Help with building a sunfish-like Sailboat?

So, ever since I rode with a friend on a Sunfish, I've wanted one. Problem is, I can't afford to buy a new one and I can't seem to find any used ones. As such, I decided to employ the communal intelligence and experience of the members of Instructables.

I like the idea of a small, easy to transport sailboat that can be used on inland lakes. Also, since I'm a beginning sailer, a boat that can be easily righted would be a plus.

So, ideas, anyone?

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MingmeiJ2 years ago

In July 1958, the Popular Mechanics Magazine (PM) published a building plan for a sail board which I modified and built to encompass and increased beam (36 inch) a full length keel and formed a V shaped hull, a relatively easy job. I used a lantern sail as with the sunfish design but it proved the sail board to become very unstable when tacking. The PM sailboard had a normal sail plan which proved superior and gave the vessel stability when tacking. I later added a self draining cockpit which made sailing more comfortable.

The PM magazine 1958 is available on eBay for a few dollars. This type of sailboard is fast in the water and a gives a great deal of pleasure. Nikki

qtktcat0012 years ago

So I don't know if anyone ever found the plans for this... but if so could I have them?

beenaround7 years ago
Family Circle published 12 ft Sunfish twin plans around 1975, I just came across them while cleaning my office, I promise to somehow get them on here or at least how to get a copy...

I read your reply to the person in the Instructables website regarding plans for building a 12 ft sailfish twin in Family Circle magazine. I would be indebted to you if you could send me the exact date and month of the article. My e-mail is :
jakellwood7 years ago
Check out the free Mini-Cup plans at
and the Moonfish plans available for purchase at
beenaround7 years ago


The Mini-Cup

The 12' Mini-Cup was designed to be cheap and easy to build, be cartoppable, and still be fast and fun. The hull is a snap to build, and incorporates a lot of timesaving features. Sailing is quick and dependable with a kick-up rudder for easy beaching. Sealed compartments provide enough flotation to capsize, right, and sail away with only a couple of inches of water in the cockpit. The Mini-Cup has been known to give Lasers a run for their money on occasion.

As of April of 2001, the Mini-Cup plans are now available only online as a PDF file which you can download. After 25 years, we finally ran out of the printed plans. We were going to stop offering the Mini-Cup plans, but Mr. Andrew Butchart kindly scanned the old plans and offered them to us to place on our site (thanks Mr. Butchart!) We decided to make the download free, so all you have to do is click below and open the file with Adobe Acrobat.

L.O.A.: 12'
BEAM: 4'

This is a free download of the PDF file.

Be warned, however, that this file is nearly 2MB in size, so you should probably have a broadband connection if you want to download this file in any reasonable amount of time!
Please note also that we haven't proofread this PDF file from Mr. Butchart, so they are offered as-is, with no guarantee as to accuracy. In all likelyhood, Mr. Butchart did a fine job and I expect they're great!

Click Here to take a look at the Mini-Cup's structure and shape.

here is a web site that might help you out. .  You might not find a sunfish, but you might find something.
If you want to build something, I would suggest a pre 1970's Moth class.
or look  up scows, they are neat.
l8nite7 years ago
 The sunfish and sailfish type sailboats were adapted (or so I was lead to believe) from a lifesaving surfboard back in the 1950's. A lifesaving board was basically a hollow 2" thick surfboard about 10' long made from plywood. add in a v bottom, mast step, daggerboard and rudder and your set.
Another fun looking little sailboat is an adaption of the mouse
paganwonder7 years ago
Glen-L marine  has many good designs and their plans have built many fine craft.
652800 (author)  paganwonder7 years ago
Thanks, I like the 12' BuckBoard Sailboard! I'm going to keep looking, however, because that one seems too delicate to submit to the damages my inexperience will bring.
lemonie7 years ago
Now that you've posted a question, have a look on the right-hand side under "Related" - anything in there that seems good?

652800 (author)  lemonie7 years ago
Nah, I've already searched all of Instructables. Nothing there really appeals to me.