Posts Tagged 'sail'

building & sailing a Super Sunfish

Nico posted this video on the Sunfish Forum – his father built the wooden Super Sailfish in their garage, and they sailed it on the Knysna lagoon in South Africa (beautiful waters!).

sailing log: October Sunfish sailing

right now it is cold and drizzling rain outside – the kind of weather where you just want to sit inside with the fireplace crackling and have a football game on the TV. but during the early part of October, we had some incredible warm weather days – and one weekend when T2 was home from college for the weekend, he and I took a short drive to sail a bit on Sunday afternoon at nearby Ford Lake. windfinder was predicting wind speeds in the mid-teens and air temps were in the low 80’s.

there were a couple boats out on the lake, but the boat ramp was pretty empty, so we just pulled up our trailer near the ramp, used the PVC dolly to take the Minifish and Sunfish down to the water and rigged up the sails. T2 set off sailing first while I finished getting my Sunfish set up, but I followed him towards the southeast end of the lake – it almost seemed like we had the lake entirely to ourselves.

we both turned around and ran with the wind at our backs for a long stretch, following the lake up towards the northwest. I cut my run shorter than T2 – he elected to go all the way around the small island in the lake. after that we zig-zagged back upwind, tacking back and forth making our way back towards the boat ramp. at one point, I saw a bald eagle soaring along the lake’s coastline! I’ve never seen a bald eagle this far south in Michigan.

I got a nice shot of my newer Allen ratchet block in action, with a gybe-ho sticker on display on my daggerboard.

I recently updated my everyday watch (I broke the glass screen on my apple watch), so opted this time for a Garmin GPS watch, the Garmin Forerunner 55. overall, I’m loving it – the GPS feature for tracking activities like hiking, biking, etc is fantastic, and the Garmin Connect app is really amazing. and the battery lift is amazing – I can go days, even weeks w/o charging, can sleep with the watch on so that it tracks my sleep patterns, where with the apple watch I had to charge almost every night.

for sailing, I select “other” as the activity on the watch itself, wait for it to sync with GPS, and then hit “go” to track the sailing activity. after completing the sailing and syncing the watch with the Connect app, you can then go into the activity and edit the type from “other” to “sailing”, and it will update the data to show speed in knots and total distance sailed in nautical miles.

is that little switch to knots and nautical miles necessary? no… but I like it. not sure that the calorie count is all that accurate for this activity, though…

usually my September and October weekends are pretty booked with kid’s soccer games and yardwork and house projects, and the weather doesn’t usually cooperate either – so I’m not sure I’ve sailed much past the 1st or 2nd weekend of September very much, and I’m 100% certain I’ve never sailed my Sunfish in October before. it was a great day for it, though, and I’m really glad that T2 and I took advantage of the Indian summer weather to get out on the water one last time for the year.

catch the trade winds

a builder update from Laser Performance

the latest issue of the Sunfish Class “Windward Leg” had an interesting update from the manufacturer of the Sunfish sailboat:

Brand new Sunfish boats manufactured at the LaserPerformance LDA facilities in Setubal, Portugal being inspected and boxed for shipment to the U.S.

LaserPerformance faced considerable headwinds in 2020. A combination of Covid-19 lockdown and supply chain disruptions curtailed Sunfish plans for continuous supply, growth and expansion. In 2021 the primary goal has been to get back on track. Last year LaserPerformance LDA successfully established manufacturing facilities in Setubal, Portugal. They also put into place technical teams for production, product development and quality and compliance. Sunfish hull production started this year in Setubal with one shift and, as of June, they have added a second shift to meet forecasted demand. The goal of meeting Sunfish boat construction standards has been attained. For the remainder of the year, priority will be given to bringing further design and quality improvements to the boat. To this end, the LP Team in Portugal is working closely with the Sunfish Class to incorporate their feedback and sailor experiences into the continuous improvement process.

LaserPerformance LDA also has an initiative to identify local and reliable vendors for Sunfish parts and accessories. LaserPerformance LDA aims to have all Sunfish boat parts sourced locally before the end of the year so that it can ship “a Sunfish in a box” to customers around the world and get parts to customers more rapidly. Equally important to LaserPerformance LDA is its commitment to seeking every available opportunity to introduce sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in all its activities and is excited by prospects for development and growth of the Sunfish.

Sunfish parts and new boats have been hard to get from suppliers… it’ll be interesting to see if this new build location will improve the Sunfish parts supply chain.

sailing log: Father’s Day 2021

two years in a row means it is tradition, right? for our 1st sail of the year was Father’s Day, I took all 4 boys down to Ford Lake near Belleville, Michigan. it was a lot of just drifting along, but still a great time with the boys.

my 2nd son chose to fish from the shoreline, but the other 3 boys all joined me out on the water – my oldest son on the Minifish and me on the Sunfish with the 2 youngest sons.

it was a hot and humid day, and sadly very little wind. plenty of jet-ski traffic around us as well.

the lighter winds allowed my youngest son to explore on the Sunfish.

he even pretended to be a pirate and jumped over to board the Minifish and sail with his older brother for a while.

3rd son took the tiller and mainsheet for a while.

all told, a great time. just hope for better winds the next time.

boat buying flowchart

well, what are you waiting for?!

found via: @thequalifiedcaptain


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