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Old 03 July 2011, 03:47   #1
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Looking for an Optimist Sailing Dinghy

Not looking for a race winner just something to teach the children how to sail.

Plastic ideally, but GRP or wood considered - any condition.

Winchester area but will travel for the right boat.

Thanks

Toby
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Old 04 July 2011, 09:15   #2
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hi,

I am not sure if you are after one which is measured/registered (a lot are not race winners anymore) , since then would suggest to contact the ICOA UK and/or see what is the flotilla closest to you, they will be able to help you out I reckon - their website (UK optimist class assciation) : International Optimist Class Assocation (UK)

otherwise older (wooden) ones occasionally pop up on 2nd hand websites here in the Netherlands and assume that will be the same in the UK. Also, suppose ebay would be a good source for a bargain?

Good luck !

best regards,
Gabor
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Old 04 July 2011, 11:57   #3
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These are for sale at Hayling Island Sailing Club:
HISC Boats for Sale
They will be full race spec, so the prices will reflect that.
The Optimist is being replaced by the RS Tera at HISC, we just had the Nationals there with 85+ entries. Good value kids boat and easier to sail IMO.
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Old 04 July 2011, 12:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribtecer View Post
Not looking for a race winner just something to teach the children how to sail.

Plastic ideally, but GRP or wood considered - any condition.

Winchester area but will travel for the right boat.

Thanks

Toby
Also you might want to look at a Poole AB - they are a little bigger than an Oppy and therefore can fit Mum/Dad in dinghy with the little one to give them the confidence they need before going solo. That said chewing your knees in the bottom of an AB is a rite of passage that parents may be best avoiding (Yes I do speak from experience!!)

Great boats, but only downside is that there are only a few clubs in the UK using them.

PM me if you need more info

Andrew
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Old 04 July 2011, 16:18   #5
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Also don't forget to get your kids involved in the NATIONAL SCHOOL SAILING ASSOCIATION or National School Sailing Association | Facebook.

They provide inclusive sailing events and support various local associations all around the UK who provide training and fun sessions.

Worth a look.

Chris
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Old 16 January 2012, 03:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribtecer View Post
Not looking for a race winner just something to teach the children how to sail.

Plastic ideally, but GRP or wood considered - any condition.

Winchester area but will travel for the right boat.

Thanks

Toby
Still looking.

Not found one yet, do you have an oppy for sale?

Toby
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Old 16 January 2012, 03:48   #7
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Have you thought about Laser picos? They are good starter boats.
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Old 16 January 2012, 04:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribtecer View Post
Not looking for a race winner just something to teach the children how to sail.

Plastic ideally, but GRP or wood considered - any condition.

Winchester area but will travel for the right boat.

Thanks

Toby
Firstly, if you genuinely want something in Optimist format but not for racing then the OPPI in rotomoulded polyethylene is definitely worth a look. They are much more robust than GRP or Wood, but they are also a bit heavier. Personally I'd never want to own a wooden dinghy again - unless you like doing DIY and painting more than sailing its just a headache - on a boat kids will bash into pontoons, RIBs, other boats, drag across the beach and drop off the back of the trolley its just asking for problems!

Bizarely in the pushy-parent world of Oppy sailing you may find that if your kids graduate to wanting to race that the OPPI's are not permitted as although indistinguishable in any realistic way they don't meet the technicalities of the class rules. I find this slightly odd as OPPIs are heavier and slower so not a threat to the 'pure' Optimist community. At Club level there will probably be no problem. Once you start racing away from your own club, especially at official events then I think you can expect to face this snobbery.

Whilst I am a fan of sailing what you want rather than what some committee has decided is the perfect route into sailing for kids is, there is much to be said for them sailing similar boats to other children so they can learn together, race (even informally) etc. That said I'm not convinced Oppies are any longer the best total beginner, primary school age kids boat we can design.

How old are your kids? My eldest is 8 and hasn't shown an enormous interest in sailing so far (he's not a strong swimmer so I can see it would be a little intimidating). Personally if he starts looking to get into sailing I would be seriously considering the RS Tera - they won't outgrow it as quick as an Oppi and I think they are better than Toppers too. If the kids are really young it may not be suitable (suggested min weight is 30 kg - what's that about 9?) There is a race scene - but not as big as topper/oppy - which may or may not be a plus it depends if you want to spend every weekend in a campervan following the little ones round in the vain belief that if you keep pumping money into it that they will live the dream you never had!

I've also heard good things about Bic Opens - as well as having a faster rig, they can be sailed with an Oppy rig which would make for an ideal training format for younger kids, with an upgrade path just by putting the "proper" Bic rig on it. Never seen one in person though.
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Old 16 January 2012, 05:58   #9
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Oppies have the advantage with the "square" sail the centre of pressure is a lot lower than an equivalent area bermudan rig, so they will stay upright in a wind a lot longer than many.

The "pain in the thighs" issue with the old style gunwhales can be easily fixed with a pair of hiking shorts. Most of the modern boats have "ergonmic" gunwhales, but hiking shorts are never a bad thing in those boats.

If your club has an active fleet, I can guarantee there will be a total mix of Oppies from the half ton training boats right through to the "thourougbred" race winners. If you are starting out and there is a load of snobbery you probably want to find a new club to sail with!

Class rules allow you to sail them up to 15. Ben Ainslie of Olympic Laser fame cut his teeth in Oppies, as did Emma Richards who did the solo round the world race.

Yachts & Yachting has a huge ads section for dingies.
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Old 16 January 2012, 07:13   #10
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You can also get a Topper Taz with an Oppie gaff rig. Open transom rotomolded design with nice bum friendly sides. Much slicker through the water than the Oppie and looks like a proper boat rather than a fishbox. Uses topper rudder and daggerboard.

Was given an immaculate one last year but it has just stayed in the garage whilst my kids play football. I should pass it on to someone more deserving but I'll give them another year.
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