updates on the "modern" Sunfish sail


here is some updated information on the new “modern" Sunfish sails that are being used by the Sunfish sailors on Sag Harbor. the sails are designed by a member of the Sag Harbor Sunfish sailing fleet, along with Kevin Farrar from Farrar Sails in New London, Connecticut. all photos and the highlights listed below were provided by Julian S., one of the Sunfish sailors using these new sails on Sag Harbor.


a few highlights for the new sails:
  • kevlar reinforced mylar – you can see in front of you!
  • the sail is made with a sock over the upper spar – no sail ties – results in better air flow over the front spar
  • slightly larger total area – moved to the top of the sail
  • 28″ removed from the lower spar with no weather helm
  • center of force on the sail now over the centerboard
they have made other modifications such as inboard (not on the spar) outhaul control. and what looks like an upgrade mainsheet control (see pic below).
mainsheet rigging.png

there is a 3rd version of the sail in the works with a square top and loose foot that is even shorter still and will allow for center sheeting (no bridle in the back). the red sail is a prototype of their Mk. III sail.
farrar mk 3.JPG

honestly, I think the perfect match would be to pair these modern updated sails, or at least a similar version of them, with the newly designed and upcoming Rocket sailboat – which looks like it has made some great improvements on the Sunfish hull design.

(also posted the same on my blog here)
I wonder exactly how much more surface it has...how does it perform speed wise in light wind...and how does it point...will it sail closer upwind.
Cool though.
If I could point higher (sailing back to my launch area), it's a no brainer...if it's cheaper than a 2nd fish. And while the Sunfish is great because of possible low introductory expenses for new sailors...what are total costs to go to a regatta 1200 miles away? It's all relative.
Kinda good eye candy too.
Beautiful sails
I noticed the Viadana block.
I installed a carbo ratchet Viadana block with a stand up spring.
Are used one without a becket for the standard Sunfish mainsheet set up.

The Viadana oval shaped backing plate fits perfectly under the Sunfish lip.
If you preload the Spring assembly on to the Stainless eye strap, first it makes life a lot easier.
Sub a cotter pin in for the ring ding, while using zip ties to hold a spring compressed.
Started to use overhead machine screws but went to the flat heads.
The spring seats nicely on top of the eye strap with a flat head screws.

Also in the picture is the Rooster designed hiking strap adjuster, it works flawlessly even with just one eye strap on the cubby lip. Do go onto Roosters blog to see good pictures on how to reeve the line If you attempt this.
it’s pretty ingenious, very simple, with dynema it’s very slippery and works well, it releases under load easily.
I installed a backing plate and hiking strap plate on the front bulkhead.
I’ll try to post a picture with the tail of the line trimmed and the “pull handle” oriented correctly it’s kind of hard to see how it leads from this picture. I just left all the tails long until I tested it out, now I Will neaten up.

Went for a rollicking sail yesterday, 15kts with 20 gusts and it performed flawlessly. :D

to rollicking Sailing!!!!!


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Great pic...puts them all in perspective. Now...where can I get one of those red flatheads? :)
Insignia looks like it is the Farrar Sails' logo. And as Beldar noted, you could try to contact them to see how to purchase one of these sails.
I can’t find a link to the article but Lee mentions in his recent video that Sailing World magazine has a recent article about these new sails and the Aerosouth rudders too.

a comment on my blog post mentioned that if you order the new Rocket sailboat with the "Interceptor" package, it will come with one of these Farrar sails.

I've sent an email to ask about pricing and handicap ratings for the various sails.
It would be nice to know how this fleet adjusts the scores (handicap) for the different rigs. Or maybe they don't.

Here is the response I got:
No handicap. Races are rarely decided on boat speed anyway.
Starts, strategy, snappy tacks are the things.
Our main system is to not keep score.
I am in the Sag Harbor Sunfish fleet - just stumbled across the thread.
I also sail one design Sunfish on Shelter Island.
Cost for the sail is meaningfully more expensive than a stock one design sail (2.5x more) but a lot more care goes into the manufacturing of it and the materials are also more expensive than the stock one design sail. Sail area is around 10% larger so I am told but I haven't done the side-by-side comparison yet. Speed doesn't seem meaningfully different, but there is a lot less weather helm since the center of effort has been moved forward. Not only are scores not adjusted for the different sails, scores aren't even kept. That said, the newest iteration of the sail with the very square top aloft is definitely quicker downwind in light to medium air (it is also a loose footed main, so hard to tell which change produced the biggest advantage), but is not as quick upwind. We've also had people show up in stock one design sails who are good sailors and do just as well vs. the new sails. The folks in the fleet who led the effort on this are an innovative bunch who used to frostbite Europe Dinghies before moving to Sunfish and tweaking the sail design, so they are wired a bit differently in general. Very nice group though, and if anyone is on Long Island, there are loaner boats and loaner sails (of earlier iterations of the design) if you want to come race on a Sunday morning.
from Lee Montes' recent video, the price of these sails was mentioned as $1,250 each. discounted if ordering 4+ of them.
the sleeve on the upper boom is interesting - doesn't that mean your halyard attachment point is limited to the couple inches of gap in the sleeve?
the sleeve on the upper boom is interesting - doesn't that mean your halyard attachment point is limited to the couple inches of gap in the sleeve?
Yes. No Jens possible, but also allegedly less of a need with the helm more balanced. They also don't move the gooseneck much, if at all. Also, I am the guy Lee is interviewing in the second half of the video, and it's my sail that he's borrowing for the day.
I have two of these sails for sale if anyone wants them. This is the MK 2.5 version for those who saw these sails in a recent Sailing World article. Shipping not included. Email me for more info. wpbeardsley [at] gmail [dot] com
I made this mess. Too sloppy to make any real evaluation as I butchered an old sail, which you can see. I was going to make a better one this last winter....with new sailcloth..but...ya know how that plans out sometimes. Bought some black Dacron sailcloth and have clear, reinforced mylar for aesetics. Will be full batton and similar to my first abortion.


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Those are my sails for sale. Still available. Have shipping tubes now as well. Understood that Intensity Sails are less - these are something TOTALLY DIFFERENT obviously. Minimal weather helm. See through. Just not class legal, though neither are the Intensity Sails at certain events of course
Interesting feedback on my blog post about these "modern" sails (and more specifically the Rocket sailboat).

Copy/pasted here without edits:
I have both the Rocket and a Sunfish. The stock sails are essentially the same. Both could use an upgrade. The Rocket showed great promise with its slightly larger sail and 40 lb less weight. Sounds great and those nice videos on the website! The Rocket has been a HUGE disappointment. The bailer really doesn’t work. The rudder does not stay down due to a lack of proper cleat for the line that holds it down. The front bow handle was made of very light polypropylene line that pulled through the holes in the edge of the hull and then broke. The junction between the boom and mast is a bad joke. Within 30 minutes of sailing this loose nylon line stretched out and the back of the boom was dragging in the water. The line to raise the sail is held by a jam cleat and constantly slips, lowering the sail. The outer edges of the boat are razor sharp and cut up my legs when launching. As a very experienced recreational sailor I was stunned. In two days of sailing on Long Island sound in 6-12 MPH winds, these are the workarounds I had to design just to sail the damn thing: 1) Reenforced boom/mast junction with 2 bungie cords pulled tight. 2) Made a knot in the mast line so it would not pull through the inadequate cleat 3) Hand tied the line that holds the rudder down to part of the rudder. 4) Used a cup to bail out the water. 5) Sanded the edges of the hull. I wrote a review somewhere else last summer. Essentially this boat has a slew of problems that are easy to fix but the designer seems to lack the motivation to fix them. Based on my experience I decided to not buy the boat and let my brother keep it. The Sunfish has none of these problems and is far more rugged. The Rocket’s only advantage is that is a little bit faster. What a shame of what could have been. My brother is an engineer and is working on some permanent fixes for the problems identified. For me the Rocket would just be a half assed Sunfish clone project boat.

And an alternate opinion (also copy/pasted w/o edits):
Sorry to hear you haven’t had a great experience with your Rocket. We have a fleet of eight boats here in Sag Harbor, and we race every Sunday, rain, shine, sleet, snow, even on sunny days. We are a little more than 18 months into the Rocket, and everyone loves the boat. Our newest boats came in at about 85 pounds, and seem super solid. We race the boats hard, using the Interceptor rig, which is pretty much a contemporary Moth sail with a wide sleeve and full battens; it’s fantastic. As for the gooseneck, honestly, this is a stroke of genius. None of us have had an issue, so it may be you didn’t have it rigged correctly. The most recent boats we have have Allen bailers, which are essentially the Elvström bailer without the sharp edges; they work great. The original bailer . . . is an interesting idea. And yes, the plastic Ronstan cleats for the halyard were not very good, but all the new boats have aluminum Clamcleats. There’s tremendous interest here in the boat, and I’m certain our fleet will double in size by the end of the year. The design level that Dave Clark is playing on is years ahead of other builders, who haven’t had an original idea, ever. Look inside the Rocket, then look inside at the drips and oozing foam inside any Sunfish and draw your own conclusions. Trying to make a better boat is a valiant cause, and sometimes there is a learning curve, but the performance and pure joy when you sail the Rocket is worth the effort.
Now, I don’t have more than about 34 seconds of sailing experience so take my comment for what it’s worth, but….. a review from any person claiming to have 45+ years of experience racing sailboats immediately loses credibility when they refer to a halyard as “the line to raise the sail.”
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