sunfish goldfish

Thread starter #1
Does anyone know anything about a sunfish goldfish? What is it worth in good condition, is there a weight limit? I'm thinking of buying one for my son that is 5'9" about 135 lbs.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Parts will be hard to find if anything breaks. I think this boat was only made for a few years. If it is cheap ($300-$500) you should consider it, otherwise shop for a used SF. If your son ever wants to race, he will need to get a Sunfish as there are no Goldfish fleets. Your son is a perfect size for a SF or GF.
Thread starter #3
Thanks Beldar I'm going to look at it this afternoon I really wasn't going to pay more than 450.00 for it. I just found a 1980 force 5 but they wanted 1850.00 for it then countered an offer I made and said they'd sell for 1650.00 which I still think is a little high. Your'e right about the racing thing and I'm sure he would want to. Iv'e been looking for a used sunfish, laser, or force 5 with little luck. Live in Texas and don't want to drive more than 5 hours for pick-up. Anyway thanks again!

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Is the Sunfish/Goldfish the one on ebay right now? You can find it by looking for "sunfish boat." It looks like they have done a lot of work to it - looks nice, but it is really a Goldfish with a Sunfish sail and a Sunfish sticker. It reminds me of something the counterfeit Mini Cooper Commision would want to stamp out - see

Anyway, I know Texas is a big state and I don't know how close you are to Houston, but there is a beautiful used Fish on sale on ebay in Houston. It is item number 7230114026 or you can find it by searching for "sunfish sailboat"

It looks like it is definitely worth considering.


Upside down?
Staff member
Go with BB's advice. You may pay a little more now for a Sunfish, but you should be able to sell it once that time comes. There is no market for a Goldfish. In the meantime, your son will have the opportunity to play with likeminded sailors.
Thread starter #7
Beldar Thanks for the advice. I went and saw the goldfish/sunfish and it is in good condition.Oh yes it is the one on e-bay. Anyway he repainted and all 1 year ago. The edges are a little ruff but it does look good. You are right about the sail. He had a piece of wider mast about a foot long permanently attached to the boat and then the mast sits in it. Probably could not get a goldfish mast anymore which must be smaller than the normal sunfish. Got home and the thing is at $750 now so I'm going to leave that alone. Have been bidding on the other, the real sunfish. What do you think that is worth?
Thread starter #8
Wavedancer, Thanks you and Beldar are right I don't know much about sailboats so I appreciate any advice. I do know that lasers and sunfish seem to the most popular for races and such and that both seem to hold their value real well.
Thread starter #9
Oh sorry, Molly I did see the boats you mentioned called the guy weeks ago about the laser in Richardson for $1,800 had him send more pic's. What you don't see with boat upside down is the front where it needs fiberglass work. It looks minor but I think the boat is over priced and I can't remember but I think the trailer is xtra. The others all had something wrong too can't remember but stuff like trailers not road worthy etc.. I would rather get a boat in sailing and looking good not tlc stuff too. Thanks for the info though and if you notice anything else let me know.
My wife has a Goldfish (made in Waco, Texas) and races it in our club mixed handicap fleet. Nice boat. It uses the same mast/spars/sails as a Sunfish. The daggerboard is the same. The rudder on her boat is the same size as a SF, but has a different attachment (I may switch it out to a modern SF style). I'd think most Sunfish clubs/fleets would be happy to have a Goldfish race with them at all but SF class sanctioned events. If your son gets that competitive later, I suspect you'd want a more modern (better equipped, better condition, and faster) real Sunfish.

As to buying used boats without parts - unless you have a ready source of inexpensive used parts (that you can examine first hand!), my advice is: don't do it! That is, unless you just want a project boat and enjoy working on it more than sailing it.

When we bought the Goldfish we thought it was ready to sail. Not! If I'd known in advance... We ended up buying new spars, new (non-class of course) sail, and lots of hardware in order to get the boat up to spec. For what we ended up spending (nevermind the time sink!), we could have bought another boat with all the parts and a decent sail. -Which is what we did a few months later when I found a Sunfish for me that really was ready to sail. (Of course, this time I new what to look for in advance!)

Hope this is helpful, good luck!

Ed Humphries
Atlanta, Georgia
Well here's the link to the ratings webpage:
But in a nutshell the ratings are based on the speed of the boat. The lower the number the faster the boat.
When used for handicapping boats it's used as a percentage with a rating of 100 being 100% the goldfish's finishing time would be divided by 1.09 and the Sunfish's would be divided by .996. Likewise a Hobie Cat with a rating of 70.2 would get it's finishing time divided by .702.
Hobie Cat finishing time .65 hours divided by .702 would give a handicapped
finishing time of .925 hours

Sunfish finishing time .9 hours divided by .996 would give a handicapped time of .904 hours.

Goldfish finishing time 1 hour divided by 1.09 would give a handicapped time of .917 hours

NOTE: all time need to be converted to decimal values, hours/minutes/seconds don't work for handicapping.

So the Hiobie cat finished long before the sunny and goldie but got beaten by both on the handicap.
It seems that most people do end up doing some sort of racing when they buy a boat and that should be a consideration when you purchase a boat. To keep the resale value of your boat you should buy a boat in a class that is active in your area.
Sailboats are raced "One Design" where the boats are identical, starting at the same time, and first one to cross the finish line is the winner or "Handicap" where all boats start at the same time and are timed on how long it takes them to navigate the course and their time is adjusted (or handicapped) based on the speed of the boat. The adjustments are made from a chart (Portsmouth ratings) that is compiled from data gathered on the boat performance.
"One Design" racing is done when there is a enough of the same type of boat to support races. "Handicap" racing is done where there is not enough boats of one type to make a fleet, but still offer the chance for boats to compete. The tatics are different for each type of race.
While it is true that you may be able to race a Goldfish in a Sunfish fleet locally (in a non-sanctioned event), the fact that the Goldfish is slower than the Sunfish(rating of 109 vs 99.6) could make it hard to be competitive. I doubt many Sunfish fleets are going adjust the time to compensate for the differance.
In order to reduce the frustration, and probably save money in the long run, you should go with the predominate fleet in your area.
Thread starter #18
scapp114 what this means to me is this if I plan on rec for a year it is great to buy whatever but if I plan to stay in the sport I should buy something that will last at least a few years onless pockets unlimited. The goldfish I looked at is in great shape for years but due to what I think may happen this is only good for rec. or collecters.
Jana - Is there in fact a Sunfish fleet near you? If not, you might well want to get the Goldfish you know about and enjoy recreational sailing. If you end up racing in a handicap fleet you are still in good shape. If you really want to try SF racing, many (if not most) of the events have at least some boats available for charter for the race.

The fact of the matter is that most Sunfish are sailed for fun, not at sanctioned races. We own one Goldfish and one Sunfish (besides our Morgan). Despite the different ratings, my wife can regularly beat me in her Goldfish (I'm protesting that she has a new sail!).

Frankly, in discussing _used_ boats of this type, I believe too much is made of "resell value". If I wanted to sell our Goldfish I'm fairly sure I could package it up attractively and find a recreational sailer to buy it. Or for what I've got invested I could donate it and take the tax deduction. Most people do not buy recreational items thinking primarily about some possible future resell value.

Bear in mind that you will find many "purists" on this forum (and I've got no grudge against that, they are helpful friendly folks). But I have both kiinds of boats and have a little perspective. The Goldfish has some nice features (like the lack of a lip around the cockpit!). Sailing it has made my wife a better overall sailer. I'll go post a picture of her in the photos section for your reference.

All I'm saying is that if you have located a Goldfish at the price you like in a condition you appreciate and you think it a worthwile boat, don't let the more esoteric arguments sway you too much. I think there is a great deal to be said for just getting a boat and going sailing!

Cheers, Ed Humphries
That is pretty much what I feel. Also be aware that all Sunfish are not 'equal'. Many of the used Sunfish boats for sale are not 'raceable' without some upgrades, depending on the area you are sailing in.
In my post I was not 'boat specific'. I really feel it is in the best interest to have a boat that is popular in your area being both sailed recreationaly and raced.