Sunfish Sailboat 2 Person

By Yasir Sarkar Written by Yasir Sarkar
Updated on April 20, 2022

The Sunfish is a compact, lightweight, easy to transport and the most popular boat ever produced for sailing, racing and exploring.

What’s a sunfish sailboat

The Sunfish is a small sailing dinghy that can accommodate two people. The Sunfish boasts a broad beam for added stability, greater freeboard, and a foot-well for a more comfortable sailing position. Sunfish started with a wood hull design and moved to a fiberglass build. With a crab claw sail and simple two-line rigging, a Sunfish is easy to learn to sail and put up. The Sunfish was named the most popular fiberglass boat ever constructed in 1995 by The American Sailboat Hall of Fame, with a quarter million units sold worldwide.

Can 2 person ride a sunfish sailboat

Being a personal size boat the Sunfish can carry 2 people at once. We will discuss it further in the capacity section.

 About Sunfish Sailboat


Alcort Inc, created the Sunfish, which initially emerged in 1952 as a next-generation enhancement on their first boat. The Alcort firm was founded in 1945 by Alex Bryan and Cortlandt Heyniger to build their first boat design, the Sailfish. The design was upgraded to the Sunfish after Bryan’s wife, Aileen Bryan, recommended a boat with a small cockpit where she could place her feet. Sunfish was initially available as a DIY kit or as a fully assembled boat. The Sailfish was the only one of the two designs that started out as a blueprint boat. Sunfish has been built and run by seven different builders since its launch in 1952, including Alcort Inc, AMF, Vanguard, and others.


At first sunfish sailboats were made from wood, now the hull is made from fiber glasses. The main parts of the sunfish boats are hull, sail, rudder and tiller. Assembling sunfish sailboats is easy and it is easy to transport. The best part of sunfish is you can customize it however you want. You can change every part of the boat or add new ones like compass or deck cover. You can even convert old radders with modern ones. 

Pros and Cons

With a single control line, the sunfish is simple to setup and sail. Almost the only car-top sailboat. In favorable wind, a fast planing sailboat. Beaching is made simple with the kick up rudder and daggerboard. As a second hand sailboat, they are widely accessible and reasonably priced. There are many drawbacks to it too, like it only fits one full-size adult, an adult and a youngster, or two teenagers.

Wet sailing is caused by the small cockpit and lack of freeboard. It’s not as fast as a Laser. A novice might easily capsize it.

 Sunfish Boats in Racing

The number of boats manufactured and registered in the racing class are closely connected for most One-Design Class qualified boats. This effectively merges the boat and the racing class. This more common symbiotic link is broken by the Sunfish. Sunfish is in the top 1% of all boats racing in the United States. It does, however, show the boat’s above-average adaptability in terms of adapting to a wider range of sailing applications.

Fun Racking

Friendly competition was crucial in creating the Alcort boat designs’ recognized appeal. The Connecticut River race, Seattle’s Duck Dodge, and the Hampton Roads Sunfish Challenge & Dinghy Distance Race, currently in its tenth year, are all instances of how much fun Sunfish sailors can have without becoming too serious.

Open Class Racing

Sunfish racers who are more enthusiastic about sailing contests but do not have access to a Sunfish fleet can compete in Open Class events utilizing a handicap system against practically any other make and model of sailboat. The Sunfish have a base-line handicap of 99.6 in Portsmouth.


Because One Design racing employs essentially similar boats, the competitiveness is solely dependent on sailing ability. A regulatory organization oversees One Design Classes to ensure uniformity. AMF was essential in the formation of the Sunfish (racing) Class Association in 1969. The International Yacht Racing Union, currently known as the International Sailing Federation, sanctioned the Sunfish Class in 1984. (ISAF). The Sunfish Class became autonomous as the International Sunfish Class Association a year later (ISCA)

 Super Sunfish

 The SUPER SUNFISH is an unstayed cat rig variant of the ordinary SUNFISH. A kit for use on an existing SUNFISH was also offered. The concept had emerged a few years before, when a little more complicated setup was used. This was AMF’s version, which was available for ten years beginning in 1974. In order to compete with the newly developing Laser, AMF advertised this more traditional sail design as a performance version of the Sunfish. The Super Sunfish was available as a whole package as well as a retrofit kit for existing lateen rigged Sunfish. According to the literature, the sail systems on a single Sunfish hull may be simply switched to fit various sailors’ preferences.

 Sunfish sailboat capacity

      The capacity of a Sunfish sailboat depends on the hull. Fiberglass hull can weight more

       people than woodhulls. The optimal weight of sailors should be around 150 lbs. So the            capacity should be around 400 lbs. Please note that sunfish sailboats can weigh more than the capacity. It won’t sink but it will slow down the boat