If I had a good shop, I’d be building one now:
The OK Dinghy has always appealed to me. In fact, I have had building plans somewhere here on my desk for several years. As soon as I sell off one of my fleet, I truly will build one….
One of these, one of Eric McNicholl’s Nanos… I’ll be all set in the single-handed sailing dinghy department. Well, also — of course — a PDR, a Firebug, anything from John Welsford, countless others… but I digress.
Let me give you the OK’s history (from OKDIA.org):
|“||In 1957 Axel Dangaard Olsen of Seattle, U.S.A., asked the Danish yacht designer Knud Olsen to prepare drawings for a light and fast single-handed sailing dinghy based on conventional plywood construction. The resulting design was named the O.K., using Knud Olsen’s initials in reverse (I guess KO would have sent the wrong message).
The O.K. was intended as a preparation class for the Olympic Finn and it has followed its technical evolution ever since. versa.
OKs are built in plywood, G.R.P and composite construction and all forms enjoy equal racing success. Freedom of choice in hull construction is replicated in choice of rig, with choice of mast, sail and fitting entirely open. Consequently, every OK develops to suit the owner’s style of sailing, while the shape of the hull is designed by a comprehensive set of rules ensuring a long competitive life span.
Old boats often only need a rig up-date and minor constructional modifications to make them competitive, provided they meet modern buoyancy requirements.
In the 60s and 70s, the OK class enjoyed a explosive success, with the total number of boats exceeding 10.000 and large racing fleets building up. In the 80s, the success of the popular one-design single-handed Laser affected the success of OK.
In the eastern countries, the OK was the official youth single hander and after the breakdown of the socialist system, many ‘old’ sailors came back to the class of their youth, now with their own boats instead of club-owned.
Today, we are seeing a remarkable revival of the OK class. Lots of older boats are being restored and updated, new boats are being build and participation in club races is on the rise.
This strong come-back can be contributed to the unique characteristics of the International OK-Dinghy: a light, responsive sailing dinghy that may be raced in fair and equal competition all over the world, without getting into cut-throat Olympic competition, and with the freedom to appeal to the individual that is in each of us. Since 2003 carbon masts are introduced to the class.
Based on a strong history, the International OK class is facing a bright future.”
Here is a boat that just defines “fun.”
Her technical specs:
- a single handed dinghy
- 4 m long
- 1.5 m wide
- 72 kg hull weight
- hard chine construction
- built of wood, grp or ‘composite’
- home built or professionally built
- sailed by men or women between 60 – 95 kg (or less or more!)
- a mast of carbon fibre – though this may be of wood or aluminium
- foils of wood, which may be sheathed with grp (metal centreboard is permitted)
- a sail of 8.5 square m
- comfortable side decks and ‘sitting out’ position
- rig, sail and controls chosen to suit the owner’s physique and personal preferences
- controls which effectively control sail shape
- full and reliable buoyancy arrangements
For more information, please see their website:
Plans are available for a very affordable 15 British pounds. Please do better than I, and start building yours right away.
Please comment below. We’re seeing a definite resurgence of interest in the US.