Transit 380

It’s easy to see why the Optimist is the boat of choice for the youngest sailors, but what’s not so clear is where those still-young sailors go when they’ve outgrown the Opti. Designer Jim Taylor and Precision Boatworks have addressed the need for a transition boat between the Opti and larger, more powerful boats like the Laser or the 420 with the new Transit 380. It’s a stable two-person dinghy designed for the 11-to-15-year-old “in-betweens” who don’t fit in Optis anymore and aren’t quite ready for prime time. It does have a racy planing hull and asymmetric spinnaker to keep young speed demons enthused. The rig is small enough to minimize capsizes, but if the boat does go over, the watertight mast and extra flotation on the mainsail head will help keep it from turtling. Once the boat is righted, the self-bailing cockpit drains quickly through the open transom. Precision Boatworks.