Sunfish blasphemy question

Wayne

Member Emeritus
#38
I beg to differ this one point. I'm not just railing from the back of the room.
I understand that now, with the explanation of your campaign. I wish you had lead off with it.



What is important to remember is that the Sunfish world is very much dependent on the circle of life. The survival of the organized support structure that comes from the class depends on enthusiastic and dedicated people joining the class, and the generosity of the manufacturer. So, like so many things in life, it is important to pass on the gifts you receive. After you learn to love the sport and racing, get involved. Join the class, spread the word and support the manufacturer that supports us.
Derek,

Thank you for your most insightful and informative explanation about the juxtaposition of boat builder, Sunfish Class, and sail evolution. Your entries here would make a very good addendum in Class Office reproductions of The Sunfish Bible.

. . . in light of your clarifications, I will reign in my tongue-in-cheek sarcasm on the subject(s).


Wayne
 
#39
Dear 254x,

Ah, yes, it would have been helpful to know you're looking to join in as well. I'm not picking on you, just stating a framing thought.

You see, depending on your location, we may be able to find willing Sunfish sailors who would happily come for a visit and help your group get up to speed.

Yes, not everyone will want to $hell out the ca$h and fully upgrade. That's OK. But, for those who want to race and travel, it's best to get the equipment that will make them "equal" for their own sakes.

Keep in mind, a new Sunfish retails for $4,125, plus $300 or so for a dolly. So, a used boat for $800-$1200 + $750 or so for the upgrade parts is still a STEAL! Much the same as buying an old Tartan 10 for $12,000, buying new sails vs. buying a tricked out new LS10 at $80,000 ...

Great sailors like Rich Chapman, Chip Clifton, Bob Findlay and others still swear by the older style hull and search them out for racing.

Do come join in on the fun! I need to "disclose" as well, that I'm the US Class Secretary, and I'd sure appreciate it if you'd email me (see http://www.sunfishclass.org/archives/2008/2008-2009-ussca-officers.pdf to get my email address ...).

And, depending on your location, I'll even volunteer to come on by! Really, the group is not venom infestested. We're just very interested in keeping the playing field even and the cost controllable. You've picked a great singlehanded boat that a wide variety of physiques can enjoy sailing and racing. Two young kids can doublehand it together. Once a kid is 85 pounds, he/she can right it alone and is ready to sail singlehanded.

Should your group get to the point where it has 5 people who have joined the Class, do apply to the Class Office for "official" fleet status. That will make your group more visible which could help you attract more sailors.

Let us know how else we can help.
 
#40
Interesting idea to open a league of racing for Sunfish sans racing parts, or develop the handicap system...:eek:!!

What if they did what they do in other sports where equipment matters (i.e. - cycling), and have an "open division?" By "open division," meaning people can modify their Sunfish any way they want (so long as its safe) and race 'em. Though straying away from the "one-design" concept, it does open doors for many guys (and gals) who like to tinker and be engineers. (I have a bad feeling, though, that those marine and aeronautical engineers would dominate...):D

Would be fun to see what people come up with, and hey, maybe even get their ideas developed into standard components. The best way to make progress is to put more minds together, and this method would do it.

Just another idea, ;).
 
#41
If you had a open development Sunfish class it would slowly transform the Sunfish into what the development Moth Class looks like. In the end you would have a all Carbon Fiber Hydrofoil Sunfish that is highly technical and in no way resembles a Sunfish. Could you limit 'Tech Creep' to keep is simple and fun? Maybe. As explained earlier in the thread, a 'Classic Sunfish' class was tried but everyone kept showing up with different 'Classic Hardware, (Centerboards). I think the handicapped 'Fun Sail Race' it the best thing for low cost fun.
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
#42
Interesting idea to open a league of racing for Sunfish sans racing parts, or develop the handicap system...:eek:!!
Open regattas between boats of different designs have been run under the Portsmouth Yardstick handicap system for a long time.

The Sunfish basic handicap is 99.6


What if they did what they do in other sports where equipment matters (i.e. - cycling), and have an "open division?" By "open division," meaning people can modify their Sunfish any way they want (so long as its safe) and race 'em. Though straying away from the "one-design" concept, it does open doors for many guys (and gals) who like to tinker and be engineers. (I have a bad feeling, though, that those marine and aeronautical engineers would dominate...):D
One Design, whatever the mechanized competition, focuses on the human element and their skill level. Adding starter level equipment and developing skill based category levels has been suggested before. Even simply having a "Legacy" or "Classic" sub-class for pre-'72 generation Sunfish comes up every year.

What it sounds like you're proposing is a competition between the "machines", engaging deep pockets and technology..., robot wars goes sailing.

There has been a small faction interested in this sort of sailing. Their design talents and money usually get applied to endeavors like speed records. Go Fur It ...



A handicap system that adjusts for everyday sailor level modifications and tactics is called a "beer run" and has also been around for a long time. This would be your "open" or "citizen" cycling class.

base price: $16,995.00
Torrensen Marne - 2010


What's in your wallet?

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;)
 
#43
From what I understand after several conversations with people at the factory, their feeling is that the class is so small that they can't make money on the boat and especially its aftermarket sales unless they control the supply, and if they can't make money on the boat, they would have to shift their attention to those boats that make more money for them, like the Laser or the Opti. They make the hulls themselves, but they outsource the spars, sails and blades. Their production runs are very small, on the order of a few hundred or a few thousand units annually, so they can't take advantage of volume discounts, especially for replacement parts. Unlike the Laser, 420, etc, LP owns the patents for the Sunfish and every custom part on it, so nobody else can make the Sunfish specific parts, like the rudder connections or the hull, without their permission, and nobody can take over the manufacturing of the boat without a licence from them.

It's kind of the price we pay for them to continue making the boat and its parts.
 
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