Wind kept me in on Monday.

Thread starter #1
Sunday was a Fun Day. Wind at 10-12 mph with gusts to 20 or more.
Some Sunday boat traffic on the lake both rag baggers and stinkpots.
On one turn I got overconfident and did not loose the main when coming about and sure enough the tiller slipped out of my hand and I went over. Help came fast, and I was towed to shore to re-rig and get back on my merry way.
Yesterday, Monday, we had sustained winds of 15 mph with gusts to 36.
There was NO other traffic on the lake.
One part of our lake traffic is the Dartmouth College Sailing club/race team.
I decided to play it safe and stay in.
Under what wind conditions do others (recreational sailors) say enough is enough and maybe too much?
My ideal for the Sunfish is in the 10-15 range with gusts of no more than low twenties. I'm 6', 225, so I've got plenty of ballast, but at 66, much more than that just isn't fun for me. (IMHO with gusts of 36 you're going to start breaking stuff) With my O'day Daysailer I prefer a little less unless my son or other experienced crew is along.
Since I almost always go out with a friend for crew, I won't head for the water unless it's a minimum of 15 mph, and anything up to mid-20's is just fine. Past that it gets a little too sporty and I worry about the equipment holding together.

If you have a slippery tiller handle then wrap the areas where you tend to hold it with silicone tape.


Active Member
Just keep working you way up. Once you get the boat to plane-out you should be in
your happy spot. That's assuming your boat is not waterlogged. I had a Sunfish full
of water that would not plane out in 45 mph winds. A large lake that provides a steady
wind direction and speed is more important than overall wind speed. It's the gusts and shifting
winds make it too much work to have fun.

You need to be able to self-rescue a overturned boat and get underway without any help because
it's going to happen often. Get this part down first before going for bigger things.
Thread starter #6
This is my third summer with this boat.
Pretty comfortable most of the time.
Not sure it will ever "plane out" but at 280 pounds I don't have to hike out far to keep sailing it flat.
Mascoma Lake in Enfield, NH.
Boat is pretty dry. I haven't been able to weigh it for sure, but it has been properly stored with the plug out.
This is my third summer with this boat.
Pretty comfortable most of the time.
Not sure it will ever "plane out" but at 280 pounds I don't have to hike out far to keep sailing it flat.
Mascoma Lake in Enfield, NH.
Boat is pretty dry. I haven't been able to weigh it for sure, but it has been properly stored with the plug out.
I am 245 pounds and can get mine to "plane out"......but I need to move way up towards the daggerboard to do so....which is where I should be anyhow....

But its true you don't need to hike out very far to sail it flat.

I have a laser-clone that I sail in light winds, but once it gets to 15+ the Sunfish is a blast!

Happy sailing..........


Well-Known Member
I'll go out with a "wind" of 5+ MPH. (The lake's surface is flat, but where the Sunfish shines—and will leave a wake!) :)

What gets scary is when the gusts start increasing in frequency and strength. When there are whitecaps everywhere, I turn for home (wing-and-;)) and wonder if I'm going to "stuff" the bow. :eek:


Active Member
You should be able to plane in about 20 to 25 mph winds. I've done it with my son and our combined weight was
about 240 lbs. I had the hull dried out to about 125 lbs and it really made a huge difference. The boat I'm using not
is not quite as light and does not perform as well. Takes about a year of sitting in a dry building to get the water out
of the core of the foam blocks. Make sure the gooseneck is adjusted for the wind conditions or you may have excessive
rudder deflection causing drag. Mark the boom off in inches from 17 to 24 inches. Seventeen for light winds and 24
for the crazy stuff.


Well-Known Member
4.8 ? :oops:

I would've guessed 5. :p

When I was a lad, "planing" was easily demonstrated as a "flat sheet of water" behind the boat. Those were powerboats, and a Sunfish would be at a loss to determine an exact planing speed using that factor. To actually plane my Sunfish, I'd have to give up my water bottle, chewing gum, camera, binoculars, paddle, Leatherman, sponge, sunscreen, and go on a diet! :( (But I think achieving Sunfish planing-speed is a lower speed than we're thinking). :cool:

Auto-Correct is trying to make planing into planning. :confused:

A person's weight is certainly a factor:

"A lightly loaded 40-footer can be on plane, defined as a rise in the center of gravity with a clean wake astern, at 11 knots. The same 40-footer with 10,000 pounds of fish in the hold might not be on plane until it’s making 16 or 17 knots."


Active Member
I had the boat on plane in about 12-15 yesterday. I'm 155, the boat is about 135.
Smooth water, steady breeze, get the boat flat and trim for 0 rudder deflection.
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Thread starter #14

I use "Ski Tracks" to keep track of my outings.
Still can't figure out the Altitude changes but...
These were from 8/29/2016 - 18-25 mph wind day.
Usually max speed is 5-7.5 mph


Well-Known Member
Two questions:

I have a Smartphone (smarter than me) :confused: is Ski Tracks a free app, and do I go to the Google Store to get one?

I must have missed that part of your sail, but is your Track showing that you ran hard-aground on the opposite shore? :(
Thread starter #16
I paid like $0.99 for Ski Tracks in December of 2012 when I got my first iPhone 4.
It followed to the iPhone 5c, and now to the iPhone 5SE.
I like Ski Tracks for tracking my skiing and then posting the data and the photos I take direct to Facebook with one button upload. Core Coders also publishes Bike Tracks, but to the best of my knowledge, neither have been updated recently that I know of.

I put in on the far shore to re-set the generation 1 rudder that popped out of track.
Also said hello to Mr. Tomato Plants.
My fish has no HIN (pre November 1972). But it does have the storage compartment (post 1970).
Originally had one triple blue stripe diagonally across the bow starboard to port. You guess the exact year.
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Active Member
My fish looks exactly the same, but still has the plaque showing it to be a '69. Same blue splash rail, triple blue stripe, but not cuddy in the cockpit. You can see pics of it thruout my posts and in my avatar.