Building the Ice Optimist Iceboat for Kids
We are indebted to DNer Ken Smith for sharing his Ice Optimist plans and instructions. All files are in pdf to make downloading and printing much more efficient.
All pages reprinted with permission from the author, Ken Smith, and we encourage you to download and print them for your own personal use. Pages may not be published without permission from the author. .
By Ken Smith DN4137
I built two Ice Optimists for my 10 and 13 year old daughters. Building any project is working toward a goal by solving a series of problems. The Ice Optimist is a moderately simple wood project. It requires a limited set of tools, some skills at fitting and gluing, and considerable skills at scrounging and improvising, as some of the hardware is, to my knowledge, just not available commercially anywhere.
A fair dose of perseverance is required. If this is your first boat project, more time will be spent head-scratching than building. If you are confident and fairly efficient, this is a 30-50 hour project. Then comes the two real problems: (1) getting (and keeping) your young sailor interested; and (2) sacrificing your own sailing time to accomplish (1).
I cannot assist with that, but this article is intended to walk through the major steps in building a sailable Optimist DN. Many details are omitted for brevity. This also enhances your problem solving skills.
Read more on Building the Ice Optimist (pdf file).