Long distance sunfish trip

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by FishHead, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. FishHead

    FishHead New Member

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    What's the farthest someone has gone in their sunfish? Has anyone sailed from New England to Florida over the course of a couple of weeks? Would it be crazy to think that me and my brother could sail from Cannon Beach, Oregon (near the northern border) to southern California? I'm thinking that we could stay within sight of the coast, only sail in good weather, camp at night and just buy food and water as we go. On the road, it's about 1,100 miles. On the water it would be slightly less, maybe 950 miles. How long do you think that would take in average winds? Any idea how far off the coast we'd need to be to get the best winds and to take advantage of the south-flowing California Current?

    We aren't planning the trip for comfort or style, but to set the record for the longest continuous trip in a sunfish.
     
  2. LQT420

    LQT420 Member

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    According to a story in Will White's, The Sunfish Book, in 1977, a guy by the name of James Lee Meadows sailed from Florida to Boston. He took his time staying for weeks at a time at certain spots on shore along the way. Another account tells of a father and son who took about a week to sail the length of Long Island Sound. I'm sure both of them just hugged the coastline as I wouldn't trust the Sunfish in open water.
     
  3. c barrett

    c barrett New Member

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    My brother and I spent a long day sailing our Sunfish from Newport to the Bristiol Bridge (Rhode Island) on Narragansset Bay and it felt like a record trip to us. We were kids at the time.

    I trust the sunfish in any water. It won't sink. It's just that in heavy weather you'd be at the mercy of the wind and waves as one is in any open boat. The difficulty may be in finding a place to stop for the night and finding restaurants / stores to get provender. Parts of the coast are somewhat isolated (ie; the Lost Coast in Nor-Cal) and parts are just rock strewn, wind blown ship graveyards. Staying dry would require a dry suit or ?? You'd probably make good distance as the prevailing wind is NW, a speedy point of sail for the Sunfish.

    Keep us informed on your plans. If you make the attempt, I'll welcome you to Port San Luis in central California with a hot meal and cool drinks!

    Chris
     
  4. Al Court

    Al Court Al Court

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    These kinds of stories can be found in the magazine, Small Craft Advisor, but with slightly larger craft. Am I the only reader of this mag? 2-3 years ago William Mantis did an outstanding article on the Sunfish, yet No one on this site ever commented on it.
     
  5. fbjru

    fbjru Member

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  6. FishHead

    FishHead New Member

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    I have read one issue of Small Craft Advisor about a guy trying to circumnavigate in the smallest ship ever. The story of the guys sailing from new orleans to maine is just about a step by step of how to do something like what i'm thinking--thanks for the link. It appears that it will take much longer than I'd anticipated/hoped. Those sailors reported that their best days resulted in traveling 45 miles or so. At that rate, it would take a minimum of 22 days for my trip. I might have that much time off, but more likely it will only be about 2 weeks, so we might have to shorten the trip. Clearly, I won't be setting any records either way.
    Those poor guys did that trip in 5 months in the early 80's. With todays modern camping gear and clothing, I imagine that a trip like that today would be much more comfortable than they had it. Thanks everyone for the help. I'll keep you informed if any plans materialize.
     
  7. Lakeland Phantom

    Lakeland Phantom New Member

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    I've got to wonder how someone would get past some of the more populated regions now. Good luck trying to find somewhere in New Jersey that you won't get arrested sleeping on the beach at night.
     
  8. Zeppo

    Zeppo Member

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    Wow, Your going to be sailing in a beam sea, and the closer you get to shore the bigger and more surf like those waves are going to be. This will be a long haul in a wet or dry suit, and one of the concerns you will have to address is beaching your SF in surf that could vary tremendously in height. If you have been out for hours and decide it is time to head for shore and the "surf is up" your going to have a problem landing. You also will need to check prevailing winds as you would not want to spend days on a beat. This is a trip that may be possible with a ton of planning, you will need a vhf radio, some means of charging it's battery, flares, water, snacks and probably a shore support vehicle, afterall it's a SunFish and it can't carry too much. Towns are not situated every 3 or 4 miles infact there a rarity on the Northern California coast, this means carrying sufficient food on board or having a support vehicle follow you, one that is phone contact with you. Jeez, the more I think about it the more overwhelming this voyage sounds. Oh yeah, keep an eye open for those Grey Whales, SunFish are a staple of their diet.
     

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