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At a regatta last weekend I noticed that virtually everyone was pointing higher than me. The breeze was strong and I weigh about 150. I tightened the outhaul and cunnimham and moved the gooseneck back to about 19. I most likely was not sailing the boat as flat as the 200lbs guys. If my boat is not as flat as theirs, is that a big reason for not pointing as high? Is there a way to sail the boat flat in heavy air if you are light? Does the adjustment of the cunningham or outhaul effect pointing?
Not having been there and seen the conditions and scenarios, it is difficult to say the exact cause. However, given that you readily admit you were not sailing the boat flat, I think that is definitely a problem. If you let the boat heel too much, your boat will slide sideways and not track forward.

It is possible for a lighter sailor to keep the boat flat in a blow. In addition to the gooseneck, outhaul, cunningham and vang, there are a couple of advanced rigging options that you can try - a jens rig and/or a reef. If/when you need the later two will primarily depend on your height, weight, strength and endurance.


Mike, My best advice would be to #1 get a copy of "The Sunfish Bible" and #2 practice, practice, practice.
The "Bible" will give you the knowledge on how to adjust the boat for condition and weight and the practice will give YOU the skills to use the knowledge.
Myself I'm a "pincher" I usually sail with the same speed as the "pointers" but it took several years of sailing at least several times a week all summer before I "learned" what boat setup for what conditions and how to actually sail the boat using the setup.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
You should also ask some of your competitors for advice. They will see what you are doing and can probably offer some advice based on what they have seen of your sailing. Most folks are more than willing to help. BB


New Member
I tend not to point with most people, in any boat, but my speed is usually a little better to make up for it. It would be that most people had their goose neck further forward, which would cause them to point a little higher. Also sailing it flatter will allow you to point higher, as has been said. Pointing is hard to do, and just comes with practice. You have to make the trade off between pointing and speed.