Many questions on my 1973 Sunfish


New Member
Many varied questions and comments. If someone has a chance to give me some guidance I would appreciate it.

I have a 1973 or 1974 Sunfish I believe. I am in my mid-sixties with 3 grandchildren 12, 11, 6. All want to sail. They have taken sail camp with Opties. We sail in the Indian River, a salt water lagoon, in Melbourne, FL. Yesterday we went sailing from the spoil islands.

I am going to replace the rope bridle with the wire one. I think I need to remove the eye strap on each side. Does it have machine threads? Should I seal it with some type of marine caulk?

I ordered the snap hook to use with the wire bridle. I need a new mainsheet. The one I have is old soft braid that soaks up a lot of water. I ordered the mainsheet hanger clips by Aerosouth hoping this would help. What type, size, and length do most folks use?

I think I need to raise the sail higher to make it easier when the boom swings side. Performance is not as much of a factor with the kids and me.

I bought the quick adjust lever to be able to tune it easily.

Would the Sunfish Bible be a good investment? Even though it is old, most folks say it is good.

The bottom of the mast is missing its plastic bottom. I ordered one. Do folks use the pins to hold it one or just friction fit? The bottom of the mast has what looks like electrical tape that has worn out. Do folks usually put something on the lower sides of the mast where it is in the hull? I have also seen a Teflon disk to put in the bottom of the mast step. Thoughts?

In my 20’s, my wife and I had a Windflite. Basically, a Sunfish bottom with a different top. I think I liked the bigger footwell. I could sit in it and carry more. We used to sail it in Florida Bay in Key Largo. Carrying fishing rods and a cooler for afternoon adventures. At the end of the day, we would sail to an intercostal mile marker and read the number. Look at the map, find our position and where our campground was.
Only remove one screw from each eyestrap, and only loosen the other screw. If you take them both out, and the backer block is no longer glued to the bottom of the deck, the block will fall and you won't be able to put the screws back into solid wood. Although if you are not racing there is no benefit to a wire bridle.

The sheet should be 28 to 30 feet. 8 mm is good for recreational use. Rooster makes nice line for the sheet.

Use pins to hold the mast base in. The tape might have been there as a substitute for the base cap.

I don't know about the Sunfish bible.

Have fun back on the water!!!
Hi Joe,
I had a similar-age Sunfish.
I think that mine had a 3-loop bridle. Get the two loop, it acts more like a traveler.
I like the thicker mainsheets, I like the feel in my hands. Racers, I think, prefer skinnier lines. 5/16" (about 8 mm) is standard, 25 feet should do it but longer gives some wiggle-room.
I like the trigger-snaps to clip the sheet into the bridle.
I worry about removing the eye straps used to attach the bridle. I loosen both screws a turn then remove one of the screws. I rotate the eye strap enough to put the removed screw back in. Then I loosen the other screw just enough to slip the loop of the bridle through the strap then slightly snug up the screw. Next, I remove the screw that is not holding the eye strap, slide the eye strap back into position and then put that screw back in. Tighten both screws. (This is a bit of an overkill, I don't know if anyone has ever lost the backing block but the extra step removes some worry.)
If you have a wooden tiller extension that is held on with a bolt I think that you should get an aluminum tiller extension with a universal joint, this allows for much easier control of the tiller.
Beldar and Roger,

Thanks for the info. I had forgotten about the backing blocks. I agree with the thicker mainsheet. That must have been what that tape on the bottom of the mast was.

Just waiting for the parts to arrive.

I should have read and adjusted the sail before I took it out. Sometimes other things take priority. I knew it would be safe but not optimal.