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.
Recently we have updated our Windesign tillers and extensions which are now branded with our new Windesign logo.
652850 – Carbon Laser® tiller
The low profile of this carbon Laser tiller, in combination with the high stiffness and low weight creates an amazing light feeling when steering the boat. With anti-chafe plate. With its weight less than 300 grams the Windesign Laser tiller is the lightest of them all. This carbon tiller is supplied with a mounting plate which is suitable for all Windesign tiller extensions.
652112 – 20mm Carbon tiller extension
Ultra stiff, lightweight carbon tiller extension. Weighs only 160 grams. Supplied with rubber joint with rope core, releasable base with pin and tubing and 100cm long hi-tech X-grip. Tube diameter: 20mm. Length: 120cm. Also available in 190 cm as Contender tiller extension and 250 cm as 49er tiller extension and 49erFX tiller extension.
652312 – 16mm Deluxe aluminium tiller extension
Made of black anodized 16 mm aluminium tube. The aluminium tiller extensions are fitted with a releasable rubber joint / swivel and an eva foam grip. The releasable rubber joint / swivel has a rope core and is mounted with an aluminium pin only. The pin is kept in place by a piece of heat-shrinkable tubing for easy replacement. With the available lengths from 60 to 120 cm, the popular 16mm Deluxe tiller extensions from Windesign are suitable for almost all dinghies.
652900/30 – Laser® Deluxe/Standard aluminium tiller
Windesign manufactures a 32 mm aluminium Laser® tiller. The tiller has at the outer end a precise molded anodized aluminium insert. The inner end is sealed with a plastic cap. The tiller comes in a Deluxe and a Standard version. The Deluxe version is 25 microns black anodized and has a stainless steel anti-chafe protecting plate for the traveller line. An aluminium clamcleat for the rudderblade line is mounted on the side of the tube. The Laser tiller is also available with an aluminium Deluxe tiller extension 652910. The Standard tiller is silver anodized and has no chafe plate and no cleat.
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.
Laser® Rig Support
Don’t struggle anymore with fitting your spars in your car. With the Windesign Laser® Rig Support 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.