As a group of youngsters recently rigged a fleet of small snub-nosed, flat-bottomed boats at Clearwater Community Sailing Center, most were unaware that the little boat they sailed on Clearwater Bay had its beginning in these Florida waters.
In 1947, the Clearwater Optimist Club’s motto was “the friend of a boy.” One of their speakers on the subject was Maj. Clifford Anderson McKay, Sr.
“I believe we can adapt the structure of the Soap Box Derby to create a plan for a boy-sized sailboat,” he told the Optimists. “We’re short on hills here, but long on water. The boat should be safe for youngsters, stable in the water, with lightweight booms that wouldn’t harm …
Full Article: Scuttlebutt Sailing News – Optimist: How it all began, Editor