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Oppie, Tera or whatever??

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Doctor D View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Jun 16 at 7:02pm
So, the youngest has done a bit of sailing with me and has now started on his own. The club trains in Optibats and while it's early days, the view is he want's to sail his own little boat rather than with me!

I generally have an aversion to the Optimist, but would like to hear others experiences of the Oppie.

Personally, I have more time for something like a Tera. Anything else worth a look?

A few facts to help frame responses.

He's 7, and fairly tall for his age (pretty much tallest in his year). The club doesn't have a massive junior scene so there's no real natural choice from that perspective.

Inland Lake - small. Occasional trips to Lakes/Bala.

I don't really want to go down the squad route - I just want him to have some fun.

Thoughts...?


Edited by Doctor D - 21 Jun 16 at 7:44pm
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craiggo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 16 at 10:31pm
I had a similar debate with myself 18months ago, and shared many of your concerns. In my case an Oppie is too slow to work on the tidal water we normally sail on, but we have a small inland lake 14 miles up the road who run the IOCA Oppie courses.
A great value Oppie came on the market so I bit the bullit and just bought it, and its honestly been a great decision.
With hindsight my then 6 nearly 7 year old daughter wouldn't have been able to sail a Tera as even with the smaller rig its still a step up from an Oppie and she's had a ball. Last year she did her IOCA level 1 over 8weeks and then sailed her boat most Friday afternoons after school, and this year she has been doing IOCA level 2 and has started competing in the clubs Junior series against kids in Oppies, Toppers, Lasers and Solos. The Oppie while not the most aesthetic of boats does provide a great platform for really learning all the basics. Most kids struggle to sail upwind and at least the Oppie doesn't immediately chuck them in the drink if they get caught in irons!

My daughter started crewing for me when she was 4 and is a damn good crew now at 8 who has a good basic understanding and I think that she is a year off of being able or big enough to really make a Tera viable, and like your son, she is tall and her slender frame hides the fact that she's just over 5st.
She's built a really strong group of Oppie friends now around the training and they are all encouraging each other to take part in races rather than being pushed by parents.

I have no desire to push her into the squad system, but for now the Oppie is really working well for her.
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 16 at 7:44pm
The Tera seems to work well as a second boat if starting at 7, even if tall. By age 9 or 10, they have a ball. Below that, it just seems too big.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 16 at 8:40pm
Is the Taz any good ?
We have one at our club, I have never seen it used.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 16 at 7:55am
Taz is very tippy compared to Tera. Preteens who can already sail seem to love it. Good play boat, not so sure about it for teaching.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 16 at 10:21am
You might also take a look at a Topper 4.2. Has the advantage that when he gets bigger he can just move up to a 5.3 without having to change boat.
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Doctor D View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Doctor D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 16 at 9:26pm
So he seems happy in the Oppie at the moment and it may be that one or two of the other kids may stay with them too, so I guess that's decision made...

Still don't like them though Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamie600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 16 at 1:06pm
I don't like them much - and I own one - but for the very young starting out I still think they take some beating.
 
My 9 year old stepson, who is average height but very slightly built so may be comparable to your 7 year old, learnt in his and spent yesterday tearing round in 15 knots having a great time, and beat a few adults on handicap.
 
He could handle a Tera in less wind, but can't handle the full range of conditions as he can in the Oppy. There is also a massive difference in cost between an entry level Oppy and a Tera.
 
For me, the drawbacks such as the ridiculously fiddly rig and the lack of means of getting rid of water from the cockpit are outweighed by the benefits.
 
I plan to keep him in it for at least another year, then go straight to a Topper.
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