The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy used by children up to the age of 15. They are usually made of fibreglass, although some are still built with wood, one of the smallest sailing dinghies available. The most popular sailing boat in the world, it is recognised as an International Class by World Sailing due to being single handed vessels. Designed to offer low cost sailing to youngsters. It is the biggest youth racing class in the world – they can be seen sailing around Hamilton Harbour with many children first learning to sail on these cute little boats.
The Optimist World Championships include Team Racing which is increasingly popular and the Continental Championships are held on each continent.
The little dinghy are sailed in over 120 countries and are one of only two yachts approved by World Sailing exclusively for sailors under 16 years old. Sailors can continue to race them up to the age limit of 15 years old. Many sailing schools and yacht clubs own a number of them as they are the first boat most beginners will sail.
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Size 4.5inches high – 3 inches wide