Looking to start competing

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by JonThomas, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. JonThomas

    JonThomas New Member

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    Hi all,
    Learned to sail on a 'Fish back when I was about 12 looking to get back into it and would like to start competing. Im 22 and looking for advice about what year boat I want to look at, or more specifically which years do I not want to look at. Also what obstacles should I expect getting started. Thank you,
    -JT
     
  2. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    There are a few different Sunfish manufacturers--including those made in Canada and China.

    From what I'm reading here, Pearson-made boats can be both desirable and an obstacle! :confused:

    .
     
  3. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Generally anything from the mid 90s to 2015 should work. Last US boats from 2016 have problems, and new Chinese boats are good if you can find one. I'd focus on a Vanguard or Laser Performance bot as they are newer. Be sure to buy one with a racing sail and either of the white daggerboards (dense foam or fiberglass) as they have a foil shape. Don't worry about boom cleats - can be added quickly and cheaply. Where do you live/sail?
     
  4. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    Wouldn't ANY lightweight and dry (and foam still intact and secure) hull be ok, provided ALL current upgrades....sail, blades, etc. ...were done?
     
  5. JonThomas

    JonThomas New Member

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    I'll be moving to Utah and living right on Utah Lake. I'll be sailing there and the Great Salt Lake mostly. I know most regattas I would compete in are on the Salt Lake. I also have family in Ohio so I could potentially be sailing Lake Erie and/ or Michigan.
     
  6. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Well, boats from the vintages I mentioned tend to be lighter than boats from the metal edged era. Also , boats that are 30+ years old are much harder or impossible to find in decent shape, and the newer boats are much more comfortable to sail in hiking conditions.
     
  7. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure there are Sunfish fleets and regattas in Utah? I'd check first. You may need to buy what is popular there.
     
  8. Dion_Dunn

    Dion_Dunn New Member

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    I sail a 1983 AMF in local fleet competition. We usually have 17-20 boats on any given night, and the boats range from much older than mine all the way to ex-world's boats less than 5 years old. This is my first year of competing. I knew nothing going into it. I'm terribly slow, but I'm learning every week and improving every week. I've even managed to not place last in a few races, and consistently went head to head with relatively new boat last week. The whole time I'm thinking, I've got a 30+ year old boat, a non-racing sail original to the boat, horrible skills, and I'm keeping up with this guy in a new boat, top of the line gear, and he has years of experience.

    My recommendation - by the best and newest boat you can afford and get out and sail. Don't over think it and practice as much as you can. One of our club's top Laser sailors pulled his boat out of a dumpster. Yes, the boat is important, but the nut in front of the tiller is probably more important.
     
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  9. Eddie_E

    Eddie_E New Member

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    I'm racing a partially restored 73~74 model with a new race sail and I'm happy with it. Looking back I would have to say it really comes down to what others are racing and how intense the level of racing is. I'm a decent sailor who hasn't raced much and I find there is a learning curve with different course layouts and rules at the marks. I doubt the year of my boat would make much difference. 20 lbs of water in the hull makes a much bigger difference as does sail trim. Just setup a Sunfish and race.
     
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  10. JohnCT

    JohnCT Active Member

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    A good skipper with an average boat will usually beat a poor skipper with the best boat.
     
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