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Sidewinder project question

Posted by mgoltsman 
Sidewinder project question
July 11, 2013 05:21AM
I am considering buying a Sidewinder in a near-project condition. Being a newbie to both sailing and boat maintenance, this is probably a stupid idea. But, I don't think the boat is bad enough to really be a lot of trouble.

All it really needs is new covers for the holes in the bow, a few drain plug covers that are missing, replacing some hardened caulking in the corners of the cockpit and - this is where the big question comes in - tightening the metal brackets that hold the rudder. They are really loose, and I can't seem to find a way to access the inside of the hull where the screws holding them go.

I would really appreciate some advice, both specific to the Sidewinder and general boat repair/maintenance. Is there a standard way to re-attach loose fittings to a fiberglass hull? Is there a good source of info of this kind on the web? Is there a specific way to attach these fittings on a Sidewinder? When buying a mildly abused Sidewinder, are there specific common problem areas to check? The only thing I am aware of is missing centerboard because they tend to drown if you flip the boat, and this one does have the centerboard.

Thanks in advance for any info.
Re: Sidewinder project question
July 12, 2013 05:17PM
I had problems with loose brackets also, on the rudder supports. I went to a marine store and found some plastic looking toggle bolts. I took the brackets off and used these special toggle anchors. Before tightening the brackets I put some adhesive caulk on the back of the brackets, tightened down the anchor bolt and then wiped away excess caulk. I do have the package those fasteners came in, and I will check it out and relay the description to you.
Attach an extra line to your center board and tie it off to a cleat or something at front of cockpit. You definitely don't want to lose your center board.

Sounds your boat will be fine given the shape it is in.
Re: Sidewinder project question
July 18, 2013 09:14PM
The hatch covers are easy. Check Annapolis Perfomance Sailing to see your options, The opening is 5 inches. I had to fine tune it a bit with a rasp to get them to fit. I used pop rivets & marine silicone sealer

The drain plugs covers I use ar 5/8" baitwell plugs. About $3 for two pack at Dunhams.

The other option for the screws is to put an additional inspection port in the back of the cockpit to provide access the screws.

BTW if it is you first sailing boat be careful. Sail it first as a cat rig. It can be a handfull.
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