• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Mark 42

Optimist fleet association "missed the boat"

31 posts in this topic

IMNSHO, the Optimist fleet association "missed the boat"

 

I was thinking of building a couple of Optimists for my kids

(using the old plywood plans version), but have read that it

is really difficult for a homebuilder to meet the tight tolerances.

 

Instead of controlling dimensional tolerances to really tight

margins like +/- 2mm, they could have made them +/- 20mm and

still accomplish the same thing, but also allowed people on tight

budgets to build a boat, and campaign it in the official races.

 

What would have happened is... after awhile, people would figure

out which end of tolerances make the fastest boat. They would

maximize dimension A, B & C and minimize dimension X, Y & Z and

shot for exactly some certain mid value for dimensions R, L & M.

 

So, the people who wanted to throw money at racing Optis would build

optimized boats (just as it is now). But, people who want to build

a boat on a budget, and race it knowing that they won't be national

champions, but can have fun improving their finishing positions in

club racing, or even mid-pack in international events would have that

option as well.

 

So, the high performing boats would be about the same cost as they

are currently, but less expensive (homebuilt plywood) boats would still be able

to have a go at racing with the fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I can understand your frustration, there is a very good reason for the tight tolerences. Back in the day I used to build Optimists, the tolerences were a lot wider. This led to a lot of very expensive development of hull shapes and there were times when a builder would come up with a new shape that meant that to be competitive, you had to buy a new boat. Winner were one of the top builders and in 1981 (IIRC) you needed a Winner Mk 11 (eleven!) to be competitive. The boats were also expensive to build as each builder sought out an advantage. Now, while one could argue that this only affected a few at the front, the way Optimist parents are means that even if little Johnny is fighting for position 110 in a fleet of 125 boats, he must still have the latest and greatest. Don't get me wrong, it was great for us builders, but not so good for the class. It was impossible to build a competitive boat at home and few did it. In addition to the cost of the boat itself, there were the shipping costs because most people couldn't buy a competive boat locally.

 

By tightening up the tolerences and the way the boats were built, the price came down as a more mass produced boat could be competitive. It helped the vast majority at the expence of a very few who were home building. It is still possible to home build, but you need to take a lot of care.In this day of cnc routing, getting the ply cut accurately and getting good templates adds only a little to the cost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but if we allowed people to build their own boats who would buy all the go fast ad ons. and gasp... what would happen to those go fast companies if a homebuilt placed ahead of their model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but if we allowed people to build their own boats who would buy all the go fast ad ons. and gasp... what would happen to those go fast companies if a homebuilt placed ahead of their model.

That was never a problem! The rule change hurt professional builders, as it opened up the market to builders who could build a competitive boat down to a price, rather than charge a premium for a faster product. In addition, those companies like Winner, who had hull shapes which were complex and highly developed, had to start again from scratch and build new moulds. There really isn't a lot of money in building Optimists these daysand you don't make money unless you can get the volumes high. The rule changes brought down the price of the boats and made it easier to buy locally build boats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I read the Opti webpage description of the "success" of making it into a true one-design boat (same as above with fewer specifics)

 

....the statement that the process "brought down prices" seems disingenuous.

 

$2400 for a used bathtub is too fucking expensive.

 

My boy just finished up a week of sailing classes, including some time in the Opti. It seemed like the perfect size and shape for him to train in....but goddddaaaaamm those things are pricey.

 

With nearly all yacht clubs and sailing clubs in the world using them as trainers, why are they still so fucking pricey????????? So much for "volume discount".

 

-M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I read the Opti webpage description of the "success" of making it into a true one-design boat (same as above with fewer specifics)

 

....the statement that the process "brought down prices" seems disingenuous.

 

$2400 for a used bathtub is too fucking expensive.

 

My boy just finished up a week of sailing classes, including some time in the Opti. It seemed like the perfect size and shape for him to train in....but goddddaaaaamm those things are pricey.

 

With nearly all yacht clubs and sailing clubs in the world using them as trainers, why are they still so fucking pricey????????? So much for "volume discount".

 

-M

 

You clearly have never tried to make a living building boats! I stopped building Optimists because the margins are so low. A new Optimist today can be bought for $2750. If they are only losing a few hundred dollars a year depreciation, that seems pretty good. And try doing the sums on a new boat. Take the cost of the foils, spars, sail, fittings and see what is left for the hull. Then go find me an Optimist builder who is doing well financially. I love the way that people think they are expensive yet the builders make no money!

 

And yes, changing to the o/d boats did bring the price down and has lept them down. It has also improved availablity globally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the way that people think they are expensive yet the builders make no money!

 

These aren't mutually exclusive. I guess the question is: does a kids boat really have to cost this much to make? Possibly the answer is yes. The plastic bathub Topper isn't any cheaper. http://www.toppersai...?category_id=17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Aus they are way cheaper than other choices, and currently while most are in winter the Queensland youths have 81 boats! including many from WA and Vic. Our current boat will last 3 kids, and then will be lent to others, I don't expect a return, because the 3 years enjoyment that our 9 year old has had is worth it.

 

I thought of building one, as close as I could, and for it to just be a trainer and local racer, have you priced it? I know I would not have got it to the water for much less than our 1 regatta and 10 sails old boat ($2200). That was not including my time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the idea that home-built Optis should have a presence. I quite frankly can't afford a new one- even the Far East imports we can get here are like $7k- a pile of cash if you convert it to our meta-money. And for my lighty who weighs in at about 100lb aged 10, and who is a rapidly ascending 5'3", the opti is a stupid investment. Sure, his brother and sister will race his old boat, but I'm about 2 weeks from re-launching a 35-year-old Opti which he has helped me rebuild, and which cost me nothing bar time, paint, and some epoxy.

The kid's learned patience, a lot of boatbuilding skills, and he's taken ownership of his boat project; show me a store-bought-Opti brat who has the same attitude...

My contention is that as soon as he's mastered his own boat- in about a year- he'll be ready for a bigger boat, and here they go onto Dabchicks, which are also a peculiar local boat, but which can be sailed 1 or 2-up, and actually go like a squeezed orange-pip.

The thing with a Dabbie is that you can buy one- for pretty much the same price as an Opti, or you can build one yourself from scratch [my intention] or you can race an elderly one with equal success. The arms-race cheque-book parents seem to be a lot less vociferous in the Dabbie class, and the rock-star mentality of the Opti-brats seems to be a little more tempered in the Dabbie fleet.

I just wish that there was a way of sorting out the arms-race mentality in the Opti fleet without setting my huge son on them! Let's see fleets of wooden Optis racing as "classics" or as a restricted class, perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, the close tolerances are necessary.

At the St. Petersburg Sailing Center in Florida there is a wooden "pram" that was built when the conversion was being made to Optimist Dinghy. Both types were raced in Florida until the late 1980s. But this boat has been up in storage for two decades.

The late Ed Sherman built this boat to an optimum shape. It was significantly quicker than others, so much so that it was banned from competition among local clubs, even though it was legal in every way. Those loose tolerances were exploited.

Imagine if today we had so many wide numbers to crunch for an Opti.

Dave Ellis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the idea that home-built Optis should have a presence. I quite frankly can't afford a new one- even the Far East imports we can get here are like $7k- a pile of cash if you convert it to our meta-money. And for my lighty who weighs in at about 100lb aged 10, and who is a rapidly ascending 5'3", the opti is a stupid investment. Sure, his brother and sister will race his old boat, but I'm about 2 weeks from re-launching a 35-year-old Opti which he has helped me rebuild, and which cost me nothing bar time, paint, and some epoxy.

The kid's learned patience, a lot of boatbuilding skills, and he's taken ownership of his boat project; show me a store-bought-Opti brat who has the same attitude...

My contention is that as soon as he's mastered his own boat- in about a year- he'll be ready for a bigger boat, and here they go onto Dabchicks, which are also a peculiar local boat, but which can be sailed 1 or 2-up, and actually go like a squeezed orange-pip.

The thing with a Dabbie is that you can buy one- for pretty much the same price as an Opti, or you can build one yourself from scratch [my intention] or you can race an elderly one with equal success. The arms-race cheque-book parents seem to be a lot less vociferous in the Dabbie class, and the rock-star mentality of the Opti-brats seems to be a little more tempered in the Dabbie fleet.

I just wish that there was a way of sorting out the arms-race mentality in the Opti fleet without setting my huge son on them! Let's see fleets of wooden Optis racing as "classics" or as a restricted class, perhaps?

 

I don't know where you are getting your prices from, a Far east oppie is about $2500 in Cape Town and if you want to be competitive in Dabbies you will need a glass boat, as they are dominating all the regattas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe and a new class with a claim rule - anyone's hull can be bought for $700

for up to 30 minutes after the race. Some sort of cheap Roto-mold boat, or a

seperate class of plywood prams of some sort.

 

Maybe I'll invent one. A small scow shaped like a Sneak Box, but

cheap and lightweight...

 

http://www.glen-l.com/designs/special/sneakbox.html

 

http://www.clarkcraft.com/cgi-local/shop_new.pl?cart_id=018bcb3c36abc27b7a51f2a85e4bb839&type=item&categ=009&item=932731159

 

Wouldn't need to change much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe and a new class with a claim rule - anyone's hull can be bought for $700

for up to 30 minutes after the race. Some sort of cheap Roto-mold boat, or a

seperate class of plywood prams of some sort.

 

Maybe I'll invent one. A small scow shaped like a Sneak Box, but

cheap and lightweight...

 

http://www.glen-l.co...l/sneakbox.html

 

http://www.clarkcraf...&item=932731159

 

Wouldn't need to change much.

 

The fact is the Optimist is too expensive for what it is, a bathtub with a sail. Whether builders are making a profit is irrelevant. Not to mention that it doesn't look that fun to sail, and it's not very fast.

 

I think the O'Pen Bic is the next generation of young kid training boat. It's relatively cheap ($3k all up), it's fast, it's cool looking, it's self-bailing, it planes. Fully battened windsurfing style main, lightweight.

 

There's a few at the community sailing place, they've decided on those instead of Optimists. I kinda want to try sailing one sometime, they said they'd let us sometime. If it's really blowing I bet they would be a blast, as long as I can fit under the boom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every second week when this comes up nothing is different.

 

There is a boat for everyone.

Just because some can afford it, why shouldn't they, if I could I would.

We don't see all this "brat or spoiled" or whatever where we are, so obviously lucky.

We see parents being hands on, and that is where sailing grows, if the parent is not interested, the kid will move on.

From my research I might save a couple of hundred on a timber one, that is not worth it, in my opinion.

The Bic kids sit on their boat, which I don't believe is ideal.

I choose the Opti for our beginning, because they have their life to enjoy the fastest and latest and greatest, once they have the ability too.

 

Good luck to the Bic class, it will be interesting in a few years where they are, hopefully growing and still sailing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every second week when this comes up nothing is different.

 

There is a boat for everyone.

Just because some can afford it, why shouldn't they, if I could I would.

We don't see all this "brat or spoiled" or whatever where we are, so obviously lucky.

We see parents being hands on, and that is where sailing grows, if the parent is not interested, the kid will move on.

From my research I might save a couple of hundred on a timber one, that is not worth it, in my opinion.

The Bic kids sit on their boat, which I don't believe is ideal.

I choose the Opti for our beginning, because they have their life to enjoy the fastest and latest and greatest, once they have the ability too.

 

Good luck to the Bic class, it will be interesting in a few years where they are, hopefully growing and still sailing.

 

Why is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMNSHO, the Optimist fleet association "missed the boat"

 

I was thinking of building a couple of Optimists for my kids

(using the old plywood plans version), but have read that it

is really difficult for a homebuilder to meet the tight tolerances.

 

Instead of controlling dimensional tolerances to really tight

margins like +/- 2mm, they could have made them +/- 20mm and

still accomplish the same thing, but also allowed people on tight

budgets to build a boat, and campaign it in the official races.

 

I have built two Tornado Class catamarans to class tolerances and recieved measurement certificates for both. Depending on which measurement was in question the tolerances were between 5mm on the tightest and 20mm on the diagonals. These are a much greater difficulty to build within tolerance than an Opti is. you can do this, but you do need to pay attention as you cut, bend and epoxy. Measure thrice, cut once. Budget has nothing to do with measurement. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[The fact is the Optimist is too expensive for what it is, a bathtub with a sail. Whether builders are making a profit is irrelevant. Not to mention that it doesn't look that fun to sail, and it's not very fast.

 

I think the O'Pen Bic is the next generation of young kid training boat. It's relatively cheap ($3k all up), it's fast, it's cool looking, it's self-bailing, it planes. Fully battened windsurfing style main, lightweight.

 

If I were a kid, I would hate sailing opti's and think that the open Bic would be my choice of boats. I grew up on Scorpion's, 14" MacGreggor cat and lasers. I think that what gets kids sailing though is not so much the boat but the friendship, camaraderie and fun. Competition is something that grows out of this relation. My road took me from youth sailing to building my own Tornado with Olympic aspirations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a kid, the yacht club had Hobie 10's

They looked like mini Lasers.

 

The problem with an opti, Just like the Sabots I grew up

sailing, is that when you capsize, you're completely out

of the race. With the Hobie 10 you could get back up, and

if it was really blowing, you'd catch up when the other kids

got knoecked down.

 

I've seen people have to be rescued in capsized sabots (even adults).

 

I think something like an El-Toro could be made to be at least

have enough floatation that it'd be easier to bail it out than

my Sabot was (If you bailed like a wild animal you might get

ahead of the water coming in over the gunwales from the choppy seas).

 

Once, I just got ahead of the wate coming in. The comittee boat

turned upwind of me (A catalina 27) and drifeted sideways into

me and knocked me back over. They checked if I was okay (warm

water, so I was fine) and went beck to finish the race (kids

were almost done around the course). I couldn't get ahead of

the water the 2nd time - too tired. They called harbor patrol,

who came, got me back upright again and dropped the intake

for their water cannon (it was also a fire boat) into my

boat & drained it in seconds. They towed me back to where

my parents were moored.

 

I loved those Hobie 10's, and couldn't wait to be big

enough for a laser.

 

I'm working on getting a Hobie/Holder 12 for my kids

(trading for a kayak). It's a betare, so they'll learn

restoration.

 

But I don't think they can race it, except maybe Duck Dodge

or Windseekers with the big boats.

 

Lasers are out of our range for a while (Financial stresses

recently), but maybe next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sailed an Opti yesterday for the first time. It was an old

beater of a boat - I'm glad we had Sabots when I was a kid.

 

Even my beater Sabot (which I restored) was a better boat.

 

But Optis are the class kids race, so I was thinking of

building a couple. I'd rather do El Toros, from what I've

seen. We'll probably skip the prams and wait for Lasers.

If I get the Holder 12, I'll look for a 2nd one cheap so

my 2 kids can race each other. I would like to see a better

boat than Optis for local kids to learn racing in... It's

too bad those Hobie 10's didn't take hold.

 

http://home.comcast.net/~mbounds/Hobie_10_sized.jpg

 

Apparently they had problems with UV degradation, which would

make the hull skin brittle & crack, then the foam inside

got waterlogged and they became pretty useless.

 

Sad. They were a fun boat to sail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact is that it doesn't matter what us adults think would or wouldn't be fun.

 

I just a second ago asked my 7yr old if he thought it was fun to sail the Opti's. He said yes.

 

Did he complain about the bathtub shape, or the speed potential, or the pointing ability. no.

 

it was fun because it was the right size for him to go solo.

 

case closed. I think us parents need to stop inserting our feelings about what WE would think is fun or not based on our sea time.....and let the kids pick themselves.

 

Now, back to the original point, nobody has really explained why an Opti should cost close to $3k. We have heard the typical whine from a ex-builder "gee, it's hard" well so what? That only means you haven't asked WHY is it hard to make an inexpensive Opti? Tolerances? Material Requirements? labor costs (which really is a fault of the basic design to be hard to build), fittings? WHAT? EPA regs? OHSA?

 

We all complain about how they look like bathtubs (not that that matters), but an actual fiberglass bathtub from a local builder's supply isn't $3k.

 

-M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the idea that home-built Optis should have a presence. I quite frankly can't afford a new one- even the Far East imports we can get here are like $7k- a pile of cash if you convert it to our meta-money. And for my lighty who weighs in at about 100lb aged 10, and who is a rapidly ascending 5'3", the opti is a stupid investment. Sure, his brother and sister will race his old boat, but I'm about 2 weeks from re-launching a 35-year-old Opti which he has helped me rebuild, and which cost me nothing bar time, paint, and some epoxy.

The kid's learned patience, a lot of boatbuilding skills, and he's taken ownership of his boat project; show me a store-bought-Opti brat who has the same attitude...

My contention is that as soon as he's mastered his own boat- in about a year- he'll be ready for a bigger boat, and here they go onto Dabchicks, which are also a peculiar local boat, but which can be sailed 1 or 2-up, and actually go like a squeezed orange-pip.

The thing with a Dabbie is that you can buy one- for pretty much the same price as an Opti, or you can build one yourself from scratch [my intention] or you can race an elderly one with equal success. The arms-race cheque-book parents seem to be a lot less vociferous in the Dabbie class, and the rock-star mentality of the Opti-brats seems to be a little more tempered in the Dabbie fleet.

I just wish that there was a way of sorting out the arms-race mentality in the Opti fleet without setting my huge son on them! Let's see fleets of wooden Optis racing as "classics" or as a restricted class, perhaps?

 

 

Where do you find these 35 yr old Optis? where can I find one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact is that it doesn't matter what us adults think would or wouldn't be fun.

 

I just a second ago asked my 7yr old if he thought it was fun to sail the Opti's. He said yes.

 

Did he complain about the bathtub shape, or the speed potential, or the pointing ability. no.

 

it was fun because it was the right size for him to go solo.

 

case closed. I think us parents need to stop inserting our feelings about what WE would think is fun or not based on our sea time.....and let the kids pick themselves.

 

Now, back to the original point, nobody has really explained why an Opti should cost close to $3k. We have heard the typical whine from a ex-builder "gee, it's hard" well so what? That only means you haven't asked WHY is it hard to make an inexpensive Opti? Tolerances? Material Requirements? labor costs (which really is a fault of the basic design to be hard to build), fittings? WHAT? EPA regs? OHSA?

 

We all complain about how they look like bathtubs (not that that matters), but an actual fiberglass bathtub from a local builder's supply isn't $3k.

 

-M

 

The kids we need to get into sailing aren't the kids of sailors. They're likely to sail anyway. It's the other kids we need to get into sailing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kai, I have always sailed boats that I sit in. so I'm biased. I'm not aware of many boats like the Bic that you are sitting on, yes there are a couple certainly very few in AUS.

 

The movement in the boat the way legs are positioned, therefore posture, back etc, I just don't think it is good for the kids. I do not say that my view is right, just my view.

 

I have a 9 year old who has sailed an Opti by himself since 6, I would not have let him do that in anything else. I have sailed long enough, see enough and trained beginners for 30 years, not that I'm right, but just what I have experienced.

 

We lust need to get over our opinions and be glad that a kid wants to sail.

 

My kids have the rest of there lives to sail what they want, the Opti best serves them.

 

Non sailing parents (of the kids we agree that we need, as well as sailors kids), do not know, and ask for our advice, we need to be helpful, if an Opti or a Bic gets them in terrific!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 9 year old who has sailed an Opti by himself since 6,

I would not have let him do that in anything else.

I'm 50 now... and going back in memory to when I was about 11 or 12...

the first time I sailed the Hobie 10, I felt much safer. Whe it capsized,

I could right it and go... no bailing or other stuff while the wind was

flogging and trying to knock me back down.

 

A flat boat like the Laser, in my opinion, is about ten times safer.

 

My Sabot was fun, the Hobie 10 was much "funner" - I didn't have to

worry about knockdowns.

 

I see many keelboat sailors who are terrified of a knockdown.

After sailing on Synergy 1000's, and having several knockdowns,

I learned that if you prepare for it, and everyone on board knows

what to do, it is almost a "Non-Event".

 

A knockdown in an Opti is a lot worse than in a Laser.

 

A small pram could easily have a deck and a cockpit with

a floor closer to the waterline so that most of the water

would drain out without bailing. Some of the Sabots even

had bilge pumps, for Pete's sake. Why should such a small

boat be so much of a PITA in a knockdown?

 

But that's what the YC chooses to race, so we're sorta stuck with it for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen opti kits available for really cheap and some have a mold set-up for faster building and you can get a discount for several kits plus the mold.

 

http://www.duckworks...imist/index.htm

 

http://www.boatracin...lboat__kits.htm

 

 

 

This is rather interesting:

 

This was just as well. The boat you see here had to be taken apart some five times, as the plans do not match the strict specifications. One dimension was out by 14mm (5/8”). Each time the trial boat was rebuilt it was then measured again, any changes were then given to Sean and he changed his CNC files to suit our changes. It’s hard to understand that the plans do not match the specifications laid down by the class rules!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm not sure I have much to add but I did grow up sailing El Toros...

 

but on the Opti front, I was up in the LAYC/CBYC zone yesterday and they are having their NA's right now.

They were sailing outside the big breakwater in the usual 15-20 afternoon breeze. You couldn't do that in a Toro or Sabot.

As they came in past the slip last night, I did see some poor kid literally get towed underwater....once a pram, always a pram.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent the weekend watching the Qld Youth Week regatta that TD Floater mentioned. 82 optis, plus another 20 in the green fleet and the kids looked pretty happy to me. The class was only introduced to this part of the world five or so years ago so it doesn't have big fleets for historical reasons, it's just a better boat at a better price for kids in their first few years.

 

By better boat I don't mean it looks cool, or is fast, I mean it's stable as hell which is important for kids. I'm happy to send my daughters out in an Opti, but wouldn't send them out by themselves in a Bic. Which for all its cool looks is roto moulded, more expensive and weighs 10kg more. There are only 3 Bics at this regatta, so I guess the kids and the parents are making a pretty clear choice.

 

Brand new Optisfully kitted out are only $3300 which sounds a lot but really isn't, and there are cheaper options available. The boats last well so resale is good - if you buy your kid a new boat, then after five years in the class you'll probably only be $1000 out of pocket. $200 a year is no more than what it costs for soccer kit, or tennis gear, or whatever other sports the kids play. I don't know that boats can be built much cheaper unless you're happy with crap that will be on the rubbish pile after a year or two.

 

Like has been said elsewhere, if the Opti class allowed home builds they would just be opening up a measurement nightmare for themselves and would start the arms race all over again. The arms race at the moment is really only in the marketing from the manufacturers - there isn't any difference between the boats and that's proven by the results. Sadly the home builders are a niche these days anyway - it's a romantic idea, but who has the time? Even if you saved a few hundred dollars by building at home, I bet it would cost you more in the long run because resale would be lower, unless it was a proven fast boat, then we're back to the arms race again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark 42

 

Actually an Opti full of water with airbags intact is very slow moving and stable, yes you have to bail, so did I! I'm sorry that our views are different, but that is life.

 

You sit with legs in a Laser similar to the Opti, yes the laser stays dry, but the ability to move and roll tack are the same. If the Opti had a false floor it would then have the same problems as a Bic (my opinion), and the kids wouldn't learn the movement around the boat that the Opti currently provides. Also bailing makes the kids appreciate a flat boat and to keep water out. They know they will have to bail it and if they don't like it will work harder at the flat boat. They also enjoy bailing racers when there is no breeze!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess there are some advantages to a pram.

 

The reason the class is big is because the class is big.

It's hard to convince parents and kids that they want to

bouy a boat in a class of only 3 boats when the other class

has 20 boats, regardless of which is the "better" boat.

 

I would like to see more choices. Kids like Optis, but how

many other boats do they get the opportunity to sail?

 

The point in homebuilding isn't really so much to save money

as it is for the experience (Parent - Kid project which builds

skills useful for the rest of their life). I enjoy working

on boats as much as sailing... YMMV.

 

Also, a wood boat done carefully has a certain character

which a plstic boat lacks - so if I am going to go with plastic,

why would I even want a pram?

 

My kids will outgrow an opti pretty fast (boy 13, girl 15, but

lightweight kids). Buying used, and then selling, I could even

make a profit by buying beaat up / neglected boats and restoring

them to new condition (eBay helps). So I could take money out

of the equation.

 

Probably what I'll do is just sail the dinghies at CYCT until they

are ready for a couple of beater lasers (Saw one on CL for $350 w/o trailer)...

and fix them up to use, and so that they will sell for as much as we spend on them.

 

But if a $100 wood Opti came across my bow, I might take a shot at it ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sailed Optis back when there was some variability in the rule. The boats then were expensive, but no more so than they are now. The idea that standardizing the class was done to "bring the cost down" really is disingenuous, as another poster has already noted. One of the nice things about the boats back then is that they were actually nicely built, and you could tell that some of the nicer ones were actually built by people that cared to some extent. People are funny though. Everyone of course wants a new boat, and they get sold on the marketing of these things, when there is literally no variation from one manufacturer to the next, as mandated by the rules. Mconohay put an ad up here in the last year for their new Opti, and it really was a joke, I mean there is just no difference comparing thawt boat to another, save for the decals. One thing that really irritates me about the class with regards to wooden boats is that they purposefully make it impossible for a home builder to do this easily, when it can be accomplished even given the newer tolerances. I tried building a cnc kit not too long ago based on the measurements for the wood boats that the class hands out, and there are so many mistakes and bad measurements there that one would have to assume that this is done on purpose.

 

My own view, despite having raced very competitively in the class and having benefited from that experience, is that the world does not need another Opti. There are a million of these little boxes out there, and their continued development has come at the cost of many great classes out there. The mentality that this is somehow the only way to learn racing is ridiculous. So many great sailors today that we all look up to (Coutts, DC, Cayard, etc etc) never sailed these boats, nor should any kid that wants to get good have to. That said, if I had kids today and I was in the market for a boat, I would without question look out for a well maintained Winner MK 6 or 7, hands down a faster boat than the new ones, plus you can use grandfathered blades that are stiff and nicely made (the original Tebbertmans).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites