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Thread: thoughts on Optis

  1. #1
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    Default thoughts on Optis

    We have a local lake. It's all of 350 acres in size and an average depth of 6 feet. I can sail my 14 footer on it, but I run out of space relatively quickly. I was looking to build a CLS eastport Pram or a Nutshell pram but had the idea of getting a used Opti. I know they are mostly used as kids training and racing boats, but how would they do on a small shallow lake when the ocean and back bays are a bit tumultuous for my lightweight Geep with it's 138 sqf of sail?
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  2. #2
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    Jun 2003
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Little...

  3. #3
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    Oct 2017
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    Berkeley, CA
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Maybe ok but the boom is absurdly low for a grown up human

  4. #4
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    Apr 2015
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    St. Helens, Oregon
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Maybe a Mirror Dinghy? El Toro?

  5. #5
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    Jul 2020
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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Sounds Ideal for one of these, an international 2.4mR, there's a plywood kit version..
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  6. #6
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    Dec 2003
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    Sound Beach, NY
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Not a bad spot for a sailing canoe.

  7. #7
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    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Great idea. It's been a while - like around '82 - since I sailed in an Opti regularly. At that time I was 34, almost 6' tall, and about 200#. I had a gas. Since then I did crawl into one for an afternoon racing one of MaryEllen's nephews. Must have been 2003 and I was 55 and 250#. Still had fun.

    The fuller figured gent can sail these wee boats and have fun.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
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    Norwalk CT
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Opti's are great little boats. You're poking around in a lake; go for it. Bring a cushion and a six pack cooler

  9. #9
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    I had an El Toro for years we used to sail two and even three full sized, not entirely sober, adults in that thing on protected water.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Would life be simpler if you just found some smaller sails for the GP?

  11. #11
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    Apr 1999
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    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Is say enjoying an Opti just depends on how big and limber you are.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  12. #12
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Once you`ve sailed a Mirror you`ll not want or need anything else!

    Greetings from a "Mirrorist" in Germany.

    Alan

  13. #13
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    New Zealand's Far North
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    I'm a fairly big guy, and used to sail the kid's opti by myself on the Hokianga Harbour. There are a different set of skills to learn when there isnt much room to change the balance of the boat. I say give it a try, it wont cost a lot, and will be easy enough to onsell if you outgrow it.
    I would rather have doubt than be certain and wrong.
    Richard Feynman.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2020
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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Just thinking about your statement you rapidly run out of room in 350 acres, we race anything from oppies to 45ft sailing cruisers on Black Horse Broad AKA Hoveton Little Broad with a total fleet size up to around 50 boats.
    Black Horse broad is maybe 50 Acres.... and just over 4 ft deep max..

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.70.../data=!3m1!1e3

    I take it you are not fond of tacking and Gybing
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    3,340

    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Yeah, but you Brits build a club anytime someone leaves a wet sponge out (as SHC has said). :-)

    1 boat per acre isn't too bad in UK terms. I did make sure I sailed at Croydon SC last time I was there; two clubs on a pond of less than 5 acres. The UK's attitude towards sailing is a lesson for other nations; just get out and sail rather than demanding good conditions.

    We used to race on about 400 acres, with a couple of islands to make things interesting. The fleet could be up to 50 boats, from Optis to sportsboats and our 18 or 20' cats. It's interesting when you're averaging 9 minutes a lap and carving through Optis and yachts, double trapping under an assymetric kite. Our current lake is also 400 acres and the foiling A Class cats fit on it OK.

    Still, Driffield Sailing Club must take the cake for the most confined waterway;



    https://www.seabreeze.com.au/Img/Pho...g/12815571.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Chris249; 09-25-2020 at 05:19 AM.

  16. #16
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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Ah Brigham Sailing Club on the Driffield Navigation, been there but didn't sail, lived at Driffield for 6 Months back in 1981, When I could, I went back to the Norfolk broads where we often sail on similar waters.
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  17. #17
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    Between Bourgeoisie and Proletariat - Australia
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Given the choice, I'd go Nutshell. I own one of each.

    Opti is too small for me, I'm 6ft 4" and not particularly bendy. Though, having read Ian's post, I might give it a go again with a more open mind.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  18. #18
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Big does not matter so long as you can get in, sit cross legged facing forward, and just lean to weather. Your weight will hold the boat up. Crawling out at the dock or beach may be a bit undignified so make a comedy act out of it.

  19. #19
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    Once you`ve sailed a Mirror you`ll not want or need anything else!

    Greetings from a "Mirrorist" in Germany.

    Alan
    This.
    But being English I am biassed.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  20. #20
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    Apr 1999
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Mirrors are great if you have a fleet to race with or if at least you want some serious sailing. If you're after a bit of cost-effective fun on the lake some sunny afternoon, the Opti is hard to beat, especially as you can share it with family when you're not sailing.

  21. #21
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    Jan 2001
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    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    Once you`ve sailed a Mirror you`ll not want or need anything else!

    Greetings from a "Mirrorist" in Germany.

    Alan
    If you get tired of your little patch of water, you can sail (and row) either to England or Bulgaria.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Philadelphia, PA
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    794

    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Just bought an opti rig for a Milgate duck punt I am building from Alec at Mamaroneck yacht club, they have a rack of old optis for sale at $100 a pop

  23. #23
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Proving that large people can have fun in truly wee boats - the Cape Cod Frosty. These are partly decked and designed to be sat down into for winter sailing, so not as good as an Opti for summer, but shows what you can do in the name of fun.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    This.
    But being English I am biassed.

    Mirrors are nice, but I will stick with my GP14
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  25. #25
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    Jul 2020
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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    A Gull class dinghy is a pretty good option, a former class chairman is a member of the club, he still sails his occationally and he's many years past retirement..
    http://www.gullclassassociation.co.uk/
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    509

    Default Re: thoughts on Optis

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    If you get tired of your little patch of water, you can sail (and row) either to England or Bulgaria.

    Originally Posted by Canoe
    Once you`ve sailed a Mirror you`ll not want or need anything else!

    Greetings from a "Mirrorist" in Germany.

    Alan

    Hi ahp,

    yes, the Mirror is capable of going long distances but I`m quite happy with the Neckar here in Germany and Chichester Harbour on the south coast of UK, the only "Long" distance I`m planing is circumnavigating Hayling Island (When Corona is over)

    Greetings from Germany,

    Alan.

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