While new boats like the 29’er, 49’er and other foil racers released onto the adult sailing market have changed the face of dinghy sailing, there have been no new boats for younger sailors for some time. The O’pen Bic has brightened the faces of children, teenagers and smaller framed adults. They now have a true glide machine for real excitement on the water. The O’pen Bic is THE ultimate link between the Optimist generation and the new generation of sailing dinghies. The O’pen is being marketed as an energized dinghy with:
- A fast, planing hull for a dynamic sailing experience.
- A totally open, self-draining stern that makes even capsizing fun!
- A modern design that looks like the boat of today’s champions.
- A shaped daggerboard and rudderblade, and high quality mooring equipment, for performance and ease of trimming.
- A high performance rig package for power, speed and control
- …..not to mention that this boat looks REALLY COOL!!!!
We recently had the opportunity to test this boat in St. Croix at the 2008 St. Croix International Regatta. Needless to say, the O’pen was a huge hit with the kids…in fact, some stayed ashore to sail the O’pen rather than continue to “bail” their Optis in the high surf experienced that weekend. Feedback we received from local sailors was positive:
“The Open Bic is an impressively-fun and functional new junior sailing dinghy. The fast, planing hull of the O’pen Bic gives a dynamic sailing experience of a true dinghy that heels. Being at the helm of this powerful machine gives you the same excitement normally experienced on a boat for adults…not too far from the thrill of the Melges 24,” stated Peter Stanton, a world class Sunfish sailor and tactician on Devil 3, Melges 24 CORT Champions.
“The O’Pen Bic is a hot boat! Junior sailors are fully independent and safe on the water and will be proud to sail such a modern-looking and fast boat, one that both sails and looks like the boat of the future—not to mention this boat is fun, and it totally surfs,” said Sydney Jones, world-ranked Laser Radial sailor and Virgin Islands Sailing Team member.
“I can’t wait to get to the Yacht Club to go sail on the O’pen Bic, it is so much easier to sail than the Opti, you can nose dive into waves…and the best part, no bailing! Now my mom can throw away all of her detergent bottles…no more bailing!” said Optimist sailor Challis Diaz, age 12.
The O’pen Bic is a planing dinghy with a hull made of thermoformed polyethylene, a carbon and fiberglass two-piece mast, and an aluminum boom. The target audience for the O’pen is kids who need a transition boat between the Optimist and a 420.
ISAF has recently granted the boat “Class Status” recognizing the one design fleet worldwide. Keep your eyes open for upcoming local events: The Cruzan Open One Design in May 2008 will recognize the Bic O’pen as an official class. Caribbean Championships will be hosted in November by St. Croix Yacht Club and the O’pen Bic Challenge will take place this summer in Tortola.
Kim and Rob Jones operate Jones Maritime Company, a 15-slip marina, sailing school, yacht management service, and charter operation in downtown Christiansted, St. Croix.
Width: 1.14m lip marina
Weight: 45kgs (hull only)
Hull technology: Thermoformed polyethylene
Max. ideal user weight: 65kgs (143lbs)
Max. possible weight: 90kgs (198 lbs)
Technology: K.Film – Polyester
Battens: 4 with adjustable tension
Length: 3.90m (2-part mast)
Technology: Fiberglass – Epoxy
Rigidity: IMCS 16
Cost: $2799 Complete!