restoring & sailing a Super Sunfish

I saw this sweet video made by MtINdo posted on the Sunfish Forum a few days ago – it shows before and after pictures of the restoration work done to fix up a Super Sunfish, and then there is some video footage of sailing the boat with both the Super Sunfish rig and the regular Sunfish rig.

it looks like maybe he bought the boat from the Sebago Canoe Club – the occasional stomping grounds of bonnie?


the Super Sunfish was produced from 1974 to 1984 by AMF, the builder of the Sunfish sailboat at that time.  the hull of the sailboat was identical to that of a regular Sunfish, but instead of the lateen rig sail used on the regular Sunfish, the Super Sunfish was equipped with a high aspect ratio sail, similar to a Laser sailboat (and it was built to compete with the newer Laser sailboats).  the overall area of the Super Sunfish sail (65 square feet) is slightly smaller than the Sunfish lateen rig (75 square feet), so it’s debatable whether there was much of a benefit to switch to the Super Sunfish rig.

here’s a picture of a Super Sunfish rig (that I’ve shamelessly stolen from Proper Course, a fantastic blog about Laser sailing):

compare this to a photo of my regular Sunfish sail setup:


10 Responses to “restoring & sailing a Super Sunfish”

  1. 1 Baydog October 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Yeah, what’s up with the smaller sail area? If anything, you’d think they’d add a few more ft2 for the thrill of it. Interesting. Never really caught on, not unlike the Force Five. Doh! Sorry Joe

  2. 2 Bonnie K. Frogma October 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Oh, too cool. I’ll have to pass that on to the sailing committee – that is indeed our old Super Sunfish and it’s nice to see the new owner is having a good time with it!

  3. 3 Tillerman October 26, 2011 at 10:08 am

    There is only one Laser, and Kirby is his prophet.

  4. 4 o docker October 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Did the taller rig give it a higher CE and make it harder to keep up? Very nice video.

  5. 6 AndyB January 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I thought the idea was to make it easier to tack–isn’t the lateen rig supposed to be difficult to handle going upwind?

    • 7 my2fish January 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      I’m not sure I would call it difficult to handle. I think the Super Sunfish is probably better at pointing upwind, though.

      I just don’t know that it is worth the cost and hassle to upgrade a standard Sunfish to a Super Sunfish rig, largely due to the lack of parts. the Super was only produced for about 10 years, so they are fairly hard to find.

      if you were to find a Super Sunfish that was well-cared for, though, it’d probably be worth buying and sailing.

  6. 8 Bob Cummins December 2, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’m inspired to fix up my SSF and get it out again. The SSF has a Portsmouth rating one point higher than the SF –it’s high aspect ratio reducing drag – making it faster and able to point higher.
    Did you use epoxy paint to restore? Gel coat is probably more trouble than it is worth. I want it to be able to not scratch up easily. I’m at the head of the Chesapeake Bay–where I used to spend long hours planing back & forth.

    • 9 my2fish December 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Bob, the Super wasn’t mine – I just found the video. from what I’ve read, the gelcoat is probably one worth it if you have a boat you’ll be racing against others in. if you’re only going to sail it for recreation, I’d probably try the epoxy paint.

  1. 1 kirby is the prophet? « my2fish: a blog about sunfish sailing Trackback on October 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

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