Newbie shopping used boats

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Lefty96, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    I just finished a sailing class and really want to go further. After checking around, I figure a sunfish is my best chance to get out the most often and have found this boat locally. What questions should I be asking? I’ve got a rock bottoms offer of $900 from them.

    1970 Alcort Sunfish sailboat
     
  2. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    "Total makeover", and doesn't look at all bad.

    Consider used: mast w/caps is going to be $100, wood daggerboard $100, bronze rudder/tiller assembly $125, a new sail about $125, spars (don't think about it) :eek:.

    So, just in Sunfish parts, you're not going to get hurt. Check the bottom of the daggerboard trunk for damage. Fill the mast step with water—it should hold every drop.

    Just noticed: it comes with a trailer! :cool:

    .
     
  3. tag

    tag my2fish

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    I personally wouldn't buy a boat with the old-style of rudder.
    If you can, ask to weigh the hull - it will give you a better idea if the boat is holding water inside.
    One that old would be in the range of 130 to 140 lbs, I think.
     
  4. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    Could you elaborate on the rudder? I am concerned about the boat holding water being as it is so old and is a restore. It is several hours from me though so popping over to check it out won't be trivial.

    Just woke up to 49 degrees here in central Arkansas so I'm thinking I may have more options if I watch ads longer. Not many small boats seem to show up so I am paranoid a bit about that. Don't want to boat shop all through next spring/summer.
     
  5. tag

    tag my2fish

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    This blog post goes over the rudders and the process to convert to the new style.
    Small Boat Restoration: Sunfish Rudder Conversion

    Basically, the general consensus seems to be the new style is an improvement, and it costs a decent amount of money to later do the upgrade.
    Plus, by looking for a Sunfish with a new style of rudder, you'll end up with a younger boat as well.
     
  6. wjejr

    wjejr Member

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    Hi Lefty96,

    I have never had a problem with the old style rudder, my boat is a 1971, assuming all the parts are in good working order. However looking at the pictures, I can see that the rudder is, shall we say, "a bit rough." The first point is that the bronze "spring plate" is missing. That piece, if you can avoid some of the used part Sunfish sharks, won't be expensive, but the fact that it is missing likely means the bronze carriage bolt is missing along with bronze wingnut. Also, the pin where the rudder hinges is not right. I cannot tell what it is, but likely is is a bolt. That needs to be replaced as you don't want to have to have wrenches when putting on the rudder. The bottom bronze fitting on the keel also looks odd, but from the pictures you cannot tell. Finally, there is a nylon tube that the carriage bolt runs through, and you should find out if it is there.

    The rudder itself is not correct. The trailing edge should taper down to 1/8" to 1/4". This rudder does not look tapered at all. The result is that the rudder will create a lot of drag and will stall if you turn it sharply. The first part likely won't be a problem, the second part will.

    Something else I noticed is that the halyard is unusual. Normally the line runs through the plastic cap at the top. In the picture there seems to be a line attached to the top with a block/pulley on one end that the halyard runs through.

    Prices are much cheaper where I live, but on the whole, I would pass and try to find a better boat.

    From 1971 on there is storage behind the cockpit, and I find that really useful.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    Thanks for all the input. I have been surprised at how few used sunfish I can find around. For whatever reason, there seem to be a ton available in the NE part of the country. I guess I'll keep saving and looking and looking and saving and hope to get lucky.
     
  8. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    Also noticed no pictures show whether or not it has a dagger board.
     
  9. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    The owner of the boat said it took "two strong people to lift it" but it did not have water sloshing around in it - sounds to me like the foam could be water logged?
     
  10. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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  11. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    If the boat was waterlogged, could it support two adults? The owner says she has done that many times and it drafted pretty high.

    She said the rudder is not stock and it was made by her father.

    I figure even if this boat is a no go, this will be a good exercise on learning about them.

    On a side note, looking around, outside of the northeast, I don’t see many sunfish for sale. Is that what I can expect?
     
  12. wjejr

    wjejr Member

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    Hi Lefty96,

    This boat is twice the drive (5 hours), but I think compared to the boat you were looking at, it's a steal. Sunfish Sailboat

    The price however is $1,500 not $900, but by the time you got everything sorted on the other boat you would be close.

    It's a 1992 model, has the new dagger board with the handle, makes tacking easier and boat goes to windward better, new rudder, and the rolled sheer which prevents leaks where the hull joins the deck. It all looks in great shape. It has a nice trailer as well. Here's the description.

    Sunfish sail boat in great condition. Includes rudder and tiller in almost new condition, fiberglass / class legal dagger board, sail has new rings attaching sail to spars. The sail is in good condition and perfect for recreational sailing.
    Click on this link to see video of sailing the Sunfish on Grapevine lake.
    Click on this link to see NADA value for 1992 Sunfish. 1992 Sunfish/Laser Inc SUNFISH Standard Equipment, Boat Value, Boat Price & Craft Specs

    The price is as stated or best offer.

    Good luck!
     
  13. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    The pic under sail shows the top of the daggerboard

    Be patient.....ck ALL FOR SALE. Places...ebay, Craig's list...this forum.
    Place wanted ads as well. Fall and winter are the best times to buy. Youre nust kinda in a non popular sailing area. Ck Nashville if there not too far....other large cities with sailing lakes. You might have to drive a bit. This forum should help you keep a lookout. That boat is just your first find and is a tad high priced too
     
  14. Lefty96

    Lefty96 New Member

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    I will keep hunting. If I expand my range, I’ll have to get another tow vehicle for the trip home. My jeep has a soft top and 35” tires so a drive to Dallas would be miserable.

    I will keep hunting.
     
  15. rohrbeck

    rohrbeck New Member

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  16. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I suspect there are hundreds of Sunfish around you sitting unused in people's back yards and garages. Kids grow up—adults get old—storms hit—storage-space beckons.

    This is the time of year to buy one—and take all winter to fix it up or dry it out. 'Bet you can find one you can drop in the water in an hour, and go sailing for $350!

    I've bought three (now four) sailable Sunfish, and never paid more than $350!

    The get the word out, the best results are by placing a Craigslist "Wanted" ad. Offer a low bid: use texting. Erase those "instant" responses to those who insist on nefarious "shopping" for your email address. "Edit" a picture every few days to keep the ad at the top of the page. Take an old-style (floor) bathroom scale with you, tip the boat on its side to weigh it: 130 pounds is a good threshold for a dry boat, but you can reduce your offer for the expense of drying out a heavier boat. 140 pounds is suspect for a "leaker".

    .

     

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