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Are there any Polish or Danish sunfish owners here on the forum?

zbieraj

Member
Hi!

As a new to-be owner of a new sunfish who is a Pole living in Denmark, I was wondering if there are any sunfish owners here on the forum, who live in any of those countries :).
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
Welcome Zbieraj! I'm sorry we don't have any Poles or Danes. As far as I can recall the only europeans here are myself (UK) and someone in the Netherlands. Hopefully this forum is still useful to you when you get your boat.
 

zbieraj

Member
Dear @tag and @Dickhogg, thank you very much for your responses!

I was expecting that probably that would be one of the first sunfishes in both PL and DK :). I heard that in Netherlands and Italy the Sunfish popularity is slowly rising.

I am actually right now writing from my phone after the talk with local sailing club in Kaløvig Marina about keeping my future Sunfish here while waiting for my daughter to finish her Optimist training :). They are mostly training youth in Optimist and Laser class here but they are exciting to have an opportunity to have a Sunfish being stored here. Really nice people and sailing community.

For me this is one of the most important purchases of last decade. For almost half of my life (literally) I was sailing on Polish tall ships. A bit on smaller cabin sailing yachts and little bit less on the dinghies (Laser snd. But I stopped after starting studying architecture. Now, many years later I am also bonded by the full time job and also, well, family :).

But I miss sailing so much, I started to get more and more landsick. As a result I decided to look for something that I can afford, that can bring me joy, something that I can sail on easily alone but also with my girlfriend or daughter.

So I decided to go with Sunfish. Because I think it just suits me the most naturally. To the point, where even though that is a class-legend (everyone heared about it but no one has seen it in person) and nobody here is sailing on it, I think that destiny was supposed to bind me with a Sunfish at some point in my life…
 

cmac233

New Member
Dear @tag and @Dickhogg, thank you very much for your responses!

I was expecting that probably that would be one of the first sunfishes in both PL and DK :). I heard that in Netherlands and Italy the Sunfish popularity is slowly rising.

I am actually right now writing from my phone after the talk with local sailing club in Kaløvig Marina about keeping my future Sunfish here while waiting for my daughter to finish her Optimist training :). They are mostly training youth in Optimist and Laser class here but they are exciting to have an opportunity to have a Sunfish being stored here. Really nice people and sailing community.

For me this is one of the most important purchases of last decade. For almost half of my life (literally) I was sailing on Polish tall ships. A bit on smaller cabin sailing yachts and little bit less on the dinghies (Laser snd. But I stopped after starting studying architecture. Now, many years later I am also bonded by the full time job and also, well, family :).

But I miss sailing so much, I started to get more and more landsick. As a result I decided to look for something that I can afford, that can bring me joy, something that I can sail on easily alone but also with my girlfriend or daughter.

So I decided to go with Sunfish. Because I think it just suits me the most naturally. To the point, where even though that is a class-legend (everyone heared about it but no one has seen it in person) and nobody here is sailing on it, I think that destiny was supposed to bind me with a Sunfish at some point in my life…
That is very exciting. Are you aware the the 2022 Sunfish World Championships will be held in Italy. I am very curious as to where you were able to purchase your New Sunfish?
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
It was destiny that brought me and my sunfish together. Well that and a small-ads paper. Ha ha.

@zbieraj, be prepared to answer lots of dumb questions about your boat and especially the sail :^D
The sailors round here mostly think I'm a bit weird for sailing a crazy American boat. Still, the other day I was out and one of the laser sailors told me that they think I have the best looking boat in the club.
 

zbieraj

Member
That is very exciting. Are you aware the the 2022 Sunfish World Championships will be held in Italy. I am very curious as to where you were able to purchase your New Sunfish?
Yes, I am aware, although it is a pity that it is going to be on a lake and not the sea bay :D (Garda lake is beautiful though).

When it comes to the new Sunfish - I still did not pay for the order. The official Polish retailer of Laser Performance is right now checking the availability and the total price in case of my setup which by the way is pretty basic.

Sunfish configuration.png

The difference is that I want to have a red coaming as well. The thing that I have no control over is that the main colour of the Sunfish will Ice Blue, due to the fact, that currently Laser Performance almost all of their boats only in Ice Blue. In addition I want to have a wooden rudder and daggerboard (I think it looks nicer.

Hopefully, maybe till the end of July I would be able to pick up mine from Poland? :)

@zbieraj, be prepared to answer lots of dumb questions about your boat and especially the sail :^D
I actually like this type of sails. Reminds me of old-timers :).
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Zbieraj, we will soon have something in common: being a member of a sailing club in Scandinavia with the only known Sunfish in the country :D The one over here is, I believe, from the early 1970s and has a yellow deck with white diagonal stripes. I've never seen it rigged and only once uncovered, and have even no idea who owns it. (It's located at 60°08'37.9"N 24°44'20.8"E in Google maps at this writing; my Laser is at 60°08'37.1N 24°44'19.8E.) I've toyed more than once or twice with the idea of leaving a note on it, asking for the price :D

And Kaløvig... been there many times, beginning with the :eek: 1975 Optimist Worlds which was sailed off the beach at Egå. That is some great sailing culture that you're surrounded with.

_
 
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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
There certainly are a number of Sunfishes in The Netherlands, but it looks like class activities are way down. On the other hand, there is Sunfish activity in France. Just Google Association France Sunfish.
And now that Sunfishes are made in Portugal, it's my hope that activities will increase in Europe in general.
 

zbieraj

Member
I am actually surprised by the fact that Sunfish is so unknown in Europe. I think the only one reason in 2021 behind it is that Laser Performance did a horrible job with making any Sunfish marketing here...
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I am actually surprised by the fact that Sunfish is so unknown in Europe. I think the only one reason in 2021 behind it is that Laser Performance did a horrible job with making any Sunfish marketing here...
Laser Performance has been doing a horrible job with the marketing and maintenance of other boats they manufacture as well. Perhaps you have heard of the Laser disaster... :confused:
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
What happened?
Hard to describe that in one post, but I'll try! In short, what happened was a drama in two acts, lasting all of the 2010s: 1) LaserPerformance stops paying royalties to Bruce Kirby (the designer of the Laser) after the latter sold his assets to the owner of another Laser builder. ILCA (Ihe class association) sides with LP, Kirby sues everyone, loses initially against all, until many years later LP is sentenced to pay millions to him for the unauthorized use of his name.
2) After a few calm years, LP begins to deny ILCA inspections. ILCA suspends LP's license, as at the same time there's an opportunity to get many more new builders on board. The "Laser" trademark remains with LP, so all new Lasers are marketed under the "ILCA" name.

All this while the availability of spare parts got increasingly worse the farther you got from LP's UK headquarters, as they preferred to sell complete boats. LP never really understood neither the needs of existing boat owners, nor how the sport is organized. Their attitude has been that if they hold a trademark, they own the class. For the Sunfish, this has included an attempt to replace the real class association with an LP-controlled one.

_
 

zbieraj

Member
Thank you for this post! Wow, I did not know that there was such a big drama going on in the Laser world for all this years! But what is the status of Lasers and Sunfishes in 2021?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
what is the status of Lasers and Sunfishes in 2021?
Lasers: two old-established and six new builders on four continents build new boats, which don't display the name "Laser" or the starburst symbol anywhere. The former major builder markets non-class legal "Lasers" and has tried to form a parallel class for them. Olympics in a few weeks and a Horsens girl (with a Polish coach!) is a top contender :)

Sunfishes: LP still sole builder, and after changing the actual building location several times in the last few years (with alleged quality issues) seems to have settled in Portugal. Haven't heard of recent class association vs. builder disputes. Worlds next year in Torbole :)

_
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Excellent summary by LaLi of the complex history regarding ILCA vs LP.

Interestingly (?) many European Laser sailors supported LP initially, whereas most support for ILCA came from other continents. There was a vote in 2019 regarding the future of the Class which went the way ILCA envisaged. Since then, support for LP by active sailors appears to have dwindled, even among the Europeans.

ISCA (International Sunfish Class Association) has little power and is pretty much dependent on the whims of LP management. For instance, the fairly recent change in the construction method of the Sunfish was, to my knowledge, entirely one-sided.
 

zbieraj

Member
Dear @LaLi and @Wavedancer, thank you both for amazing and short introduction to the current situation with ILCA, ISCA and LP. It is a pleasure to read such amazing posts which are both short and have a very direct and specific content :). Maybe you should both create a post on the forum called: "A brief history of 2010's Laser and Sunfish politcs" :).

I am actually curious to know even more! So please feel free to write something more about the hole recent story :).

In the meantime - I am still waiting for the final estimation of when and if I can get the Sunfish in the configuration above :). I am ready to place the order any moment.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
please feel free to write something more about the hole recent story :)
There are already quite a few threads about it all in the "Class Politics" section of the Laser department on this forum, the longest of which has more than 600 posts :confused: To be honest, I don't even remember all the crazy details or their place on the timeline anymore. I can try to answer any questions you might have over there :)

_
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Would love to hear more about ordering and actually getting your boat. When the time comes, of course.
 

zbieraj

Member
Absolutely! Actually the Polish official retailer called me two days ago with the update in that matter :).

So currently there are very little chances that I would be able to buy (and get) the mentioned configuration, or any at all, soon due to the fact that the production in Portugal is still pretty slow regarding gathering the whole equipment. I was told that the Sunfish’s body production speed is absolutely fine. The problem is that currently not a single Sunfish will be delivered untill all its’ elements are gathered on the production line (including parts from US, China and so on). Also due to the Corona the whole shipment from US to Europe (and back with the deliveries) is extended in time to some incredibly stupid numbers :).

The good news is that this whole chaos and delays due to the UK-Portugal transition seems to slowly show that it will be better within this year.

I was told, that hopefully, if everything will go well (but probably not before August), I will be able to sail on my Sunfish still in this season. Hopefully ;).
 
Absolutely! Actually the Polish official retailer called me two days ago with the update in that matter :).

So currently there are very little chances that I would be able to buy (and get) the mentioned configuration, or any at all, soon due to the fact that the production in Portugal is still pretty slow regarding gathering the whole equipment. I was told that the Sunfish’s body production speed is absolutely fine. The problem is that currently not a single Sunfish will be delivered untill all its’ elements are gathered on the production line (including parts from US, China and so on). Also due to the Corona the whole shipment from US to Europe (and back with the deliveries) is extended in time to some incredibly stupid numbers :).

The good news is that this whole chaos and delays due to the UK-Portugal transition seems to slowly show that it will be better within this year.

I was told, that hopefully, if everything will go well (but probably not before August), I will be able to sail on my Sunfish still in this season. Hopefully ;).
Czesc zbieraj,
Ja plywam Sunfish., tylko ze ja mieszkam w Kalifornii. Zycze przyjemnego zeglowania.
Napisalem po polsku zeby zrobic troche zameszanie. :)))
Jak masz do mnie jakies pytania to wyslij PM.
Powodzenia,
Leszek
 

zbieraj

Member
Thanks Leszek! I will PM you for sure :). Even though you live in California, it will be great to hear „native” support as well :).

For the rest - I will have some exciting update tomorrow (it is 11:20 PM here).
 

zbieraj

Member
Hi all!

So here is the update.

I received an e-mail from the official Polish retailer of Sunfish, saying that he just got information that two Sunfishes which he ordered in March (to have in stock) will come with the end of July to Poland (!). The configuration which I wanted. However, the only issue is with the sails. The only ones that are currently available for this delivery are yellow-white, orange-white, and green-white. So I am right now in talks with the retailer about whether it is possible to order the Sunfish without the sail and order the red-white sail online since there are many shops in the US that have those in stock, ready to be sent.

So once we will figure out how to deal with the sail crisis :D, I will order the Sunfish :). I was even thinking about the orange-white one and painting the sail myself red (since it is easy to cover the orange color in red). I have even seen someone here on the forum painting the sails :).

May I already ask some additional questions?

1. Capsizing. I know how to handle them since I have been training youth many years ago on how to be able to recap the boat (in the Omega class). But as far as I know, the Sunfish is one of the dinghies that like capsizing a lot :D. After the lecture of this forum, I wanted to ask you if you think that the swimming noodle will be really enough to slow down the process of turtle capsizing (enough for me to swim to the centerboard)?

2. Can someone show me how (or rather where) you store the dry bags and others stuff? (example of "other" in a second).

3. Below you can see the areas where I plan to sail. Here is the link to Google Maps:
56.234520, 10.385017 - Google Maps

As you can see that is the bay which is a part of Kattegat (so sea waters). I am planning to sail in conditions under 15kt, probably even with a cap on 11-12kt max. Of course, I would have the life jacket on me in every condition (even during summer - the waters here barely get 19° C / 66° F in August). However, since this is a sea/bay sailing I was thinking to buy something that can help me send a distress signal to the local marinas just in case. I was thinking like having one parachute rocket with me just in case of a life-danger situation. Or would the handy VHF be enough (like Uniden MHS75)? Hopefully, I would never use one in my life but I prefer an approach to life of "better safe than sorry". What do you think about this idea?

Sailing plans.jpg
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
1. Capsizing. I know how to handle them since I have been training youth many years ago on how to be able to recap the boat (in the Omega class). But as far as I know, the Sunfish is one of the dinghies that like capsizing a lot :D. After the lecture of this forum, I wanted to ask you if you think that the swimming noodle will be really enough to slow down the process of turtle capsizing (enough for me to swim to the centerboard)?
I find that the sunfish is actually quite a stable boat. In the five years that I have been sailing mine I have only capsized once by accident. Definitely be prepared and practice your capsize drill but, as it sounds like you are quite a competent sailor, you shouldn't expect to capsize very often.
 
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zbieraj

Member
(...) as it sounds like you are quite a competent sailor, you shouldn't expect to capsize very often.
You are far too kind :). Thank you but I still expect to have some, especially in the beginning ;). For sure, especially during a none-windy day, I will make a controlled capsize just to be familiar with how the Sunfish class behaves regarding the momentum when recapping it :). Again - I will probably add the swimming foam noodles on top to slow down the process of any potential turtling. Especially that in the bay we have a lot of sudden shallower depths.
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
Sounds good. Capsize practice is fun on a calm summer day. Quite refreshing. If you want to be super sure not to turtle you could always ad a plastic milk bottle to the mast.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I have even seen someone here on the forum painting the sails :).

May I already ask some additional questions?

1. Capsizing. I know how to handle them since I have been training youth many years ago on how to be able to recap the boat (in the Omega class). But as far as I know, the Sunfish is one of the dinghies that like capsizing a lot :D. After the lecture of this forum, I wanted to ask you if you think that the swimming noodle will be really enough to slow down the process of turtle capsizing (enough for me to swim to the centerboard)?

2. Can someone show me how (or rather where) you store the dry bags and others stuff? (example of "other" in a second).
That might have been me. :oops:

While one side of sail will appear red on the "sunny side", one can expect the other side to appear a much darker red--maybe an opaque black. :confused:

It even appears dark when spray-painting [stains] white! :(

Hey, a red and white sail will represent Denmark and Poland ...

So, what happened to your avatar? And, while I'm at it, why is your English so good? I asked a Swede, and his answer was "Baywatch". A Czech answered, "Alf".
:rolleyes:
 

zbieraj

Member
Those colors are actually a small joke. I mean, first of all, I love the combination of those colors with a red coaming. Secondly red and white, as you said, can mean both Denmark and Poland :).

So I think that the only thing I can do is to order the sail from the US/UK.

Regarding English - I have no freaking idea :D. I learned it in Poland when I was young. Then, thanks to sailing for years on the tall ships, I practiced it abroad when traveling from port to port, from country to country (sailing FTW!). Then I left Poland to study MSc in Denmark. Denmark itself is rated as the best English-speaking country in the world from all of the non-English countries (although it varies - sometimes Norway and Finland are taking the first place - like with "the best country to live in" or "the happiest country in the world", basically it is always one of the Nordic countries and they share turn each year), so it was even better to practice it here.

PS. Funny fact about Denmark - during the evening (or whatever) news on Danish TV, where there is a news-material from the USA or UK and someone is speaking in English, they don't put dubbing over it. It is expected that even the kids in Denmark have almost a native level of English.

In my case, there was no specific movie nor series. I think it was a mix of a lot of things. But in recent years 95% of the video content I watch online is in English. I should watch more Danish stuff instead because after 6 years my Danish still sucks. Although it is freaking hard to learn it. I mean spoken language which sounds like a dude with a potato in his mouth...

As an example - from 03:40:
20.000 Subs Special | Danish Tongue Twisters - YouTube
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
However, since this is a sea/bay sailing I was thinking to buy something that can help me send a distress signal to the local marinas just in case. I was thinking like having one parachute rocket with me just in case of a life-danger situation. Or would the handy VHF be enough (like Uniden MHS75)? Hopefully, I would never use one in my life but I prefer an approach to life of "better safe than sorry". What do you think about this idea?
Sorry to have sidetracked your questions.

That video was funny. A native Danish speaker couldn't pronounce sequences of Danish words! :p It's OK to speak Danish with one's mouth stuffed with food!

A Spanish-speaking American friend says English sounds like barking dogs. :confused:

OK, back to the subject... ;)

Regarding rescue options, my situation is different: In case of emergency, I'd just have to hold onto the boat until I drifted to one side of the lake or the other. One concession to signaling probably won't apply until you've installed an inspection port. I've glued an unwanted CD to the bottom side of a 6-inch (15cm) inspection port. When the sun is out, it makes an excellent mirror.

I guess because of cellphones, nobody here monitors VHF channels. :(
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I use the cubby for things that I can afford to loose (lunch, water etc.), but that's not really safe when one capsizes in big breeze and waves.
Better is to pack essentials in a dry bag and tie that to the mast. If necessary, use 'hook and loop' fabric for additional security.
 

zbieraj

Member
Another update - the chances of getting new Sunfish at the end of July are now actually pretty high! I have also received information from the retailer today (with a copy of the confirmation from the Portgual production line) that the body and most of the other parts from that Sunfish will come from the Portuguese production line).
 
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zbieraj

Member
Do current Sunfishes have some kind of system (pressure, valves, like in Zoom class, current Optimist dinghies and other) which is removing water from the cockpit?
 

zbieraj

Member
Thank you! Yes, self bailer :). I am still in the process of learnig English words for dighy-elements :D. Thank you again! I will just shut the hell up and go through the manual instead of asking stupid questions :D.
 
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