Optimist builld questions?

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by SunkenBoat, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. SunkenBoat
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    SunkenBoat New Member

    Hi, a close friend of mines sons birthday is 4 months and I was thinking of building an opti from wood for him.

    Firstly, I do not have any specialized equipment just the basic diy stuff, would just the basics be sufficient? Next, I've been looking for a good boat plan but not sure which to use/buy, also I need one that would comply with IODA rules and regulations because he is at a regional level (not sure if they measure boats at that level but if he moves up I know they are more strict about this). Are there any that you recommend and that fall in line with the rules?
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you want to build an Optimist that is competitive and class legal, you will need more than just the basic stuff. Also, unless you have a lot of free time, 4 months is not likely to be enough. Sorry about the bad news, but race boats require a fair amount of skill to build. Also, the cost will probably not be any less than a race ready boat: McLaughlin Optimist http://www.dinghyshop.com/product/MC1.html.
     
  3. SunkenBoat
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    SunkenBoat New Member

    No problem, thanks anyway
     
  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    My understanding is it is almost impossible to build a one-off Opti in wood which is class legal. That is a huge change from the original intentions of the class.
     
  5. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    A belated welcome to the Forum SB.
    You mention that your friend's son is 'at a regional level' - I presume that this is in Optimists?
    If so, what type of Oppie is he currently sailing in (or has sailed in) to reach this level?
    Does he actually have his own Oppie?
    If not, then I am sure that the prospect of you building him one for his birthday would be very appealing, and welcomed.
    Never mind if it does not meet class rules - he can still have good fun sailing it, even training in it, even if he can't use it in competition.
     
  6. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    SunkenBoat, I learned to sail in a wooden Optimist. Never got into racing, but I currently own a wooden Windmill which I found as a give-away on the Windmill Association site while looking for plans. If the Optimist class is anything like the Windmill class, both being Clark Mills designs, then they have a home built racing class separate from the commercial built class. I should think you would find plans that are class legal on their site and if my boat, built in the 70s by Clark Mills himself, is anything to go on, basic garage tools should be all you need. Any special additions to the modern class are most likely in the rig which you would just buy. There aren't many simpler floating boxes than my old Opti. I don't know what became of it, but I gave it back to Clark when he wanted to build one for his grandson, but felt too busy or too old to do it himself. This was in the early 80's. I don't, however, think Clark went in much for class rules.

    Good luck.
     
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  7. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Does the boat have to be an Optimist pram? If not, there are more practical options. A PDR can be built in one weekend. Finish work can be done in another week end. The PDR is butt ugly but it does sail well and it is safer than an Optie. You can jazz up the appearance with some imagination and paint. Not only that, the kid is sure to want to take a friend sailing. The PDR will be much more practical, and safe, for that purpose.

    Plans for the PDR are free. It will use three 4 x 8 sheets of ply. You can use all sorts of sails on it too.
     
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  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I doubt that someone racing state of the art Optimists would consider a PDR suitable for training.
     
  9. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Gonzo, I agree. But the OP has not suggested that the youngster will need to train with a state of the art Optie. He has only mentioned that he will build a boat for a friends kid. Besides all that, a new to sailing kid can learn plenty by sailing a PDR or even a washtub.

    Way back in the bronze age I built a Cates Moth, at the time the hottest Moth going. I learned to sail....a little bit. After that, wanting to go faster, I graduated, or so I thought, to an international 10 meter canoe. The IC was far faster than any boat in the large local Windmill fleet. To my considerable embarrassment, the Windmill guys would consistently beat me around a closed race course. I did not really know how to sail well, Fast boat not withstanding. When I joined the Windmill fleet, with a ragged old Windmill that I salvaged from the scrap heap, I got good advice and instruction from the fleet guys. I finally learned more about the nuances of competitive sailing. I will argue that a new sailor could also learn some of the important points of sailing in a PDR or other clutzy boat. He or she would need some good council from experienced sailors no matter what the boat might be.
     
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  10. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I disagree. The kid is competitive at the regional level. He is way past learning the basics of sailing.
     
  11. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    I missed that part Gonzo. Regional participation? No a PDR or other tub will not sharpen his Optie skills because the Optie has its' own little quirks. If the kid is to become an increasingly competitive Optie sailor then he/she will need a top flight, boat, rig, and gear. That is a whole other ballgame and it will be very expensive.
     
  12. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    @SunkenBoat has not been seen on here since the 1st August - over a week now.
    I hope that you are still at least looking in on these comments, even if you are not signing in to comment?
     

  13. SunkenBoat
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    SunkenBoat New Member

    Yep, still been looking thanks for everyone's contributions.
     
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