Where to buy Supplies and Parts
West Marine…..Boat cleaning supplies such as soap, compound, and polish. Floatable bow line and 3M Marine sealant. Springs for Ratchet blocks, cleats for the boat and spars.
Ullman Sails….All Sunfish parts can be bought there as he is an authorized dealer. 1/8” (25 ft)
Spectra line for the Outhaul and 1/8” (12 ft) Spectra line for the Cunningham. Sail ties and spar
bags. Dolly parts (See Linda S. reference bearings and end caps). We receive a 10 percent Luffing Lassie discount at Ullman Sails
Knighton Sails….All sewing repairs. Grommet repair for the sails.
Ace/D&G Hardware…All stainless screws, tape, spar metal filler.
Home Depot…Tape, superglue gel, 2 mil plastic.
Walmart….Green Slime Tire Sealant.
Pinch A Penny Pool Store…Lube Tube in a squeeze tube.
Amazon…Hillman Group…Stainless steel hitch pin clips for the dolly. .093X 2 ½” long. There are 12 ea in a pack. It is $23.86 with shipping. That comes to $1.98 each which is cheaper than
the Seitech clips at $5.00 each.
Ebay…Search on ¼ inch white shock cord in 50
Looking Good Lassies!
Linda Schwartz's Top Tips
Sunfish Hull Maintenance
Pressure Test and Clean
Before you start the pressure test, remove and clean your bailer. Leave the bailer off until you are finished cleaning and buffing your boat, then reinstall.
1) Remove and clean the bailer:
You will need a pair of large curve jaw pliers (Channel locks) for this task. Check the bailer for cracks and make sure the pins are not loose. If the pins are rusted you can clean them using a Dremel. If they are rusted out you may want to replace the bailer housing. If the pins are merely loose apply some superglue gel where the pins enter the bailer. You can also use the superglue gel to fill small cracks. Make sure the rubber gasket is in the bailer and test the small ball inside the bailer to make sure it floats in water. If it does not float, replace it.
2) Pressure test the boat:
You will need Dawn detergent, a water hose, a hair dryer, some cardboard, a grease pencil and a buddy. If the boat is equipped with an inspection port hole, remove the cover and clean the threads. Put a thick coating of Lube Tube around the threads and screw it back on. Rinse the boat and fill the mast step with water. Check to see that the water level in the mast step does not go down. If it does, you have a leak above where the water decreased to and will need a repair. Also, if you see water bubbling in the mast step once you apply air then you have a leak in the mast step. On the deck of the boat, apply Dawn to all of the seams, any cracks, the bow handle, the dagger board trunk, the splash rail ( and the rivets on the splashrail), the rudder mount bracket on the stern, the lip of the bailer hole, the inspection port cover if the boat has one, any areas that have something penetrating the hull like screws, etc. Remove the drain plug on the starboard side of the boat. Fashion a cone with the cardboard so that one end fits around the end of your hair dryer and the other end will sit over the drain plug opening. Using a cool setting on your hair dryer, blow air into the hull (be sure not to over fill the boat – take the dryer off of the opening every so often). Have your buddy look at all of the spots that you just applied Dawn to looking for any bubbles that might be forming. Where there are bubbles, there is a leak. Mark these spots with the grease pencil. If there are no bubbles, replace the plug on the port and wash the boat deck. Flip the boat over and apply Dawn as instructed above, including the rolled edged seam that goes around the entire boat. Again, remove the drain plug and again blow air into the hull and look for bubbles. Mark any areas where there are bubbles for repair. If there are no bubbles, proceed to step 3.
3) Wash and wax the boat:
First wash the boat with boat soap and dry it completely with a chamois (shammy) or towel. If there are signs of oxidation on the hull (if the boat has a chalky look and feel to it) or there is a lot of yellowing on the boat you should buff it with 3M Marine Rubbing Compound. This may take multiple coats, depending on the amount of oxidization. Follow the directions on the container. A buffer or polisher should make the job a lot easier. If there is not a lot of oxidation then you can use Starbrite One Step Heavy Duty Cleaner Wax instead. Follow the directions on the container. Once you have removed all oxidization, the hull should look clean and shiny. Next, apply a coat of Starbrite Premium Marine Polish with PTEF. Follow the direction on the container.
Note: Never put any product beside boat soap on the seating area of the deck. If there is oxidation on the deck, buff it with 3M Marine Rubbing Compound. Once you have removed all oxidization, apply a coat of Starbrite Premium Marine Polish with PTEF. Follow the direction on the container.
4) Reinstalling the Bailer:
Once you are finished cleaning and buffing the boat replace the clean bailer. (You will need a buddy) Put an even coat of Lube Tube around the O-Ring of the bailer bottom. Ensure the large opening of the bottom of the bailer is facing toward the rear of the boat. Tighten the bailer screw until the bailer is just over hand tight. Don’t overtighten or the bailer will crack if you hit a hard surface like the boat rack.
5) Additional items to check on the boat hull/deck:
Check the traveler for signs of wear or rust. Rust on your boat deck under the traveler indicates
the rubber coating has cracked and the wire braid under the coating is rusting so the traveler
should be replaced.
Check that the hiking strap is tied securely and the shock cord is serviceable
Check that all of your cleats are clean and secure.
Check all screws to make sure they are tight.
Check your bow handle to make sure it is serviceable.
Check the fairlead for cracks.
Make sure the boat has a floatable bow line of 28 feet.
Make sure the cockpit trim is secure and not loose. If the trim is coming loose you will need to pull it off and clean the area with some acetone. If there is old marine sealant that won’t come off you may need to carefully use a single edge razorblade or putty knife to get it off the gelcoat. If you take the cockpit trim off it is probably better to replace it with new trim as it is only $7 at Ullman Sails. You can use a rubber mallet to tap the new rubber trim in place around the cockpit. Tap the metal clip into place between where the two ends meet.
Clean and Check the ratchet block to make sure it is working properly. It should make a clicking
sound when you spin it.
Clean your boat cover with a mild detergent like Dawn, boat soap, or diluted Oxyclean depending on how dirty it is. You can scrub it with a soft bristle brush.
Sunfish Spars and Sails Maintenance
Inspecting, Cleaning and Repairing
6) Cleaning the sail and spars: Lay the sail out on some 2 mil thick plastic (you can purchase it in the paint section at Home Depot) so you don’t get any holes in the sail while you are cleaning it. Spray the sail and spars with a water hose. Spray the grommets, cleats, blocks, and tack end of the spars with Salt Away. Let the Salt Away sit and soak while you are washing the sail. Apply a small amount of Starbrite Sail Cleaner to the sail and wash the sail with a large sponge. Use a toothbrush and scrub the grommets, cleats, blocks, and tack end of the spars.
Use the sponge and wipe down both spars. Rinse the sail and spars. Flip the sail over and repeat the same process to the other side. Prop the sail up in the sun so it can dry.
7) Inspect and repair the sail: Check for any holes. Small holes can be repaired using self adhesive insignia cloth purchased from Ullman Sails. Cut a small circle (just larger than the hole) in the cloth for both sides of the sail. Peel the backing off two pieces of the cloth and apply the cloth to both sides of the hole. Next, make sure all grommets are intact. It is normal to have some corrosion but they should not be breaking apart. If the grommets are unserviceable then the sail will have to be taken off the spars. You can take the sail to Knighton Sails to have the grommets replaced. They replace all the grommets for the Luffing Lassies for $40.00. Make sure there are two sets of tell tales on the sail. If not, place two sets on the Sail. Place the first set at the top of the third (middle) panel, approximately 30" from the gaff. The
second set of two should be attached to the sail at the bottom of the second panel (the panel with the class insignia), approximately 26" from the gaff. Check all the sail ties to make sure they are in place and not too tight. The sail should be a minimum of 1/16” away from the spar. You can use the width of a #2 pencil as a guide. The ties should be put on with a square knot with a half hitch on each end to ensure the square knot stays in place. Check that the head of the sail is 160 inches from the bottom of the upper spar (measure from where the aluminum starts not from the end cap). Check that the halyard is 106 inches from the bottom of the upper spar and that there is white tape or gorilla tape above and below it to keep the halyard from slipping. If you are putting on a Jens rig you should move your halyard down to around 105 inches so your lower boom is not sitting too close to the deck when you are in the Jens position.
8) Spar Maintenance: Check the tack end of the spars for corrosion. If the corrosion is bad the sail will need to be untied at the tack end. The spars will have to be cut and the holes for the eyebolt redrilled. See Linda Schwartz for this procedure.
Check the spars for corrosion. Small corrosion holes can be filled with Devcon home Metal Patch and Fill. Areas that are filled will need to dry for 48 hours and then sanded down with 500 grit sandpaper to make them smooth. Remove the sail ties and place something over the sail so the sail doesn’t get metal filler on it.
Check the cleats to make sure the outhaul and Cunningham are holding when you set them.
Make sure the Outhaul and Cunningham are not frayed.
Check the Mainsheet blocks to make sure they run freely. If not, they may need to be replaced. See Linda Schwartz for rivet replacement procedures.
Take the gooseneck adjuster off and clean the gooseneck adjuster and screw with Salt Away and a small toothbrush. Before you reinstall it spray the adjuster with Boeshield T9 Corrosion Protection and Waterproof Lubrication. Do not spray any lubricant on the spar at the gooseneck area.
If the lower spar on the port side, at the tack end, is not marked from 12 to 22 then remark.
Use a permanent black marker. Measure from the aluminum to 12 inches and make a mark. Measure and mark every inch after until you reach 22 inches. Above the marks write the numbers 12 to 22. Permanent ink can be removed with acetone on a rag.
Make sure the tack end eyebolt screw is tight and not bent.
Make sure there is a serviceable ¼ inch shock cord 11 feet long tied to the tack end of the spars.
Make sure there is a mainsheet in the spar bag.
Sweep out the spar bag and make sure the sail number is recorded on the outside of the bag. i.e.…LL10. Any small holes can be repaired using sailcloth. Same procedure as repairing a sail above. Large holes that the spars can slide through cannot be repaired and the bag will need to be replaced. Commercial sewing repairs are expensive and it is cheaper to replace the bag than to have it fixed. The bags are $65 at Ullman Sails. Check the zipper and if it is sticking put
Zipper Lube on it. Put the lube on the zipper and move it back and forth several times.
Sunfish Dolly Maintenance
Taking care of your Dolly
9) Dolly Maintenance: Dolly tires and axle brackets are the most expensive repairs on the dollies. Check all the screws on the dolly for tightness. Use a large Phillips head bit and drill or a large Phillips head screwdriver. Loose screws cause broken axle brackets. Broken brackets
must be replaced and can be bought at Ullman Sails. Ensure all tire pressure is good. Tire
Pressure should be around 7 pounds. If a tire is flat then there is a leak somewhere. If a tire
valve stem comes apart then the tire must go to the tire shop for repair. The cost is $5 per tire.
I use Tires Plus on University Parkway. If the valve stem looks intact then there is probably a
leak around the rim. Get a large bin and fill it with water. Air the tire up and hold the tire
under the water. There will be bubbles coming up from where the tire is leaking. Take the tire
out of the water and let the air out of the valve stem. Remove the valve stem core with a valve
stem tool. Inject about 12 pumps of Green Slime Tire Sealant. This product can be bought in a
one gallon jug at Wal-Mart and is great for sealing up leaks. After you pump in the sealant
reinstall the valve stem core. Slosh the green slime around in the tire by rotating the tire back
and forth over the areas that had the leaks. Add air again to the tire. Submerge the tire into
the water and wait until you see no more bubbles. If there are still bubbles pull the tire out and
rotate it some more. Sometimes you may need to add a few more pumps of Green Slime but
the stuff works great at sealing leaks and it saves about $65 per tire.
Make sure all tires have bearings and end caps. See Linda Schwartz reference bearings and
installing end caps.
Make sure all dolly tires have stainless steel tire clips.
Make sure all dollies and tires are painted blue. Do not paint the rubber on the tires or the
Valve Stems. Paint ruins valve stems.
Make sure all dollies have a shock cord strap on the handle that secures the boat to the dolly
when transporting. See Linda Schwartz reference installation.
Check dolly strap and make sure it is serviceable and the stitching is intact. Frayed stitching can
be resewn at Knighton Sails.