The Sea Snark thread


My dad recalled a snark story years ago when he was young and they loaded a pair of them up with cousins and friends and headed out into the Severn. Of course they overloaded them and had a few move up to the bow, which promptly snapped off of one close hauled in moderate chop. They then surreptitiously towed/paddled it back home, got it back into the shack and decided to repair it rather than face the wrath of my grandfather and his brother. Apparently they did a fairly decent job since neither adult noticed the massive damage at first glance and it lasted long enough for my grandfather to get into middle of the Severn before everything went pear shaped the next time it was taken out. 

Last edited by a moderator:


My brother and I got a used one back in the 70s.  I kept mine at college for a while, could easily carry it upstairs to my dorm room.  I could fit a young lady in with me if we both snuggled up sideways:) My brother used to sail it fully swamped like a mobile hot tub during hot summer days.  Made a new sail out of Kmart nylon using the old one as a pattern.  My mother hauled it to the dump because the plastic cracked, it might have even had a hole through it.  I was upset, it was styrofoam, who cared about a hole?  Best fun for the buck boat I’ve ever had.



Super Anarchist
Sarasota - W. MA.
Wildflower Snark - this one for sale on Craigslist - but since boats come and go here are some pics.

No doubt that is a nice boat for a picnic out on the river.

(I wouldn't pay that for it - but I understand the trailer has some value). 


Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 10.52.46 PM.png



Super Anarchist
Sarasota - W. MA.
Super Snark - stored indoors - this looks like the basic boat but the upgrade to the plastic covered hull. Nice that it still has the logos and plate on it.

Still not gonna spend $400. $200.....I'd go for it just to have one and brag about it. 




Super Anarchist
Sarasota - W. MA.
I am now the proud owner of a Snark Sunflower, which is the slightly deluxe version - has a covered foredeck and the ABS covered hull. 

I will post some pics as I continue tuning it up (ha!). 

It has a really nice rudder assembly - cast aluminum and/or magnesium alloy and swings up. That part of the boat does not look disposable at all. 

I've had it out twice already - in a local pond - but the winds haven't been up. Probably topped out at 3 knots (boat speed), but at least got the basics of boat assembly and operation down. 

Mostly I am enjoying working on it. It doesn't need anything fixed - I am just renewing it and/or in some cases improving it. Gorilla Glue is the key here as it makes a perfect foam and is available in white or clear (besides the yellowish brown). I glued the white vinyl that separates the ABS from the top part of the hull, etc.

It's really handy to be able to car top by my lonesome.  

If I get bored I'll repaint the ABS. Unless I really fall in love with sailing this I will probably sell it in the Fall as I don't need this many boats and only bought this for escape to the local pond (not for real sailing in real waters!). I have a large shop attached to the house so keeping these boats and fiddling with them is easy here in my MA digs. 

Keeping the thread going, here is a woman who has tuned up her ABS model on YT -




Super Anarchist
Sarasota - W. MA.
Here is a pic of the cast rudder assembly - much nicer than the plywood one of the smaller Snarks. I noted that the handle was short for my liking so threw together this extension which has a stop, so it pulls out about two feet if desired. 

I have finished most of the gluing and other work (very small cracks or dents) - maybe I'll give it a coat of topside Signal Yellow. 





Super Anarchist
Sarasota - W. MA.
I'm about finished with my tuning of the Sunflower - none (or very little) of this work was required. It was ready to sail as-is, but since I enjoy fussing with things I spent about $90 or so on material and went to work.

Basics - the ABS hull covering are amazingly tough! If you find one in decent condition it should last many more years. It cannot, for example, be easily marked with heavy sandpaper nor pierced with a razor blade. The point is that you don't have to treat it gently when working with it. 

Some Materials which seem best for working with Snarks are shown. Gorilla Glue is great for various uses such as if you have areas of the ABS you want to glue to the foam (bubbles, lifted up areas). You can drill holes in the ABS and use a cheap syringe to inject the GG. It's also great for filling holes you might have in the foam itself (interior). 

Marine Epoxy can be used with or without cloth for various tasks. Instead of buying a keel guard I laid a rectangle of epoxy and cloth at the stern (a skid plate) and also put a light coat with no cloth on the bow and a foot back on the bottom center. I also used some around the centerboard trunk.

The Elmers wood repair is quite thin and you can wipe it on any of the foam you want to renew or strengthen. I put it on the rail so that foam wouldn't dent when put on the roof racks - I also put some around the mast hole and centerboard trunk just to show how well it renews (see pic). I don't want the foam to be hard where I sit so for now I am not using any of it where I sit or lie. 

I'm finishing with two coats of Duralux topside - which should be fine on the ABS being as the boat won't be kept in the water. Pics here show some materials and Gorilla Glue injected into small crevice. Then prep for paint and the first coat of Signal Yellow. 

This is the Sunflower Model, which is larger (13 feet) than the original all-foam Snark. It has the ABS covering as well as a covered front and the more deluxe rudder assembly shown in a previous post. I've taken it out twice but the wind was very light - now that I am finished I will see what it can do. Since I've heard people say it's a 2-3 knot boat, my first goal it to pass 5 knots...then go from there. We'll see. 






Snarky Puppy

New member
New York

I'm wondering what the best product is to clean discoloration on a Snark Sunflower, either outside hull, in the interior cockpit side, or on the plastic coping.  I'm not interested in painting right now, but there is some discoloring from storage outside.  Maybe mildew.  Not sure.

Also, wondering if anyone has successfully McGuyvered a hiking strap of any kind?  if so, how did you do it?

-Snarky Puppy



Super Anarchist
Sea Snark and perhaps other brands (Sunfish?) sailing in Philadelphia - my family and friends when I was 10 years old or so (mid-1960's) - river was about 900 feet wide at this place - approx where the Boat houses are in Philly, above the Falls about a mile from the Art Museum.

View attachment 437818

I was about 14 when my dad pulled the Sunfish there, I went out solo, and was pushing the envelope (for a guy that age...) and flipped it over.  I righted it in no time and was underway, when the Polezei* decided I was through sailing for the day.  F#ck, I just proved my seamanship by getting an overturned boat back underway.   I guess nobody told them that knocking down a dinghy is part of the sport and entirely expected.   As soon as I could drive, Nocamixon, Marsh Creek, and the back bays of Sea Isle became the norm.

We also went thru a Sea Snark for a while.  It's a bit of a slow bathtub but it gets a kid onto the water in a really non-threatening sort of way.  Between ultimate flotation and speed control by hull shape, it's easy to get the basics down and is fun when a good breeze kicks up.

* Philly cops in particular

Last edited by a moderator:


Super Anarchist
Sarasota - W. MA.
Since I placed a Rocket Order I need to make room - so I put the Snark up for sale. Yesterday. 

Today I had two people who wanted it - one came and paid cash.

I guess we can say Snarks are an official classic and, in some cases, almost a collectors item. I suppose if i find another one someday that is either perfect or needs some work (and super-cheap), I'd pick it up.

But I intend the Rocket to be my main Dinghy...hopefully. Now I am wondering whether two Rockets instead of hauling one back and forth to FL - then again, FL may just melt from heat and COVID so I will wait a bit. 

 My Sunflower is probably 35-40 years old. That's a dang good lifespan IMHO. Of course, these (and many boats) tend to spend years or decades put away in a garage or basement. 

I had been resisting signing up for SA as I'm not sure I'm worthy.  But with two Snark threads in Dinghy Anarchy it was time.  I learned to sail in Boy Scouts a long time ago, and did some sailing on a Prindle 16 in Florida in the prior millennium.  I had an interest in the Snark as we have a small public lake nearby, it's windy here, and it would be easy to transport and sail solo.  Initially I found a Formex boat, incorrectly advertised as a Snark.  Then my son found a Sea Snark for $100.  Along the way we broke & replaced the daggerboard, and I made a new 55 ft^2 sail for it.

two foam boats.jpg

The Sea Snark met a spectacular demise, but was replaced by a Snark Sunflower we found for $180.  It was missing its mast.  Seller said it was on the bottom of his lake.  I moved my new sail over to it.  The extra 4" of beam make it a lot more comfortable for an adult.  With the ABS covering and extra size it is harder to transport, but not by much.  I think it weighs about 50 lbs vs the 30 of the all-foam Snark. 

They are the slowest sailboats on the lake, except when it is time to rig or chuck it back into the truck.  The fun to hassle ratio is unmatched by any other boat.  I store the foam boats above the car in the garage.  If it is windy, I can be under sail including the 15 minute drive in about 45 minutes.

I just sold my truck, but I have a little trailer that I can use to transport the sunflower.  I had finished putting the junkyard hitch on my Saturn last week.

View attachment 470413

It was supposed to be 20 gusting to 30, but it ended up being a lot less than that.  I did capsize once, and saw the mast was poking out the bottom of the boat.  That is the thing about these foam boats, as you beef them up you keep finding the next weakest point.  I've redone a lot of parts on these boats.  Here is the mast support, before and after:

mast pivot comparison.jpg

The old one tends to twist.  The new one is a weldment and it pivots.

I went with a thicker mast, which is a lot better, but then I had to make a mount for the halyard sheave.  I designed and 3D printed it.

Halyard pulley model.png

I also used a standard bearing and made a sheave that was slightly larger than the mast diameter.  That was cool, except they tended to fail along the layer lines and the sail came down once.  So, I made a reinforcement.

bolted halyard.jpg

I am trying to decide if I should do a local patch, or rip off all the plastic and fiberglass the hull.  Would be a lot stronger.

So our first Snark met its demise last year:

I was going to glue it back together but decided to move on.

Snark Chunks.jpg

I have too many other projects.  We had our $100 worth of fun and learning out of it.

How much learning you planning to do in that sport plane and catamaran?  I'm guessing significantly more than $100's worth.  :)
The cat on the right is a Supercat 17.  It was free from a friend, though I had to drive from Northern Illinois to South Florida to get it.  I'm going to buy new standing rigging for it this spring and get it on the water this year.  The H16 in the way back is a bit of a frankenboat.  We originally bought a $400 Hobie and trailer.  Did a bunch of work, sailed it a few times, and then this:

Any way you look at it, we always have a lot of fun for the money, and always learn a lot more than you can in school.  I'm looking forward both to the first flight and also stepping up from the H16 to the SC17.

We still  have a Snark Sunflower which is a much better boat for an adult than the Sea Snark.  I fit a lot better.  And it is still easy to transport and set up.

Any way you look at it, we always have a lot of fun for the money, and always learn a lot more than you can in school.  I'm looking forward both to the first flight and also stepping up from the H16 to the SC17.

We still  have a Snark Sunflower which is a much better boat for an adult than the Sea Snark.  I fit a lot better.  And it is still easy to transport and set up.
Was just poking a bit of fun :)   Great work on your Waiex!  During the first chapter of adulthood, I was an Aviation Maintenance Tech and always marveled at the homebuilt experimental light planes that came in for inspection.

Also love the journey you went on prepping the hobie(s).  Hope the sunflower continues to treat you well.


Latest posts