Info for New Sailors
It is recommended for new sailors to get used boats to start with. For purchase of used boats, check out the various clubs' noticeboards or waioda's classifieds page
Once a sailor is more proficient in the boat handling and want to buy a new boat, there are a few choices available. Boats listed below are the ones found in WA.
XSP - boats that are reasonably priced and are shipped/ sold out of Singapore and Adelaide. Website: http://www.xtremesailing.com
Far East - boats that are made for all sailors and are reasonably priced. It is manufactured in China. The Australian dealer is Binks Marine
Winner - very popular Danish boats for the more competitive racers. Website: https://winneroptimist.dk
Mclaughlin - Built in the USA, McLaughlin is the most technologically advanced Optimist in the world, specifically engineered for speed and a proven champion.
All the sail makers make sails of different cuts to suit the weight of sailors. Typically the sails are either cross-cut or radial.
J Sail – Polish originated sail, a great racing sail and there is a range of sails that will fit the weight of the sailor.
Olimpic Sails – An Italian racing sail that is used by sailors at major regattas. There is a wide range of sails that will suit the weight and abilities of the sailor.
North Sails – The only sailmaker to offer bi-radial sail. This is a hybrid of radial and cross-cut combining the advantages of cross-cut and radial sails.
Onesails - This brand is getting more popular lately. Used by the 3 times world champion, Marco Gradoni.
Spars - Spars that come with a boat may be Blackgold (by Optiparts) or Optimax. The Blackgold spars are the most common spars that are found with an Optimist, these spars are black in colour and are very good quality. You will see these spars on most boats (apart from Winners). There are 3 different diameters to suit sailors of different weight; 40 mm, 45mm (most common) and 55m. The Optimax spars are getting more popular and used by the more experienced Optimist sailors. They are silver or gold in colour. There is a range of spars to suit sailors of different weight; Mk 3 Flex, Mk 3 & Mk 4
Some foils may be wooden which are great for beginners as they are not easy to chip and damage, on the other hand the foils may be made of epoxy (these are the most common foils sold with a boat), these foils are racing material. They are very good quality and if your sailor is ready for epoxy foils then it is worth purchasing them. However, if your sailor is at a starter level then wooden or polyester foils is the best way to go.
The various brands are Far East, N1 and DSK (premium racing foils used by top sailor)
Mainsheets range from 3:1 system to 4:1 system.
3:1 system – is 6m long and 6- 8mm thickness, this thickness can differ but 6mm is ideal. These mainsheets are the most common and can be found at many marine chandlery.
4:1 system – is 7-8m long and usually 6-8mm in thickness. This system requires different blocks and it makes sheeting easier especially in strong winds.
Tapered Mainsheet – this mainsheet is available in 3:1 and 4:1. It is the ultimate Optimist mainsheet; thick and soft where it touches your hand, thin and smooth elsewhere for free running control.
The following is a list of recommended items in the spare kit.
Sail ties, both mast and boom; boom ties = 30 cm, mast ties = 50 cm (have about 6 of each spare)
Corner ties (these ties are thicker than sail ties) = 50 cm, (have about 6 spare)
Wind indicator top, as these tend to come off if not tied to the wind indicator needle or a complete wind indicator.
Shock cord or elastic for the bailers, paddle, and centreboard case
Vang rope and dynema
These are the essential tools: