Tips For Buying A Laser Dinghy

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Last Updated on February 25, 2022 by Brendan

Buying a laser dinghy can be a challenging task for a beginner. Learn what to watch out for when buying so you get your money’s worth.

The Laser is considered to be one of the most well-known and accepted single-handed dinghies in the world. A lot of sailing aficionados love this sprightly little boat. If you are one of those thinking of buying your own laser sailing boat, there are certain things you need to consider in order to make the right choice. No one sailboat has it all or does it all for that matter, but knowing exactly what you are looking for will make the choice a lot easier.

For a lot of sailors, the dilemma is often about stability or speed. A fast boat usually means less stability.  In choosing your boat, you need to assess your need for excitement, speed, work involved, competition, and price.

Questions and Things To Look For When Buying A Laser Dinghy

Which Size Laser Dinghy?

Check everything when buying a laser dinghy before handing over any money
Check everything on the laser dinghy before handing over any money

A laser is designed with the size of the sailor in mind. Different kinds of laser dinghies cater to different weight categories of their users. For instance, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 are recommended for smaller sailors while a full-size Laser Standard is good for sailors 80kgs and above.

Where Do You Find Laser Dinghies?

When you have finally decided what kind of laser dinghy to want the next step would naturally be to buy it. There are several companies all over the world that sell new laser dinghies, and of course, there are always 2nd hand laser dinghies available. Be sure to know the things that you need to look out for to make sure that what you are buying is an authentic laser dinghy.

For a comprehensive look at where to look for 2nd hand laser dinghies, click here.

What to Look For When Buying a Laser Dinghy

Firstly, check out the sailboat number either on the deck or at the back of the cockpit. Newer dinghies have their serial numbers at the back of the cockpit while the older ones have their numbers etched on the deck. This is valuable information to help you determine the quality and the age of the boat.

Secondly, check the condition of the hull and the deck. Watch out for deep scratches or cracks because they are telltale signs of damage and leaking. Check the boat for stiffness to assess if it had a lot of use already. A new boat is nice and firm. A boat’s stiffness decreases with time and use and so could tell a lot about the boat’s overall quality. The softer the boat is the higher is the probability of leaks.

Thirdly, check the integrity of the mast step and watch out for cracks, leaks, and wear. The mast step bears most of the pressure from the mast and the sail hence it is extremely important that its condition is excellent.

Lastly, inspect all other parts of the laser such as the dagger board and rudder, the tiller and tiller extension, the mast and boom for straightness, and the sail and ropes for wear and tear. Appraise the general appearance. You will know if the boat has been well taken care of by the way it looks.

Don’t Forget to Check the Laser Dinghy Trailer

If the sailboat comes with a trailer and/or launching trolley, you will also need to check the general condition of these also, including rust, wheels, and tires, and whether the trailer is roadworthy and registered for road use.

For a detailed look at things to check when buying a laser, click here.


Sailing a laser can be so much fun especially if you are confident that your boat is sturdy and safe. Buying a substandard boat just because it is cheaper might turn out to be more expensive in the long run considering the expenses for repairs you may need to do to keep it on the water as well as competitive.

The tips above are just some points that you need to be aware of when buying a laser dinghy. It is also best if you seek the advice of a trusted expert or a seasoned sailor. There are things that only an experienced eye can see, so getting the help of a laser dinghy sailor is always a good idea.

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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."

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