There are quite a few excellent books on laser sailing that cover the spectrum from beginner to advanced. The picks below contain important information on the exciting sport detailing everything from laser sailing rigging to how to sail a laser dinghy.
Whether you are a novice or more experienced, there is a lot of information to learn, and if you fill your library with these titles, and study them often, you will be better prepared and can put the theory into practice when you hit the water.
Here is a close look at some of the best laser sailing books on the market…
The Complete Book of Laser Sailing by Dick Tillman
Dick Tillman’s book “The Complete Book of Laser Sailing” could not have had a better title. Tillman details what you need to know not only on how to set up your dinghy, he gives you the straight goods on how to properly sail your Laser.
This book covers everything you could possibly need to know from upwind and off wind racing techniques and how to train and condition yourself for racing to storage and maintenance tips and how to rig and sail.
What makes this book stand out is that the author is an expert on the subject of sailing lasers having won the first three Laser North American Championships (1971 to 1973), was on the US Olympic sailing team in 1976, won the Laser North American Masters (1981 and 1982) and the Great Grand Master Laser World Champion in 2002.
Tillman still races and shares his wealth of information in this must-have book.
Laser Sailing From Start To Finish by Timothy Davison
Timothy Davison’s “The Laser Book”, subtitled “Laser Book: Laser Sailing From Start To Finish”, is jam packed with rigging, launching and sailing advice and tips on how to do all of those tasks in different weather conditions.
It is also probably one of the better guides on competitive racing where you’ll learn how to set up control lines plus how to master laser standard, radial, and 4.7 rigs. Tips also assist on how to race to win by avoiding common mistakes and by racing smart.
Davison has held the Laser (Masters) European and National Championships plus two Moth Nationals.
In his book, his enlists the help of other racing pros to share their experience on sailing lasers. They include Paul Goodison the top laser sailor in the world and Olympic Gold medallist and European and British Champion, Steve Cockerill, a six-time Laser Radial National Champion and Radial Masters World Champ. Philip White, a top Laser 4.7 racer is also involved in the book providing information on his favorite racing dinghy.
The Laser Campaign Manual by Ben Ainslie
“The Laser Campaign Manual” by Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie is chock full of the tips and tricks that won him that medal.
Being known as the fastest laser sailor on the planet carries a lot of responsibility and Ainslie chooses to take it and share all his knowledge in this guide that will turn you into a competitive racer.
This book is an interesting combination of photos and text that is designed to teach you how to properly set up laser sailing rigging, how to maneuver around a course fast, the fitness and training tips you need to keep your body in top racing form and how to become a champion Laser sailor.
This is a must-read for anyone who sails small sailboats… not just those in the Laser community.
RYA Laser Handbook by Paul Goodison
The top laser sailor in the world and Olympic Gold medallist and European and British Champion, Paul Goodison hits our list for the second time but this time around with his own book.
Titled the “RYA Laser Handbook”, Goodison uses it to share his vast knowledge on sailing with a good chunk of the book centered on his suggestions for setup and handling of sailing lasers in any possible condition you can imagine. That information alone makes this guide a serious contender as a sailing/racing reference book.
The book also contains a generous amount of photographs that are used to illustrate the details described in the text on such items as how much vang is required and useful hiking positions to save you from learning through your own trial and error.
In addition, Goodison continues to race so his practical and logical tips and tweaks are not only based on his personal experience, they are also up-to-date with current laser sailing and racing standards.
Sailing Fitness and Training by Michael Blackburn
While most of the laser sailing books contained on this list mention conditioning in sections of them, Michael Blackburn’s “Sailing Fitness and Training” book focuses on just that subject.
Simply put, this book explores the ‘physical factors that affect sailing performance’ and in doing so reveals some interesting methods you can use to learn how to improve your strength, endurance, flexibility and agility when sailing lasers. Blackburn is a Sports Scientist and World Champion sailor who completely understands the forces placed upon the body and the energy required to sail and race like a winner.
There is a lot to be said about being mentally prepared for a race as being one of your best weapons. If your body is not in tune with a high fitness level, there is no way you will win those races and competitions if you can’t keep up physically.
Blackburn’s book is one of the best fitness and training tools designed specifically for sailing lasers as it is written by a sailor.
Laser Racing by Ed Baird
If you are serious about racing then you will want to have a copy of “Laser Racing” by Ed Baird.
In this book, you will learn through words and photos how to prepare your boat, improve your skills and apply them to racing.
Baird, who is considered one of the top US racers and was Laser World Champion in 1980, uses his practical advice to ease you through every step of a competitive race from the starting line, through any possible scenario you may encounter during a race, to finishing hard and fast.
How Serious Are You About Your Laser Sailing?
You can learn a lot about how to sail a laser dinghy from other sailors. When those other sailors happen to be world champions at that sport you know you are going to gain some great knowledge from those who have experienced it all. That is what makes each of these books essential reading for anyone at any level of laser sailing.
You can try to pick it up and learn it all on your own, but experts in any field know the importance of learning from the best. If you can get personal access to the likes of Michael Blackburn and Ben Ainslie, then, of course, you would be mad not to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, most of us don’t, so the next best thing is to read up and study books written by these experts to speed up your learning.
Purchase one or all of them and you are sure to become much better at sailing lasers than if you do it all on your own.
Do you have a favorite Laser Sailing book? Please tell us what is your best sailing book and why below…