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.