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Advice sought for keeping sunfish on the water

nicky

New Member
For the first time I have the opportunity to keep my boat on the water, tied to a dock. I'm finding some challenges though. The Storm cover I've got is difficult to put on while the boat is on the water: (a) there are no holes in the cover to accommodate lines from the bow handle and the traveller to cleats on the dock (and I'd prefer not to make any), and (b) the elastic is so tight it seems impossible to stretch around the boat either while sitting on the deck, or by reaching over from the dock. Any suggestions/solutions for what would make a suitable cover for keeping the boat on the water?

Thanks,
Nicky
 

supercub

Member
nicky,

Storing your SF in the water sounds like a winning situation, but it is not. Suggest you do not let your SF sit in the water for more than the day you use it. SF do develope leaks (see all the posts about drying a SF out) and take on water, which makes the SF heavier and slower. A SF is light enough to remove and store on a rack/dolly/trailer and then the cover can be put on much eaisier. Plus, any wave action bouncing your SF against the dock would not be good. You are in the San Francisco bay area, salt water is not good for the aluminum parts (mast, booms). Corrosion at the bottom of the mast, under the gooseneck and general pitting of the aluminum will happen. A good rinse with freash water will keep the corrsion away much longer. And the the slime that will build up on the bottom (again slow). Sorry, but I would not reccommend water storage.

How do I know this? I did it a long time ago with another SF (living on Long Island) and had to replace the lower boom, shorten the mast and do the drying out (took on about four gallons of water that summer and took five of us to get it up from the beach and over a 4-5 foot sea wall and onto the dolly. It was an expensive and frustrating lesson at the time
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
nicky said:
For the first time I have the opportunity to keep my boat on the water, tied to a dock. I'm finding some challenges though. The Storm cover I've got is difficult to put on while the boat is on the water: (a) there are no holes in the cover to accommodate lines from the bow handle and the traveller to cleats on the dock (and I'd prefer not to make any), and (b) the elastic is so tight it seems impossible to stretch around the boat either while sitting on the deck, or by reaching over from the dock. Any suggestions/solutions for what would make a suitable cover for keeping the boat on the water?

Thanks,
Nicky
You will be much happier in the long run if you follow Supercub's advice. The only thing to add is that Laser fans don't keep their boats in the water either. I believe that the problem is due to the materials used to construct these boats, and that it is not Sunfish specific.
 

mike4947

Member
I'll third the advice of Super and Wave. Sunfish are designed as day sailers and I've yet to have one in 30 years that didn't have some small leak somewhere. Even a couple of teaspoons a day means pint/quarts over time and it does get into the foam and is a REAL PAIN drying it back out.
Even way back when it wasn't common practice to put in a port to help dry out the interior; basic sailing instructions included tipping the boat on edge and opening the deck drain as part of putting the boat away at the end of the day.
 

nicky

New Member
Thanks all for the replies. The situation is as I suspected: sunfish are not really designed to be kept on the water. I guess the ideal situation is to keep the boat at the water's edge on a beach dolly... now all I have to do is find a neighbor to grant me beach access... I'm the eternal optimist :)
 

ColdPass

New Member
Maybe you could make some sort of raft, pontoon, or bouy system that could lift the boat out of the water, but still be floating at the dock. I've seen some for larger boats. You'd still have the problem of corrosion on aluminum parts, but it might be a good fit for your situation.
 

Gail

24186
If it's relatively shallow where this spot is, you could also put some kind of simple rack on the bottom with horizontal bars or boards about 6" above the high water mark. Lift the bow up on the front, then lift the transom up onto from the back, and voila! Space you have is usable, yet boat is not in water. Easiest storage then is to flip boat upside down and let God take care of rinsing. Haul rig & parts elsewhere (car?), being sure to rinse with a hose after every sail. Good luck.
 

DanB

Crabber
Maybe you could make some sort of raft, pontoon, or bouy system that could lift the boat out of the water, but still be floating at the dock
.

Google "Floating Dock" or "Floating Boat Lift" lots o stuff out there for small boats and Jet Skis that will work great for a sunfish.
 
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