[sailing] anarchy in the UK

trying to ignore the drama and politics that has been going on in the last few months (years?) between both the Sunfish and Laser classes and the official builder, Laser Performance, and instead focus on the positive: Sunfish production has begun in the UK.  hopefully this will improve quality and help with new model and parts availability for the Sunfish sailing class.

here are pictures (all photos by Laser Performance, shared on Twitter and Instagram):

a nice glimpse at the construction process and inner workings of a Sunfish.

a healthy dose of fiberglass and gelcoat.

not sure of the significance – but no sign of the foam flotation blocks.  are they truly being phased out? or just not shown in any of these selected photos?

post title is a mashup of the Sailing Anarchy forum and the song by the Sex Pistols.

the D’yer Mak’er

saw this photo posted on the Dinghy Shop Instagram account and had to wonder:

how can this boat builder not be called the D’yer Mak’er?

When I read the letter you sent me, it made me mad mad mad
When I read the news that it brought me, it made me sad sad sad
But I still love you so
And I can’t let you go
I love you
Oh, baby I love you, oh

sunfish assisted capsize recovery

sailors at the North Shore Yacht Club on Lake Michigan in Highland Park, Illinois have developed some new techniques to help Sunfish sailors assist nearby sailors that have capsized their Sunfish sailboat and are having difficulty righting the boat or getting back out of the water into the boat.  Alan Cohen is an American Canoe Association certified Level 2 Sea Kayak Instructor, an experienced Sunfish sailor, and former Commodore of the North Shore Yacht Club, and he prepared an article discussing these methods and helped with the re-enactment to make the video below to help explain the methods.  Alan’s article can be found here or here (.pdf file).

a few of the reasons this method might be beneficial are highlighted in the article and video, including the following:

  • Sunfish has capsized and/or fully turtled
  • the daggerboard has fallen out, or won’t stay in the daggerboard slot to assist with flipping the Sunfish back over
  • sailor fatigue
  • help getting in the boat

there’s often discussions over on the Sunfish Forum about various ways to help with one or several of the above list, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them summarized so nicely in a written article, and now a video demonstration as well.  the article and video highlight (4) basic techniques to help a nearby Sunfish sailor recover from a capsize:

  • getting a fallen daggerboard back into the boat
  • helping to right a capsized boat
  • using a rope foot sling to assist with reboarding
  • steadying a Sunfish to assist during reboarding

North Shore Yacht Club has been a leader in putting together great videos to help Sunfish sailors, I’ve highlighted some of their previous videos on my blog already:

long term planning

today’s tunes: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds “Galleon Ship”

for today’s tunes, a selection from the latest album “Ghosteen” from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

For we are not alone, it seems, so many riders in the sky
The winds of longing in their sails, searching for the other side

if you don’t know some of the back story about Nick Cave in recent years, look into it a little bit (his teenage son died in an accident in 2015).  you can feel the raw emotion in a lot of his songs on this album.

here’s an album review from Pitchfork that gives some background on it: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/nick-cave-and-the-bad-seeds-ghosteen/

 

a Sunfish upgrade?

a random photo sent from my mom, with Dad standing next to a beautiful little sailboat, with just the following text:

Dad is negotiating…..

she’s likely just pulling my leg, but I suppose it’s never too late for Opa to start sailing!

the future of Sunfish sailing (part 2)?

bucking the traditional thought process that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, there has been some developments recently for new sails for the Sunfish sailboat.

a few weeks ago, an article was published in the Sag Harbor “Express Magazine” called: Local Sailors add a Modern Twist to a Classic Sailboat

Julian Shapiro (L), James Merrell and Gloria Fraze compete in a Sunfish regatta on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in Sag Harbor, New York.  (photo by Lori Hawkins)

Sag Harbor is a small village on New York’s Long Island, and the sailors there wanted to tinker with the sail design for the Sunfish, wanting to improve performance and make the sailing more interesting.

The new sail design sought to solve a few issues common in sailing: weather helm, pointing and deceleration after tacks. Steering a traditional Sunfish sail in stronger winds can require so much muscle to counteract weather helm that a wooden tiller arches. Working against all that force on the boat can make for tiring sailing.

the local group of sailors worked with a local sailmaker, Farrar Sails, in New London, Connecticut, to develop and create these new sails.

Nothing else was altered about the rigging and the new sail was designed to fit onto the existing lateen-style spars of the traditional Sunfish design.

The end results? The sailboat points higher and moves with more zip. The boat accelerates noticeably faster after a tack. On the flip side, the sails require quicker response to puffs and wind shifts, so boat handling skills need to keep up. By switching out the sail, it’s like having two different boats: one that is great to learn on and another that sails faster and requires faster response time.

this certainly seems like a more feasible (and economical) option than the X-Wing sail that came out after a recent America’s Cup introduced the wing sails.


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