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MiniFish cartop and mods

Neverandy

New Member
After months of searching FB messenger and stalking this site for info, I got super lucky and a MiniFish a few weeks ago. I had been searching for one specifically because I want something I can cartop and sail while my wife uses her new inflatable SUP. I got a killer deal on it-it appears to be a 74 model and is in very very good original condition-all decals are in place, not waterlogged, spars, blades, sails, etc all complete and well maintained. I sailed it last weekend here in NJ (temp in mid 70’s) and am in love. As a dedicated Miata enthusiast I totally understand the minifish/Miata comparison. IT’s so nimble and responsive! It was very light air last week and I still had a blast. I knew it was going to be fun, but I was totally unprepared for how good the boat is
Here are some questions-
Right now the boat just has the old style hook for the main sheet. First spring project is going to be upgrading That to a ratchet block. Should I just follow the general sunfish advice out there or is there something specific for the Mini that works better?
Also- I car topped it on my old 07 RAV4 but I will soon be getting rid of that car and moving on to just using my ‘19 Kia Niro, The Kia doesn’t have roof racks right now and I’m planning on using the winter to assemble the right stuff to be able to cartop regularly starting in the spring, I know I I need to buy some cross bars. I already have straps with cams on them. I prefer using them to the ratchet straps since the ratchets tend to over tighten in my experience
What do minifish owners generally use when cartopping?
Do you just put it on the racks?
Would Kayak J-bars work or be better?
I’m relatively young and somewhat strong so I probably could lift it on the car myself, but I am thinking Of getting the rhino rack system that extends the racks laterally and adds the leg so that you can do a single person lift onto the car.
Anyway. I’m super excited that I got the fish. I was a competitive 420 and laser sailer in the 90’s as well as an instructor on Opti’s and Blue Jays. I had stepped away from sailing for the last 20 years or so aside from a few sunfish and hobie rentals down in the Caribbean. I’m so happy to be back. Thanks in advance for any of your advice.
 

Neverandy

New Member
After months of searching FB messenger and stalking this site for info, I got super lucky and a MiniFish a few weeks ago. I had been searching for one specifically because I want something I can cartop and sail while my wife uses her new inflatable SUP. I got a killer deal on it-it appears to be a 74 model and is in very very good original condition-all decals are in place, not waterlogged, spars, blades, sails, etc all complete and well maintained. I sailed it last weekend here in NJ (temp in mid 70’s) and am in love. As a dedicated Miata enthusiast I totally understand the minifish/Miata comparison. IT’s so nimble and responsive! It was very light air last week and I still had a blast. I knew it was going to be fun, but I was totally unprepared for how good the boat is
Here are some questions-
Right now the boat just has the old style hook for the main sheet. First spring project is going to be upgrading That to a ratchet block. Should I just follow the general sunfish advice out there or is there something specific for the Mini that works better?
Also- I car topped it on my old 07 RAV4 but I will soon be getting rid of that car and moving on to just using my ‘19 Kia Niro, The Kia doesn’t have roof racks right now and I’m planning on using the winter to assemble the right stuff to be able to cartop regularly starting in the spring, I know I I need to buy some cross bars. I already have straps with cams on them. I prefer using them to the ratchet straps since the ratchets tend to over tighten in my experience
What do minifish owners generally use when cartopping?
Do you just put it on the racks?
Would Kayak J-bars work or be better?
I’m relatively young and somewhat strong so I probably could lift it on the car myself, but I am thinking Of getting the rhino rack system that extends the racks laterally and adds the leg so that you can do a single person lift onto the car.
Anyway. I’m super excited that I got the fish. I was a competitive 420 and laser sailer in the 90’s as well as an instructor on Opti’s and Blue Jays. I had stepped away from sailing for the last 20 years or so aside from a few sunfish and hobie rentals down in the Caribbean. I’m so happy to be back. Thanks in advance for any of your advice.
 

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my2fish
This is how I set up our Minifish - but you will need to put an inspection port in the deck to get the backside fasteners installed.

0BCC655F-5FE9-45EA-84EA-FCE8A2D1B107.png
 

Tom L.

New Member
> After months of searching... I got super lucky and a MiniFish...
> What do minifish owners generally use when cartopping?
> Do you just put it on the racks? ... I am thinking Of getting the
> rhino rack system that extends the racks laterally and adds
> the leg so that you can do a single person lift onto the car.

Congrats! I love my Minifish. I use foam pads on my crossbars to avoid damaging the boat. You can get by with thick pool noodles, but I prefer the pads designed to carry canoes without a roof rack. One is linked below, or search for "canoe foam blocks". In the attached photo, I used white pads on the rear crossbar and black pads on the front crossbar. I use ropes with the "trucker's hitch" to cinch them tight. Note the rear ropes start at the bridle attachment points and loop around the hinges of the tailgate, which works great. I've taken the boat from Michigan to South Carolina and back several times with this system, no problems.


It is hard to find good tie-down points on the front ends of most new vehicles. I recommend "Cajun Tie Downs" or similar straps which use an existing bolt just inside the edge of the hood. I do *not* recommend the type which use a plastic bar slammed into the hood, I think a bolt is much stronger.


I use a Yakima rack with a "BoatLoader" accessory, which is basically a bar that slides sideways out the end of one crossbar. You lay the boat out beside the vehicle, pick up one end and put it on the BoatLoader, then pick up the other end and put it on the other crossbar, then slide the first end over onto the other crossbar. You never need to lift more than half of the boat's weight. It is awkward, especially for a short person with a tall vehicle, but it can be done if you're reasonably athletic.

 

Attachments

> After months of searching... I got super lucky and a MiniFish...
> What do minifish owners generally use when cartopping?
> Do you just put it on the racks? ... I am thinking Of getting the
> rhino rack system that extends the racks laterally and adds
> the leg so that you can do a single person lift onto the car.

Congrats! I love my Minifish. I use foam pads on my crossbars to avoid damaging the boat. You can get by with thick pool noodles, but I prefer the pads designed to carry canoes without a roof rack. One is linked below, or search for "canoe foam blocks". In the attached photo, I used white pads on the rear crossbar and black pads on the front crossbar. I use ropes with the "trucker's hitch" to cinch them tight. Note the rear ropes start at the bridle attachment points and loop around the hinges of the tailgate, which works great. I've taken the boat from Michigan to South Carolina and back several times with this system, no problems.


It is hard to find good tie-down points on the front ends of most new vehicles. I recommend "Cajun Tie Downs" or similar straps which use an existing bolt just inside the edge of the hood. I do *not* recommend the type which use a plastic bar slammed into the hood, I think a bolt is much stronger.


I use a Yakima rack with a "BoatLoader" accessory, which is basically a bar that slides sideways out the end of one crossbar. You lay the boat out beside the vehicle, pick up one end and put it on the BoatLoader, then pick up the other end and put it on the other crossbar, then slide the first end over onto the other crossbar. You never need to lift more than half of the boat's weight. It is awkward, especially for a short person with a tall vehicle, but it can be done if you're reasonably athletic.

I got my minifish for cartopping also. My question is how does one person flip it over such that the bottom is facing up. For some reason I just can't quite visualize how this is done. Thanks.
 

Neverandy

New Member
Thanks for the replies. Now I just want to go to sleep and wake up and have it be May so I can get out on the water here in Jersey!
Re Cam’s post-I don’t have too much trouble moving it solo. I actually carried it across my yard yesterday to prep it for winter storage. The hard part is finding the balance point so the weight is distributed evenly. I would say I carried it about 75 feet. I flipped it by lifting up on one side and resting it on the rail and then lowering it onto the keel.
 
Thanks for the replies. Now I just want to go to sleep and wake up and have it be May so I can get out on the water here in Jersey!
Re Cam’s post-I don’t have too much trouble moving it solo. I actually carried it across my yard yesterday to prep it for winter storage. The hard part is finding the balance point so the weight is distributed evenly. I would say I carried it about 75 feet. I flipped it by lifting up on one side and resting it on the rail and then lowering it onto the keel.
Ahhh the days of being "... relatively young and somewhat strong" :p I think this guys system is clever.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Glad your patience paid off! As Cactus Cowboy once said, the Mini will turn on a dime and give you 9cents in change!
Praise from Caesar!!! Or the female version of Caesar... Cleopatra, maybe? I always liked that film, it was awesome, that gal knew how to make an entrance, LOL. Funny thing, as I walked toward the WallyWorld entrance this afternoon, I passed an elderly couple and the guy was wearing a 'Salton Sea Yacht Club' T-shirt, so I HAD to stop and tell him that I was probably the ONLY man alive who sailed the length of the Salton Sea aboard a 12' Minifish, LOL. Right down the center of that bad boy too, the Salton is really a bad@$$ sailing venue... dangerous at times, when so-called "wind events" kick up gusts that reach 100+ m.p.h., LOL. :eek:

Not EXACTLY the best Minifish sailing weather, but don't write off the Salton Sea as a sailing venue if you're hardcore enough to deal with the foul-smelling muck and shoals of rotting fishbones which line the lakeshore... I remember sinking to thigh level in that foul-smelling muck, and wading through shoals of rotting fishbones as I launched my boat. The stench of gases released by such action (i.e. stirring the funky soup) was enough to gag a maggot, and I'm not talking about some refined intellectual Parisian maggot with delicate sensibilities, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Damn, sometimes I slay myself... ;)

Oh, yeah, allow me to elucidate with regard to that Salton Minifish claim... in its heyday ('40s & '50s), the Salton wasn't so badly off as it is now, courtesy of big agriculture using the lake as a sump for runoff. Then ya have the Mexicans polluting the New River, which feeds into the Salton... an episode on THAT pollution once made '60 Minutes'---not that I watch that sh!thouse program anymore (haven't for at least 15 or 20 years). To top it all off, ya gots the 'algae blooms' which rob the water of oxygen & lead to massive fish die-offs... hence the shoals of rotting fishbones which smell just LOVELY, AYE??? :confused:

Well, enough thread-jacking for now, let the OP know that the Minifish is a BAD@$$ CARTOPPER, no doubt about it. Of course, I'm a diehard Laser man, but the Mini which I bought really proved herself and eventually gained my ultimate respect by handling the Salton Expeditions (I & II). Not quite bad enough for the Baja island voyages, at least not without going minimalist in the extreme... the Laser can carry more equipment for such adventures. But I'll always remember my Minifish with fondness, she sure hung tough on those Salton Expeditions. Lemme see if I can post that link to Salton Expedition II photos... :rolleyes:

The Three Amigos... Sage, Dixie & Wingnut!!!

Okay, there ya go, scroll down to Post #14 on the first page of that thread, and you will see some BAD@$$ MINIFISH PICS, with yours truly sailing the length of the Salton Sea aboard my little 'Fish. One fine day, long after I'm dead and the Salton Sea has evaporated or otherwise disappeared from the face of the planet, that Crudweiser shot will make me FAMOUS, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Meh, WTF, better late than never, AYE??? Damn, those Salton Expeditions were cool, knowing you were going to deal with FUNK as ya headed into uncharted territory... but well away from the foul-smelling shore, the venue is INSANE!!! :)

Cool desert & mountain scenery, heller breeze, NOBODY else on the largest lake in Kalifornia---you have it ENTIRELY to yourself, LOL. That's the largest lake in terms of surface area, or as viewed from space, I know Tahoe shares its shore with Nevada but it's much deeper than the Salton... the Salton lies in a shallow desert pan and is only 50' to 60' deep, MAX, probably more like 50' right now with the evaporation, whereas Tahoe is what? 300' deep in parts? I dunno, maybe it's lower too as far as the water level goes, due to usage and overpopulation. Meh, no longer my problem, let the leftist trash deal with it, LOL. :D

OKAY, TIME FOR ANOTHER COLD BEER... THEY'RE GOING DOWN SMOOTHLY (AND RAPIDLY, LOL). CHEERS, YOUSE NAUTICAL HEROES!!! :cool:
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Oi, I just noticed that if ya scroll down to Post #16 in that thread or link mentioned above, you'll see a shot of Salton Expedition I, with the rigged Minifish sitting on shore right before we (a friend & I) launched the boat and sailed the breadth of the Salton Sea, from Salton City to a point near Bombay Beach.

P.S. Click on thumbnail shots in those thread posts to see enlarged photos... pretty cool adventures back in the day
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Ja, the video links in that last thread are good, I just watched the 'Hornet Ball' action again... gotta watch the 'BULLET TRAIN' footage commencing around minute 5:36 in the linked video, that footage is radical. Here ya go, just find the exact second if ya don't wanna watch the whole video... :confused:


P.S. Go full-screen for the flight action, LOL, "It don't suck!!!" ;)

Edit: That video shot of Wingnut flying over the dam? That would be MOI going like the Hammers of Hell at the controls of an F-18 Hornet, LOL... :eek:
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Uh-oh, looks like I was hammered last night... needed that bender to get my head straight, LOL. :confused:

Nice waxing crescent moon out there, it was really pretty last night when I walked out to look at it... :rolleyes:

Funny how that little celestial sphere can have so much effect on our tides... it really isn't that big, LOL. ;)

I bet there's some good offroading up there... plus with less gravity, you'd catch MONDO AIR off the jumps! :eek:

100' Baja drop-off??? Meh, got it covered... probably have to watch the jumps so ya don't drift off into space, LOL. :D

Well, guess I'll crack another cold one, sure is a pleasant evening here, I have every window in the house open for air... :cool:
 
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