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The PiXel may be the best thing to happen to junior sailing in a long time

Introducing the Pixel, the new entry level double handed boat.

The Junior Sailing Association has adopted the PiXel as the new vessel for double-handed entry level sailing programs. In an editorial we wrote previously, we questioned why so many young people were leaving our great sport of sailing. We were thrilled to learn that others had similar concerns, one among them was Bruce Kirby. In answer to some of the issues, such as wanting camaderie and looking for a small boat that can do double duty as a racer and a "cruiser", we were thrilled to learn of his design of the Pixel and the adoption of this new design by the JSA of LIS. Bravo. Let the joy of sailing continue!


Pixel Specifications

  • Length: 13’ 9”
  • Beam: 5’6”
  • Sail Area: 94 sq. ft.
  • Hull Weight: 185 lbs

Pixel Attributes

  • Self-rescuing, sail away after a capsize
  • Equipped for beach launch or crane
  • Stable, yet quick hull form won't intimidate young sailors
  • Integral flotation
  • Simple to rig and unrig
  • Quick acceleration, even in light breeze
  • Great trainer for 2-3 kids, with mainsail, jib and spinnaker
  • Highest quality epoxy fiberglass construction
  • Strict One-Design class rules

Sailing a PiXel means sailing fast and feeling safe

The PIXEL is a fast, stable, self rescuing design with an epoxy hull and carbon fiber mast. Designed by Bruce Kirby (of Laser, Sonar, and Ideal 18 fame) with young sailors in mind, it is fun, fast and fitted with high tech features that make it cool and sweet. For adults, it is comfortable and sporty as well given its legroom and stability.

Designed to be a double handed transition boat for kids who are ready to move out of an Opti, Sabot or other beginner boat, or for kids who prefer to sail with a friend or two, the PIXEL offers fun, easy sailing. Whether racing-focused or not, kids find the PIXEL user-friendly and FAST. And that keeps them wanting more!


Where can I buy a Pixel?
Pixels are available from Nearwater Boats, 10 Nearwater Road , Rowayton , CT 06853 203 855-8923. During the next few months, Nearwater Boats will be setting up dealers in New York and Connecticut to handle new boat sales and stock parts.   Several yacht clubs will be organizing fleet purchases. 

How much does a new Pixel cost?
The price for a new Pixel, including sails but excluding a trailer or dolly, is just under $6000. If you make a group purchase of five or more boats, the price is $5650.

Are there any used Pixels available for purchase?
Pixels have been sailing for less than a year, so there are not many used boats around yet. The good news is that if you buy a new Pixel now it will probably maintain a high resale value, especially for the next couple of years until there are more used boats available.

Will I be able to find spare parts for a Pixel?
The Pixel is delivered with everything you need to go sailing right away and it seems to be durable, so you shouldn't need too many parts. If you do, most of the fittings on the boat are "off-the-shelf" items that can be purchased from your local marine store or Pixel dealer. Nearwater Boats and Pixel dealers will also carry boat-specific parts such as masts, rudders, tillers and so on.

What some clubs on Long Island Sound are doing.

In JSA there are 29 Pixels already committed with another 25 likely. 

  • Larchmont will have Pixels, no Blue Jays.  No Delancey Cup with Larchmont in Blue Jays.
  • Indian Harbor will have Pixels, no Blue Jays
  • Noroton will have Pixels and probably no Blue Jays
  • Belle Haven will have Pixels and Blue Jays.
  • American will have Pixels and Blue Jays.

JSA was founded in 1924 and each summer it sponsors an extensive schedule of junior regattas and clinics. Among its many activities, the JSA of LIS fosters ethical behavior, safety on the water, coach training and big boat sailing. For more information about the JSA of LIS or the Pixel, go to the JSA website or contact Bob Whittredge, JSA Executive Director, at or 914-834-4202.

Related Links:
JSA Pixel Class Page
More information from BRUCEKIRBYMARINE.COM
Read the Sailing World review.
Read an article in Canadian Yachting.
Read an article in the Stamford Advocate about what it's like to sail the Pixel.
Read additional comments by Kirby and view photos from Milford Yacht Club trials.
Read comments from Sturgis Boat Works.
JSA press release and frequently asked questions.

Download the PiXel brochure (pdf) here.

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