Optimist Training Dinghy
The “OPTIMIST” is a fantastic little boat, a single-handed dinghy which somewhat resembles a bathtub. It is the classical worldwide boat designed for teaching children to sail from the age of 7 to 15 years.
The word ‘Optimist’ means the ability to look at the bright side. Sailing an Optimist builds self-reliance, confidence and quick thinking.
The Optimist was designed in 1947 by an American Clark Mills in an attempt to offer low cost sailing to youngsters. In 1995 the Association decided to remove the ambiguity of measurements and laid down stringent manufacturing standards and tolerances also taking into account high safety standards. This resulted in it becoming a strict one-design class approved by the International Sailing Federation.
There is hardly any difference in manufacturer’s dimensions leading to a sense of fair play thus bringing out the best in young sailors. Do visit the Association website ( www.optiworld.org ) of this fascinating little boat and read more about Optimist Sailing.
The International Optimist Association is very proactive. In addition to the annual World Championship the class also conducts six Continental Championships.
Sailors graduating from the Optimist may move on to the Laser 4.7, Topper, 420 or 29er classes. Most of the top Olympic sailors have gained their basic sailing experience in the Optimist Class.
In India the National Optimist Association holds Coastal and Inland National Championships annually in Mumbai. Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Hyderabad and Bhopal.
We at XS Marines have been involved with the National Optimist Class Association of India ( NOAI ) since 2001-2002 when we were requested to help develop Spars for the IODA Asian Championship. XS Marines has now made its own mould for the Training Optimist boat.