Make or Find Sailfish Daggerboard?

Thread starter #1
I have a 1962 Sailfish that is still is in pretty amazing shape considering its age. Recently, the daggerboard was stolen. I'm trying to find a daggerboard for it. Is the Sunfish daggerboard the same size? Will it fit in the slot on the Sailfish?

The prices I've been seeing have been $150 to $200 for Sunfish daggerboards. This is way more than I'd like to to spend on a small piece of wood. Does anybody know where I can get a good deal on one?

Otherwise, I'm thinking about making one. How feasible do you think that would be? I was thinking that I could get the dimensions of the daggerboard, get plywood of the correct width, cut the shape, round the edges, finish the wood and then put the strip on top to keep the board from falling through the slot. Do you think this would work?



Making a board is totally feasible, but use a solid piece of wood such as mahogany, not plywood. Dimensions for the Sunfish daggerboard are found in the rules on the SF Class home page. It is my understanding that the SUNfish board will work in the SAILfish with the Sunfish board being a little longer. If the db slot is about 9-3/4" x 7/8" you should be ok, test fit as you go. The boards I made were cut from a 1 x 10 mahogany board I got from the local hardwood dealer ($50+/-). Suggest you use the "Barrington" board shape, instead of the round "Original" shape or the narrow tip "Shadow" board. Or make one of each and experiment :) .

There was a discusion a little while ago about Sunfish boards causing a "problem" when tacking due to the extra length (solution-pull the board up a little before tacking), do a search either on this forum or Yahoo Sunfish Sailor to find the discusion.

There are aftermarket makers of boards that may be less expensive than Vanguards, but doing it yourself is much more rewarding. After shaping and sanding the board, you will need a minimum of 4-6 coats of a good quality marine varnish. Maybe Alan C will give his suggestions (I believe he uses an aircraft finish). Good Luck
Thread starter #3
I think I'm going to make the daggerboard for the Sailfish. Do you know where I could get the dimensions, shape and design for the Sailfish daggerboard so that I know what the thickness and shape should be? I was wondering if the Sunfish daggerboard was longer. If I can get the design for a Sailfish one, I can make the daggerboard the correct length and shouldn't have the tacking issues that a longer daggerboard might cause.

Thanks again,



Women's Contingent
Hello Scott

ISCA rules show the dimensions of Sunfish dagger boards on pp 7 and 9 Sunfish Sailor shows a Sailfish dagger board in their Sailfish information as being 8" x 30 1/2"
Between the two information sources crafting a new dagger board should be easy.

I read the controversy about longer daggerboards. Looks to me like the problem isn't the dagger board. Seems more due to novice sailor's just getting caught in irons and not understanding the principles involved. Good thing that's all it is or everyone with the racing dagger board would be whining about the same difficulty and wanting another design change.

Thread starter #5
Molly said:
Hello Scott

ISCA rules show the dimensions of Sunfish dagger boards on pp 7 and 9 Sunfish Sailor shows a Sailfish dagger board in their Sailfish information as being 8" x 30 1/2"
Between the two information sources crafting a new dagger board should be easy.
Where did you find the information on Sunfish Sailer about the size of a Sailfish daggerboard? Is it in the Sailfish files folder? I've tried to access those files a few times and I can't get the page to load.

Thanks again,

Thread starter #6
I'm having a hard time finding Mahogany near where I live. I found Mahogany at one place but it was pretty pricey. Would Oak work alright? I found a 1" X 12" X 4' (closest to the size I need that I could find) piece of Oak for $28. I would have to sand or do something to the piece to make it thinner so that it would fit into the daggerboard slot.


Go to Sunfish Sailor, Files, Sailfish, Sailfish Dagger board.jpg. Photo with demensions. I found mahogany near me (St. Louis) for about $45 for a 1 x 10 x 8'. Oak, Ash, any hard, tight grain (read - strong) wood will work, but you will need to fill the grain to get a smooth surface before you varnish. Or cover the board with epoxy or fiberglass resin AND fiberglass cloth for a harder finish. Measure your slot (use a sanding stick to smoth the inside of the slot) and make your board to fit (a little loose if fiberglassing). You want it to slide up and down smoothly with out draging at all. If you get it too tight, a little sand will lock it up and you will have to struggle to get the board back out (a real PITA out on the water). Watch the final demensions, you do not want to sand all that finish off just to get it to fit in the slot.
Scott -

Are you using an Apple computer with Safari software? There was a posting about Safari being buggy and getting a redirect error. Contact the folks at Sunfish Sailor. They are very accomodating about finding work-arounds for Apple and Yahoo shortcomings.

You can get hardwoods off the internet in short lengths. Hardwoods are expensive. Fifty dollars for a daggerboard size piece of mahogany is to be expected. Any wood used for classic canoe paddles will work for daggerboards. You can even use marine plywood if you seal it well using the strip canoe builder's transparent epoxy method.

Your lumber dealer will usually plane thick pieces to a working dimension for a few dollars. Big box stores will be baffled if you ask for this service.

You may find buying a used Sunfish board and cutting it down is the most economical way. Or you could leave it long and say you have the racing version. :D
Thread starter #9
I do have a Mac and I use Safari. Maybe that's it. I'll try using a different browser or someone else's computer.

Thanks again,