Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by lava, Oct 23, 2009.
what is the top wind that a sunfish can sail in. thanks, Mike
Mike, I have raced and survived in 45 mph winds in PR at a Worlds. At these speeds, the cockpit was full (roster tail coming out of the c board trunk- into cockpit, and slowly out of small bailer) and the hull was just skipping along just fine. With all our new de-powering rigs today, the Sunfish is a blast to sail in a blow--go for it. See post on reefing.
Safety Reminder: Paul Odegaard is a very experienced Sunfisher (won the North Americans, among others).
About 2 weeks ago I found myself sunfish sailing in 18 to 24 mph winds.
I was planning/surfing on a wave than ran the entire length of the bay while the waves must have been 2 foot deep. This lake I sail in has 4 miles of open water and so it can really blow. My Garmen registered my speed at a fun 12.5MPH on my 69 Sunfish.
In order to depower (stay safe) I took the following 3 precautions:
I used an old dagger board, old sail and also ran my halyard down the port side as “Odie” suggests in The Sunfish Bible when the winds are strong.
I am curious to hear from other Sunfish sailors about what wind speeds they go out in?
1) My Sunfish had its prior life on salt water, so both boom and spar have pinholes and aren't as strong as I'd like; however, they held up OK this past summer in one particularly heavy wind.
(After a race between Sunfish and Porpoise II, a saltwater visitor enthusiastically remarked, "This is what small sailboating is all about!". And said it again months later).
2) My lake has a fetch of over 12 miles, so I keep an eye on any cloud buildup—keeping in mind that a storm can often be preceded by a flat calm.
A sketch on the reefing points would be appreciated—especially at times like those!
3) Even at only 10-MPH, towing a Sunfish across the water will result in a very "productive" roostertail from the empty daggerboard well, and will fill the cockpit faster than the bailer can empty it. The bailer is not very efficient at emptying the cockpit when stopped. Plugging the daggerboard well would have delayed the fill-up, perhaps by using the top 14"-18" of a salvaged daggerboard.
What are you guys talking about, empty daggerboard wells? Do you not need the daggerboard when sailing strong winds? I'm new to all this, only been out 5 or 6 times, but I remember once when I was coming into shore to land I pulled the daggerboard up too soon and found I couldn't control the boat at all. It kept sliding sideways with the wind.
No empty daggerboard wells. The water 'jets' upwards through the empty space between the board and the hull.
You don't need it while towing a Sunfish on the water. Sorry I wasn't more clear.
Sailing ("working" the sail against the daggerboard) has been described as the same principal as squeezing a wet watermelon seed to see how fast you can make the seed shoot out. The daggerboard is so necessary, I flattened down the shaft of my on-board paddle* so that it could be fully inserted into the daggerboard well for use as a "jury-rigged" daggerboard.
(Thor Heyerdahl would be so proud).
*Actually, the "paddle" was salvaged from a broken oar.
one day while practicing, a while ago, i was skippering in like 20kt roughly and i capsized then turtled after getting hit by a single puff. The lesson, hike hard and you can sail in anything...pretty much.
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