Attention Optimist Sailors, Parents and Administrators!

Houston, we have a problem! The problem is the standard, non kick-up Optimist rudder. It's been a problem for a long time, decades, in fact, and it's high time to review the situation and try to correct it. Why is it a problem? It's a problem because:

  • It's wrong for children to be expected to wade up to their waist in water in order to install the standard, non kick-up Optimist rudder every time they want to go for a sail, especially when the wind is blowing strongly and the water is cold and choppy. Even at World Championships, children find it difficult to put to sea without the help of trainers or support personnel.

  • It's unfair for children to be forced to align the rudder pins with the boat's rocking transom (as children equipped with the anachronistic Optimist rudder need to do). It frustrates many kids.

  • It's unjust to expect children to pull themselves up over the gunwhale into the boat when the boat is floating, when setting sail. It turns many off sailing.

  • It's unjustified for children to be expected to sit later in the boat, soaked wet up to their waists or higher, and then enjoy the sailing as the wind blows on their wet bodies and causes them to be cold (even in case they possess wet suits).

  • It's unwarranted that this scenario should repeat itself in reverse when the kids put to shore after their sail.

  • It's ludicrous that this situation is allowed to perpetuate, considering that smart, innovative technology exists which enables kids to push off from the beach, jump into the boat while still dry, and quickly and simply lower their rudders from within the boat. See the Optimists web page for a description of Dotan's child-friendly (and therefore parent-friendly) revolutionary kick-up rudder for Optimists.

Houston, we've got a solution!

Optimists form the largest class of sailing dinghies in the world. It's therefore surprising that the Optimist is one of the last classes of sailing dinghy that still retains the antiquated, non kick-up rudder of yesteryear. IODA (the International Optimist Dinghy Association) must surely be aware that this anachronism creates unnecessary problems for young Optimist sailors and that a solution needs to be found.
The Dotan kick-up rudder provides a perfect solution. If class rules for racing justify IODA's reluctance to change, it should be emphasized that Dotan's rudder complies with every single Optimist class rule specification (shape, dimensions, material, etc.), including the revolutionary kick-up mechanism. The kick-up feature can quickly, easily and effectively be disabled by a supplied lock-pin feature to make participation in competitions legal.
After putting to sea, the rudder blade is lowered and fixed in the vertical position by inserting the lock-pin into the lock-hole of the rudder box. The lock-pin prevents any lifting of the blade whatsoever. Thus, Dotan's revolutionary rudder reverts to a non kick-up, standard Optimist rudder.

A Locking Pin Disables Kick-Up Functionality, for Racing Rules Compliancy.

Note that international category judge, Zvi Ziblat, examined Dotan's kick-up rudder in the fixed pin-locked 'vertical position and concluded that the rudder is not at variance with any Optimist class rule. Ziblat assessed that the Dotan kick-up rudder is 100% compliant and compatible with each and every Optimist class rule.

Dotan's Kick-Up Solution is a Winner! Design Award METS 2002!

Dotans kick-up rudder system won the Design Award METS 2002 in Amsterdam, Holland, and received the prize for Best Designed Product in the Field of Marine Equipment and Accessories.
Judges at the exhibition appreciated "the advantage of the kick-up rudder system design functionality, originality, innovation, user-friendliness and price/quality ratio".
Every product was judged by an international panel of experts, all professionals in the field of sailing, marine technology, design and marketing.

Watch Out! With this Rudder, Optimists Will Catch On Like Wildfire!

Dotan's revolutionary kick-up rudder is permanently installed on the transom of the Optimist. The dinghy is transported by trailer, dollie or pushed along the sand into the water when the Dotan rudder is in a kick-up position.

As a result, the Optimist world is presented with a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY thanks to the Dotan kick-up rudder: Sailing Optimists will no longer be restricted to clubs or marinas. Optimists will be able to be sailed ANYWHERE, including in countries with open shores, thereby attracting thousands of children to the sport of sailing.

Check Out These Kids Experiencing Difficulties When Setting Out in an Optimist with a Standard Rudder

Check Out These Kids Experiencing Difficulties When Coming Ashore in an Optimist with a Standard Rudder.

Check Out a Six-Year-Old Child Singlehandedly Flicking Up Dotan's Revolutionary Kick-Up Rudder on an Optimist

The Dotan Optimist rudder simple in use                The Dotan Optimist rudder's wrist action takes a one second to perform  

  • After 20 years that the Dotan kick-up rudder has been used at sport schools on the open coasts of USA, France, New Zealand, Malta, etc., it can be said with assurance that the rudder increases the safety of sailing and is convenient both for professional sailors and beginners.
  • No sailor has reported being traumatized using the Dotan rudder (as opposed to sailors using the standard archaic rudder). Experienced trainers assert that using the Dotan rudder reduces the risk of accidents when putting out to sea (See Global Acclaim ).
  • Children love and are delighted with the easiness with which they can use the rudder. Its simplicity and functional efficiency attract and stimulate children. As a result, children instantly learn to operate the rudder and are attracted to sailing.

Optimists Permanently Installed with Dotan's Revolutionary Rudder on Dollies and Trailors on Beaches/Slipways

Financial Aspect

  • You can launch from practically any shore. You do not need to construct slipways, piers or harbors that require huge investments.
  • The Dotan rudder is completely adapted to any Optimist and producer for both the racing Optimist and the plastic training Optimist. Sailors and producers do not need to pay for any modifications, as none are required.
  • The Dotan's durability dramatically reduces repair and replacement expenses and cuts the regular operational costs of the Optimist boat considerably.

Start the Revolution NOW!

Do not remain silent! Silence is a conspiracy! Break the silence! If you also think the standard non kick-up rudder creates problems and difficulties for children who sail the Optimist, share your thoughts and your experiences with others! Tell others what happened to you with the standard Optimist non kick-up rudder when the water was cold and the wind was blowing and the sea or lake was lumpy.
Inform others that a smart solution is now available, thanks to the technologically brilliant Dotan kick-up rudder!


Dotan`s rudder benefits

  • Flick-of-the-Wrist Magic

    Dotan's conceptually brilliant rudder mechanism enables you to set the blade with a simple flick of the wrist. This action takes less than a second
    Say goodbye once and for all to ropes, elastic bands, fly-nut, screw-in rudder systems and multi-step setting and lifting actions.
  • Rudder Box: Constructed of Non-Corrosive

    Incomparably strong and matchlessly durable, using non-corrosive, composite materials which make the Dotan rudder box more steadier against dynamic loadings than aluminum boxes.
  • Rudder Blade 

    The rudder blade is lightweight and yet durable thanks to the integrated spar and special know-how of high-pressure technology with thermal shock.
    The Dotan rudder blade's profile is designed on the basis of the STEINER and NACA 0009 hydrodynamic profile (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics). The Dotan rudder blade's shape minimizes wave and inductive resistance (more info.)

  • Rudder Adjustment

    The design makes it easy to adapt the rudder box to a variety of sailing boats and catamarans. The rudder box provides the ability to adjust the distance between the gudgeons.
  • Encountering obstacles

    When hitting underwater obstacles such as rocks, sandbanks, jellyfish, etc., the blade automatically kicks up.


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