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Sunfish or Zuma?

roger l

New Member
I am trying to decide what boat I want to get after I sell my Catalina 14.2. There is a thread Sunfish, Laser, or Force 5 that "I" started and I got some very good information comparing those (3) boats. I was doing some looking and I came across the Zuma. The main looks to be rigged very much like the Catalina. The Zuma looks to be about the same weight as the Sunfish but with less sail area. Has anyone seen or sailed a Zuma? How does it compare to the Sunfish? The Zuma looks to be a dryer boat than the Sunfish. I am not looking to race. I just want a boat that I can do some fun recreational sailing with. Any information would be great. :)

Roger L


I have no personal experience with one, but a coworker of mine has a Zuma, and he loves it. In fact, he almost bought another one on Ebay last week, so he and his wife could race each other.
I owned a Zuma for several years. Great little boat, and I've often regretted selling it (but then again, I've regretted selling ALL my sailboats! :)). At any rate, it is considerably dryer than a SF, is more comfortable to sail on, less quirky (no lateen rig, gooseneck adjustments, etc.), and can carry more people. When my family was younger, we used to load all six (!!) of us on. I weighed 165, my wife, 120, and our children were ages 2, 4, 6 & 8. Quite a sight, and I'm sure we turned a lot of heads. The reason this was possible, BTW, was because we could set a couple of smaller kids in the cockpit area then have the rest of us sit along the sides. Great fun! When we finally outgrew it, we replaced it with a Prindle 18 catamaran.

The downside of the Zuma is that it is a little slower than the SF. I like speed, so that settles it for me, but I do miss my old Zuma as well...


Upside down?
Staff member
The previous responses pretty much convey what is relevant. Let me just emphasize that the Sunfish might be the better choice if you are going to sail by yourself, the Zuma for when you have company.

roger l

New Member
Thanks for the input. When it comes time to get another sailboat it looks like I am going to buy a Sunfish. I am looking for a small easy to rig sailboat that I can sail myself. The Catalina 14.2 is a GREAT boat but it is to much for me to sail by myself. So a Sunfish it is. I need to keep my eyes open for one in my area.

Thanks Again

Roger L
Not wanting to make waves, but the Zuma is a great one-man boat as well. In fact, I often sailed solo on mine. Like the Sunfish, it's really a very light boat, weighing in at 130 lbs. (the same as a SF) but with a 5' beam. The advantage is that it can also carry more crew. Don't think of it as in the same class as the 340 lb. Catalina 14.2! You can easily launch, sail, and right a Zuma by yourself. Again, the only minus I know of is slightly less speed. You should consider whether you want to take others along often (which favors the Zuma), and also whether you want to get into racing (where the SF is a much better choice since there are so many more). You'll have a great time on either boat!