Interview / Sunfish

Shoreline Interview with My2fish – Our pick for top blog on Sunfish sailing

Thad Greiner, author of My2fish voted “Best Sunfish Blog” by along with us here at Shoreline, took some time out of his busy day to share his thoughts. In this interview he recounts the events that have lead to four years of blogging about his passion for sailing and his love of the Sunfish.

Thad in his own words:

Catching the Sailing Bug:
While my 1st sailing experience was when I was eighteen and working at a summer camp on Lake Michigan (summer of 1998), it was just that one afternoon… and while I enjoyed it a lot, I didn’t sail again for several years.  I was actually back up at that same camp for a men’s retreat in the fall of 2002, talking with my friend and boss from when I worked there – the camp caretaker.  We were discussing just life in general and I mentioned I had really enjoyed the sailing back when I worked there.  The caretaker just happened to have a Super Porpoise that he wasn’t using much, so he sold it to me for $50.  My2fish links: super-porpoise-history and my-1st-fish.

The Dry Years 2003-2008
While having a $50 boat was sweet, I didn’t have a trailer.  At that time, my wife and I lived with our 1st son way down in southeast Indiana, with no family nearby and we hadn’t lived there long enough to really make friends.  So even though we lived very close to a huge reservoir, I didn’t sail much… in fact, I think maybe only 2 or 3 times that summer of 2003.

In 2004, we moved back up to Michigan and it was a mess of a summer with moving, wife pregnant with son #2, me trying to find a new job, finding a house, etc.  No sailing that year.

So the spring of 2005, I thing I realized that to get any use out of my sailboat, I would really need to find a trailer for it – as I couldn’t lift it up onto our Tahoe by myself.  I don’t think craigslist was very popular (if even around yet), so I started looking a lot on eBay for Sunfish with a trailer.  I found one that was very close to me (just the next door town), and ended up looking at it first and then winning the bidding war on eBay. My2fish story link: buying-a-sunfish-on-ebay.  I know I sailed it a couple times that summer, but honestly can’t remember if I used it much in the next few years (2006 and 2007).  My 3rd son was born in May of 2008, so I know for sure that year I didn’t sail at all.

Chronicling Life – Sunfish Blogging Begins:
That brings up to 2009, and I think this is where things started to kick off.  That summer I started the my2fish blog – I hadn’t blogged ever before, but I more than anything wanted a way to keep track of my sailing trips.  I knew that still with 3 young boys, I wouldn’t sail as frequently as I’d like to, so the blog was a way to write down notes for where I sailed, how it went, etc.  I also could use it as a place to keep track of any repairs and/or improvements that I made to the boat(s) along the way.

I also sailed several times that summer, probably the most use I had gotten out of the boats ever (still only 4 or 5 times though!).
Links to highlights on My2fish sailing logs:


My brother-in-law also started to get more interested in sailing, and he bought a Sandpiper 8.  That summer, we both took our boats up to the same camp up on Lake Michigan.

sailing-log-2009-08-26 (a great day of sailing!)

Branching Out into the Sunfish World:
That fall, I really got into blogging about the Sunfish Worlds.  And over time, I started to pay more attention to fellow sailing bloggers (although there is a shortage of Sunfish sailor bloggers).

2010, 2011 and 2012 were fairly similar – usually sailing several times, but 3 kids, life, etc usually kept me from sailing as much as I’d like.  I ended up getting the GoPro video camera, which has been a great way to create video memories of my sailing trips.  I’m just really slow to ever edit them down into short enough video clips to share on my blog.

I also started posting about repairs made to my older Sunfish.  Between trying to blog about the Sunfish Worlds each year, and then building up some history with Sunfish DIY repair blog posts, I think more web traffic sends folks my way looking to do similar repairs, etc.

Digging to find Sunfish Gold:
The vast majority of my Sunfish knowledge is “book-smart” – meaning I’ve read about way more than I’ve actually done (this applies to both sailing and repairs).  I spent a lot of time reading the Sunfish Forum  and the Yahoo Sunfish Sailor Group  – both incredibly valuable forums.  I’ve tried to then blog about stuff that might be hidden in those forums, but is sometimes hard to find unless you really dig down.

As a result, here are some of my more popular posts relate to stuff like that:
Sunfish rigging guides
Building my own Sunfish PVC dolly
Learn to sail in 3 days

Variety of Life Shared at My2fish:
I’ve also sprinkled in blog posts about life in general in Michigan, especially stuff we do with the boys.  I also really enjoy indie music, so will often post music and/or videos from bands that I like.  I’ll also post often about other water sports when I find something interesting worth sharing (kite surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, etc).

I think for me, sailing has really developed into a chance for me to share the sport (and my passion for it) with someone new.  I find that I usually enjoy it the most when I have a passenger riding along with me in my Sunfish, or have another person sailing nearby (often my brother-in-law in a smaller sailboat).  My favorite memories on the Sunfish are with passengers:

My wife and I took a short trip together for our 10-year anniversary and explored a bit in the northwest part of Michigan’s lower peninsula.  We sailed twice on East Grand Traverse Bay near Traverse City, Michigan, and then one afternoon on Crystal Lake.  That is one of my favorite days ever sailing, and I got good video of it: sailing-on-crystal-lake-michigan-video

Sailing with my boys.  I’ve done it more each year as they get older.  I got a great video of it from several years back: sailing-with-2-of-my-boys-video

Thoughts on Racing:
Racing – I debate it every spring, and post all the scheduled races for the area (for the Midwest and the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club).  Part of my hesitation is lack of knowing the racing rules, and just not sure I have enough real experience to try it out.  I know the mechanics of sailing, and can make my way alright out on the water, but I’ve never tried to sail a specific “course” so to speak.  And, as I mentioned above, for me – the true joy has been taking other people sailing, and introducing them to the sport.  My wife and sons, but also friends and other family members, and sometimes just random people on the beach that act interested!


The Future:
So where am I heading?  Eh, it’s hard to tell.  Each spring brings thoughts of multiple sailing excursions, and then summer is half gone and life got in the way.  I end up putting the boat away (usually too early) because school and soccer for the boys starts right when the fall winds start getting good.  I think as my boys keep getting older, it will get better and I can take them sailing more with me.  This summer, we hope to have the 2 older boys take sailing lessons at a nearby yacht club.  As far as the my2fish blog?  I still enjoy blogging quite a bit, so will most likely keep that up for now.  I don’t have as much time to write posts as I’d like, but still try to post frequently enough to keep interest and activity there.

The Enigmatic Question:
The question I wish Shoreline had asked: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Shoreline responds:
We have avoided asking the above question until the Bernoulli vs Newton property airfoil debate has a clear winner. Until then, we feel that any answer Thad could give us, even though it would be the Holy Grail of interview answers, would be purely conjecture.