Hi, Im new.........

Thread starter #1
Hi, I'm new to the whole sailboat/ sunfish thing. We bought a lake house and the PO sold us a sunfish. My idea is to get another sunfish and learn how to sail with my children with the help of some friends.

With that I have a few questions....
There are a few hairline cracks in the underside of the hull. where do I start with those? looks like I need an inspection port or two and let it dry out if there's any water.

from reading this forum, it doesn't sound like a daggerboard dolly is the way to go, although it looks like it'd be easy to make out of wood. Where can I find dolly plans? It would be for moving the boat up off the sandy beach and up a sort-of-steep wooded area.

I'm sure others will tell you to weigh the boat and if it is in the 130-140 pound range there is no need to put in inspection ports. That may also give you an idea if you have leaks in the boat. Looks like the boat was stored bottom side up on a 4x4. I have often wondered if storing a boat on its side, as in the picture, will let water leak in around the well. When I am storing mine on its side I try to tip it into the building with the topsides toward the building. It keeps water out of the mast step also. I am sure someone will give you a lead on what to do with the 'hairline' cracks.
Thread starter #3
I just tipped the boat up for the photo. I have it upside-down on the 4x4 now. It's just a bit too heavy for me to move by myself or else I'd move it under cover- another reason for the dolly. The owner stored it upside-down on dirt/sand on the beach area. I'll probably do something similar only on something to keep it off the ground and probably a tarp.

I'll do the bathroom scale thing to check it out, thanks.
I have built a skid for my Sunfish on the beach where I keep the boat all summer. Of course there are a lot of things to consider. My Sunfish is not used for racing, so the 'weather wear' is not a consideration. Also, the water level is constant, so I do not have to worry about placing the skid at waters edge. Unless I will be away for an extended time I keep it rigged. I do keep it locked to the skid with a cable through the bow handle. I have a roller a the rear of the skid and bunks down the sides. To launch I just pick up the bow and slide it into the water.


What you do will be determined by your own situation. A lot depends on how often you will use the boat and conditions on where you will place it. They make commercial covers, but in my case, as we get a lot of west wind that comes in right at the transom of my boat, I would not put a cover on my boat unless I could check it every day. I have seen a lot of covers on boats blown off, or filled with water, and water adds a lot of weight. Even with my bailer left open I have had the drain holes plug (they are small on the old metal bailers) and ended up with a good amount of water in the well after a hard rain. I don't know if they make spar bags you can use with the boat rigged but if I am going to be away for more than 2 days I bring the mast and spars up and put it inside. My concern, and it may be unfounded, with a spar bag is that a rodent will take up home inside and chew a hole in the sail if the spar is left in the bag for an extended time. Because of the very limited space I have to keep my sunfish on shore, pulling it out and turning it over is not an option, especially if I am alone. I can launch the boat with one hand and, with my winch on the skid, retrive the boat myself. The skid works fine for me, but as I said, how you work it depends on your own situation.
No matter how dirty the hull is, don't clean it with abrasives or steel wool or anything like that; get some Slimy Grimy and give it a no-scrub (or very gently with a brush) cleaning. Then try some boat wax, which should dissolve most of what Slimy Grimy leaves behind, smudges and things like that. When you buff it you should have a nice shine. Obviously much depends on the condition of the hull beneath the dirt; yet, I got my '75 used, a white one, and it looked irrecoverably dirty. After this easy treatment it seemed new and I have kept it that way ever since.
Thread starter #9
This hull has a very rough texture. Almost what you do to a step to make it anti-slip.

I bought a set of canoe/kayak wheels at dicks, 'quest' on sale for $35, that look like they'll help me move the sunfish around alone. If not, I needed it for my canoe anyway.

where's a good place to get the sunfish bible? amazon has it for $70, but Ive seen it for $29 somewhere.
I got my sfbible at www.dinghyshop.com (ph) 631.264.0005 for $29.99 two months ago. I called Barnes and Noble and they wanted $81.00 (!) I think I have the most recent edition (1996) which is 3 books in 1. Not sure if previous editions had the 3 in one thing. Pretty thick book. Fun reading too.
Thread starter #12
I ordered the bible from ANNAPOLIS PERFORMANCE SAILING and a harken bullseye thing that a friend recommended, I don't even know where it goes, yet.:D
On the Sunfish there is a hook on the front edge of the lip of the cockpit. The idea was to pass your mainsheet under this hook and pull up on the mainsheet to take the direct pressure off your arms and hand. Many names have been given to this hook, most refering to the fact that not only did it take pressure off your arms, but it took a lot of skin off your legs as you bumped into it. Many have removed the hook and replaced it with various blocks, ratchets or cleats. Most of these are mounted on the top edge of the cockpit lip, through bolting them in the overhang of the cockpit lip and the cockpit. They are usually lined up on the centerline of the boat. I use a ratchet block and have a backer plate under the cockpit lip. If you look at a Sunfish and see a block or cleat between the centerboard slot and the cockpit, you can see how it is mounted.
Hi, I'm new too!

hello, i am new too, i am very interested in smal boats sailing
i am maybe going to take sailing class (not sure which class, but it is small boats) next week.
but do you guys think i can learn by myself buying those books (or any sailing instructional stuff) and practicing a lot? or should i just get the lesson, and it would be better, cheaper and faster?
thanks in advance
Do both: read a basic sailing book, then take lessons. After that it's just practice, practice, practice. You can't learn to anticipate the wind without experience.

Do both: read a basic sailing book, then take lessons. After that it's just practice, practice, practice. You can't learn to anticipate the wind without experience.

thank you Fred,
i appreciate your response and advice, and i will do that
but i dont think i can find the sunfish bibble in the bookstore near where i live
yeah.. i think i will buy any basic sailing book there... it will help anyways

sincerely, Raphael
I'd say any book that says "...for beginners." I used "Sailing For Beginners" by M. Farnham.
There's even a "Sailing for Dummies"!!!
The Sunfish bible also has "Sailing it Flat" in it which is a basic how-to for Sunfish but more complete, general books are better.