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4.7 vs. Opti

Dr29er

New Member
I have a 9 year old daughter who has started sailing in Prams and am considering getting a boat for her. As I already have two Lasers, my preference would be to buy a 4.7 rig for a Laser, but it seems like she is still a bit small for that at 75 lbs. Anyone have experience/perspective on Prams/Optis vs. Laser 4.7 for kids?

David
 

yrless11

New Member
Dr29er said:
I have a 9 year old daughter who has started sailing in Prams and am considering getting a boat for her. As I already have two Lasers, my preference would be to buy a 4.7 rig for a Laser, but it seems like she is still a bit small for that at 75 lbs. Anyone have experience/perspective on Prams/Optis vs. Laser 4.7 for kids?

David
My son also 9 and around 75 lbs just started sailing this year as well. He is sailing prams as well and is really enjoying it. I was contemplating purchasing a pram/opti. I can't help you in the comparison to the 4.7 rig, but here is what made me decide not to get a pram. I couldn't justify purchasing a pram/opti for maybe 1 season or so of sailing. I figure my son will be out of that and on to a sunfish or laser in no time. At the rate the kids grow and learn, it seems to me to be a waste. I may have some ill-logic in terms of learning there, but you can always use the yacht club prams for the time being. I would try the 4.7 rig as she'll probably need that in the future anyhow.
 

Newbee

New Member
My word of warning is not to push young kids too fast into a boat which is 'only a bit too big'
I'm sure this has happened to lots of forum readers themselves (me included) and i remember at the time it scared the bejesus out of me, even though I new how to sail. I suppose if you get reliable soft winds then this somewhat becomes untrue but the time will come........

I would also question how easily a nine y/o could right a laser.

Is there a lower age limit for small rig laser racing? This could be a good guide.
 

Steven

New Member
In addition to righting a laser, it could be difficult to climb back in. Or the strength to haul it in on the dolly from the water. I find it sometimes tough to pull it through the sand an up a steep ramp

For these reasons I believe the transition from Opti is to go to a Byte
 
9 Is very young for a Laser my son was 12 and about 80 lbs when he started and its still and handfull for him at 90 Lbs and 13 years old. He can right the boat and climb in...in fact its his reason for going out a lot of the time.
 

Murphs

New Member
i agree

lasers can be a handful with any rig, id say 12 would be the youngest for a laser (unless the kid has been sailing since they learnt to walk)

i dont think weight comes into it much until the child is old enough to control the boat
 

rockingaswake

New Member
I am a sailing instructor and i highly recommend the opti. It is a very largely raced fleet and used optimists have a very high sell back value so you can sail the boat for 4 summers and sell it for 200 less than you bought it. Also, I would recommend the opti for a 9 year old because if she has interest in racing, or if there is a fleet near you, she can race until age or so.
 

bobbyh

Member
Get an opti. Hands down the best youth training boat you can find. Your daughter will feel much more in control which will make her have a better time. It will also be safer for her has well.
 

sailor327

New Member
also when she is done with the opti she will probably be excited about moving up to the 4.7 and she will absolutley love it.
 

WestCoast

New Member
agree with everyone, Laser would be nice, but a bit much, go with an Opti.

Now, if you are worried about investing into a boat that might only get used for a few seasons, the resale value of Optis is pretty good all over the place, so selling it isn't hard.

the best part? Sailing schools are ALWAYS getting rid of entire fleets of them when they buy new boats, so you can pick up a well used, but generally well maintained Opti through them.
 

3335

New Member
I sailed opti 'til I was 13 & even some while I was 14. So 9 is definitely not too old for optis. Also, if there are other optis in your area, she will be able to race (if she wants to) in a fleet of kids her age & at her experience level; instead of being in over her head. It sounds like borrowing a club opti for a few years isn't an option? That is how it is often done in our area.
 
4.7's are stupid boats, espessially for people thot should be sailing opti's
it seems to me that people are in opti's until they are 120 ibs or 15 years old, i know that i wish i sailed opti when i was younger
 

laser98706

New Member
YOu know, another idea to consider is to get her into a boat called a Byte. I don't know much about them, but it is my understanding that it is often a "transition boat" for kids, who are jumping from Opti to Laser.

Aside from that, I have coached children on Opti's for a couple of years now. I am 17, and I weigh 155, and I am able (barely) to sail an Optimist, (but only raced it once a couple of years ago). There are two or three kids on the team who are 12 and 13, so if you go with an opti, your daughter will get a good couple of years on it. Also, opti's are so popular now that you can sell it when shes done very easily- they go fast.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide.
 

springrobin

New Member
Well-

I'd say you need to look at what she's interested in and if you're in a club, what the other juniors are doing (and thus which boat will be your best investment). Here's what happened to us. We bought Vanguard prams for our junior program but couldn't afford enough boats to get everyone on the water at once so doubled the older kids up in older member-owned Lasers. Once that happened, we couldn't get them back into prams. It it was no time before they were going solo. Tried to convince them to stay in prams until they aged out, but regular club races are in Lasers (and bigger boats) and our program isn't sailing prams off the lake (can't afford Opti's) so they weren't getting as much racing as they wanted. Things might be different if our junior program was farther along and there were a lot of pram sailors, but Lasers are cheaper (at least older ones) & easier for us to come by and that's what the kids want. Also, parents at our club are more willing to buy Lasers than prams. Before kids are allowed to race in regular club races, they have to pass certain skills tests and be able to right their boats by themselves. Most have radial rigs now which even our 9-yr-old junior can handle in all but the heaviest air. Rigging is a bit of a challenge for them but they are all trained to help each other and always have at least two to step and unstep a mast. Oh yeah, our racing program only goes from Labor Day through Memorial Day 'cause folks go to regattas in the spring & fall and in the winter the water's a bit stiff for sailing so we seldom race in huge wind.
 

Chris123

New Member
Newbee said:
My word of warning is not to push young kids too fast into a boat which is 'only a bit too big'
I'm sure this has happened to lots of forum readers themselves (me included) and i remember at the time it scared the bejesus out of me, even though I new how to sail. I suppose if you get reliable soft winds then this somewhat becomes untrue but the time will come........

I would also question how easily a nine y/o could right a laser.

Is there a lower age limit for small rig laser racing? This could be a good guide.
I think these are words of wisdom. Being "in over your head" -- whether it's sailing or simply handling the boat on the launch ramp -- constantly needing help from bigger people, etc. -- is a real morale-killer.

Optis, on the other hand, are all about mastery and self reliance. A nine-year old can handle it comfortably on the dolly and in the water -- getting good at Opti sailing develops a genuine and well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Plus, the market in used Optis seems to be pretty hot -- I'll bet you can buy a good boat 3 or 4 years old, use it for a season or two, and sell it for nearly what you paid for it.
 

Dr29er

New Member
Thanks for the suggestions. I lucked out and learned that our sailing school was selling two Optis - one race boat, one "cabin" boat. I took the latter, which cost me less than a 4.7 rig.

Obviously the situation depends on the child. My daughter was frightened of the Laser's size, speed, and responsiveness (the last two being things that we all love!). She is very much at home in the Opti and can handle it in a wide range of wind conditions. It is the right boat for her right now. Furthermore, that is what kids her age race.

Surprisingly, my 17 year old daughter, who races Club 420s, went out in the Laser this weekend and also was intimidated by the speed and responsiveness. I wonder if she is getting too used to the sluggish performance of the 420...
 

bouyracer

New Member
My daughter was happily sailing a optimist at 14 yrs, we then shifted where no optimists were being sailed, the only choice was Laser, she was very scared of the laser due to its size at 15yrs. Even now at 18yrs she is Sailing a Laser by default really because there is no other suitable class. She is under pressure to get out of the 4.7 as it is percieved as being a kids boat, and sail a Radial but at 51 kg the Radial is not overpowering her but she hasnt the weight to power it thru the water as effecient as heavier sailors. This problem has been identified in the past with the fix being carbon fibre rigs but this has not happened!
My advise: Keep her in Optimist untill she reaches the max weight and or age for the optimist.
 

keiran searle AUS

New Member
as tony said it depends on the size of the kiddy (im a 4.7 sailor & often sail against tonys daughter casey) i think it is the height that has the biggest part to play as a 50 kg kid with a height of 6 feet would be able to hold down as much sail as a 5 foot 6o kg kid i think the right weight is about 55 kg i was 66 but have lost 10 kg so now im 56kg allmost perfect ,also fitness no good being the right size,weight without the fitness you need to be able to hike hard all the way up the beat and on the reach
The perfect 4.7 kid would be 52 kg 6 foot 4 and go to the gym 5 times a week so tony send kc to the gym and tell her to eat more
oh and good news the carbon top sections will be in for after Nationals (December) hopefully over here in aus we had them at our club a couple of weeks ago it brings a whole new weight range into the ball park cant wait
 

bouyracer

New Member
Re: Carbon fibre

Where do you purchase these Fibre Carbon top sections from?
Do they comply with class rules?


keiran searle AUS said:
as tony said it depends on the size of the kiddy (im a 4.7 sailor & often sail against tonys daughter casey) i think it is the height that has the biggest part to play as a 50 kg kid with a height of 6 feet would be able to hold down as much sail as a 5 foot 6o kg kid i think the right weight is about 55 kg i was 66 but have lost 10 kg so now im 56kg allmost perfect ,also fitness no good being the right size,weight without the fitness you need to be able to hike hard all the way up the beat and on the reach
The perfect 4.7 kid would be 52 kg 6 foot 4 and go to the gym 5 times a week so tony send kc to the gym and tell her to eat more
oh and good news the carbon top sections will be in for after Nationals (December) hopefully over here in aus we had them at our club a couple of weeks ago it brings a whole new weight range into the ball park cant wait
 

Murphs

New Member
the carbon sections cant be bought yet

they still being tested and then they need to be voted on as per all rule changes

only for the radial rig too so not much use for a 4.7
 

keiran searle AUS

New Member
yeha sorry about that only for radials hopefully will open the weight range up a little more, i have only heard good things about them and so far no one has broken one the only broken one was in shipping there was thousands of fragile stickers so a baggage handler decided to jump on it / throw things on it. at least they dident put drugs in it lol sorry for getting you excited tony
 

djp

New Member
Dr29er said:
I have a 9 year old daughter who has started sailing in Prams and am considering getting a boat for her. As I already have two Lasers, my preference would be to buy a 4.7 rig for a Laser, but it seems like she is still a bit small for that at 75 lbs. Anyone have experience/perspective on Prams/Optis vs. Laser 4.7 for kids?

David
I have experience in racing both 4.7s and optis in local reggatas. so i would sugest purchasing an opti and enrolling her into green fleet then sailin it untill she is about 13 or 14. i weigh about 130 lbs and i myself have a hard time keeping my 4.7 from capcising in heavy winds
 
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