The Sunfish sailboat is a personal size, beach launched sailing dinghy utilizing a pontoon type hull carrying a lateen sail mounted to an un-stayed mast.
Having a lateen sail with its simple two line rigging makes a Sunfish simple to learn sailing on and to set up. Tucker Thompson will be delivering a live, multi-media presentation about the America’s Cup. Upgrades can be added to enhance sail control for competitive sailing,[2] making the boat attractive to both novice and experienced sailors alike.
Its popularity is partly due to its low price and easy portability, but it also sails well and is a lot of fun for beginners and experienced sailors alike. Over 300,000 have been built by seven manufacturers over the years, a phenomenal number for any boat. In contrast, the Sunfish has a wider beam for more stability, increased freeboard and the addition of a foot-well for a more comfortable sailing position.


The stable hard-chine hull design and lateen sail rig remain the same and are integral to the boat's success. The lateen sail, compared to the taller Bermuda rig used on most modern sailboats, keeps the force of the wind low and causes less heeling. Another advantage is that when a gust strikes, the lateen rig's mechanics allow some wind to spill, reducing the risk of capsize. While racers prefer never to sacrifice any wind, and consequently many have gone to a Laser or a Super Sunfish (same hull but a Bermuda rig), the traditional Sunfish with lateen sail remains popular and sails well downwind and in light air.While there have been some variations among Sunfish built by the different manufacturers over the decades, the hull has remained rugged and stands up well to abuse. It's not surprising to find a 20- or 30-year-old Sunfish still in good shape regardless of scratches and dings in the fiberglass.
Neophytes are sometimes surprised by the boat's buoyancy and stability, given its thin body profile. With a hollow body and small cockpit, however, the Sunfish floats high and is unsinkable when capsized.


With the daggerboard in place, it can be righted fairly easily after a capsize once you learn how.A key advantage of the Sunfish, its portability, is a limitation for some. While two small adults or teens can sail together, this is not a boat for social conversation or a quiet, meditative picnic on the water.
Except when things are fairly calm, it's not a good idea to cleat down the mainsheet, as you want to be able to quickly let the sail out in a strong gust.



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