Print Page | Close Window

The rise of the OK

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13466
Printed Date: 09 Aug 20 at 3:12pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: The rise of the OK
Posted By: Fatboi
Subject: The rise of the OK
Date 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?





Replies:
Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date 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.....


-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 26 Nov 19 at 7:22pm
Hmm.. do I smell Bandit?


-------------
https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: GarethT
Date 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.


Posted By: craiggo
Date 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.

-------------
OK 2129
RS200 411


Posted By: Neptune
Date 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

-------------
RS300 and RS200, ex Musto Skiff


Posted By: KazRob
Date 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! LOLLOL


-------------
OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: iGRF
Date 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.

-------------
https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date 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.

-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: KazRob
Date 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


Posted By: Fatboi
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 9:02am
Quite common not to use kicker upwind. Like Kaz said, can be done in many boats. You would do this even in the RS100, RS200, Solo and Laser. 
Talking specifically to a boat with a traveler, you set this for how outboard you want the boom to be and then you can control the leech twist with the mainsheet as this will pull the boom down and alter the leech shape. Much easier to control with small sheet movement over changing kicker constantly for the breeze changes. Plus it makes the mast bend more uniformally, rather than pushing the gooseneck forwards and putting a big kink in the mast. 
As soon as you are getting overpowered and need to ease mainsheet, then you start kickering so the sail profile doesn't change as you ease the sheet.
I guess the responsiveness of the mast in an an OK (Like the Finn), means you just drop the traveler and rake back a bit on the mast. 


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 9:17am
In the Europe, and I assume the OK, mast rake was opposite to normal. A more upright mast means more bend before the boom hits the deck, so a more repowered sail.

-------------
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 9:18am
The OK does look a nice boat, but in the UK what is the advantage over a Solo? Good international regattas, but for a club sailor?


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 10:05am
Originally posted by KazRob


<p ="Msonormal">Hope that makes sense?

<p ="Msonormal"><o:p></o:p>





It does, thanks, hadn't spotted the traveller, so can Solo's be sailed in the same way?

Oh and has it a carbon mast?

Just heard Roger Tushingham has acquired a new Ovington, so maybe its for ex windsurfers waiting to die? (he's so much older than me )

-------------
https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 10:58am
Originally posted by iGRF

Hmm.. do I smell Bandit?

Change the record ...

The OK is popular because it is one of the few true international classes that offer the opportunity to sail in international fleet all over the world ... that is an attractive option for some.

There is a Solo fleet in NED but not much beyond that as far as I know.


Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 11:20am

Thereís no doubt the Solo and OK do both pretty serve the same market (adult singlehander racing), one locally in the UK and one more widely spread around the world. I did have a Solo at the same time as my first OK and the idea was to get better fleet racing up here in Scotland. Unfortunately I didnít get on with the Solo. It seemed really cramped at the back with the way the centreboard case extends far back in the boat especially with the kicker on. I also hated that coffee table centreboard capping and ended up getting badly bruised shins every time I sailed it. It also felt quite ídeadí compared to the OK. Not sure if it was the fully battened main or whatever but I found and still find the OK really engaging to sail. Thereís lots of subtleties to it and while I seem to go a tad better  every year itís really hard to say what Iím doing better. In short I just find the OK fits me better, the sailing style suits me better and it puts a smile on my face every time I sail it which is something the Solo never did for me. Plus Iíve always loved sailing at events with people from other counties (and not just Brits on tour to somewhere nice like Garda).

And to be clear that's not to knock the Solo in any way Ė it just didnít suit me and thereís room for both. If anybodyís interested the class does have a demo boat which is currently at Stokes Bay but can move around the country if anybody wants to borrow it.



-------------
OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 11:39am
Plus of course the OK has no stays so running gives loads more options.



Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 4:02pm
Originally posted by iGRF

 
Oh and has it a carbon mast?
Yes they do have carbon rigs now and so much better for it I think. They are quite conservatively built and could no doubt be a lot lighter but they are absolutely bullet proof because of that which is a good thing for many. I understand the class didnít want to encourage the sort of arms race seen in the Finn and Europe Olympic campaigns outside dimensions are controlled with reasonable +/- tolerances, no ultra-high modulus carbon is allowed and the mast has weight and C of G limitations. 

Itís the same with the sails Ė still limited to Dacron as they wanted to avoid excessively expensive sails appearing (£1700 for a 3DL Solo sail I seem to remember), Dacron doesnít shrink like laminate sails do and they last much longer for most sailors.




-------------
OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 4:39pm
Originally posted by KazRob

Originally posted by iGRF

 
Oh and has it a carbon mast?
Yes they do have carbon rigs now and so much better for it I think. They are quite conservatively built and could no doubt be a lot lighter but they are absolutely bullet proof because of that which is a good thing for many. I understand the class didnít want to encourage the sort of arms race seen in the Finn and Europe Olympic campaigns outside dimensions are controlled with reasonable +/- tolerances, no ultra-high modulus carbon is allowed and the mast has weight and C of G limitations. 

Itís the same with the sails Ė still limited to Dacron as they wanted to avoid excessively expensive sails appearing (£1700 for a 3DL Solo sail I seem to remember), Dacron doesnít shrink like laminate sails do and they last much longer for most sailors.



I would beg to differ on that. I used to find Dacron sails would stretch after a couple of seasons use (if not much sooner for some classes). By contrast that class I sail now which has a nice laminate sail made by North the sails just keep going on and on. My original sail is still competitive after over 5 years of use with a club mate.


-------------
Paul
----------------------
D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 27 Nov 19 at 5:07pm
We're probably talking about different cloths though. You're right that in the old days when F/A mast bends on rigs like the OK were much higher than they are now, sails made from stretchy 3.8oz 'finn cloth' would be noticably slower after a hard season (the original Laser sail was from very similar cloth and we all know how long they last). The newer carbon rigs have much less F/A curve and the cloth is much stiffer, especially for full radial cut sails. I have a North radial main that's seen 5 years of use and I'm still more than happy to use it at club level with little sign of being blown out. The full radial design no doubt helps as well
I wasn't in the OK class when they chose to stay with Dacron but speaking to some of those involved, including several sailmakers, the reasons above is what they gave. I've certainly had several laminate sails on similar boats where they shrunk alarmingly - probably 4"-6" on the luff over a season or two.


-------------
OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: sawman
Date Posted: 01 Dec 19 at 9:38pm
I notice there are a few older OKs advertised on facebook/ebay at present, how much effort and cost would be needed to make these reasonably competitive?


Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 02 Dec 19 at 10:30pm
"thanks, hadn't spotted the traveller, so can Solo's be sailed in the same way?"

Basically, yes. The traveller doesn't need to be full width of the thwart on the Solo, but is adjustable (mine has control line each side, some have one continuous line that controls distance from centre).

As there is still the final block mounts on the plate case, it's not quite a simple system - sheet in hard and you tend to centre the boom.

Coli


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 02 Dec 19 at 10:44pm
I need to talk a bit more about sailing with a traveller.

Is it a sort of pre selected sheeting angle thing? Can it be used to sheet in and out sort of micro adjust or is its raison d'etre simply to replace the upwind functionality of the kicker on sails that don't like to be 'kickered' upwind?

And why is it no longer featured on modern designs?

-------------
https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 02 Dec 19 at 11:25pm
On single sail boats you need the boom over the quarter (as opposed to centring the boom as you would on a two sail boat, which you obviously know). A traveller of some kind, allows you to set the boom angle independent of sheet/leech tension (to a point). In the Blaze we never use kicker upwind, the transom bridle allows the boom to be over the quarter and the sheet to control leech tension/twist, this wouldn't work on an OK with the boom needing to be on the deck upwind so the traveller simply allows the sail to be sheeted down without pulling it too far towards the centreline (as you said, a pre-selected sheeting angle). When I sailed an OK everybody had a centre mainsheet if the class allowed it these days the skiff style off the boom or Laser style hybrid systems are in favour but some of the old classes (Enterprise) have finally allowed centre mainsheets so a measure of their effectiveness might be gleaned from knowing what percentage of the top Ent helms use a centre mainsheet compared to aft mainsheet.

FWIW I have a centre mainsheet on the Spice and was going to stick with it on the Blaze as that was what was fitted when I bought it but I gave the off the boom system a try and was converted before the first tack. I don't think I would use the traveller to trim the sail, it seems to be an added complication that I can live without though it clearly works in some classes.


-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 12:02pm
Originally posted by sawman

I notice there are a few older OKs advertised on facebook/ebay at present, how much effort and cost would be needed to make these reasonably competitive?

Depends what you regard as being reasonably competitive Smile. Older wooden boats, assuming they are not rotten or anything seem fairly easy to get up to speed, usually just needing a carbon rig which allows the rig to move forward slightly (carbon masts put less weight in the bow compared to metal masts) and changing the older swept back rudder to the newer less swept back design. Moving the rig forward and changing the rudder help reduce the weather helm a good bit.
Older polyester GRP boats will no doubt be a bit harder to get up to speed as more likely to have gone soft or gained weight compared to a wooden boat.
How much you spend on a carbon rig will depend on what age the mast is as they have developed since they were introduced as you'd expect.

To see what can be done have a look at  https://www.okdinghy.co.uk/news/demo-boat/" rel="nofollow - https://www.okdinghy.co.uk/news/demo-boat/
The boat is from 1993 and after the refurbishment seems as fast as anything else when people have sailed it at open events


-------------
OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 12:57pm
Hi Kazrob
A credit to those generous people and the work done. As I found for the Phantom if you ask politely and don't expect the marine trad people want to help.



-------------
Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 4:01pm
So getting back to the traveller, is there a system where the main can be set and cleated but effectively 'sheeted' using the traveller to assure the sail remains set but powered and depowered using the traveller?

-------------
https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Mark Aged 42
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 4:13pm
I recall 505s and/or Fireballs used to do this back in the day. See Lawrie Smith/Andy Barker for details I guess.


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 5:09pm
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

I recall 505s and/or Fireballs used to do this back in the day. See Lawrie Smith/Andy Barker for details I guess.


I remember an Aussie fireball in the 70s with the traveller from a yacht, when correctors are maxed, more weight was needed!


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 5:59pm
Originally posted by iGRF

So getting back to the traveller, is there a system where the main can be set and cleated but effectively 'sheeted' using the traveller to assure the sail remains set but powered and depowered using the traveller?

Yes; many classes do this ... it's quite and accepted way to trim your mainsail.

Tasar's are set up like this and this is much discussed in Frank Bethwaites book which is one of the best texts available for small boat speed ...


Posted By: sawman
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 7:29pm
Originally posted by KazRob

Originally posted by sawman

I notice there are a few older OKs advertised on facebook/ebay at present, how much effort and cost would be needed to make these reasonably competitive?

Depends what you regard as being reasonably competitive Smile. Older wooden boats, assuming they are not rotten or anything seem fairly easy to get up to speed, usually just needing a carbon rig which allows the rig to move forward slightly (carbon masts put less weight in the bow compared to metal masts) and changing the older swept back rudder to the newer less swept back design. Moving the rig forward and changing the rudder help reduce the weather helm a good bit.
Older polyester GRP boats will no doubt be a bit harder to get up to speed as more likely to have gone soft or gained weight compared to a wooden boat.
How much you spend on a carbon rig will depend on what age the mast is as they have developed since they were introduced as you'd expect.

To see what can be done have a look at  https://www.okdinghy.co.uk/news/demo-boat/" rel="nofollow - https://www.okdinghy.co.uk/news/demo-boat/
The boat is from 1993 and after the refurbishment seems as fast as anything else when people have sailed it at open events


nice to see what you can do with an old boat! I fancy a single hander to keep on the beach and use when there's no crew handy, I don't want to go laser, or solo, always thought OK looks nice.
in terms of "reasonably competitive" what I am looking for is something that will do alright in club handicaps, and not give me the feeling that the boat is holding me back excessively, I am probably not likely the turn out for open meetings, unless they are on my doorstep. A fundamentally sound boat, with whatever mast it comes with, I would probably invest in a new(er) sail and be happy to upgrade running rigging etc' Don't want to invest too much, in case I don't get on with it - if money was no object I would be knocking on Ovi's door


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 03 Dec 19 at 10:00pm
All credit to the OK Class Association and donors for making the loan boat happen.

Would hate to be the first person to put a scratch on it though.


Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 04 Dec 19 at 6:12pm
Yep.  Great initiative.

I can remember sailing an OK in the mid 70s at a not very strapping 8.5 stone.  I was definitely fitter then, but another 5 stones or so later I'm probably better suited to the boat.

Good to hear that they have removed some of the rake from the rudder.  I used to fall in a lot on gybe marks as the boat would wheel around and then the boom would hit the water with inevitable consequences.  Happy days!


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 04 Dec 19 at 6:56pm
Originally posted by jaydub

 I can remember sailing an OK in the mid 70s at a not very strapping 8.5 stone.  I was definitely fitter then, but another 5 stones or so later I'm probably better suited to the boat.

Me too, '68-'72 or thereabouts in my case. I've only put on 3 Ĺ stone since then but I am only 5' 6" Cry

Wooden masts back then, we used to go up to the club early to glue some wood to the sides or front to stiffen it up then next week we'd plane it off again Confused rig tuning really meant something back in the day. As you say "happy days".


-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"



Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz - http://www.webwizguide.com