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New sail needed?

Jeff’s Wife

New Member
Hi Everyone,
I am new to this forum. And I am relatively new to sailing. I found a great used Sunfish but I think I need a new sail. It only has two minor holes in it but I think it is the original sail from 1973 and while it is faded it seems like it is stretched? Is that possible? Also, where can I get a sail that doesn’t cost a fortune and has the fish on it? Right now, I don’t do racing but do plan to as my skills improve. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
A little stretching is normal for an older sail. Sail repair tape should fix the issue. I’d sail with it and if you want to start racing later, you may feel better about paying the $395 for a legal racing sail (which are out of stock globally til fall.). But the first upgrade for a racer is the white composite daggerboard. It makes more difference than the sail does.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome and congrats on your new ride. Post some pics when you can.

The holes can be patched temporarily with clear duct tape, and when you can, order some adhesive backed sailcloth from Sailrite or another vendor to patch the holes. You can get creative if you want and make the patches Sunfish logo shaped.

IMG_5174.jpeg

As far as being "stretched," the sails have draft cut into the luff and head, in other words they may look baggy along the edges that connect to the spars. Under sail this draft is what creates power in the sail vs a flat shape.

Laser Performance, the current manufacturer of the Sunfish, sells new sails for $300, they have a great race cut shape and several nice color schemes to choose from.

 

cmac233

Member
Their off-brand rec sails don’t have shape as good as Intensity. I’d get Intensity or an authentic Sunfish sail.

I am curious as to where you get this information from? Have you sailed with a Sunfish Direct sail. I would not consider Sunfish Direct to be an "Off-Brand".
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I am curious as to where you get this information from? Have you sailed with a Sunfish Direct sail. I would not consider Sunfish Direct to be an "Off-Brand".
I’ve seen some rigged up. They look flat and for some reason come with leech line.
On the other hand, LP rec sails have a nice, full shape, and of course the racing sails have even more shape.

Regarding whether SD sails are off-brand, here is a definition. Definition of OFF-BRAND
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
If you're just starting out in sailing, you don't to learn with a sail with no holes in it! :oops:

Holes "happen". I lost a racing sail to a sudden wind-shear. It was shredded along both spars. Stitching My Torn Racing Sail

Sail repair tape is the answer, but matching *colors might be frustrating. Gorilla Tape makes a tough, clear, tape, but a dedicated clear dacron sail repair tape is available through Amazon, *kite-sailing sites, and elsewhere.

I'm in the process of selling a 1974 (small) jib for a 20-foot Mariner. Except for two rust stains, it's nearly new, and I expect to get $200 to $300 for it!

Dacron, though it can change shape from use and abuse, ages gently.

Your sail may still have the legible (and highly regarded) sailmakers' names "North" or "Ratsey and Lapthorne" ("loft" label) on the sail itself.

Upon the occasion of replacing your present sail, you can advertise the old sail "for sale" at this forum. :)
 

Bradley

Administrator
Staff member
For disclosure, it is our best guess by the admin team at Sailing Forums that @cmac233 is a representative of Sunfish Direct and any opinions offered by @cmac233 should be taken with that understanding. We welcome everyone here at Sailing Forums, however, we do not allow free commercial posting nor do we allow commercial posters to suggest their products without proper disclosure of their association with that product/service.
 
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