Things you would like to see improved upon by the Sunfish boatbuilder for 2008

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by oompanyc, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. derekcjackson

    derekcjackson Member

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    I would like to see the rubber centerboard stopper piece improved so it does not come loose and pop off. That is the problem that caused the injury to a sailor's hand, which ultimately caused the most recent change to our centerboard. Now, they have changed the design but did not actually address what caused the problem. This weekend I saw two people with the new boards that had the blue stop pop off while sailing.

    The laser class recently approved a rule that allows people to thrubolt that piece. Maybe we should consider doing the same?

    It would also be nice if the hiking strap design or front metal fitting were changed so that the metal bar does not cut through the hiking strap and cause it to fail. After cutting through my strap in less than a season, I replaced my hiking strap with a design similar to this:

    http://www.sunfishclass.org/tips/hiking_strap_protection.htm

    and have never had an issue.

    Finally, I would like to see roller cleats installed for the outhaul and cunningham on the spars in the PRO model boat. It would make the sail adjustments a little easier. Most people that do this installation by themselves use this fitting.
     
  2. jlosail

    jlosail Judy Lazo

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    I agree that the cheek plates on the rudder should be replaced with metal ones.

    I like having an inspection port and don't think water gets in that way if it's properly installed. I used a clear latex caulk around the splash guard to prevent water leaks there.


    The sunfish sail has to be the most inexpensive sail out there. My kids sailed Optis and now one has a Laser and those boat's sails are more money. If you want to be competitive you just have to make that investment every year or so.

    As for the bailer in additon to kicking it open unintentionally I've had my sheet line catch under the tab and pop it open.

    Thanks for the idea with the hiking strap. I don't weigh that much and my strap probably doesn't wear out as fast as others, but I defintely have had to replace mine several times on several boats.

    How do we know the new builder is reading these posts?
     
  3. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    Because your Class Secretary inquired and has been assured it is monitored from time to time. It won't necessarily be a moment to moment thing, but it is noticed.
     
  4. PMagnani

    PMagnani 36474

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    If nothing else, the new builder should work with IGLOO and upgrade the storage cuddy....

    The bailer point is a great one and does often pop open. I usually tape it down and always have a large sponge. It would be great it they could make one that's flush to the bottom like a Laser. The rudder cheeks might be the biggest problem right now. A few mentioned it but know it's a huge problem with them cracking.

    Judy - check your meesages...!
     
  5. isleofwightlen

    isleofwightlen Member

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    After reading these posts , the answer seems obvious .....
    To ensure that all brand new Sunfish are still in the same condition a year later , this is all the manufacturer has to do before each Sunfish leaves the factory ;

    A. Crack the rudder cheeks and then crack the blade for good luck.
    B. Smash off the bottom half of the bailer ( Who needs it anyway , it only gets in the way when you drag your 'Fish out of the water ).
    C. Immerse all metal parts in salt water for a week to get 'em nice and corroded.
    D. Bend the mast a little bit & loosen up that mast step.
    E. Drill an extra large hole in the top of the daggerboard , then make a really weak blue stopper , so you can play "Sunfish finger roullete".
    F. Supply worn lines , so the owner cannot blame badly fitted parts.
    G. Get the fattest employee in the factory to eat a few more pies & cakes while they give the 'Fish a good workout & see how quickly they can tear that hiking strap , crack that gelcoat & give that shiny new hull a few little leaks.

    ..... I;ve probably forgotten a few things , but it's just a little bit of English humour ;)
     
  6. est8466

    est8466 Eric Tucker

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    I forgot to mention in my original reply to this thread that I had a cracked rudder cheek as well. It was replaced under warranty and so far no problems. I noticed today that my club purchased a couple of 2007's and the bow handles are already rusted on them.

    This is frustrating in that I sold my 1974 AMF Alcort to buy a new boat and I never had one problem with it-it was a great boat. I find myself trying not to hike out with my feet under the cockpit lip or grab that part of the boat to hoist myself back in after a capsize. Its hard to sail a boat that you worry might fail at some point. I did install a mast cleat in hope of preserving my mast step.

    What happend to the indestructible Sunfish?

    I guess if Vanguard acknowledges these defects and corrects them it will lead to massive expensive recalls for them. But after spending over 4 grand on a sailboat one expects it to last a while.
     
  7. Coconut

    Coconut New Member

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    Wow - being a new owner of a new SF this thread has let the wind out of my sails (pun intended!) quite a bit. Has me thinking what boat I should 'trade up to'. My first day on the water, I grabbed the cockpit lip to pull my self back in from hiking and I heard a very audible 'crack'. I quickly glanced down looking for damage seeing none, I forgot about it. Obviously, my boat demonstrated something prevalent in all newer SF. A closer inspection is in order and a new search for a different one design that is well made - any suggestions ?
     
  8. 58984 EW

    58984 EW Member

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    I hope you'll try to stick it out, but I'd understand if you didn't. First thing you should do is contact Vanguard and the dealer who sold you the boat. They should make good on a replacement, if there is a problem. I know it doesn't help you much, but the fact that this thread is going and is public is just the kind of thing that could affect change.
     
  9. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Although I find this an interesting thread, I miss some sort of perspective once we start complaining about new boats. Vanguard is a company that wants to stay in business and even the best run production lines will have an occasional problem. Assuming that Vanguard builds about one thousand fish a year, it would be good to know the percentage of these boats that have serious flaws (such as the cockpit lip cracking). Regarding this latter problem, I don't think that the designer(s) anticipated the force of 150 lbs (and up) bodies pulling themselves up on that rather thin lip (as during roll tacks). Unfortunately, only Vanguard can give us the statistics that I am after (and they won't be telling, I presume). Talking to a vendor that sells at least 10 boats/year might be informative.

    Another fact of life is that Sunfish are made primarily for the leisure market. The racers, who do all these 'weird' things to the boat are a minority of the market. This statement is from a Vanguard person who I met a few years ago at a World championship (there were complaints about the masts at the time). Vanguard has been responsive to certain complaints (e.g., the masts are now being sleeved internally) and the company has fixed flaws under warranty. I am sure that Vanguard does not really want those kinds of repair jobs and that quality control is an important issue for them as well. Now that Vanguard has been taken over, quality control and addressing the other issues that have been described in this thread may change, for better or for worse.

    PS: I just tried flexing the cockpit lip on my 2006 fish and it seems pretty strong. But the black paint (or is it anodizing?) on the halyard deck cleat is coming off around the screws;the boat has yet to taste sea water
    .
     
  10. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    I think it is good we have a forum for this discussion and it should lead to improvements by the builder. I woudl not recommend selling your boat and changing classes due to the cockpit lip. There are a lot of attributes to consider beyond cockpit lips when selecting a boat (such as how it sails, what it costs, etc.) Further, if you want another one design single hander, about the only one that is popular is the Laser, also made by Vanguard, so I am not sure you will be happy with another Vanguard product if this one is not making you happy. One other choice is here: http://www.castlecraft.com/super_snark.htm After you have sailed it, you will likely be pining to get your Sunfish back.

    BB:)
     
  11. Moxie

    Moxie New Member

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    My recommendation to Vanguard would be to go back to the deck with the aluminum edge around the periphery. The rounded edge on the new Sunfish does not enable you to get a finger hold for righting the boat after tipping - particularly since your hands are wet. Am I wrong here?
     
  12. sailorf2

    sailorf2 New Member

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    Personally I really like the rounded edges. I really find them more comfortable, and they look a lot better. Plus the rivets would get caught in my wet suit and rip holes in it.
     
  13. Moxie

    Moxie New Member

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    My 12 year old sails our '72 on the ocean and occasionally tips it over.
    The rounded deck is a poor design in this situation and this rounded design is now closely associated with poor quality (see above). I'm going to take my '55 hull by Alcort, that is solid as a rock, and refit it with new hardware. Sorry about the rivets on your wet suit - never heard this one before.
     
  14. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    The lip inside the cockpit is somewhat thin and was previously beefed up by the aluminum rail around the inside. Today's lip is rather thin, and to use it for grabbing to help with a roll was likely not considered when the change to the hull was made. I wonder if the manufacturer will see this issue and consider a change on this flange to improve the situation? Of course, owners could choose to purchase the aluminum from the builder and apply it to their new boats, rivets and all. I have a couple older style boats and I always kept and keep them duct taped ...
     
  15. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    Not having the aluminum around the cockpit opening lip isn't a new thing. At least since 1991 it hasn't been used. Any lip cracking on newer boats would more likely be due to a change in contruction/materials than having the aluminum.
     
  16. isleofwightlen

    isleofwightlen Member

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    How about if the manufacturer made the cockpit stronger by building it without the lip , just like the Minifish was made ..... Plus they could put in a few strategic inspection ports , as they already do on the laser.
     
  17. Dinghyman

    Dinghyman New Member

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    I personally am very happy with the way Sunfish are being built. I do think it would be a good idea to lower the price of racing sails though. All I can think of that really matters to me is bringing back the old Sunfish colors, like the yellow and orange, and blue and yellow, the classic stripe design. I'm unhappy with the way the new Sunfish look.
     
  18. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    Often reported but sometimes forgotten ...

    The racing sails are made in all white cloth because the cloth is consistent from batch to batch, the stretch and shape is controlled.

    The various colors all have different stretch properties making the panel shapes more difficult to control, making the sails less uniform and potentially less effective.

    Racing sails made for the World Championship each year have been made with some colors and cut to the racing sail pattern, but this is done with the knowledge that the sails will all be the same for the sailors at the regatta.

    These sails are available for sale through the dealership network every year after the World Championship. The 2007 World Championship is next week.
     
  19. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Lasers don't come with inspection ports...

    My 2006 Sunfish came with a vinyl (?) covering around the cockpit lip. I don't think this does anything for strength; I guess it's to protect fingers/hands.

    And I love the current rounded edge rims and the 'roughed-up' seating areas (I sailed a 1979 hull with the aluminum rim for 25+ years).
     
  20. isleofwightlen

    isleofwightlen Member

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    Sorry , did i say Laser ? ...... I didn't mean to swear ! ..... I didn't mean laser , I meant the International Europe class sailing dinghy , a REAL racing sailboat ..... For example , if the manufacturers of Sunfish ( and the laser , oh no I said it again ! ) took a leaf out of a company like WINNER'S book & put in strategic inspection ports , it would be more than nice .....
     

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