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The Optimist Dinghy

Optimist Dinghy

The Optimist is a 7'9"' pram with a single sprit-rigged sail.

The Optimist is an excellent learning platform and teaches young sailors the basics in a safe and proven boat. There are over 150,000 Optimists being sailed all over the world. Optimists are used for beginners, but some sailors continue to race them up to 14 or 15 years of age. Manchester Sailing Association owns a number of Optimists and they are one of the first boats most beginners will sail.

From the International Optimist Dinghy Association: Why the Optimist?

  • Optimists are designed for kids. They can handle them without danger, fear or back-strain.
  • Single-handed is best. They didn't learn to ride a bike on a tandem.
  • Over 150,000 kids in over 110 countries cannot be wrong.
  • Over 80% of all Olympic sailors who participated in the 2012 London games learned how to sail in an Optimist.
  • Builders on five continents provide ample opportunities for travel sailing.
  • The only dinghy recognized by the ISAF* exclusively for under 16 sailors.
    (*the world organizing body for sailing)

Useful Links

Wikipedia Entry

United States Optimist Dinghy Association

USODA Parent Manual - Part 1

USODA Parent Manual - Part 2

International Optimist Dinghy Association

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