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post #1 of Old 03-25-2011 Thread Starter
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To design a ballasted daggerboard?

I’d like to redesign a daggerboard, probably specified to the Optimist dinghy class to aid young and novice sailors to gain more experience more quickly and efficiently without the fear or worry of heeling and capsizing.

Many young and new sailors learn to sail in Optimists, due to their hull design and durable characteristics. I’ve instructed many people to learn how to sail and found at least 1 or 2 in each class will give up the sport due to an unexpected gybe which usually leads to the boat capsizing. I’d like to reduce this fear, to stop the children leaving the sport prematurely. I know that some people aren’t suited to the sport, and that’s fine, but if I recall learning to sail, I would have really liked the ‘training wheels’ or stabilisers so to speak to help me to sail more comfortably with more control.

I’d be really interested on anyone’s thoughts on the concept.

I would want the design to be able to fit in the current housing of the daggerboard slot. Anyone any thoughts on how the daggerboard could be designed with more stability? I’ve been looking at lead attachments onto the bottom of daggerboard? Or a rubber casing which takes on water as the dinghy gathers momentum creating a ballast. Again more ideas would be much appreciated.

I think there is a potential for marketing a product like this, but only for recreational users as the Optimist is a one-design and would not be acceptable in a competitive level. Maybe it could be used by Mirror sailors also. The daggerboard could be sold to clubs that teach the young how to sail rather than to the individual users as most money spent on sailing dinghies would be in the racing stages, however this is only my assumptions.

Thanks for your time and advice,

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