Ski behind sunfish?

Thread starter #1
This is probably an idiotic idea, but I started wondering if you could ski behind a sunfish. I am guessing that a light weight person can ski on two skis going 15 knots. I think that that once the person is out of the water and has less resistance the boat would be able to pull them on a day with about 20 knot winds. But do y'all think the sunfish could pull a small light weight person out of the water with 20 knots? Or how much or little do you think it would take.
You could also somehow have the person sit on the dock with the ski's in the water and have the sunfish come from the side and gain speed and pull the person off the dock so there is less resistance. (Kind of similar to a barefoot skiing start). Although this is way is probably dangerousness and will put to much stress on the boat and skier with a sudden jerk.
I would think that skiing behind a larger sailboat would work better because the resistance per sail area ratio formula would be smaller and therefore the skier dragging behind a larger sailboat would have less of an effect (I made up that formula.) This is just a theoretical question.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#2
If you can get your Sunfish going 15 knots under sail you will be the first!! I think your boat will come to a screeching halt from its 8 or 10 knot speed with person on skis dragging in the water behind. But you should certainly give it a shot and please video tape it so we can see how it goes!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#3
When the Tornado catamaran became available in the US, their brochure showed the 20-foot Tornado pulling a skier. But 75 square feet of sail area is asking a lot from a Sunfish. Do you have a small and compliant pet?

You'll need to get both Sunfish and skier up to the same speed, and you'll probably be able to sail only downwind—and then for only a short time.
 

andyatos

Active Member
#6
Here's the solution. Find a large enough planning surface for the "skier" and it will work. Here's what I mean.

When I was a kid, I had a 14 foot aluminum Starcraft boat with an old 25 horsepower outboard engine on it. When done right, we could water ski behind the boat but getting both the boat and skier up and on to the plane required finesse.

Then one day, we got this idea. "Hey, let's take this big old 4 by 8 foot sheet of plywood, drill a hole in one end, tie a water ski handle to it and tie the rest of the ski rope to the boat!" And it worked like gangbusters. That's because the "planning surface" was so huge, if you just got the boat moving a few mph, the plywood would "plane"easily... even with the guy standing up on it.

When you were the "skier" you could walk all over the thing and it was as stable as could be. We even got this piece of plywood airborne by going full speed.

So, just experiment with different sized planning surfaces that you tow around behind the sunfish. Start big and work your way down. Cause regular water skies are way too small.

P.S. Make sure to post lots of video footage here when you get it figured out!

- Andy
 
Thread starter #7
Soun
Here's the solution. Find a large enough planning surface for the "skier" and it will work. Here's what I mean.

When I was a kid, I had a 14 foot aluminum Starcraft boat with an old 25 horsepower outboard engine on it. When done right, we could water ski behind the boat but getting both the boat and skier up and on to the plane required finesse.

Then one day, we got this idea. "Hey, let's take this big old 4 by 8 foot sheet of plywood, drill a hole in one end, tie a water ski handle to it and tie the rest of the ski rope to the boat!" And it worked like gangbusters. That's because the "planning surface" was so huge, if you just got the boat moving a few mph, the plywood would "plane"easily... even with the guy standing up on it.

When you were the "skier" you could walk all over the thing and it was as stable as could be. We even got this piece of plywood airborne by going full speed.

So, just experiment with different sized planning surfaces that you tow around behind the sunfish. Start big and work your way down. Cause regular water skies are way too small.

P.S. Make sure to post lots of video footage here when you get it figured out!

- Andy
Sounds awsome. I might try that. A wakeboard has more surface then skis, so I might try that also, although not as much surface area as a large peice of plywood. But, the only way is to find out is to try
 
#9
Had my fastest sail ever last fall 11 knots with 2 of us in the sunfish trying to keep it up right. The sea state because of the wind that would be required would make water skiing a joke.
You have to have carry a lot of sail and have heavier hull. The skier will weigh more than the hull of a sunfish.
Can't be done, well only if you have a squirrel will water skies. :>)

Minas man
 
Top