Schools and Clubs – Sailing Tips!

The season has started for schools and clubs. All schools, clubs and sailors are well prepared, but there is always something to improve. At Optiparts we have several useful products which will make the season even better. From boat parts and accessories to playing cards for using ashore. Find below some useful products. Enjoy sailing this summer!

Take care of your hull!
It’s easy to damage the bow of your Optimist. Especially polyester Optimists are vulnerable and need immediate attention in case of damage. By protecting the bow you will have way less repair work during the season. The EX1065 – Optimist Bow Bumper has a snug fit around the bow of the Optimist. In addition to the bow bumper we advise to add the EX1066 – Optimist Corner Protectors. These heavy duty rubber corner protectors for the Optimist have self adhesive backing and can be used on bow only and on all 4 corners.

Choose the right lines!
It’s very important to have a floating painter line in each boat and have some spare ones as well. The EX1374 – Optimist floating painter is 8,1 meter long and has a diameter of 6mm, with UV treatment. A mainsheet has to be comfortable and durable. The affordable EX1377 – Optimist Mainsheet has a length of 6 meter and is ideal for 1:3 mainsheet systems. This 8mm 16 plait polypropylene sheet is comfortable for all sailors.

Start smaller!
Sailing is all about having fun. Optiparts created an easy to handle sail which is half the size of a normal Optimist sail. With the EX1064 – Optimist Trisail now even the smallest helmsman can continue sailing in heavy wind. And have you seen our EX1061WR – Sleeve sail with reef eye? Find out more!

Protect your valuables!
Keep your lunch and valuables safe and dry in your own boat or in the coach boat. With a hole in the lid to secure in the boat with a line. Our lunch containers are available in two sizes: EX3048 – 3 liter, 17 cm high and EX3049 – 6 liter, 26 cm high. Do you prefer using a dry bag? Check out our waterproof sailing bags!

We designed a highly visible yellow sailing buoy that can be easily used as training mark, by coaches or sailing schools, or as regatta mark during races. This highly visible yellow training mark is designed to last long. The mark consists of 3 separate parts: a solid outer, an inflatable inner bladder and a ballast bag. The mark can be used anchored or as drifting mark. At the bottom you will find a big grab handle where you can easily fasten the mooring line.

Solid outer
The outer is made of thick 0.9 mm heavy duty fabric. On the top of the solid outer you will find an opening to insert the inflatable bladder. The opening has a velcro/buckle closure. On the side of the outer you will find two grab handles to make it easy to carry and to reposition the mark.

Inflatable inner bladder
The inflatable bladder is made of polyurethane coated nylon and has a twist lock tube valve for quick inflation and deflation.

Ballast bag
The mark has an internal ballast compartment to contain the separate ballast bag. The ballast compartment can be accessed through a velcro closure. The ballast bag has an easy to use lock buckle and can be filled with chain or stones.

This training mark features a pocket for an optional strengthening batten (not included).

With these specifications we made a sailing buoy that can be easily used as training mark, by coaches or sailing schools, or as regatta mark during races.

Size inflated: 180 x 18 cm

– Highly visible
– Heavy duty 0.9 mm fabric
– Opening for inner bladder with velcro and buckle closure
– Inner bladder with twist lock tube valve
– Pocket for an optional strengthening batten (not included)
– Two grab handles on the side
– Ballast compartment with velcro closure for ballast bag
– Big grab handle for mooring line

Whether you are an experienced Optimist sailor or you just start racing the Optimist, it could be hard to choose which type of Optimist spars are most suitable for you. You learnt sailing the Optimist with school spars and now it’s time to make the next step. When starting the search you will immediately recognize a visible difference between school and racing spars. An Optimist racing mast is fitted out with a halyard hook-in block and a wind indicator which is fixed by using top pins. Besides the visible aspects, the main difference is the use of material. Blackgold racing spars are made of high quality 7075 hard anodized black Aluminium, which makes them more durable and stiffer than school spars which are made of more ‘standard’ Aluminium.

Now you know where Optimist Blackgold spars are made of, it’s time to choose the right configuration; you might noticed that several different types of masts, booms and sprits are available. We explain the difference.

Blackgold Masts
The Blackgold collection contains three types of spars. The regular BLACKGOLD Power mast which is suitable for sailors above 45 kg, the 12% more flexible BLACKGOLD Medium mast and the most flexible BLACKGOLD Lite mast which is 20% more flexible compared to the BLACKGOLD Power. All three are 45 microns black hard anodized 7075 masts and come with high grade nylon fittings, hard anodized cleats and a complete rigging pack.

Blackgold Booms
Three types of Optimist booms are available. All BLACKGOLD™ booms are made of high grade, black anodized tube, fitted with captive eye straps, black nylon in- and outboard end fittings, nylon outhaul cleat, 4 mm Vectran outhaul, 3 mm pure Vectran bridle and vang and a fitted outhaul trim gauge.
BLACKGOLD™ MEDIUM – A stiff 40 mm lightweight Optimist boom which is suitable for the majority of Optimist sailors.
BLACKGOLD™ POWER – A stiffer 45 mm Optimist boom to keep more tension on the leech for the heavier Optimist sailor. The smaller bridle gives more space when tacking.
BLACKMAX™ – This ultra stiff and yet lightweight 55 mm Optimist boom can be used without a bridle. This enables the larger Optimist sailor to land further forward when tacking.

Blackgold Sprits
We offer a choice of two black anodized 7075 Optimist sprits. All with black end fittings and sprit chafe guard. The 26,6 mm BLACKLITE sprit is 20% more flexible and a lot lighter than the 27 mm BLACKGOLD sprit.

Blackgold Sets
The combination of the different types of masts, booms and sprits creates the Blackgold spar sets, which are suitable for most sailors. Please note that Optimist sailors sometimes choose a personal configuration, like a thinner sprit or thicker boom. This could depends on the sailors style and is mostly advised by a coach.

Silver Regatta Spars
Besides Blackgold racing spars there is a more affordable racing spar set available for the Optimist, known as the Silver Regatta Spars. It’s built according to the I.O.D.A. Class rules and the price is comparable to the school spars. The Silver regatta spars are less stiff than Blackgold spars and ideal for lightweight Optimist sailors who just started racing. The Silver mast, boom and sprit are made of high quality aluminium tube, fitted with aluminium halyard and downhaul Clamcleats. The lightweight 40 mm silver boom is much stiffer than the 32 mm school boom and will allow the sailor to put more tension on the leech. The Silver sprit has 15 cm anti chafe protection tubing. Both mast and set come with rigging pack, containing all necessary lines, wind indicator, top pins and halyard with hook-in block.

Questions and advice?
If you have any questions, we advice to contact an Optiparts dealer. Please fill out our contact form. We will respond as soon as possible with details of your nearest dealer.

It’s time to prepare yourself and your Optimist for the new sailing season. Signs of wear and tear will show on several places which might need some extra attention. The most common bits and peaces which need to be checked or replaced are shown below. Good luck with all your season preparations! If you need any assistance, please contact your local Optiparts dealer.

Check your ratchet!
Does your ratchet block still run smoothly and is the ratchet function still working? Clean your block by removing dirt and salt or if necessary replace your block. We recommend a block with 57mm sheave and ratchet on/off switch.

Choose a rubber stand-up!
A rubber stand-up keeps your block from hitting the deck without snagging lines and it won’t hurt your toes. This flexible 40 mm version is suitable to mount under ratchet blocks. Check our manual for installation step by step.

Replace your sleeve and collar!
A mast sleeve is fitted around the mast at deck level and protects the mast from wearing. If the sleeve is worn out, it’s time to replace the sleeve. Check our manual for the right position and how to mount.

Splice new lines!
The lines on an Optimist are being used intense and has to be checked carefully. Your sprit halyard, vang and bridle are recommended to replace in time. We recommend to use our Dyneema minireel, together with our stainless steel splicing needle for easy splicing.

Don’t lose your extension!
You do not want to break the rubber joint during a training or regatta! Replace your tiller extension rubber joint in advance. We advise a rubber joint with fibre core. The fibre core will avoid complete failure when the rubber tears. Mounted with a pin which is kept in place by a piece of heat shrinkable tubing.

Keep your daggerboard in place!
Shockcord stretches out over time. Check your daggerboard bungy and replace if necessary. Optiparts supplies a complete set with two sizes of tubing, shockcord and 3 mm Vectran rope to keep the shockcord in place and your hiking strap up too. Check our manual for installation step by step.

Create your team outfit!
Windesign tanktops are perfect for teams and visibility on the water. These lycra tanktops are ideal for wearing over your buoyancy aids and harnesses to make sure you are streamlined with no annoying dangly bits. Highly flexible, with flatlock stitch technology. Four colors available in junior and adult size.

When you bring your boat to a regatta, training, holiday or somewhere else, it’s important to be well prepared before leaving. If you have an Optimist, Laser or other dinghy and transport it on your roof or on a trailer; the tips and tricks below are usefull for all.

Padded roof rack cover
When you transport your boat on the roof of your car, it’s usefull to protect your roof rack against damaging your boat. Padded roof rack covers are available to protect your boat and give more grip in fastening your boat on the roof rack. The Optiparts padded roof rack protectors have a foam inner and are covered with heavy duty nylon cloth with velcro fastener. Easy to apply and to be placed in the right position. Length 50 cm. Sold per piece.

Load straps for roof rack and trailer
To secure your dinghy to your trailer or roof rack, we advise to use long and durable load straps. To protect your hull against damaging, the Optiparts load straps have protection behind the buckle and are 6 meter long; long enough to put twice over your boat.

Hull cover
During transport we advise to use a hull cover to protect your hull against chippings from the road. Nothing worse than arriving at a regatta and have damage to repair. The top quality hull covers from Optiparts and Windesign for Optimist and Laser® / ILCA® are made of Moistureguard 2000; a heavy duty 900D breathable polyester cloth with a polyurethane membrane. Moistureguard reduces the risk of blisters. The hull covers are easy to install with the supplied straps and adjustable buckles.

Foil bag
We all know that it’s easy to damage your Optimist and Laser® / ILCA® foils. To protect your foils against having chips on the edges it’s recommended to use a foil bag for your rudder and daggerboard. The Optiparts and Windesign foil bags for Optimist and Laser® / ILCA® have seperate compartments for rudder, daggerboard, tiller and accessories like sheet, battens and wind indicator. Carried out with velcro closure, carrying handle and supplied with adjustable and detachable carrying strap.

Rig Support for Laser® and ILCA®
Don’t struggle anymore with fitting your spars in your car. With the Windesign Rig Support for Laser® and ILCA® you can easily take your Laser® / ILCA® boom, top and bottom mast without damaging the deck during transport. The high grade plastic molded rig support comes in two pieces; the front piece fits in the masthole and the back piece fits between the deck. The Laser® / ILCA® spars are fixed to the support with shockcord. In addition to the transport benefit, this rig support offers another benefit when storing your Laser; when placing your top cover over the rig support, your cover will stay upwards and the water will run off.

The new sailing season is starting soon. This is the time to prepare yourself and your Optimist. After a year of intense sailing your Optimist hull and hardware will show signs of wear and tear on several places. Before you start sailing again, it’s very important to check your Optimist carefully. Where to start? Use the Optimist season preparation tips below.

Mast sleeve
The Optimist mast sleeve is fitted around the mast at deck level and protects the mast from wearing. If the sleeve is worn out, it’s time to replace the sleeve. When mounting the sleeve, you will notice the sleeve is slightly smaller than the mast. To mount the sleeve you should gently warm the sleeve with a hairdryer or paint stripper. You can easily slide the warm sleeve over the mast into position. For the correct position, have a look in the Optimist mast sleeve manual.

Deck collar
The Optimist deck collar is made of Delrin to create minimal friction between the sleeve and the collar. The oval inner diameter allows the maximum fore/aft and minimum side play and the tapered inner diameter allows the Optimist mast to be raked.

Lacing lines
The Optimist lacing lines are being used to trim the sail. Check this lines one by one and replace if needed. Available as complete ready-to-use package and on 1.2mm and 2.2mm minireels.

Control lines
Besides the lacing lines, an Optimist has several lines which are being used intense and has to be checked carefully. Your Optimist sprit halyard and vang, both Vectran or Dyneema, are recommended to replace in time. Use our Vectran minireel or Dyneema minireel, together with our stainless steel splicing needle for easy splicing.

Rubber joint tiller extension
Don’t let it break during a training or regatta! Replace your tiller extension rubber joint in advance. We advise a rubber joint with fibre core. The fibre core will avoid complete failure when the rubber tears. Mounted with a pin which is kept in place by a piece of heat shrinkable tubing.

Buoyancy bags
Optimist buoyancy bags are important for safety reasons and for having less water in your Optimist after a capsize. Inflate your buoyancy bags before your first training and check the next day if they are still inflated. If not, then you will have to replace your buoyancy bag(s).
Please note, not to over inflate the buoyancy bags. When bags are properly filled, they will be soft to the touch. Over inflated bags may burst when heated up by the sun or rising temperatures. Make sure there are no sharp points in your boat that would snag or puncture the buoyancy bags.

Find the Optiparts knot instruction videos on our Youtube channel and below. When rigging your Optimist it’s important to know how to tie a knot. Most common used knots on an Optimist and other dinghies are the bowline, figure-eight and reef knot. You also need to know these knots when setting up your Optiparts Standard Optimist Rig. Check our manual for installation step by step.