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Minifish or Sunfish

Brian D. Stahly

New Member
In the market for a small sailboat and found a nice Minifish at a decent price. I'm also interested in a Sunfish but have yet to find one in decent shape that's close. I realize it's the middle of the summer and prime sailing time so I'm not surprised. The boat I hopefully purchase will be used exclusively on a larger natural lake in northern IN. It's been years since I've been sailing (grew up sailing with my dad and had a small sunflower I'd go out on alone) and wanted to get back into it. I know the "suggested" weight limits for both but certainly wanted to know if those were based in reality or some alternate reality. I'd like to have the option to take out one other person besides myself occasionally. If it were just me sailing ALL the time, I'd probably already have purchased the Minifish.

Anyway, I'm looking for people's honest opinions regarding both boats and what they would choose if they were in the market.

Brian D. Stahly

New Member
For some extra information, I weigh 180 and most everyone else that might be interested in joining me would be less than that, from 75-150.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The weights are realistic. Minifish is a great little sailboat, easier to move around. Rolled edge and molded spalashguard = less leaking. We found we could take it out in a little more wind than the Sunfish and have fun, because the sail is only 65 square feet. The cockpit is small though, at 5'8" my knees were pretty high.

I am 200 pounds and rode on it with my wife. It was fun but I couldn't see doing it for any extended period. Sunfish either for that matter. We sold it because we had 12 other small boats and it wasn't the favorite, it was too small when we had 4 other Sunfish to pick from.

Check out our blog for some photos of both of us on the Minifish.
Small Boat Restoration: Minifish Pickin Tennessee "Smoky" and "Bandit"



I bought a Minifish for my boys. My 16-yr old and 12-yr old both sail it. I'd guess my 16-yr old is probably 180 lbs, maybe 5-10 or so, so similar size.
The Minifish would be a fine size for you to sail, but similar to the Sunfish, will get pretty cramped with extra riders, especially adults.

Lafayette Mike

Active Member
I own two Sunfishes and a Laser, wife sails minifish and Laser II.
She likes the mini........she can set it up herself and actually wins a bunch of races in our local club (minifish has a handicap number that moves her way up in the standings.)
She really loves the minifish in windy weather.....if it's less than 10 knots, she prefers the larger (sail and boat) Laser. The minifish is fun to sail in winds 10-25 kts. If you capsize, it's easy to right.
She weighs about 130 pounds so it works for her. Add 100 pounds and you have me! And I'm too heavy for the boat. But my Sunfish is fine.
Not sure if I'd want to sail the mini with two people regardless of size. The cockpit is small. My 6' 1" daughter loved the mini growing up, but at that height her legs are too long and it's uncomfortable. She ended up buying a Sunfish (clone) just for the room.
The mini is easier to truly cartop than a sunfish. The hiking strap is a little awkward (goes across the cockpit), but you could always move it if you wanted to.
Wife wasn't originally thrilled with the mini, but I couldn't take it away from her now if I tried!
Have fun.....