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LOpti a creative way to get people sailing

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Kiwi ingenuity has helped introduce sailing to a group of youngsters in the Hokianga as they've combined a Laser and an Optimist to come up with a LOpti.

A group from the Hokianga Sailing Trust resurrected old Optimists and P Class boats, as well as beaten up Sunbursts and soggy Lasers.

These don't suit every youngster starting out so they came up with the LOpti - a Laser hull, usual rudder and centreboard together with a mast, sail, boom and sprit from an Optimist. The sheeting block is also replaced in the usual central place and the stern Laser system removed.

It provides more room for bigger learners, is no slower than an overloaded Opti and much faster when the wind is blowing and the bailing out is minimal when capsizes happen.

Another benefit is that the cost of conversion is zero and the mast socket is a “short” job. No permanent changes are made, rigging is a five-minute job and graduates typically move onto the Laser 4.7.