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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > New to sailing - Sunfish for $250?
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Thread: New to sailing - Sunfish for $250? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-31-2011 05:17 PM
DRFerron Meh. Go for it (if you have the spare change). You'll learn something, you'll cool off.

I have a 30' boat two hours away and I'm always thinking about buying a small Sunfish-type boat to use on a nearby lake when I can't get down to the marina.

Also consider joining a local sail club to get experience on larger boats. Find the right one and it'll cost you less than a dinner out.
07-30-2011 11:45 AM
WDS123 Difference between Sunfish and Laser (as well as shameless plug for the Lido 14)

The Laser is going to be much wetter, more weight sensitive (ie capsize easier), but way faster than a Sunfish. As far as learning goes, the Sunfish is likely a better boat.

Don't forget the Lido14, it is a beamier & drier boat than either the Sunfish or Laser. There are thousands of them which also can be picked up for nil. Still one of most active Dinghy Associations in USA.
07-07-2011 09:37 AM
tomandchris Sunfish are fun platforms to learn basics on for adults and kids. Yes, you will get wet but that is part of the fun.
If this boat is already at a lake, throw it in the water and see if it floats. If it does just buy it and get on with it. You should have no problem selling it if you don't enjoy it. You yourself have said you have missed buying because the boats were sold too fast for you. Could it be you are just kicking tires at the moment?
07-07-2011 09:03 AM
pinayreefer I learned to sail on a Laser, but also used a Sunfish (largest one-design association in the world, I've heard) to sail more. I preferred the Laser, due to it's being easier to tack (Sunfish sail sweeps the deck so there's a lot of movement to keep from getting whacked) plus a Laser can take two better than a Sunfish. The hull/deck joint on the Sunfish seemed to be where most of the water got in, and I've seen them sink while sailing due to that.
Still, either way the best way to learn is with one of those small boats. When I taught my kids to sail I got them an Optimist Pram, which can be sailed by an adult too, and has the advantage of being a fair dinghy when you inevitably move up to a bigger boat! They tend to be pricey though as they are tough, can be repaired and have a huge racing association too.
07-07-2011 07:52 AM
weinie just be prepared to get wet.
07-07-2011 02:09 AM
puddinlegs Sailing in any boat is worth it for an adult learner. Time on the water is what it's all about. Is a laser better than a sunfish? In many ways, sure, but you can go out and sail around comfortably by yourself and take a wee one along on a sunfish. $250? Sure. If it's not a wreck, buy it and have a blast!
07-07-2011 12:31 AM
ejholmgren Ack ... is learning to sail on a Sunfish even worth it for an adult? I've picked up a Butterfly for $200, Capri 14.2 for $700, and an MC Scow for $1,200 all in sailable condition with trailers so far in my quest to learn how to sail. All fun boats, which I imagine are a _much_ bigger blast to sail than a Sunfish in that price range.
07-06-2011 06:43 PM
turbulicity Get it and start saving for your 22 ft boat. Itch will come soon after you learn how to handle the sunfish well and you would like to take friends/stay longer in the water.
07-06-2011 06:03 PM
rjcaudle How would you guys compare a Laser to a Sunfish for a new learner?
06-24-2011 09:25 PM
CalebD
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDSchock View Post
Buy it - great first boat -

Note they all leak - go and put an inspection port in to help dry it out.

Look on web 'inspection port for sunfish' - you'll find instructions
Look on web ' learn to sail a sunfish in 3 days '

Enjoy, practice capsizing and righting - it will do you good when you actually do capsize, plus once you are good at you'll have Fun cooling off.
Now that is an endorsement.
My sailing club puts drain holes on the 'transom' of the Sunfish so with the hull dragged up on the beach it will drain out with minimal persuasion.

As WDSchock suggested you can also add a 6" circular inspection port in the deck behind the 'splash guard' that will help the hull dry out. The factory made drain hole is on the beam of the boat which requires you to prop it up to get it to drain.

There is a 'Sunfish sailor' group over at Yahoo with thousands of members.

You can't go wrong with a Sunfish as it is cheap, easy to set up and easy to offload when the time comes. You might even find that you miss the simplicity of a Sunfish when you do move up to a bigger boat.

I swear I have got a Sunfish to go 6+ knots while up on a plane.
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