Posts Tagged 'sunfish sailing'

greater detroit 2014 Sunfish race schedule

the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club (GDSC) has released their 2014 Sunfish race schedule (you can find it with additional information posted at their Yahoo Group).  you can also check them out on their Facebook page.

all Sunday races start at 12:30pm [uno]

I said this last year (and the year before), and didn’t get a chance, but I’m again going to do my best to meet up with this group for some races this year.  it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy summer already, though!

two are better than one

the Sunfish Class has voted to allow the use of 2 halyard lines, and an additional line for a Jens rig – all to allow for a more simplified method of depowering the Sunfish sail for heavy winds (official release).  it is often beneficial for lighter sailors, who don’t have as much body mass to balance the heavier wind forces on the sail (and hence the reason I’ve never had to use it…).

here are some of the specific rule changes.

3.7.2 One or two halyards may be used. Halyards may be of any length and diameter. The running end of one halyard may be used to create a boom vang and/or to pull the boom out in light air. A single purchase loop may be tied in each halyard to help draw the halyard tight, provided the sail can be quickly lowered in an emergency.

3.7.3 A rig to lower the point at which the upper spar lies against the mast (known as the “Jens Hookansen Rig‟)may be tied with an extra piece of line used solely for that purpose. The rig must be tied in such a way that the sail can be lowered quickly and easily by releasing the halyard(s).

here is a bit more information on the Jens rig (via MSYC blog):

A Jens rig, named after Jens Hookanson who used it in winning the 1976 Sunfish North American Championship (at age 16!), lowers the point at which the upper spar is attached to the mast. This leaves more of the upper spar unsupported. In heavier winds, the upper spar can bend more, twisting the leech and “spilling” air. Since the upper part of the sail is depowered, it is easier to hold the boat flat without easing the sail out. Therefore pointing is not sacrificed.

here is an excellent video (about 10 minutes long) with demonstration of the “Gust Adjust” – a class legal version of the Jens halyard setup for your Sunfish rigging.

Greg Gust also just won the Sunfish International Masters earlier this week – I think he knows what he’s doing!

harken h150

I was just browsing online for some new rigging to get for the Minifish that I bought in November, and came across a nice little video that Annapolis Performance Sailing just created that talks about the Harken H150 cam cleat and some of the accessories you can pair with the H150.

the H150 is a great little cam cleat that I have used before with my Sunfish if I want the option to cleat the mainsheet.  my setup includes a Harken carbo ratcheting block – the 57mm H2135 on a stand-up spring – that controls the tension on the mainsheet.  I mounted the H150 cam cleat on the turned down lip around the cockpit of the Sunfish.  the picture below is before I installed the stand-up spring, but shows the H150 mounted on the cockpit lip.


this position is important for a few reasons: it keeps the cam cleat mostly out of the way, and it makes it fairly difficult to reach that far into the middle of the boat to cleat off the mainsheet when you are hiked out in a stiff breeze.  some sailors/racers like to install a cleat on each side of the cockpit near the outer edge of the Sunfish, but these can hurt your legs if you ever are hiked out and forward enough that they get in the way.

the reason to avoid cleating off your mainsheet in a medium to high strength winds is that you lose the ability to quickly spill the sails if you are hit with a quick puff of breeze.  it is recommended to learn to sail with the mainsheet always in your hand, controlling the sail and making minor adjustments with the wind.  if you were hit with a large gust of wind with the mainsheet cleated, it could cause you to flip your Sunfish and take an impromptu swim!

a note for newer Sunfish with the rolled gunwales – the cockpit trim makes it difficult to install the H150 on the cockpit lip.  you might be able to figure something out, but with my newer Sunfish, I just installed the H2135 and the standup spring, and skipped the cam cleat.  either option works!

Img0213_019 mainsheet block

HT: APS Stern Scoop blog

what’s your story?

sunfish story VW

I’ve got a whole blog about my journey with the ‘Fishes – what is YOUR story?

Sunfish Class at 2014 Strictly Sail Chicago

a bit of information on the Sunfish Class at this year’s Strictly Sail Chicago:



The Sunfish Class will have a race rigged boat, featuring the new Depowering Rig, on the floor at the 2014 Strictly Sail Chicago Boat show. While this rig has reached Class approval, the implementation date is not yet officially announced. This new depowering rig is simpler and safer than recent ones hence there is high interest in learning how to set it up.

US Sunfish Class President and past US Masters Champion Rich Chapman, 2013 World Championship competitor Gail Turluck, Lake Bluff Fleet Captain Doug Warren, Douglas Lake Fleet Captain Linda Orlow, Lake Lansing Fleet Captain Jim Fletcher, college sailor Neal Turluck and more representatives will be there to help sailors learn about the challenge and great fun it is to sail and race Sunfish sailboats!

Enter to win a 2014 free US Class membership (eligibility for drawing: have never been a Class member).

Young sailors, come learn about these really fun and challenging to sail racing machines! The U.S. needs more Youth Sunfish sailors to represent it at the Sunfish Youth World Championship in North Carolina in October.

Learn from our experts about how to rig for racing, day sailing, depower for heavy air, transform a recreational boat to a race rigged boat, and more. Do you have an old and/or leaky Sunfish? We can help you learn how to fix her up and get her back to fast! We’ll have a list of Midwest fleets and can help you start a new one, too.

There are half a million Sunfish – come join the fun.

The show is January 23-26, 2014, at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois.

More info:

Make your plans to attend today!

Strictly Sail Chicago is held at Navy Pier, Festival Hall A & B, 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

  • Thursday, January 23 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, January 24 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 25 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 26 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Official press release (.pdf file)


About the Sunfish Class: Sunfish Class is the governing body of Sunfish racers everywhere. The Sunfish Class offers diversity unmatched by any one-design boat. Young, old, short, tall, big, small, man, woman, world-class or just learning, we are a welcome and open group of people who love our little boats. We are Olympians, World Champions and the single-handed class in the Pan American Games. We are dedicated to racing our best while recognizing the Corinthian essence of the sport. We challenge you to find a more welcoming, open and friendly group of sailors anywhere. We are classic, competitive and fun!”

sailing Round Lake

thinking of warmer days, I stumbled on this photo of me getting ready to sail on Round Lake, south of Jackson, Michigan. we were at my friend’s cottage for a couple days, right on the lake. it was an amazing time.

I was taking out my brand new FRP daggerboard, and despite knowing there was a sandbar, I proceeded to strike it anyway, and chip the new board.

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