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Thread: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

  1. #1
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    Default Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    My oldest son just started sailing and wants to build an Optimist.
    I figure I could try a 4 or 3 part Opti that maybe fits in a small bike trailer but can't find anything on how to cut the sail.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    What would you like?
    18optimists.jpg
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.


    But with battens you can put roach in the leech,
    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 07-14-2018 at 11:33 AM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    There is little logic in trying to cut your own when (1) you aren't trained to do it, and (2) you can buy a real one cheaper than you can gather the materials.

    http://www.intensitysails.com/saforop.html

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Have you seen this thread? Pits is currently building a sail rig! very cool little sailing dinghy which could be trailed behind a bike.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...g-Dinghy-Build



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    The last one.
    Is there a plan with all the numbers I don't know the names of? Depth and things. Ideally a panel plan with all the broadseaming.
    Just need to stick one together from Tyvek I already got.
    I might buy a full rig if I come across one for under 100€ but until than a cheap setup is all I need....and I like the challenge.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Not sure where you are but here in the UK you will be able to pick one up cheaply. There are different cuts for different crew weights so they only last a season or two for a crew weight and so offloaded as the child grows.

    Nice idea deal for a project mind, like to see pictures, I can see it naturally folding to be a two part clamshell

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    The last one.
    Is there a plan with all the numbers I don't know the names of? Depth and things. Ideally a panel plan with all the broadseaming.
    Sailplans don't usually come with anything other than perimeter and diagonal measurements. Any round added (luff, head or foot) edge hollowing, positions of maximum draft, setbacks, and all broadseaming is left up to the sailmaker and his training. It certainly isn't rocket science, but there is a hell of a lot more to the design and layout of a decent sail than the average person is aware of, and like I have said many times, you can't make a good sail if you don't know how.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Thank you all. I'll give it a try or 5.
    It's not so much about sailing, I am more into building and fooling around on the water.
    Todd, I read and tried to follow all your fantastic advice with my last sail. Have sailed some hours with it and will recut it this season or try another one with the little experience I could gather from last time. For me it's all about getting near a sail (and boat) that I am content with.
    I am also a teacher by profession and my students have already built some boats over the last years. Some have gone on to start sailing and some have built their own boats at home with a little help from the school workshop. I am always happy to cut some pieces or donate some wood.
    We can built boats for under the cost of a cheap sail (the cheapest Opti sail I can buy new is ~150€ here) and seeing what you can do with a little material goes a long way.
    I also like to teach my own children that they can do a lot of things on their own if they invest their time. Putting a bought sail on a homemade boat feels a little like cheating.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyweather View Post
    My oldest son just started sailing and wants to build an Optimist.
    I figure I could try a 4 or 3 part Opti that maybe fits in a small bike trailer but can't find anything on how to cut the sail.
    If he intends to race it - read the class rules very very carefully - hereabouts you have no chance of racing a homebuilt.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    IntensitySails dot com:
    One of my favorite sources small dingy class boat parts:

    Opti Parts:
    http://www.intensitysails.com/saforop.html

    Great source for sails and for various parts for boats that will be club raced, as opposed to Class sanctioned racing where all gear is class approved and often MUCH more expensive. Laser is a poster child for extra expensive class approved parts, don't know about Opti's.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    echoing what others have said, opti sails (and parts in general) can be had affordably. 100-150$ (or €) should be able to get you a decent used sail.

    and not to rain on your parade any further (I dunno how old your kiddo is), but I grew up sailing and racing opti's - and found them generally loathsome in pretty short order, and stopped sailing for a years. theyre small, not too comfortable, and only so fun once you reach a certain size. I understand the appeal, but I personally found lasers, sunfish/sailfish, 420s and other "dayboats" much more satisfying to sail, especially if it involves a second-hand. there are certainly more entertaining and useful boats tHT are just as easy to build.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    If you're in a breezy area then a Laser is not an alternative to an Opti for most kids; kids who are young enough for an Opti will get blown away by a Laser, even a 4.7. The Sunfish is not really an alternative in the Euro zone since they are not sailed there much at all.

    While I respect your experience, tele, kids I know love the Opti. I think in the USA there is a tendency to keep many kids in them for much longer than in countries, because the USA has an odd lack of intermediate/alternative classes like the Int Cadet, RS Feva, Teeny, Flying 11, Splash, Laser 4.7 etc
    Has BigFella and SkyBlue on ignore.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    He can build another boat if he likes. I got 4 kids so there will always be one to take the Opti for another 10 years at least.
    I can always give it away for cheap anyways.

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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    I'd give you the one that I have,but Canada is a long way from anywhere that € is a thing.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    I'm not sure if it'll help, but Sailrite has a kit for the Optimist: https://www.sailrite.com/Optimist-Pram-Mainsail-Kit

    Perhaps more in line with what you're thinking, in terms of doing it all yourself, if you approached them nicely --perhaps telling them it was an educational project for kids?-- they might offer to sell you their technical specs for considerably less than the kit itself. I just had them make up a kit for my Fliptail 7 (the one in post #7), and along with all the sail parts they sent a 4-page print-out of all the technical details, including the shaping for each of the four panels. You might be able to translate those numbers, on the Opti print-out, into the shaping you're looking for.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Having seen a bunch of those print-outs (in the early days Sailrite used to rent out plotting services on their machinery to other sailmakers in order to help pay for their plotter) I think it would be easier to buy a bunch of books and learn traditional sailmaking than trying to copy and interpret computer plot coordinates with no training.

    It seems to me though, that if you think you'll have ten years or more of various kids learning to sail on this thing, skimping on the sail and its design seems kind of dumb. If you really want to build it yourself, buy a kit so that it will be a decent sail and with decent care (another thing to teach) it should last for the duration.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Having seen a bunch of those print-outs (in the early days Sailrite used to rent out plotting services on their machinery to other sailmakers in order to help pay for their plotter) I think it would be easier to buy a bunch of books and learn traditional sailmaking than trying to copy and interpret computer plot coordinates with no training.
    Well, so much for my idea.

    At least now I don't feel so bad that I can't make heads or tails of those numbers myself...

    Alex

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyweather View Post
    My oldest son just started sailing and wants to build an Optimist.
    I figure I could try a 4 or 3 part Opti that maybe fits in a small bike trailer but can't find anything on how to cut the sail.

    Morning,
    This chap does CNC kits for Optimists. ckdboats.blogspot.com.
    Roy Mcbride. He supplies COMPLETE kits, which includes epoxies, fittings, a North sail, the works and ships them all over the world at competitive prices. And the boats comply to the Optimist measurement rules and are class legal.
    Regards.
    p.s. My old man and I built a plywood Oppi way back in 1969. It weighed a ton, flexed from side to side and leaked buckets of water.........somehow the subsequent boats got better.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    I also plan to built some more boats at school so bought sails are just not doable.
    Ok...I got the panel plot coordinates. Just need to draw and print it now.

    It is a little strange that there are not more people sharing their sails since quite a few seem to use Sailcut. I thought at least somebody would have done an Opti sail and shared it somewhere.



    There is really no need for a class legal Opti.
    Just played around on the computer and I can fit two nested 3-part boats in the trunk without removing if the 2nd row. I have to take out the 2 seats in the trunk anyways since I got a 2/2/2 configuration. Then I can probably fit in two kids, two Optis and the ORU kayak too.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    If you intend to plot the coordinates, it would be wise to do it on something other than the sail's material. Plot your panels on heavy mylar, Masonite, polyethylene panels, poster board or even something like luan underlayment. Then when you need to make replacement sails, or more sails, you can just lay the pattern on the "cloth" and trace around it. The computer plotted sail will be panel-shaped with curved panel edges, rather than broadseamed, so get a good, long batten for laying out the panel shapes. Seam width will be a constant .5"-.6" or so everywhere and is most likely already figured into the panel measurements. The cheapest good batten stock is available in the molding and trim section of the Home Depot. They have plastic rectangular stock which is 1/4" x 3/4" and 8-10 feet long. It is inexpensive, very consistent and bends more evenly than many wooden battens do when lofting smooth curves - which is what you will need for your curved panel edges.

    batten.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Thank you Todd,

    For the first sail I will not plot the panels but rather draw them on the material by hand.
    I got a long fiberglas batten that works well. Still regret that I didn't take some ducks when I worked on a ship. We got a school on the (not so blue) danube that is housed on a repurposed ship and the shipyard left some ducks in the shops. The children never need them and probably don't even know what they are.

    I guess I can figure out the seam/overlap width from the drawing since I know the foot, leech, gaff and luff length.
    My brother got a huge CNC cutting plotter at work when I need patterns.

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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Loving this thread! sub'd

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Standard seam width is usually the width of a 1/2" wide strip of seamstick tape plus just a little bit in either side as a margin for error.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Turns out the coordinates are without seams.

    We went sailing today (me following in the ORU kayak) and had another look at the rigg and sail. I could fit four 3part Optis in the back of the Sharan and could still take four kids.
    I have some ideas how I could fit a bigger (wider) boat in a 100cmx100cmx80cm box,a GIS would be fun and I could take the whole family.

    IMG_20180720_112955.jpgIMG_20180720_130746.jpg

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Todd,
    about the sewing tape. I used double sided tape to stick the panels together and found that I could not sew it. The thread just keept breaking because it stuck to the tape between the panels. I ended up just going with the tape alone. On the hem I used a glue stick and could sew it just fine, also even the corner patches were easy to sew through.
    Do you need a special thread (waxed?) to sew through the sticky tape or was the tape just not suitable? On some other sail I just used normal clear tape and sewing worked just fine...only the tape is left in the sail.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Could it be Venture tape for acrylic fabric that you used? It would stick to the needle and make sewing very hard. Use pol. Sewing thread formulated for sailmaking. Better come over and I help you out, I do workshops in sailmaking and canvas work.
    I used Sailcut before I found another sailmaker with a plotter/cutter who makes sailkits for me.
    Www.oarandsail.nl
    Last edited by FF; 07-24-2018 at 03:55 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    What sort of basting tape are you using? I've used this stuff and never had sticking issues. https://www.sailrite.com/Notions/Dou...d-Basting-Tape. Also, you might try some thread lubricant. There are commercial lubricators such as this https://www.sailrite.com/Magnetic-Thread-Lubricator but you can try it by just soaking a cotton ball with lubricant and placing it in a position on your machine where the thread will run across it when sewing.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    I've used normal double sided Tesa, that with the brown backing tape. I will try something made for hems. The Uhu Stick also works ok. Tyvek can be glued with lots of stuff anyways.

    I also want to try a 2 piece mast. I couldn't even find a commercial 2 piece mast for the Opti.
    I only found a 2 piece Mirror mast.
    Someone is selling a nice wooden Opti around here, even comes with two sails but it's still a little expensive to cut up.
    Will teilen:

    https://www.willhaben.at/iad/kaufen-...oot-263299515/

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    That's how it will nest. The stern part is 90cm long and 113cm wide, all parts nested are 44cm deep.

    IMG_20180722_000442.jpg

    IMG_20180722_000203.jpg
    Last edited by heavyweather; 07-24-2018 at 12:54 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Some double stick tape has a rubber-based adhesive, which can tend to be problematic. Most, I think, are acrylic adhesives when used for sailmaking. You may get a small ball building up on the needle that can be picked off ever so often, but that's about it. Either your tape has the wrong adhesive for the job, or the "fabric" isn't sturdy enough to scrape the needle clean - or both. Clearco, or similar thread lubes might help, but they don't necessarily fix problems caused by using the wrong materials in the first place. Their primary goal is to help keep the needles from heating up from friction at industrial sewing speeds. I would suggest buying some real sailmaking tape. This horrible budget crunch is understandable to a degree, but at some point if you intend to build decent, functional sails you may have to actually bite the bullet and buy some real sailmaking supplies. Once in a while, you might find a wayward bolt of Egyptian or Pima cotton, but other than that, there is virtually nothing in your local fabric store which is truly suitable for sailmaking.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    FF, NL is a some 1000km too far for a sail making course as much as I would love to.
    Here is something for you.
    https://kitepower.nl/kite-repairman/

    Todd,
    I will get some real basting tape but real sailcloth would be wasted on me. I love to experiment and Tyvek is perfect for that. It's really good enough for my sailing. I might buy a decent sail for my kids anyways but they can also have fun building boats with me and renting boats for the few days in summer when we go sailing.
    I've donated some boatbuilding books to my school, might as well add some sailmaking books next semester.

    I teach "Technisches Werken" (technical crafts) and Bildnerische Erziehung (Art) in a Gymnasium (AHS Unterstufe)/Neue Mittelschule (10-14-18yr (14-18yrOberstufe only got Arts, no Werken anymore)).

    They only got 2 or 4 years depending on the curriculum they choose and only 1semester/2h per week, the other semester is Textile Crafts. (7th grade is even a trimester where they got technical/textile/theorie)
    Building a boat with children in that few hours is a challenge in itself. Skin on Frame, all lashed (without epoxy) is the most suitable technique. I am refining my teaching all the time to get them to do most steps on their own with very easy instructions, obviously from cheap and readily available materials.
    I am trying to develope a fast and foolsave method for building a split Opti and the cheap sail is just a part of that.
    We are trying to teach skills and help the students find their strength. After the 8th grade (14) they have to decide what school to go next. They can stay in Gymnasium, start an apprenticeship or go to a HTL (vocational school with higher entrance qualification), for which we are some kind of katalyst. In Technisches Werken we teach all kind of stuff from architecture, woodworking, metall, electronics to basic skills like drawing plans.
    All that with 12-13 kids in a very basic workshop with little space, little time and all materials have to be payed by the students. Most of my colleagues got their own specialisation. Some just order basic kits from stores like Winkler Schulbedarf. They also got the plans for each kit online to download for free...I sometimes just buy the material local and use their plans.

    You see that my horrible budget crunch is not just self imposed scrooginess. If I just wanted my kids to get on the water I would just buy a sail, a rig and probably try a split carbon hull.
    I understand the value of good material, decent care and long lasting material.
    For now it is all about experimenting, having fun trying new things, optimising the building process to fit school. I can also imagine me getting old, having much more time on my hands, taking 5-10 years in a big workshop (like the one I drew the plans up for my father in law...I made sure a 21f cat boat will fit through the doors) to build a nice wooden boat...

    Found that on Youtube, its a kit wit tabs and the files are supposed to be free but the link is unfortunately dead.

    I had a similar idea some days ago, finger joints for all hull parts to just stick anything together without mistakes. Would be a huge hassle to cut out without a cnc though.
    My kids love those dinosaurs from wood or cardboard that you can just put together. Had my brother make them one big TRex from cardboard once.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    this is great. Need a huge CNC now.


    I might just make the Opti shorter. The angle of the bow transom is unnecessary when there are no waves at all, at least with only one kid (or heavier sailor) on board.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    The nesting design is pretty clever but Id be wary of the added complication and weight. For the past 3 years Ive been towing this.
    82CCA277-CCF3-48FA-B0CE-E683FF45D4E7.jpg
    I was able to keep the weight to around 45# and it tows really well. It would be nice to have an open boat to throw in the spars, pfd and sail.

    I did a thread with the details and suppliers.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...hibious-dinghy

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Somebody got a sailplan for the Optimist.

    Very nice. It's still too big for storage.
    I need to take the boat apart to get it down in the basement.

    Kids might need to store it in a roomcorner or somewhere in a small flat.
    Found another kids boat that looks great.
    The Nano 2.6.
    http://microskiff.blogspot.com/2010/...to-do.html?m=1
    Unfortunately the designer has somehow disappeared.

    Might not built a boat this Sommer. I just repaired my rudder and will maybe do the Opti sail/rig.

    IMG_20180804_095052.jpg
    IMG_20180804_095202.jpg

    The whole rudder assembly is screwed on by hand through the transom and I could also attach wheels instead. A little like Jim Michaleks dovetail ruder.
    Last edited by heavyweather; 08-04-2018 at 09:19 AM.

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