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New sailing dinghy help


Hey, guys I just got a new sunfish for $300. I am trying to learn how to sail and thought this would be a great boat to learn on. Weirdly in the same day, some guy on craigslist gave me a free wooden dingy boat, its missing the rudder, centerboard, and boom though. It was hand made so I can not just buy the replacement parts. Would it be possible to just get a "Sunfish, Gudgeon Bracket" and put that on the other boat to use? How about the centerboard/daggerboard. The sunfish also needs some work and is missing some parts. Let me know what you think and if you have any recommendations. I have attached pictures of both boats. The sunfish I got has the clip in pin rudder could I just get the hardware and put it on the other boat and clip it in?



Upside down?
Staff member
Since you want to learn to sail, I would use the Sunfish. I hope all the parts are there and it looks nice enough on the image you provided.
For help, there are many good folks on the Sunfish forum who can offer assistance.

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Go with the Sunfish, she'll be faster, maneuver better, and be FAR more comfortable. You can make your own C/B, rudder & tiller for that home-built dinghy, and use hardware scrounged from a boat shop, maybe ordered online. That sort of dinghy is better suited for small kids, if you try to learn in it you'll be turned off by the discomfort for an adult... you want the larger deck of the Fish so you can stretch, have room to move, etc. Moi, I'd probably sell or swap the dinghy for Sunfish parts, LOL... but I'm biased, no way I could fit aboard that little dinghy and sail all day without extreme discomfort, like Harry Houdini jammed into a small box or whatever. Take it from a lifelong small craft sailor who routinely spent entire days on the water, comfort is a HUGE factor in sailing, more so than many sailors let on... unless you're a masochist, you're gonna want the larger boat. :confused:

Does the Sunfish have a complete rig? Sail in good shape? I see the daggerboard, rudder & tiller in the photo, is it just hardware that's missing? If you get the chance, post a pic of what you actually have in the way of gear, that way folks here can advise you better and give you ideas on restoration, associated costs, etc. If the Fish needs glasswork and you know nothing about it, don't worry, there are plenty of folks here to help you through the process. Glasswork is not rocket science, much of the work lies in the preparation, and there are certain steps to take as you pull some fiberglass repair. You might also swap the dinghy for any needed glass repairs, LOL. Again, if you get a chance, post more pics of the Fish, including close-ups of any damage which needs to be repaired. Just my $.02, FWIW... good luck with your nautical edumacation, and CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:
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Well-Known Member
The sunfish I got has the clip in pin rudder could I just get the hardware and put it on the other boat and clip it in?
It doesn't appear to be a realistic plan, especially if it gets sold. :(

Since you've got the clips (gudgeons), all you need is a pair of pins (pintels), a 3-foot plank of wood, and a salvaged broomstick to get your rudder. :)