Laser Sailing FAQ

used laser dingy for sale

Welcome to our Laser Sailing Tips Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have any questions that are not covered below, please let us know and we will endeavor to answer them for you.

Alternatively, if you have any tips that you think others may find useful or questions that you know that people have and you can answer, please feel free to share your knowledge.

  1. How long is a laser sailing race?
  2. How old is my laser sailing dinghy?
  3. How does laser sailing work?
  4. How to rig a laser sailing boat?
  5. What is laser sailing?
  6. What to wear laser sailing?
  7. What is laser radial sailing?
  8. How much do laser sailboats cost?
  9. How fast do laser sailboats go?
  10. How much does a laser sailboat weight?
  11. How long is a laser dinghy?
  12. What to look for when buying a laser dinghy?
  13. Where to put tell tales on a laser sail?
  14. Where to buy a laser sailboat
  15. Where are laser sailboats made?
  16. How to fold a laser sail?

How long is a laser sailing race?

The length of a laser race varies. It is normally determined by the race committee depending on the weather conditions on race day. Moreover, a lot of sailors nowadays assess the length of the race according to the estimated time it takes for the race to be over rather than the actual distance traveled.

How old is my laser sailing dinghy?

Laser sailing dinghy boat number foil sticker

Laser sailing dinghy boat number foil sticker

To determine the age of your laser dinghy, you will first have to check the number embedded in the hull. Usually, it is located beneath the bow eye or in the transom.

For more information, click here.

Below is a table from http://laserperformance.global/laser/ that you can also refer to:

Year Hull / Sail Number
1977 35265 – 42273
1978 42274 – 56277
1979 56278 – 72998
1980 72999 – 86490
1981 86491 – 93254
1982 93255 – 104928
1983 104929 – 112845
1984 112846 – 118022
1985 118023 – 123688
1986 123689 – 128595
1987 128596 – 132231
1988 132232 – 136322
1989 136323 – 139659
1990 139660 – 142789
1991 142790 – 145705
1992 145706 – 148322
1993 148323 – 152360
1994 152361 – 155822
1995 155823 – 158264
1996 158265 – 161382
1997 161383 – 164398
1998 164399 – 166270
1999 166271 – 168874
2000 168875 – 171536
2001 171537 – 173950
2002 173950 – 176694
2003 176695 – 179554
2004 179555 – 182213
2005 182214 – 185370
2006 185371 – 188573
2007 188574 – 192439
2008 192440 – 194846
2009 194847 – 197063
2010 197064 – 200309
2011 200310 – 202431
2012 202432 – 204542
2013 204543 – 206662
2014 206663 – 208458
2015 208459 –

How does laser sailing work?

Laser sailing is quite different from sailing other boats. A laser dinghy has no motor, paddle, or oars. You have to develop the skill of harnessing the wind to make your boat move across the water. One day it could be a gentle breeze where sailing becomes a quiet commune with nature, the next time it could be a strong gust where your skill in synchronizing your moves with the boat, the wind, and the water is tested.

How to rig a laser sailing boat?

Different people have different ways of rigging their sailboats. A brief method is outlined below:

  1. Gather all the pieces in one place. Connect both pieces of the mast. Make sure they fitted together securely.
  2. Slide the mast into the pocket of the sail. Make sure to insert the battens into the sail.
  3. Put the mast into the mast step on the deck.
  4. Put the front end of the boom into the gooseneck.
  5. Connect the outhaul, and fasten the clew-tie-down and tie it around the boom.
  6. Rig the mainsheet.
  7. Fasten the boom vang to the lowermost part of the mast.
  8. Screw the hull plug into the drain hole.
  9. Fasten the rudder, and connect the tiller and tiller extension.
  10. With the centerboard ready, launch the boat, slide the fin into place and tie off, and set to sail.

For more detailed information, please go to https://lasersailingtips.com/rigging-and-launching

What is laser sailing?

Laser sailing is a popular water sport that uses the Laser dinghy. Although the design of the boat is straightforward, Laser sailors and racers face a unique set of challenges that require special physical skills. Laser sailing necessitates a high level of fitness so that a sailor is able to withstand the hiking and body-twisting skills vital in sailing, especially when sailing upwind.

Discover more about how laser sailing works at https://lasersailingtips.com

What to wear laser sailing?

Laser sailing wardrobe depends on the conditions, season you are sailing, and personal preference. These are some of the items generally used by laser sailors:

  • Life Jacket – This is a must-have for all laser sailors. It should be cut high on the waist to make sitting and crouching easy and comfortable.
  • Dinghy Boots – Use comfortable boots that are light and dry quickly.
  • Sailing Gloves – Good gloves help you hold the lines well without damaging your hands.
  • Hat – Wear a hat with a brim to protect your face from the sun. Tie it to your life jacket so you will not lose it overboard.
  • Polarized Sunglasses – The glare of the sun bouncing off the water and your deck will put a lot of strain on your eyes if you do not protect them with sunglasses.
  • Dinghy Smock – A must-have for laser sailors. Lighter colors work best because it protects you when it’s cool and wet, but does not get hot when it’s sunny.
  • Wetsuit – some prefer full length to protect knees and elbows, while others prefer the shorter varieties that allow more flexibility.
  • Thermal Pants – Thermal pants are especially useful in cooler conditions providing warmth when wet.
  • Light Rash Vest – Helps keep the sun off your arms.
  • Thermal Rash Vest – Acts like the light rash vest but is more appropriate for early spring and late fall when extra warmth is needed.
  • Hiking Pants – Hiking pants (whether short or long) are made of perforated neoprene so it is cool to the skin and does not overheat even on a warmer day.

What is laser radial sailing?

Laser radial sailing is generally for lighter weight sailors. Unlike the Laser Standard, the Laser Radial has a smaller sail and is preferred by many women laser sailors. But just like the Laser Standard, the design is strictly controlled by the International Class Association. The only modification difference is the size of the sail as well the lower part of the mast.

How much do laser sailboats cost?

The value of a laser sailboat largely depends on the condition of the boat as well as the “extra” things that come along with it. Things like a roof rack, covers, foil carry bags and spares all carry a value that is added to the price, as well as the general condition of the deck, hull, and sails. See https://lasersailingtips.com/buying-a-laser/inspecting-a-laser-what-to-check for more information.

How fast do laser sailboats go?

A record in Honolulu pegged the Laser speed at 16.8 knots.

How much does a laser sailboat weight?

Laser sailboats are generally lightweight, making it easy to transport. The hull weight is 56.7 kg. or 130 lb. and can be lifted onto the car-top rack without a problem. Its nominal weight including the fittings is equal to 58 kg.

How long is a laser dinghy?

All Lasers are fabricated to standard specifications controlled by the International Class Association. It is, therefore, a one-design class of sailboat with a hull measurement of 4.23 meters or 13 feet and 10.5 inches long and its waterline length is equal to 3.81 meters or 12.5 feet. Click here to check out more of the Laser Dinghy and Sail specs.

What to look for when buying a laser dinghy?

There are several things you need to look into when buying a laser dinghy. Of course, you need to know how much you are willing to spend. You also need to get acquainted with different kinds of laser dinghies. You need to know how to check or inspect the boat to make sure that your boat is in tip-top shape. A lot of this info can be found at https://lasersailingtips.com/buying-a-laser/inspecting-a-laser-what-to-check

Where to put tell tales on a laser sail?

Sailors have different ways of putting their tell tales. Some sailors will put their tell tales just beneath the second batten pocket and another one under the first batten pocket, on the edge of the leech edge, within one foot from the mast pocket and a few feet up from the boom. You can read more about tell tales by visiting https://lasersailingtips.com/laser-controls-and-fittings/wind-indicators

Where to buy a laser sailboat

There are many different places where you can look. If you want a new boat, you can call the manufacturer. Most probably, they have one in your region. But if what you want is a second-hand boat, you can go to your local sailing club and ask for referrals. For more ideas, you can visit https://lasersailingtips.com/buying-a-laser/where-to-look/.

Where are laser sailboats made?

The Laser was designed by Bruce Kirby and was introduced to the public in 1971. After its launch at the New York Boat Show, it rapidly became the ideal one-design boat because of its simplicity and powerful performance. Currently, there are manufacturers in the UK, Australia, Japan and the USA.

How to fold a laser sail?

There are two things to consider when folding a sail – how new the sail is and how much storage space have for it.

There are a few different ways of folding a laser sail:

  1. Rolling the sail around a boom, pole or tube – If you have plenty of space for storing and you like to preserve the sail in the best condition possible, then this is the best method to use. Instead of using your own boom (which has fittings attached to it and will crease the sail), you can use anything that is long and round but not too heavy or anything that is prone to rust. A good example is a PVC drainpipe.
  2. Concertina folding – This method is not recommended when your sails are new. It is also important to not fold the sail along the same lines every time because this will weaken the sail’s fibers and break.
  3. Folding the sail to its corners – This is the fold that you use when you are in a hurry or you want to vary your fold so that you do not fold along the same creases.

 

used laser dingy for sale

14 Comments

  1. John Grassby on September 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Hi; I have just got a Laser – sail # 144522. But it is missing the lower mast. I am looking to buy one – but looking at the pictures of these I see that the goose-neck does not swivel horizontally. Is it possible that the boat has been designed so that the whole mast swivels in the hull hole??? Surely this would judder as it moved when under sail.
    Regards John

    • admin on September 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Hi John.
      Thanks for your question.
      It is designed this way, and seems to work ok.
      Because the mast does swivel in the hole in the deck, it’s important to make sure that the mast base is free from any sand or dirt, so that it does not wear out the mast step or base of the mast.
      Hope you enjoy sailing your new laser 🙂
      Regards
      Brendan

  2. Rohit on November 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Hi; I m confused to set my sail in water sometimes it work properly but sometimes in same condition not get feeling that were before

    • admin on December 5, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Hi Rohit.
      I would say that you just have a different setup.
      Getting the same setup does take a little practice. What you think might be the same may not be exactly, which can affect the feel and handling of your dinghy dramatically.
      Make sure you check out my sailing theory section to give you some of the background of the forces that are involved at different angles of sailing.
      This site is mainly aimed at those starting out, so if you are after more detailed responses, make sure you check out some of the great books going around. I have a list of my favorites here.
      Cheers
      Brendan

  3. Jeff on September 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I just picked up a laser from the original owner with a serial number of 062. The color is teal hull and white deck. Is there any collectible value?

    • Admin on September 30, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Hi Jeff
      #062 – Wow… I have never seen one that old.
      Not sure on the value on that one. Sorry.
      Some other readers may have a better idea.

      • Barclay Myers on August 7, 2017 at 11:48 pm

        Hi guys. I just read another article today that said the first commercially sold laser was serial number 100, everything before that was considered a prototype. Don’t know if that means it’s collectible but it certainly is a rare vintage

        • Admin on August 8, 2017 at 7:57 am

          Hi Barclay
          I’d agree that any Laser number below 100 would be rare. Wasn’t aware that they were considered a prototype though. Very interesting… thanks for sharing!
          Regards
          Brendan

  4. Felipe on December 4, 2016 at 1:47 am

    If I order a laser pico from the LaserPerformance website how long does it take till it is ready to be picked up from the factory?

    • Admin on December 6, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Hi Felipe
      I think you are probably better off talking to the LaserPerformance people, as they may be able to help you.
      I have no affiliation with them.
      Regards
      Brendan

  5. Amy on May 6, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Hi,
    I am taking my laser across country and have a pretty crisp racing sail. It’s too long to have in the car with us and I worry about damage if transported externally. How much damage will be done if the sail is folded for a few weeks?

    • Admin on May 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Hi Amy
      I know that many sailors fold their sails and are not too worried about damaging them, but care does have to be taken. ie. Don’t crease the sails (ie. by putting weight on the folds) and don’t fold through the window. Other Laser sailors prefer to roll them all the time around a tube (eg. PVC pipe) because they prefer their sails to be as crease-free as possible, and they believe that they perform better.
      To answer your question, I don’t think they should be damaged too much if you take care. Just do a very loose fold, and don’t put anything on top of the folded sail.
      That being said, if you are super worried, you can get rolled sail bags that may be able to protect a rolled sail from damage if transported externally (although I am not sure how well they work, as I have never used one), so you may want to check out this option.
      You could also box it up yourself and courier it over if you don’t have room in your car (I bought a windsurfing sail on the internet from the other side of the country, and it arrived fine doing it this way).
      Check out this post for other’s thoughts on rolling and folding.
      All the best.
      Brendan

  6. AK on May 30, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I have just gotten a secondhand Laser dinghy which is 12 years old and I was just wondering how long do Lasers generally last if they are taken care of well.

    • Admin on June 2, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      hi AK
      Thanks for your question.
      It’s probably impossible to put an exact figure on it, but as long as they are well looked after, and also not had too much use (eg. hard, competitive racing), then a laser dinghy can last for years. If yours is 12 years old and been well looked after, it should still have plenty of life in it. There are plenty of laser dinghies going around racing every week that are more than 12 years old. Yours may not be as light, stiff or fast as the newer boats going, but if you are just starting out, it may be a great option to get you onto the water without spending a heap of money. Once you have improved your skills, you may be able to sell your 1st dinghy for (hopefully) not much less than you paid for it, and upgrade.
      Hope that helps a little
      Cheers
      Brendan

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