For Kids: Open Bic, Optimist or multi?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    The Optimist has been around a long long time and as much as some dis it many people have fond memories of their introduction to sailing in that boat.
    I'm wondering if maybe its time for another boat-something like the Open Bic to become the standard-or even-maybe a multihull?

    Dudley Dix OppiKat:

    see pdf below: home built cat trainer for kids

    pictures: Open Bic and Opti with spin(!)-click on image-

    Attached Files:

  2. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Here's one idea:

    This is Eric McNichol's Nano (scroll down to the Nano) - hull number 2 - which I built with my son in my garage (link to build blog) from home center materials. Cheap, fun to build and it happily sails around the Optis. Self bailing, comes up dry and it taught my son to sail. It is now looking for a new home and a new kid to take it sailing. My son has outgrown it - hence my upcoming project building an i550 next spring with him.

    Boat looks as good today as when it was launched - and it actually showed up in a picture in Woodenboat from the Mystic show a couple years ago. Highly recommended as it did exactly what it was intended to do, and it will probably teach three or more kids to sail, while looking good and costing around $600 to build. Carl Cramer at Woodenboat is a big fan of the design.

    Luan doorskins, 2" foam, construction adhesive (I used West System epoxy), house paint (I used 2 part poly automotive). No power tools needed. This example was done to see how nice you could make a father/son garage project.

    If you read the build blog from the beginning, you get a real idea of the reasoning behind the design.


    Attached Files:

  3. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    From the little I have seen of the Teeny class,they look like fun.
  4. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Cool! Got a link?
  5. Angélique
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    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

  6. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Thanks Angel!
  7. Olav
    Joined: Dec 2003
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    Location: Filia pulchra Lubecæ

    Olav naval architect

    My brother and I used to have a Teeny (GER-68). A bit heavy (the early hulls like ours made by Dehler were clearly overweight at about 70 kg but I was told the later and present Ziegelmayer boats are near the minimum weight of 50 kg) and undercanvassed for its size.

    I also remember some issues with the spinnaker halyard and the heavily vibrating daggerboard at higher speeds, but nonetheless a fun and exciting boat to sail for children!

    The class is quite active here in Germany, but there are also growing fleets in our neighbour countries such as The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic.

    Thanks for bringing up some memories, wet feet and Angélique! :)
  8. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: South Florida USA

    keysdisease Senior Member

    At our club we have opti's and hobie waves for our youth program. You gotta love the opti's, but I like the waves for their stability in light to moderate air, their speed, roominess, comfort, simple boomless rigs and their indestructible hulls. Here in South Florida it's Ok to get and stay wet so this might not be best for other places.

    We have a few Flying Scotts to help with beginner spinnaker work and a few Laser two's for excitement.

    Named for one of my very best friends who is no longer with us, we really focus on the kids sailing program:

  9. timothy22
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    Location: florida

    timothy22 Junior Member

    I was fortunate enough to have been born and raised on the Florida west coast barely in time to have met Clarkie Mills. John Hanna lived about a quarter mile from my house and my Dad had met him but I never did. My Dad was a member of the Clearwater Yacht Club, and helped grow one of the first Optimist fleets. The original design brief was for a boat that a boy and his Dad could build in a weekend or two for somewhat less than half a workingman's week's pay. That's how I got mine. So to me the Nano seems more in the spirit of the Opti, albeit more expensive.
  10. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Thats fascinating, Timothy! My Dad drove me down from Pensacola to meet Clark Mills. When we finally met, he had been working hard,was covered in sweat with an open shirt-I half expected he'd have a shirt and a tie, I guess -as was the fashion then among some great designers. I was just thrilled to meet the guy and for years afterward I raced one of his Windmills-one of the best boats I've ever sailed.
    I never sailed an Opti-started in a Dyer Dhow and learned to race in the Fish class and then the Mill.

  11. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    I think if you work out inflation and cost/price index the Nano is just as cheap (or cheaper) than the Opti. Watched on being built ready to paint in five days with two full time days and three after work hours sessions.

    Certainly better than the $3-5,000 Optis they sell today.

    Given the improvement in basic materials, I think it is a real bargain. My son's education in sanding, filleting, fitting and problem solving was priceless.

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