- Before putting the Sunfish away for storage, it is essential to clean it thoroughly to remove salt, dirt, and debris. Any moisture should be completely dried off to prevent mold and mildew from developing on the sail and hull. This includes drying out the cockpit, storage compartments, and any other areas where water could collect.
- The sail should be stored separately, ideally rolled rather than folded, to prevent creases and damage to the fabric. The hull should be protected from UV exposure, which can degrade the fiberglass over time. A breathable cover is recommended to prevent moisture buildup and to protect the boat from dust and pests.
- To avoid water accumulation in the cockpit or on the deck, the Sunfish should be stored upside down if possible, supported at the strong points of the hull to prevent warping. If it cannot be stored upside down, then a well-fitted cover that allows for ventilation while preventing water pooling is necessary.
- Choose a storage location that is secure and safe from strong winds or falling debris. If storing outdoors, ensure the boat is securely tied down. If storing indoors, such as in a garage or storage facility, make sure the space is not prone to drastic temperature changes, which could cause the hull to expand and contract, potentially leading to damage.
Ever since its introduction in 1960, the sunfish sailboat is not only popular among the old folks, it is something millennials also grew with. Most of them had their first sailing experience in this sailboat.
The 14 inches sailboat is portable, cheap to purchase, and durable.
With the leaves falling quickly and the weather getting hotter daily ― winter is around the corner. What all owners are thinking of is “how to store a sunfish sailboat”.
The method of storage is dependent on your preference and notably the size of the room it will be stored.
Storage During Summer
During summer, it is important to place the sunfish sailboat where it can be easily accessed. Since you will always be needing it for sail most of the time.
Summer’s here and you’ve got a sunfish boat! You’re ready to make some serious waves, but how do you store that shiny water steed when you’re not using it? Let’s make sure your sunfish is as bright and ready as you are when you’re itching for the next sail.
- Cover Up: First things first, get a good quality boat cover. It protects your sunfish from damaging UV rays, rain, bird droppings, and prying eyes. Ensure it’s breathable to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Out of the Water: If possible, it’s best to keep your boat out of the water when not in use. This reduces the risk of water damage and unwanted growths on the hull.
- Keep it Dry: If your boat took on some water during your adventures, make sure to drain it before storing. Check the bailer and drain plug to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Shady Spot: Find a place that doesn’t get direct sunlight. UV rays can harm not just your boat’s exterior but its sails too.
- Support: Use a rack or cradle to support your boat properly during storage. It helps maintain the shape and prevents any undue stress on the hull.
It can be simply tied to a tree near the water body and covered with a protective material (like a tarp) provided you are sure of its safety.
Storage During Winter
It is more important to know how to store a sunfish sailboat during the winter. Because, the sunfish itself may not be damaged by the hot temperature but the hull, sail rudder and centerboard need to be protected.
Before you even think about storage, give your Sunfish a thorough cleaning. A mix of warm water and mild soap works wonders. Just make sure to rinse well to prevent soap scum build-up.
Once it’s squeaky clean, check for any needed repairs. It’s much easier to deal with this now than in the rush of the new season. Look for any cracks or holes that need patching, and inspect the rigging and sail for wear and tear.
Now onto the actual storage part. If you can, store your Sunfish indoors in a dry, sheltered location, like a garage or shed. This protects it from the harsh winter weather and UV damage.
Can’t squeeze it into your garage? Outdoor storage can work too. Just make sure to keep the boat upside down, raised off the ground on blocks or racks to prevent water pooling and freezing in the cockpit. A sturdy, well-fitted boat cover is a must to protect from snow, ice, and any curious critters looking for a winter home.
Pro tip: Loosen or remove the lines and sails to prevent unnecessary stress and possible damage over winter. You might also want to open any inspection ports to let air circulate inside the hull. This helps prevent condensation and the potential growth of mold or mildew.
Ultraviolet rays are known to be dangerous to the skin and many other things. Covering with a tarp is also important but not all that is required. Below are some tips on how to store a sunfish sailboat.
Storing Right-Side Up
In a small storage space, storing sunfish sailboats right-side up is okay. It creates space as you can even put your spars and mast on top. To avoid any scratching of the deck finish by the spars, put some padding materials in between.
When the spars and mast are placed on top, the tarps are slightly elevated and pointed allowing for water runoff as long as the tightness is maintained.
Storing Upside Down
Storing upside down is one of the most recommended methods of how to store a sunfish sailboat. It prevents the deck from getting oxidized by the sunlight. Water will also be unable to get retained in the flat places on the tarp and in the cockpit.
You also do not need to ensure the tarp is tightly stretched throughout storage. The curve design of the keel makes the water runoff seamlessly.
The only thing to avoid is storing upside down without anything beneath to raise the hull. You can also place some 2x4s across the trailer as deck support. About two of such is okay. Also, place some materials like pad or old towels between the boards and deck to avoid scratches.
Storing uprightly is the best at saving space but the most dangerous to your sunfish sailboat if done wrongly.
Mount pulleys at the top (at least two) at the top of the garage to hold the boat. To efficiently support the weight of the boat, support it with some wood blocks. And add rubber in between the blocks and the deck to avoid slippage.
For easy drainage, make some holes in the hull. Let it be about 3.8” port on the aft deck placed approximately 2” in front of the hull trim. This will enhance the air flow through the hull to dry off any moisture.
Multiple Sunfish Side Storage
The multiple sunfish side storage is best for storing more than two sunfish when the space is small for either right-side up or upside-down storage. The boats are arranged on their sides tilting at about 20 degrees against each other.
Place foam or any other padding material between them to avoid the hulls sliding against each other.
The key here is to optimize your space, and storing your Sunfish sailboats on their sides (also known as “edge storing”) is a solid strategy. It’s a common method used by sailing schools and rental businesses, and it can work just as well for you.
You’ll need a sturdy rack system that can securely hold each boat on its side. You can either purchase a commercial rack or build one yourself if you’re handy. The rack should be designed so that the boats rest on their gunwales. This helps distribute the weight evenly and minimizes stress on the hull.
The boats should be stacked closely together, but not so tight that they’re rubbing against each other. You don’t want any unnecessary scratches or damage, right? A neat row of Sunfishes all cozied up side by side is a pretty sight!
Cover each boat to protect them from the elements. If you’re storing them outdoors, use a cover that’s waterproof and UV-resistant.
And just like in individual storage, don’t forget to give each boat a thorough cleaning and inspection before storage. Repair any damage, loosen or remove the lines and sails, and open any inspection ports to let air circulate.
Pro tip: If you’re dealing with a lot of boats, it can be helpful to label each boat and its corresponding gear. That way, you won’t waste time in the new season figuring out which sail goes with which boat.
Tie the last boat to the wall using its front handle and rear bridle to avoid any movement whatsoever. This will prevent the boats from falling over.
Other tips on How to Store A Sunfish Sailboat
How to store A Sunfish Sailboat during summer?
During the summer season, it is imperative that you place a sunfish sailboat at a place from where it can be accessed easily. This is the time when you’ll need a sunfish sailboat most of the time. You may simply tie it to a tree near the lake or the water body and also make sure you cover it with a protective material, which is most commonly a tarp. Ensure 100% safety when you store the sunfish sailboat outdoor.
How to store a Sunfish Sailboat during winter?
Run your boat once again after use, drain off the water from the boat, clean the boat, winterize the engine, lubricate the moving parts and then remove the battery. During the winter season, it is better to remove the battery and charge it and also remove all sorts of sensitive materials. Next, you have to seal all the exhausted ports. While you cover and store the boat, don’t forget to check every 2 weeks. Also change the boat oil, safeguard the fogging oil and fill the tank.
Can I store a sailboat outdoor?
In case you don’t have enough space for storing your boat at home, you can certainly keep it outside. Each parking spot is covered with a small roof that offers protection against all weather elements. Hence, you can cover the boat and make sure it remains protected in the place that you choose for storing the sailboat.