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  #41  
Old 04-25-2008
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Valella,

That is an interesting perspective. I think some of your criticisms of the Optis and Lasers have merit, but over here in North America, those classes are going strong. So they must be doing something right!

I like the Mirror dinghies too. By the way, they recently approved a bermuda-rig option for the class and -- if you can forgive a nitpicky correction -- the original/standard rig is a sliding gunter.

Welcome to SailNet! Cheers!
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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

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  #42  
Old 04-25-2008
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Valella- Interesting perspective. I really don't think the Opti is the right boat either, though not for the same reasons, but may not have a choice in this. Jury is still out. What club in WA do you sail at?
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  #43  
Old 04-26-2008
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T34C, JRP...I think my criticism has been more distracting than helpful but all opinions should be welcome in such a forum. I will persist.

I'll not share the club I am in because we have many generous sponsors for Opis and it may be the kids who lose out if my view are mis-quoted. That said, within our club I have not been quiet about my opinions of Lasers. Our junior club is dominated by Optimists and Laser...as are clubs around Australia. My argument isn't that these classes are not successful. My argument is around the type of boat that starts and KEEPS kiddies sailing.

I have instructed many kids in sailing and one of the hardest thing to teach a young kid is boat control through luffing...having the sail sheeted in and steer for the tufts. Really really hard on an Opi because (again) of the low aspect ratio sail without a luff track.

I don't subscribe to the "everyone's doing it...it must be good" school, although it's hard to take another tack when so much racing is dominated by these classes. When a class tends to dominate, in a small population such as ours, regattas focus on only a few classes. That means if you want to race, you comply.

My daughter sails a 420 after moving out of 4.7 Lasers. Two years ago, I witnessed a group of kids, her included, in 4.7 Lasers who were simply unable to sail their boats in 20knts in a 3 foot wave on a 2 foot swell and all required rescue . These were not easy conditions but they should have been able to sail as they were quite experienced...but the physics of that class is so stacked against them. As I said, in light winds...terrific...but in stronger winds....

As a reminder, I'm replying inside a thread called "Boat for Kids"...not who is the best sailor or best class etc. Kids graduate through these classes...and some continue on to great levels of skill within the Laser class. Kudos to them. I had neither the patience nor desire to. I want every kid who starts sailing to be sea-competant and eventually pass on their skill once they get to be in their early 20's or before.

I think the right clice of class for kids should include:
1) permenant boyancy
2) stayed mast, cat rigged
3) luff track on main
4) able to hold a 13 and a 9 year old boy (exit the Opis)
5) high aspect ratio main, battened full at least for the top 25% of the sail
6) curved gunnels into the cockpit so that all degrees of hiking out can be experienced
7) scuppers or self bailing capabilities

At the risk of being long winded, I ask the question again...why is sailing diminishing as a sport? I am sure it's the choice of boat. We are losing kids to sailboards and kite surfers, neither of which are capable of encouraging seamanship. I know junior 420 sailors who have stepped onto 30 foot yachts (with a tiller not a wheel) and handled them quite well...because they know the principles.

Mike
PS...thanks on the rig correction JRP.
PPS...someone else replied but I think more than my argument was attacked so I'll leave it there.
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  #44  
Old 04-26-2008
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Mike,

Sorry about my quick reply last night as I was heading off to bed. I see now that I failed to indicate that I agree with some of your observations, particularly those concerning the decline in sailing participation. However, I think, at least here in the U.S., that there are other reasons for this decline beyond the choice or availability of dinghies available to beginners for one-design sailing (such as changes in society and parenting). But that could easily be the topic for a whole new thread!!

I like the 420s as well. My own kids have learned in our sailing dingy/tenders, and at sailing camp in a boat called the JY15, which is similar to a 420 but less sporty and more stable. Over the years I've come to think that any boat which gets kids out on the water is a step in the right direction.

P.S. Welcome to SailNet!!
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  #45  
Old 04-26-2008
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Vele- Thanks for the persistence. And thanks for your thoughts on the subject. I agree with you in many ways. The principle of having a beginner start in a boat that is more sea worthy instead of less applies to all ages. It is one of my prime dislikes about some of our more production oriented boats in the US. They are great for a given set of conditions, but when the weather turns foul, well..... I know of a number of new sailors that have been scared away from the sport for this very reason. (Or their spouse has).

I only asked which club because I started sailing at South Perth YC.
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  #46  
Old 04-26-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velella995 View Post
someone else replied but I think more than my argument was attacked so I'll leave it there.

Velella995, I appologize for being hard on you...I thought you were someone else that has a similar screen name, (myvelero) and thought that the person in cause was in Australia.

I did not see you were a new memember here either. Sorry for my rudness..I did not mean to do it. I swear. Sometimes I joke a lot and use some of that sarcasm in other posts.

If I had payed more attention I would have seen you are not who i thought you were.

Anyway, I hope you forgive me.

If you read the posts from the start, I was the first one to indicate the Snipe...I sailed them a lot before I moved to the 470's when i was famous (for 15 minutes)...

I still think that the fault is not the boats, as you mention...it's the adults behind the clubs, that insist on treating the kids like adults..you know for sure, if you are with kids and clubs, that finding a good coach willing to sacrifice his every weekend of a whole year to coach kids Saturday and sundays is hard...its either a guy with no life, or someone that may not be the best at sailing...that is the problem..lack of incentives...and then they start getting bored....the solution is to make them compete...make the feel the need to get better...and that is hard even if the kids are sailing skiffs or 49ers...

Granted, sailing for a teenager (unless he really loves it) can be borish, and in sailing like in many other sports, you get a lot of kids that quit...it happens in Hockey, soccer, etc...sailing is no different...the best stay and win, because they really like it (thus the stay), and get adicted to wining so they come back..the other ones...go somewhere else...maybe they weren't talented enough to keep up... it's almost like the Jungle law..only the strongest fitest win...that is the only way the sports evolves..otherwise...it will stagnate..

So having a slow sport, that can be quite boring, compared with almost unregulated wild stuff like Kite surfing and windsurfing, is almost unfare...but happens I know...

Oprtimists, lasers etc. do prepare the kids well because they are not easy to be sailed and or have flaws...we =want good prepared sailors...not easy saliling speed freaks that later in life can't bail out of a sinking America's cup, right???

I agree the imaginary boat you propose would be great, but the great siccess of Optis and laser is they are cheap...a boat like you propose in points 1 thru 7 would be cost prohibitive, so the clubs and poor people can't afford them...so in a way, that would be elitism, since only the rich would sail...and rich kids prefer other things..thus the popularity of Optis and lasers...they are cheap and most clubs can afford them...

I am happy my kid sails an Opti, in a way, the burden of bailing water is the punishment for capsizing, and losing it all...that makes him sail better and avoid capsizing...so he gets to be a good sailor...I also want him to learn the hard way...so later if he ever gets to go on the real "goodies" he can be good... This to say if the kids learn in hard boats, they will become better, and things are easier later in the better boats...remember the WWII pilots, they learnt to fly in the Tiger Moth, before they moved to the Spitfires...

They are trying to promote the BIC in my country..its a self bailing cool boat, all fast and modern...but the kids don't want them...my son's dream is a 470...(probably they are all over when he gets to be the age..but...)

By the way...where I come from...kids sail whters is sunny and nice or 10 foot waves and 30 knots blow...I had an Australian friend visit me here, and one day we had 10 to 15 foot waves, hurricanes and all, 35 knot winds...and the only people sailing were the laser kids....ask him if yoiu don't believe...

May be you need to push the kids more..give them incentives...

Again, sorry for the initial post, and please let's continue this argument...I am liking it..

Alex

Last edited by Giulietta; 04-26-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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  #47  
Old 04-30-2008
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Alex...thanks for your reply. No problem at all I am sure. Of course..there is nothing to forgive.

I do like your perspective on yr kids Opi sailing...teaching them avoid filling up. But I glean from that you are one of the very involved parents that exude confidence towards your kids. Many kids are not that supported and I think those are the kids that are vulnerable to pull out.

The other matter is the price. Personally I think, for what they are, Lasers and particularly Opi's are well overpriced.

Oh I don't doubt your story about the Laser kids. If a kid persists in a Laser they get very very good at sailing any Cat rigged boat. Don't you think it's wierd that so few kids move into Contenders from Lasers? I mean if it's a cat rigged boat you are looking to follow, there's the top of the heap. No...it's the "large regatta" mentality that has people stay with classes like Hobies, Lasers and Opis. Huey didn't expect fleets of hundreds of thousands of one particular class. Really, that's a little ludicrous in my view. But look, now I am getting opinionated again.

Thanks for writing back Alex.
Mike
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  #48  
Old 04-30-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Mike, thanks for the kindness towrds my mistake.

In my country the optis the lasers, the 420 etc.. are all supplied by the club...you only get a private boat IF you want, and that only for the kids in the high level racing...

My son will be competing National and European level starting in October..he could use a club's boat...but would be the only one...so he needs a new boat, not as an award, but because he needs a newer boat with newer mateirals...at that level, an Opti, costs in excess of 5000 euros complete with all accessories...I got him a super one, custom built for him (he doesn't know it yet) for less than $ 3800 complete. But that's because the dollar is low now...and I like Americans...

True, I as a person that sailed all my life, inflicted my passion on my kids since they were born, and both kids sailed within weeks of being born, so for them its a natural thing in the house...I do not get too much involved with his sailing and his coach..I let them be..and they both appreciate..HOWEVER..when I see the kid needs help or does something wrong, I pull him aside, and talk to him...

Other parents in the club are not sailing background people, but interestingly enough, some started sailing now because of their kids, and others, their kids like sailing more than one could imagine...

Like all sports, you end up with the good ones only...and those are the ones that commit their life, weekends and above all HAVE passion for it, no matter what boat...the quiters, well they go away...it was not the sports for them....that's the way it is...

Now...start losing the hi end competition kids, yes...I'd get worried....but those...we keep them coming....we reward them and incentivate them...
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  #49  
Old 04-30-2008
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As a parent that had kids snow skiing competitively, what happens to some degree, that needs to also happen, as they grow up, and they fall to the wayside if you will, for not being good enough etc in competition, is to make sure that in the sport, such as sailing, skiing among others, that they still continue in a more recreational form, and not always the high end competition. There are too few high end "jobs" for lack of better term in the high end for all of us that like sailing. But to make sure the kids can see a recreational side to the racing, cruising etc within sports that are individual in nature. Yes sailing is team oriented vs skiing, but both can be done with all being happy, enjoying themselves as a family or equal. The family part is what gets lost in many sports such as sailing, skiing for example.

MY 02, not that it is worth that much, as none of you paid .02 for it!

Anyway, keep the kids enjoying what they do, and you as a parent will also be rewarded!

marty
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  #50  
Old 04-30-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
As a parent that had kids snow skiing competitively, what happens to some degree, that needs to also happen, as they grow up, and they fall to the wayside if you will, for not being good enough etc in competition, is to make sure that in the sport, such as sailing, skiing among others, that they still continue in a more recreational form, and not always the high end competition. There are too few high end "jobs" for lack of better term in the high end for all of us that like sailing. But to make sure the kids can see a recreational side to the racing, cruising etc within sports that are individual in nature. Yes sailing is team oriented vs skiing, but both can be done with all being happy, enjoying themselves as a family or equal. The family part is what gets lost in many sports such as sailing, skiing for example.

MY 02, not that it is worth that much, as none of you paid .02 for it!

Anyway, keep the kids enjoying what they do, and you as a parent will also be rewarded!

marty

Absolutely right...I was reading this and remembered my son's disastrous participation in the country finals last year, where he finised 80th of 100..

I was worried he was sad, or would want to quit..then he said..he was there for the fun and to amuze himself...and his final position was due to the knowledge of a certain young missy sailor he had met there, and wanting to hang around her, while she was sailing in the back all the time.....so that's how we keep it...he can go while its fun for him...
Good post Marty

Last edited by Giulietta; 04-30-2008 at 11:15 AM.
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