hello from Maryland

Thread starter #1
I have not sailed in 30 years. As a child I lived on the Magothy river and sailed and boated when ever we had good weather.

I have been racing motorcycles for four years and am about to semi retire.Only racing one or two times a year. I am tired of broken engines ,travel ,hotels and pressure. I want to relax and go sailing. Anything bigger than a sunfish is to much work.

I have been looking for a used Sunfish. There are plenty out there . BUT most are 20 to 30 years old. I dont have a lot of money to spend right now as I still have to race till October.

My big question is. Should I buy new? 4000 dollars for a new boat seems like a lot .But 2500 for an old boat that may need work has its draw backs also, Should I keep looking for a "good deal" or just save up for a year? I don't mind work. I like building things . But mostly I want to sail the Chesapeake Bay


Upside down?
Staff member
Re: hello fron Maryland

You should be able to find a solid used boat for (way) less than $2500. Many decent (older) boats are selling for $500-1000. See the For Sale section to get some idea.

Good luck!
Thread starter #3
Re: hello fron Maryland

I guess my concern is what sort of condition the boat will be in after 20 years.More specifically the inside of the hull. I have been reading all the articles about buying a used sunfish. And all the articles about hull repairs and drying out the hull ,adding inspection ports and the like. Are the boats OK if they just sat in the rafters for ten years? I guess that is my worry.
I will keep looking and reading and saving and hopefully I will have a boat soon enough.
Re: hello fron Maryland

after 20 or so years a sunfish that has been almost unused anywhere should be in good condition but with some polishing work to doto the hull and deck. if you dont mind doing that buy an older boat but if it is older than that it might need much more work to do (like replacing the foams, sealing the filtrations and lots of lots of details)

Matias J
Re: hello fron Maryland

Racer X, i bought my first Sunfish 3 years ago and paid $1,000. It is race rigged with the class sail and daggerboard. I haven't repaired anything, although i did switch spars because i didn't look close enough and there was some corrosion were the gooseneck clamps on with the quick connector. Easy to spot if you look. Just recently I purchased another boat for the wife to mess with. It cost me $300, is dry, has recreational sails, an old style daggerboard I'll switch out, and someone changed the bailer to a different style than class legal. When you go looking for a boat take a bathroom scale with you and weight the hull, it should be close to 130 if it's dry. But even then, if you're just sailing and not racing a lot of the cost of the purchase is reduced. Personally I wouldn't buy new when there are so many good boats around. Best, Win ever.
Thread starter #6
Re: hello fron Maryland

Thanks for the replys . I will most likley buy used. I am the type of person that likes to tinker with things . I should buy a race ready boat . I will want to upgrade it even if I don't race.I am just like that.
I read about the weight . How about the blocks comming loose? Is that a common problem? Just a result of waterlog.
Thread starter #7
Re: hello fron Maryland

WELL thing happen some times
I got a phone call from an old friend. His parents are moving into a smaller place. Guess what he asked me?? he says" I have a little sail boat in there garage. Do you know anyone that wants it before it goes to the dump?" My heart raced :D . I said what Kind is it?.HOPE HOPE HOPE. its a 1974 Super Snark.
I looked it up on line and it seems perfect for me and its free. I still want to get a Sunfish .But now I can hit the water a year early. I have not seen it .I will pick it up on Sunday. He says his parents sailed it just a couple years ago.And its all there. and very well kept. Just covered in dust.
I will post up some photos.
Re: hello fron Maryland

Take that snarky and put a little work into it... then sell if for all you can get yourself the sunfish you want!!!

You can't beat free!!!

Awesome score.
Thread starter #9
Re: hello fron Maryland

That is kinda the plan . If my wife likes sailing then I may get a Vanguard 15. But I will sell the Sunflower sailboat a motorcycle and then see how it all goes.
Thread starter #11
Re: hello fron Maryland

Well I started working on my boat. First the clean up and re rigging. I got new lines and some stainless steel screws to replace a couple rusty ones. I know this is not an expensive boat. But hey its free.
I hand washed the sail . Tomorrow I will take it to a taylor. The leading edge lower corner is coming apart.Not torn but the threads are comming loose .just about four inches. I figure stiching it up and see how it goes. A new sail is 135 dollars so if it shreads when I go out I will replace it.
I followed a you tube video advice and used Gorilla glue to repair a couple holes in the hull .It is foam with an ABS plastic cover.The owners son took it white water rafting so it got beat up some. :-(

But it is totally seaworthy and I can't wait. My wife wants nothing to do wit it .So a Sunfish is in my future. Next stop is Heart Miller Island. As soon as I get a PFD

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Re: hello fron Maryland

Just don't take it out if you expect much wind or any seas - those "spars" are not designed for much wind, and that open hull will take on water pretty easily. This boat is designed for protected waters only. BB
Thread starter #13
Re: hello fron Maryland

Thanks that is great advice. I was planning on making a bailer out of a bleach bottle. I will only use it to "get my feet wet"
Re: hello fron Maryland

When I got back into sailing after a 20 hiatus my first boat was a Super snark made for Sears in the mid 70's. What made it super was that it had a fore deck with a splash guard that is is needed in heavy weather. Beldar Bladerhead is right in say that they can take on a lot of water in heavy winds and chop. The last time I was in the snark in those conditions I was with my son and he was the full time bailer, that boat did not have the fore deck.
I am on my third Snark and I keep it around as a light hull that I can throw on the vehicle and take any where, it is also a great training boat, and it is good for company to get people out on the water.
Of course the Sunfish is twice the boat compared to the snark but I keep it around for the above stated reasons. I only used it a hand full of times last season but it is good to have it as part of the fleet. Like any good host my qualified sailing guests sail the 79 Sunfish and I stretch out in the 80's snark sunfower with baller and sponge or rag.
Picture is of my son and I getting ready to head out and rendezvous with my brother in-law in his 2009 worlds Laser that he bought after the races were over.
><> Minas man <><


Thread starter #15
Re: hello fron Maryland

Do you know if a fore deck is available? I will look into fitting one. I an good at making things like that out of fiberglass.
Thread starter #16
Re: hello fron Maryland

I spoke to Bill at boatstogo .He says the Super Snark fore deck may not fit an older Sunflower. He suggested making something . I can do that.
Re: hello fron Maryland

Many times I wished that I had kept the deck/splash guard off of my first snark. It was made of thin molded plastic that I could have duplicated using a vacuum form molding.
The second snark that I owned had a fiberglass homemade deck that was so heavy and ugly that I removed it immediately .
I would suggest using a heavy water proof material like a skirt on a kayak or thin ABS plastic.
Here's a couple of pictures that show the deck/splash guard on my 1970's Snark that was sold by Sears.

><> Minas man <><


Thread starter #18
Re: hello fron Maryland

I was thinking about plywood with some molding to direct water off the side. This would also give some storage for water and a light.
Thread starter #19
Re: hello fron Maryland

I picked up a piece of hi quality plywood. and some molding at the Home Depo. Some small stainless steel screws and Poly urethane. This should be better than nothing.

Thread starter #20
Re: hello fron Maryland

I got the Sunflower finished. The fore deck.New rigging lines.I patched the hull and a taylor mended the sail. I still need an analog GPS(a compass) and a life vest. But that is it.

What water/air temp should I wait for to be safe?