Laser: Radial or Full?

I've been sailing my Hobie 16 for a little over 15 years, but my wife lost interest in the boat about 5 years ago and I've been single handing it since. I love the boat, but it's a lot of work and I usually don't go out if the wind over 12kts. I briefly contemplated buying an MC Scow, a couple years ago, but that idea fizzled out.

My usual lake is losing the mast-up storage this fall and regular up/down is not appealing, so I've decided it's finally time to take the plunge and try something different that's a little smaller and faster to rig.

* I'm fairly fit, but 5'4" and 160 lbs.
* Wind conditions at the nearby lakes are usually between 5-15.
*There are a couple clubs nearby that have Lasers and Sunfish in their handicap fleets.
* I'm leaning towards a Laser, just because they're the quicker and point higher.



I guess I'm looking for a bit of a sanity check, but I have a feeling that I probably need to plan on picking up both the radial and full rigs?
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
I've been sailing my Hobie 16 for a little over 15 years, but my wife lost interest in the boat about 5 years ago and I've been single handing it since. I love the boat, but it's a lot of work and I usually don't go out if the wind over 12kts. I briefly contemplated buying an MC Scow, a couple years ago, but that idea fizzled out.

My usual lake is losing the mast-up storage this fall and regular up/down is not appealing, so I've decided it's finally time to take the plunge and try something different that's a little smaller and faster to rig.

* I'm fairly fit, but 5'4" and 160 lbs.
* Wind conditions at the nearby lakes are usually between 5-15.
*There are a couple clubs nearby that have Lasers and Sunfish in their handicap fleets.
* I'm leaning towards a Laser, just because they're the quicker and point higher.

I guess I'm looking for a bit of a sanity check, but I have a feeling that I probably need to plan on picking up both the radial and full rigs?
ILCA/Laser. You are in ILCA6 territory but at the edge. What are the winds like where you sail most of summer? If light get a 7 first and a 6 when you can. If you are fortunate and live in a windy place, get a 6 first and a 7 later.

I have a 4 as well so I can go out in 25 plus, bomb around at speeds that are usually very difficult to control. Around 35 is max I've been out in so far in this rig and while that does get back to a control issue in puffs as the hull presents a windage problem if you do not keep it flat, it was a lot of fun. Sail life is significantly reduced but practice 4's are not very expensive and do not need to be in race condition, good condition does make control easier. Do not over tighten the cunningham and outhaul, just firm, otherwise it really shortens sail life and does not really help as much as vang control.

I also use the 4 to teach new sailors that are in 6 territory.

Oh, I agree with Livesave, get a fast boat like an Int. Canoe. More smiles, some fun swim lessons, good times.
 

Major Tom

Super Anarchist
1,922
555
Darkest Africa
If the Laser is the best/most popular/most cost effective option and the normal conditions don’t normally exceed 15 knots then go for whatever the largest rig is called nowadays. You will be in the territory where you loose a bit upwind but have the chance to gain it all back downwind, if it get closer to 20 knots those stats start looking a lot worse.
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
RS Aero 9 has nice numbers.

CLASS / DETAILSUSSA NAPYRYA PNUW SA m^2DW SA m^2UW SA/D
(Full Crew)
DW SA/D
(Full Crew)
Avg SA/D
(Full Crew)
D/L (Full Crew)Max Hull SpeedMain m^2LWL mLOA mBeam mWeight KgCrew Kg
(Full Crew)
RS Aero 987.510358.98.936.436.436.452.74.778.903.84.01.44873
Melges 14 Gold9.19.136.036.036.043.74.969.104.14.31.65473
Melges 14 Blue7.97.931.231.231.243.74.967.894.14.31.65473
RS Aero 790.310657.47.430.430.430.452.74.777.433.84.01.44873
Laser Standard91.110887.17.127.327.327.349.64.777.063.84.21.45973
Laser Radial96.711105.85.822.222.222.249.74.775.763.84.21.45973
Rocket7.07.029.829.829.843.24.807.003.94.21.24173
Melges 14 Red5.55.521.621.621.643.74.965.464.14.31.65473
RS Aero 591.811025.25.221.321.321.352.74.775.203.84.01.44873
Sunfish99.611957.07.027.727.727.748.14.807.003.94.21.25473
Laser 4.795.411754.74.718.118.118.149.74.774.703.84.21.45973
 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,437
2,677
Rhode Island
RS Aero 9 has nice numbers. Yes, but probably not the best fit for someone who is 5'4" and 160 lbs except for very light winds. Would recommend an RS Aero 7 for most conditions for someone that weight.

aerorigguide.png
 

Stanno

Member
220
234
Sydney
Pick the club you like, and then pick the boat they sail in numbers - you'll have a ball racing with like minded folks, and learn a lot from the fleet. If its an ILCA / Laser you choose, then buy a new full rig, and a second hand radial .... and have an awesome time!!
 

Curious2

Anarchist
625
225
Oh, I agree with Livesave, get a fast boat like an Int. Canoe. More smiles, some fun swim lessons, good times.

As a Laser, Hobie and IC sailor I would feel that an IC is way too different from the Hobie to make the shift all that practical. And the Laser is a shitload of fun in its own way because it's so delightfully "chuckable" and simple. I love the IC but if speed is what counts then a kitefoiler is the obvious option.

Good advice on the rig choice. I've borrowed my wife's 4 and it was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
 

Curious2

Anarchist
625
225
Pick the club you like, and then pick the boat they sail in numbers - you'll have a ball racing with like minded folks, and learn a lot from the fleet. If its an ILCA / Laser you choose, then buy a new full rig, and a second hand radial .... and have an awesome time!!

It's great to see a balanced and positive reply- no wonder your club is doing so well.
 

WCB

Super Anarchist
4,401
859
Park City, UT
Since you don't go out in anything above 12 knots, I would say the full rig would be just fine. We have a number of kids who all use the Radials/6 for training purposes and they're often slow even to the big guys like myself at 215lbs. They lose so much in the upwind speed. Not that sailing solo requires you to worry about speed against others but you still want the boat to be fun.

By the way, one of the guys in our fleet, and our executive director, who also happens to be from the Cleveland, OH area, is 5'3" 135lbs and he only sails the full. When he has sailed a radial, he quickly becomes non-competitive when the wind goes a little lighter.
 

Major Tom

Super Anarchist
1,922
555
Darkest Africa
Since you don't go out in anything above 12 knots, I would say the full rig would be just fine. We have a number of kids who all use the Radials/6 for training purposes and they're often slow even to the big guys like myself at 215lbs. They lose so much in the upwind speed. Not that sailing solo requires you to worry about speed against others but you still want the boat to be fun.

By the way, one of the guys in our fleet, and our executive director, who also happens to be from the Cleveland, OH area, is 5'3" 135lbs and he only sails the full. When he has sailed a radial, he quickly becomes non-competitive when the wind goes a little lighter.
Interesting, we had an Olympian, also Laser youth worlds winner, sail a radial against most of the best Laser sailors in the country in 10 to 15 knots, he was fine upwind and maybe lost a bit off wind but his technique was so good that he was always in the top 3 overall, he weighed 82 kg.
 
I'm 5'8" & 73Kg & I switched to a Radial a few years back & absolutely love it. Upwind in stronger winds, (above 10 Knots) & flat water I can keep with the Full rigs. I sail a bit freer, when I hit the choppy water on our river, it really stops you dead. Speed is the key. Where I find it really excels, is tight reaching. Fully powered up, fully hiked out, not having to spill wind like I have to with the full rig, It really flies! It's the runs you lose out on.
Also if you race in a mixed handicap fleet like I do, it's a real handicap bandit! The rest of the fleet hates them...lol.

If we had at least one Aero in our fleet, I'd probably try one of them as an alternative. But I've only ever seen one Aero out on the River Blackwater. For some reason they don't seem popular around here!?
 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,437
2,677
Rhode Island
I'm 5'8" & 73Kg & I switched to a Radial a few years back & absolutely love it. Upwind in stronger winds, (above 10 Knots) & flat water I can keep with the Full rigs. I sail a bit freer, when I hit the choppy water on our river, it really stops you dead. Speed is the key. Where I find it really excels, is tight reaching. Fully powered up, fully hiked out, not having to spill wind like I have to with the full rig, It really flies! It's the runs you lose out on.
Also if you race in a mixed handicap fleet like I do, it's a real handicap bandit! The rest of the fleet hates them...lol.

If we had at least one Aero in our fleet, I'd probably try one of them as an alternative. But I've only ever seen one Aero out on the River Blackwater. For some reason they don't seem popular around here!?
For some reason, RS Aeros aren't popular in exactly the same areas where everybody says, "I would try an Aero if any other people around here were sailing them." Funny how that works.
 

Latest posts




Top