Transporting a Sunfish home

Thread starter #1
I am looking to purchase a used Sunfish and will have to pick it up and get it home. Once home, I live on a lake, so I don’t need a trailer. Any suggestions how to safely, easily and inexpensively transport it from the seller’s home to mine?
 
#2
1) Cartop the boat and spars, stow other equipment and sail gear in vehicle cabin or trunk.

2) If you have a trailer hitch, rent a small trailer from Budget or U-Haul... one of those flat auto trailers would work just fine.

3) Get a friend with a suitable vehicle to help you haul the boat.

4) If you have magical powers, rig the boat and fly it home like a magic carpet.

5) If you do NOT have magical powers, wait for an F5 twister and hope that it drops you and the boat in the lake. :confused:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#3
Cartop it using a small mattress. Like a bunk bed, or rollaway cot mattress.

Check with a lakefront neighbor. They may have a trailer for a kayak or Sunfish they could loan you for an afternoon.

The seller may agree to deliver it, if'n you meet his price. His insurance will cover a possible loss, which is worth meeting his price.
 
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#4
Thick blankets, sleeping bags, etc., will also work, securement is the top priority so you don't run into problems or safety issues while hauling the boat. :confused:
 
Thread starter #5
I read in other posts that car topping it would be unwise, as it could end up as road kill. I’m wondering if it can stick out the back of a truck bed or SUV without sliding out or being illegal.
 
#6
Check Norcalsail's thread with extra support plugged into the trailer hitch... those extenders are rather inexpensive. Secure the boat well and use a red or orange safety flag, that'll keep the revenue collectors at bay. :cool:
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#8
People cartop all over the country, for long distances too. A roof rack is preferable to a mattress, but I’ve heard of people using mattresses. Don’t know what you would tie the boat to if you use a mattress.
 
#10
I transport my boat to the lake a few miles away in the back of my pick up truck.
Of course it depends on the size of the truck and length of the truck bed.
With the tail gate down less then 4’ stick out of the back of my truck. A few cam straps from the cockpit to the truck bed and some bungees Holding the spars down on the boat and I’m good to go. I do put a foam block between the spars and the deck and
hang a red bandanna off the spars as a flag.
I’ll try to remember to take a picture this weekend as I’m planning on going out saturaday.
 
#12
I got some good laughs out of these replies! You really have several options. You don’t tell us how far you have to travel or what kind of vehicle you have, if you have a roof rack or if you have a hitch... so a bit more info would help narrow these options.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#13
Car topping depends on if the hull is waterlogged or not. If it is
the weight could leave your vehicle with a dangerous high
center of gravity. If it's not and at it's approx. 135 lbs. dry weight
safety is dependent on knowing what it takes to secure the load.
Rigging could be problematic as you should consider the mounting
of the bow handle and other deck fittings compromised, i.e. likely
to pull out and should not be trusted. Renting a U-Haul is the quickest
and safest method. I've seen a lot of boat/trailer combos where
spending a little more to put it small flatbed trailer can eliminate
most all problems getting it home.
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
#14
Car-topping a Sunfish is always possible, but a pain in the stern if you have to do it often. I bought my current 2010 race boat in the Florida Panhandle and then drove it though Northern Florida and then home to Upstate NY, 1000+ miles. The verhicle was a VW Golf Sportwagon with a stock roof rack padded with two layers of black foam pipe covers taped flat with Gorilla Tape. I tied the hull down with two nylon ratchet straps tight enough to hold it in place but not tight enough to distort the hull AND soft rope back-up ties tied with the classic trucker's hitch. The spars in a spar bag were lashed on the edge of the hull. The rest of the gear fit in the inside of the vehicle. It made the trip without incident. Photo attached.

All that said, if this is a one-time trip, I fully agree with the ideas above: ask the seller to deliver (a common deal closer request), borrow or rent a small trailer, or find a friend with a long bed pick-up to help with delivery.

Good luck.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Attachments

#15
've put my mini fish in the back of an SUV with the bow facing out. I secure the lines on seat posts since they are exposed by having the seats down, then run the line through the bow handle to the other side. Also use a rolled up yoga mat ($5 at a discount store) for padding for the hatch when tied down.
 
Thread starter #16
I got some good laughs out of these replies! You really have several options. You don’t tell us how far you have to travel or what kind of vehicle you have, if you have a roof rack or if you have a hitch... so a bit more info would help narrow these options.
I have to drive on a parkway about 60 miles. I only have a sedan but I have. Friend with a Chrysler Town and Country and I’m wondering if it would fit inside.
 
#17
The Sunfish is 14’ long and about 3’ 9” at the widest point. Measure the space in the Chrysler. If the back seat goes down and you have proper ropes/ratchets/bungees and padding, plus a red towel or pillowcase for safety you should be good to go. You probably don’t want more than 3’ hanging out the back. Drive in the daylight. If the Chrysler isn’t big enough rent a UHaul, as Signal Charlie suggested. They really don’t cost much and it might give you better peace of mind. Be sure you and one other can lift and move the hull, otherwise pass on the boat. Safety first, good luck and keep us posted!
 
#18
If you don't have a red rag, towel, or whatever, you can get an inexpensive orange safety flag at the nearest Home Depot... they used to give 'em away if ya bought lumber, but that may be a thing of the past. :confused:
 
Thread starter #19
A
The Sunfish is 14’ long and about 3’ 9” at the widest point. Measure the space in the Chrysler. If the back seat goes down and you have proper ropes/ratchets/bungees and padding, plus a red towel or pillowcase for safety you should be good to go. You probably don’t want more than 3’ hanging out the back. Drive in the daylight. If the Chrysler isn’t big enough rent a UHaul, as Signal Charlie suggested. They really don’t cost much and it might give you better peace of mind. Be sure you and one other can lift and move the hull, otherwise pass on the boat. Safety first, good luck and keep us posted!
Am I checking that I can lift it to make sure it isn’t water logged? That may be a problem; I could barely lift a mini fish with help. Is there another way to tell? And do you suggest loading it stern or bow first into the SUV ? Also, to what would we attach the rope or bungees to secure it?
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#21
Home Depot will rent you a truck, with the first 75 minutes FREE!:cool:

Rent where the Sunfish is, and have a friend drive you back to your car. :oops: Well, maybe just pay the extra mileage.

Checked again: It's $19.00 for the first 75 minutes; unlimited mileage.. :)

For a 60-mile trip, you'll have to drive and load/unload really fast. :confused:

.
 
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#22
4A2E7623-7A19-481D-849C-2349EB673B66.jpeg
Picture loaded in my pickup as promised.
You were asking whether to load bow or stern first, I prefer to load the bow first as it is the widest and the bulk of the weight.
I doubt you can fit the boat in a town and country.
If you don’t know anyone with a pick up, renting a truck/trailer may be you best option. Especially if you feel lifting the boat may be an issue for you.
 
Thread starter #23
I
Here's Norcalsail's post that Coastal Redneck is referring to where he shows pictures of how transported his Sunfish in the bed of his truck before he got a trailer.

- Andy
There is no trailer hitch on the SUV.
View attachment 34558
Picture loaded in my pickup as promised.
You were asking whether to load bow or stern first, I prefer to load the bow first as it is the widest and the bulk of the weight.
I doubt you can fit the boat in a town and country.
If you don’t know anyone with a pick up, renting a truck/trailer may be you best option. Especially if you feel lifting the boat may be an issue for you.
how do you keep the boat and sail from sliding off the back of the truck?
 
#25
Have you asked the seller about possible delivery? Even if it costs you $50 or so, it sounds like it would be much easier for you. I always offer to help my buyer secure the boat, but not every seller is comfortable with that, I suppose. If the seller can’t deliver and you don’t have a friend to help with a vehicle that can hold a Sunfish you might want to start a new thread with how to dry out and find the leak in your Minifish. The Mini is a great boat. If you can’t turn yours over it must be waterlogged- should only weigh 90 lbs. But it can be fixed and we can guide you through the repairs- a very rewarding project.
Otherwise, this may not be the Sunfish for you. You live on a lake- keep your eye out for one you can SAIL home!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#26
To weigh your Mini-Fish, center it over the bathroom scale using the daggerboard trunk (area) as the balance point.

If some leverage is necessary, insert the mast, step on the near-side gunnel, and use the mast as a lever.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
#27
how do you keep the boat and sail from sliding off the back of the truck?
Your "spotter" in the car behind you, probably would tell you, should that happen. :)
Seriously, questions of thus nature seems Uhaul or similar is by far the safest. A sunfish launching out of a vehicle at highway speeds, doesn't sound like fun.
 
#28
I

There is no trailer hitch on the SUV.

how do you keep the boat and sail from sliding off the back of the truck?
If you look closely at the picture you’ll notice a foam block under the spars/mast, this and a couple of bungees creates enough friction to hold them in place.
As for the boat you can see the cam strap hooks in the cockpit that are secured to the bed of the truck. Simple yet effective.
 
Thread starter #29
Have you asked the seller about possible delivery? Even if it costs you $50 or so, it sounds like it would be much easier for you. I always offer to help my buyer secure the boat, but not every seller is comfortable with that, I suppose. If the seller can’t deliver and you don’t have a friend to help with a vehicle that can hold a Sunfish you might want to start a new thread with how to dry out and find the leak in your Minifish. The Mini is a great boat. If you can’t turn yours over it must be waterlogged- should only weigh 90 lbs. But it can be fixed and we can guide you through the repairs- a very rewarding project.
Otherwise, this may not be the Sunfish for you. You live on a lake- keep your eye out for one you can SAIL home!
I spoke with a guy who does sailboat repairs. He seemed to think water is permeating my hull and it would need a special finish all over which would cost more than another boat. I would love to just keep my mini- I love it.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#30
I spoke with a guy who does sailboat repairs. He seemed to think water is permeating my hull and it would need a special finish all over which would cost more than another boat. I would love to just keep my mini- I love it.
That is extremely unlikely unless you have sanded all the gelcoat off the boat and then sanded away part of the fiberglass too!! You need to do a leak test. It’s simple and has been explained on here. It’s likely just one or two places where the leak has developed.
 
Thread starter #31
Each time I go out on the water, my hull fills with water. I have to take out the screw from the drain hole and water pours out of it for anywhere from 15 minutes to a half an hour. I told him this and he said this happens to older sunfish and it would have to be re-coated, which costs more than another boat. He gets paid to fix sailboats, so I dont' know why he would say that if he could make money with my boat. I can't drill inspection ports in my boat by myself- I definitely don't have that kind of skill, so I would need to hire someone and this guy is all there is near me.
 
Thread starter #32
That is extremely unlikely unless you have sanded all the gelcoat off the boat and then sanded away part of the fiberglass too!! You need to do a leak test. It’s simple and has been explained on here. It’s likely just one or two places where the leak has developed.
Each time I go out on the water, my hull fills with water. I have to take out the screw from the drain hole and water pours out of it for anywhere from 15 minutes to a half an hour. I told him this and he said this happens to older sunfish and it would have to be re-coated, which costs more than another boat. He gets paid to fix sailboats, so I dont' know why he would say that if he could make money with my boat. I can't drill inspection ports in my boat by myself- I definitely don't have that kind of skill, so I would need to hire someone and this guy is all there is near me.
 
Thread starter #33
The sunfish I'm looking at doesn't have a hiking strap like my mini. I thought ALL sunfish have hiking straps! I use the hiking strap to keep from falling backwards off of the boat and also as a way to pull myself back into the boat from the water. I don't know if no strap is a deal breaker.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#34
Each time I go out on the water, my hull fills with water. I have to take out the screw from the drain hole and water pours out of it for anywhere from 15 minutes to a half an hour. I told him this and he said this happens to older sunfish and it would have to be re-coated, which costs more than another boat. He gets paid to fix sailboats, so I dont' know why he would say that if he could make money with my boat. I can't drill inspection ports in my boat by myself- I definitely don't have that kind of skill, so I would need to hire someone and this guy is all there is near me.
There is a hole in the boat somewhere - his theory does not hold water, so to speak. There is absolutely no way that amount of water is seeping thru the hull itself. Either he does not want to fix your boat or he is clueless.

There is a perfectly good chance a port would not be needed for the fix. The first step is to find the leak. You should find the hull vent hole and tape it over. Then make up a bucket of soapy water. Then blow air into the drain vent and soap the seams of the boat, the bailer area, the daggerboard trunk and draw a bubble over the mast hole. Also soap any hardware. The soap will bubble where the holes/hole are/is. You don’t want to put too much pressure in the hull as you can pop the seams, but given how badly your boat is leaking youlll need decent pressure. And the bubbles will be obvious given how badly the boat leaks. Let us know where it’s leaking and we on the boat d can provide advice on fixing it. You could go to your repair guy and show him where the leak is too to see if he wants to fix it or not.

Sunfish newer than 1989 or so came from the factory with a strap. You’ll have to install one on older boats.
 
Thread starter #35
There is a hole in the boat somewhere - his theory does not hold water, so to speak. There is absolutely no way that amount of water is seeping thru the hull itself. Either he does not want to fix your boat or he is clueless.

There is a perfectly good chance a port would not be needed for the fix. The first step is to find the leak. You should find the hull vent hole and tape it over. Then make up a bucket of soapy water. Then blow air into the drain vent and soap the seams of the boat, the bailer area, the daggerboard trunk and draw a bubble over the mast hole. Also soap any hardware. The soap will bubble where the holes/hole are/is. You don’t want to put too much pressure in the hull as you can pop the seams, but given how badly your boat is leaking youlll need decent pressure. And the bubbles will be obvious given how badly the boat leaks. Let us know where it’s leaking and we on the boat d can provide advice on fixing it. You could go to your repair guy and show him where the leak is too to see if he wants to fix it or not.

Sunfish newer than 1989 or so came from the factory with a strap. You’ll have to install one on older boats.
There is a hole in the boat somewhere - his theory does not hold water, so to speak. There is absolutely no way that amount of water is seeping thru the hull itself. Either he does not want to fix your boat or he is clueless.

There is a perfectly good chance a port would not be needed for the fix. The first step is to find the leak. You should find the hull vent hole and tape it over. Then make up a bucket of soapy water. Then blow air into the drain vent and soap the seams of the boat, the bailer area, the daggerboard trunk and draw a bubble over the mast hole. Also soap any hardware. The soap will bubble where the holes/hole are/is. You don’t want to put too much pressure in the hull as you can pop the seams, but given how badly your boat is leaking youlll need decent pressure. And the bubbles will be obvious given how badly the boat leaks. Let us know where it’s leaking and we on the boat d can provide advice on fixing it. You could go to your repair guy and show him where the leak is too to see if he wants to fix it or not.

Sunfish newer than 1989 or so came from the factory with a strap. You’ll have to install one on older boats.
I don't know what the hull vent hole is....perhaps a minifish does not have one? And is the drain vent the little hole with the screw in it where the water pours out? Also, what would you use to blow the air into such a small hole?
 
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