Posts Tagged 'sunfish racing'

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.

it’s miller time

Sunfish sailboats: the champagne of small sailboats.

for Sunfish sailor Bruce N., his interest in sailing started at a young age with a little help of a young lady:

One day a young female – 20ish, noticed that I wasn’t going in the water and took pity on a thirteen year old boy. From that moment on I knew I was in love. She had 13 foot EPS Snark. She took me out for about an hour sail and I knew I was hooked, sail is the only way to go! Later that summer the base offered sailing lessons, which I took. Unfortunately the girl and her Snark were never to be seen again.

Bruce’s introduction to the Sunfish sailboat came a few years later, when he was one of two winners to receive an entire Sunfish sailboat via a promotion by radio station WGRX in Baltimore. the caveat: the boat came with a branded sail, yellow in color, labeled “Miller Genuine Draft”.

photo by Bruce N.

[I was aware of several versions of branded Snark sailboat (Kool, Coke, 7Up, etc), but this is the 1st time I’ve seen a Sunfish with a branded sail.]

Bruce loved his free Sunfish – he called it “Free Breakfast”, and he car-topped it and sailed it all over the place to local lakes, rivers, and more. several times he has made the 250+ mile trip to participate in the long-distance Sunfish regatta – the Hampton Roads Sunfish Challenge. he finally broke down and got a trailer after 17 years of car-topping. over the years, he taught his children to sail with him, instilling in them the love of sailing as well.

photo by Bruce N.

erie open regatta

the Erie Open Regatta is coming up in a few weeks – June 5th and 6th at Erie Yacht Club in Erie, PA.

This Sunfish regatta may not be a District Championship or a World Qualifier, but come sail anyway at one of the nicest venues on the Great Lakes!

official notice of race is here.

3 versions of the modern Sunfish sail

here’s a new photo from Julian S. showing all 3 versions of the Farrar Sunfish “modern” sail that the Sag Harbor sailors are developing – you can see how they’ve made changes from the Mk 1 to Mk 3 sail.

pictured right to left:
#11 is Mk I
#1.62 is Mk. II
#888 is Mk. III
Behind 888 is a standard Sunfish sail

a “modern” Sunfish sail

here is some updated information on the new “modern’ Sunfish sails that are being used by the Sunfish sailors on Sag Harbor.  the sails are designed by a member of the Sag Harbor Sunfish sailing fleet, along with Kevin Farrar from Farrar Sails in New London, Connecticut. all photos and the highlights listed below were provided by Julian S., one of the Sunfish sailors using these new sails on Sag Harbor.

a few highlights for the new sails:

  • kevlar reinforced mylar – you can see in front of you!
  • the sail is made with a sock over the upper spar – no sail ties – results in better air flow over the front spar
  • slightly larger total area – moved to the top of the sail
  • 28″ removed from the lower spar with no weather helm
  • center of force on the sail now over the centerboard

they have made other modifications such as inboard (not on the spar) outhaul control.  and what looks like an upgrade mainsheet control (see pic below).


there is a 3rd version of the sail in the works with a square top and loose foot that is even shorter still and will allow for center sheeting (no bridle in the back).  the red sail is a prototype of their Mk. III sail.

honestly, I think the perfect match would be to pair these modern updated sails, or at least a similar version of them, with the newly designed and upcoming Rocket sailboat – which looks like it has made some great improvements on the Sunfish hull design.

[I’ve blogged about these sails before: the future of Sunfish sailing part 2 and part 3.]

WATERFUN: 8 things sailing lessons don’t teach you [video]

Lee Montes is back at it again with another great video about Sunfish sailing. this time, he put together his list of 8 things that aren’t always taught or mentioned if you have taken an intro or beginner’s sailing class. and if you’re self-taught (like me), then you might not have heard any of these things yet.

a good visual guide to help if you’re looking for some reading material before the warm weather gets here is the learn to sail in 3 days guide.

here’s a simple breakdown of Lee’s list: WATERFUN, with my thoughts in parentheses:

  1. Weather forecast (use a wind forecast app like sailflow or I prefer windfinder)
  2. Anticipation (look ahead to keep an eye on others on the water – motorboats, kayakers, swimmers, as well as wind and current changes)
  3. Tacks (Sunfish sails a little different on port and starboard tacks due to the lateen sail how it sits on the side of the mast – you can trim the sail further in on a port tack)
  4. Education (lessons, clubs, classes)
  5. Racing (racing improves your sailing, join the Sunfish Class)
  6. Feel (weight/balance as you sit, feel the wind)
  7. Upwind first (sail the harder upwind tack first so it is easier to get back home – totally agree with this one, I use this method on Lake Michigan all the time)
  8. Never stop sailing (more time on the water = a better sailor)

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