Sunfish Age and Hull Identification 1.0

How to ID the age of your Sunfish based off its Hull Identification Number

  1. Bradley
    General Age Guidelines
    If the serial number is on a metal deck plate near the splash rail; there is no storage compartment at the aft end of cockpit; and the boat has (or had) the "old style" rudder hardware (where the rudder attaches via 2 bronze fittings): the boat is pre-1971.

    The cockpit was redesigned for the 1971 models, which started shipping after the end of August shutdown 1970. However the older cockpits (short) had a flanged top (where they intersected the deck, and the new ones added in September 1970 did not have this. This caused any boat with any nontrivial amount of traditional (deck up) trailering to be an immediate
    leaker, because the bottom of the cockpit would crack out the hull.

    There was a known problem, but no one could figure it out. It was not really determined until the summer of 1972, when the cockpit was re-redesigned with a flanged top like the older shorter cockpit. Alcort replaced many boats, as the 1971/72 model year boats could not be repaired.

    The difference in the cockpit is not apparent unless you put your head in the cockpit and see the joint where the upper end of the cockpit hit the deck. The 1971/72 model year boats have a very rough edge at the joint, whereas other years (before the cockpit became integrated into the deck) had a smooth transition.

    If the boat has a storage compartment, "new style" rudder hardware (where the rudder attaches via an aluminum bracket on the transom) and has a metal rail around the gunwale, it was built between 1972-1987.

    If it has a storage compartment, the "new style" rudder hardware, and rolled fiberglass gunwales, it is 1987 or later.

    Hull Identification NumberIf there is a serial number molded into the hull, it will be in the upper right corner of the transom. It can be deciphered to give you the manufacturer and model year.

    Manufacturer Codes:
    AMF = AMF Alcort.
    P = Pearson Sailing Yachts.
    SLI = Sunfish Laser Inc.
    OQT = Vanguard Sailboats/LaserPerformance
    Hull Identification Numbers
    From Nov. 1, 1972 to Aug 1, 1984 two formats were used to show the date of production, STRAIGHT YEAR and MODEL YEAR.

    Straight Year Format
    AMF 59483 07 79
    Manufacturer: AMF Alcort
    Hull Number: 59483
    Month: 07
    Year: 79

    Model Year Format
    AMF 59483 M 84 G
    Manufacturer: AMF Alcort
    Hull Number: 59483
    M = Model Year Format
    Model Year: 84
    Month of Production: G (Feb)

    Production Month Letter Codes:
    A = August; B=September; C=October; D=December; F=January; G=February; H=March; I=April; J=May; K=June; L=July

    "New Format"
    In 1984 an updated format known as the "NEW FORMAT" replaced STRAIGHT YEAR and MODEL YEAR formats. From January 1, 1984 until August 1, 1984 STRAIGHT YEAR and MODEL YEAR were optional. On August 1, 1984 the New Format became mandatory.

    SLI 99999 B 7 87
    Manufacturer: Sunfish Laser Inc.
    Hull Number: 99999
    Production Month: B (February) See Below
    Year of Production: 7
    Model Year: 87

    Production Month Letter Codes:
    A= January; B=February; C=March; D=April; E=May; F=June; G=July; H=August; I=September; J=October; K=November; L=December

    Attached is a full timeline of the Sunfish History.
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