Sunfish Sails

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Sailing a boat - Block Island Times (press release) (blog)

It was at my uncle’s summer house on Greenwich Bay. My sister Janie, myself and a random beach kid — in July heat and slack wind — got the sail up the mast on a sailing dinghy called What, Me Worry? My sister was the brains of the operation, and we succeeded in at least getting the boat into the bay but the slack wind got us back on the beach as we baked in the heat. The second time I attempted to sail a boat was 11 years later at Payne’s Dock at New Harbor, Block Island. It was a moment in time where, with some desire and a little bit of instruction, my gears shifted in a big way. We can all identify with having such a moment; it’s what we do with it when this happens to us — we could even call this fate or destiny. It happened on a day I was looking to burn up the clock before I went to work at Smuggler’s, and there was a guy renting a Sunfish at the dock. The guy said, “Pull this, push this and don’t hit anything.” Without a clue about what I was doing, me and the Sunfish went tearing around the mooring field in front of The Oar — I managed to not hit any boats. The learning curve was vertical. Two months later I bought my first sailboat, which I learned to sail up in the bay in Bullock’s Cove — 50 years later I’m still at it. Back in those early days sailing became a constant, non-negotiable part of my life. It is what it is. I’ve always believed that whatever stuff we have must be used until it’s worn out and is no longer useful. Cars, clothes, guitars, tires, books, sails, surfboards, lines, sheets, halyards, charts, dog leashes, record players, records; everything listed here has been used to a careworn state—it’s part of my Yankee heritage and my dad’s old-school influence. For example, one day my brother and I were wrestling and I tossed him across the living room and he landed on my Shelby guitar. As a result, the neck got sprung from the body. I fixed it with a bead of crazy glue and played the thing for 10 more years. I let Block Island’s Jeff Cowles borrow it for a couple of years and then sold it. In ’72, I had a record player that a college girlfriend gave me. It took about a half hour to warm up before a record could be played. Furthermore, in college I drove a car that ran on four of six cylinders — needed to be jumpstarted in reverse — and had too many bald tire blowouts to count. I just don’t hold with the idea of planned obsolescence. It simply makes no sense. Stuff is to be scratched, dented, broken and scuffed; that means it’s been used. The aforementioned premise on stuff pertains to all of my sailboats from the past, and my current sailboat. (I know, you thought I went off on a rambling tangent — right? Just hang with me.) My sailboat gets lots of use year-round — Reverie stays in the water all winter. It’s my place to get the wind in my face, read books, write, and sail Narragansett Bay. I call Reverie my “shed.” Over the past 15 years, I’ve done my best to keep my boat looking respectable; most people take pride in how their boat looks. I haul my boat every two years at Clark Boat Yard in Jamestown, and get her all prettied up for the season. At this stage of the game in my geezer years, it’s not so much how good the boat will look, it has more to do with looking forward to something. It has to do with anticipating another season. It has to do with sailing. It has to do with living. Most importantly, for me, it has to do with still being able to single-hand the boat. My sail boat ownership motto has always been “maximum usage, minimal dollars spent.” Subsequently, I only replace things that absolutely need to be replaced. This year it became apparent that I needed to replace my headsail — a 135 furling Genoa. While sailing in early May, I noticed that some seams were splitting from the last six years of usage. UV rays eventually weaken and fray the stitching. Moreover, the sail itself gets blown out and worn out from the impact of the wind and sun. I was joking to a friend... Source:

Sunfish: The True Love Boat - Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Sports Illustrated magazine has been serving sporting enthusiasts since 1954, and had this gem in its vault from their magazine issue dated September 20, 1982 :

The story is fraught with all the melodrama of one of those good old Saturday afternoon B movies of the 1940s in which a couple of wholesome, happy-go-lucky (but likably shrewd) all-American boys set up shop in Pop’s garage, work hard and wind up inventing the world’s first perpetual-motion machine out of old bicycle wheels and broken mousetraps.

And they go on to become legends in their own time—famous and rich, paragons of the capitalist establishment—the Eli Whitneys, the Thomas Edisons, the Henry Fords of their day, freckle-faced examples of the best that the American Dream could ever hope to produce. And not only that, their product is designed to do nothing but make people happy!

That, in slightly different form, is the story of Alcort Inc. and its two founders, Alexander Bryan and Cortlandt (Bud) Heyniger (the Al and the Cort of the firm name), both now 69 years old. They got together after World War II in the loft of a lumberyard in Waterbury, Conn. and eventually invented and mass-produced the Sunfish, which is the most popular sit-down-and-ride-in-it sailboat on the planet.

Almost twice as many Sunfish have been sold as its closest competitor.

Sometime last spring—or maybe it was early summer—the 200,000th Sunfish was sold. No one knows when it came off the production line, and no one knows where it was shipped; in fact, no one is sure of anything about the 200,000th Sunfish except that it was produced this year.

The reason for all this uncertainty is that, believe it or not, no one knows when Alex and Cort began making them—1951? 1952? 1954? (The best bet is 1952.) Like good red-blooded B-movie heroes, the Alcort boys were more interested in the raw-meat stuff of production results than they were in the dull, dusty chore of keeping accurate books or records.

The second-most-popular sailboat is the Laser (a 14-foot, high-performance racer) with sales of just over 100,000, followed by the Hobie Cat 16 (the zippy catamaran designed by Hobie Alter) with 75,000. The Windsurfer, the stand-on-it sailboard which swept across American waters in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spread to Europe with similar impact more recently, now outnumbers all manner of wind-propelled craft, with roughly 250,000 in use.

But the sailboard isn’t a true sailboat.

For years, brassbound racing salts and lots of weekend sailors, perhaps suffering from delusions of their own grandeur, have looked on the Sunfish as little more than a beach toy. There is plenty of evidence to refute this, of course. World class racers such as Dennis Conner, of America’s Cup fame, and Gary Hoyt, who developed the Freedom class and won the first Sunfish Worlds in 1972, learned to sail at the slim wooden tiller of the Sunfish.

This year the class had its 13th World Championship, at San Mateo, Calif., on the choppy waters of San Francisco Bay. There were 71 competitors from no fewer than 21 countries. The Sunfish class is officially recognized by the U.S. Yacht Racing Union (now US Sailing), and the international union (ie, World Sailing) is expected to accept the class soon. Sunfish racing is by no means confined to the U.S.

Racing sail numbers have been issued to 55,000 Sunfish owners, and there are registered fleets all over the world. Oddly enough, the largest fleet is in Saudi Arabia, where an armada of 300 flits about the Persian Gulf, skippered by every type of individual, from expatriate American oil worker to oil-rich Arab aristocrat.

Thousands of miles and many degrees on the thermometer away, frostbite sailing in the Sunfish is popular from late fall to early spring. The little boat is year-around as well as world-around.

Obviously, the appeal of the Sunfish—which costs only $1,259 and can be... Source:

2018 ISCA World Championship at Carolina Yacht Club - Overall - Sail World

The last day of sailing with 62 boats on the line at this year's ISCA World Championship at the Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach, NC, was a race to the finish that started in 10-12 breezes. But, alas, Mother Nature decided to add a light air challenge in the middle that allowed only 24 boats to finish within the required time limit. With no more air in sight after this one race on the last day, the Race Committee hoisted the "Done for the Day" flag.

For this year's World Championship, everyone started together. Simon Gomez-Ortiz of Colombia, this year's USSCA North American Champion and Youth Champion (a Pan-Am Games qualifying event), was the top youth finisher for this World Championship and the 10th top overall finisher. Simon is an impressive and very competitive sailor who not only sails fast and smart, but also smiles the whole time to show his love for sailing. He also happens to be a gracious and delightful young man.

Darius Berenos of Curacao was the 2nd place youth finisher (11th overall in the championship) followed in 3rd place by Alejandro Mago of Peru who placed 12th overall in the championship. Gustavo Alayon of Puerto Rico was the 4th place youth finisher who placed 14th overall. Ingnacio Antequera-Erro finished 15th overall and was the 5th place youth finisher. The Top Female youth finisher was Fernanda San Roman of Peru who finished 46th overall and who raced in every race despite the heavy air and high seas on Day's 1 and 2.

In the championship category, Jean Paul de Trazegnies of Peru was able to use today's light air 7th place finish as his throw-out and held on to his first place standing at the end of this 6-race World Championship. Not far behind, however, former ISCA World Champion, Alonso Collantes of Peru, finished this last race with a bullet which moved him up to 2nd place and only 3 points behind Jean Paul. Here are two true champions who sail against each other all the time making them better and better competitors. One is rarely, if ever, far behind the other.

David Hernandez of Guatemala sailed so well in the first 5 races of this event that he really didn't need a high standing in today's light air race to hold a 3rd place final finish in this highly competitive World Championship. Good thing too! He didn't quite make today's time limit and was recorded as a TLE which was used as his throw-out.

Martin Alsogaray of Argentina did make today's time limit with an impressive 3rd place finish which allowed him to hold onto a 4th place final finish at this World Championship in sailing conditions that ranged from "how high did you say the winds were?" to "what happened to the breeze?" And with a 5th place final standing was Jonathan Martinetti of Ecuador whose 2nd place finish in today's light air race held him in the Top Five final standings.

The Top Female finisher was Caterina Romero of Peru who placed 8th overall. The Top Apprentice Master (40-49) was David Mendelblatt of Florida/USA. The Top Master (50-59) was Paul-Jon Patin of NY/USA who placed 16th overall. And the Top Grand Master (60-69) was Martin Willard of the USA who finished in 27th place overall.

Tonight will be the Award Ceremony to honor all the champions who braved the tough sailing conditions and who will come back again and again to test their skills against the best of the best. There have been friendships formed that will last a lifetime, and there are always new venues to visit that add possible vacation sites for the future. The Sunfish is a Best-Boat-Forever (BBF) where competitors range from young to old; where Mom's and Dad's can sail against their sons and daughters, and where the top champions make the time and effort to help their competitors get better and better.

Although the focus is always on the sailors, there are always those who work hard behind the scenes to make an event of this caliber happen. Kevin Smith, Manager of the Carolina...



Parts & Sails for The Sunfish® - Intensity Sails

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the Sail Store - Sunfish Sails, Catalina Sails, Spinnakers ...

Quality Sunfish Sails from $139.00. Our recreational sunfish sails are available in white or color combos. Available with or without hoops and windows. sunfish sails

Product Description... Sunfish booms. These through bolt through the booms and connect the sail...

Worldwide supplier of Sunfish boats, parts, & accessories

The Sunfish Sailboat is the most popular boat ever produced! Great for both casual sailing and racing. Explore lakes, bays, even oceans. The Sunfish is compact, lightweight and easy to transport.

Sunfish, Daggerboard (FRP), 85028 -

This complete sunfish daggerboard assembly fits all model year sunfish. The new fiberglass construction makes it very durable and long lasting compared to wooden boards.