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The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by young people up to the age of 15.

The Optimist is one of the two most popular sailing dinghies in the world, with over 150,000 boats officially registered with the class and many more built but never registered. It is sailed in over 120 countries and it is one of only two sailboats as an International Class by World Sailing exclusively for sailors under 16.


Designer: Clark Mills (1947)

  • Hull Weight: 35 kg
  • LOA: 2.36 m
  • LWL: 2.18 m
  • Beam: 1.12 m
  • Mast length: 2.26 m

Optimist, high performance

The Optimist was designed in 1947 by American Clark Mills at the request of the Clearwater Florida Optimist service club following a proposal by Major Clifford McKay to offer low-cost sailing for young people. The Optimist Club ran a soap box derby, but wanted more than a single-day event. Thus they were looking for a low-cost equivalent for sailing. He designed a simple pram that could be built from two 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood, and donated the plan to the Optimists.

Best Performance

The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by young people up to the age of 15.


Durable materials.

Built to last.


Prepared for challenges.

Ambitious and demanding.


Build for sailors by sailors.

With details in mind.


Extreme Perfection

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