What's new

Any tips on buying a used 1968 sunfish?

musicman

New Member
Hi,

I found a 1968 sunfish in good condition on craigslist, it comes with a trailer and a deck cover. The sail is supposed to be new and the seller said he sailed it several times this year and everything works. He is asking for $800. I'm going to look at it tomorrow. I've read online that you should weigh it and make sure it's about 120 pounds, so I plan on bringing a scale. I have three questions:

1. Do you think this is a fair price?
2. Any advice on what I should be looking for when buying a used sunfish?
3. Are sunfish from 1968 good quality?

Thanks in advance,

AJ
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
Weight is critical. If the boat is over 140 lbs, pass as the interior foam has absorbed water. Also, it will have the old style kick up rudder (unless a newer model has been retrofitted) and the old style (pre-1972) can be a pain as it may kick up or not kick up when you want/need it to. Last, $800 is a lot of money for a 42 year old boat. Most boats of this vintage in good shape sell for about $350 - $400 depending on local market conditions.

If I were you, I would hold out for a newer (post 1972) Sunfish in the 135 lb range.

That said, if the boat is light, undamaged and priced under $500, it may be OK if you are willing to put up with the old style rudder.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
Hi,

I found a 1968 sunfish in good condition on craigslist, it comes with a trailer and a deck cover. The sail is supposed to be new and the seller said he sailed it several times this year and everything works. He is asking for $800. I'm going to look at it tomorrow. I've read online that you should weigh it and make sure it's about 120 pounds, so I plan on bringing a scale. I have three questions:

1. Do you think this is a fair price?
2. Any advice on what I should be looking for when buying a used sunfish?
3. Are sunfish from 1968 good quality?
[ 1 ] Seems reasonable provided everyone's definition of "good condition" is about the same. Viewing will be the real test.

[ 2 ] 120 lb is the weight of a 2010 Sunfish, hulls built in 1968 weighed around 139 lb +/- 10 lb.

Read over the Sunfish setup manual (link in the Knowledge Base here or visit the Laser Performance
site for a free copy) so you are familiar with how everything fits together. Of course you'll need to do a little mental filtering between older style parts and what's used today, but the function is still the same.

Do a search here for the old style rudder assembly and become familiar with how it goes together and works.

I would expect the hull bottom to have some give in the middle of its flat sections, but it should be a firm symmetrical flex not soft in spots like a bruised mellon.

As you roll the boat up to weigh it, listen for things that go bump inside the hull. Indications backing blocks have fallen down or foam flotation blocks have come loose.

Inspect the mast and spars for pinholes of corrosion eating them from the inside out. There are short term mitigating repairs that will extend their life some, but if there are signs of deterioraton basically they should be considered junk and replacements figured into your price negotiations.

Without leak testing the hull, those are the sleepers I can think of right now. Visual analysis for everything else..., WYSIWYG.

[ 3 ] A '68 was a well built boat, though at this point how it's been cared for will be most important.

.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Also carefully inspect the trailer and see whether it complies with local laws and has the proper 'paperwork'.
 

NightSailor

Captain
Hi,

I found a 1968 sunfish in good condition on craigslist, it comes with a trailer and a deck cover. The sail is supposed to be new and the seller said he sailed it several times this year and everything works. He is asking for $800. I'm going to look at it tomorrow. I've read online that you should weigh it and make sure it's about 120 pounds, so I plan on bringing a scale. I have three questions:

1. Do you think this is a fair price?
2. Any advice on what I should be looking for when buying a used sunfish?
3. Are sunfish from 1968 good quality?

Thanks in advance,

AJ
I have a 1968 Sunfish named SCUD. I like it but I put a lot of work into it also. See my thread below. I also got the boat for free and put a lot into it.

Here is a thread I did on restoring SCUD: New Life for SCUD (1968 Sunfish)

http://www.sunfishforum.com/showthread.php?t=28916&highlight=SCUD+1968

I would not buy a boat with the old style rudder. I might buy one that has the conversion, even if not properly done, it could be redone. People give away boats that old. I've gotten two that vintage for free, and one much newer one for free. So the value of your boat is difficult to determine without seeing pictures, but odds are it is not worth anywhere near that amount. It is far better to buy a newer Sunfish that has the new rudder from the factory.

The boat cover is worth about $100 new. The trailer is worth about $100 also. New Neil Pryde sails are $140, plus $25 for a window if you want that. If it has a genuine Sunfish sail, that is worth about $250 or so.

You might want a trailer, but I would not buy the boat just for that. Another option is to car top the boat. It is cheap to buy or modify a roof rack to carry a Sunfish.

I would also avoid boats with lot of access ports cut into the deck. You want a virgin boat that, while it may be 40 years old, has spent most of that time in a garage, out of the water and weather.

For that price, I think you could find a 1980's boat in much better condition.
 

odegaard

cAPTN oDIE
The old hulls are well built, stiff, and can be sealed/dried out if need be. The only issue is the old rudder configuration that is really unacceptable for racing and cruising if it blows. To convert the system to the new flip up design is a BFJ (big f job!) and costly. Look for the newer design rather than go through the grief of converting.
 
Top