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#1 scottmax

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 07:55 AM

how did such a pig of a boat become the most popular dingy on the planet?
Sailed one today for the first time in nearly 20 years (1992 Asia pacific championship last regatta). I vaugly remember back then saying to myself never sail this boat again. I have since sailed all types of dinghies and there are so many better options.
I was out in 15-18 full rig not massively overpowered (110kg) but certainly not enjoying myself. The reaches are ok but dead down wind and it turns into the pig again.
Apart from big fleets what is the attraction to this boat?
What keep the Laser fleet growing? Don't people realise there are better boats out there to sail and enjoy their sailing.

#2 cherub_sailorgirl

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:52 AM

I've sailed one once for about half an hour.  That was enough for me.  I couldn't agree more about the pig comment.

If I'm going to work hard to sail a dinghy I want to get a good ride out of it!

I can't work out what makes them so popular and what makes people keep coming back to the class.

#3 sailingkid

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:34 AM

I've also sailed one for about half an hour...it was painful and slow and definatly not fun. Maybe its the simplicity that made them popular or maybe back in the day they had strong class promotion. Having recently got into the 49er i can't understand why everybody doesen't sail them, nice and stable, you can stop and have a drink if you like and they are redicously quick. Nothing like twin trapping across glass ;)

#4 inhiding

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:40 AM

'What keep the Laser fleet growing?'


time for the gouv to step in with his standard lecture.

#5 Steam Flyer

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 03:06 PM

how did such a pig of a boat become the most popular dingy on the planet?
... ... ...


How did so many really crappy entertainers get to be so popular?

Why are so many "successful" models of cars such total junk?

How do ugly people get dates?

FB- Doug

#6 couchsurfer

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 03:53 PM

......if you think back to the early 70's,lasers were a quantum leap over other boat-types,,,,,and brought the 'manufacturer one design' concept to the masses--for $650 if I remember correctly

#7 Muzza

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:43 PM

Oh yeah – I hate these boats. I loath them with a passion.

I first sailed one 34 years ago and have been sailing them on and off ever since. Despite 34 years of practice, I still can’t make the darn thing behave. It is obviously the boat’s fault. All the guys and girls I race against seem to do better than me – so much for one design. There is obviously something right about their boats/sails/masts/sheets/blocks/lines/blades and something wrong with mine. It couldn’t possibly be my skills (which are impeccable after 34 years of sailing these pigs).

Despite owning faster/cooler/hole-in-the-water-into-which-you-pour-money boats too, I’ll probably keep one of these pigs for as long as my body will let me. Probably just plain stupidity on my part I guess. There seem to be a large number of others – equally stupid – who do the same. We stupid folk just like to hang together and have our (stupid) fun. Kinda one big pig swill. I'm not going to let this pig-of-a-design defeat me.


#8 Icedtea

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 06:48 PM

I held out for a long time against buying one, because I agree that they're uncomfortable, painful and just plain bad to sail.

But what they have going for them is a massive class, which has just kept growing from their original success, and that is why people sail them.
I know that doesn't answer your question, but that's why people sail them now.

- Kevin

#9 Quagers

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 07:20 PM

I sail one because on any given race night I can go down and have at least 10 boats to one design race against and our own start. Which is always more fun than handicap racing.

#10 Blackjack2

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:29 PM

If ya arn't competitive in Lasers ya knock Lasers. If ya arn't competitive in lead mines ya get yer Coast Guard license.
Seriously though, for a single hander even though they are an overpriced shit box U just can't beat the performance/$ unless U look at a windsurfer.

#11 scottmax

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:51 PM

If ya arn't competitive in Lasers ya knock Lasers. If ya arn't competitive in lead mines ya get yer Coast Guard license.
Seriously though, for a single hander even though they are an overpriced shit box U just can't beat the performance/$ unless U look at a windsurfer.


Performance? Are you kidding. except on maybe one particular angle they are a pig and the courses they race never use this angle it is all windward leeward courses.
You ever sailed other dinghies? For $$$ spent I can think of several boats that give you a easier and more thrilling ride for similar money on the second had market especially.
This is not about being competitive this is about sailing a boat getting enjoyment from it and get off at the beach with a smile on your face instead of a grimace and burning muscles.
If I trained really hard and sailed the boat the best I can I may just get into the top 50% of the fleet at a national level, If I train just as hard in any other boat I may still get to the same result at a national level but I have had a shit load more fun training because the boat I am training in is a lot more fun to sail.

There are better options out there people just are to lazy to look because the Laser has the "numbers" at the organised events.

#12 ronk

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:08 PM

To each their own, the Laser is a lot of people's favourite boat. It has its flaws but all of the really popular boats do too. It depends on the sailor, some will always be happier in that type of fleet. If it wasn't that way we'd all sail the same designs rather than having such a huge choice.

Take Dragons, for example. Lots of sailors would hate everything to do with them if they were in that fleet. But it's the things that people most hate about them that draws such a high standard of racer to them (small rudder that requires the boat to be well balanced, super tuneable rig, traditional lines etc.). Lasers reward hard work and good technique. They're as good (usually better) a boat as any for spending time on the water instead of time working on the boat. It's simply so inexpensive to race and take to events and suitable for a wide range of venues and sailors.

#13 Steam Flyer

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:38 AM


I was out in 15-18 full rig not massively overpowered (110kg) but certainly not enjoying myself.



240 lbs?? Hell no you weren't overpowered. You are simply way too big for the boat.

The toy is designed for 175 lb or 80 kg sailors.

Certainly you don't experience any downwind performance. At your weight, sailing a Laser is as though you are sailing with a medium sized passenger on a one person boat.

Warning for you before trying it>>
I suppose you wouldn't find much pleasure on a foiling Moth as it would never lift onto the foils.


How about instead of whining about your lack of fun on a boat for people 2/3 your size, you design and manufacture a boat whose optimum skipper is 110KG.

There are a lot of us who would love to come race with you and other guys our size.

Currently, in the US at least, there are no popular singlehanded boats upon which we can compete in medium air, for anybody who weighs over 175.
... ...


That's because 99% of you are too f@^^in cheap to buy a Finn

or a Megabyte

FWIW I thought the Banshee was a much much better boat than the Laser, broader weight range too; and I owned & raced a Force 5 back when it looked like an alternative to the Laser.... the lesson here is that promotion ain't everything, the builder supported the F5 class for years and then it just died on the table.

FB- Doug

O

#14 Terrorvision

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:45 PM

Warning for you before trying it>>
I suppose you wouldn't find much pleasure on a foiling Moth as it would never lift onto the foils.



I am a squidge heavier and have had a Moth up on foils.

#15 zerothehero

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:06 PM

The force 5 was a great boat but to head to head with the laser that just out promoted it. God this is more on why classes die. I sailed a laser in junior sailing and was way to light for the boat. When it blew, I sucked but it was fun trying. The radial had just been introduced but hadn't reached critical mass yet so I went up to the full rig. I was 105 pounds soaked. Good thing it was western LIS where the wind is almost always light. I still think they are a great boat. I don't own one but wouldn't mind on, especially over my Sunfish. They are popular because there are a ton of used ones out there making it easy to get into without a lot of $. Upkeep is nothing. A good sailor in a stock boat will out sail a tricked out boat with a tool at the helm making it much more gratifying when you are doing well. It's all about who sails fast. You can store one almost anywhere. Car-toppable on even an econo box. More comfy than a Sunfish. Good resale value. Great class/competition. Probably a good social scene (I know there are assholes but every class has them). There is probably more but that's enough for me.

#16 dogwatch

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:39 PM

What keep the Laser fleet growing?


Far from growing around here. http://www.yachtsand...6961&PN=0&TPN=1

About time too. It's a bloody awful boat.

#17 inhiding

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:41 PM

Thats' just about right vtfishsailor.

But what no other class has is the Gouv.

For as much self-destructive lunacy that he shouts out, he is still a super promoter of the Laser Class.

Kudos to Fred. But by the same token he really should be in therapy. (honest)

#18 USA190520

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:20 AM

Rooster 8.1

the sail that should have been on the boat in the first place.


I'm 6'1" and 175... 185 with gear, the 8.1 is a blast. The novel Idea of a sail that actually reacts to sail control inputs is a joy in itself.

600bux gets ya a sail, a carbon mast extension to fit between your existing sections and free class membership.


rooster rig

#19 redstar

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:32 AM

I sailed my Laser on Saturday. No messing around finding crew. On the water 15 minutes after arriving at the club. All good so far.

Got out to the course. Across all fleets there were a couple of sailboards, a couple of 29ers, a couple of Cherubs, a couple of Sabres, three Contenders, a 12' skiff and a Tasar. Oh yeah, and a couple of Hobie 16s. There were also 35 Lasers - about 20 radials, a dozen full rigs, and the rest 4.7s. Laser numbers were down a bit, but we'd just had a four day, 80 boat regatta the week before so some were taking the weekend off.

I spent the next few hours in close, close racing in a top class fleet. Finessing the boat upwind and down, searching for every minute tactical and speed advantage I could find over the others. I was racing other boats, not the clock like the handicap racers. As usual, both one hour races boiled down to the last couple of tacks up the final beat. I wonder if the other classes had that?

Back to the ramp, packed the boat up and I was at the bar with a beer in my hand 15 minutes later, having a chat about the day's racing.

Leave the sailing club, no repairs to make, no hours spent fiddling in the garage trying to work out how to make my development class boat go faster - I'll save that time to actually go sailing again.

If I was a neutral observer thinking about gettng into the sport, I know which class I'd pick. Because it's not about the boat, it's about the fleet.

For anyone who says there are 'better' boats out there, well first you need to explain what you mean by 'better'. Do you mean easier to sail? There doesn't seem to be much of a challenge in that. Do you mean faster? Of course Lasers aren't the fastest (or the slowest) boats out there, but there's a lot more to racing than speed - it can actually be a lot more fun downwind if you're going the same speed as the waves instead of bouncing over them. Do you mean cheaper? Do you mean more easily maintained? Do you mean easier to win in because there are so few others in the class?

#20 scottmax

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:29 AM

I sailed my Laser on Saturday. No messing around finding crew. On the water 15 minutes after arriving at the club. All good so far.

Got out to the course. Across all fleets there were a couple of sailboards, a couple of 29ers, a couple of Cherubs, a couple of Sabres, three Contenders, a 12' skiff and a Tasar. Oh yeah, and a couple of Hobie 16s. There were also 35 Lasers - about 20 radials, a dozen full rigs, and the rest 4.7s. Laser numbers were down a bit, but we'd just had a four day, 80 boat regatta the week before so some were taking the weekend off.

I spent the next few hours in close, close racing in a top class fleet. Finessing the boat upwind and down, searching for every minute tactical and speed advantage I could find over the others. I was racing other boats, not the clock like the handicap racers. As usual, both one hour races boiled down to the last couple of tacks up the final beat. I wonder if the other classes had that?

Back to the ramp, packed the boat up and I was at the bar with a beer in my hand 15 minutes later, having a chat about the day's racing.

Leave the sailing club, no repairs to make, no hours spent fiddling in the garage trying to work out how to make my development class boat go faster - I'll save that time to actually go sailing again.

If I was a neutral observer thinking about gettng into the sport, I know which class I'd pick. Because it's not about the boat, it's about the fleet.

For anyone who says there are 'better' boats out there, well first you need to explain what you mean by 'better'. Do you mean easier to sail? There doesn't seem to be much of a challenge in that. Do you mean faster? Of course Lasers aren't the fastest (or the slowest) boats out there, but there's a lot more to racing than speed - it can actually be a lot more fun downwind if you're going the same speed as the waves instead of bouncing over them. Do you mean cheaper? Do you mean more easily maintained? Do you mean easier to win in because there are so few others in the class?


You will never get any argument out of me that the Laser will have bigger fleets as they always will.
By better I mean more enjoyable to sail.
I sail a contender and can show up and rig my boat in around 15 min from arriving to the club to getting on the water and about the same to de-rig. The single longest part of rigging my boat is getting the boat untied and dolly of my road trailer and that is just because I am to lazy to change things to make it easier. I can also launch and retrieve the boat alone.
As far as maintenance for the year (We sail over Winter)I ripped my centre board plug 2 week-end ago and had to fix that and I am due a new main sheet that would be 3 seasons old.
The Laser does not have the monopoly on simple to maintain and sail. I have always thought my boat was easy to sail just hard to sail fast, this would be the same for most single hand boats.
You can get into a competitive boat in my class for under $4000. New main every 2 years $1200 and that is about it for upgrades if you want to stay at the pointy end. And by competitive I mean single digit finishes at national events.

My question has been apart from big fleets what is the attraction? They are a pig to sail.

And I would like to add that I am not trying to get everyone to sail contenders as they are defiantly not for everyone but there are several other single handed classes out there that sail better than a laser.

#21 redstar

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 07:01 AM

The Contender is a fine boat. I've got no argument with that - I've almost gone there a couple of times myself. But the big fleets more than anything are what keep me in Lasers. Apart from that the attraction is limited, but it's a pretty big drawcard.

In single handers, if I wanted to go sailing for pleasure I'd probably choose a Finn - that's a real boat. If I wanted to go fast, I'd choose between an A Class, a Moth, or because it's more accessible, a sailboard. If I wanted a boat that looked sweet, I'd choose a Contender - one of those timber Italian jobs. But because I want to race, I choose a Laser. If I was middle aged or more (which I am), I'd again choose a Laser - the whole Masters sailing thing is a big plus that the Finns have now picked up. If I was new to sailing or coming back after many years, I'd also choose a Laser - they look deceptively simple and easy to learn while Contenders and most other singlehanders would look too complicated and scary. And if I was looking for a class for my teenage kid, I'm sure they'd want to be where all the other teenage kids are - the Laser.

For whatever reason, people seem to want the mass produced plastic boats more and more. The Lasers, the Hobie 16s, the Optis. It's sad, but that's the way the world is going.

#22 dogwatch

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 07:42 AM

Because it's not about the boat, it's about the fleet.


I couldn't agree more, except around me the fleet has gone. People are sailing better boats instead.

#23 scottmax

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:05 AM


Because it's not about the boat, it's about the fleet.


I couldn't agree more, except around me the fleet has gone. People are sailing better boats instead.


Opportunity?

#24 dogwatch

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:56 AM



Because it's not about the boat, it's about the fleet.


I couldn't agree more, except around me the fleet has gone. People are sailing better boats instead.


Opportunity?


Yeah. I think it's accepted that along with AUS, GBR is one of the more innovative dinghy markets around and right now at least, USA isn't.

#25 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:00 PM

I have fucked knees
I have fucked knees because of a laser
I have fucked knees because of a laser and someone on here is bound to tell me it wasn't the boat, it was bad technique.

I still have fucked knees

I hope the class rots and dies before more young people fuck their knees up on them because the 'system' forces them to sail something so archaic and under some disillusion of 'great fleets'.... 'big numbers', check out the UK nationals entry list... what a joke.

Ironic, most of my friends from when I sailed Lasers in my teens have long since pissed off from the sport, many of whom sport a couple of fucked knees to blight them in later life also. I had other friends that messed around with 'non yoof' boats inc moths, contenders, Isos, L4000s, Bytes, Solos... most of these guys are still sailing... guess they found something more rewarding in their choices at that age in life.

Have a look around, there's loads of great classes to choose from.

BTW- I don't think I made myself clear, I have fucked knees, thank you Laser.

#26 TeamFugu

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:22 PM

As boats go, Lasers aren't really that bad. Sure there are some better options but the big appeal is the size of the class. We don't like to be one of a few and would rather flock to the Laser to be one of the many. I constantly get asked to buy a Laser and join the local fleet. At 230#, I don't see much point. I'll rarely be competitive in predominant conditions and I raced one or seven years in my teens and early twenties so I also feel a good dose of BTDT. The most often reason is that I could become part of the many. There is little I do in life to become one of the many so I'll stay with my skiff for a little longer.

The other appeal of the Laser is how simple it is and the ease it can be car topped. Almost anyone can get help to toss it on top of a car and go to the lake. I'm not sure why the Force 5, and others didn't take off. I think it had a lot to do with the early marketing and class support from the builders. I almost bought a Force 5 because I thought it looked like a more tunable boat but bought a Laser to race OD with friends. I don't regret the choice but I don't see much point in trying to turn back the clock more years than my body can adjust to.

Think of the Laser as the Borg of single handed dinghys. They survive on momentum and size. Every Junior program uses them so that is what kids are exposed to. If they have a good time, the hit mom and dad up for a boat and they are sucked into the collective.

For me, I won't knock the boat or the sailors too much. Only in jest. What it really comes down to is that if you love your boat and love your sailing, what could another person say? Sail what you love to sail and love your sailing. Simple as that. The nice thing is that there are a lot of choices out there. More classes is better for the sport. This "One size fits all" thing usually means it never really fits any size. There is no one boat that meets everyone's needs. It is good we have Lasers for the masses and other options for the rest of us. Simple as that.

#27 USA190520

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 03:41 PM

I have fucked knees
I have fucked knees because of a laser
I have fucked knees because of a laser and someone on here is bound to tell me it wasn't the boat, it was bad technique.

I still have fucked knees

I hope the class rots and dies before more young people fuck their knees up on them because the 'system' forces them to sail something so archaic and under some disillusion of 'great fleets'.... 'big numbers', check out the UK nationals entry list... what a joke.

Ironic, most of my friends from when I sailed Lasers in my teens have long since pissed off from the sport, many of whom sport a couple of fucked knees to blight them in later life also. I had other friends that messed around with 'non yoof' boats inc moths, contenders, Isos, L4000s, Bytes, Solos... most of these guys are still sailing... guess they found something more rewarding in their choices at that age in life.

Have a look around, there's loads of great classes to choose from.

BTW- I don't think I made myself clear, I have fucked knees, thank you Laser.


lol, well, it may be the boat, but i'm more inclined to think it's your technique in the boat...my laser never went Tanya Harding on me....(why why why?!?!?) although i'll admit it's less than comfy when at full hike, but adjustable straps, hiking pants and time in the boat help greatly...

Ive found that the bulk of knee issues come from sailing downwind where your aft foot is wedged against the aft of the cockpit and you can roll your knee over your foot in a less than ergonomic way, ive done it once, it hurt like hell, so i adapted so as not to do that again....

I also sail a Stealth, sometimes with a grossly oversized kite (200sqft masthead VMG)... and i will agree with you here, I can hike all day, upwind and down in a Stealth without any orthopedic issues, I'm sure the RS100 is the same as the cockpits are similar in regard to ergos...

given the choice as to what boat to sail, i pick the Stealth, given the choice as to what to race, ive gotta sail a laser, botom line is fleet size, i can play with myself, which is something i need little to no practice as i'm a 3 time world champion in the ambidexterious speed stroke.....or, I can sail in a decent sized fleet of lasers and get some tactical practice and maybe even learn a new way to rythmicly shift my butt cheeks to eek out some extra speed.... never know what ya may learn if you're not careful

no one boat is better, just different.

#28 Major Tom

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:22 PM

If you are fit, the right weight and a reasonable sailor, then a Laser will give you the best racing. Full stop. However, as has been mentioned in umteen previous threads, the class seems to attract percentage wise more dickheads than other classes and also Laser sailors seem to have less enthusiasm about promoting their class than other classes. It also has, at least in my part of the world, the lowest percentage turnout at major regattas. Obviously most people who own Lasers don't want to sail them!

#29 zerothehero

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:42 AM

I had a laser and competed in moguls for years and still ski race. If there is a guy who should have fucked knees it's me, and I don't. Family lineage? I don't know. Sorry about your knees. It sucks. Lot of people in VT have to et em replaced. As for the US being behind the curve in development classes, I think you are right. But.... Why would I shell out the big $ to go sail against 5 other guys when I can cheap out and sail against 30 or more? See I enjoy the competition. That's why I race. Granted I haven't raced Lasers in years. If I want spped, my new Bic Core windsurfer is there for that. If I want family sailing, the Vanguard Nomad, handicapped, crewing on the J-92. Just a little fun on the lake, the Mini 12 fits great. Some local competition, then it's the Sunfish. But if I was looking for a test, a real one design solo fight, I would look to the Laser. At least here in the north east USA. Fleets all over. Let me ask, as these development classes redesign boats for the better, how many are built before the next great thing takes over and everybody moves on again. Or holds on to the few survivors, ignoring the obvious. That there is something better taking away sailors they might have had. Why promote an path that continually thins the pool? Is it better to have 10 fleets of high tech, high cost boats that have less than 100 boats racing or 1 class of low tech boats, but 100,000 boats racing. Me? If I want competition, I'll take the latter. But that is not everyones cup of tea, and so we have the former. Think of the racing we would all have if there were fewer one-designs and more classes like the Laser?

#30 dogwatch

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 05:26 AM

Anyone here going to the Worlds/Masters in the UK? Just curious.

#31 TeamFugu

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:18 PM

The main reason for being one of five sailing one of those new fangled craft is that I sail and race to enjoy my sailing. I simply love sailing a skiff. Believe it or not, there was a time when the Laser was a novel craft and people were asking the same questions about why the hell you'd want to take a chance on this new boat.

Someone has to start something new. I'm glad that I am ahead of the curve on that. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Laser. It is actually a very good boat for what it is used for. I just don't think it is the only boat to sail and race if you are single handing as some seem to think.

I think the key is that we have options. If being one of 1000 were important, sure I'd have a Laser. But since having a boat that excites me is more important, I don't. It is all about choice. Love what you choose and love your sailing. The worst thing is to think that you're stuck with something you don't enjoy.

#32 SailRacer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:39 PM

If anyone wants to give me 2 Lasers (cus' they are pigs, I will take them and care for them and hug them and (let my 6 yr old daughter beat me in every race) ; )


Then I will add 2 new knees to my list of replacement parts. No problem

Sail safe!

#33 wookiem

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:17 PM

Sailed laser for about 4 yrs. Bought a new sail and watched it deform and stretch before my very eyes, very depressing and probably the worst £405 I ever spent. Sold the laser (polyester layup, alu mast , dacron sail, fucking low tech all round) for £1500, bought an RS600 (epoxy vac foam core hull, carbon mast, exotic sail, pretty high tech) for £1600. Do the math, no brainer. Now sail a musto skiff, best boat I've ever owned

#34 ians

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:27 PM

I was out in 15-18 full rig not massively overpowered (110kg) but certainly not enjoying myself.


There's your problem. Loose 5-10 kg and you'll be ideal weight for the fin...

"I was out in 15-18 on an opti not massively overpowered (74 kg, 196 cm) but certainly not enjoying myself."

#35 zerothehero

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:30 PM

Don't get me wrong, Choice is a good thing and to each his own. If better boats could catch on here in the states I would love to joint the party. Can't be a leader right now, too much to handle. But it would be a tremendous challenge. If I look around on ebay and craigslist, and not too far from here, I can usually find several lasers for under $1000 US and more under $2000 US. Not trailer needed, no club fees plus all the reasons I stated before and I am off. To use American terms here, the Laser is a good deal/value. you can get in and out and if you do it right just about break even. I had my Laser over 10 years. When I sold it it had a few upgrades, but not everything. Had a radial and full rig. I got $1125. That was in 1997. If I had to guess I bet it cost about $100 a year, spread over the life of the boat to race it from Florida to WLIS. Of course I am not including registration fees or travel as those are constant (sort of) no matter what you are sailing.

#36 Steam Flyer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:01 PM

The main reason for being one of five sailing one of those new fangled craft is that I sail and race to enjoy my sailing. I simply love sailing a skiff. Believe it or not, there was a time when the Laser was a novel craft and people were asking the same questions about why the hell you'd want to take a chance on this new boat.

Someone has to start something new. I'm glad that I am ahead of the curve on that. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Laser. It is actually a very good boat for what it is used for. I just don't think it is the only boat to sail and race if you are single handing as some seem to think.

I think the key is that we have options. If being one of 1000 were important, sure I'd have a Laser. But since having a boat that excites me is more important, I don't. It is all about choice. Love what you choose and love your sailing. The worst thing is to think that you're stuck with something you don't enjoy.


One reason why I bought a Force 5 (way back when) instead of a Laser is that I liked it better... more reserve buoyancy, nice rolled deck, split sail controls, a self-bailer that actually worked... and while it never built up to the Laser numbers, there were some pretty good class regattas here & there. AMF sent very nice trophies and arranged for rock stars of the day to come to the regional champs, Ted Turner came to one at James Island (Charleston SC).

The Laser now has split controls and a bailer that works, but it still doesn't have a rolled deck.... the ergonomics are terrible. The F5 hull is a lot more dated.

I've raced borrowed Lasers a lot, it's fun but I have no desire to own one. It's just not that great of a boat to sail and IMHO develops bad habits such as oversteering like crazy going downwind when the tiny rudder is 1/2 out of the water anyway. When I see somebody yanking on the tiller like it's stuck hacksaw, I say to myself "Ah, learned to sail in a Laser."

FB- Doug

#37 Sloan

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:15 PM

It's just not that great of a boat to sail and IMHO develops bad habits such as oversteering like crazy going downwind when the tiny rudder is 1/2 out of the water anyway. When I see somebody yanking on the tiller like it's stuck hacksaw, I say to myself "Ah, learned to sail in a Laser."

FB- Doug


They may have learned to sail in a Laser but they never developed their skills in a laser if they are still hacking away at the tiller.

The fastest way to the back of the fleet is to overuse the rudder. If you are doing that you are doing something wrong. Sailed correctly you should barely steer at all downwind if at all. A big focus in sailing one well is to use the rudder as little possible and try and keep it centered at all times.

IMHO the Laser develops good habits if you choose to keep sailing them after you are given a short sharp lesson in humility and attempt to master them.

Yeah, they may not be the latest and greatest thing out there but they offer great racing. You can always find people to race against pretty much anywhere in the world.

They are a boat that has flaws for sure but it is overcoming those flaws, such as the the small rudder, that is part of the enjoyment of racing them.

They are a boat which rewards smooth steering and tactics and punishes those that just want to hike and point the boat where they want to go.

I think quite a few people who dont like Lasers do so out of a lack of patience. If you want to be somewhere near the front be prepared to invest a lot of time (years) coming to grips with them and then the real enjoyment of racing a Laser becomes clear. They are not a boat you can win in maybe even at club level after just one season of sailing them, even if you come to the laser as a class champion in another dinghy.

-------------------------------
A quick comment from a long time laser sailor who still hasn't served his whole sentence even with time off for good behavior.

#38 Ncik

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:45 AM


how did such a pig of a boat become the most popular dingy on the planet?
... ... ...


How did so many really crappy entertainers get to be so popular?

Why are so many "successful" models of cars such total junk?

How do ugly people get dates?

FB- Doug


Beer has a lot to answer for!

#39 Steam Flyer

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:47 AM


It's just not that great of a boat to sail and IMHO develops bad habits such as oversteering like crazy going downwind when the tiny rudder is 1/2 out of the water anyway. When I see somebody yanking on the tiller like it's stuck hacksaw, I say to myself "Ah, learned to sail in a Laser."

FB- Doug


They may have learned to sail in a Laser but they never developed their skills in a laser if they are still hacking away at the tiller.

The fastest way to the back of the fleet is to overuse the rudder. If you are doing that you are doing something wrong. Sailed correctly you should barely steer at all downwind if at all. A big focus in sailing one well is to use the rudder as little possible and try and keep it centered at all times.

IMHO the Laser develops good habits if you choose to keep sailing them after you are given a short sharp lesson in humility and attempt to master them.

Yeah, they may not be the latest and greatest thing out there but they offer great racing. You can always find people to race against pretty much anywhere in the world.

They are a boat that has flaws for sure but it is overcoming those flaws, such as the the small rudder, that is part of the enjoyment of racing them.

They are a boat which rewards smooth steering and tactics and punishes those that just want to hike and point the boat where they want to go.

I think quite a few people who dont like Lasers do so out of a lack of patience. If you want to be somewhere near the front be prepared to invest a lot of time (years) coming to grips with them and then the real enjoyment of racing a Laser becomes clear. They are not a boat you can win in maybe even at club level after just one season of sailing them, even if you come to the laser as a class champion in another dinghy.

-------------------------------
A quick comment from a long time laser sailor who still hasn't served his whole sentence even with time off for good behavior.


Didn't mean to insult your favorite, just stating the facts.

EVERY boat rewards smooth steering, and minimizing hacking away with the tiller. However a Laser has a tiny little rudder, it's half out of the water half the time, and the Laser punishes excessive steering less than other boats with proportionally bigger rudder blades.

OTOH a nice thing about the Laser is that it doesn't take muscle (other than hiking muscles) so it is a matter of finesse & timing, not force, to get it in balance and going right. A lot of higher-powered dinghies you have to wrestle into submission.

Maybe some people don't like a Laser out of lack of patience. OTOH some people have simply never observed the characteristics of the boat carefully, and don't have the experience to compare it to the characteristics of other boats.

FB- Doug

#40 simbert

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:33 PM

I have fucked knees
I have fucked knees because of a laser
I have fucked knees because of a laser and someone on here is bound to tell me it wasn't the boat, it was bad technique.

I still have fucked knees

I hope the class rots and dies before more young people fuck their knees up on them because the 'system' forces them to sail something so archaic and under some disillusion of 'great fleets'.... 'big numbers', check out the UK nationals entry list... what a joke.

Ironic, most of my friends from when I sailed Lasers in my teens have long since pissed off from the sport, many of whom sport a couple of fucked knees to blight them in later life also. I had other friends that messed around with 'non yoof' boats inc moths, contenders, Isos, L4000s, Bytes, Solos... most of these guys are still sailing... guess they found something more rewarding in their choices at that age in life.

Have a look around, there's loads of great classes to choose from.

BTW- I don't think I made myself clear, I have fucked knees, thank you Laser.


You got fucked knees while others got fucked minds out of this marketing beam.
And you're still complaining?? :->

#41 Crooked Beat

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:43 PM


The main reason for being one of five sailing one of those new fangled craft is that I sail and race to enjoy my sailing. I simply love sailing a skiff. Believe it or not, there was a time when the Laser was a novel craft and people were asking the same questions about why the hell you'd want to take a chance on this new boat.

Someone has to start something new. I'm glad that I am ahead of the curve on that. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Laser. It is actually a very good boat for what it is used for. I just don't think it is the only boat to sail and race if you are single handing as some seem to think.

I think the key is that we have options. If being one of 1000 were important, sure I'd have a Laser. But since having a boat that excites me is more important, I don't. It is all about choice. Love what you choose and love your sailing. The worst thing is to think that you're stuck with something you don't enjoy.


One reason why I bought a Force 5 (way back when) instead of a Laser is that I liked it better... more reserve buoyancy, nice rolled deck, split sail controls, a self-bailer that actually worked... and while it never built up to the Laser numbers, there were some pretty good class regattas here & there. AMF sent very nice trophies and arranged for rock stars of the day to come to the regional champs, Ted Turner came to one at James Island (Charleston SC).

The Laser now has split controls and a bailer that works, but it still doesn't have a rolled deck.... the ergonomics are terrible. The F5 hull is a lot more dated.

I've raced borrowed Lasers a lot, it's fun but I have no desire to own one. It's just not that great of a boat to sail and IMHO develops bad habits such as oversteering like crazy going downwind when the tiny rudder is 1/2 out of the water anyway. When I see somebody yanking on the tiller like it's stuck hacksaw, I say to myself "Ah, learned to sail in a Laser."

FB- Doug


Great line:
When I see somebody yanking on the tiller like it's stuck hacksaw, I say to myself "Ah, learned to sail in a Laser."

#42 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:53 PM

Long day in Paris yesterday, not much sleep and my knees ache like hell today... fucking lasers.... think I'll have to go windsurfing tonight to push 'em back in to shape.

btw- a lot of my friends who sailed the damn things as kids also have fucked knees now...

you'd be forgiven for thinking maybe it's just some symptom of a rare Laser-sailing induced STD, but I'm afraid you're wrong... sailing Lasers wasn't so gay back then...

As for the kids sailing in the UK today... well they're so screwed anyway thanks to a crappy system that lumps every fresh-faced fucker who can just about wiggle a stick in to this squad, or that team rather than encouraging them to learn and race as a genuine equal at club or class level... What they need is a decent cure... hmm, let me think, yep... a Musto Skiff... that'll do it.

#43 ronk

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:02 PM

Didn't mean to insult your favorite, just stating the facts.

EVERY boat rewards smooth steering, and minimizing hacking away with the tiller. However a Laser has a tiny little rudder, it's half out of the water half the time, and the Laser punishes excessive steering less than other boats with proportionally bigger rudder blades.

OTOH a nice thing about the Laser is that it doesn't take muscle (other than hiking muscles) so it is a matter of finesse & timing, not force, to get it in balance and going right. A lot of higher-powered dinghies you have to wrestle into submission.

Maybe some people don't like a Laser out of lack of patience. OTOH some people have simply never observed the characteristics of the boat carefully, and don't have the experience to compare it to the characteristics of other boats.

FB- Doug


That's not how it works in practice. For novice laser sailors there can be a tendency to get used to large rudder movements but moving a small rudder more will do far more damage to your speed than moving a big rudder less, especially one that will stall so easily. You very quickly learn that you need to be smooth with the tiller, anticipate loads so smaller movements can be used and use body weight to facilitate steering. Experienced laser racers tend to make very good big boat helms precisely because they're so used to going easy on the helm when trying to sail fast. They're used to not being able to bear away when the boat is heeled or the kicker is on.

It's so easy and so obvious (and so common) when you stick the tiller under your arm that you tend not to develop that bad habit, something that you would easily do on a more forgiving boat where poor technique has less effect.

#44 Hobie Dog

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:08 PM

First the Laser is not a pig. The big fat Morgan that I passed the other night while sailing my Laser is a pig. Sure there are faster and more modern boats out there and if you are buying a boat to single hand and just for the pleasure of sailing then there probably are better choices. But if you do decide you want to race some then you are stuck in Portsmouth. And if racing Portsmouth you really want a two person boat with a jib and kite.

Where I live if you want OD single handed racing we have A Cats (very limited numbers and only one club), F-16 Cats (very limited numbers and only one club) and Lasers. That is it, PERIOD! I suspect that in most areas of the country and world that is how it is as well.

So when asked why the class is still so popular well it is so popular because it is so popular. It is a matter of the number of used boats available to build your local fleet. About 3 years ago we had ~5 Lasers in our club and today we currently ~15 Lasers racing and are continuing to grow the fleet. This could never have happened with the Contender, Force 5 or any other boat as there simply are not enough used boats around in the area to supply the demand. Sure if you scan the country but let's face it people are lazy and most are not willing to drive 1000 miles to buy a small dinghy. And sure if you can find some rich cat that is willing to buy 10 new boats to jump start a fleet then that can happen but then you still only have a small local pocket for your boat.

Bottom line is I see the Laser fleet continuing to be the dominate OD class for many, many, many years to come because it is a good boat with lots of local regattas and a big supply of local used boats to bring new sailors into the class as the more experienced sailors buy the new boats.

#45 usa7776

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:20 PM

The laser can be pretty painful, but for what it is, it's not a bad boat.
It's light, easy to launch alone, fun surfing down waves, punishing going up wind.

You learn all the basics in a laser and there aren't many things to hide behind.

I sailed lasers when I was a kid. I have no desire to race one these days. If I never sailed a laser, I would probably be complaining about how uncomfortable the 505 is.
The laser is the perfect boat to teach us all what pain is so when we move on to other boats, we appreciate what we have.

Any boat that is that low to the water and requires hiking will be painful.

I have an old IC that someone built in his garage. when I get that sailable, I think that boat will teach me a lot about swimming.

...I look forward to it.

#46 Viper55

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:44 PM

Had a laser for a year, raced it several times....the main thing I didn't like was the sail flogging like hell, no way to drop the main without taking the mast out...sucked.

#47 Wavedancer II

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:53 PM

...the main thing I didn't like was the sail flogging like hell, no way to drop the main without taking the mast out...sucked.


Brilliant business model: new LEGAL sails sell for around $600...

#48 zerothehero

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:36 AM

popular because it is popular, that's the plain truth right there. There are better boats, true. But I remember being a junior, and getting up to accept a trophy. It was a Laser regatta and there were about 150 boats in three fleets. I was second in mine. When I got up and looked out over the crowd you can bet I was on cloud 9. Now I would have probably felt just as good if there were 10 kids out there (as was true in 420's at that time) But I'm not so sure. It's simple to sail, hard to master. Cheap and plentiful. Pick a weekend, a venue, and get there because it's bound to be good sailing and a good time. Bang for the buck.

#49 zerothehero

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:00 AM

Gouv, trading one of my Sunfish for a Hobie Wave. Now the fleet will be a Hobie Wave, Vanguard Nomad, 2 Subfish, a Bic Core, Tiga Speed, and all the sails to go with them. Trouble is around here there are few sailors committed to a class so there is very little value in the Sunfish. Too bad too because I tried for 8 years to make it stick, you know the feeling.

#50 mc 7947 rb fj

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 02:37 AM

what r u talking about!! lasers are not pigs.... they r the fastest small boat i have ever sailed. and i have sailed i14, 420 and optis (but optis are just painfully slow).



#51 ronk

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 03:12 AM

what r u talking about!! lasers are not pigs.... they r the fastest small boat i have ever sailed. and i have sailed i14, 420 and optis (but optis are just painfully slow).


You thought a laser was faster than an International 14, what were you doing wrong?

#52 scottmax

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 07:00 AM

what r u talking about!! lasers are not pigs.... they r the fastest small boat i have ever sailed. and i have sailed i14, 420 and optis (but optis are just painfully slow).



I think you need to get out more. If the laser is the fastest small boat you have ever sailed you are either very young or very easily pleased.
I am of the opposite opinion and the laser is the slowest boat I have ever sailed excluding any boat I sail before I was 12.
I did sail the boat competitively from the age of 15-17 (full rig back then)and again for a short season a couple of years later. But after last week-end I will be hard up to have another go.

#53 Viper55

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:30 PM

Hijack


Had a laser for a year, raced it several times....the main thing I didn't like was the sail flogging like hell, no way to drop the main without taking the mast out...sucked.

If the sail is flogging, try trimming it a bit.

Tight vang and loose cunningham while resting also helps preserve the sail

End hijack

bn

hmmm..that's brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Next time I rig one, I'll trim the sail so the boat can flip off the dolly....that will work.

#54 blackensign

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 01:10 PM

Did someone say the laser was cheap?

I am sailing a Farr 3.7... (Similar to Contender)
Comparing brand new prices - they are about the same, except in the 3.7 you get:
Professionally built wood or fibreglass hull (wood is marginally faster, f/glass is still competitive with less maintenance)
Carbon Fibre Mast
Carbon Fibre Boom
Carbon/Kevlar Laminate Mainsail
Proper Sail controls
Proper Centreboard + Rudder
Trapeze
A boat that will plane upwind and is an absolute blast on a reach
Easy to sail, hard to sail fast, but still takes good tactics and boathandling to win.

For less $$ you can get a home built hull. Mine is one of these, yet is one of the fastest boats around.

A second hand 3.7 for about $4000 will still be competitive, then might just need some paint slapped on or a new sail to get you to the top of the fleet. Compared to a $4000 laser, you get a soft hull that might be good for the first season or two (depending on how competitive you are), then you'll want a new one... My sources even tell me that 3.7 #1 is still around and going strong - can't say that about a 38yo Laser.

In terms of ongoing cost.... if something breaks you go to your local and pick up a replacement for 1/4 of the cost of the same piece for a laser. (often the same brand!)
This is one of the things I really don't understand about the laser.... How does purchasing however many blocks you feel like having in your vang/cunningham/outhaul inconvenience any sailor? I don't see that sort of equipment improving boat speed or needing to be one design. They should be easy to use, then all that matters is how you use them.

#55 Steam Flyer

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:32 PM

You can't pass a fleet of I 14s on YOUR Laser? What are you doing wrong??


The key is to draft 'em as you pull up close behind, then co-ordinate downshifting with the lane change when you pull out to pass.

Best done on blind curves, of course

FB- Doug

#56 mc 7947 rb fj

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:51 PM

You can't pass a fleet of I 14s on YOUR Laser? What are you doing wrong??



thats my point

#57 mc 7947 rb fj

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:52 PM


what r u talking about!! lasers are not pigs.... they r the fastest small boat i have ever sailed. and i have sailed i14, 420 and optis (but optis are just painfully slow).



I think you need to get out more. If the laser is the fastest small boat you have ever sailed you are either very young or very easily pleased.
I am of the opposite opinion and the laser is the slowest boat I have ever sailed excluding any boat I sail before I was 12.
I did sail the boat competitively from the age of 15-17 (full rig back then)and again for a short season a couple of years later. But after last week-end I will be hard up to have another go.


what on earth do u sail

#58 ronk

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:08 PM


Hijack


Had a laser for a year, raced it several times....the main thing I didn't like was the sail flogging like hell, no way to drop the main without taking the mast out...sucked.

If the sail is flogging, try trimming it a bit.

Tight vang and loose cunningham while resting also helps preserve the sail

End hijack

bn

hmmm..that's brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Next time I rig one, I'll trim the sail so the boat can flip off the dolly....that will work.


Note the "while resting" above. That's about flogging the sail while you're having your lunch on the water.

#59 mc 7947 rb fj

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:36 PM



what r u talking about!! lasers are not pigs.... they r the fastest small boat i have ever sailed. and i have sailed i14, 420 and optis (but optis are just painfully slow).



I think you need to get out more. If the laser is the fastest small boat you have ever sailed you are either very young or very easily pleased.
I am of the opposite opinion and the laser is the slowest boat I have ever sailed excluding any boat I sail before I was 12.
I did sail the boat competitively from the age of 15-17 (full rig back then)and again for a short season a couple of years later. But after last week-end I will be hard up to have another go.


what on earth do u sail

and when i say ''small boats'' i mean under 20 feet

#60 scottmax

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:53 AM




what r u talking about!! lasers are not pigs.... they r the fastest small boat i have ever sailed. and i have sailed i14, 420 and optis (but optis are just painfully slow).



I think you need to get out more. If the laser is the fastest small boat you have ever sailed you are either very young or very easily pleased.
I am of the opposite opinion and the laser is the slowest boat I have ever sailed excluding any boat I sail before I was 12.
I did sail the boat competitively from the age of 15-17 (full rig back then)and again for a short season a couple of years later. But after last week-end I will be hard up to have another go.


what on earth do u sail

and when i say ''small boats'' i mean under 20 feet


Contender.

#61 zerothehero

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:20 PM

no doubt a Contender will smoke a laser.

#62 Windward

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 10:42 PM

Come on now Gouv... lets give that generator a break.

Though "The backspace discharges ripoff within the mainstream leather." is pretty funny...

#63 RobbieB

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:19 PM

Did someone say the laser was cheap?

I am sailing a Farr 3.7... (Similar to Contender)
Comparing brand new prices - they are about the same, except in the 3.7 you get:
Professionally built wood or fibreglass hull (wood is marginally faster, f/glass is still competitive with less maintenance)
Carbon Fibre Mast
Carbon Fibre Boom
Carbon/Kevlar Laminate Mainsail
Proper Sail controls
Proper Centreboard + Rudder
Trapeze
A boat that will plane upwind and is an absolute blast on a reach
Easy to sail, hard to sail fast, but still takes good tactics and boathandling to win.

For less $$ you can get a home built hull. Mine is one of these, yet is one of the fastest boats around.

A second hand 3.7 for about $4000 will still be competitive, then might just need some paint slapped on or a new sail to get you to the top of the fleet. Compared to a $4000 laser, you get a soft hull that might be good for the first season or two (depending on how competitive you are), then you'll want a new one... My sources even tell me that 3.7 #1 is still around and going strong - can't say that about a 38yo Laser.

In terms of ongoing cost.... if something breaks you go to your local and pick up a replacement for 1/4 of the cost of the same piece for a laser. (often the same brand!)
This is one of the things I really don't understand about the laser.... How does purchasing however many blocks you feel like having in your vang/cunningham/outhaul inconvenience any sailor? I don't see that sort of equipment improving boat speed or needing to be one design. They should be easy to use, then all that matters is how you use them.



My laser is a '98 model and still going strong, (I paid $ 1,900.00 for it in 2004). I compete just fine against the new boats. The newer/2001 standard vang/cunningham systems work great and are easy to use. There's no need for anything additional. A 38 yr old laser is $400.00. How much is a new Farr 3.7 and where are the fleets?

#64 zerothehero

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 03:33 AM

And how many Farr 3.7s are there out there? I have never even seen one in the states. Doesn't mean it isn't a power house of a class because success here doesn't mean it is or isn't any good. Like I said before the Laser is popular because it is popular. Try taking away enough laser sailors to really make a new international class, olympic even. Not going to be easy.

#65 blackensign

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:51 AM

New Zealand Class, and sorry my $$$ were NZ$

Was very big when the AC was here as a lot of AC sailors jumped in them. I got mine cheap from a guy just before he left for spain with Team NZ. There were still a few sitting in their shed when I picked it up.

Bang for buck it is much better than the laser, and a lot more fun. They also take a lot more skill to sail fast as you are on the wire. But if you want large fleet racing, the laser is better. I was giving the 3.7 as a comparison as there were a few comments that people sail lasers just because they are cheap. They don't, they sail them for the fleets.

The comment about Lasers going soft is due to hearing people whinge about their boat slowing them down, and also about how you can feel the stiffness in the new boats. I've also seen people jump in a new boat and move to the front of the fleet, but that could just be psychological. I'm not a laser sailor so I don't know exactly how long they last.
There are other explanations for people going slow.

#66 TornadoSail2016

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 06:00 PM

I was out in 15-18 full rig not massively overpowered (110kg) but certainly not enjoying myself.

At your weight, try a Finn. Lasers can be fun to blast around in, but the ultimate weight/size is 180/6'2" or at least that is what the designer-Kirby has stated. The thing that they have going for them is that they are easy to rig, easy to sail, have a huge following so that you can find races regulary around the country. I was standing off Rye Harbor, NH last Tuesday with the wind blowing 20-25 and watched 10-12 lasers go out and blast around the bouys outside the harbour. They are a good development boat taking kids from Opti's to larger boats. I own and race an A-cat, but also have an older Laser that I take out when it's over 25 because on a reach it's a ball when its blowing.

#67 Icedtea

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:16 PM

Lasers suck..and it's not the designers fault, he designed some brilliant boats, I'm just back from a week racing a sonar in irc, and they're brilliant. Yes lasers suck. Yes they are pigs. But unless another fleet builds up, that's what I'll be sailing for the forseeable future unfortunatly.

#68 Steam Flyer

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 01:16 AM

... ... ...
About the Get a Finn advice....Did any of you who have suggested the Finn alternative ever check up on either the price of ownership or the availability of decent local competition before publishing your thoughts??


I apologize if our advice made your vagina sore.... really, so sorry!!

If you want the cheapest possible boat to sail, knock together a Bolger Windsprint with a blue tarp sail. Those things perform pretty well too, although almost as uncomfortable to hike as a Laser you should be a bit faster.

If you want plentiful local competition, get in an Opti. Almost guaranteed to be the biggest one-design fleet in your area.

Lasers aren't all that. Sure there's a bazillion of 'em. Sure they're less expensive than many other options. They're the cheeseburger of sailing.

Some of us like boats that are actually GOOD in as many respects as possible. There are too many things about Lasers that suck out loud. Yeah, I sail 'em sometimes, and enjoy the plentiful competition. And to me, a Laser is extremely affordable because I always sail a borrowed one!

FB- Doug

#69 IC Nutter

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:26 AM

Lasers aren't all that. Sure there's a bazillion of 'em. Sure they're less expensive than many other options. They're the cheeseburger of sailing.


I never did decide on a name for my old Laser. "Cheeseburger" might work!

#70 Steam Flyer

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 12:35 PM


I apologize if our advice made your vagina sore.... really, so sorry!!

FB- Doug



A. She's won more races and probably hikes harder than you do.

b. You'd never have access to your balls again after you said that to her face.



A. Possibly and probably.

That's part of the point, Lasers are far to the left on the demand/reward curve. Masochism is only a rewardable virtue to other masochists. To be sure, Finns are probably a bit further to the left but the total area under the curve is a lot greater. That's why you pay more for a Finn... having sailed a Finn a couple of times, they're not really the boat for me either.

B. Discretion is the better part of valor

FB- Doug

#71 zerothehero

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 03:16 PM

As someone who just got a Hobie Wave I do find it interesting that all "improvements" on the Laser suggested here are monos. Talking about reward for $ spent the Rave is a pretty good bet. Depending on weight and local fleets I know there are better choices. It's no rocket but at only a slightly higher retail price than a new Laser, it's a lot more fun on the water.

#72 Liquid

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 05:07 PM

Hasn't this subject:

A - Already been beaten to death.
B - Completely jumped the shark.
C - Already been beaten to death.

Horses for courses, flung what you brung. If you like it, who gives a fuck what someone else thinks... If you don't, then stay away.

#73 Sailing_Rugger

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 05:08 PM

I'd rather own a Laser than a MacGregor 26.

#74 Hobie Dog

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:05 PM

As someone who just got a Hobie Wave I do find it interesting that all "improvements" on the Laser suggested here are monos. Talking about reward for $ spent the Rave is a pretty good bet. Depending on weight and local fleets I know there are better choices. It's no rocket but at only a slightly higher retail price than a new Laser, it's a lot more fun on the water.


What is a 'Rave'??? Or are you still talking about the Hobie Wave??? If so then WTF are you talking about local fleets for the Wave unless you consider beating up all the tourists at your local Sandals regatta! :lol:

I like the Hobie Wave and she is a great boat for taking a few drinks and just sailing around for a few hours but you cannot be serious thinking it is a racing boat with any kind of active fleet.

As I have said before if you are looking for a single handed boat for a pure sailing standpoint perhaps there are other boats that might suit your needs better. But for me the Laser is fine when I just want to go for a sail...

If you want pure speed then sure get a Moth or A Cat but these are high tech and expensive racing machines. And you better like to travel to find events...

But if you want great OD racing with events almost every weekend that you don't have to drive clear across the country then you will not find a better boat than the Laser.

#75 zerothehero

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:58 PM

no, no, not thinking it is a racing boat. Mearly making the point that others have made suggestions as to better boats than the Laser. Just thought it funny that the only thing most shared in common with the Laser is that they are all monos EDIT and single handers. Most are much more $ to own and race. The Wave is at least similar in size and price but I would say it offers more fun. I still really like Lasers personally and I know the Wave is no racing steed, just throwing it out there as a very basic, cheap cat that is more fun to sail. No racing, check. Are they still doing the Wave Championship regatta that they started a few years ago down in the keys?

#76 grs

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 02:55 AM

I am a squidge heavier and have had a Moth up on foils.


what is a squidge?

#77 scottmax

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 08:04 AM


I am a squidge heavier and have had a Moth up on foils.


what is a squidge?


A little bit.

#78 Hobie Dog

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 03:58 PM

no, no, not thinking it is a racing boat. Mearly making the point that others have made suggestions as to better boats than the Laser. Just thought it funny that the only thing most shared in common with the Laser is that they are all monos EDIT and single handers. Most are much more $ to own and race. The Wave is at least similar in size and price but I would say it offers more fun. I still really like Lasers personally and I know the Wave is no racing steed, just throwing it out there as a very basic, cheap cat that is more fun to sail. No racing, check. Are they still doing the Wave Championship regatta that they started a few years ago down in the keys?


Agree and you can also take friends/family out on the Wave, cannot do that on the Laser. I guess we should put the Hobie 16 out there as it is easy to find a cheap ones for day sailing. But they will get powered quickly with just one and you have two sails to rig so more work. Yea the Wave for one peep is probably better and the plastic hulls will take a beating; good tough boat. Fast for a mono but slow for a cat. But like you said fast enough for fun sailing...

Not sure if they are still running the Wave regatta's down in the Keys but I remember hearing about them. Google is your friend on that...

#79 rgscpat

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 01:23 AM

Rather a Laser than a MacGregor? Just try sleeping on your Laser after you've put 20 cases of beer on board!

#80 IC Nutter

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:29 AM

Agree and you can also take friends/family out on the Wave, cannot do that on the Laser.


Why not? I've often used my Laser on vacation as a cruising boat. It can easily carry two adults, or one adult and two kids. With more than one on board you don't have to hike much, so much less pain. :D I think that cruisability is one of the assets of my Laser. The fact that it's easy to rig and to manhandle all ads to it's appeal in this regard. Mine's an old beater, so I don't mind dragging it up the odd beach. Good fun to sneak up narrow rivers and creeks, or to play in waves off the beach. Rather the Laser than some big old heavy beach cat!

#81 zerothehero

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:33 AM



Agree and you can also take friends/family out on the Wave, cannot do that on the Laser.


Why not? I've often used my Laser on vacation as a cruising boat. It can easily carry two adults, or one adult and two kids. With more than one on board you don't have to hike much, so much less pain. :D I think that cruisability is one of the assets of my Laser. The fact that it's easy to rig and to manhandle all ads to it's appeal in this regard. Mine's an old beater, so I don't mind dragging it up the odd beach. Good fun to sneak up narrow rivers and creeks, or to play in waves off the beach. Rather the Laser than some big old heavy beach cat!

That's what I thought till I sailed the big old heavy beach cat. Had the wife, 2 kids and the dog out and we still lifted a hull.

#82 IC Nutter

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:23 AM

Yeah sure...next the story will be complete with fucking in the vee berth


You know about my vee berth? Word gets around...

#83 FoilerMothGuy

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:21 AM



I am a squidge heavier and have had a Moth up on foils.


what is a squidge?


A little bit.


About 2/5ths of F*ck all more than nothing, measured under SI using "bee's dicks".

#84 dogwatch

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:16 AM

About the Get a Finn advice....Did any of you who have suggested the Finn alternative ever check up on either the price of ownership or the availability of decent local competition before publishing your thoughts??


Actually I have a local Finn fleet and no local Laser fleet. Would not however advise anyone I liked to get a Finn - or a Laser.

#85 Steam Flyer

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 11:26 PM

About the Get a Finn advice....Did any of you who have suggested the Finn alternative ever check up on either the price of ownership or the availability of decent local competition before publishing your thoughts??


Actually I have a local Finn fleet and no local Laser fleet. Would not however advise anyone I liked to get a Finn - or a Laser.


:lol::blink::lol:
I nominate this for "Quote Of The Day"

FB- Doug

#86 scottmax

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:09 AM

After 4 pages the only common thing I can tell is most who sails a laser only does it for the competition. Pig or not if you want to race other people single handed the laser is the only option to get decent fleets.
It is a sad sailing world when such a horrible boat to sail is the most popular when there are so many options for single handed sailing for enjoyment.
Fleet size will always win over common sense. Bummer!

#87 redstar

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:43 AM

Common sense is in the eye of the beholder.

To me, it depends on why you're on the water in the first place. If you're there primarily for the racing, the boat is largely immaterial. If you're there for the sailing, you don't need a fleet. If you want both, you might have a long search.

I quite like that the Laser is a beast to sail - it adds to the challenge, so when you win a race, you know you've earnt it. But then when you learn how to sail it well, it's a lot tamer anyway. It loses a lot of its ugliness.

Each to their own.

#88 blackensign

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 01:30 PM

I quite like that the Laser is a beast to sail - it adds to the challenge, so when you win a race, you know you've earnt it. But then when you learn how to sail it well, it's a lot tamer anyway. It loses a lot of its ugliness.

Each to their own.


No, no, no....
In a laser, you only know you've won a race because you're legs hurt more than everyone else's.
On the other hand, sailing on the trapeze and winning - that's when you know you've earnt it. If you get a decent harness you can even feel your balls afterwards. (yes, I learnt this the hard way, it's almost bad enough to envy the female anatomy.... Highly recommend the Zhik T1 BTW.)

'Laser' won't even allow you to attach enough purchase to anything for the sake of "one design" - so it takes a gorilla just to crank on the kicker you want... I prefer boats that take more skill and less "gorilla".

#89 two cold dogs

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:19 PM

You know what? Anyone that says a Laser is a pig is screwed up. The boat hurts....whaaaaaa. It's not fast......whaaaaaaaa. If I hear any more whining about this I'll puke. The Laser is the best possible boat, for what it contributres to sailing ability, of any boat ever designed. How to sail in breeze downwind? Check. How to go fast upwind in a breeze? Check. How to balance a boat in any condition? Check. Any whimp that pisses and moans about having sore legs is a full on whiner. Try droop hiking in a Thistle for a full leg, or anything that doesn't have a harness or a rack. The boat is meant to be physical, friggin deal with it. And sail against any of the nearly 200,000 people that have one, get competition and get better. Whaaaaa, a Finn is a better boat. Cool, you've got a 1000 guys to sail against, no matter if you have the fleet in your backyard. Whaaaaa, my trapeze is so comfortable........screw it. I sailied 505's for ten years, I'm gotten to be 10 times the sailor for gedtting in a Laser every chance I get. If you want to be a good sailor, get fit, learn how to sail in breeze from 0-30 correctly and have an experience where you'll see friends until you're 75, get a Laser. The rest of you are the laziest bunch of whiners I've ever had to witness. I had a stroke working out to better as a Laser sailor and it's worth it, to listen to a bunch of people who think their own little world is the end all is ludicrous.

#90 Hobie Dog

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:42 PM

'Laser' won't even allow you to attach enough purchase to anything for the sake of "one design" - so it takes a gorilla just to crank on the kicker you want... I prefer boats that take more skill and less "gorilla".


What are you talking about? All the new class legal systems have plenty of purchase!

Sounds like you either need to find the inside of a weight room once in a while or HTFU! :lol:

#91 Wavedancer II

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 05:17 PM

You know what? Anyone that says a Laser is a pig is screwed up. The boat hurts....whaaaaaa. It's not fast......whaaaaaaaa. If I hear any more whining about this I'll puke. The Laser is the best possible boat, for what it contributres to sailing ability, of any boat ever designed. How to sail in breeze downwind? Check. How to go fast upwind in a breeze? Check. How to balance a boat in any condition? Check. Any whimp that pisses and moans about having sore legs is a full on whiner. Try droop hiking in a Thistle for a full leg, or anything that doesn't have a harness or a rack. The boat is meant to be physical, friggin deal with it. And sail against any of the nearly 200,000 people that have one, get competition and get better. Whaaaaa, a Finn is a better boat. Cool, you've got a 1000 guys to sail against, no matter if you have the fleet in your backyard. Whaaaaa, my trapeze is so comfortable........screw it. I sailied 505's for ten years, I'm gotten to be 10 times the sailor for gedtting in a Laser every chance I get. If you want to be a good sailor, get fit, learn how to sail in breeze from 0-30 correctly and have an experience where you'll see friends until you're 75, get a Laser. The rest of you are the laziest bunch of whiners I've ever had to witness. I had a stroke working out to better as a Laser sailor and it's worth it, to listen to a bunch of people who think their own little world is the end all is ludicrous.

:D Moose got it right! :D

So much baloney in this thread....

#92 Uncle h

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:19 PM


You know what? Anyone that says a Laser is a pig is screwed up. The boat hurts....whaaaaaa. It's not fast......whaaaaaaaa. If I hear any more whining about this I'll puke. The Laser is the best possible boat, for what it contributres to sailing ability, of any boat ever designed. How to sail in breeze downwind? Check. How to go fast upwind in a breeze? Check. How to balance a boat in any condition? Check. Any whimp that pisses and moans about having sore legs is a full on whiner. Try droop hiking in a Thistle for a full leg, or anything that doesn't have a harness or a rack. The boat is meant to be physical, friggin deal with it. And sail against any of the nearly 200,000 people that have one, get competition and get better. Whaaaaa, a Finn is a better boat. Cool, you've got a 1000 guys to sail against, no matter if you have the fleet in your backyard. Whaaaaa, my trapeze is so comfortable........screw it. I sailied 505's for ten years, I'm gotten to be 10 times the sailor for gedtting in a Laser every chance I get. If you want to be a good sailor, get fit, learn how to sail in breeze from 0-30 correctly and have an experience where you'll see friends until you're 75, get a Laser. The rest of you are the laziest bunch of whiners I've ever had to witness. I had a stroke working out to better as a Laser sailor and it's worth it, to listen to a bunch of people who think their own little world is the end all is ludicrous.

:D Moose got it right! :D

So much baloney in this thread....


+2 Moose.!!

There has been talk at Master events of changing to "Rabit Starts" like the 5o's use to cut down on gen.recalls .
The Olympic guys will not likely go for it but why not Master events?
We would get allot more races per day in and cut way back on Black flag victems...
Then Steve B could share more storys about not walking down a flight of stairs after a good day in the breeze..

#93 Sloan

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:14 PM

Moose is right. The fact it is a hard boat to sail well is its appeal.

Like I said before nothing more humbling for a class champion from another class than to jump into a Laser for a National or State event and look up the course at the leaders and know that without a hell of a lot of work over quite a few seasons you will never be near the front in this class.

I have spoken to quite a few good sailors from other classes that thought they might like to add a Laser cube to their collection who on the whole don't understand at all how they are getting flogged so badly. You tell them, your doing ok you finished in the top half and if you start to seriously train etc you could be up the front in only a season or 2 or 3. Most are gone soon after that never to be seen again other than to say how Lasers suck and one or more of the following 1. I was too heavy 2. I was too light 3. my boat was a dog 4. I kept getting hammered upwind, the breeze always went the other way 5. Piece of crap wouldnt stay upright downwind and I kept getting passed by old guys.

Getting to the front in a good laser fleet is very satisfying.


There has been talk at Master events of changing to "Rabit Starts" like the 5o's use to cut down on gen.recalls .
The Olympic guys will not likely go for it but why not Master events?
We would get allot more races per day in and cut way back on Black flag victems...



I will pass on the gate starts. Its part of the game to learn how to start and work on improving your starts.

No such thing as a black flag victim, just someone who was OCS. May be cases where someone was illegally shoved or taken across the line but most OCS's are a result of pushing the line or not having planned your start well.

The only problem I have with Lasers is that the list of things you want to work on and improve never seems to get a lot shorter.

#94 blackensign

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:05 PM

Ok, so I exaggerated just a little, but it's so easy to stir shit where lasers are concerned....

I actually don't mind lasers all that much, we just have a bit of local friendly rivalry with them. They have the most competitive fleets around, so you need to really know what you're doing to win in a laser. However, I quite like having all the go-fast carbon/kevlar bits, especially when they cost less than their laser counterparts... I also enjoy being out on the water playing when all the lasers have buggered off tired after a days racing.

Like I said before nothing more humbling for a class champion from another class than to jump into a Laser for a National or State event and look up the course at the leaders and know that without a hell of a lot of work over quite a few seasons you will never be near the front in this class.

And yet I wouldn't expect a laser champion to be winning first time on the wire either... Especially when you have to keep adjusting sail controls rather than just pull til you're block to block. :P

I actually had an interesting experience with lasers a few weeks ago:
I was passing the laser fleet on the downwind. The lasers were all following each other out on starboard. I kept to the inside of them, gybing onto port early.
My expectation was that they would gybe and come back on port and I would be able to sail flat off for the last little bit and have buoy room.
They didn't gybe, they all stayed on startboard hiking on the same side as their booms. I ended up finding a gap and going around the outside of them.
I think it detracts from the tactical game when you never have to sail port gybe.... (or maybe it's just different :P)


Some of the people I respect the most are sailing lasers, doesn't stop me giving them a bit of flak. Doesn't mean I have to sail lasers either. It all comes down to personal preference.

#95 Uncle h

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:20 PM


Thsnip....there has been talk at Master events of changing to "Rabit Starts" ...snip

hemark and of a masseuse for each competitor and all sorts of talk.

People talk about all sorts of realy stupid or idiotic ideas.

Rabbit starts are an entirely different game. The masters go to regattas to do that which we did when we were much younger without having to compete against those who are much more able to play at a competitive level.

Your suggestion that there has been talk is fine.

Please do not be a fool and believe for a nanosecond that ANYONE who has ANY sense what so ever would EVER host a laser masters even using rabbit starts.

We go to race sailboats. we know a huge part of the game is played in those five minutes before the start. only a TOTAL fool would remove that very interesting and fun part of the game .

further. You have hit on a special "That totally pisses me off" of mine.

The suggestion we should dumb down our game because some race committees have difficulty administering the regular full figured game is obscene.

Recalls are caused by RACE COMMITTEES!!! Multiple recalls are NEVER caused by the competitors. if there is a problem with recalls, the line or the course needs to be fixed. it really IS that simple.

Great RC managers do not hold regattas with endless recalls because great RC managers look at the fleet, see the fleet gathering at one end of the line and FIX THE LINE!!!!

The favored end of the line is best determined by the 100 competitors...not by some bozo with a pencil, compass, and a hunk of magnetic tape. if the competitors crowd an end... let out some anchor line. it really IS that simple.

Laser masters are not going to be sailing dumbed down contests with rabbit starts.

There are plenty of competent RC and eager host clubs who would never stoop to fucking up the game by removing the first five minutes of the game.


Yup;.. we need to dumb it down so the old boys from Penn State can stay in the game longer. <grin>.

But really Gouv. its not taking away your pre stert at all. Its a new game worth learning.
Not much game in a small fleet but w/ 50 to 150 boats on the same start it is "all game".
Have you tried it in a big fleet?
It also helps RC's get the show off on time.

#96 Jesse Falsone

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:43 PM

The suggestion we should dumb down our game because some race committees have difficulty administering the regular full figured game is obscene.


1) Gate Starts are no less challenging than line starts, just different and offer the benefit of far fewer recalls, regardless of the preparedness of the RC. To call their use as a way to "dumb down" the game is inaccurate. I have seen many great line starters have a tough time learning how to gate start. Many of the same complexities are inherent with gates. There are boat handling complexities, but they are a little different. There are actually more strategic variables because you may still be in the act of starting while others are racing. Just as with a line start, screw up just a little in a gate start and you'll find yourself third row in a hurry. I think this topic has probably been discussed on this forum ad naseum.

2) I'm not a Laser historian, but didn't big Laser regattas use Gate Starts in the early days? Was racing then "dumbed down"? Maybe titles should be revoked!

#97 two cold dogs

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 04:07 PM

I sailed the Laser Nationals, or NA's, a couple years ago, we did gate starts (on the advice of Neal Fowler, a 505 sailor) and it was awesome, I was the rabbit twice. General recalls are based more on the size of the fleet than the ability, I think they're perfect for high octane fleets wanting to get it going.

#98 Uncle h

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:05 PM

I sailed the Laser Nationals, or NA's, a couple years ago, we did gate starts (on the advice of Neal Fowler, a 505 sailor) and it was awesome, I was the rabbit twice. General recalls are based more on the size of the fleet than the ability, I think they're perfect for high octane fleets wanting to get it going.



Thats the word I got from both Neal on RC & the sailors in the New England fleet.
Laser + Gate Starts may = more fun.
and that overpriced sail will have much less hours flapping in the breaze awaiting another Gen recall....
May need a practice start or two to get the feel for it.
Just train the PRO to blow it off if the rabbit gets hosed.

#99 Poida

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:40 AM

Lasers are the most boring piece of floating debris I can think of.

Other dinosaur classes have come and gone and it's time the Laser did the same.

I have no issue saying that the Laser WAS a the right boat at the right time when it was launched, and has contrubuted enormously to the sailing community, but now it's time to move on and retire the old girl has long passed.

Fun is what Sailing is about, so time for a new FUN class to taker over.

#100 Uncle h

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 12:42 PM

I sailed in the Winninny clubs nationals with gate starts. I said it then and I repeat it now.

it is not the game the sailors have played and played and played and played.

it would probably be a fun test of skill to hold the US golf championship where on every Tee the golfers had to drop the ball and smack it in the air.

Golf would NEVER try such a different game at a US Open.

the fact sailing hosts even consider making up a new game for championship events simply reinforces the fact Sailing is not really much of a game to them.... and their holier than thou copncieted brains must fix it for the rest of us ignorant fools.

Fuck em.

Rabbit start racing might be fun for those of you who have never been interested or successful in the standard start.

"OH I hate huge regattas. There are too many people there."

Assholes!!

Fine. If you simply don't get it, start a new game of your own and use rabbit starts.

mamy of us live for the game played behind packed starting lines and around crowded marks. To me, testing my skills in the crowd is the nirvana of sailboating.

In the mean time, if you don't like teh gaem we play, DON"T HOST!!! Don't have me drive three days across the country to come play a game and decide to "try out your new favorite idea" on all of us.

I drove 2500 miles to try my hand starting in a 120 boat fleet and somebody called it off.

Fucking assholes!!!

The hosts bid on the regatta and then said..."By the way we don't much like laser racing and are going to play a different game.

Fuck that shit!!

it is as stupid as Jerry Jones deciding this year's Super Bowl will be played with no kickoffs because too many people get hurt on kickoffs and he doesn't want people getting hurt in his stadium.

"We decided to just flip a coin and start the winner of the coin toss on its own 25 yard line."

The same twits who want gate starts probably played "T" ball because Mommy couldn't stand to watch her litle pumpkin striking out.

505s are not nearly as easy to manouver as a laser and there is not nearly as much game to be played behind the starting line as in the laser fleet. Idiots who suggest lasers ought to follow the wildly successful 505 fleet's program not only fail to understand the games being played but have no concept what so ever of big numbers of boats. Lasers regularly hold 150 boat reggattas for which the competitors must qualify!!! 505s mostly sail alone and in Portsmouth handicapped fleets.

505 sailors might do wel to take their brilliant suggestions to one of the few fleets with fewer boats at their very most important regattas.
How about you bunny start nincompoops start campaigning for its use at the America's Cup???


Ok my finger tips are sore now...I guess I'll go back to work.


Too bad Jim Rome doesn't accept sailing takes.

That was fun.


Gouv!

Have you been walking thru the paint booth w/o your resperatore on again!
Tell us how you really feel about the gate start..
I think I was sailing Lasers in Erie when you wr still building & sailing the Sidewinder. ...1976ish?
Or when ever our friend Jack B starting selling them at EYC.
So some of us have seen allot of changes to the Laser.
Some good & some not so good.
What is a Winninny Club?
Come up to the Fishing Bay Masters in October and we can catch up on changes to the class (good & bad ones).
The Laser is and always will be a work boat. A great work boat that helps keeps the Old fit..




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