model T & sunfish

I noticed the other day I got a couple blog visitors from a blog/website about flying and Corvair engines, in particular. it seemed like an odd thing at the time, but I found the author had some great information about, of all things, the Sunfish sailboat!

2011-08-21 sail w noah

sailing Lake Erie with my son

he compares it’s success to the Ford’s Model T car – and offers these thoughts on the popularity of the Sunfish:

Here is an odd, but important connection: Above is the most successful sailboat of all time, the Sunfish. No other boat in history even comes close to the numbers sold, the number of people who learned to sail or the hours they enjoyed. It was not the fastest sailboat of its era, nor the best in any other way but one: It was affordable because it was a brilliant simple design that was mass producible. They went to molded fiberglass in 1960, eventually producing a quarter million boats. These boats produced millions of sailors, and a very strong and enduring sailing base in the US, complete with a lasting market for more advanced boats.

well said, Mr William Wynne! for more information, see his blog post “Model T of the air?” at flycovair.


4 Responses to “model T & sunfish”

  1. 1 Tillerman January 17, 2014 at 9:53 am

    That’s a great analogy. I think he’s dead right.

  2. 3 Atelje´42 January 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Hej from Sweden………………..Do you remember me writing to you concerning the Sunfish?

    At long last I have the sail and bits and pieces sent from Intensity sails………The parcel was sitting in the customs for two weeks……..had to pay $52 import duty plus another $52 postage, however the whole is still less expensive than a North sail.

    The sail looks to be very well made and I just love the long 13ft clew to tack of the lower boom.

    Well, now I have to find the right tubing for mast and booms.

    I have ordered the timber, mainly Western Red Cedar for the strip planking for this is the way I wish to go. I have been experimenting with hull dimensions especially the forward rocker and chine on a full size mock up.

    The working template is all set up ready to go.

    I can let you have images once I really get under way but please do tell if you find this rather dull reading.

    Greetings from a snow filled Sweden.


    • 4 my2fish January 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Roger, sure I remember! I have that Intensity Sails sail – I think it is a great deal. glad you were able to get it, although an extra $100 is pricey. I definitely would love to see pictures as you go – emailing them to me is fine.

      we’ve got a fresh layer of snow this morning, and have had an incredibly cold winter this year!


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