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.
The Blackgold collection contains two types of Optimist spars. The regular BLACKGOLD™ mast which is suitable for sailors above 40 kg and the 25% lighter BLACKLITE™ mast which is the best proven solution for sailors under 40 kg and allows sailors to depower the rig in heavy winds. Both are 45 microns black hard anodized 7075 masts and come with high grade nylon fittings, hard anodized cleats and complete rigging pack.
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.
We offer a choice of three 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. The 29 mm BLACKMAX sprit is 19% stiffer than the 27 mm BLACKGOLD sprit and recommended for Optimist sailors above 45 kg.
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.
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 size. White also availabile in adult size.
Low friction rings can be used in various applications. The 38mm ring EX3003 is mainly intended to create a 4:1 mainsheet system. Similar to our existing block combination, the EX1319, you can replace the 29mm Harken block by the 38mm Windesign ring. By changing this block, you create a low friction, less heavy and more durable block combination.
It’s easy to create the block combination as shown below yourself. What you need to make the 4:1 mainsheet block-ring combination:
EX1314 – Harken 40mm block on Vectran line with a safety snap shackle
EX3003 – Windesign 38mm low friction ring
EX13672 – A bit of 2.2mm Vectran line
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.
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 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.
We all know that it’s easy to damage your Optimist and Laser 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 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®
Don’t struggle anymore with fitting your spars in your car. With the Windesign Rig Support for Laser® you can easily take your Laser 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 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.