Posts Tagged 'DIY'

old style Sunfish rudder repair [video]

Shoreline Sailboats just posted a great video showing some of the steps and process of converting an older style Sunfish rudder to the current rudder system.

Small Boat Restoration also has a good blog post “sunfish rudder conversion” about this same upgrade, with a lot of photos of the process as well.

old style rudder (photo by Small Boat Restoration)

new style rudder (photo by Small Boat Restoration)

all 1972 and newer Sunfish are equipped with the current “new” style of rudder, so this only applies to those of you who have currently, or are looking to buy, an older Sunfish.  back then, the manufacturer of the Sunfish was AMF, and they released a write-up with the procedure to upgrade the rudder.

JD summer clearance sale

I’m a big fan of Jamestown Distributors, and have been on their email list for quite some time.  today’s email had a nice little photo surprise – an old wooden Sunfish!

JD wooden sunfish

for Sunfish sailors, Jamestown Distributors is an excellent source for epoxy & fiberglass supplies for when it comes time to make repairs to your Sunfish hull.  they supply West System epoxy  & all the various fillers, and they have recently started their own line of boat repair products, the “Total Boat” line.  I also used JD to purchase supplies for when I did the repairs and re-finished my Sunfish daggerboards and rudders.

sunfish pvc dolly & handle [plans]

several years ago, I blogged about the Sunfish PVC dolly that I built for moving around my Sunfish.  I later drew up plans for building the dolly, and posted them here for free!
my sunfish PVC dolly
I have since then built a handle out of PVC that attaches to the axle of the PVC dolly, and makes it a little easier to pull the dolly with a Sunfish on it, particularly if you are trying to drag it through sand. the handle lets you pull on the dolly, instead of just pulling on the Sunfish bow handle, and having your Sunfish slide off the dolly and fall onto the beach (speaking from personal experience here…). here is a picture of my Minifish sitting on the PVC dolly with the PVC handle.

minifish on pvc dolly

I’ve had requests for details on the handle, so sketched up the approximate size and layout that I used.  it requires an additional approx 20 lineal feet of 1 1/4″ PVC pipe and a handful of PVC pipe fittings.

for my version of the handle, I used a reducer tee at the axle of the Sunfish dolly – so my handle swivels (the reducer tee had a larger diameter size at the “arms” of the tee so it is larger than the 1 1/4″ pipe at the dolly axle).  if you are building a dolly from scratch, you could consider just gluing the handle at that location.

at the upper part of the handle where you pull the dolly, I added a PVC tee and a PVC plug.  I screwed an eyelet into the plug, and you can use a carabiner or short length of rope to attach to the bow handle on your Sunfish.  full disclosure: I’m not sure it is necessary or even really helps any! I did also add a couple pieces of pipe insulation on the parts of the PVC dolly handle that will rub against the boat gunwales.

if any of you would like to create your own dolly out of PVC, the dimensions should give you a pretty good head start (download a copy of the .pdf plan here). and here is a drawing for the handle (download a copy of the PVC dolly handle drawing .pdf here).

so there you have it:  a bit more detail on my Sunfish PVC dolly and its new handle option.  if you have any more specific questions, please feel free to post it in the comments below, or you can send me an email: my2fish -at- gmail.com

best of luck, and let me know any comments or questions!

 

a DIY Sunfish rudder build [video]

saw this video posted on the Sunfish Forum.

thoughts? it certainly is pretty creative.  also quite simple and fairly low cost.

I didn’t realize you could flatten PVC like that – but I’d worry about it’s long term strength. pine and plywood also don’t strike me as the best suited for exposure to water, or having very much structural strength and stiffness.

it seems like old rudders are pretty readily available if you look around, so I’m not sure I’d try to recreate something that works if I can find an old one nearby to buy and maybe refinish if need be.  plus, I sail enough on the Great Lakes that I don’t think I’d trust sailing in heavy wind and waves with a home-made creation that might not hold up under the heavier loading from heavy sailing.

sinew and yellow cedar [video]

In an age where everything is pre-made and constructed with plastic, we sometimes forget the importance of working with our hands. There is comfort at the end of the day when you get to hold something you created.

very nice video of a skin-on-frame boat builder in British Columbia.

HT: @boatbuilding


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,325 other followers

my2fish archives

my2fish stats

  • 472,532 hits
Sailing Blogs
Sailing Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory