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Maybe this will be my Sunfish

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Hello people,
I'm Marcel from the Netherlands and I'm hoping to buy my first Sunfish. I really know these great sailing boats good because I've learned to sail in my youth in Curacao in the '80's. But I hope to learn a lot here on this forum, so expect a lot of questions. My first question is: I'm thinking of buying this Sunfish from the '80's but it has some damages ( see pictures) some are fixed and some still needs repairing. What do you guys think of this boat? Pass on and look for another one or is this good to fix?
 

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mixmkr

Well-Known Member
minor, minor, minor..... expect to parallel these damages if you sail hard, beach fast, and have fun. The existing repairs look like someone not wanting to fool with cosmetics, but spend time on the water. Those repairs represent a "first time" fiberglass experience, but obviously did the job. "Pretty" comes with a little more experience. If the price is right, hop on this puppy. Blades look great.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Most of the boat looks really nice. :) I'd buy this one, but the keel needs immediate structural attention. :oops: Sails and wood have received excellent care.

The trailer has interesting fenders. I've seen nothing like it.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
What's a Sunfish like this one selling for in the Netherlands? It does look nice, but definitely needs to have some work done. Make sure it's not too heavy. If I were buying I probably wouldn't offer more than $400-$450 or $600-650 with the trailer.
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
The first Sunfish I've posted was too far gone, also the trailer turned out to be a wreck. So, I've found this nice one which I'm going to pick up tomorrow. A little more expensive $440 in total, and it has an extra sail, an extra rudder. But to fun thing is; I don't have to do anything about this Sunfish, just throw it in the water. What do you guys think?
 

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norcalsail

Active Member
The first Sunfish I've posted was too far gone, also the trailer turned out to be a wreck. So, I've found this nice one which I'm going to pick up tomorrow. A little more expensive $440 in total, and it has an extra sail, an extra rudder. But to fun thing is; I don't have to do anything about this Sunfish, just throw it in the water. What do you guys think?
Great looking boat...!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Looks great!! At some point you will want a better daggerboard but this one will get you going. Sunfish came for a few years with this “shadow” board that was too small. If Intensity Sails ships to Europe, their board is great.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
The boat looks very nice, but what is that cockpit trim? :confused: What was it formed of—black electrical tape? :(

The trailer looks like a real keeper, with bow and hull riding on custom-formed fiberglass mounts. :cool: I'd be interested if the suspension system received the same sophisticated engineering. :)

.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Is like to know more about that cockpit cover.
Also the jib. I guess you could move the gooseneck a bunch, to help balance the sail plan, not to mention more "headroom" for tacking. Not for heavy air, for sure.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Unless this Sunfish has done a LOT of traveling, the (Dutch) manufacturer was likely "Ten-Cate".
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
That's correct, this Sunfish was manufactured by Ten Cate. The black edge is made of rubber and it looks like a seal. I've bought the Sunfish because it was a fair price for a fair boat. It's not perfect but it's going to be lot's of fun sailing this Sunfish. The deck has been repainted once, and this wasn't a good paint job. But complete with a trailer, extra sail, extra daggerboard and extra rudder for $440, ok right? And I'm missing the little ball underneath for stopping the water getting into the boat. Does anyone know where I can buy one? But overall, I'm very happy with it.
 

norcalsail

Active Member
Does anyone know where I can buy one?
APS was a go to place to buy Sunfish parts but they are switching over to apparel only it seems. Check their site as they may have a deal on this. Try Intensity, Sunfish Direct or West Coast Sailing. The whole housing for the under side of the boat is not very expensive. I have extras as I smashed mine last winter. Happy sailing and post some photos from the Netherlands-wish I could visit and sail!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I would want to put more hull support at the end of the trailer-half the boat is hanging in the wind. An easy thing to do...
I agree. The Sunfish weight-center is at the daggerboard trunk. Since the bow is secured, every road bump puts stress on the hull at the single existing support. :( Saying that this Sunfish needs support with the hope that the box is amply supported at its rearmost end. :oops: Now I'm wondering why the trailer springs appear to be highly compressed. :confused:

This smartphone forced me to look at all the pictures again. :confused:

A cute repair to the first Sunfish was the sail patches made in a "heart" shape! :cool:
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
APS was a go to place to buy Sunfish parts but they are switching over to apparel only it seems. Check their site as they may have a deal on this. Try Intensity, Sunfish Direct or West Coast Sailing. The whole housing for the under side of the boat is not very expensive. I have extras as I smashed mine last winter. Happy sailing and post some photos from the Netherlands-wish I could visit and sail!
Thanks for the tip, I've ordered a new one at Sunfisf Direct. They also ship to The Netherlands.
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Took my Sunfish for the first time out sailing with my youngest son. I found out that I really need this little ball, because I was making water during the trip. And I need to drill some holes in the trailer because it kept floating when I wanted to put my boat in the water. But it was fun!
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
I've forgotten the size of the missing ball, but a search here for "polypropylene" should produce the dimension. 13mm or half-inch?

There's a minimum order--packaged 12 to a bag--but it's still reasonable. I think Sunfish Direct sells 5 to a bag.

Give away the spares to other Sunfish sailors you might see. :)
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
do you think that trailer was intended for launching too? Looks like for more "over the road" and the box is for storage. Glad you finally got it out!
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
I was also struggeling with the daggerboard. I've found this drawing and I see that there supposed to be something attached to the the daggerboard and the frontpoint of the boat (red line). How does this work? And is this helping the daggerboard keeping in any position? And what's the material of the red line and where can I order it?
Also I found out that my sail hangs a bit low, I really have to dive dive when I move in different directions. How can I get my sail to hang a bit higher?
 

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tag

my2fish
The red line in the diagram is a bungee (elastic) cord. It helps keep the daggerboard in position if you raise it part of the way up.

To raise your sail, adjust where the halyard is tied to the upper boom - move the clove hitch or similar knot lower a few inches towards the bottom of the sail. Additionally, you can shift the gooseneck position.

There are several "tuning" guides out there to help you fine-tune your rigging settings, here is one: Sunfish Racing Sail Bending on and Tuning Guide

Also, this video is great:
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Definitely NOT a launching trailer, but you and your son can always park near the water's edge and walk the boat to the water, or build a small dolly to roll the boat to the water. Cool pic of you & your son having fun aboard the boat... soon you'll have her dialed in and all minor problems solved, but at least the boat is sailing!!! :cool:
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
I'm thinking about rebuilding my little trailer so that it will become more easier to launch my Sunfish in the water. Can you guys share some pics of the trailers you use for your Sunfishes? I need some good examples of contruction and how many rollers I'll need. Many thanks in advance.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Great idea! :cool:

A friend has stored his Viking here for an indefinite period of time—on a trailer. I've covered the cockpit with a yard sale carpet-protector (seller added a quarter to see it gone :D ), and wondered how to protect the mast step. We could have a unexpected freeze before too long. :oops:

.
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Same here, we can have harsh winters here in The Netherlands, but that doesn't happen often. But in this case, when it freezes, no harm can be done.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
My first thought was for you to modify that trailer, but upon closer inspection, that trailer is pretty well designed for its own purpose... what about running an ad to SWAP trailers? Someone else out there might want a trailer like yours, whereas you want a trailer you can put in the water to launch your boat WITHOUT having to schlep the boat to and fro, aye? I would try an ad, it'd be a shame to tear that box apart when someone went to so much trouble to construct it... furthermore, if you DID tear it off, you'd probably have to modify that bow support, since the boat will no longer be at the same level on the trailer. I know this sounds confusing... but bear with me. :confused:

If you DID get rid of the box (maybe use it for another purpose elsewhere), you could then construct a simple wooden cradle for your boat, using a technique known as "spiling" to copy the exact shape of the hull where it rests in the cradle. Once your cradle is built, you bolt it directly to the frame. Paint for the cradle and padding for the hull are recommended. Another option is to build wooden bunks for the hull, and pad them as well. Moi, I always liked a good solid cradle with stainless eyebolts to each side to help me securely lash the boat prior to transport over the road. You could probably cut that bow support away entirely if you build a good cradle, modify it to make it work for your purposes, or wrap the bowline around the upright bar to secure the bow of the boat, in addition to using your side-tie points. :rolleyes:

I know some of us have posted trailer shots here at this website, including homemade trailer shots, but darned if I remember where they are, LOL. For the construction of simple wooden bunks, you could Google small boat trailers and "borrow" the design you like best, doing the work yourself if you're handy with tools. Same for a cradle, only it'd be slightly more work... I just like cradles because they're so solid, and the way a boat rests in a cradle helps keep it from sliding around as it might on simple wooden bunks, if your securement system or "lash job" should work loose a bit in transit. BTW, rollers aren't absolutely necessary with craft this light, I used sheet vinyl to pad one cradle and the boat slid on and off it with great ease, particularly when the vinyl was wet. :cool:

Building bunks or a cradle is pretty easy, anyone with basic carpentry skills can do it. You just wanna make sure the cradle is securely bolted to the trailer frame, or the bunks attached in such a way as to make them bombproof for road transport. Every cradle I ever built while modifying a trailer was fully road-worthy, I'd test 'em at freeway speed to make sure, LOL. Security & safety are priorities, you don't want some piece-of-junk boat trailer that can't handle the abuse on the road... one doesn't usually drive like a maniac when towing a boat on a trailer, but there are such things as potholes, bumps in road work, rough roads, etc., and all of these can cause trouble with regard to your securement system, same way flatbed truck drivers sometimes have to pull over to tighten up straps, tarp straps, line, and whatnot, otherwise they "lose the load." :eek:

THAT'S MY $.02, HOPE IT HELPS... A SIMPLE TRAILER SWAP MIGHT SAVE YOU FROM BUILDING YOUR OWN CUSTOM BUNKS OR CRADLE, BUT AGAIN, IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, JUST BASIC CARPENTRY. ;)

P.S. I used to make cradles from clean lumber scraps salvaged from construction site dumpsters... some leftover paint can be applied to your cradle, that way you'd just need hardware & padding, maybe some wiring & lights for the fenders if you can't use the ones on the box. :D
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Thank you very much Coastal Redneck for your thoughts and ideas. I've placed an add for a swap so hopefully someone will respond because this will save me a lot of work. But if this doesn't work out, I'll construct a cradle myself. I've some carpenter skills as well as welding skills so, I'll be fine. Keep you posted.
 
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