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We're gearing up to start a new junior program in the Seattle area and looking for used Opti's and perhaps a multi-boat trailer too. let me know if you have anything!

KirklandSailingClub.org

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How many are you looking for and what's your price point for each?  We have a bunch that we're considering selling in Utah and we're even headed to Portland soon to pick up other boats.  

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If I was looking for club Oppies I might look at those rotor moulded shitters. They're not actually Oppies but they're fine for teaching kids. Real Oppies are quite fragile and a PITA to maintain as a club boat, especially if they're being used to teach beginners.

When they go racing then you'll need real Oppies, at that point we make them buy and maintain their own.

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5 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

If I was looking for club Oppies I might look at those rotor moulded shitters. They're not actually Oppies but they're fine for teaching kids. Real Oppies are quite fragile and a PITA to maintain as a club boat, especially if they're being used to teach beginners.

When they go racing then you'll need real Oppies, at that point we make them buy and maintain their own.

I would strongly disagree.  For the very first half dozen or so sessions this is ok but as soon as they can tack and make some ground upwind they need a proper oppy.

 The only exception I would make is the Opticube, which is still heavier than a real wooden or fibreglass boat but not as awful as the polyethylene tubs. It's also self draining,  which a lot of centres seem to think is a major advantage (it isn't but makes a good marketing point to those that don't really want to understand the detail).

 I don't think they are available in the US, though, anyway but if they are I would recommend looking into them. The hull is about 40Kg.. too heavy by about 15% but better than 45!! They also take standard Optimist fittings (masts, foils etc) so are better for fleet compatibility. 

 Cheers, 

               W.

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5 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

I would strongly disagree.  For the very first half dozen or so sessions this is ok but as soon as they can tack and make some ground upwind they need a proper oppy.

 The only exception I would make is the Opticube, which is still heavier than a real wooden or fibreglass boat but not as awful as the polyethylene tubs. It's also self draining,  which a lot of centres seem to think is a major advantage (it isn't but makes a good marketing point to those that don't really want to understand the detail).

 I don't think they are available in the US, though, anyway but if they are I would recommend looking into them. The hull is about 40Kg.. too heavy by about 15% but better than 45!! They also take standard Optimist fittings (masts, foils etc) so are better for fleet compatibility. 

 Cheers, 

               W.

I think you missed my point. The rotor shitters are for the new starters, who will wreck real boats. Those boats are good for your first year.  After that you need real boats. Maintaining race level boats with a random selection of kids is a bastard. That's why we make them buy their own at that point.

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1 hour ago, European Bloke said:

I think you missed my point. The rotor shitters are for the new starters, who will wreck real boats. Those boats are good for your first year.  After that you need real boats. Maintaining race level boats with a random selection of kids is a bastard. That's why we make them buy their own at that point.

Maybe we're vehemently agreeing... 

 Club boats can be crap. They need to buy themselves a real boat as soon as they can grasp the basics.  Maybe that's half a dozen sessions,  maybe it's a year... it certainly doesn't take long. 

 Our club has a couple of real oppies, so the kids and parents can see and feel the difference. They get to use them a few times but after that they have to get their own and let others use the club ones.  Some clubs sell the club boats on to newbies and get replacements to fleet-build. That works really well if you have the right volunteers. 

Cheers, 

              W.

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thanks for the input- they don't need to be in good race order, it's just for beginners to get them rolling. 4-6 boats would probably get us rolling but i'll consider more if they are available.

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Beginners boats can be beat-up BUT there are a few things i learned that must be good in order for them to not suffer.

Vang and snotters must be good line with good cleats. If these stretch or slip, the boat won't sail properly in gusts or stronger winds/chop and will be much more difficult to control

Mast leashes... holding the mast in place when they capsize is a must. If it drops out of the step, obviously the boat cannot be recovered and sailed but the mast flopping around will also break the thwart.

Hiking stick swivels... self-explanatory. IMHO kids should learn to steer with the hiking stick from day 1

Rudder latches... you don't want to lose the rudder when they capsize, and also not pinch little fingers.

Boom spans... the Opti booms are toothpicks and will bend/break if there is not a span. It's amazing how often you see them without, I guess those kids never sheet the main in or sail in actual wind.

I did not get into racing Optis AT ALL but I did learn how to set them up correctly (thanks to some of my kids who went quite far with it, and came back to teach their old coach). There is a huge difference between a floating box with a sail and a real sailboat. The Opti can actually sail quite well which is one of the things that make it a great teaching boat. Yes it has drawbacks but it does not require strength and when set up properly, it gives excellent feedback so the kids learn quickly.

Good hunting!

FB- Doug

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12 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Beginners boats can be beat-up BUT there are a few things i learned that must be good in order for them to not suffer.

Vang and snotters must be good line with good cleats. If these stretch or slip, the boat won't sail properly in gusts or stronger winds/chop and will be much more difficult to control

Mast leashes... holding the mast in place when they capsize is a must. If it drops out of the step, obviously the boat cannot be recovered and sailed but the mast flopping around will also break the thwart.

Hiking stick swivels... self-explanatory. IMHO kids should learn to steer with the hiking stick from day 1

Rudder latches... you don't want to lose the rudder when they capsize, and also not pinch little fingers.

Boom spans... the Opti booms are toothpicks and will bend/break if there is not a span. It's amazing how often you see them without, I guess those kids never sheet the main in or sail in actual wind.

I did not get into racing Optis AT ALL but I did learn how to set them up correctly (thanks to some of my kids who went quite far with it, and came back to teach their old coach). There is a huge difference between a floating box with a sail and a real sailboat. The Opti can actually sail quite well which is one of the things that make it a great teaching boat. Yes it has drawbacks but it does not require strength and when set up properly, it gives excellent feedback so the kids learn quickly.

Good hunting!

FB- Doug

To add to this... other advantages of Oppies: 

  • They have high freeboard, keeping small children out of cold water and extending teaching/fun time 
  • They are easy to sail but very hard to sail really well
  • They don't drift off at speed downwind when capsized (big win for safety, this!)
  • If the helm lets go of everything they will drift to a stop upright and depowered
  • Kids are less inclined to capsize for the hell of it if they have to bail out afterwards...

Cheers,

               W.

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On 3/24/2021 at 1:17 AM, WGWarburton said:

To add to this... other advantages of Oppies: 

  • They have high freeboard, keeping small children out of cold water and extending teaching/fun time 
  • They are easy to sail but very hard to sail really well
  • They don't drift off at speed downwind when capsized (big win for safety, this!)
  • If the helm lets go of everything they will drift to a stop upright and depowered
  • Kids are less inclined to capsize for the hell of it if they have to bail out afterwards...

Cheers,

               W.

The freeboard of an Opti gets really low when you get a little bit of water in them. Then they start taking on more water over the rear quarters

They don’t drift down wind when capsized because they are prone to turtling 

if the helm let’s go the barn door rudder instantly slams against the transom causing a dangerous auto gybe then 360-720 eventually a head injury if the boat doesn’t capsize

The kids are less prone to capsize because they are scared of capsizing. In fact they capsize at the same rate as any junior dinghy. The Bic kids push their boats to the edge increasing skill and they capsize for fun and practice. It is an incredible waste of time when Opti’s capsize. Nothing positive whatsoever about capsizing an Opti.

You are obviously an Opti fan. I’m a L2S and Racing Coach. The only redeeming value of an Opti is I can instantly tune or detune the rig on or off the water to suit each sailors skill level vs the conditions. Having the ability to depower a fleet of boats very quickly so novices can crawl back to the beach is helpful.

The reverse is true as well. We can tune the rig so an intermediate Opti sailor can actually sail in 20kt winds vs survival mode in other trainers. 
 

I have a like/hate relationship with the Opti like most Coaches. 
 

The plastic L2S Opti’s are bombproof, can be sailed doublehanded and have enclosed air tanks with a semi draining cockpit. The also make fantastic ice buckets for a party

 

 

 

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Optis are a mixed bag in this era. Moreso when the jump is from opti to 29er. I wish there was an intermediate class, self draining, skiff-y dynamics, fast, fun. So good sailors do a short run on optis, them off to a flying ant or a feva.

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On 3/23/2021 at 11:09 AM, Julian105 said:

thanks for the input- they don't need to be in good race order, it's just for beginners to get them rolling. 4-6 boats would probably get us rolling but i'll consider more if they are available.

We have set of 6 Far East training(school) Opti’s. They use the same racing hull. They come with what we call school foils, sails, and  spars. We like them for what they are. The masts are wicked flexy so I depower them properly without messing with the sprit. They cost have the price of the full Far East race boats. 
 

 

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2 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Optis are a mixed bag in this era. Moreso when the jump is from opti to 29er. I wish there was an intermediate class, self draining, skiff-y dynamics, fast, fun. So good sailors do a short run on optis, them off to a flying ant or a feva.

It’s called an Open Skiff(Bic). 

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Just now, CaptainAhab said:

It’s called an Open Skiff(Bic). 

Yeah I like the open bic. But note I named boats that are 2 handed and carry 3 sails. Start with an opti or bic, and then...

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4 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Yeah I like the open bic. But note I named boats that are 2 handed and carry 3 sails. Start with an opti or bic, and then...

In AU the progression is Open Skiff to 29er. My friend in Hawaii runs a program where they go Open skiff to 29er or Waszp

 

Opti to 29er is barely possible. You are going from the slowest boat to one of the fastest. The kids almost drown for a season and either switch to Laser/420 or quit all together. 

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14 minutes ago, CaptainAhab said:

The freeboard of an Opti gets really low when you get a little bit of water in them. Then they start taking on more water over the rear quarters

They don’t drift down wind when capsized because they are prone to turtling 

if the helm let’s go the barn door rudder instantly slams against the transom causing a dangerous auto gybe then 360-720 eventually a head injury if the boat doesn’t capsize

The kids are less prone to capsize because they are scared of capsizing. In fact they capsize at the same rate as any junior dinghy. The Bic kids push their boats to the edge increasing skill and they capsize for fun and practice. It is an incredible waste of time when Opti’s capsize. Nothing positive whatsoever about capsizing an Opti.

You are obviously an Opti fan. I’m a L2S and Racing Coach. The only redeeming value of an Opti is I can instantly tune or detune the rig on or off the water to suit each sailors skill level vs the conditions. Having the ability to depower a fleet of boats very quickly so novices can crawl back to the beach is helpful.

The reverse is true as well. We can tune the rig so an intermediate Opti sailor can actually sail in 20kt winds vs survival mode in other trainers. 
 

I have a like/hate relationship with the Opti like most Coaches. 
 

The plastic L2S Opti’s are bombproof, can be sailed doublehanded and have enclosed air tanks with a semi draining cockpit. The also make fantastic ice buckets for a party

 I started a reply to the points in this and then dropped it- not worth arguing.

 Yes, I'm an Oppy fan- there is no better boat to start kids sailing young in a cold climate. That's not to say they are perfect for every programme or environment but their major advantages over the alternatives are often overlooked by those who don't understand how to use them effectively, hence my highlighting some of their advantages.

 As Martin asks, the question of what should fit between an Oppy and a youth boat like a 29er, Laser or i420 is more interesting. Maybe the Bic has a role there but not currently in the UK, where the Topper dominates. Fevas are good boats, though the window where they are suitable can often be pretty narrow. They are better candidates for club boats than most.

Cheers,

              W.

 

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The OP stated that they were looking for Optis and I assumed he knew enough about them to know that's what they wanted

I also assumed it would not be long before the usual chorus of ANYTHING BUT OPTIs started up.

I have worked a little bit with the Bic OPen and did not like them.

I have never had the problem described of auto-gybing with the Opti, that sounds more like Sunfish behavior. We teach beginner students to bring the boat to a controlled stop very early, like their second maneuver... teaches them how to get out of irons (the Optis worst habit IMHO) at the same times. We have beginners just let go of everything and the boat either stops almost instantly or it swings into irons and stops.

When I helped start a youth program Lo these many years ago, a couple of the racing-oriented parents DEMANDED Optis and I had no experience with them; but I went to a couple of other youth programs that I respected and learned about them. I don't teach racing and don't care (although ironically, have had classes of kids do quite well racing). I now think the Opti is the best boat i know of for teaching small (under 85 lbs) kids. It's stable but responsive, it's relatively simple but the rig is adjustable, nothing about it requires physical strength or weight or reach... it only requires the skill to know how to make it do what it does.

Some of the other little cat rigged boats look like they are good answers too. I dunno.

For a next boat, we use the Topper Uno with a tiny jib. These are cool boats except they are too heavy. But once they are on the beach, kids can do it all. It's very simple and has great capsize behavior, it's a good basic trainer IMHO for getting into skipper & crew practice. I've trialed the RS Feva and I think that's a great boat... in some ways better than the Uno

FB- Doug

 

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Opti sales & production are declining around the world.
Have been for years now, and the trend seems to be accelerating.

Modern programs use modern boats.

Old guys at the YC bar demand kids use old boats like Optis.


Optis are dreadful and unsafe.
Not only do they need outside assistance after a capsize.

But, they ruin the confidence of all but the most hardcore kids.
 

You don't observe the 'survivor bias' in sailing - but it's one of the biggest issues we have.
All the kids who get scared off after a horrible experience in an Opti.  They are gone.  Forever.

 

Please, for the sake of our future, don't buy Optis.
The old people love them, because old people love things they are familiar with.
'You don't get fired for buying a Chevy' type thing.

There are now really big fleets of RS Teras all over the West Coast.
 

Please consider buying a safer boat, that actually helps kids learn to love sailing.
Not a boat built for elite sailors that scare away the majority of little sailors after a few seasons.

 

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Just now, BlatantEcho said:

Opti sales & production are declining around the world.
Have been for years now, and the trend seems to be accelerating.

Modern programs use modern boats.

Old guys at the bar demand kids use old boats ('just like I did back in my day!')


Optis are dreadful and unsafe.
Not only do they need outside assistance after a capsize.
But, they ruin the confidence of all but the most hardcore kids.
 

You don't observe the 'survivor bias' in sailing - but it's one of the biggest issues we face.
All the kids who get scared off after a horrible experience in an Opti.  
They are gone.  Forever.

 

Please, for the sake of our future, don't buy Optis.
The old people love them, because old people love things they are familiar with.
'You don't get fired for buying a Chevy' type thing.

There are now really big fleets of RS Teras all over the West Coast.
 

Please consider buying a safer boat, that actually helps kids learn to love sailing.
Not a boat built for elite sailors that scare away the majority of little sailors in short order.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, BlatantEcho said:

Opti sales & production are declining around the world.
Have been for years now, and the trend seems to be accelerating.

Modern programs use modern boats.

Old guys at the YC bar demand kids use old boats like Optis.


Optis are dreadful and unsafe.
Not only do they need outside assistance after a capsize.

But, they ruin the confidence of all but the most hardcore kids.
 

You don't observe the 'survivor bias' in sailing - but it's one of the biggest issues we have.
All the kids who get scared off after a horrible experience in an Opti.  They are gone.  Forever.

 

Please, for the sake of our future, don't buy Optis.
The old people love them, because old people love things they are familiar with.
'You don't get fired for buying a Chevy' type thing.

There are now really big fleets of RS Teras all over the West Coast.
 

Please consider buying a safer boat, that actually helps kids learn to love sailing.
Not a boat built for elite sailors that scare away the majority of little sailors after a few seasons.

 

Ooh look! A troll.

Cheers, 

              W.

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We want to get the ball rolling with Opti's to blend our program with other local clubs. Also for budgetary reasons, while we're getting started the Opti is considerably lower in cost. Once we get up and running I'd like to add some RS boats too.

 

 

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9 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

....


Optis are dreadful and unsafe.
Not only do they need outside assistance after a capsize....   ....

 

Oh good, I see the spew-bot says things about sailing that are comparable to what it says about viral epidemiology

- DSK

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20 hours ago, Julian105 said:

We want to get the ball rolling with Opti's to blend our program with other local clubs. Also for budgetary reasons, while we're getting started the Opti is considerably lower in cost. Once we get up and running I'd like to add some RS boats too.


Julian, this seems pretty practical.  There are tons of RS Teras and now RS Fevas in your backyard now.
Will be good to have you join the fun.
More than anything, congrats on getting another youth program going in the PNW!

 

--
For what it's worth, Opti sales have indeed been declining for a while for us.
And the survivor bias note, is actually quite real.

I've seen so many kids frustrated and sometimes scared, by being in a swamped Opti, in the cold, waiting for a coach to rescue them.
It can be a fun learning experience for the tougher kids, but, the young ones can get scared.
When they don't come back next year, you wonder why.
While that decision isn't 100% equipment driven - the reality is that - if the kids don't have fun, they don't return.

 

The vocal majority at yacht clubs for years declared that Opti-Laser-420 was the only way to go... their evidence was 'I did it that way.'
Again, ignoring all the kids who were discouraged - and didn't keep sailing.

The West Coast is full of alternatives now.
I find modern boats to be not only much safer, and more fun, but also more likely to build grassroots sailors for life.

I built my lifelong passion for sailing, without ever getting in an Opti.

 

If it's your only option, I get it.
But, be aware, the tide is turning on this issue, has been for the last decade - and it's not going back.
 

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What's with the idea that kids can't recover Optis? I've only had this happen twice in ~ 15 years, one was a kid who was so obese that he could not physically reach the daggerboard when capsized and the other was a young scientist who had learned about temp/volume relationships in gasses and he deflated his flotation bags so they would not explode in the hot sun.

I never sailed Optis when young, the boats we had were everything you all hate about Optis magnified exponentially. A thing called a "duck boat" that had a hull like a shovel blade and leaked. A few other types that are fortunately lost to history. So I personally have nothing invested in them, emotionally. I think the Opti rose in popularity because they sail well, don't leak, and could be built as a father/child project in the average garage.

The super-emphasis on racing is what kills fun in so many programs I see. It's easy to teach kids that sailing is fun.

FB- Doug

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Lots of good info on this thread. For the record, I'm not an Opti hater. Optis are fine, but limited, and limiting.

Ideally your fleet has some Optis (or rotomolded opti-like boats) for the very beginners and as kids advance you might have more interesting boats. Or you might have better Optis and support them in the Opti competition pathway. 

For some folks, the Opti is the one true way (see early in this thread, folks casting aspersions on the plastic Opti-like boats because they are not optis). It's one path, and if that's what you offer, what you prefer to offer, what you can offer. that's great. 

In warmer weathers (I live in Miami ;-) ) some swimming is fine. A tippy self-bailing boat is ok. And regardless of weather, get your promising sailors on an unstable, skiff-y fast boat early. If they like the fun, excitement, if they can steer for balance, they might be made for a 29er.

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On 3/25/2021 at 5:00 PM, WGWarburton said:

 

 I started a reply to the points in this and then dropped it- not worth arguing.

 Yes, I'm an Oppy fan- there is no better boat to start kids sailing young in a cold climate. That's not to say they are perfect for every programme or environment but their major advantages over the alternatives are often overlooked by those who don't understand how to use them effectively, hence my highlighting some of their advantages.

 As Martin asks, the question of what should fit between an Oppy and a youth boat like a 29er, Laser or i420 is more interesting. Maybe the Bic has a role there but not currently in the UK, where the Topper dominates. Fevas are good boats, though the window where they are suitable can often be pretty narrow. They are better candidates for club boats than most.

Cheers,

              W.

 

Completely agree, the Open Bic was tried (and discarded) by our kids years ago, they are just too wet for our 14ºC (average) waters. The big question is what to sail after the opti. Parents hate the 420 (which is the standard after opti boat here) because of how expensive and incredibly fragile they are, to the point that they lose all resale value after 3-4 years because they go so soft they become uncompetitive. Most are going for the Laser 4.7. 

 

On 3/27/2021 at 12:38 PM, BlatantEcho said:

Opti sales & production are declining around the world.
Have been for years now, and the trend seems to be accelerating.

Modern programs use modern boats.

Old guys at the YC bar demand kids use old boats like Optis.


Optis are dreadful and unsafe.
Not only do they need outside assistance after a capsize.

[...]

 

You are SO clueless...

My 28 kg. 9yo son is so hooked to sailing (and racing) his opti he doesn't even play videogames anymore, he'd rather be reading the ton of literature about opties I put within his reach.

 

BTW, tell me one single class with growing sales, other than new classes that actually had no sales a few years back because they didn't even exist.

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5 hours ago, chuso007 said:

You are SO clueless...

My 28 kg. 9yo son is so hooked to sailing (and racing) his opti he doesn't even play videogames anymore, he'd rather be reading the ton of literature about opties I put within his reach.

 

BTW, tell me one single class with growing sales, other than new classes that actually had no sales a few years back because they didn't even exist.

There are a significant number of established classes, that are growing their sales regionally.
Relevant to this thread would be the RS Tera and RS Feva.  Both of which are growing rapidly in the US in particular.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but RS Aero sales are growing too, and that class is approaching a decade old.

Sure, new classes sell big numbers to start, and it's hard to maintain that.
But, established classes, that are 'discovered' by regional clubs and sailors - grow quickly in the US.  

 

Especially when they replace old / antiquated equipment.

 

--

Also, we're all glad to hear your son is hooked on sailing. That's delightful.
That actually, if anything, highlights the mentality that scares other kids off.
'Because my kid is liking it, it's good for every other kid too'
 

Modern boats, being more accessible, safer and more confidence inspiring, tend to appeal to and welcome a wider range of kids.
That's why we've been selling less Optis for the last decade.

And that trend is indeed, accelerating.
 

 

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32 minutes ago, WestCoast said:

There are a significant number of established classes, that are growing their sales regionally.
Relevant to this thread would be the RS Tera and RS Feva.  Both of which are growing rapidly in the US in particular.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but RS Aero sales are growing too, and that class is approaching a decade old.

Sure, new classes sell big numbers to start, and it's hard to maintain that.
But, established classes, that are 'discovered' by regional clubs and sailors - grow quickly in the US.  

 

Especially when they replace old / antiquated equipment.

 

--

Also, we're all glad to hear your son is hooked on sailing. That's delightful.
That actually, if anything, highlights the mentality that scares other kids off.
'Because my kid is liking it, it's good for every other kid too'
 

Modern boats, being more accessible, safer and more confidence inspiring, tend to appeal to and welcome a wider range of kids.
That's why we've been selling less Optis for the last decade.

And that trend is indeed, accelerating.
 

 

You obviously know your market better than I do and I can only speak for my local (Spanish) market and I can assure you the reality here is quite different.

As you say, it's the fleets and clubs that drive demand, here in Vigo is the laser, the snipe and the opti what people are looking for right now. A couple of Waszp arrived this year but they are not sailed much tbh.

 

"New" performance classes like the 49r, 29r, etc. just exist for the regional and national sailing teams. Literally no one else sails them except for some Musto skiffs in Mallorca and some other scattered fleets around the country.

I guess each part of the world has it's own reality.

 

I honestly don't follow the reasoning behind this: 

"Also, we're all glad to hear your son is hooked on sailing. That's delightful.
That actually, if anything, highlights the mentality that scares other kids off.
'Because my kid is liking it, it's good for every other kid too'"

What I said is that the kids in our club got 10 Open BICS about a decade ago, tried them for a couple of months, and returned them with a "We don't like them" note on them.

Our sailing school at our club has 50 kids sailing 2 or 3 days a week  and they all look pretty happy with their optis to me.

 

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I'm going to add something else, You know how I got my kids hooked to sailing?

First this (try that with a modern boat):

image.thumb.png.c6e5b5ba6efc9d8c90e6adacdd5ca5c1.png

Then I let him go alone( first time ever and he caught that awesome sea bass):

IMG-20190903-WA0014.thumb.jpg.b6414d9c8aa0927c7073d16ae399597d.jpg

And now he's doing roll tacks...

Kids just want to have fun, if they don't, probably the boat's not the problem.

 

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