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.
Best Boats 2019
Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more