inches) like the Sailfish and Super Sailfish used, because of its shorter transom. Zip will perform better with the bigger 1960s era rudder blade. We will also use a Barrington board, as the original centerboard only measured 31 inches on those short keel wooden Sunfish.

2nd generation tiller from the 60s used on wooden Sunfish, Sailfish, Super Sailfish, and Super Sailfish MKII.

We like Pettit Captains Z-Spar, satin finish. Here it is being applied over the mahogany tiller.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

O'Day Daysailer Rudder Uphaul

We want to be able to raise the Cyane's rudder for launching, beaching and navigating the shallows. So I added an uphaul. I put the eyestrap about halfway down the rudder, it seemed optimum as far as the angle to lift the blade. Then added a jam cleat with a fairlead on the tiller. It works great!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Drascombe Lugger Rudder Rest

We wanted to be able to ship the rudder on the Lugger without completely removing it, for launchig and beaching. So we gathered information on a rudder rest form the Drascombe facebook page and Pettigrew website. I made the rest out of cypress and treated it with teak oil. It works great!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sunfish Daggerboard Bungee Attachment

The older wooden daggerboards for the Sunfish don't have a hole to run the new retaining bungee through, so we add a stainless ring and eyestrap. 3/4 inch number 8 screws work well, with a 1/8 inch pilot hole drilled. Make sure your ring is large enough to pass the bungee buckles through.

Sunfish Sailboat Common Repairs

Pretty much every old Sunfish that we come across needs at a minimum a bailer, a bow handle and a line kit. Other common repairs are trim rivet replacement and sealing up cracks in the daggerboard trunk or mast step. Here are a few of the items we had to do to get Scout ship shape.

The bailer was old and missing the float ball so we removed it. Take a set of large pliers and twist off the bailer nut. You will probably have to hold the bailer on the bottom as well so it does not spin, which can be done by one person if you are coordinated and have long enough arms :)

Clean up the bailer hole and check the seam between the cockpit and hull for voids, as water can leak into the inside of the hull from here. If you see an opening or thin gap in the seam, fill it with epoxy resin or putty. You can add a bead of marine silicone when you install the new bailer but it is not required.

Check the daggerboard trunk for obvious damage, caused by running aground and bashing the daggerboard into the trunk base. If there is an inspection port by the trunk you can spray water where the daggerboard goes and watch inside to see if you see any water seeping in. Repair those areas with epoxy or our favorite, Marine Tex epoxy putty. In the first picture you can see a trickle of water, that indicates an area where water was leaking inside. We repaired the inside with West System epoxy resin and hardener, and the external part of the trunk with Marine Tex.

If you have to remove any deck hardware, leave one screw loosely attached at all times so that the wooden backer blocks inside the hull don't fall off. They were originally secured with putty and fiberglass, but that dries up and the blocks can fall off.

The aluminum trim and coaming are held on by aluminum rivets. It is best to buy replacement rivets from a Sunfish dealer to get the proper size, but the 1/8 inch diameter trim rivets can also be found at local hardware stores. Get aluminum rivets that have a 1/2 inch grip range. If the rivet has pulled out of the seam, drill a new hole next to the old hole and put in a new rivet. Try to not drill all the way through the trim, just the top, otherwise you could have a sharp edge on the bottom. File it off if this happens.

Tools and materials used for restoration and repair.

Sunfish Parts

Woot! Sunfish parts from YANKEE BOATING CENTER showed up aka They include a recreational line kit (halyard, sheet, outhauls and daggerboard bungee), coaming rivets, trim rivets, bailers, drain plugs and bow handles. ALso ordered some sail repair tape.

Zip and Madison

1953 Alcort Sunfish Zip and 198? AMF Sunfish Madison sport their sails from Schurr Sails Pensacola, FL.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Vintage Sunfish Parts

Made a parts haul a few months back, finally sorted them. There was some hardware dating back to the 1960s in there. It appears every part of the boat has changed since its inception.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

1966 Data plate.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Old style rudder pin.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Mast caps.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Wilcox and Crittenden stainless steel boom blocks.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Wilcox and Crittenden bronze halyard block.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Drain plug.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunfish Work Dolly

I had been using some sawhorses to work on our Sunfish but spotted a "finishing dolly" in a Laser Performance photo that look pretty cool. I contacted Bo Williams at LP and he rounded up some photos and pics of a dolly that they use. It is approximately 8 feet long, 3 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet tall. The cool part is how the bunks articulate.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

I used the base of my dolly and made some bunks to copy what LP has.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Used some extra plywood to make the ends.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Added the bunk arms, used 3/4 inch galvanized hardware.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Carpeted the bunks.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

Then I used on a 2003 Sunfish repair and it works great. It is easy to flip the boat and the bunks hold the boat secure while I move it around.

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -

From SBR 4: Jun 2014 -