In 2008, Robert Deaves and the OK Dinghy International Association published 'Completely OK - the history, techniques and sailors of the OK Dinghy'.
Cover of "Completely OK" - copies still available for Christmas
This attractive and exhaustive volume was published to celebrate 50 years of one of the most influential and widespread of all international singlehanded dinghies. With over 150,000 words, 1,100 photographs and diagrams and 208 pages of OK Dinghy lore, this book has proved to be extremely popular with past and present sailors as well as those interested in sailing history.
Launched at the 2008 World Championships in Warnemünde Germany in July 2008, 'Completely OK' is the definitive text on the OK Dinghy and is becoming a must-have accessory item for everyone who has ever sailed an OK.
In reviewing the book, Bob Fisher wrote:
'Everything you ever wanted to know about the OK, and more, is contained in the appropriately named 'Completely OK' a history of the first 50 years of the class compiled by Robert Deaves. It is not just a list of achievements over the half century, but an informative and highly illustrated book with articles by the greats of the class that will improve everyone's performance. It also reminds one of just who 'did the business' in the important events and just how young looking the sailors all were - where did all that hair go Peter Lester?
It occupied me for many happy hours since it dealt with all aspects of the OK from concept, class policy, building and tuning. How I wish I had been able to read the wise words when I built one all those years ago (and sold it because I was broke!). It would have helped enormously.
When Knud Olsen listened to Axel Damgaard, who wanted a cheap one-man dinghy that could be easily built by an amateur, the project kicked off and received the additional blessing of the world's greatest sailor, Paul Elvström, who designed the rig with an unstayed, flexible mast similar to that of the Finn. The prototype was built in 1956 and the class name came from the reversal of Olsen's initials, reversed because KO means 'cow' in Danish. That winter, 70 OK Dinghies were constructed in Denmark, and used a sail adapted from the Pirat class, from which the original idea had sprung.
Fast forward fifty years and the class has established itself in every continent, almost certainly due to the excitement that these inexpensive dinghies can generate for their sailors. Robert Deaves' excellent book captures the joys of the OK comprehensively and the reader would do well to learn from the wisdom of the 1977 world champion and his advice to the young sailors joining the class - it applies universally: 'Initially you've got to keep your eyes open. Sort out the guy who is going fastest, look at his boat, his gear and his rig, and copy them.'
Practical, interesting and eminently readable, 'Completely OK' is a class act.'
Here's what has also been said about the book so far by current and past OK
'Having just received the book please receive my compliments. It is
fantastic. Lots of stories and photos. A real pleasure to read. It will by
my favourite book for many years to come.'
Svend Jacobsen, Denmark. First OK Dinghy World Champion in 1963
'I thoroughly recommend this book to all past, present and aspiring OK
sailors. I got my copy at this year's worlds and couldn't put it down. It
provides a comprehensive class history which is extremely fascinating and
boat design/handling/tuning tips which will benefit all sailors from the
most experienced to the novice. The sole downside was I only bought one copy
and was constantly battling my wife for reader's rights! By the time it got
back to New Zealand it was so battered I had to buy another!'
Karl Purdie, NZL. World Champion 2008
'Completely OK' is a unique book that not only charts the fascinating
history of the class but also is a good coaching manual for single-handed
sailors in any class. The book maps the long history of this large
international class and does not hold back on past controversies! Class
champions provide top coaching tips and there are some excellent action
shots as well as pictures that provide a good history lesson in rig and sail
design. A must have for not just all OK sailors past and present but also
all single-handed sailors looking to improve their sailing (and perhaps
switch to the greatest single-handed class!)
Nick Craig, UK. World Champion 2005, 2006 and 2007
'I got my copy of 'Completely OK' in the mail today. I must say it's a
fantastic job that you have done. From my personal view it's an important
part of my life documented and I'm very thankful for that.'
Bo-Staffan Andersson, Sweden. World Champion 1998, 1991, 1992 and 1993
'Congratulations on a job well done! I think you have integrated all that
information brilliantly. As a fellow writer and editor, I know how much work
must have gone into it.'
Jeremy Firth, Tasmania
'It is a credit to the class. Robert deserves a gold medal for what he has
Don O'Donnell, UK
'I have only skimmed through some of it but I am hugely impressed by the
quality on all counts. The mono content makes it, in my opinion, timeless
and consistent. You have clearly put a vast amount of effort into the
collation and indexing - it works brilliantly.'
Jonty Sherwill, UK
'Page upon page of OKs - sheer delight! And nicely split into sections which
allows dipping in and out, when time is available. Robert has done well, and
I think it will be very successful.'
Colin Page, UK
'Thank you for sending the book. I have received it, however I have not read
it yet as my father won't put the book down!'
Mark Gleeson, Australia
'I already have a copy and have enjoyed going through it - learning a lot of
things I didn't know about OKs and all the great people involved in the
Terry Bellair, Australia
'I received my copy of the OK Book yesterday and was very impressed. I
stayed up far too late reading it.'
Charles Wakefield, Canada
Copies are still available, so order now for Christmas so as not be be
disappointed. Copies can be ordered online through the OKDIA website at
www.okdia.org/completelyok.php or through most bookshops.