Posts Tagged 'sunfish repairs'

a builder update from Laser Performance

the latest issue of the Sunfish Class “Windward Leg” had an interesting update from the manufacturer of the Sunfish sailboat:

Brand new Sunfish boats manufactured at the LaserPerformance LDA facilities in Setubal, Portugal being inspected and boxed for shipment to the U.S.

LaserPerformance faced considerable headwinds in 2020. A combination of Covid-19 lockdown and supply chain disruptions curtailed Sunfish plans for continuous supply, growth and expansion. In 2021 the primary goal has been to get back on track. Last year LaserPerformance LDA successfully established manufacturing facilities in Setubal, Portugal. They also put into place technical teams for production, product development and quality and compliance. Sunfish hull production started this year in Setubal with one shift and, as of June, they have added a second shift to meet forecasted demand. The goal of meeting Sunfish boat construction standards has been attained. For the remainder of the year, priority will be given to bringing further design and quality improvements to the boat. To this end, the LP Team in Portugal is working closely with the Sunfish Class to incorporate their feedback and sailor experiences into the continuous improvement process.

LaserPerformance LDA also has an initiative to identify local and reliable vendors for Sunfish parts and accessories. LaserPerformance LDA aims to have all Sunfish boat parts sourced locally before the end of the year so that it can ship “a Sunfish in a box” to customers around the world and get parts to customers more rapidly. Equally important to LaserPerformance LDA is its commitment to seeking every available opportunity to introduce sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in all its activities and is excited by prospects for development and growth of the Sunfish.

Sunfish parts and new boats have been hard to get from suppliers… it’ll be interesting to see if this new build location will improve the Sunfish parts supply chain.

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.

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.

Sunfish hull repair method

here is an excellent video created by Shoreline Sailboats on Sunfish hull repair.  Shoreline Sailboats is an authorized Laser Performance dealer in western New York.

as an aside… it is nice to see Shoreline using the Total Boat product line from Jamestown Distributors.  I’ve purchased some of the Total Boat Thixo, but have not used it yet.  the Total Boat product line seems like a good alternative to West System products that is perhaps a little easier on the wallet!

pimp my boat: 1970 Sunfish restoration

the following is is from a contest put on by Jamestown Distributors (JD).  the contest was called “pimp my boat” and the contestants would post before and after pictures of boat repair/restoration projects that they had completed (presumably using some supplies from JD).  this particular contestant was repairing a 1970 Sunfish sailboat.

his “before” picture is downright frightening! but I guess it was only $50.

pmb_As-it-arrived

but after I’m sure quite a bit of work, the final result is mighty impressive!

pmb_IMG_1514

stop by the website for his project to see more pictures of the process and final results.  maybe it will give you an inspiration for a repair project this winter.

do you have any projects planned for your Sunfish during the winter months ahead?

the solar fish (a frankenboat)

fellow blogger Earwigoagin posted this gem on his blog a few days ago.  he was attending the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival and stumbled upon a modified Sunfish sailboat (or maybe a Sunfish clone? – it’s hard to tell).

the boat has had major modifications: the normal lateen sail on a Sunfish with the upper and lower boom and a triangular sail has been replaced by a single furling sail.  the cockpit has been chopped up and totally rebuilt – I’m pretty sure the daggerboard slot has to have been removed, and the cockpit enlarged, so that the driver can sit down inside the new larger cockpit more comfortably.  as Earwigoagin mentioned, this appears to be “a sit-in, non-hiking day sailor with a small cabin.”  there is also, a little solar panel up on top, which powers a small trolling motor.

overall, a pretty neat little bit of creative work to make a unique little boat for messing about on the water.  I’m not sure that a Sunfish would have been my 1st choice to start with for a project like this, but he seems to have done a great job and I’m sure has a lot of fun with it.

be sure to check out Earwigoagin‘s blog for more small boat & dinghy sailing topics.


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