The Sunfish sailboat is a personal size, beach launched sailing dinghy utilizing a pontoon type hull carrying a lateen sail mounted to an un-stayed mast.
Sunfish was developed by Alcort, Inc. and first appeared around 1952 as the "next generation" improvement on their original boat, the Sailfish. In contrast, the Sunfish has a wider beam for more stability, increased freeboard and the addition of a foot-well for a more comfortable sailing position. Sunfish began as a wood hull design and progressed to fiberglass construction just a few years after its introduction.
Having a lateen sail with its simple two line rigging makes a Sunfish simple to learn sailing on and to set up. Upgrades can be added to enhance sail control for competitive sailing, making the boat attractive to both novice and experienced sailors alike.
Due to the broad appeal of the Sunfish, in 1995 it was commended by The American Sailboat Hall of Fame for being "the most popular fiberglass boat ever designed, with a quarter million sold worldwide" (at that point in time). Today, the Sunfish brand-name has become so widely known it is often misapplied generically to refer to any brand board-style boat sporting the characteristic lateen sail.