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Home / Sailing / Boat Classes / Optimist
Home / Sailing / Boat Classes / Optimist


Single hander for the under-16s only. Over 5800 have been built in the UK since being designed in 1947. This class is very popular at Burghfield, for 6 to 16 year-olds, with up to 60 sailors enjoying being on the water in our Oppie Club each week. If you have children aged 8 to 12 wanting to learn to sail, then the Oppie is a must at Burghfield - the sailors enjoy the freedom a single-hander gives them, while at the same time making friendships that can last a life-time. Once the basics are mastered the Optimist fleet enjoys a full open race circuit in the UK with many European and National events. The Optimist is one of the RYA Pathway boats to the Olympics with full Zone and National squads. Sailors wishing to stay on the RYA Pathway will transition to the Topper or the Laser for single handed sailing (depending on their size and age) or into one of the various youth double handed dinghys.

Prices are from £300 to just over £2000 for a fully prepared race boat. Well cared for cheaper boats get bought up very quickly and if looked after hold their resale value very well.

The "Opti" and "Optibat" variations tend to be made of heavier and tougher materials, which are great as a starting boat, but might require replacing if/when your child gets good enough to move on to racing events.

More information about the Optimist can be found on the links page at the class association website.

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