How to install a new Sunfish pintle

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The Sunfish pintle is a great design and rarely breaks, but nothing lasts forever. Until we had time to go to the sailboat shop we replaced it with this bolt and clip, which works but I don't recommend. Makes it harder to put the rudder on, the bolt must pass between the tiller brackets, and after dropping the clip in the lake a few times the advantages of the standard setup are apparant. Sunfish pintle replacement

The Sunfish pintle kit was $12.20 at The Sailboat Shop in Austin, it includes a new pintle, spring, washer, steel snap-ring, and for those who can't get the snap-ring on, a cotter key. The snap-ring was difficult to install, so I can see why some people using the cotter key instead.
Here's the problem, the spring will only compress a little, and you have to hold it there while you put the snap-ring over the end of the pintle. Be sure to put the washer on the pintle before you compress the spring. I used my needle nose vice grips to hold the spring compressed, and there was barely enough room to get the snap-ring over the end of the pintle and into the bottom grove.
I used another pair of vice grips to hold the pintle in this position, notice the spring is fully compressed and there is just enough room to get the snap-ring on.
With another pair of pliers, these plain needlenose, I was able to get the snap-ring on the end of the pintle and in the grove near the end.
Repositoning the vice grips so the end of the pintle is in the rudder bracket, I as able to compress the spring again and hold it with the needlenose vice grips. This only gave me this short piece of pintle to push the snap-ring onto.
Repeating this process, I can move the snap-ring about 1/4 inch at a time up the pintle.
After a few times, the grove where the o-ring goes appears! Note the new pintle also has a hole drilled in it for the cotter pin for those that decide to use it instead.
The snap-ring snaps into the grove, ready to remove the vice grips.

New pintle is installed, it wasn't too hard, but I wouldn't want to try it without the two pairs of vice grips! Better would be to have a way to keep the spring compressed without relying on the pintle itself.

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