Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Alcort 1953-1971 Rudder Releasing Mechanism Tips

22 Jul 19:

Folks have problems with the old style rudder releasing mechanism, usually due to worn parts or loose installation. There was also a retrofit to put a nylon tube around the carriage bolt on the fiberglass boats to limit movement.

1965 Alcort Sunfish WAVE 22 Jul 19 Gudgeon Removal

22 Jul 19:

Worked on WAVE, removed the gudgeon and transom drain plug

Sanded a bit.

Sunfish bits

Log of WAVE.

Penobscot 14 ST. JACQUES 22 Jul 19 Row, Paddle, Padook and Anchor

22 Jul 19:

Needed a photo ship to take some pictures for Small Boat Magazine so we pressed our Penobscot 14 ST. JACQUES into service. We took her out, used the padook, the paddle and rowed a bit. Then we came back close to shore and anchored with the Wilcox and Crittenden Navy 5 pounder, first time for ST. J. It held fast in the blowing gale. Storm built up so we went ashore. We experimented with boarding over the stern, and that worked well. Then I was struck with inspiration, why not load her on the dolly stern first? That worked well also, now she is just like the Herreshoff Amphi-Craft PRIM that rides backwards on her trailer. Next we gave her a fresh water wash down and sucked out the water with the cordless wet vac, easy and fast.

Miles rowed .5/Total 22.5


1963 Alcort Sunfish CHIP 20 Jul 19 Sea Trials

20 Jul 19:

CHIP is ready for Sea Trials!

We looked out and the wind was perfect for a beam reach on and off the beach. CHIP flew through Sea Trials, over, through and under a few waves. 98F Heat Index, the Bay felt like a hot tub. Winds steady at 14 gusting 17, one gust hit 25. But the waves were well spaced. She tacked all over the place, sail set great and blades behaved. The splashguard was excellent to divert the water taken aboard during submarine mode. The helm was responsive and the boat felt solid. We found that the tiller extension was too small of diameter for secure grip and too varnished, very slippery. ANnd if the sheet gets away, the boat just stops and the rudder can be used to maneuver back under the boom, grab the sheet and sail away. Bonus for the day, caught a stern wave!

Log of CHIP.

Alcort Wooden Boat Palooza

23 Jul 19:

We had our 1950s Alcort wooden Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA out for a photo shoot in the morning and then pulled out our 1963 Alcort wooden Sunfish CHIP to check the rigging. So while they were exchanging notes we took some pictures.

Here's the first time they meat, 2013 near Spartanburg, NC.

Log of CHIP.

Log of ZSA ZSA.

Anatomy of Fiberglass Damage

19 Jul 19:

Monday, July 22, 2019

1965 Alcort Sunfish WAVE 19 Jul 19 Dolly and Heat Gun

19 Jul 19:

Used the Skipper's hoist to flip WAVE.

Then grabbed our Kobalt heat gun to remove old fiberglass patches.

Log of WAVE.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

1965 Alcort Sunfish WAVE 21 Jul 19 Hull Repairs

21 Jul 19:

Skipper learned to sail on Sunfish in college, who knew you could get college credit for that? PE, 4 electives! Then she helped teach the class. The College and University used the Sunfish, and that immediately became her favorite boats. After that she let her parents know to keep an eye out for one, and in 1994 they got a Sunfish from her Aunt. The family decided to name her WAVE, after a US Navy ship that her ancestor had sailed back in the days when ships were wood and men were steel. WAVE had travelled around a bit, had made it out to Hawaii and back. We hauled WAVE around from Corpus Christi, TX to Ft Worth and then out to Pensacola, Florida.

Over the last 54 years WAVE took some damage from a cannonball on her chine, and she fell over in storage and hit the edge of some landscape stones. I fixed the damage with a thick fiberglass bandaid and slapped on some paint. Her bow handle came off at one point and Capn Jack fashioned a beautiful and strong stainless backer plate. The parents found a beautiful Rivera sail. A previous owner sheared off the bottom of the metal DePersia bailer and thought best to fiberglass over it. She got painted and striped. We (I) put in a transom drain when she started leaking. And a few years ago we converted the rudder and she got a second rig, a Jolly Roger. Recently I noticed her starboard side foam bow block had come loose, probably from when the whale broached on top of her. So now she has a hodgepodge of paint, patches and holes and she rattles when flipped over. Despite all this, she is still dutifully hauling Skipper over crest and through trough. She is the Flagship, the Favored.

With CHIP finished there was a space open in the Carriage House, so we put her on the Finishing Dolly and got to work. First order of business was to do an air leak test, we will use the drain plug housing as the airport. Cordless shop vac will provide the air and a little Dawn dishwashing liquid with water in a spray bottle the bubbles. WE bought this screwdriver a few years back specifically for deck drain plugs, nice fat head to fill that screw slot.

WAVE is special. She has a deck drain plug on both sides. And a drain hole for the cockpit on the deck, placed so if you set the boat on its port side against a wall, the cockpit deck drain hole is at the low point on the port bulkhead. Maybe they new she was going to Hawaii and she was going to be hanging ten.

A few bubbles around the bow handle.

Now Skipper and I must have not slept well, because we tried the leak test with the shop vac hose on the cockpit drain hole first. I pointed in the general direction and she thought "I don't think that's right, but OK." I sprayed some soap on a known leak area and no bubbles. Hmmm. The I saw the hose and laughed. We then moved the hose to the hull drain and tried again. Still no bubbles. Hmmm. Then it dawned on me that I had not changed the hose around to the vac exhaust. More laughter and a comment that we should avoid power saws for the rest of the day. Tried again and voila! Bubbles from bow to stern.

Time to reseal.

I was a fan of transom drains until I spent some time inside transoms and saw all of the foam back there, especially on the 70s boats with tons of expanding foam, or in some cases 38 pounds worth. Once we learned to fix the leaks vs drain the boat I wished I hadn't done the drain. It is a big hole right at the waterline, and on some boats it is hard for the water to make it back there. We are going to remove the drain and fiberglass the hole back to factory spec.

Now this was a surprise.

The Sunfish have a hull vent hole, to keep the hull from bulging from hot air inside and popping a seam or loosening a block. Most of the time the vent hole is on the forward cockpit bulkhead. On some boats, like WAVE, the vent hole is right through the middle of the Serial Number plate on the deck. Turns out WAVE's was plugged, so we reamed it out with a 9/64th inch drill bit.

Took us years to notice that there is a Super Sailfish on the data tag along with the Sunfish. Too bad it doesn't come with the bigger daggerboard, it needs it.

Skipper got tired of lifting boats and flipping them, so she designed a boat hoist using Sunfish rigging.

While WAVE was airborne I fixed the bunk bungees, they are set to lightly pull the bunks flat when the boat is on them inverted. When the boat goes onto the dolly right side up, the bunks articulate to fit the V shape of the hull.

Smooth landing.

Time to remove these ugly patches.

1200 degrees ought to do it.

40 grit on a random orbital sander, getting rid of flaky paint, old adhesive, fiberglass patch bits and top layer of crushed fiberglass. We'll use a file to get the hull trimmed back to good glass.

So the bottom of the bailer was sheared off, so someone covered it with a big blob of Never Be Gone glue.

The inside of the bailer looked like this. I tried twisting, hammer taps and heat. Nothing worked.

Since I will be repairing fiberglass anyway, I drilled out bits of the bailer and bits of the boat. Finally if came out.

Removed the trim so we can sand the sides easier. Used a 9/64th inch drill bit to remove the rivet head and body.

We use a small block to tap the trim off. Be careful to not bend or break the trim around the rivet holes.

Sunfish Archaeology.

Sanded away old epoxy, patch residue, some paint, some more paint, some primer and some gelcoat. It's good to stop there, we're down to the crushed fiberglass on the first patch, where you see the woven roving threads threads and the glass turns from opaque to milky. Time to find the diamond file.

WAVE telling tall tales...

40 grit to sand of fiberglass patch remnants and uneven primer/paint. Halfway done on this bit.

Keel cleaned up.

The Dust Deputy has been working great. There's about 2 inches of paint, primer, epoxy and gelcoat in there so far.

Log of WAVE.