Sunfish to Super Sunfish?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by turtlescope, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. turtlescope

    turtlescope New Member

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    Hello, I am looking to get back into sailing. In my youth I used a Super Sunfish and liked the relative performance that I could get out of it. However, in searching for a boat I can't find this exact model or even any sail kits around. I thought about getting a Laser instead but I'm only 140lbs and even though I don't plan on racing I'd still like to get some speed and still feel in control.

    How can I go about converting a regular Sunfish into a Super Sunfish? I'm sure this has been asked before but I searched and didn't find anything relevant. I believe the Formula S is the same thing, would that work? If so... are these hard to find?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    There were conversion kits so Sunfish sailors could have the best of both worlds. Every so often one of these appears on the market, you just have to keep a watch on the lists to catch one.

    Super Sunfish boats come up for sale as well. I think we see at least two or three a year.

    If you were going to craft your own version, adapting a Laser rig might be a good option.

    Super Sunfish, with its high aspect ratio sail, has an upwind advantage, but overall with only 65 sq ft of sail there are more disadvantages across its sailing range. If you want both speed and control, the lateen rig Sunfish is probably the better choice between these two models. Race tuning a Sunfish for an experienced sailor has come a long way in the past decade or so.

    .
     
  3. turtlescope

    turtlescope New Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    I haven't been in a Sunfish in probably 10 - 15 years. Have there been that many big advancements to the regular lateen rig sail? I have actually been in both models, and from what I remember the Super Sunfish was a much more fun ride.

    I could see one of the racing sails being fun, but as it is I am hoping to get a boat for under $1000 so it won't be the newest and greatest. Plus, the season in Wisconsin for sailing isn't that long so I would hate to sit on my butt and wait for one of those kits or boats to come along here. I wish I could find some local places.

    As for adapting a Laser to a Sunfish, do you happen to have any pointers or links to a guide to do this? Isn't the laser sail quite a bit bigger than the Sunfish?

    Thanks again, much appreciated.
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    A Laser mast doesn't fit in the Sunfish mast tube (I just tried it).

    As Wayne already pointed out, a (complete!) Super rig is hard to come by and the Super Sunfish isn't any faster than an up-to-date Sunfish.

    Conclusion: If you want a Marconi rig, and you are a relative light weight, get a Radial (Laser). You may have to pay a bit more initially, but the resale value will be higher as well.

    PS: it's fun to be out of control once in a while :eek:
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Can't wait, pick up a Butterfly (Oh heresy :eek:)

    Try using this craigslist search engine... http://free-sailboat-listings.com
     
  6. turtlescope

    turtlescope New Member

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    I don't think I am so ansy as to get a Butterfly just yet...

    At any rate, does anybody have a method of making your own Super Sunfish out of other boat parts? That is looking like the best option right now. I think I can find a decent but old used Sunfish for $500ish and would like to use the rest of the money recreating the boat that I used to sail in.
     
  7. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the reason a Super went upwind better than a regular Sunfish was the Super's hydrodynamic foil-shaped centerboard. The plastic Sunfish board that came out in the early 90s is better than the Super's board, so a Sunfish goes upwind a lot better than it did. Combine that with the racing sail that has a lot of draft, and I think I recall seeing that a Sunfish with the plastic board and racing sail has a portsmouth number around the same as a Super's.

    You will have to keep an eye out for a used Super rig. Adapting a Laser rig would be a nightmare, as the Laser mast won't fit in a Sunfish hull. Coming up with a mast that fits in a Sunfish hull and works in a Laser sail does not seem very likely. By the way, the Laser sail measures at 76 sq. ft. A Sunfish sail is ostensibly 75 sq. ft., but given all the material in a racing sail, my guess is it probably has more area than a Laser sail, but in any even they are close in size.

    BB
     
  8. surfski

    surfski New Member

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    AND....not to burst the bubble,given your desire to keep cost down (like all the rest of us microyachties)you will have an easier and cheaper time sticking to a lateen rig for now and you can always expand later. If you find an old sunfish ready to sail (I mean REALLY ready) for $500 , you are in the sweet spot.My recent minifish purchase (sorta thought it was ready) $300 PLUS after initial another $300 in the stuff (bailer , new lines , repair materials , added bullseye and moved deck cleat , mast cleat , spection port to do the work.....) You get the idea. Loving it all though and thankful my "hole" in the water is only a small one !
     
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Good points, the Sunfish has come along way since 1975.

    The Portsmouth numbers from a year or two back are in that specification link I posted earlier. They're very close.

    I think calculating out just the Sunfish's sail area flat it works out to 85 sq ft ... I never have figured out how actual vs published relates.

    I wonder if a Zuma rig would work. More like a Sunfish than a Laser with the same size as a Super Sunfish. I just have no idea about mast fit.

    [​IMG]

    .
     
  10. matias

    matias Member

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    just sent an e-mail to laser performance asking about the diameter of the mast in the zuma, waiting for an answer
     
  11. surfski

    surfski New Member

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    New Zuma rig (sail and spars) plus nec. hardware will easily top $1000 , hmmmmm ?
     
  12. turtlescope

    turtlescope New Member

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    So there isn't an easy/inexpensive way to make an older Sunfish go faster?

    How much do the newer ones from the 90s go for these days?

    I don't want to spend TOO much money on this.

    Also, are Sunfish spec's the same across the board so if I come across a Super Sunfish rig or a Formula S right it will fit no matter what? Thanks.
     
  13. matias

    matias Member

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    sail: $458.50
    Lower mast: $214.00
    Upper mast: $171.00
    Boom: $257.50
    TOTAL $1101.00
    quite expensive for an up-grade
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    There is no Sunfish out there faster than a Sunfish, any Sunfish, with a skilled and practiced sailor at the helm.

    .
     
  15. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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  16. surfski

    surfski New Member

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    DUDE ! , the race is on for Georgia ! , kidding :)
     
  17. turtlescope

    turtlescope New Member

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    Well, I resigned myself to get a regular Sunfish for now since I am not going to Georgia lol.

    I am probably going to look at a few boats in my area this weekend. I've read a few guides on it but are there any pro tips as far as what I should look for? Keep in mind I am a bit of a newbie but I'd like to know what the major problem areas are to look for. I don't mind using a bit of my own elbow grease, but at the same time I have heard some parts are difficult to find and replace.

    Thanks team.
     
  18. sail_ski

    sail_ski New Member

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    I raced against a super sunfish about 25 years ago in moderate winds depends on the sailor.The higher the wind advantage sunfish. If you want to go fast in winds past 12-13MPH go sailboarding. Sunfish for light winds sailboard heaver wind.
    Bob
     
  19. isleofwightlen

    isleofwightlen Member

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    Not mine unfortunately , but these are currently on Craigslist ;

    Super Sunfish Sails and Rig - $100 (Northern RI/SE Mass)

    Date: 2010-07-18, 10:48AM EDT
    Reply to: sale-wb7yg-1849322928@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    I have two Super Sunfish sails and a set of spars available to convert your Sunfish to a SUPER SUNFISH!

    Red/white/blue sail is $100.

    All white sail is $125

    Mast (two pieces) and boom are $275.

    If you want a sail and the spars I will drop the combined price by $40.


    • Location: Northern RI/SE Mass
    • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Note that to convert to a Super, you also need a traveler and associated hardware....

    The traveler is a tube that mounts in the front of the cockpit. It has 'rubber' mounts.

    The 137 sail is the one that came with the 'official' Alcort upgrade; the other one appears to be the predecessor, I think.
     

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