Just fantastic. I grew up sailing Sailfish and Sunfish on that lake. That's not a blind endorsement, you do need to know both your limitations and the boat's..., some application of the thought process will be required..., she does get moody.I live close to Lake Michigan. I'm just wondering how the boat will handle on a big lake.
Max safe..., considering lake waves have a closer frequency than ocean waves, I'd say, for a competent and seasoned Sunfish Sailor, would be around 3'..., that assumes the wind is ~8 to 15 and the frequency isn't back to back chop.What would you say the max safe wave size for a Sunfish? I've noticed that if the waves are too big the hull rollercosters over the top of the wave then the bow slams down and plows into the next wave.
Head up as you hit the front of the wave and simultaneously try to move the bow up. Bear off down the wave, preferably by moving your body. Keep the boat flat most of the time by hiking. None of this is easy, but well worth it if you can find the waves to practice. And don't expect to get them all perfectly, even the champions miss a few here and there.
What this sailor should have done:"...Some days you get to the lakefront and just say, forget it... and head for inland water..."
Finally got out sailing today, very nice day. Had a good 5hrs I sailed around. I seen a guy that had a sunfish, and since I have a phantom I couldn't help myself from getting close and turning a normal sail into race mode. I was able to pass both times fairly easily. Good to know the old boat still moves very nice. Had about 10 to 15mph wind, lake was choppy but not to bad at all. Had a blast. Yeah I read something about wingnuts, not a great boat for freak storms, they also said it was a ballast issue. I remember that night, it was very intense.Like everyone above has written, Lake Michigan is a challenging place to sail but I've sailed Sunfish most of my life there. You just need to take the proper precautions to be safe.
By the way, the Wingnuts disaster was the result of a boat with low stability being caught in a bad storm with winds of 50-60 knots. It is believed that the people who drowned were hit in the head prior to entering the water or caught in the rigging. Very sad story.