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The optimist dinghy

Optimist dinghy, or Optimist, is a small one-mandinghy. The Optimist dinghy is recognizable by its almost square shape, uses spristake and has a Q-similar symbol i the sail which stands for International(I) Optimist(O).

You can compete in Optimist up to and including the year you turn 15, but many have already outgrown the boat before then. Many people start sailing the boat at the age of eight. The Optimist is probably the world's largest boat class with up to 300,000 boats in the world. In Sweden, over 24,000 Optimist boats have been registered.

The Optimist dinghy is widely used in sailing schools for children, which is also what it was originally designed for. According to International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) had three quarters of those who medaled in sailing i 2004 Summer Olympics sailed optimist dinghy.

The hull

The hull is like a square box. The boat is widest in the middle, narrower in the stern and narrowest in the bow. The transom is completely flat. All sides connect to the bottom at almost right angles, except for the bow, which is slightly forward. These construction details facilitate construction i plywood. The boat has these characteristics even though today they are rarely made of wood but instead of glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic.

As the boat is light in relation to the sailor, it is greatly affected by the position of the sailor. It is particularly important not to sit too far back in the boat as this means that the water does not release from the stern and turbulence forms behind the boat. This is also used to brake the boat if necessary. There are few boats that can be braked so effectively just by using the weight of the sailor. Optimist dinghy missing self-loading. This means that the boat must scooped up when water sails in or after it has capsized. In strong winds, the ability to scoop effectively is critical to positioning in races because no matter how well the boat is sailed, water will come in because the boat is completely missing deck and any water that is rinsed or splashed in must be scooped out.

There are three unlockable flotation cushions in the hull to prevent the boat from sinking if it fills with water. On some older boats, before the One-Design rules came along, the unlockable flotation bags were built into the hull and inflated through inspection hatches.

Some very old boats, mainly from the manufacturer Fall joint, had double hull with styrofoam between and styrofoam blocks built-in. Today, water has often entered between the hulls, which means that they are very heavy.

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