Injection Molded Sunfish

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#37
"...My guess is that since Racers are such an important market they will not deviate from a totally class legal boat in any way. China does have quality control problems but looking at older Sunfish I'd say the quality varied widely from boat to boat and manufacture. Today's manufacture quality should be far above yesterdays processes. All in all racers should come out the winners.
I raced cars in a new class of racers called "Showroom-Stock". Complaints were eventually raised that some racers were able to "shop" dealers' inventories for the best parts :mad: and "Showroom-Stock" cars got rebuilt drivetrains—with those best parts—before they hit the track. :confused: I did OK, but the class was doomed by $ponsorship$. I readily beat the delightful lady-racer Lyn St. James, (most recently with Ford at Indy 500 and CART), but mostly because she couldn't keep her GM Cosworth-Vega running! :oops:

If new Sunfish come out of the chocks with totally class-legal boats, racers would already have a head start over the older boats. :cool: That said, selecting the right older boat, and "tweaking" the bottom to limit flex could put the (many available) older boat(s) ahead. :) Including mine! With time, such standardization with new injection-molded hulls certainly ought to settle the question of fine-sanding the hull. :rolleyes:
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
#38
Ya know...I think you could easily stiffen the hull of a Sunfish, without adding a bunch of weight. Probably could keep it under 5 lbs. Would just take some cutting and ripping the hull apart, but a piece of aluminum L bracket glassed along the hull would do quite a bit. Even some bottom to deck supports as well with foam. Probably isn't legal, but how would anyone ever really know....IF you were dishonest
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#39
Ya know...I think you could easily stiffen the hull of a Sunfish, without adding a bunch of weight. Probably could keep it under 5 lbs. Would just take some cutting and ripping the hull apart, but a piece of aluminum L bracket glassed along the hull would do quite a bit. Even some bottom to deck supports as well with foam. Probably isn't legal, but how would anyone ever really know....IF you were dishonest
Well if someone feels good about cheating to win they've got other problems.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
#40
I agree, they've got other problems. My point was it would be easy to do, but I figure altering the hull isn't class legal. Seeing that there's been plenty of "cheating" in sailboat racing, all the way to the Amers Cup, it wouldn't surprise me if someone did something like that. All kinds of people in this world nowadays.

But additionally, to someone like me that doesn't really care about Sunfish Class racing as an activity, but wanted to optimize the boat because they enjoy doing it, stiffening the hull is an easy proposition, as I was stating.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
#41
I'm kinda surprised the Chinese haven't made a "counterfeit" Sunfish. Sooooo many other items they have, down to replicating logos. But like mentioned, the market isn't there for something like that. Les Paul guitars.... well.....
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#42
I agree, they've got other problems. My point was it would be easy to do, but I figure altering the hull isn't class legal. Seeing that there's been plenty of "cheating" in sailboat racing, all the way to the Amers Cup, it wouldn't surprise me if someone did something like that. All kinds of people in this world nowadays.

But additionally, to someone like me that doesn't really care about Sunfish Class racing as an activity, but wanted to optimize the boat because they enjoy doing it, stiffening the hull is an easy proposition, as I was stating.
That's how I took it...:) I think we already covered using Helium in the mast and spars. ;)

But my term, "tweaking the hull" could mean stiffening the hull using any number of fiberglass repairs. :oops:

My present 1976 Sunfish may already be illegal for racing! :eek:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#43
Well if someone feels good about cheating to win they've got other problems.
Don't tell racer Lyn St. James, but I used "The Rules" to my benefit. :cool:

"The Rules" required us to tape over the headlights. (To keep any broken glass off the racetrack surface).

In my first race, I carefully trimmed the Contact Paper I'd used to fit the headlight itself. The Contact Paper was exactly the same color as my car, so it looked pretty professional. :cool: Upon the occasion of my second race, I was a bit hurried, and covered the headlight and the surrounding bezel with the same Contact Paper. That one step made the fenders more aerodynamic, and I achieved a top speed faster than everyone else. (108-MPH "indicated", on a closed track :eek:). 'Course, my car wasn't the fastest in the corners, where races are won.

I don't know about Sunfish racing, but I suspect "The Rules" can be bent. :rolleyes:

 
#44
The manufacturer has sent the molds to China. Boats are being built. The intention is for them to remain fiberglass and resin. The rest of it is still very unclear. No, it's damned near impossible to "call LP" and get any reasonable facsimile of conversation. We will have to wait for the information that the International President provides from time to time. On his own dime he has traveled to China to see what they have going so far and found it suitable (or maybe better). We won't really know until there is a fleet of boats and they get sailed. New boats is better than no boats. If they are drastically different, then yes, there will be issues. I've been chiming that they need to be kept the same weight so we don't obsolete 500,000 boats. Also supposed to be able to get a reliable supply of parts again soon. We can only hope.
Having been a wilderness kayak tour company owner I am familar with items made in China. The golden rule for turning out a good product is to have your own people on the floor in the factory.Flying there off and on on your own dime is a ticket to disaster. Most of the quality outdoor goods with U.S. badges are made in China,Korea,and Viet Nam. by companies who have their own people supervising production in the factories.. . Not by hit or miss inspection.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#46
2015 International Rules


3.1.4 There are no restrictions as to the type of finish applied to the hull so long as the finish is applied in liquid form. Materials applied in solid or sheet form are
specifically forbidden. Modification of the hull to improve the shape or performance beyond the original is forbidden.


Yep, One Design Class, no Development Class mods allowed. That said the amount of cheap used Sunfish around make it perfect
for repurposing. Check out some of the Sunfish on the web converted to Layout and Duck boats. There is a vid on YouTube of
someone who joined to Sunfish Hulls together and made a Catamaran. Crazy Stuff!

Anyone who is foolish enough to think the illegal modifications is going to make up for lack of racing skills risks being banned
from racing. Even with modifications I doubt it you take you very far up the ranks but it could hurt someone you've knocked
out of qualification.

Kind of bummed that one of the 40 best things made in America is now made in China. Sign of the times.
 
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