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Storing in water at small lake

P-1000

New Member
Hello all, I just moved to a place on a small lake and am looking to get a Sunfish to sail around on it. My issue is that I may not have a convenient place to store it nearby. It's an apartment complex with future plans to build boat storage that was delayed by covid, and storing in carport is not allowed.

While I'm sure leaving it in the water (covered, sail and foils removed, tied to dock) is not ideal or recommended, is there any reason I could not do so for the time being? This would be a new Sunfish (not finding any used for sale in my area) so I'm not expecting hull leakage to be an issue, and I expect to sail it for a few hours each weekend at minimum.
 

Gator Bait

Florida Man
Hello all, I just moved to a place on a small lake and am looking to get a Sunfish to sail around on it. My issue is that I may not have a convenient place to store it nearby. It's an apartment complex with future plans to build boat storage that was delayed by covid, and storing in carport is not allowed.

While I'm sure leaving it in the water (covered, sail and foils removed, tied to dock) is not ideal or recommended, is there any reason I could not do so for the time being? This would be a new Sunfish (not finding any used for sale in my area) so I'm not expecting hull leakage to be an issue, and I expect to sail it for a few hours each weekend at minimum.
It depends on how long you intend to store it and the lake you’re on. I don’t know about other areas, but in Florida leaving a boat in the water on a freshwater lake will stain anything touching the water brown after a few weeks. Your boat will certainly deteriorate a bit due to prolonged exposure. If leaving it in the water is intended to be a long term solution and not a temporary solution I’d advise against it, but aside from that, the boat should be fine if left in the water for short term storage, though it will need more maintenance if you want to keep it looking nice. I have a sunfish that spent 10 years in a lake and it still sails fine.
 

tag

my2fish


If you can, I'd build two small frames out of pipe or similar material to hold the Sunfish hull 6" or so above the water. A friend has a similar setup for a canoe and or paddleboat - a piece of PVC on one of the pipe frames allows the boat to be slid easily up out of the water onto the frames.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Odd that the Wuhan Flu prevents storage in your carport. Shouldn't the Wuhan Flu allow storage in your carport?

I bought a Sunfish that was moored on a cold and pristine lake. It, too, showed a "semi-permanent" waterline stain from algae. (The stain was detectable after cleaning).

If possible, float the boat on the side of the dock that receives the least wave (or wake) action. A location far from powerboats would be best. (Let them have the outer berths).

One clever idea I've seen was to float a long 4-inch diameter PVC pipe between the dock and boat. Wave action becomes "confused", and much reduced. :cool:

"Spring lines" are recommended.

A shallow lake near me has a veritable fleet of canoes, kayaks, and Sunfish moored in knee-deep water. Is a mooring offshore possible?
 

Eddie_E

Active Member
There is a lake in Eastern Mass. that has all Sunfish on moorings. Most are fine, as long as the daggerboard area doesn't leak. Thy don't fully sink when leaking. They just get heavy. If you are buying a new boat, I would strongly recommend a Fulcrum Speedworks Rocket over a Chinese Sunfish. They are stronger hulls with reinforcement in the dagger trunk and 30 pounds lighter, so they will sit higher out of the water when moored.
 

P-1000

New Member
Odd that the Wuhan Flu prevents storage in your carport. Shouldn't the Wuhan Flu allow storage in your carport?

I bought a Sunfish that was moored on a cold and pristine lake. It, too, showed a "semi-permanent" waterline stain from algae. (The stain was detectable after cleaning).

If possible, float the boat on the side of the dock that receives the least wave (or wake) action. A location far from powerboats would be best. (Let them have the outer berths).

One clever idea I've seen was to float a long 4-inch diameter PVC pipe between the dock and boat. Wave action becomes "confused", and much reduced. :cool:

"Spring lines" are recommended.

A shallow lake near me has a veritable fleet of canoes, kayaks, and Sunfish moored in knee-deep water. Is a mooring offshore possible?
The "only cars in carports" rule is unrelated to Covid. I think it's to keep the parking area looking relatively nice and not cluttered. Possibly also to reduce habitats for wild critters. I hoped a boat with a nice new cover would not fall under that ruling but no dice. The Covid issue is the delay in the apartment complex building the boat storage that they had planned, as they are holding off on non-essential (to them) maintenance and construction work.

Thank you for the info about the stains. It's not ideal, but I've been 2 decades now off the water and moving to a lakefront place has brought all the fun memories of sailing in my youth crashing back into my brain, so I can live with cosmetic issues if it gets me back on the water asap. No powered vessels allowed on the lake so wake is not an issue, but the dock is T-shaped so I do plan to moor on the inland side of the T for a bit of shelter from wind chop.
 

P-1000

New Member
I am in a similar situation, I keep my Laser, Pico, and 420 moored to the dock in our small lake. My biggest issue is that I find it very difficult to put the cover on correctly when it is in the water, so I end up leaving the cover off. Also, invest in at least 2 fenders/bumpers (mine are installed on the dock, I have 2 of these Amazon.com : Hull Hugr Marina Bumper - 60", White (HH-A60) : Sports & Outdoors)
I used to sail 420s when I was younger. Hope to get one again once I get the lady trained up on sailing basics enought to be my crew and move to a house with some storage space (not sure which is going to come quicker heh). Thank you for your note about the cover. Is the difficulty in trying to do it from dock without standing/floating in the water, or that the boat being in the water allows it to move around enough that getting leverage to pull the cover tight and over the corners is difficult?
 

RyanLee

New Member
I used to sail 420s when I was younger. Hope to get one again once I get the lady trained up on sailing basics enought to be my crew and move to a house with some storage space (not sure which is going to come quicker heh). Thank you for your note about the cover. Is the difficulty in trying to do it from dock without standing/floating in the water, or that the boat being in the water allows it to move around enough that getting leverage to pull the cover tight and over the corners is difficult?
The difficulty is getting the straps under the boat while it is floating. It is doable, but after the third or fourth time, I stopped putting it on. To be fair, the cover was not meant for the boat (it was a cheaper generic cover), so it is possible a cover meant for the boat would be easier. Something I am thinking about on the 420 given there is no way to keep rainwater from collecting (closed transom, no bailer yet).
Since I got the 420, I have pretty much stopped sailing the Pico and the Laser. 420 is so much fun, even (especially!) solo.
 

P-1000

New Member
There is a lake in Eastern Mass. that has all Sunfish on moorings. Most are fine, as long as the daggerboard area doesn't leak. Thy don't fully sink when leaking. They just get heavy. If you are buying a new boat, I would strongly recommend a Fulcrum Speedworks Rocket over a Chinese Sunfish. They are stronger hulls with reinforcement in the dagger trunk and 30 pounds lighter, so they will sit higher out of the water when moored.
Thanks! I hadn't heard of the Rocket. From the pictures and video I'm seeing I can't quite tell if it has an open transom or if I'm seeing angled surfaces on either side of the rudder. I think open transom, but can you confirm? 30lbs lighter would be nice, as that would probably bring it into the solo car top weight range for me. Are modern Sunfish all Chinese-built? I was looking at SunfishDirect and didn't see anything about where they were built. I just assumed American.
 

tag

my2fish
I agree if you are buying a new small sailboat, and not planning to race in any Sunfish class events, the Rocket is the way to go (RS Aero and Melges 14 are other similar options). that website and video are all we have to go on right now for the Rocket, as they are brand new, but they do look great.

Sunfish are currently built in China, and from various posts on the Forum recently, seem to have questionable quality control - I'd personally avoid a brand new Sunfish.
 

P-1000

New Member


If you can, I'd build two small frames out of pipe or similar material to hold the Sunfish hull 6" or so above the water. A friend has a similar setup for a canoe and or paddleboat - a piece of PVC on one of the pipe frames allows the boat to be slid easily up out of the water onto the frames.
Oh that's an interesting idea! I'll look into that and check out the threads you linked. Thanks!
 

P-1000

New Member
I agree if you are buying a new small sailboat, and not planning to race in any Sunfish class events, the Rocket is the way to go (RS Aero and Melges 14 are other similar options). that website and video are all we have to go on right now for the Rocket, as they are brand new, but they do look great.

Sunfish are currently built in China, and from various posts on the Forum recently, seem to have questionable quality control - I'd personally avoid a brand new Sunfish.
The more I read about the Rocket the more I like it! The rudder T-foil in the upcoming “Interceptor” setup sounds like it could be a fun future upgrade too.
 
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mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Storing in the water will cut the value in half, after a season due to cosmetic stains...not knowing if your lake is prime for algae...if that's important. No where to store on a trailer? Without bottom paint, even fresh water lakes will make things nasty after a couple months...but I've never seen a bottom painted Sunfish.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Btw...where are you going to store the mast, etc? In some viewpoints, a hull doesn't take that much more space. Drag that puppy ashore and tell the apartment mgr it'll be out of the way.
 

P-1000

New Member
@mixmkr the staining issue is something I hadn't considered until reading the responses here, but not something that concerns me *too* much. I know that may sound crazy to people (especially those with as much passion for restoration as I've seen on this forum so far) but getting out on the water again and taking advantage of my current lakefront location is giving me a bit of tunnel vision I suppose.

I'm waiting to hear back from the head honcho at my apartment complex to see if I can keep the boat on land until they build the planned boat storage (the on-site manager I spoke with wasn't totally sure, save for the "only cars in carports" rule), but since that's currently unknown and I'm looking to get the boat asap, I'm trying to see if keeping it in the water would work as a last resort so I don't place an order for something I can't put *anywhere*. The mast and sail storage I wasn't too concerned with as I'm pretty sure I can find somewhere to tuck them away, and I can keep them in my apartment as a last resort (dry climate, not worried about humidity/mold). The lady would surely protest, but at least it's an option.
 

4cpus4me

Active Member
This was the prototype setup I used to keep my Sunfish in the water. I improved the setup later on but don't have any pics.

Just two simple screw in augers into the lake bottom and then the lightweight PVC frames slip right over them. I don't keep my gear on it usually, but it is very easy on and off. I just lift the front up and slide it forward, self-centering, then hop the back end up. I added cleats later which made much easier tie down. Add some foam and you're good. Took some 50 MPH winds like a champ. :eek:

In about 50 days it will be back in the lake, weather permitting :)

Oh, and it's cheap to build.
SunfishRack.jpg
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
I agree if you are buying a new small sailboat, and not planning to race in any Sunfish class events, the Rocket is the way to go (RS Aero and Melges 14 are other similar options). that website and video are all we have to go on right now for the Rocket, as they are brand new, but they do look great.

Sunfish are currently built in China, and from various posts on the Forum recently, seem to have questionable quality control - I'd personally avoid a brand new Sunfish.

I thought that I had read that they are being built in Britain now.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Seaotter is correct, Sunfish hulls built in the UK as of late. Laser Performance did not have any hull is stock when I talked to Brent a week or so back, but expect more containers in soon. They are also looking at parts orders and chasing the ever-changing landscape of suppliers in a Pandemic. So if folks need parts, you might want to track them down now, new or used, and at least get an order in if new is desired so the supply chain has some time to react. I know my local Pensacola Beach Dealer will order spars only when he knows he has 3 or 4 customers, then he'll drop an order for 8-10 sets of spars to spread out the freight charge, which he eats. Most businesses today can't afford to have warehouses of dusty inventory, manufacturer included.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Seaotter is correct, Sunfish hulls built in the UK as of late. Laser Performance did not have any hull is stock when I talked to Brent a week or so back, but expect more containers in soon. They are also looking at parts orders and chasing the ever-changing landscape of suppliers in a Pandemic. So if folks need parts, you might want to track them down now, new or used, and at least get an order in if new is desired so the supply chain has some time to react. I know my local Pensacola Beach Dealer will order spars only when he knows he has 3 or 4 customers, then he'll drop an order for 8-10 sets of spars to spread out the freight charge, which he eats. Most businesses today can't afford to have warehouses of dusty inventory, manufacturer included.
When I broke a mast, I ordered four, delivered in a week. They're all sold now--even taking a trade-in--so I'm actually ahead for the experience. :)
 

RyanLee

New Member
P-1000, here is my setup in a Miami lake (Pico, 420, and Laser). I leave all 3 boats in the water all the time, and it works fine for me for the laser and the Pico (the 420 doesn't have a way of draining rainwater, so I am looking for another solution, such as a bailer or a cover). The tradeoffs are the Pico will probably get sun damaged fairly quickly (I had to replace a cracked fairlead, ~$2), the Laser does get algae in the cockpit, I am only able to get the bottom batten in the Laser, and the Laser sail does look ugly, and probably wears out much quicker. The upside is that it takes me 5 minutes to get sailing once I make that decision, and 5 minutes after I dock I am done. Which means I can sail whenever I want. It is a tradeoff. (I have had these boats since last May, so maybe the issues take longer to appear?)

I have not noticed any algae on the outside of the boat, even though there is tons of algae in the summertime in the lake.

If the Sunfish has a way to drain rainwater, you will be in a similar situation to the Laser (maybe better if the sail/upper mast are easier to raise).

[Edit: I am a newbie, only 9 months of having a sailboats so take the more experienced guys advice to heart, but this has worked for me]

3boats.jpg
 

RyanLee

New Member
P-1000, here is my setup in a Miami lake (Pico, 420, and Laser). I leave all 3 boats in the water all the time, and it works fine for me for the laser and the Pico (the 420 doesn't have a way of draining rainwater, so I am looking for another solution, such as a bailer or a cover). The tradeoffs are the Pico will probably get sun damaged fairly quickly (I had to replace a cracked fairlead, ~$2), the Laser does get algae in the cockpit, I am only able to get the bottom batten in the Laser, and the Laser sail does look ugly, and probably wears out much quicker. The upside is that it takes me 5 minutes to get sailing once I make that decision, and 5 minutes after I dock I am done. Which means I can sail whenever I want. It is a tradeoff. (I have had these boats since last May, so maybe the issues take longer to appear?)

I have not noticed any algae on the outside of the boat, even though there is tons of algae in the summertime in the lake.

If the Sunfish has a way to drain rainwater, you will be in a similar situation to the Laser (maybe better if the sail/upper mast are easier to raise).

[Edit: I am a newbie, only 9 months of having a sailboats so take the more experienced guys advice to heart, but this has worked for me]

View attachment 43942
I have put the laser and the pico on the dock and checked for water about every other month. The Pico does retain water (a lot!), but so far the laser has not had any water. YMMV.
 

RyanLee

New Member
This was the prototype setup I used to keep my Sunfish in the water. I improved the setup later on but don't have any pics.

Just two simple screw in augers into the lake bottom and then the lightweight PVC frames slip right over them. I don't keep my gear on it usually, but it is very easy on and off. I just lift the front up and slide it forward, self-centering, then hop the back end up. I added cleats later which made much easier tie down. Add some foam and you're good. Took some 50 MPH winds like a champ. :eek:

In about 50 days it will be back in the lake, weather permitting :)

Oh, and it's cheap to build.
View attachment 43934
I like this idea, considering for 420, but wouldn't this scrape the boat as it slides on and off the PVC?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I thought that I had read that they are being built in Britain now.
According to the Sunfish Class Association, the boats are being built in China, but come with GB as the country code on the stern. They got this information from Laser Performance and it is current as of a couple weeks ago. It is surprising that is legal, but apparently it is. LP showed photos of making sunfish in the UK, but apparently they did not stick with it. They also claim they will soon be making Sunfish in Portugal, but who knows.

I saw on Facebook that they plan to be making some sort of announcement about Sunfish in the UK. Their Laser sales are probably in the toilet as they can no longer make class-legal Lasers, so they must be planning to try to boost Sunfish in Europe. Up until Covid, I think the Sunfish Worlds were going to be in Italy this year.

1612973662138.png
 

4cpus4me

Active Member
I like this idea, considering for 420, but wouldn't this scrape the boat as it slides on and off the PVC?
When I first did it, the PVC got a little tore up, not the keel. My '79 Sunfish must be tough ;) There's not much weight, only 65 lbs when you lift the front up onto the rack with the aft still in the water, then I hold it there and walk around to the back and lift it up onto the rear rack. You can and should wrap foam around the wear areas. I'll try to get some pics this spring when it get it back in the lake.
 

PeterinGLosta

New Member
The more I read about the Rocket the more I like it! The rudder T-foil in the upcoming “Interceptor” setup sounds like it could be a fun future upgrade too.
I agree! I hadn't known about the Rocket before reviewing this chain, but it looks like a great option - lighter-weight so easier to get up onto the floating dock where I'll store it (along with two kayaks), plus its made in Rhode Island - conveniently close to MA where I live!
 
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P-1000

New Member
I agree! I hadn't known about the Rocket before reviewing this chain, but it looks like a great option - lighter-weight so easier to get up onto the floating dock where I'll store it (along with two kayaks), plus its made in Rhode Island - conveniently close to MA where I live!
I'm in talks with Kirk over there at Fulcrum to get mine. Can't wait but I'm out in Idaho so bracing for the shipping estimate. He confirmed they're planning on using the new Farrar sail for the performance package. Here's a thread about that new sail: updates on the "modern" Sunfish sail
 
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Tom L.

New Member
> I hadn't known about the Rocket before reviewing this chain,
> but it looks like a great option - lighter-weight so easier to get
> up onto the floating dock where I'll store it

Anyone who wants a lighter weight alternative to a Sunfish should look for a used Minifish. The hull weight is only 75 pounds (even lighter than the Rocket). It was made by Alcort using the same rudder and daggerboard as the Sunfish, and a slightly smaller sail. In my area (Michigan) a Minifish in good condition is about $500. Even if it needs a new sail or other parts, it will be a lot cheaper than a brand new Rocket.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I agree! I hadn't known about the Rocket before reviewing this chain, but it looks like a great option - lighter-weight so easier to get up onto the floating dock where I'll store it (along with two kayaks), plus its made in Rhode Island - conveniently close to MA where I live!
They are a top quality builder. Owner used to own Vanguard, who made Sunfish until selling out to Laser Performance, who trashed the company.
 
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