First post; need help picking out car to tow Sunfish

Gunnar- due to the weight and shape of a Sunfish, you don't want to be towing it with just any old car. You need a vehicle with at least four cylinders, and more than about 20 hp or so. If you are thinking about using a Trabant, a Renault R4, a BMW Isetta, or maybe a Citroen CV2 you might want to consider upgrading a bit to at least an early VW Beetle, which had a nice sturdy 40hp.

The OTHER thing you want to keep in mind is control of the trailer whilst going down the road. For this, you certainly want 4 wheels..... which means if you want to use an old Morgan Three Wheeler, or a Robin Reliant you might want to reconsider. That being said however, I have seen a Sunfish going down the road being towed by a Vespa.... so two wheels might be ok.

My personal favorite Sunfish transporter of all time was a 1969 Opel Cadet station wagon with a roof rack, and simulated plastic woodgrain on the sides. It carted my boat around for almost a decade before 2nd gear went out. THAT was a real tragedy. Have you ever tried to get an Opel Cadet's transmission repaired on the Gulf Coast of Alabama? No, I bet not.... or you wouldn't be laughing about it.

One car that you most certainly DON'T want to use is a 1987 Corvette. I just happen to have a copy of the owner's manual right here.... and it says in no uncertain terms: "This vehicle was not designed for towing". Then later it goes on: "... installation of a trailer hitch is not recommended, and will void your powertrain warranty." So there you have it. You can't tow a Sunfish with a 1987 Corvette. HOWEVER.... the manual does not say you can't put the Sunfish on the roof. That might be OK. (I'm not sure about other year Vettes since I only have the 1987 manual.)

So.... here's my serious recommendation: unless you drive one of the "not recommended cars" listed above, just put a hitch on whatever you already own, and go have fun. (or put the boat on the roof) BUT if you really want to look cool, go one step better and buy some neat old car like my old Opel Cadet, or maybe a Pinto Station Wagon. Then paint the car and boat to match in some wild color scheme.... and go in STYLE!

However.... if you are actually looking for an excuse to ditch the Volvo, then here's an alternative ending: "That puny Volvo won't work at all. You actually need a Jeep Wrangler with the heavy duty package, big tires, and a monstrous crash bar on the front. With such a rig, you can get your boat to any body of water on the continent! "
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Um, I have a 02 Tahoe. Should I be offended?
Normally I would say an 02 Tahoe is borderline and 'it depends.'. In most other cases(*) I would say that if the vehicle is black or dark blue and has a prominently displayed US Sailing sticker and maybe even a front license plate comprised of a yacht club pennant where the club's exclusivity is so legendary that no name is necessary, every lesser local citizen knows the pennant's social implications, then 'yes'. For those with vehicles that fit that description there is one path to redemption, thankfully, and that is to always be carrying a Sunfish hull around on the roof.

By definition, on these vehicles a Sunfish will fit entirely over the cab roof and not even overhang the front windshield or back tailgat at all, and having it there won't have any impact whatsoever on aerodynamics. Unless the hull is actually in the water, however, it would always have to remain on the vehicle.

(*) In your own case, if your SUV is sporting the MY2FISH license plate (and considering the blog that this represents), it really does drift more toward the 'icon' status described in the earlier post, or 'future icon' if you are sensitive about such things. That status comes with particular priviledges, by the way. Not the least is that Sunfish etiquette is that every other Sunfish sailor should buy the first drink (large enough groups of them mean that you never should buy). As also previously noted, the Texas equivalent is the oversized Sunfish tattoo and for Texas and Gulf sailors the no-pay policy extends to the tattood gent's esteemed missus (I realize that I am being presumptuous in assuming she also doesn't have one of her own that we just don't know about).

Just to be safe however, since the MY2FISH license plate might get visually lost on a vehicle that size, I would take the extra precaution of prominently displaying a large multi-colored my2fish Sunfish-shaped logononneach of the rear side windows. Adding those I think should do the trick.

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Well-Known Member
We bought our hitch online for our 2004 Elantra (128 ponies) and installed it ourselves (dead easy). Self-install will depend on the car, though. Our statement? We don't need no stinkin' truck! Here's a shot of our rig in front of our builder buddy's King Ranch pickup and hydraulic trailer. And here's Blueberry hauling the boat:

We're in Nebraska, where people need suburban assault vehicles to go shopping, so we turn quite a few heads on the road. Only issue we have is rocketing off the line, the trailer and boat do slow things down. Our drag racing scores have suffered. But it's worth it. ;-)
I'll be "car-topping" a Sunfish in April, but that's not for everybody...With a small boat, you don't need much car.

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Well-Known Member
This is one of the classic threads on this forum. Glad it lives on. Wonder what Gunnar bought for hauling his Sunfish?
I thought of this thread when reading of inspection ports.

"Classic" also describes my car collection. (1960 Morris Minor, 1968 BMW 1600, plus the 1971 VW camper used for flat-towing).

Back in the 1980s, I installed an inspection port in my VW camper. This allowed me to carry long 2x4s—plus my miniature dachshunds could get a look outside. (The interior panel was cut to the size of their collars).



senior new member
When i was a teenager my buddy and I towed a home made sailboat about the size and wt of a sunfish To a nearby lake using his 250cc BSA motorcycle with both of us on the bike