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.
- How long is a laser sailing race?
- How old is my laser sailing dinghy?
- How does laser sailing work?
- How to rig a laser sailing boat?
- What is laser sailing?
- What to wear laser sailing?
- What is laser radial sailing?
- How much do laser sailboats cost?
- How fast do laser sailboats go?
- How much does a laser sailboat weigh?
- How long is a laser dinghy?
- What to look for when buying a laser dinghy?
- Where to put tell tales on a laser sail?
- Where to buy a laser sailboat
- Where are laser sailboats made?
- How to fold a laser sail?
- When is the Laser sailing season?
- Where is my nearest Laser sailing club?
- Where can you sail a Laser?
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?
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 of laser sail numbers by year 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 – 210618|
|2016||210619 – 212235|
|2017||212236 – 214962|
|2018||214953 – 216182|
|2019||216183 – 217579|
|2020||217580 – 218359|
|2021||218360 – 220548|
|2022||220549 – 222993|
|2023||222994 – ?|
How does laser sailing work?
Laser sailing is quite different from sailing on 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:
- Gather all the pieces in one place. Connect both pieces of the mast. Make sure they fit together securely.
- Slide the mast into the pocket of the sail. Make sure to insert the battens into the sail.
- Put the mast into the mast step on the deck.
- Put the front end of the boom into the gooseneck.
- Connect the outhaul, fasten the clew-tie-down, and tie it around the boom.
- Rig the mainsheet.
- Fasten the boom vang to the lowermost part of the mast.
- Screw the hull plug into the drain hole.
- Fasten the rudder, and connect the tiller and tiller extension.
- 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 a one-design 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, the 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 great option for laser sailors. Lighter colors work best because they protect you when it’s cool and wet, but do not get as 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 as 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?
“Laser sailboat fastest recorded speed is 18.6 knots.”
The fastest recorded speed that we could find was 18.6 knots back in 2017 in Great Britain. You can read more about that record Laser speed here.
The previous record was in 2009 and was located in Honolulu, which pegged the Laser speed at 16.8 knots. Read more here.
How much does a laser sailboat weigh?
“Laser sailboat hull weight is 56.7 kg. or 125 lb.”
Laser sailboats are generally lightweight, making them easy to transport. The hull weight is 56.7 kg. or 125 lb. and can be lifted onto the car-top rack without a problem.
Its nominal weight including the deck fittings is equal to 59 kg or 130 lb.
How long is a laser dinghy?
“Laser sailboat length is 4.23m or 13ft 10.5in.”
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 ft 10.5 in long, and its waterline length is equal to 3.81 meters or 12 ft 6 in. It has a beam of 1.42m / 4ft 8in.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
When is the Laser sailing season?
Most sailing clubs that race laser dinghies hold races in the warmer months, but this does vary depending on the club and where you live. During warmer months, there may be races every weekend. However, during the cooler months, races may be less frequent or racing may stop altogether until it warms up again.
Where is my nearest Laser sailing club?
Laser sailing clubs can either be part of a bigger yacht or sailing club or their own standalone club. If they are part of a bigger club, then they may have races dedicated to Lasers or races may be mixed in with dingies of different makes and sizes. Clubs can be found all over the place… all that is needed is a good-sized lake or body of water. Click here for a list of Laser sailing clubs.
Where can you sail a Laser?
Because the Laser is so versatile, you can sail it in a wide variety of places. Any good-sized body of water may be ok for Laser sailing. Lasers are sailed on lakes, rivers, bays, dams, and also the ocean. If you are just starting out, one of the best places to sail a Laser is by going to your local yacht or sailing club. Most clubs will have a Laser fleet, and they will be more than willing to teach you how to sail. Another option is to ask around at your local marina, or even better if you live near a university, check out their sailing club. Most universities have a sailing club that will be more than willing to have you join and learn how to sail.