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The rise of the OK

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Fatboi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The rise of the OK
    Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 3:02pm
We have all this doom and gloom with the most recent topics, so how about something more positive... The OK...


The fleet looking like it is having a big boost of numbers. almost 30 boats at the Ovi inlands with some quality names in the fleet! A great new write up on home builds from Kazrob. How many boats are boing home built Kaz?

Why is the fleet having a growth spurt??
What can we learn from it?
Will it continue?


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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 3:31pm
Very fond memories if my old OK. I would love another one for the inland club but the popularity works against me as FRP boats are just too expensive.

The fleet is, I guess, having a growth spurt cos more people are realising what a great boat it is.....
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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 7:22pm
Hmm.. do I smell Bandit?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GarethT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 7:28pm
Absolutely not. PY has got more punitive over the years. I'd guess most people buying newish OKs are getting them to race other OKs.
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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: 26 Nov 19 at 7:33pm
PY is a challenge but I sail mine in the club's slow handicap fleet against Lasers and it's great fun. A much more interesting and involved boat than the Laser and due to massive amounts of rocker it carries weight well, so works equally well with an 80kg or 110kg sailer.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neptune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 7:41pm
Lots of big European events and a U.K. worlds coming up so lots of people giving it a go I suspect is part of reason
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KazRob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 8:25pm
Thanks for the complimanet on the article Fatboi! Much appreciated.
As for it being a bandit - hardly, and iGRF is welcome to try it out I'm sure. In truth they are nice and quick upwind but it doesn't pop onto the plane like a Laser does, so unless it's really light or howling it can be hard to beat a well sailed Laser. But really that's not what it's about and the OK does have a few things going for it. 

It's got a fairly big, open, deep cockpit so it's as comfortable to sail as any hiking boat can be especially downwind where you are rarely on your knees and the like. The boom does look low, but there's tons of room under it when you tack provided the kicker is off (no kicker is used upwind) and much, more room than a Laser with the kicker on. We all know sailors are getting older as a demographic and the design still works if you're less agile than you once were.

The boats do seem to last forever, probably from it's simple box like construction, and while it's not too heavy, it's pretty much bomb proof which is always a benefit. Old boats with new rigs seems to be as fast as anything tbh. The OK also seems to have a wider than normal weight range and while 80-90kgs is generally thought of as being the sweet spot sailors from 72-110kgs seem to do well. 

There's no doubt it is an old design which will no doubt annoy some people, but it's probably that old adage that any fool can design a new boat, but it's much, much harder to build a class. Perhaps people have just rediscovered how nice a boat it is now with a carbon rig and the class structure was already there to support it. 

In Europe it does seem to be having a resurgence in Scandinavia, Germany, Benelux and the South of France. Down under the Kiwis have just had the Worlds so their fleet built exponentially for that. The racing is properly World class at International events without it being at all serious off the water. Ironically that does seem to be attracting ex-olympians at the moment and you'd have to wonder why people like Freddie Loof are back sailing in the class. It's not like he's got anything to prove or anything. From what I understand it's simply because he enjoys the low stress, but high quality racing and the decent social afterwards.

On the kit boats, I think there are a few under construction in the UK but not sure of exact numbers. They are big in Aus and NZ though and if built well as fast as any plastic boat out there. From what I'm told they are no where near as hard to build as the old stitch and glue method as everything pretty much slots together accurately before any epoxy is mixed. I'm sure Andy Rushworth who used to build Nick Craig's boats is supplying kits with all the ply already laser cut if anybody wants a kit but doesn't know where to get the CNC cutting done.



End of class advert! LOL LOL


Edited by KazRob - 26 Nov 19 at 8:26pm
OK 2139 & 2148
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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 11:38pm
Originally posted by KazRob



(no kicker is used upwind)



OK, now you've piqued my interest just as I thought I had a handle on those ridiculous kicker things, care to explain what's so different with an OK rig that you don't use the kicker upwind, does it stall? I'm off now to go and look at OK pics to see if I can work out why that might be, I love puzzles.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 12:27am
There a few boats where you use no kicker upwind, Blaze being one. The mainsheet provides the leech tension/twist upwind and acts as a power control you simply play the mainsheet to twist the head off when overpowered. I believe some classes play the kicker to control power upwind and others play the traveller for similar effect but I like using one control so I can concentrate on 'head out of boat' stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KazRob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 7:59am

The kicker thing is dead simple really and itís just the way the Finn, OK and Europe rigs developed. To get a una rigged boat, to go upwind well you need the main sheeted down at an angle to the boat centreline just the same as the leading sail on a two sail boat is sheeted down to leeward. If you sheet the main on a una-rigged boat to the centreline there is almost no forward drive and the leech low down invariably hooks up to windward just adding drag. Once the boom is positioned to leeward you also need a good bit of leech tension to give some ability to point and a flattish sail helps minimise drag too. In a Laser this is done by using a tight rope traveller at the stern to keep the boom down  to leeward and then kicker to provide the leech tension.

In the OK etc the leech tension upwind comes only from the mainsheet and we use a traveller in the middle of the boat to get the boom out over the leeward quarter. Once arranged correctly the two controls become virtually independent and thereís no tendency for the traveller to be dragged to windward as you pull the boom down with the mainsheet.

The reason the booms are so low when going upwind is to get some end plate effect. Iím sure you remember when the big thing in windsurfing was to get the sail back and Ďclose the gapí between deck and the foot of the sail and itís the same sort of thing. The other thing that comes in is bending the mast fore and aft with mainsheet tension (or indeed kicker) flattens the sail out as the mast bends. If you ease the mainsheet in a gust in an OK the sail just gets fuller and more powerful which is just what you donít want so they sail upwind with a mix of feathering, easing the traveller and pulling the cunningham on. Conversely downwind, without excessive leech tension the mast straightens up and the sail becomes deeper and more powerful which is just what you need. Hence the kicker is only used downwind to control the twist of the sail and upwind itís all the way off to give you more room to tack.

Hope that makes sense?

OK 2139 & 2148
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