While the count of fish manufactured runs to about 300,000 notice that the class has less than 2000 members. Not a whole lot of interest or advertising money to hit that small a target demagraphic. Like I said SLI made the shirts, shorts, towels, etc back in the early 90's for a couple of years, and in the 60's and again in the 70's there were a couple of attempts to market Sunfish gear, But I assume since none of them lasted for more than a year or two there wasn't any profit in it.
FYI: way back when there was even a guy who who make up shirts and shorts from used Sunfish sails. Saw a couple of sets made from recreational colered sails, but that petered out as well.
I'm not sure the class membership is a reflection of the number of Sunfish sailors (in fact, I am sure it is not). At my club, we have more than three dozen Sunfish sailors, yet only one that I can think of is a member of the class. They love Sunfish and are proud of the fact that they race the boats, but most use club-owned boats and don't see a benefit to joining the class. This is not a slam on the class (I have been a member on and off), but rather a reflection of the fact that there might be a large audience for Sunfish stuff that extends well beyond the class numbers.
The problem is how do you get to the folks that want fish gear? About the only "list" of folks with fish's is the class listing.
National sailing magazine ads cost more than a startup small niche sailing business can afford and most fish owners don't read most sailing magazines.
Like I said there have been quite a few attempts over the years for fish gear, but geting the word out to folks that would buy it (where to advertise/cost of advertising)was frustrating.
Even supplying dealers with free advertising didn't seem to work. Not many fish owners return to sailing dealers on any regular basis.
Perhaps the sunfish forum is the best way to mass market to the class and beyond.... Bradley could probably set up something that a vendor(s) could post pictures of the gear and then order through the email????? Maybe a stickied thread in the for sale section?
I would love to have some more cool sunfish stuff for me and my family. I have looked a bit on the net and have found little. Although regatta shirts are cool, if you didn't actually go, you could be labeled as a poser!! And kids sizes are usually not available at regattas.
Perhaps I should look into having a screenprinting done for shirts and sweaters....I could sell them on a pre-ordered batch basis. Not looking to make money, just cover basic costs. What say y'all?
I'm in. I am almost done restoring my 1970's Sunfish. Being 15 years old, it's a great project and it's coming along really nicely. I have been looking for t-shirt that has the sunfish logo on it, and even something along the lines of a dinghy shirt with the logo on it..... Just an idea.
Been through this as we have an embroidery company and have made " Sunfish" items from time to time. We did the shirts for the Sunfish Midwinters in Melbourne.
The Sunfish image and the word Sunfish are Registered trademarks of Vanguard. You cannot make up and sell shirts with either on them without permission from Vanguard. If you do, you are subject to a fine of $50,000 and forfeture of any equipment used in producing the items.
My understanding of this from a conversation with Chip Johns last fall follows:
The Sunfish Class Association has the right to use the Sunfish image and name in conjunction with sanctioned regattas or events like the Masters, Midwinters or regionals. The sponsoring fleet may order event apparel and include the "fish" and the word Sunfish in whatever they put on them. Any person or organization making/providing the apparel with the "fish" or the word "Sunfish" can only sell it to the Sunfish Class Association (a fleet in this case) and may not sell anything directly to individuals without violating the trademark rights.
Foxy is right on. I actually talked to Chip about selling laser and sunfish gear a few years ago and he pretty much said no (in a nice way). Vanguard licenses that out to someone else. He didn't name the company that is licensed to sell the apparel. Of course, if Vanguard ever changes its mind or would like to do something like Tim suggested I am up for it.
The problem appears to be that Vanguard does not currently have a licensed vendor, or at least not one that is prepared to produce/sell anything yet. The last vendor can no longer sell their Sunfish logo goods, so are we out of luck until Vanguard makes a deal with a new vendor?
If anyone wants advise on how to print designs on shirts, well in addition to teaching woodshop I've also taught, and still do, how to print T shirts. I've also investigated epoxy inks for printing on sailcloth.