OLSS Sailboats


What is an Optimist?

  • Also called an Opti or IOD – Short for International Optimist Dinghy
  • a flat-bottomed, hard-chine, pram-bow dinghy with a spritsail” (The Book of Small Craft)
  • “a bathtub that breeds the best sailors”
  • 7′  6 ½” long, 3′ 8″ wide. Weight 77lbs
  • Easily transported on top of any car.
  • Safe and simple enough for an 7-year old
  • Exciting and technical enough for a 15-year old


Why the Optimist?

  • Optimists are designed for kids. Kids can handle them without danger, fear or back-strain
  • The Opti is a boat that can teach fundamentals to beginners and advanced strategy to racers.
  • Single-handed is a great way to learn.  They didn’t learn to ride a bike on a tandem
  • Sailed by over 150,000 kids in over 100 countries. “The worlds most popular boat”
  • Former Optimist sailors were over 50% of the sailing competitors at the last Olympics
  • The Okauchee Lake Sailing School owns 7 Optimists.  Rental is free in apprentice classes, and a small charge for more advanced classes.

X Boat

What is a Class X boat?

  • “pointed bow, two person boat – built like a tank – which breeds great sailors”
  • “a stable boat – forgiving for the beginner, but skills learned transfer to any boat”
  • 16″ long, 7 wide.   Weight 470 lbs
  • Easily transported on a trailer.  Typically stored on a trailer or a boat lift.
  • To compete, you must be under 16, but boat is large enough to be a great family day sailor.

Why the Class X boat?

  • “wildly popular in SE Wisconsin, with many local competitions – which breed social opportunities”
  • Great local, large scale regattas available
  • Two person (skipper and crew) builds teamwork and friendships
  • Great competition (and social interaction) available right on Okauchee Lake
  • Fleets on Okauchee, North, Pine, la Belle, Pewaukee, Nagawicka, etc.
  • Many former Class X sailors compete at HS national, collegiate national and Olympic levels
  • The Okauchee Lake Sailing School owns 2 Class X boats available as scholarship or low rental fee.


What is a 420?

  • A highly maneuverable 2 person boat that develops boat handling, rule tactics and fast tempo race strategies.
  • “pointed bow, two person boat with 2 sails”
  • 14′ long, 5′ wide. Weight 150lbs
  • Easily transported on a trailer.  Typically stored on a ramp or a small dolly.  Launches by hand.

Why the 420?

  • The 420 teaches the essence in specialized skipper and crew movements that apply to all other boat classes.
  • The 420, in club application, teaches the concepts od using a  spinnaker and trapeze.
  • The boat of choice for high school sailing (more than 500 high schools nationwide)
  • The boat of choice for collegiate sailing (more than 100 universities nationwide)
  • the two person team (skipper and crew) builds teamwork and friendships
  • High school teams active at Oconomowoc, Arrowhead, Kettle Moraine and other Milwaukee area schools
  • The Okauchee Lake Sailing School owns 7 420’s.  Boat rental built into tuition.