About Us

The team at Sail One want kids to know just how much fun sailing can be and start them off in the right boat - a Sail One Boat. With more than 30 years experience we can ensure that sailors get the correct yacht for their needs. We stock a range of Optiparts, Optimax, Harken and Far East Optimists and the clothing brands Zhik, Windesign & Wettie. We also stock a full range of Windesign Laser fittings, rigs & sails suitable for club Laser sailors.

Sail One specialise in top quality Optimist class yachts from Far East and OnePlus polyethelene training Optimists. Far East Opti's won the 2017 Optimist Worlds in Thailand & have been chosen as charter boats for many international regattas.

The Sail One story

In 1987 Keith Elliott was just another P Class father with binoculars stuck to his eyes every weekend! His son, Scott, had graduated from a fibreglass optimist that Keith had built at the Manly Sailing Club under a Club Building Scheme. Keith scoured the country for a cheap P that he could "do-up" . He found two and proceeded to proudly strip, paint and refit. Unfortunately the first one was a dog and was quickly sold (after spending a fortune) the second was a better boat but still needed to be redecked and refitted. Scott did well to finish 10th at his first Nationals at Kohi.

So, what to do next. Keith decided he would build Scott a boat and from this one boat grew orders for eight in the first year (all from the basement of the house). So began the DWR (Dinghy Workshop Racing) boats. Of course Scott needed a Starling next and so began the DWR Starling.

Since 1987 Keith has built 47 wooden P Class and 32 Starlings. These boats have won numerous Tanner and Tauranga Cups and Starling Nationals and Match Racing events.

In 1993 Keith saw a gap for a training optimist in polyethelene and built a mould to produce these very successful boats. They are now used in clubs and waterwise programmes throughout NZ, Singapore, Noumea, Melbourne, Tasmania, Florida USA, and Papua New Guinea.

In 1994 he made the decision to build a GRP Optimist as the international specifications were changed to the new IOD95 boats. We were the first builder in the world to build a mould to these new specifications.

The change from wooden to fibreglass lead to having a showroom and stocking not only the boats but all the fittings, accessories, clothing etc that goes with junior sailing. At this stage we changed the name of the business from Dinghy Workshop to Sail One as we were no longer just building boats.

In 1997 after successful negiotations with the Tauranga Yacht and Boating Club we were given permission to build a GRP P Class. We used our successful wooden boat as the base for the design and in 1998 produced our first boat. In the first year the new boat finished second in the Tanner Cup after a closely fought series.

In 1999 our background of 12 years building wooden and GRP boats led to negotiations with Glendowie Boating Club with regard to building a GRP Starling. We are very proud to have been selected as the approved builder. We designed the plug along the same lines as our successful wooden Starlings with some modernisation to make the boat easier to mould and more comfortable to sail. We think the Starling is a beautiful boat and will lend itself very well to fibreglass construction with the added bonus of low maintenance. It is perfectly suited for the lighter skipper who finds a Laser too heavy going. With the elimination of the age limit the class can only boom.

In 2003 unfortunately it was no longer financially viable to build fibreglass Optimists in NZ. So the hard decision was made to source a boat from overseas. After much research we settled on Far East Optimists from Shanghai. Which has proved to be a very successful and ongoing partnership, winning many races and regattas, including the Nationals and becoming the biggest manufacturer in the world. The Far East Optimists have also been a popular choice for charter boats at the NZ Nationals by overseas competitors who have also had great success.

In 2018 we reviewed the mould for our training optimists, which had built 1500 boats and served us and the Clubs well, was at the end of its economic life. The decision was made to source a new hull from overseas and we settled on One Plus from Shanghai. The owner of One Plus company had previously been the Sales Manager at Far East so was well known to us. We decided to assist them with the production of the polyethelene Optimists to ensure that the design would be more up to date but just as successful and durable as our original boats have proven to be.