Posts Tagged 'sunfish forum'

a DIY Sunfish rudder build [video]

saw this video posted on the Sunfish Forum.

thoughts? it certainly is pretty creative.  also quite simple and fairly low cost.

I didn’t realize you could flatten PVC like that – but I’d worry about it’s long term strength. pine and plywood also don’t strike me as the best suited for exposure to water, or having very much structural strength and stiffness.

it seems like old rudders are pretty readily available if you look around, so I’m not sure I’d try to recreate something that works if I can find an old one nearby to buy and maybe refinish if need be.  plus, I sail enough on the Great Lakes that I don’t think I’d trust sailing in heavy wind and waves with a home-made creation that might not hold up under the heavier loading from heavy sailing.

sunfish tacking technique

there is a thread now on the Sunfish Forum about the proper method to tack in a Sunfish.  novice and pro alike have offered their opinion, based on personal experience, from watching videos on Youtube, or by watching and learning from some of the Sunfish Worlds champions.

but no response has been nearly as good as this one, offered up by John Albrecht (or “Duckfat”) as “the only proper and true method” to tack a Sunfish:

1. Decide that for some reason that the direction you are currently sailing in is no good.
2. Brace your beer between your feet, amid the clutter of the mainsheet, beef jerky bags, and condom wrappers.
3. Look around to make sure there aren’t any waverunners bearing down on you. If there are, keep the pellet gun out of sight until they are within range.

1. Scream “LOOK OUT!” as a polite heads-up to your passenger(s).
2. Whip the tiller in one direction or another until the sail begins flopping wildly about.
3. Do not let the boom hit you in the head.
4. It’s important enough to list twice. Do not let the boom hit you in the head. And keep an eye on the beer cooler while you’re at it.
5. When the sail is flopping around on the other side of the boat and your passenger is sufficiently terrified, slide your ass to the side that isn’t dragging in the water.
6. Shout “NOW WE’RE SAILING!!” while awkwardly trying to change tiller and mainsheet hands. Get them caught on and wrapped around each other in the process.
7. Scull the rudder back and forth in a valiant attempt to get out of irons. Assure your passenger that this is how the pros do it.
8. When the wind has once again filled the sail (on the opposite side, otherwise what you just did wasn’t actually a tack), step on the mainsheet while you reach down and take a swig of that beer. Tacking is thirsty work. (Note: Occasionally a gust of wind will give you a rope burn on the bottom of your foot. This is normal.)
9. Have your passenger hand you another beer, then ask her why she still has that bikini top on. Ain’t no other boats round here.


a 1960 corvette or (2) sailfish?

an interesting question posed over at the Sunfish Forum: would you rather have (2) Sailfish sailboats or the 1960 Corvette?


I saw this posted on the Sunfish Forum today, apparently a photo from the Italian championship.

I’ve never done that in a Sunfish, but I have pulled off a similar move in a sea kayak – wave lifted me and the kayak up, and it nose-dived straight into the sand, threw me off and forward, and then landed on top of me.

HT: Wavedancer at the Sunfish Forum

how foils on a Moth sailboat work [video]

this is a pretty sweet video for the Zhik Nautica 2012 Moth Worlds where Andrew McDougall explains how the foils on a Moth sailboat work.  these light little boats just amaze me – I love seeing the videos of a Moth sailor hanging off the side to “run” on the water as the sailboat is zipping across the water up on the foils.

HT: Wavedancer at


50th Sunfish North Americans results

this past week and weekend, the 50th Sunfish North Americans were held on Lake Michigan.  the event was hosted by the Lake Bluff Yacht Club.  additional information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

eight youth/junior racers participated in the Youth North Americans, with Stewart Draheim taking 1st place with 6 bullets and a 2nd place (that was thrown out as his lowest score) to finish with 6 points.  the final results can be found here.  here is a great photo album with tons of pictures from the Youth racing.



the Open North Americans followed the Youth sailing, and after light air on the 1st day with only 2 races, the wind picked up, and the sailors completed nine total races in the 3 days of sailing.  David Mendelblatt finished in first place with 21 points, followed by Greg Gust with 31 points, and Tom Whitehurst in 3rd place with 51 points.  the full regatta results can be found here.

Chris Williams has a good report on the event over at the Sunfish Forum.  he notes that by the 2nd and 3rd days, the wind had picked up and was gusty, with lots of wave/chop action to fight with out on the water.  here is a wind report from Wind Alert and showing the gusts (I assume they were off the water before the big storms swept across Chicago and northern Indiana that evening).

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