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Snorkeling from a Sunfish


Active Member
I realize that this may be a rather odd question, but has anybody here used a Sunfish as a snorkeling platform? When my wife and I were much younger (and more limber and less bulky) we used to love to go snorkeling, using our 17 foot Grumman canoe as our "dive boat". For years school, kids, work, general exhaustion, etc have kept us from really doing much snorkeling. Last summer I decided to give it a try, but pulling myself back into the canoe afterwards proved impossible. Obviously the gravitational field of earth has increased considerably over the past 35 years (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Self-delusion is an essential part of the ageing process).
I know I can still haul myself back onto my Sailfish over the bow or stern, and I assume I can probably do so with the Sunfish, as well (I will find out for certain this Spring, after the water around has returned to its fluid state). So our current plan is to do some snorkeling on Pamlico Sound next summer on our annual OBX trip.
I have enough sense to start in shallow water on a calm day, making sure that the boat is anchored first (hard learned lessons aren't easily forgotten), but does anyone have any other suggestions or ideas?

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
Suggestions: Make yourself a rope re-entry boarding "ladder", just a length of line with a loop at the end. Tie the non-loop end to something strong in the cockpit like the hiking strap or the mainsheet block. Throw the line into the water before you leave the safety of the cockpit and use the loop as a foot hold to make re-entry easier. Second, make sure you have a good anchor so the boat does not drift off while you are overboard. Use lots of scope on your anchor line to prevent anchor dragging.

I did use a Sunfish as a two person dive platform in the Florida Keys back in 1972 and it worked fine.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY


Active Member
Great advice! We experienced a “drifting boat” incident years ago. Thankfully the boat wasn’t very far away. We had it anchored, but, as you noted, we needed more scope. The anchor had dragged.

po-man sailor

Active Member
Weve used one lots for scaloping off of in port st joe bay years back. The tide falls out of there quick and you cant get a power boat up on a plane before you know it. Then your stuck. We just pulled up the board and kept picking them up with no competition.