Wednesday, February 21, 2018

1971 AMF Alcort Sunfish SASSY

Sassy is a 1971 Sunfish with the "new style" rudder and triple stripes, with the stripes just on the foredeck. She did not have the storage compartment and her deck had a touch of cream color to it, went well with the deep red stripes and cockpit. She also had a nice old 5 panel Ratsey and Lapthorne sail. One interesting leak developed on SASSY after I had a hard time removing the old metal bailer. The seam between the cockpit tub and hull opened up, which lets water seep (or gush) into the hull. We fixed it by using a syringe to inject thickened epoxy into the gap, then lightly clamping while it dried.



The halyard cleat needed to be reinstalled, so we improvised for the test sail.


1980 AMF Sunfish SUGAR 2 21 Feb 18 Hull Repair and Inspection Port

21 Feb 18:

Sanded the splashgard with 120 grit and gave it a coat of Rust-Oleum.


SUGAR 2 deck gouges from the boom bolt, almost all the way though the gelcoat.



One of our old standbys, Marine-Tex epoxy putty. We used this today because it will be a close match to the gelcoat on PHOENIX. It will be a little too white for SUGAR 2's cream colored deck, but may fade over time.


Marine-Tex applied.



Fiberglass damage in SUGAR 2's daggerboard trunk.



Mixed up Pettit Marine Paint Flexpoxy to repair fiberglass damage in the daggerboard trunk. Totaloat THIXO is a good product for this repair as well. Used the half wide paint stick to trowel Flexpoxy over the damaged areas, anywhere the outer layer of polyester resin has flaked off. Also injected epoxy from a syringe into the seam voids we found a few days ago.


Inspection port installation between the daggerboard trunk and splashguard. The tape protects the deck from the jigsaw footplate.


The inner plate makes a good template for the inspection port hole.


Marked the hole, drilled a 1/2 inch hole inside the circle to insert the jigsaw blade. Cut on the line with a DEWALT jigsaw.




Inside the Sunfish hull, daggerboard trunk.


Inside the Sunfish hull, mast tube and wooden backer block on underside of deck for the halyard fairlead. White blocks are the structural and floatation foam, yellow foam is the expanding adhesive foam. The fiberglass strip at the top is the strap that used to hold the wooden halyard cleat backer block. It rotted and fell off.


Someone moved the halyard cleat at one point, probably to find better purchase on the old internal backer block. We used the cleat to predrill the 2 screw holes, then epoxied the block and put it inside the hull in the original position. Then we used the drill bit to find one of the screw holes and line up the block for the first screw. Once the first screw was in place we removed the drill bit, swiveled the cleat and inserted the second screw. The epoxy oozing out of the wrong screw holes is good news, means we had plenty of adhesive contact between the block and the hull.


New halyard cleat backer block, made from rot resistant cypress and coated with epoxy. Held in place by thickened epoxy and screws.


We pre drilled all of the machine screw holes using the ring as a template then removed it and put a bead of sealant around the port hole. The port was put in place, then twisted a 1/2 turn to evenly spread out the sealant. Machine screws were reinstalled and secured with nylon stop nuts.


Installed a swivel cam cleat. Test fit the coaming.


Restoration Log of SUGAR 2.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

1965 Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 16 Feb 18 Bottom Damage

16 Feb 18:

Put SMEDLEY on the trailer but before we did that we put him on his side to assess bottom damage. Several of the areas look like gelcoat cracks but a few are deeper into the fiberglass. Most of the damage appears to be from improper trailer supports.






We are having a trailer made so we'll work with Eddie English to make sure the boat is properly supported. Eddie has been building boat trailers for a long time so we know he'll come up with a great design.


Restoration Log for SMEDLEY.

Friday, February 16, 2018

1980 AMF SUGAR 2 16 Feb 18 Leak Test and Hull Cleaning

16 Feb 18:

Boy I don't remember SUGAR 2 being so grimy but it has been a scummy season for pine pollen and rain on and off. We needed to do an air leak test so while we had the soap out we decided to clean up the hull. This also gave us a chance to note any areas that were going to need epoxy attention, either THIXO or Marine Tex.

We did the leak test by taping over all known holes except for the vent hole on the forward cockpit bulkhead. Yes, that's a vent hole, don't seal it up. And don't let water fill up the cockpit during storage, or water will get in side the hull through the vent hole. We pressurized the boat with low volume, low pressure air and sprayed all the seams and hardware locations with Dawn dishwashing detergent, then looked for bubbles. We found leaks in the daggerboard trunk, deck edge seam and just over the gudgeon. To get a better leak at where the deck edge seam was leaking, we drilled out the trim rivets with a 1/8 inch bit and gently tapped off the aluminum trim.


Once the trim is off we can usually see an area where dirt has collected, that is usually the leak spot where water is flowing in and out of the boat. The seam gets damaged from collisions and rough handling during storage.



We used a few chemicals next, please read the Warnings and take proper protective precautions before using these chemicals. After the leak test we sprayed the boat with TILEX to get rid of the mildew. Then we rinsed it well and sprayed it again with Iron Out, let that sit a while and wet sanded with 1200 grit to release the stain. The boat also had paint overspray on it, and the wet sanding helped remove that. Once we are finished repairing leaks and cleaning up old repair areas, the boat will get compounded and waxed with 3M Fiberglass Restorer and Wax.



SUGAR 2 has some interesting gelcoat spider cracks on the bottom, below the cockpit, pressure points from where expanding foam was used to adhere the bottom of the cockpit to the inside of the hull. The fiberglass underneath is fine, we are going to leave those tiny cracks alone, unless we start to see gelcoat chipping off.


Dolly fun.



Restoration Log of SUGAR 2.

1980 AMF Sunfish SUGAR 2 16 Feb 18 Identification Number (HIN)

16 Feb 18:

SUGAR 2's Hull ID Number (HIN) is AMF79231M80B, located on the upper right transom.


In 1972 Hull ID Numbers became mandatory, before that there may have been small oval Alcort or AMF data plates on the deck. Here is the HIN decoded.

AMF - Manufacturer ID
79231 - Hull serial number
M - Model Year Format
80 - 1980 model year
B - Month of production Spetember


In 1984 the format changed.


So if your Sunfish or Sailfish was built 1972 or later, it may have the HIN on the upper right transom, and the last 2 numbers will indicate the model year, usually the same as the year built. Some boats like the Minifish had a metal sticker on the deck, and there is not a record yet of what year those numbers are associated with.

Alcort Sunfish Kit 1964

16 Feb 18:

Alcort put out kits for the wooden Sunfish, Standard Sailfish and Super Sailfish until the early 70s. A wooden Sunfish kit cost $297 USD.





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sunfish Trailer and Dolly Extravaganza

Sunfish International Masters was in town in 2013, so we drove over to check it out. While the Fleet was out racing we wandered around the Yacht Club getting some ideas for trailers and dollies. Seitech was by far the favored dolly. On the other hand, no two trailers were alike.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

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One courageous cartopper, from New York!

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

I like the Right On trailer, dolly fits right on top.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

This trailer wss my favorite, a basic utility trailer with a rack added. It could be used for many other things with the rack off.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Counted 45 dollies, lots of Seitechs but there were a few surprises.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

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Loved seeing some new boats!

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From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

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We are trying out a new configuration also.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Need a dolly, trailer or a rack? These folks have a promising new product line, $495 for a Sunfish dolly and plus they carry many other dinghy sizes: Dynamic Dollies and Racks

Order your Sunfish Dolly today from SBR!

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-







Have a great sailing season!!

Kent