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I always wanted a Sunfish!

heyjoel

Member
I’m 53 and have lived on a lake my whole life (well 27 years permanent and 26 Summers before that) and I finally bought one used before all this COVID fun unfolded. It’s a 1974, with a new sail and I’m thinking about adding a mast cleat (found a thread on this forum about it).

My buddy came over to give me my first lesson today - what a blast! I’m pretty giddy about it so I thought I would share, so thanks for indulging me. Now I have another forum to obsess over as well.
 

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Lafayette Mike

Active Member
I’m 53 and have lived on a lake my whole life (well 27 years permanent and 26 Summers before that) and I finally bought one used before all this COVID fun unfolded. It’s a 1974, with a new sail and I’m thinking about adding a mast cleat (found a thread on this forum about it).

My buddy came over to give me my first lesson today - what a blast! I’m pretty giddy about it so I thought I would share, so thanks for indulging me. Now I have another forum to obsess over as well.
Add the mast cleat. Easy to do. It makes getting the sail up easier and takes pressure off the bottom of the mast tube. Have a great time!

Mike
(sailing Sunfishes since 2013, when I turned 57!)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Good advice from TheGoldenDuck... nice gloves come in handy, along with good footgear, sunglasses on a goon cord, brimmed hat or ballcap, and the right attire for conditions. Blustery days, maybe a wetsuit and PFD vest; moderate breeze, go with baggy clothing for freedom of movement. John Travolta disco suits NOT recommended, LOL. Moi, I'd usually wear baggy shorts or baggy Cabela's pants, plus a baggy long-sleeved white T-shirt to reduce solar abuse. Telltale placement on each side of a sail can be tricky, you want 'em in the right location... use lengths of yarn, cassette tape material, whatever, with circular adhesive patches to hold 'em in place. :cool:

P.S. Boat looks good, and if ya only dumped her twice on your first day out, you're doing alright, LOL. Besides, you should know how to quickly & efficiently right your boat once she's knocked down or capsized. ;)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Just doing our part to help out... call 'em our good karmic deeds for the day. Just remember, no matter when or where you sail, no matter what the conditions, keep MARINE SAFETY your top priority, aye? You'll live to be an old salt that way, might even employ that "geezer rig" mentioned by Signal Charlie, LOL. :eek:

Oh, yeah, learn the 'Rules of the Road' as soon as you can, that knowledge will help keep ya outta trouble. You can find books on 'Basic Sailing' in libraries or on the web... and check out ROYCE'S SAILING ILLUSTRATED when ya get a chance, to me it will always be 'The Sailor's Bible.' :rolleyes:
 

heyjoel

Member
Ugh... well that didn’t last long. I was trying to rig by myself tonight and when hoisting the sail, I must have had the boom in a bad position because I met some resistance which I thought was coming from the lanyard connection at the top of the mast, but it was the lower spar and when I applied some pressure, it snapped. My wife thinks it was mostly due to corrosion but I was so despondent I hastily wrapped up the sail and stashed it in the shed - then I went back out after I calmed down and took a pic. Ugh, feeling dumb and defeated.
 

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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Hey, OP, don't sweat it, you can repair that broken spar, or pick up another from one of the hands at this site... don't be disheartened, this is what it means to be a boat owner, LOL. My choice would be to repair the spar, using an aluminum insert (pipe that fits inside the broken spar like a reverse glove, LOL). And you can always add a SLEEVE of some sort to strengthen the repair already effected with the INSERT, so don't sweat it... :confused:

BTW, welcome to the world of boat ownership, LOL. No worries, dude, you got this, it ain't rocket science, and if you're committed to sailing, well, the sooner ya learn, the better, you'll save HELLER MONEY in the long run by learning how to repair things... ;)

Some hands (better qualified than I am) might suggest that ya flip the spar, so to speak... repair the spar with an insert & possibly a sleeve, but flip it end-to-end and put the gooseneck on the undamaged end of the spar. This is a judgment call for Sunfish experts, so I'll bow out here and let those heroes clue ya in, I'm thinking they'll help ya get that spar fixed and get ya back out on the water. :cool:

Edit: Your wife is probably right, looks like some corrosion there at the break... doesn't look much different from the break that occurred in my Laser mast, which was more stout than this spar of yours, but don't worry, you can get past this minor setback without taking a huge hit to your wallet, LOL. :eek:
 
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norcalsail

Well-Known Member
Cactus has some great suggestions for getting back out on the water. I think Alan G might not be too far also and he is a great resource. You have options in your area and you got the lake in your backyard....
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Oh ya, that spar looks like it was ready to snap. Consider yourself lucky that it happened at home, not on the water. Also lucky that you’re in Upstate New York, maybe close to our own Alan Glos, who usually has spars and masts available for sale. If he doesn’t chime in you might want to send him a private message by clicking on the envelope at the top of the page. Not sure how far he is from you, I believe he’s in Casenovia?
Shipping spars is cost prohibitive but keep your eye out and you should find a set (craigslist, Facebook marketplace, local backyards)
If your upper spar has as much corrosion as the lower you’ll want to replace that, too. You’re much more likely to find the pair than just the lower anyway. Might get one with a sail attached, too, it’s nice to have an extra.
As Cactus Cowboy says, don’t sweat it. You’ll repair or replace and be back on the water in no time! All part of the joy of owning a boat, and as boats go you’d be hard-pressed to find an easier one to manage than the Sunfish.
 

heyjoel

Member
Thanks everyone for the uplifting words. The sun rose again today so I have a somewhat sunnier outlook. I’ll reach out to Alan today and will start hunting around for replacements (I’m not very handy with repairs so there’s some trepidation there). Interesting thing is that there’s a set available on eBay from someone in the same town as the person I bought the sunfish from and I’m wondering if it’s the same guy, I still have his phone #, so I’ll reach out to him today - I’m not thinking there was any ill will on his part btw.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
That will work, though I'd use thin sheet aluminum instead of duct tape if you need to make the insert fit better. You can use an insert without an external sleeve, but I wouldn't use a sleeve without an insert, it won't be as strong in my estimation. One site member used a wooden dowel as an insert, so that's another option, but you'd want a solid hardwood dowel, something that'll hold up over time. Whatever material you choose, you definitely want to secure it with screws, so the insert doesn't move around... same goes for a sleeve, you can wait and do the screws last so they go through the sleeve, through the boom & into the insert, that'll be solid. Cheers!!! :cool:
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
As a disciple of Zen Buddhism, I'd say they're going well enough, LOL... :rolleyes:

Perhaps I should call myself an aspiring Zen Buddhist, that way the drinking and other... er... transgressions... don't seem to matter as much. ;)

I'm not really big on organized religion, I usually tell folks, "The wilderness is my church." :cool:

No collection plates out there either, LOL. :eek:
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Since you opened this spiritual can o' worms, I'm gonna share my favorite Zen proverb with you. There are many classic Zen proverbs, right on the spiritual money, so to speak, but this one really helped me in the past, growing up in a financially-strapped military family while surrounded by rich folk who never had to work, yet they had every conceivable toy known to man. Whenever this proverb comes to mind, I think of "desire" as the desire for material wealth and objects, not necessarily desire for... say... a beautiful woman. But the proverb works in both senses, less headache either way, LOL. Here's the proverb:

IF YOU ARE FILLED WITH DESIRE, YOUR SORROWS SWELL LIKE THE GRASS AFTER THE RAIN...

BUT IF YOU SUBDUE DESIRE, YOUR SORROWS FALL FROM YOU LIKE DROPS OF WATER FROM A LOTUS FLOWER.

This proverb really helped me to stay focused upon what truly matters, ya know? It taught me to live within my means, to be happy with who I am and what I have in life. It's probably why I'm here in Arizona, out of the rat race and the eternal quest to 'keep up with the Joneses' in Kalifornia. I like my life here, this is a very beautiful location for those who dwell on the spiritual side of things... and the freedom is awesome too, nowhere near as many gubmint rules & regulations. I miss the ocean now and then, but I'll get out there sooner or later, no worries, while my nautical adventures remain fresh in my memory. :cool:
 

heyjoel

Member
Right on, bro; glad you were able to find your path, and thanks for sharing! For me, it's always been just follow the golden rule and everything else falls under that and is kind of superfluous. I'm going to snag a section of 1 3/8" chain link fence top rail today at HD, and see if I can competently complete that repair this sometime over the weekend.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Try to find aluminum tubing instead, preferably at an industrial warehouse or metal mart... I should've said "tubing" instead of pipe, didn't mean the threaded kind. That fence rail will be too heavy, you can find thinner-walled tubing if ya look around. I used to buy mine at Handy Metal Mart in National City, that place had all kinds of metal stock and tubing. I'd use the fence rail only after exhausting all other tubing options in your area. Good luck in your search, and don't forget the wooden dowel option... I'm still thinking you should swap the boom end-to-end, maybe others will chime in on that and say whether it's worth doing. :rolleyes:

The Golden Rule is a good one, works for just about anyone of any nationality, except when you're dealing with criminals, psychopaths, race pimps et al. :eek:

P.S. When you cut the tubing/pipe/dowel, be sure to leave enough on either side of the break to effect a solid repair; the insert I used to repair my broken Laser mast was about 22" long, while the outer sleeve was about 14" (memory call here). I wanted both to be a bit longer because I was sailing to the islands off Baja, and I wanted to err on the side of caution, so to speak. ;)
 
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heyjoel

Member
Right on - there's a metal mart not far from my work, so I ordered up a 2 foot section of aluminum tubing as near to .065 and 1 3/8ths OD as I could and will shim if needed; I think that will do the trick. They didn't have anything close to the 1 5/8ths I would need for a small outer sleeve to compliment it, but I think the inner will suffice.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Ya know, if the tubing seems too thin or light for the job, you could always add a wooden dowel inside the tubing... get the dowel to fit snugly, even if you have to tape it, then secure everything with screws. That would certainly be solid enough, and probably wouldn't weigh as much as the fence rail. :cool:
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Isla Sur (or South Island, the largest of the group) lies roughly 7 miles off the Baja coast, as measured from a point between Tijuana & Rosarito. Isla Norte (or North Island, second largest island in the group) lies 15 or 16 miles from the San Diego harbor entrance. The island chain spans 5 miles in a southeast-to-northwest orientation, which means you'd have to sail farther from San Diego to reach Isla Sur, same way you'd have to sail farther from the Baja mainland to reach Isla Norte. Google Map "Coronado Islands Baja California Mexico" to see what I mean... :rolleyes:

In Spanish, the islands are usually referred to as "Islas Coronados"---but I've also heard them called "Islas Los Coronados" (the "Los" being an honorific for the four brothers after whom the islands are named). Can't go wrong by simply referring to 'em as "Los Coronados"---that's what I call 'em nowadays. Awesome islands, the Mexican gubmint was actually on the cutting edge when they designated the islands as wildlife sanctuaries back in 1924. Too many pinche gringos blasting everything in sight, needlessly killing critters for 'sport' from the safety of excursion craft... the dumb@sses. :confused:

Read those stories I posted in my 'Laser Island Voyages' thread, first page of the thread, second post... those will take ya right on out there, in a way which no other stories can. Technically, one is supposed to have permission from the Mexican gubmint to land anywhere in the island chain, and I don't think a modern sailor could do what I did back in the day, not without getting hassled or jailed by "los marinos y los marineros de la Armada de Mexico!!!" Armed troops who are stationed out there to prevent trespassing... and yes, they have fully automatic weapons, LOL. :eek:

Oh, yeah, I took photos on various overnight voyages, you can see those in the same thread, there's a link in the first post... got some trucking photos in there too, but scroll down and you'll eventually come across island pics. That old thread in the link has two pages, and there are two sets of photos per page, just scroll past all the intervening text to see the pics pronto. Grand adventures, those island voyages... even though the island chain is NOT that far off the coast of Baja, the islands themselves feel remote, as there's no development in the usual sense. No fresh water, you understand... but beauty & wildlife abound. :cool:
 

heyjoel

Member
I followed that video I posted earlier in this thread to repair my snapped boom, but instead of chain link fence top, I ordered a 2 foot section of aluminum tubing for the insert, and made the repair. I’m sure it’s not really a big deal for those that are handy with repairs, but while I always go in with good intentions, my success ratio is less than stellar.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I still think you should flip the boom end-to-end, you can see the corrosion under that gooseneck... another break waiting to eventually happen. :eek:

Maybe just shift the gooseneck a bit and get a better look at that corrosion, perhaps treat it to slow it down. :confused:
 
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