intresting story


New Member
well i was coming back from galveston texas with the sunfish car topped on my chevy blazer we were going over the cosway and it was a pretty windy day. suddenly just as we headed down the cosway i heard a loud crack and looked and saw my boat no longer attached to the car but now flying 20 feet in the air. it landed on the cosway rigth in front of an suv and was quickly run over. luckily nobody got hurt during all of this. i quickly scrambled to retrive the boat and get it off the freeway when i noticed their was a black square securly tied to the boat. i then relized it was the rack to my car. apparently a gust of wind hit the boat lifting it off the car and took the rack with it. my sunfish is now totaled and will never sail again. but what im trying to say is investing in a trailor is a very good idea because as my story proves car topping is not always an option. well i guess thats a lesson learned and next time im getting a trailor. lol im just glad nobody was hurt
lol yeah i could i guess alot of the hardware survied so u might see it on ebay later and the racing sail survived despite a few dime size holes. it was kinda interesing to see my boat flying 20 feet in the air yet horrifying at the same time lol.
Sorry to hear about the loss of your Sunfish. Just try to think of what the SUV driver was thinking/feeling. Out of curiosity, did you have front and rear tie down straps with your cross straps or just cross straps? I car top with my Durango with a padded 7.5' wood rack bolted (3/8" bolts) to the factory racks. I then use a front strap thru the bow handle going to the frame (both sides), a rear strap thru a 6" eye-bolt inserted thru both holes of the rudder bracket going to the trailer hitch and three cross straps connected to the wood rack. All straps are the heavy duty 1" ratchet straps (1500 lbs?). I protect the finish on both the truck and Sunfish with foam pipe insulation. I believe the front and rear straps keeps the Sunfish from lifting and putting extra upwards pressure on the factory racks. I also agree with you tha a trailer is a much better and easier method of transporting a Sunfish and I am in the process of looking for one now. I getting to old to car top.
Odd, been there done that, and like you the rack went with the boat. Hard way to learn that the rack is not a good attachment point for the boat. Took just the once to learn to attach anything on the roof to the vehicle itself rather than just the rack.
And as for a trailer after much searching the only real Sunfish trailer, although expensive, is the Trailex aluminum trailer. Most trailers on the market today need to be severly reworked as they depend on the keel of the boat for a support point. Anyone that's seen the inside of a fish will tell you it's the weakest point in the hull.
If you don't go the Trailex route, sincerly think about modifing any other trailer to hold the fish on either bunkers or inverting the fish and using points with backing inside the hull for support.
I'm think the case coud be made that if the wind was strong enough to blow the boat off the car, it had the potential to flip the trailer. A 130 boat on a standard trailer isn't so heavy. Potential for trailer hitch undoing or the trailer getting rear-ended is also a consideration. Bottom line, I don't think the car topping is inherently bad, as long as the tie-down is secure. I think the idea of salvaging as much as possible and keepin an eye out for a new hull is a good one. Thanks for sharing. I know that I will be checking re-checking straps in the future. buying and insuring and registering a trailer in MA is painful.

Very interesting story. My experience is even though I have a trailor which I use for kayaks mostly, I still cartop the Sunfish. The trick would be to secure the boat to the vehicle as well as the rack. As long as my strong and healthy son keeps sailing with me and helping to lift the boat, I will keep cartopping.