The CABBS Optimist Pram Boatbuilding Plans
No other boat in the world has surpassed the popularity of the Optimist Pram as a sail trainer for kids. Over 400,000 have been built worldwide since Clark Mills designed the boat in 1948.
The CABBS Optimist is a perfect introduction to both boatbuilding and sailing. It is a great adult/child project that will create lifetime memories. The CABBS boat is assembled with construction adhesive and screws. Simple and quick to build with common hand tools, it can be crafted in 40 – 60 hours. The boat weighs approximately 65 lbs.
The CABBS Optimist Plans
The CABBS Optimist plans are based on plans published in an early 50's boating magazine and were drawn in 2006 to support the CABBS WHISTLE youth boatbuilding program on Cleveland's Lake Erie waterfront.
Click the link below for the CABBS Optimist Plans Order Form. Fill out the form, include your check or money order and mail to the address on the form. Allow 14 days for processing. You will be informed by e-mail of the shipping date.
CABBS Optimist Plan Order Form - Text only document
Yes, you can do it! Take a look at a series of construction photos from Frank Manley's build. The photos cover the jig, the frame, the panels, and finishing the hull.
Want some imspiration to take the first step? Take a look at OSPREY, a the CABBS Optimist built by 11 year-old Alastair of Inverness, British Columbia.
Even more information
Want to learn more about building an Optimist? Here is a great site that compiles just about anything you wanted to know about building an Opti.
In 1947, the Clearwater, Florida Optimist Club challenged boat builder and designer, Clark Mills, to design a boat that could be built inexpensively and sailed safely by kids. Clark's Optimist design proved remarkably successful. Over 400,000 have been built worldwide. It is estimated that 60 – 70% of the USA Olympic sailing team members, first learned to sail in an Optimist.