The Sailfish 18 is a popular small trailer sailer with an enthusiastic band of owners and handles much like a large dinghy but with the convenience of an enclosed cabin. It's not unusual for some owners to trail to and cruise an area for a week, generally making use of local marina facilities, sleeping and often dining aboard.
The keel is retractable – lifted by a winding mechanism which as with any lift keel mechanism is wise to inspect and maintain occasionally. Although not essential, many sailfish 18 boats have been modified by making the top of the keel case itself removable to enable this work to be carried out with the boat on its trailer. As an additional and recommended precaution many have also been fitted with either chain, webbing or rope to prevent loss of the keel if the winding mechanism were to fail (now a rare occurrence). Evidence of these improvements can generally be seen if the outer cover of the keel case in the cabin is lifted off (some are secured with a number of screws).
Association members have access to a section of the website which has an information base of maintenance & improvements that have been carried out by owners over the years, there is also a Spares Secretary to consult for advice and a Forum where advice is often sought from more experienced members.
Comment by a new member (in 2005)
WOW! I am so impressed with the Sailfish...It exceeded every pre-conception I had! It is fast, agile and comfortable. I felt totally safe in a force 5 (after launching into a force 3-4 a couple of hours earlier). The day would have been perfect if I had not caught the corner of the pontoon coming in...leaving some more Glassing to do!! I really must find some filler in the correct shade of blue!!