Things To Consider When Buying a Laser Dinghy

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If you are looking for a laser sailboat for sale you need to take into consideration the benefits of buying used over new. This is especially true if you are new to sailing and are not sure how seriously you intend to plunge into the sport.

A second-hand laser dinghy for sale may be all you will need in order to enjoy sailing. However, as is the case when purchasing anything used, you will need to know what to look for when examining the condition of the laser boat for sale you are considering purchasing.

Here are a few things to consider before you start your search for a laser dinghy (note that many of the points below relate to any type of sailing dinghy… not just laser dinghies)…

Should I Buy A New Or A Used Laser Sailboat?

First, you’ll have to decide which type of sailing you’re most interested in. If you’re learning or have limited funds, then the used boat is great. If you’re looking for speed and performance and have the money, then a new laser dinghy may be your ideal choice.

There is no right or wrong as it depends on your personal circumstances. It’s a bit like buying a car. If you buy new, there is often less to worry about – there should not be any hidden issues for unsuspecting buys to worry about. New boats are often lighter and will have better sails and rigs than used dinghies, which can make a difference in speed. Second-hand boats are obviously going to be cheaper and can be a great way to get into the sport.

However, especially if you are going down the 2nd hand route, there are a few things to consider before you decide which boat is the best for you.

If the boat has been used and you’re not sure of its condition, you will want to do a thorough inspection before the purchase. You’ll need to inspect the boat’s hull, foils, trailer, sails, rigging, and hardware. You should also make sure that you have all the necessary safety equipment to sail safely. You can read more about what to check when inspecting a laser here.

Like a new car, a new laser will lose value as soon as you buy it, but you may be able to sell a 2nd hand laser for the same amount you pay for it (if you bought it at a good price and look after it).

Then there is the cost comparison. Obviously, 2nd hand laser dinghies are much cheaper than new ones. If you are brand new to the sport, many choose to buy 2nd hand just to test out whether they will enjoy laser sailing. This way, they can usually get close to their money back if they sell and there is less risk on what they initially spend. If they get into it, then they may choose to upgrade to much better or new gear.

Since everyone’s circumstances are different, only you will be able to decide whether a new or 2nd hand laser dinghy is the right choice.


The budget you have allocated for your laser dinghy is one of the main things you may consider. For people just getting into laser sailing, as mentioned above, quite often they will buy a used or 2nd hand laser. At a lower price point, this is a good way to test whether or not you like the sport.

If you have decided that a 2nd hand laser is the best option for you, you still have to decide approximately how much you are willing to spend. Second-hand Laser dinghies come at a range of price points depending on their age, condition, accessories/extras, etc.

Boats that are relatively new and have been well looked after will naturally have a much higher asking price than one that has been raced hard, neglected, or has missing parts.

When you know how much money you are able to spend, there are a number of things that you have to consider when looking at various boats so that you don’t exceed your budget.

Sailing Extras

If you buy a boat, even if it is advertised as ready to sail, you may have to fork out more for extras that you may not have been initially aware of.

Some of the extras that you may want to look out for may include:

Laser Dollies and Trailers
Quite often a laser dinghy may be missing a few parts that you need or want. So make sure to inspect it thoroughly and consider all extra costs before parting with your cash
  1. Clothing – including wetsuit and/or rash vest, life jacket, hat, sunglasses, boots, gloves, etc. We have a lot of this gear in our store, so make sure you check it out here.
  2. Trailer – these can be hard and expensive to source. Ideally, if you need to transport your Laser, you want to purchase one that comes with a trailer. Trailers can also be bought new (more expensive) or 2nd hand (rare). If you are going to register the trailer, then the applicable fees should be considered. Click here to check out some new laser trailers
  3. Launching Trolley/Dolly – makes it much easier to launch. This allows you to launch your Laser single-handedly. Click here to check out some laser dollies
  4. Boat Cover – to protect your boat from dust, dirt, rain, etc (click here to check out some boat covers)
  5. Membership Fees – to sail and race out of a club, you will most probably need to become a member of that club. Contact your local club for details
  6. Missing/Broken Parts – any fittings or parts on the boat that are broken, not working properly, or missing should also be considered. We have a variety of parts for your laser dinghy for you to check out. Click here for more information.
  7. Turbo Kit (additional blocks and new cleats/control lines enabling easier allowing easier adjustment of vang, cunningham, and outhaul) – not essential at beginner level but it’s good to have from day 1, as they are fairly expensive to buy new.

Checking a Used Laser Dinghy

Boat Number

The serial number of the boat can unlock a lot of information for you. This includes the actual age of the boat (see a list of hull/sail numbers and the age of the dinghy here). While older boats in good condition can still outperform newer ones that have had a lot of use, knowing the age can help with assessing the overall condition.

For example, you will want to take a close look at the deck and hull. The typical wear and tear signs you will find should roughly match how old the boat is. That is to say, an older boat should show slightly more wear than a boat a few years younger and not the other way around. If it doesn’t, then this may give you an indication of how it was looked after or how much use it has actually had.

For a comprehensive list of things to check when looking for a laser sailboat for sale, click here.

Other Buying Considerations

Here are some further things to consider if you are thinking of buying a laser dinghy:

  1. Skill level: Lasers are high-performance boats that require some sailing experience to handle. Make sure you have the necessary skills to handle a laser safely and comfortably. Although you can learn to sail on a laser, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the basics on other, more stable, easier-to-sail dinghies or yachts.
  2. Fitness and size: Your level of fitness and height/weight can affect which type of dinghy, and which laser rig, is best for you.
  3. Intended use: Consider what you want to do with the laser. Will you be racing or sailing recreationally? Do you plan to sail in calm waters or open waters or seas? This can affect the type of laser you choose.
  4. Transport and storage: Consider how you will transport the boat and where you will store it. Lasers are relatively small boats and can be stored on a trailer or in a garage. But if space is at a premium where you live, it may not be ideal. Some sailing clubs let you store your laser for a monthly/annual fee, so this may be an option.
  5. Availability of parts and service: Lasers are popular boats, so finding replacement parts and service should not be an issue. However, it’s still important to check and consider the availability of parts in your area.
  6. Class rules: If you plan to race your laser, make sure it complies with class rules. Lasers are highly regulated boats, and modifications or the use of parts that are not class-compliant can result in disqualification.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your search for a laser dinghy and find a boat that meets your needs and budget.


Shopping around for a laser sailboat for sale is much like buying a used car. There are going to be many variables to factor into the equation but ultimately you are looking for a used item in good enough condition that you won’t be spending a lot on upkeep and repairs. You are also trying to find the right laser dinghy for sale whereby it is good value for what you end up spending on it.

But where should you look in order to find a good quality second-hand laser boat for sale at an affordable price? Click here for where to look for a laser dinghy for sale.

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