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Gone "Mini-fishing": Today's Catch

Nephroid

Member
Hello there! I am now the proud owner of THIS Minifish..

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...freshly purchased off Ebay.

Given the serial number, #1209 out of approximately 14,000 made, I would estimate her to be from the first 1-2 years of production – so a ’71 or ’72? Overall she seems to be in pretty good shape for a boat approaching 50yrs old.

As mentioned in another post, despite sailing club SF’s at my local YC, I am completely new to Sunfish ownership and care. I’m really curious to get everyone’s thoughts on the following areas:


Hull

Haven’t weighed it but to my arms it feels about 80-90lbs, so a touch on the heavy side. Haven’t pulled the drain plug yet, but I didn’t hear any water inside. Mast step does hold water. Will add interior pics of the mast step and daggerboard trunk when I get a chance.

Fiberglass seems to be in excellent condition with some minimal scuffs, scratches and stains.

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Only areas I was worried about are some spider webs in the gelcoat on the bottom / keel and this repair under the corner of the stern. Does this look something I should worry about?

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Sail

It appears to be original Nylon sail (feels like a kite!). It’s slightly faded and dusty but otherwise in excellent condition. While I love the Minifish class logo, I’m probably going to replace the sail with a modern Dacron one. Will probably hang onto the original for parades and special occasions.

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The sail rings seem to be orginal and in good shape but I will probably replace them when order a new sail.

Rigging

Mast, spar and booms and their caps look brand new. There was no mainsheet and the halyard looks like an old laundry line, so will have to add both to the shopping list.

There is a small hook on the forward wall of the cockpit. Is this supposed to be for the mainsheet? Curious if anyone has had any luck replacing this with a modern mainsheet swivel block.

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It also has the old rope bridle (traveler) and a loop of the same for a bow handle. Is it worth trying to put in a metal bow handle and replace the bridle with a modern one?

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Daggerboard / Rudder

Both seem original and in excellent condition. Springs and pintles on the rudder work great. I may replace the tiller extension with a modern one that can bend upwards as well. There’s a very small gouge on the daggerboard but nothing some sandpaper couldn’t fix. What should I use to refinish the wood?

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Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Will update with more as I go along. In the end I paid $850 which was a little higher than I hoped, but still seemed like a fair price for a mini in this condition. So how did I do? Anything I miss or that you would consider adding if it were your Minifish?

Thanks,

John
 

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Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
Sweeeeeet!!! My Minifish was older than this and completely thrashed when I bought her for $200 off C/L, but she went on to sail the length and breadth of the Salton Sea... worth every penny just for those two Salton Expeditions alone, LOL. :rolleyes:
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Beautiful boat. I would consider adding a sheet and go sailing.

The weight is about right, if you want the true weight you need to put it on a scale. Given the condition of the rest of the boat I'd besurprised if it was heavy.
I would much rather have the nice soft sail than the crinkly loud new sail.
You could touch up the repair on the upper transom, gelcoat spider webs are not an issue.
The design concept behind the Mini was to reduce the number of holes and backer blocks in the hull, 4 less holes for a bow handle, 13 less for the coaming, 4 less for bridle eyestraps. Please leave it as designed. The bridle and bow line holes are a much better design, simple, stronger.
Touch up the wood with just spot of varnish.

Congratulations on your new boat.
k
 

tag

my2fish
I replaced the hook with a cam cleat, and also added a ratchet block.


I did have to cut in an inspection port to install the ratchet block.
minifish mainsheet block.JPG
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I agree with Kent - that boat is ready to go!

Kent, did a Mini use a Sunfish mast or a shorter mast due to the smaller sail?
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
The Minifish spars (mast and booms) are shorter to accommodate the smaller 65 sq. ft. sail, but you can use a Sunfish mast and just adjust the upper boom attachment point a little or rig a Jens rig. The shorter Minifish mast probably balances the rig better.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Nephroid

Member
Thanks, everyone for your input.

tag - I actually read up on your ratchet block install and planned to replicate it, if I decided to go down that path. Was also looking at the Neil Pryde sails which seemed pretty cost effective.

I've ordered a new mainsheet and halyard and my next step is to just sail her and see what I should upgrade from there. Initially thinking I'll keep the sail, bridle (just tie on mainsheet w/ a bowline), and rope bow handle as is.

Question: How are you supposed to use the snubber hook in the cockpit? Do you just hook the mainsheet underneath to provide a little more friction?
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
The snubbing hook works remarkably well, but, lacking a cleat, you still have to hand hold the mainsheet. I put TAGs ratchet block and cam cleat under rig on my wife's beach banger(*) Sunfish, and it works fine.

Alan Glos

* Def: "Beach banger": 1986 decent hull, sits on a remp on the beach with sail ready to hoist, no cover, so-so sail, wood parts fiberglassed to withstand the elements, able to get on the water in under 5 minutes. Not going to win any races, but great for a quick, no fuss sail when the conditions are good.
 

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mixmkr

Well-Known Member
How are you guys cleating and uncleating, if you're hiking out any? Sometimes for me, if I have to lean in that far, it spells "danger".
 

tag

my2fish
I don't use the cleat at all (I didn't even put it on my 2000 Sunfish). when sailing my older Sunfish, I would only cleat the mainsheet when the wind was very calm, so basically just freed up my hand to grab a drink as the Sunfish drifted along.
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
Ditto, when the breeze picked up and things got wild thrashing to windward, I never cleated the mainsheet... but I'm the kinda sailor who constantly trims everything, including my own live ballast (200 lbs.), so no worries. I did install "ClamCleats" on the side decks for temporary cleating purposes, not only aboard my Laser but also aboard my Minifish, those cleats work okay when the mainsheet is wet from spray, but I wouldn't rely on them for any great length of time, cam cleats are much more reliable for serious cleating purposes. The placement of those ClamCleats was much closer to the rails than Tag's setup, which is situated along the centerline of the boat... this meant I would NOT have to lean inboard any appreciable amount to work the ClamCleats, but again I seldom used them while thrashing to windward, I probably used them more often while sailing off the wind, aye? Still, they're cheap and they work to some degree, long enough for me to take care of business, grab another cold one from a recalcitrant cooler, p!$$ in a bailer, etc. Is that TMI??? Meh, y'all will get over it, LOL... :cool: ;) :confused: :D :eek: :rolleyes: :eek: :D :confused: ;) :cool:
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Minifish uses a 9 foot mast and spars are a foot shorter at 12' 6". I forgot the tub is molded also so one less joint.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You will find that the Minifish, with its smaller 65 sf sail, is fun with winds 14-16, where the Sunfish starts to get to be a handful for us. We have put 2 people on it, over the 300 pounds advertised because of me, and she was still fun in a light breeze.

I took this pic sitting up by by mast.

Skipper Minifish.jpg


Cheers
Kent and Skipper
 
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