Designed way back in 1947 by Clark Mills to look like a Go-Kart on water, the Optimist is a single-handed dinghy which is ideal for children who are at first learning to sail, and in which they can then carry on to experience exhilarating racing at all levels, up to the World Championships. With state championships of over 100 boats and nationals of over 200 boats the Optimist is the most popular junior dinghy in Australia as well as the world.
The best way to introduce kids to sailing is through the Optimist class. Optimist sailboats are designed especially for children, with a broad beam for exceptional safety and stability. The boats are simple to operate – just one sail, one line, and one daggerboard. However today’s young racers at the front of the fleet are adjusting sprits,luff tension and vang which is all good practice. They’re also simple to transport – just strap it to the roof of your car or stow it in the back of a van or sport utility vehicle.
Sailed in over 100 countries by over 150,000 young people, it is the ONLY dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16 years of age.
Over 50% of the dinghy skippers at the Sydney Olympics were former Optimist sailors. ?
Optimist Class Specifications
Overall Length 2.3 m.
Beam 1.1 m.
Weight 35 kg.
Racing Crew One