It's Not About The Boat, It's About You.
Navigating the waters post-Opti is sometimes quite the challenge because we, in Optiland, tend to get tunnel vision and only see the possibilities in sailing within the context of the Optimist class. In reality, the Optimist is the first step of many into a wide world of sailing that's out there.
Out of the many, many classes out there most of them will remain inaccessible to a fresh-out-of-the-class sailor who is transitioning from the Opti into another boat. There are many youth fleets out there and although the typical pathway is to jump into a 420, Laser or such there are no hard rules about what to do after the Opti.
Here are some resources and words of advice we've put together for those who are eyeing the next steps already, whether they're reaching the age cutoff or are getting too big for the boat. Remember that because there are so many options out there, its not about the boat - its about the sailor and their kind of style. If you chase speed, there are many things you can try. If you like the tactical challenges of a sailboat race, there are big fleets you can get into.