The Optimist was designed in 1947 by American Clark Mills as a cheap entry into sailing. Originally The Optimist was designed to be built from two 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood but these days is usually made from fibreglass. In 1995 the class became strictly one-design and it is one of only two yachts approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16. There is currently more than 150,000 Optimist registered.
The boat is ideally sailed by youngsters of a weight between 35kg and 55kg, this range is made possible by the many different cuts of sail design that can be used to match the sailors weight.
Sail and rig tuning is very important in an Optimist if you intended to compete at the top of the fleet. Mast rake is measured from the top of the mast to the top middle of the transom, usually set at around 2770mm too 2850mm, the heavier the sailor the more upright you want to mast to keep the rig powered up.
For a full tuning guide go to P&B