RC Laser Sailboat Review

best sailing watches

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Brendan

The RC (Remote Control) Laser sailboat is one of the easiest model yachts to assemble and operate. It is a scaled-down (1/4 size) version of the real boat – the famous racing Laser dinghy, which is the most popular sailing class in the world. The RC Laser Sailboat version of this boat was intended to be simple so that those who are new to the sport would find it relatively easy to get into due to affordability and ease of use.

However, just because it is easy to learn doesn’t mean it is easy to master. And this is one thing that makes it so appealing to sailors of all different ages and abilities.

The full-sized racing Laser dinghy was designed by Canadian sailor/yacht designer Bruce Kirby. Kirby has appeared in three Olympics and also designed two America’s Cup Defenders. The Laser is his most popular and best-known design. In fact, well over 200,000 of them have been built which makes the Laser the all-time most popular racing class. Read more about the full-sized laser dinghy here.

RC Laser sailboat

The RC version of the Laser was created by RC yacht designer Jon Elmaleh who has been one of the top designers of remote-controlled boats since 1982. He has also earned well over 30 championships in national RC racing events. His technical design skills partnered with practical racing experience aided in the final RC Laser product.

Why Choose an RC Laser Sailboat?

The RC Laser sailboat is an exciting way to get into the world of RC boats. The Laser is a very simple boat to operate and does not have the complicated hardware of other RC boats making it easy to assemble. There are no stays holding up the mast. The simple design makes it quick and easy to change rigs when the conditions vary… taking no more than a few minutes.

The RC Laser sailboat is also very durable and can be operated in almost any size body of water, including small ponds, bays, and lakes. The RC Laser sailboat is a great sailboat for kids and adults and is a perfect model for racing, and is good for anyone interested in remote control boats.

Similar to the full-sized version, all dinghies are the same, which makes for competitive racing. However, because of its simple design, it is relatively easy for beginners as well. This versatility makes it a popular choice for people of all experience levels.

RC Laser Specifications & Features

All RC Lasers have the same dimensions. Some of the Laser’s specs and features include:

Spec / FeatureDetails
Overall length105.4cm / 41.5in
Waterline length95.8cm / 37.7in
Beam33.3cm / 13.1in
Draft43.2cm / 17in
Weight4kg / 9lb
Overall height – A Rig216cm / 85in (from bottom of keel to top of mast)
Hull and deckOne piece molded polyethylene
MastTwo piece, tapered fiberglass and swivels as it is fitted into a non-captive deck step. There is no standing rigging.
SailsNon-woven polyester composite film, sleeved
BoomMetal boom with stainless outhaul sliders that are easy to adjust
GooseneckFixed to mast and rigid (no boom vang required)
KeelBulb on the bottom.
Inserted up through the bottom of the hull and locks into place (no tools required)
RudderClips into place
ElectronicsOn board, class-approved sail and steering servos
Radio compartmentEasy access with a snap-lid port
Radio2-channel AM system (for use with drum sail winch and steering servos)
BatteriesUses 8 or 12 AA batteries, alkaline or rechargeable (not included)
All PartsInexpensive to replace and designed to be completely interchangeable
OtherSaltwater safe, corrosion resistant

Different Kinds of Rigs

The Laser RC sailboat has a total of four different sails/rigs and each rig setup requires a slightly different mast and boom combination. As complicated as this may sound, it really isn’t and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be changing rigs quickly and with ease.

Many RC Laser Sailboat sailors actually own all 4 rigs (ie. 4 x masts, 4 x booms, 4 x sails – all rigged up and ready to go) so that they are able to pick the best rig for the conditions. If the conditions change throughout the day, then all the owner has to do is bring the boat to shore, unclip the mainsheet on the used rig and remove the rig, insert the new rig into the mast slot, and clip up the mainsheet on the new rig, and launch the boat. This means minimal time is wasted between races and gives the owner the best chance of being competitive.

Essentially the wind speed will help you to determine which rig setup to use. There may also be times when you will be able to run a bigger rig for a longer period of time as your sailing/skipper skills improve.

Rig Config / SpecsA RigB RigC RigD Rig
Mast height1.7m / 5' 7"1.35m / 4' 5"1.35m / 4' 5"1.35m / 4' 5"
Sail area0.612 sqm /
949 sq in
0.458 sqm /
710 sq in
0.387 sqm /
600 sq in
0.193 sqm /
300 sq in
Approx. wind speed (knots)< 67-1617-22> 23
boom and mast combinationdedicated A mast and standard boomstandard mast and standard boomstandard mast and short boomstandard mast and short boom

You can see the different sizes of the 4 rigs in the photo below (The A-rig is on the left, through to the D-rig on the right)

RC Laser 4 sizes of rigs
4 different rig sizes of the RC Laser

What You Get/Assembly Details

remote control laser dinghy

Believe it or not, an RC Laser sailboat has just five parts and can be rigged and unrigged in less than 5 minutes after your first assembly. The shipping box it arrives in has all the parts and you can put them together without the assistance of any tools. The hull, keel, rudder, mast, and sail all fit together easily and are designed specifically to be quickly launched, or so you can change rigging quickly to address different racing conditions.

Speaking of launching, all you need is a few feet of water and a gentle breeze. So, in other words, you can sail or race virtually anywhere there is some water. This includes a pond, lake, harbor, and even a swimming pool. Because of the efficient design, even a very light breeze can produce enough wind for your sailboat to work.

When it’s time to pack up and go, the RC Laser comes apart quickly and stows away in a padded boat bag that keeps everything in place and secure for any kind of travel. It is also compact and lightweight so you can carry your packed sailboat over your shoulder, in the trunk of a vehicle, or as luggage on a plane. It is that easy to take your hobby with you wherever you go.

Have a look at the video below to see how quickly and easily you can rig your RC Laser Sailboat (and if you have the rigs all set up to go, you can rig your Laser in about 1/2 the time in the video)…

Where To Purchase

Probably the best option when looking for an RC Laser for sale is to shop online. This is probably your best bet when you are trying to access everything from a used sailboat in good condition all the way to a new one. Plus, if you are in the market for accessories or replacement parts, you will be able to find whatever you need online. As for electronics, you can purchase most gear in most hobby/electronics stores.

Another source for locating new or second-hand sailboats is at a local yacht club, by asking around or on the noticeboard. Depending on the size of the community and proximity to water, many cities and regional towns have RC Yacht Clubs as well. The sailors/skippers in these clubs may have contacts that can help you locate what you are after.

Another option, hobby shops are where you may be able to find an RC Laser sailboat for sale.

As mentioned above, the RC Laser Sailboat is very popular. The reasons vary but most of it has to do with the fact that there are clubs set up so that you can actually race against others with identical boats (similar to the actual full-sized laser world-class racing dinghy). Being remote control, it is easy to learn (but can be difficult to master) and people of all ages and fitness levels can race. The interest in racing also spans generational boundaries with parents, children, and even grandparents racing each other on a family outing.

Laser RC sailboat

What has assisted in cementing the racing relationship of RC boats with real sailors is the formation of RC Yacht Clubs. Some are under the umbrella and share facilities with regular yacht clubs whereas others are stand-alone groups. The reasonable cost of RC Laser sailing is also what attracts people with a basic new starter kit running between $500 and $1,000.

One great way to connect with other RC sailboat owners is through social media and the internet. There are several pages on Facebook dedicated to the hobby as well as YouTube videos showing how they handle and how competitive racing these remote control model boats can be. See the video and links below for some good resources.

For More Information Visit These Websites


https://rclaser.org.uk/ contains information on news, events, and clubs around the UK, as well as other general RC Laser Sailboat information.


In Western Canada, the largest group is the NanaimoRC Laser Fleet 17 in British Columbia. Their website includes a schedule of upcoming racing events and has results posted from previous ones.


In the United States, there are quite a few clubs to check out. Have a look at https://rclaser.org/ for starters. It has a good list of clubs and events around the USA.


RC sailing is huge in Australia and some of the best sources for information on events, buying a boat and anything else you may need to know are at http://radiosail.com.au/ and https://rcyachts.net/classes/rc-laser/.

Other RC Sailing information:

In addition to the above sites, other great places to find out more about RC sailing include –

Your Laser RC Sailboat Is Waiting

Remote-controlled sailing is much more than just a hobby – it’s a sport that a complete world of competition has been built around. Included in that world is a lifestyle that brings families and friends together.

It can be as casual or as competitive as you desire and what makes RC sailing with a Laser RC boat most interesting is that it is fun for everyone.

Author note: Thanks to Graham, Steve, and the other gents down at Dobroyd Aquatic Club for sharing their time and RC Laser Sailboat expertise with me. They were very welcoming and willing to give their time and explain things in detail, just as many of the other club members around Australia and the rest of the world would be to RC sailing newbies, I am sure.

So if you want to know more about RC Laser sailing, have a look at the links provided above. And why not drop down to your local club and have a look for yourself and chat with the locals.

best sailing watches

About Brendan

Brendan has over 30 years experience sailing dinghies, yachts, and windsurfers, but has recently started Laser sailing. "I found it difficult to find all the information that I needed when I started sailing my Laser, and I am sure that others have had the same problem. So I combined all the information I could into this website to help other Laser sailors get the most out of this sport. If you have any questions or comments, let me know... I will get back to you as soon as I can."


  1. Peter O'Grady on May 9, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    What a great site! The RC Laser is certainly the best value for anyone looking to get into radio controlled boats. There are cheaper models but the longevity of the RC Laser puts it out in front. It is easy to sail but a real challenge to race. Great fun.

    • Admin on May 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Hi Peter
      Thanks for your message and comments. I think what you said “easy to sail but a real challenge to race” is what makes it so popular amongst so many people, and is similar to what makes the full-sized laser dinghy such a popular option also. I think it’s good to have something that you are not able to master in 2 seconds, but rather something that challenges you and you grow and learn in the process.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Bob Azbell on July 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

    When sailing down wind the bow starts to going under water. Is there anything I can do to stop this?

    • Admin on July 1, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Hi Bob.
      Thanks for your question.
      Due to the forces acting on the boat, this is to be expected to some extent. When sailing downwind, you have the sail pushing forward, and the drag of the boat moving through the water pushing in the other direction. This creates a turning moment, which can tend to push the bow down. In full sized dinghies and yachts, you can obviously counteract this by moving your weight back, but unfortunately you can’t really do this well with RC sailboats.
      A couple of things that you may be able to do include trying to avoid running into the back of waves (as this slows the boat down, and increases the turining moment which pushes the bow down). Another issue may be that you are overpowered, so you may want to try a smaller rig.
      Also, please have a look at this article which explains nosediving in more detail. Although it does not specifically talk about RC Lasers (it focuses on the International One Meter class, or IOM), the principles are the same.
      There may be other RC laser sailing experts out there that have some other ideas, so I would be interested to know their thoughts.
      Hope this helps a little.

  3. kenneth frankman on July 11, 2019 at 1:37 am

    hallo. My name is kenneth. I Im from Denmark. I just bord a rc laser. Do you know any one from Denmark who is sailing??? I would like to race. Have a nice day.

    • Admin on July 11, 2019 at 8:38 am

      Hi Kenneth
      Thanks for your message.
      I did a quick Google search and found this site – http://modelsejlklubben.dk/. It looks like they do not only race RC Lasers, but race all types of RC yachts.
      I am not aware of any other clubs that race RC Lasers in Denmark, but I would say that you would be best to just do a few Google searches for things like “RC Laser Sailing” or “rc laser sailing club”.
      Otherwise, if there is a sailing club near to where you live, why not go down there and ask around – some of the locals may know if there is a club nearby that sails RC yachts, and possibly RC Lasers.
      Thanks, and all the best.

  4. John Halloran on June 23, 2021 at 2:24 am

    Anyone know a way to take out creases in Out There Technology RC laser sails.
    Unfortunately I purchased replacement sails and received them through the post, they had been rolled C sail inside B sail from the head down rather than rolled around a tube from the foot up. Anyway, the crease in the leech is ugly and will affect performance,
    My question is, can the sails be ironed with a warm (not hot) steam iron with material (towel) between iron surface and sail or is there any other way to remove these creases.

    • Admin on June 23, 2021 at 10:42 am

      Hi John
      I haven’t tried ironing to remove the creases from sails, and have heard some stories of the heat ruining the sail, so you would have to be very careful.
      Here is another discussion on the topic. It may give you some other ideas.
      Best of luck with it.

  5. Edmund on November 22, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Hi. Do you maybe know where I can buy a rc laser somewhere in South Africa??

    • Admin on November 23, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Edmund
      Unfortunately, I am not sure where you would be able to buy an RC laser in South Africa.
      I did a little bit of research and it looks like Pretoria Sailing Club used to sail RC lasers, but I am not sure if they still do. It might be worth reaching out to the club to find out some more info. They might also be able to tell you where you can buy an RC laser.
      Best of luck.

  6. Martin on November 6, 2022 at 7:48 am

    Hello, How will the RC laser hold up in salt water?

    • Admin on November 6, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Hi Martin
      If you’re sailing your RC boat in salt water, it’s always a good idea to give everything a good rinse-off in fresh water and allow it to properly dry before packing it up.
      You want to take special care not to let any water inside the hull where the electronics are. This means sealing up all the hull penetrations such as screws holding the rudder and mainsheet servos and the hull access plate.
      After a day’s sailing, always check to see if any water got inside the hull. I put a couple of sponges inside the hull to soak up any drops that may enter.
      If you take care to wash & dry all your gear and keep water out of the inside of the hull, it minimizes the chance of having any issues.

    • Martin on November 26, 2022 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks for the information. That’s a great idea with the the sponge. Received my boat today. Looking forward to getting out on the water.

  7. Carl Roosa on January 15, 2024 at 7:49 am

    what radio is included in the RTR package?

    • Brendan on January 15, 2024 at 2:12 pm

      Hello Carl
      From my experience, when you buy a RC Laser sailboat, it typically comes with a 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver as part of the radio equipment. However, this equipment may vary depending on the specific package or seller. Radio equipment brands include Flysky and Spektrum.

Leave a Comment