The Laser was designed by Bruce Kirby and unveiled to the public at the 1971 New York Boat Show. Since then 200,000+ Lasers have been built to date and are sailed across 140+ countries, with its popularity being primarily due to its simplicity and performance.
Racing is very competitive due to the one-design restrictions, which means sailors are truly able to test their ability, rather than rely on differences in hull shape, sails, and other gear to gain an advantage.
The Laser Dinghy – 3 Sailboats In 1
The 3 rigs – 4.7, Radial and Full/Standard Rigs – mean that sailors of just about any ability or age can enter the sport, and advance with minimal cost.
The Laser 4.7…
utilizes a smaller sail than the Standard rig (4.7m2 / 50.6 ft2 which is 33% smaller) and a shorter pre-bent lower mast section. It is ideal for lighter sailors (up to 121lb / 55kg) and beginners.
The Laser Radial…
uses a smaller sail than the Standard rig (5.76m2 / 62 ft2 which is 18% smaller) and a shorter more flexible lower mast section. It is suitable for sailors between about 121lb – 154lb / 55kg – 70kg. The Radial is the most popular class of Laser, as it is suitable for the largest amount of people, including youth, women, and masters. The radial sail can easily be identified by the sail cut in a radial pattern emanating out from the clew.
The Standard Rig…
has a 7.06m2 / 76 ft2 sail, and is more suitable for sailors above about 143lb / 65kg. This rig is suited to the heavier sailors in windy conditions where weight, strength, and fitness are critical.
Summary of Key Laser Dinghy Specifications
- Length overall (LOA): 4.23m / 13ft 10.5in
- Length waterline (LWL): 3.81m / 12ft 6in
- Beam: 1.42m / 4ft 8in
- Hull Weight: 57kg / 125lb
Laser Sail Area Specs:
Laser Standard Rig
- Sail area: 7.06m2 / 76 ft2
- Luff: 5.13m
- Leech: 5.57m
- Foot: 2.74m
- Sail area: 5.76m2 / 62 ft2
- Luff: 4.56m
- Leech: 5.01m
- Foot: 2.74m
- Sail area: 4.70m2 / 50.6 ft2
- Luff: 4.09m
- Leech: 4.54m
- Foot: 2.48m