The Sunburst is a very popular and safe two-person dinghy.


The boat is 3.5 m long, carries main, jib and spinnaker, and while stable can reach a good speed “on the plane”. At Mt Pleasant, we commonly find that Sunbursts are, under many conditions, racing alongside Zephyrs and Lasers, and they are entertaining and in a 15 knot Easterly breeze exciting to sail. Perhaps more than any other boat, the Sunburst is suited not just for club racing, but for “messing around in boats” on family holidays – many a Sunburst has spent its Christmas holidays at Abel Tasman or some other spot, being used for exploring, picnicking, and even overnight camping.


The Sunburst is an ideal boat for parent-child, husband-wife, “two old mates”, or just about any other combination of skipper and crew.



On all but “special” sailing days at Mt Pleasant, races are run for Sunbursts, and there are numerous cups, shields, and pennants for which Sunburst crews can compete. In addition, there are several race series on the Estuary which have a Sunburst division, and other clubs also have open events in which MPYC members can compete. Full details are provided in the Canterbury Yachting Handbook which every member of MPYC receives. The Canterbury Yachting Association website provides full details of Sunburst events – go to Club programmes and then find Class: Sunburst.


The NZ Sunburst Association website gives heaps of information about the class, tips on tuning, “boat for sale” notices, etc., and provides an excellent introduction to the boat. The Canterbury Branch of the Association coordinates events locally – contact Craig Tomlinson (chairperson) on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


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