super porpoise history

after buying and bringing home the super porpoise, I scoured the internet for any information that I could find out about them… without much success.  one of the articles that I found is from January 2003, from the “Holland Sentinel”, a newspaper in Holland, Michigan, that was really more related to the company Michigan Fiberglass Plastics, Inc. that manufactured the Super Porpoise:

….Michigan Fiberglass Plastics, Inc., a short-lived boat building concern here in Holland (1960-1961) and Borculo (1962-1963), was started by Lawrence Valentine Meyering, originally from Chicago and a former lawyer and banker turned manufacturer from Zeeland….

…. After about a year of trial and error and bills piling up, Meyering vacated the building and moved his operation to two rented buildings in Borculo where he expanded the companies offerings to include not only the Lake ‘n Sea speedboat, but also canoes and a small sailboat model called the Super Porpoise. The company remained there until being purchased in 1963, along with its inventory, by Grand Rapids businessmen Richard Levy and Morrie Kleinman….

(hollandsentinel.com – search the archives for the article)

A few more details and specifications for the Super Porpoise that I found at ShortyPen’s Board Boat Sailboat Guide and at the Sunfish Sailor Yahoo Group:

  • overall length: 14′-8″
  • beam: 49″
  • sail area: 85 square feet
  • mast height: 10′ overall
  • crew capacity: 450 lbs
  • hull weight: 155 lbs

porp-s2

my frustration with the Super Porpoise is going to be the difficulty in getting replacement parts… for example, a brand new recreational sail (not class legal, non-racing) can be had for the Sunfish for about $150, but to get a new sail for the Super Porpoise, I got a quote from a sail shop for $375… just a tad more (dripping with sarcasm…).  I suppose I could just take the cheap route, and buy the cheap new Sunfish sail, but the Sunfish sail is smaller (75 square feet) and the Super Porpoise hull is 15 to 20 lbs heavier, so I’d be losing that little bit of extra power from having the larger original sail.

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14 Responses to “super porpoise history”


  1. 1 patty roser January 18, 2010 at 9:01 am

    i am looking for the whole rudder piece as in the move from fl to ny my didn’t make it. any ideas where to start looking? thanks 3152996653

  2. 2 patty roser January 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

    ooops also need the tiller.

    • 3 my2fish January 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

      patty,
      are you looking for a Sunfish rudder or a Super Porpoise rudder and tiller? used Sunfish parts are going to be MUCH easier to find. I would try asking your questions at the Sunfish Forum or the Sunfish Yahoo Group – both sites have members who like to keep a stockpile of used supplies to trade/sell to other sailors. after that, I’d start looking around on craigslist, maybe even posting a wanted ad to see if anyone has one they’d sell you (depending on your location, winter isn’t always the best for finding sailing things on craigslist). I usually avoid ebay, personally.

      let me know if these help.
      my2fish

  3. 4 Bill Van Order October 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I just had some work done on our vacation home in Canada and the roofers put two large holes in the hull of my Super Porpoise to the point where it will not be repairable so sometime before Spring 2012 when we head back to Canada I will be able to retrieve the daggerboard, spars, and tiller and sell these parts if anyone is interested….I may be reached at wpvan01@att.net.

  4. 6 Robert February 25, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Question,
    Can you use the mast from the ayr-way porpoise sailboat
    and make it work on a standard sunfish??
    Bajabob

    • 7 my2fish February 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      Bajabob, I’m not sure that my Super Porpoise parts are necessarily original, but I just measured the mast diameter, and it’s pretty much the same as a Sunfish mast, so I would think the mast could be interchangeable.

  5. 8 Robert February 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I’m working on Bringing the Sunfish Brand
    down to the Baja-Sea of Cortez based out of
    La Paz.. A perfect place Sunfish boats.

    I plan on moving at least 3 complete boats in
    the coming weeks ready for spring break in April.

    Finding sunfish/parts/boats etc. on the West Coast is
    Tough…. But it is going to happen and will be the
    start of BajaBob’s

    Any ideas on learning all about sunfish?

  6. 10 John Bundy April 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    In the early 1970’s I placed first in two of their national championships. Email me maybe I can help.

    • 11 my2fish April 4, 2012 at 7:27 am

      John, that’s pretty wild – I didn’t realize they were big enough to have a championship! I’d certainly appreciate any information you can share – pictures, rigging tips, etc.

      Cheers, my2fish

    • 12 Steve Schuster May 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Where were these held? My dad sailed in the National Championships about that era as well!!


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