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Sunfish Manufacturing Improvement Report

Weston

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting the update on the production of the Sunfish in Portugal. To save everyone a click, here’s the link to the full report.


I found their response humorous/concerning/interesting (you pick) when the Sunfish class requested that they allow enough room in the deck overhang in the cockpit to allow sailors to attach additional hardware, notice how they responded (see text circled in red)

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tag

my2fish
man that full report is interesting - some of the critiques and then the comments back addressing them are worded... strangely.
a few items of note/concern:
  • sharp or rough edges and rough finish
  • installed with a Laser hiking strap?
  • upside down installed tiller
  • sidewall strengthening will be with fome (I'm assuming spray foam?)
  • backer material is all wood(!) - so much for stainless steel backing plates

the new bow handle looks.... weird.
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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Clearly (?) the LP persons responding don't use English as their first language.

LP did away with the plastic trim around the cockpit edges on this updated version. The trim on my Vanguard boat was an improvement over the metal trim with the rivets sometimes getting loose.

5. The tiller position is 53 mm above the deck; not 530 mm (yes, I am old and fussy).

12. But the elephant in the room (the internal support system) is not addressed in this report. Apparently, the sides of the hull will be made stronger.

14. The deck overhang on my Vanguard Sunfish is 45 mm. 40 mm might be OK to mount a block.

The new bow handle is supposed to improve the looks of the boat, but I have to agree that the classic design has served us well. Perhaps the new design would allow one to drag the boat with two hands behind one's back. That might be a plus.

Not sure if the new ('plastic') rudder head will be strong enough. There have been problems in the past with this part.

PS: I would wait with buying a new boat....
 

danpal

Active Member
I actually went down to Bristol, RI to take a look at the Rocket and the manufacturing process a couple of months back. It's a really nice boat that should be a lot of fun to sail. The only thing I noticed and what I told Kirk was that the edge where the hull and the deck join was not protected. Their edge is not curved like the current Sunfish but had an exposed edge like the older models but there's no protective edging. I was impressed with group and their factory and I'd definitely buy one if I could convince my wife.
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Better stock up on Sunfish aluminum rudder cheeks! Will Sunfish aluminum rudder cheek futures appear shortly?

The new bow handle lends itself to being dragged by two people. Will a new replacement cost $60? Not including an inspection port @ $30. :rolleyes:

As for adding a mount aft of the daggerboard, we will find a way. :cool:
(But I'll bet they'll sell you the recommended mount).

Funny, while the respondent may not have English as a first language, I would not have blinked if the instructions read, "Note: The drilling of holes in the structure of the boat is verboten"... ;)
 

Sailflow

Active Member
Considering all they had to do was copy an existing sunfish for fit and finish. Back to wood blocks really? Sounds like a no foam support deck.

They need to take the boat out in a 20 mph breeze, big chop in full race mode with with a
average size person kneeling on the deck putting heavy vang on. Then go pounding through waves. The last set of worlds boats had issues now add a new rudder bracket. I hope the worlds in Florida are windy.

They seem to think this is going to be a high volume boat. The high volume days are over. So you don't put extra design costs to try to reinvent the boat.
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
This report is rather disappointing. The Sunfish is a one-design class and the builder simply cannot make design changes without the approval if the Sunfish Class and still sell it as a "Sunfish." The sidewall issues are a real concern.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
The Sunfish is a one-design class and the builder simply cannot make design changes without the approval if the Sunfish Class and still sell it as a "Sunfish."
That depends on what the class association and the builder have agreed upon (if anything). I understand that there is (unlike in the Laser) no construction manual, so LaserPerformance is basically free to legally sell almost anything as a Sunfish, restricted only by the trademark definition (whatever that may be). If ISCA isn't happy, all they can do is to turn to World Sailing, who is known to stand up for its member organizations, although probably not very eager to get involved in relatively small technical details.

_
 

cmac233

Member
That depends on what the class association and the builder have agreed upon (if anything). I understand that there is (unlike in the Laser) no construction manual, so LaserPerformance is basically free to legally sell almost anything as a Sunfish, restricted only by the trademark definition (whatever that may be). If ISCA isn't happy, all they can do is to turn to World Sailing, who is known to stand up for its member organizations, although probably not very eager to get involved in relatively small technical details.

_
Technically speaking Sunfish is owned by LaserPeformance and therefore, they can do as they choose. I of course would not suggest they take this route and would think it is in the best interest for all involved if LaserPerformance and ISCA works together for the good of all and for the most part I believe this is what has taken place.
 

cmac233

Member
Considering all they had to do was copy an existing sunfish for fit and finish. Back to wood blocks really? Sounds like a no foam support deck.

They need to take the boat out in a 20 mph breeze, big chop in full race mode with with a
average size person kneeling on the deck putting heavy vang on. Then go pounding through waves. The last set of worlds boats had issues now add a new rudder bracket. I hope the worlds in Florida are windy.

They seem to think this is going to be a high volume boat. The high volume days are over. So you don't put extra design costs to try to reinvent the boat.
The new rudder cheek and bow handle will not be incorporated into the boat until well into the 2022 calendar year. They for sure will NOT be found on the 2021 World boats this year in Sarasota.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Richard Chapman, President of the Class, posted the following on the Sunfish Facebook page:

Wow, this has generated a LOT of posts! Here's what I can tell you after speaking with Brent at LP. The new handle and rudder cheeks will not be on any boats until after Jan. 2022. The Worlds boats will have all the regular equipment that you know and love! As for the handle being "permanently" attached to the boat, the plan is for the handle to be attached with screws AFTER the boat has be assembled, therefore, it should be easily changed if it happens to break. We are hoping to see a set of rudder cheeks and a new handle before they go onto the new boats. Overall, I'm happy to say that LP has been receptive to our comments about the new boats and sails and we're especially happy that they are telling us about upcoming changes to the boat instead of just doing it and letting us be surprised, which is what has happened in the past. The class is working hard with LP to keep the lines of communication open. It will benefit all of us!
 

shorefun

Active Member
After doing the repairs to all the youth program boats at our yacht club plus watching the kids sailing. These new boats are not going to hold up very long. It will not be worth the time to fix them. The old boats could take some abuse. The newer J edge are pretty good at damage, but the J at the front does not survive well.

These new boats wont do well in constant abuse with older boats. I can see a 1980's fish demolishing these new hulls. I have seen what they can do to a late 90's hull.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
We are hoping to see a set of rudder cheeks and a new handle before they go onto the new boats. Overall, I'm happy to say that LP has been receptive to our comments about the new boats and sails and we're especially happy that they are telling us about upcoming changes to the boat instead of just doing it and letting us be surprised, which is what has happened in the past. The class is working hard with LP to keep the lines of communication open. It will benefit all of us!
I prefer the old handle. They, too, were attached by screws, and the new handle reminds me of "flip-flops". (Shower shoes). :rolleyes:

This report is rather disappointing. The Sunfish is a one-design class and the builder simply cannot make design changes without the approval if the Sunfish Class and still sell it as a "Sunfish." The sidewall issues are a real concern.
Searching for a term that didn't come up readily, I found "freeboard". Otherwise, I'd be inclined to say, "My Sunfish is so old, it has 'white sidewalls'". :p
 

Charles Howard

Active Member
LP should look at how they used to build


Amazing the work on fixing spider cracks.
 
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