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Minifish - opinions?

kayakka

New Member
hello all. me again. i found a minifish (in my state - yay!) on FB.
including photos.
it's a 4 hour drive away. you guys are so good. what am i looking at?
here's my specific questions: 1) cleat, looks a little funky, has been added, again don't see an inspection port (unless it's under the coiled line) 2) pvc parts? bailer plug from the bottom of the hull? screwed top? where does that go? 3) sail doesn't appear to be ripped but looks like original? (it's 1972).
positive: hull looks good (top anyway) and daggerboard and rudder look good too.
any specific questions to ask seller?
price seems a little high $800 OBO - whatcha think?
thank you!!!
 

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wjejr

Active Member
Hi Kayakka. I don’t know much about Minifish, in fact I have never seen one in person, but to me, the mast looks short. I looked at some other pictures, and they seem to show the mast being longer.

Have a look at some pictures and note where the boom meets the top of the mast, and the height of the lower boom off the deck.

Again, I don’t know a thing about Minifish, but no doubt others in this forum will.

Good luck!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
The plastic parts are the bailer. Note the hole you can see in the cockpit bottom - it goes there. It needs the plug which hopefully Laser Performance has in stock - it’s the same as for a Sunfish.

Mast is probably fine - the sail isn’t adjusted right so it’s hard to tell.

Hopefully the cleat is well-mounted - at least it hasn’t pulled out yet.

Weighing the boat and looking for damage is most important. Price seems high by 200 or 300 bucks.
 

Sailflow

Active Member
I thought Minifish came with the Shadow board? That does not look like a Shadow board. Also, is the tip broken off the rudder blade?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I thought Minifish came with the Shadow board? That does not look like a Shadow board. Also, is the tip broken off the rudder blade?
Good point about the board, but I wonder if a slightly bigger board would be an issue or an asset. The whole rudder blade looks bigger than standard - maybe it is a home-made one?

When buying boats last made about 35 years ago, there may be some compromises required when deciding which boat to buy, but they seem to be coming up for sale pretty frequently.

BTW, this is what the sail looked like before it faded Dusting off an AMC Minifish Sailboat

Note that it is an AMF Minifish. AMC made the Gremlin and Hornet!!
 

kayakka

New Member
thank you for taking the time to look at the photos.
seller is going to send me some more pics.
i know that a 1972 boat isn't going to be pristine and i'm ok with that - i also know you guys are quick to size things up when you see photos.
thanks to you all i feel more confident about critiquing what i am seeing and am getting quite an education.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
No bargain, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t drive 4 hours for this Mini. Unless he’s willing to drop it to $500 and even then, that’s a long drive! The sail is missing the ‘s’ hook and it’s pretty faded. Why isn’t the bailer installed? It just screws in. Maybe it’s the wrong size? There are two different lengths so make sure it fits. Check the rudder head (Ask for close-up pics) where it meets the Rudder cheek and end of tiller. They often have a crack or the beginnings of one. And how is that mainsheet cleat attached? It isn’t original, it’s great to have but it should have a backer plate with screws holding it in place. With no inspection port I don’t know how that was done.
Don’t drive 4 hours without getting a good, closeup pic of daggerboard slot and at least one of the bottom. My opinion, wait for one closer to home and not more than $600 without a trailer.
 
Small Boat Restoration published the dimensions of the Minifish mast/spars.

Link

I've read that Sunfish spars/mast can be cut down to fit minifish, because they are same diameter.

The same blog also published some setup information for the Minifish.
Minifish Setup

I recently purchased the rare "Minifish II" and am planning to get an old sunfish spars and cut them down as an alternate sailplan. I've already ordered a sail from Neil Pryde, the've got an assortment and were very helpful.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
No bargain, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t drive 4 hours for this Mini. Unless he’s willing to drop it to $500 and even then, that’s a long drive! The sail is missing the ‘s’ hook and it’s pretty faded. Why isn’t the bailer installed? It just screws in. Maybe it’s the wrong size? There are two different lengths so make sure it fits. Check the rudder head (Ask for close-up pics) where it meets the Rudder cheek and end of tiller. They often have a crack or the beginnings of one. And how is that mainsheet cleat attached? It isn’t original, it’s great to have but it should have a backer plate with screws holding it in place. With no inspection port I don’t know how that was done.
Don’t drive 4 hours without getting a good, closeup pic of daggerboard slot and at least one of the bottom. My opinion, wait for one closer to home and not more than $600 without a trailer.
Worse—if you look at the grommets taking all of the load—tension there is likely to tear the sail. :confused: (Not the end of the world, new grommets can be installed over sail tape, making for a strong repair). Put the spars close together, and release the outhauls before securing the replacement S-hook.

A four-hour Florida drive can take you to a different salty shore. (Undesirable for Sunfish hardware). Or is this a fresh water boat? (Which is likely, given the good appearance, and the many Florida lakes).
 

kayakka

New Member
okay here goes. seller was kind enough to send me all these photos.
he installed the mainsheet cleat himself, no inspection port, looks a little dodgy

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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I do agree with the overall sentiment that the asking price is too high, especially considering the worn out sail.
Not terribly important in the overall scenario, but I can't tell from the image if the bailer has the little ball and O-ring.
 

kayakka

New Member
yes, i agree with beldar that seller is asking 200-300 too much.
i wouldn't make the drive unless the price comes down. not making any quick decisions.
i think the sail looks a little beat and sad...
as always, appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I will add that it was very nice of the seller to send you all those additional pics. For a boat of this vintage the condition isn’t bad, and any issues can be remedied. An offer of 5-$6 might not go over well if it was just listed, but I can’t imagine the seller will get more than that. Then again, someone around here just paid $100 for a bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'd ask them to weigh the boat, put her on her side on a bathroom scale. She should weigh 75 pounds, 80-85 wouldn't surprise me. I'd also ask them to confirm that the mast was 9 feet long.

You'll probably put about 200-300 in her and $800 is close to top dollar for a crusty boat that could use a bailer, bow handle, some epoxy putty down here in Florida. Sail looks usable and matches the boat. She looks like her Skipper knew what they we doing, nice line and there does not appear to be major damage, like we have seen on bows, with bow handles pulled out, nasty fiberglass patches. The upgraded her to a desirable Barrington daggerboard, she'll sail great with that. The swivel cam cleat is one we have not seen before, but if it works it works, and doesn't appear to have pulled out yet.

Minifish are hard to find, they don't make them anymore. We are Pickers but if we were buying this boat for ourselves we'd offer $500. And what else do you have to do today anyway? Sailing is an awesome way to escape pandemic fatigue. Take a mask, stay social, stay distant :)


Minifish Specs.png

Minifish are great to run over Paparazzi with...


I bet you're already thinking of a name :)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Catching up to this thread, and I agree with the others, asking price is too high... boat isn't in THAT bad condition, but I see some issues which negate the high asking price. A 4-hour drive too, akin to "a 3-hour tour... a 3-hour tour!" Cue the 'Gilligan's Island' reruns!!! Other Minifish will come on the market soon enough, and you're learning what to look for when ya buy such a craft... gratis, thanks to helpful & dedicated site members here!!! [I'm shoveling it pretty goldurned high this evening, so watch for flying bull$h!t, LOL.] :eek:

With everything going on in this country today, it's a buyer's market, so if the seller won't take an offer of $500 or so (Signal Charlie's estimate was spot on, as usual), especially with the 4-hour drive involved (is that each way?), then just hang on till the next Minifish hits the market in your area, aye? In the meantime, you get to pick up some knowledge, buying tips, cool nautical slang, etc., pretty soon you'll be a regular swashbuckling pirate... "ARRRRRRRRRRR!!!" :rolleyes:

I still can't believe that awesome deal on the Minifish in Dago (or San Diego), only $200 for a boat in sweet condition... some hand scooped her up though, I would've driven out there at the time to bag her, but no dice. That's another factor to consider: some of these sellers don't realize what a boat is worth, they're only interested in unloading it and getting it out of the garage, so to speak. Many of 'em inherit boats but they don't even sail, so the true value of the boat is unknown to them, aye? :confused:

MEH, HANG IN THERE... IF THIS CRAZY OL' WORLD DOESN'T END FIRST, AND WE DON'T SEE THE WHOLE $H!THOUSE GO UP IN FLAMES, YA MIGHT JUST FIND THAT MINIFISH YOU WANT!!! ;)

I could go on here about sailing a Minifish the length of the Salton Sea, right down the centerline of that bad boy, but that would smack of self-aggrandizement, and I don't wanna be lumped into that category of Tall-Rigged La-Z-Boy Recliner Skippers, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Damn... those Salton Expeditions were cool though, despite the funky-@ss water, the foul-smelling muck along shore, and the heinous knee-deep shoals of rotting fishbones which stunk to high heaven. It was a Zen thing, having the largest lake in Kalifornia entirely to myself, LOL... :cool:

P.S. I should add that once a hand is well away from shore, the Salton is an awesome sailing venue, nothing but fresh breeze and magnificent desert & mountain scenery... it is PRIMO. But most folks never make it past the shore, as the funk factor is extreme... and ya gotta run the gauntlet if ya wanna reap the reward. Those shoals of rotting fishbones will gag a maggot, believe me, the stench is nearly unbearable... but then comes the sailing and the fresh air, and all that ugliness is soon forgotten. Check the pics in my "Laser Island Voyages" thread, Post #3 on the first page, there's a link to Salton photos... :D
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Now that I know where the boat is, Florida, I can tell you that not many of them surface down here. Lots of Sunfish down in middle Florida, but not many Minis. And Florida takes a toll on all of the boats. We are in Pensacola, we know. I drove to Tennessee to get the two Minis that we restored, SMOKY and BANDIT.

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Pickin Road Trip
 
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Seaotter5

New Member
There are more Minifish out there than I realized. There were 5 of them on Marketplace today between Boston and Norfolk, plus one Minifish 2. Prices were $350 to $700. If I had a bit more spending cash I would definitely be interested in the Minifish 2. It looks like a simpler version of a Laser. Certainly would head closer into the wind than my regular Minifish (which actually does pretty well). The lake we race on here is relatively long and narrow, so that would be a real plus! On the other hand, I expect that sails would be hard to find, unlike the regular Minifish, which they still make new sails for.
 

Seaotter5

New Member
Gifford Pinchot State Park in PA. It's mainly Lasers and Sunfish, but there are a few other boats as well. I have raced informally on days when the course was buoyed, but this Spring I was hoping to race competitively. Covid 19 resulted in the lake being closed for the Spring series, but hopefully the Fall series will still be held.
And I am hoping that the Hampton Roads Sunfish distance recreational race will go ahead as scheduled in September. I was ready last season, but it was canceled at the last moment.
My Minifish isn't competitive with the other boats (especially the Lasers), but it's all for fun, anyway. On corrected time I wouldn't have won any of the races, but I wouldn't have always come in last, either! It doesn't get stuck in irons as easily as the Sunfish, and it turns more quickly. The winds on Pinchot lake are extremely variable, often changing directions as much as 180 degrees every couple of minutes (or less), so a responsive boat is a plus. Hopefully that might make up for my overall ineptitude! I am getting out on the water once a week or so hopefully I won't embarrass myself too much, if racing ever gets started up again!
 

Seaotter5

New Member
Very cool! I guess I should mail my check in then. I was waiting to see how things played out! Are you associated with the sailing club there? I have spoken with several members in the past. Watching the races out there was one of the reasons I got back into sailing last summer!
 
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