Sunfish and Sailfish sailboats, produced in Waterbury’s South End between 1958 and 1969, were a great source of pride to the city and a summertime enjoyment not only for Waterbury owners, but for sailors throughout the country and the world. Manufactured at Alcort Inc. on South Main Street and, later, South Leonard Street, the Sunfish was the best-selling sailboat in the country. Alcort was acquired by AMF in 1969, which led to the closure of the Waterbury factory. In 1995, the Sunfish was commended by The American Sailboat Hall of Fame for being “the most popular fiberglass boat ever designed, with a quarter million sold worldwide.”
Author and sailor Stephan Platzer still treasures the Sunfish that he received as a high school graduation present from his parents over fifty years ago. It has become a source of adventures, friendships, and connections. On Monday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Silas Bronson Library, Platzer will share the Sunfish experience with a slideshow presentation. Steve Burrall, whose uncle Alex “Al” Bryan and godfather Cortland “Cort” Heyniger were the founders of Alcort, will be joining Platzer at the podium to read his memoir. Copies of Platzer’s book, “Everybody Has a Sunfish Story,” a collection of romantic, funny, and heartfelt tales from friends and family who have set sail on this venerable Waterbury product, will be available for sale and signing.
The Silas Bronson Library is the public library of the City of Waterbury. Located at 267 Grand Street, the Library is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from Labor Day to Memorial Day, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For more information, please visit www.bronsonlibrary.org.