OK Dinghy

I distributed the drawings myself” – Paul Elvstrom

One of my all time favorite dinghies” – Jeremy Evans (Y&Y test)

..”an excellent boat” – Paul Elvstrom

The boat is simply awesome to sail…..streets ahead of a Laser.”  – Karl Purdie (NZL – OK World Champ 2008)

Most fun I had racing sailboats in the last decade!” – Rod Davis (Double Olympic medallist & America’s Cup skipper)


There’s a nice online review from Yachts & Yachting here.

{Don’t forget to look on the photo and video pages too!}


Overview & History

The OK Dinghy is a single-handed dinghy with an unstayed mast and a moderately big sail.

Start  - Race 4 2013

Start – Race 4 2013

First designed as a trainer for the Finn dinghy, it has followed developments in the Finn over the years.  The class is active in France, Belgium, Germany, all the Nordic countries, Poland, Australia and NZ, and is starting up again in the Netherlands. There’s a thriving fleet in the UK.

The class grew fast in the 1960’s and 1970’s until the arrival of the Laser.  After slower times in the 1980s and 1990s the class has been undergoing a revival.  Its combination of handling, low cost, durability, international class racing and a reputation for fun sailing makes it an attractive boat for all kinds of sailors.

It’s more comfortable than a Laser, a lot lighter than a Finn, and nicer to sail than either.. (although the Finn is a magnificent boat it’s much heavier and much more work.)

Design & Characteristics

OK Dinghies have a flat deck and deep cockpit.  This layout makes the hull very rigid and long-lasting and gives the helm a secure working area.  The chined hull makes the OK dinghy a very stable planing platform.  Moderate rocker makes the boat a delight to handle in light airs.

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Hulls in wood, GRP or epoxy are all competitive.  The current winning hull shapes are mostly designs in use since the 1970s and hulls 20+ years old have shown to be fully on the pace.

Apart from the carbon rig, one of the main drivers of resurgence in the OK Dinghy class is the Olympic status of the Laser. This makes it a very serious fleet.  The OK Dinghy is now the best non-Olympic singlehanded fleet available around the world.  Sail because you enjoy it!

Ideal racing weight for the OK Dinghy is anywhere in the 80-100+kg range.  Cut-down rigs have been developed and used very successfully for even lighter sailors, particularly youths and women, even in open competition.

OK Dinghy Finn Laser RS100
ISAF Status International International International Manuf one design
Designer Knud Olsen Rickard Sarby Bruce Kirby Paul Handly
National Origins USA/Denmark Sweden Canada UK
Year Designed 1957 1949 1971 2009
Hull Length 4.00 m 4.50 m 4.20 m 4.3 m
Beam 1.42 m 1.47 m 1.39 m 1.83 m
Mainsail Area 8.95 m2 10.6 m2 7.06 m2 7.4/8.4/10.4 m2
Boat Weight 72 kg 145 kg 59 kg 80 kg
PY Number 1109 1060 1085 996

The rules for the class can be seen at the International Sailing Federation website’s OK Dinghy page here.

It’s interesting to compare a few dinghy handicap systems.  See here.





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About the site

The IOKDA (Irish OK Dinghy Association) website is hosted on Wordpress.com.

The aim of the site is multiple; to increase visibility of the OK Dinghy in Ireland, to create a central communications point for OK dinghy sailors - and those interested in the OK Dinghy - on the island of Ireland, to create a communications point for OK Dinghy sailors in other countries, and to be available for non-sailors to understand the OK Dinghy and the activities in Ireland.

The IOKDA will maintain this site for the foreseeable future. We may someday decide to move to our own domain. If so, this site will be permanently maintained as a redirect notice.

Whether you call an OK DInghy an OK-Jolle or an OK-Jol or anything else, this site aims to have useful info. However, note that the information here is not offered with ANY guarantee of accuracy. Check all event information with the event organizers. Check all supplier information with the suppliers. And so on.

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