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Hiking Strap Necessary?



I have a 72' sunfish in better than average condition. I was thinking about installing
A hiking strap over the winter, but is this really necessary ? Can I get away with just
tucking my feet under the oposite cockpit lip? Will this damage the boat over time?
I really don't want to cut another hole in my boat.



Upside down?
Staff member
As Fred said! If you are happy with putting your feet under the opposite cockpit lip, go for it.

PS: For many years straps were illegal, but the rules were changed to accommodate the racers and to give the Sunfish a sportier look.


I have been sailing Sunfish for 4 years now but only ever installed a hiking strap this past summer.
I have to tell you that I really loved the control it gave me over the entire boat as you can see in the video below. The leverage one gains over the boat can’t be beat.
You can see a pic of it at 1.02 of the video and hiking hard with the hiking strap at 3.23 – 4.35


Thanks for the info. I am going to give it a go without the strap
for now. Some info, I am 6'1" and 200 pounds, I didn't have that much
trouble keeping it flat this summer. Things could change though.



Well-Known Member
I installed a hiking strap and used the hole at the daggerboard end to install a bottle port to hold my liquid refreshment.


Since it's a '72 you have the smaller cockpit. For shorter folks it's recommended to get more leverage to actually use the front and back lips of the cockkpit so you can get more weight over the side.
I would suggest going over the underside with your hand to find any ridges/edges that can leave some nasty marks across the tops of your feet. I took to wearing booties till I got my newestyle fish with the strap already there.