2019 Sunfish Worlds

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #1
Note that the Worlds will open to all July 15/16. There are still a few spanking new boats waiting to be loved.

Here is the more official announcement:


2019 ISCA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MACLAREN UPDATE

ISCA World Championship, Bonaire – Sept. 14-20, 2019
ISCA Youth & Masters Championship, Bonaire – Sept. 21-25, 2019

There's a lot going on around Sunfishdom in preparation for September's World Championship in Bonaire. Here are some highlights:

  • An Amendment 2 to the NoR has just been posted accelerating the date for open registrations from August 1 to July 15. That means that starting on July 16 anyone interested in being part of this epic regatta in Bonaire can register. We will cap the fleet at 72 boats and there are currently 57 entries (assuming all Wait List entries will be "accepted" on the 16th), so don't delay.
  • New information on the Worlds' schedule and logistics have been posted on the Class website HERE.
  • There are currently boats from 10 countries including our first entry from China!
 
#2
pretty sweet hype/intro to Bonaire video put together to promote the event:

The island and venue look amazing - I've never raced my Sunfish, so would be way out of my element to participate, but I'd love to go there as my vacation and just watch the event!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #5
You could also contact LaserPerformance (LP) directly.
In the good old days, one could just take a boat home after the event (at a reduced price) .


LP is supposed to supply the Bonaire event with 72 boats. Maybe a few of them will come back to the USA?
 
#6
Why would you buy Chinese made clunker, if you can buy a fantastic few-years-old US made boat? You will pay less and have a better boat. At this point, I have three. I paid for them between $2400 and $2800. (one 2012 and two 2001) 2001 Vanguard boats are great. Stiff, good shape and not even one gelcoat crack.
I'm set for life.
My 2 cents.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#9
Have there been issues reported with the quality of the Chinese made Sunfish? As an owner of one, I would like to know how they compare to others. My boat is beautiful and I can't detect anything amiss but I don't have a whole lot to compare nor the expertise.
From what I have heard, they have had multiple factories make Sunfish in china and some were good and some not so good. Sounds like yours came from a good factory.

I have not heard if they are still making Sunfish there or if they all come from the UK.
 

Wavedancer

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Staff member
Thread starter #10
I really don't know where current (2019) Sunfishes are made. Yes, some in recent history were made in China, but as Beldar mentioned, production may have been moved to England.

With respect to an earlier post, I would like to see evidence that boats made in China had issues. China has many boat building facilities and some are highly regarded. But I do agree that Vanguard boats have a good reputation.
 
#11
Problems with Chinese made boats here you go: https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2017/08/28/broken-boats-plague-sunfish-worlds/
About 2 years ago Chinese made bunch of boats with daggerboard slot at an angle and builder asked ISCA to change class rules so these boats would be class legal. ISCA voted NO. I just wonder what happened with these boats.
Do you know that Chinese make fake eggs and collect gutter oil for cooking. Do I have to say more?
I was on the board of US Sunfish Class but I quit. I din't like the idea of making boats in China and the legal battle between ISCA and a new Sunfish builder/owner.
Sunfish made in UK is news to me. Beldar do you have something to back this up?
You can buy Laser, that I know.
Maybe it is a new development, but most likely just rumors.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#12
Problems with Chinese made boats here you go: https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2017/08/28/broken-boats-plague-sunfish-worlds/
About 2 years ago Chinese made bunch of boats with daggerboard slot at an angle and builder asked ISCA to change class rules so these boats would be class legal. ISCA voted NO. I just wonder what happened with these boats.
Do you know that Chinese make fake eggs and collect gutter oil for cooking. Do I have to say more?
I was on the board of US Sunfish Class but I quit. I din't like the idea of making boats in China and the legal battle between ISCA and a new Sunfish builder/owner.
Sunfish made in UK is news to me. Beldar do you have something to back this up?
You can buy Laser, that I know.
Maybe it is a new development, but most likely just rumors.
Well aside from all the new Sunfish I have seen this year having their hull number start with GB I don’t have any proof. You could also email the class leadership for confirmation. I’ll put $1000 and my cone on the line!!

Also can you prove your crooked daggerboard slot story?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #14
A very knowledgeable Sunfish 'insider' confirmed that the Chinese Sunfish used in the 2017 Worlds had serious issues. He participated in this event and reported that the cubby/cockpit was not properly connected to the hull. This caused the hull to slam against the cockpit; very unsettling, to say it nicely.
Moreover, he told me that a number of boats had huge ripples in the bottom, and some had depressed flat hull sections where they met the chine (flat bottom of the hull had to bend up to meet the chine !)
Finally, the tillers were delivered with the aluminum rudder straps upside down. The US dealer drilled out the stainless rivets, put the straps on the right way with aluminum rivets, but some of those didn't last long enough to make it to the course, and some failed while racing. :eek:
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
#15
So many Chinese knockoffs and counterfeits nowadays....and typically at a fraction of the originals price. Some stuff is ok, but most when compared to the originals, especially made in the USA, differences are most apparent. You see this with sewing machines to guitars to microphones....and on and on. I'm surprised the Chinese fish weren't selling for $500 or less!!
 
#16
So how do these international competitions work? Do the competitors need to transport their own boats, or do they use boats available locally?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#17
Flieger, in the Sunfish class the builder has traditionally supplied new boats for everybody. For most other classes it's a combination of bring-your-own and local charter boats.

Mixmkr, your examples of other products aren't applicable - the Chinese Sunfish we're talking about aren't "knockoffs", they're the real thing, albeit with some technical problems.

_
 
#18
Thanks, LaLi. I suppose that's why the sell off the race boats after the event. It does sound like a good deal to purchase one of those boats, barring any sort of defects. Do they sell them off locally? If so, what would be the procedure and cost to have one shipped to the US?
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
#19
2
Mixmkr, your examples of other products aren't applicable - the Chinese Sunfish we're talking about aren't "knockoffs", they're the real thing, albeit with some technical problems.

_
Yes...my post was confusing and I did not mean the Chinese fish were knockoffs....like many other items, some I mentioned. But production costs on the fakes are typically very low cost....hence pondering what a Chinese fish had the potential to sell for....but realizing the issues that definitely would create as well. Thx for the clarification .
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #20
Yes...my post was confusing and I did not mean the Chinese fish were knockoffs....like many other items, some I mentioned. But production costs on the fakes are typically very low cost....hence pondering what a Chinese fish had the potential to sell for....but realizing the issues that definitely would create as well. Thx for the clarification .
Really, LP was at fault. They were supposed to supervise construction!
 

Wavedancer

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Staff member
Thread starter #22
Thanks, LaLi. I suppose that's why the sell off the race boats after the event. It does sound like a good deal to purchase one of those boats, barring any sort of defects. Do they sell them off locally? If so, what would be the procedure and cost to have one shipped to the US?
I received the following note from the Sunfish Class Office (ISCA):

There will be one container remaining in Bonaire and at least one going back to the States to dealers. I believe you will be able to buy one of these boats in that manner. If you have any questions, contact Coco Solsvig at LP for more details.
 
#23
Well aside from all the new Sunfish I have seen this year having their hull number start with GB I don’t have any proof. You could also email the class leadership for confirmation. I’ll put $1000 and my cone on the line!!

Also can you prove your crooked daggerboard slot story?
Daggerboard slot story; here is what I have so far:
PDF file #1) Partial document from BOD meeting on June 30th 2017. I can't post full document because it contains financial and other info that I'm not at' liberty to provide to the general public.
PDF file #2) Challenge Record Number #8 that presents daggerboard slot problem with repair not permitted.
I hope that this will satisfy your and others' curiosity.
That's not everything, and just a starting point. Also, I have some interesting story about LP owner, but I have to dig it out from my emails.

How big is your fleet and how many of new boats with hull number that start with GB?
What is your fleet number?
 

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#24
I just read this. I have seen it before as it is published on sunfishclass.org. That episode from 2015 and 2016 predates the manufacture of Sunfish in China. Ergo it is a US made boat.

FYI Joe Blouin is a sailor from Florida and has no relationship with the manufacturer.
 
#26
Yes, I see it now. I remember reading about it in the BOD minutes two years ago, but didn't look into the case until yesterday.
LP had quality problems BC (before China).
I will keep digging. So far nothing about Sunfish made in UK. No announcement by ISCA, ISCO or LP.
I think that if the boats are made in UK all three would make a lot of noise about that.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#27
Yes, I see it now. I remember reading about it in the BOD minutes two years ago, but didn't look into the case until yesterday.
LP had quality problems BC (before China).
I will keep digging. So far nothing about Sunfish made in UK. No announcement by ISCA, ISCO or LP.
I think that if the boats are made in UK all three would make a lot of noise about that.
ILCO was launched by LP to try to take over the class from ISCA, - and LP seems to have given up on ISCO, so they won't be saying anything. LP is the manufacturer of the boats, so they are the ones who decided to make them in the UK - and I doubt that they think sailors care where the boats are made. Further, there is a theory some boats are still being made in China.

What do you think ISCA would "make noise about?" I can't imagine they are happy the boats are being made without foam blocks, but I don't think they have any recourse. You could check with the ISCA leaders to get their perspective.
 

Wavedancer

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Staff member
Thread starter #28
Does ISCA have a construction manual for Sunfish builders, like the Laser Class has (the mythical Laser Construction Manual)?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#29
I think Lasers and Sunfish are different in that I believe ILCA owns the rights to the Laser design and licenses builders. Whoever makes Sunfish owns the design - First it was Alcort, then AMF bought Alcort, then Sunfish Laser came about, etc. So it is a different setup. The class tries to work with the the builder - I believe some builders are more receptive than others. The Shadow daggerboard - a topic of discussion elsewhere on here - was a debacle and it took years for the class to convince AMF to make a better board.
 
#30
ILCO was launched by LP to try to take over the class from ISCA, - and LP seems to have given up on ISCO, so they won't be saying anything. LP is the manufacturer of the boats, so they are the ones who decided to make them in the UK - and I doubt that they think sailors care where the boats are made. Further, there is a theory some boats are still being made in China.

What do you think ISCA would "make noise about?" I can't imagine they are happy the boats are being made without foam blocks, but I don't think they have any recourse. You could check with the ISCA leaders to get their perspective.
ISCA made a lot of noise about moving production to China so they would definitely say something if boats were made in UK. General opinion about Chinese made goods still stands. Quality is low and inconsistent, and for sailors who race Sunfish quality is important. For LP the only thing that counts is money. US labor is very efficient and UK labor no so much. I addition, UK labor is more expensive and Europeans have more regulations than US. US by far is the largest market for Sunfish. If LP had any intention of building Sunfish outside of China, the boats would be made back in the US. There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK. This is that simple. LP ordered boats from China with GB in serial number, and some think that it stands for Great Britain. In reality, it stands for Garbage Build (cooperation of China and LP)
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#31
I think Lasers and Sunfish are different in that I believe ILCA owns the rights to the Laser design and licenses builders.
No one, including ILCA, owns any rights to the Laser design. The big deal is the trademark. ILCA does license builders but they have to be trademark owners as well. That rule is actually being changed right now (today is the last day of voting!) and is whole another big, messy issue.

For LP the only thing that counts is money.
That is something that's become very clear during the last few years. Not what is best for the sailors.

If LP had any intention of building Sunfish outside of China, the boats would be made back in the US. There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK.
Well... LP already wrapped up all production in the US a few years back, and to restart it at new facilities would certainly cost something. On the other hand, they quite likely have extra capacity at the Oxfordshire plant, especially as they've reportedly moved production of other boats (including US collegiate dinghies, I believe) to Portugal. And what else would "GB" actually stand for?

_
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
#32
LP-UK are actually in Northamptonshire. As previously mentioned, a guy there told me over the phone that they were making sunfishes there. Perhaps, for some inexplicable reason, he was joking?
 
#33
California Dude said - There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK. This is that simple. LP ordered boats from China with GB in serial number, and some think that it stands for Great Britain.

Hey California Dude - are you Les? If so, I have moved back east - Glad I got to sail with all of you in Mission Bay while I was out there!

LP stated their intention of moving production of Sunfish to the UK in January. Hopefully this link will take you to the Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=LaserPerformance tariff&epa=SEARCH_BOX But here is the important part for this discussion:
"As a result of the US-China trade war, we have decided to set up our own manufacturing facilities in Portugal with the objective of becoming fully operational by this year end. Manufacturing of all sloops and collegiate sailing boats will be given priority. Our existing resources in China will continue to supply the Asian markets. Laser Sailboats manufacturing in Banbury, UK, will expand to include the Sunfish boat."

They produced some test boats from the UK in 2017, and seem to have switched at least some production there last year. I have seen several boats that have hull numbers starting in GB this year, including the one Conner Blouin sailed at the 2018 North Americans in IL and won the midwinters in this year. The ISCA president, Rich, has a new boat with a hull number starting in GB also.

The hull number is a legal thing, so I have to assume it I would be illegal for LP to claim the Sunfish they are importing came from the UK if they were really produced in China.

Anyway, happy sailing all regardless of where your boat was produced!
 
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