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Looking at this Sunfish; thoughts?


New Member
So let me start by saying that I am new to sailing and figured a sunfish is a prefect place to start. I live on the water and see plenty of sunfish in the area. I found this guy selling his sunfish and wanted $500 for it. I am going going to go set it up and see how the rigging is as well as the condition of the sail this weekend with a friend who is a seasoned sailor. I know forums are a wealth of info and figured I would end up here eventually. If you guys could give me an idea of the year and maybe some tell tale signs of anything though the pictures that would be great. I also went into the FAQ section with no luck. Thank you.



Well-Known Member
Based on the serial number this is a 1966 built Sunfish. I assume the trailer comes with the boat at $500. Check the weight of the hull (should be 130-140 pounds). Otherwise you would consider it heavy. Look at the straightness of the spars. Condition of the sail.

Alan Glos

Active Member
Another quick diagnostic - with the boat deck up, fill the mast hole with water, right to the brim. Watch to see if the water level goes down. If it does, you have a leak in the mast tube and these are a pain to repair. Also check the sail for holes, rips or other damage.

Alan Glos


Upside down?
Staff member
Good advice; clearly a very old boat. The sail may well be in poor shape (one shouldn't wrap a sail as shown in the picture). But if the boat and trailer are otherwise OK, the price seems reasonable to me.


New Member
Ive been told that this boat is very old. With somethings that could be good, somethings it could be bad. Other then its condition is there a pro or con to having a old sunfish as opposed to a newer one? Thanks for the input btw guys.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
47 year old Sunfish. The spars should be 13'9", maybe trimmed 1 inch shorter but no more than that and the mast 10 feet. Spars and mast should be mostly straight :)
I see a bow handle, a halyard block and cleat and the rudder looks factory, all good things. There should be a pin to attach the rudder. The data plate looks great.
The gelcoat? looks faded but original on the deck and hull. Look for obvious repairs, not a bad thing if they were done correctly. If it needs new halyard and sheet, plan on about 50 bucks for that.
If the boat is not heavy, there is a little life left in the sail and the trailer rolls, I rate that a good deal.

Good Luck

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
The downside to a boat that old is the old style rudder attachment. Those rudders are prone to popping up from their mount in windy conditions. However, for the boat plus trailer for $500, if the boat is ok it is a good price!


We have two old boats with the old rudder style. While it's nice to have the new rudders to pop up when you're beaching, we're fine with the old rudders, but we also won't be racing any time soon. We haven't had problems with the rudders popping up while under sail, but we haven't had them out a lot yet, either. But steering wise, they seemed to do just as good of a job.

Rob C.

In the first picture it looks like it may have some gelcoat damage possibly a hole in the hull along the chine just above the trailer fender. Not a problem to fix if you know how to work with fiberglass but if you take it to a boat yard to have it fixed it will cost you more $$$ than the whole boat is worth.