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Goodbye Sun/Mini-fish, hello Rocket?

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my2fish
just saw this online - a new offering from Fulcrum Speedworks in Rhode Island - the "Rocket".



Each $4600 Rocket is a complete “sailaway package” with
-Fully outfitted hull
-Complete assembled mast and spars
-Sail and all lines and ropes
-daggerboard and rudder
-Launching dolly
 

tag

my2fish
A few random thoughts:
  • I love the extended full-length cockpit design idea
  • The lighter hull weight (90-lbs) makes it similar to a Minifish weight, but the 14-ft length of a Sunfish
  • Their website doesn't list specs (yet?), but I gotta assume most of the hardware and sail are pretty close to a Sunfish rig, and they've mostly focused for now on modifying the hull only
  • These are also the same guys that designed/built the Foiling UFO, though, so they maybe will make improvements on rudder/centerboard shape as well
  • Made in Rhode Island, so hopefully better quality than the recent Chinese-made LP boats
  • This obviously is not for the Sunfish-class dedicated racers, as it is no longer one-design or by a class approved builder
  • But for recreational sailors that like the larger Sunfish size, and the appeal of the lighter hull weight? Might be really tempting.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the underside are similar. You could "butcher" a sunfish hull and easily extend the cockpit...maybe get the weight down doing so. Wonder how it also is able to plane upwind. That's a big plus there.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I was thinking the same thing about extending the cockpit... it'd take some work, but I do like that Rocket cockpit. As for "planing upwind"---well, ANYONE can do THAT with a big ol' Mercury Black Max motor slapped on the transom, LOL. :eek:
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Sunfiah have been claiming 75 sq feet since the late 50s. 60s era sails I have seen so look board-flat, so the racing sail must have some more area but who knows how much. Would be interesting to measure the spar length and angle where the booms meet on a Rocket and compare to a Sunfish. Then we’d have a good basis for comparison.
 

tag

my2fish
Didn’t the article say he bought the old Phantom molds?

Looks like the sail has a North Sails logo... I’m curious if it is basically just the race cut sail w/o a Sunfish logo.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I didn’t see the article. I will look for it and read it. So those Craigslist-advertised molds found a good home. The Phantom/Pointer 14 won’t completely die!

North must have added a panel to the Sunfish sail to avoid legal issues with LP. Although LP has dumped North for a cheaper alternative for recreational sails. They live to cut costs. Strongly suspect the Rocket will have better build quality than current Sunfish.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Thx. Just read it. I think Fulcrum will need to make more than a few per week to meet demand. I don’t understand LP’s business model of not supplying boats or parts. Seems hard to make money like that.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
I think I have access to a bunch of free AquaFinn hulls and will hopefully cut up one or two this winter and see what it does. The chine on the above picture looks hard and NOT rounded like a laser, so should be semi-stable. ...and hopefully these hulls might resemble the Fulcrum. I'm wondering about how much weight can be taken off the Sunfish/AquaFinn hull by removing all the deck area, aft of the cockpit...and maybe a little forward. I'd also ditch the flotation down the middle and use "stringers" to beef up areas to decrease flexing....and pray it doesn't sink! I'm still struggling on believing it will plane going upwind....and actually why this hasn't been done before.
Any rate....the chop-shop efforts shouldn't be all that major. After all, a jigsaw and some heavy grit sanding does quick work on a little hull. Seems like a fun project.
I'll try to document things, should it happen.
 
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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Some boats plane upwind - 470s, Tasars, FDs, etc. I’m surprised a boat with an 81 sq ft lateen rig can, but if the Clarks say it can, I believe them.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Maybe knocking 40lbs off the hull helps....but can 110lb people plane upwind in a Sunfish? Not that I've heard....but my small boat experience with many brands isn't that extensive also. If a laser cant...whats it take to plane upwind? Ice boats can certainly scream.
 
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