Laser Standard vs Radial

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by antoineg, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. antoineg

    antoineg New Member

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    Hi, I have a Laser Standard, but due to my weight, I need a smaller sail for stronger winds. Would a radial sail fit on my laser without the need to change the mast?
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Nope and the sail wouldn't work the way it's supposed to either. The shorter lower mast section of the radial also is bendier so it gives in a breeze.
     
  3. mee168

    mee168 New Member

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    Hi there, antoineg.

    I have a very good idea for you. You just need to reef your standard sail if you find you need a smaller sail area in stronger wind. Reef as in wrap the sail one or two times around the mast. I believe you still can enjoy sailing as much. There is no need to change any part of your laser.

    Check out this video clip to see how sailors used to reef their sails in strong wind...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3uhghIrwQY

    Or go to www.youtube.com and search for 'Slalom Laser 70's'

    Everything is possible! Yeehoo!! .. except that I don't know whether you are allowed to reef your sail in race... :)
     
  4. Owyn in Barnsley

    Owyn in Barnsley New Member

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    I'd not bother with the reefing, it means you can't control the luff tension with the cunningham which is a dead good way of getting power out of the rig.

    At our club you can only switch down to a radial if you want to be heckled and generally laughed at for being a big girls blouse so I'd recommend learning to sheet in and out faster than lightning.
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, that sounds like a warm and fuzzy club, and it seems counterproductive for using the best go fast techniques, such as cleating and steering with body weight. Fortunately, I haven't heard of any of the guys getting heckled for the rig they choose at my club or in my travels in the district. I guess we save our heckling for football.
     
  6. Owyn in Barnsley

    Owyn in Barnsley New Member

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    Yep, it's a club of men, drysuits are also frowned upon.
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    When I joined my club, it didn't seem like there was a lot of active women, and I thought, there's not enough pink around here! :p Well, lucky for me, the Lido fleet has grown with lots of active women. Since we are generally more group than fleet oriented, things are getting livelier, that's for sure. As for dry suits, I don't think they are frowned upon by the men at our club, they are just too darned expensive for the average sailor. When it gets down to it, I think that the guys at my club frown on hypothermia :eek: more than they do on any girly rig or clothes. They are self-assured, and that's so manly! :)
     
  8. antoineg

    antoineg New Member

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    Hi guys! thanks for all your help!
     
  9. Owyn in Barnsley

    Owyn in Barnsley New Member

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    Sorry about that but seriously, reefing the main takes away the ability to crank on the cunningham, this bends the mast, opens the leech and shifts the centre of pressure forwards, this all makes it easier to sail and loses some power out of the rig, much better than reefing.

    As for a radial, you'll need a new bottom section, it's a bit more bendy and shorter. In a blow they are really fast and if you are in a full rig they hang around like a bad smell.
     
  10. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

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    I sailed a standard from the age of 15, the radial wasn't so well known in Belgium, so i was very underweight in the begin, also when there where younger male sailors starting in the radial where as owyn says where laughed upon. Due to the low level of standard sailors in Belgium, and the high level in holland, i am now losing weight, to go sailing in the radial fleet, where there are also a lot more sailors. Let them laugh at the club, i beat there butts at the clubchampionship with my standard, and now i can sail in a bigger fleet, with a few mates.

    ps: I used to wear a drysuit, butt i prefer a long wetsuit
     
  11. Laserite

    Laserite New Member

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    Cleating the mainsheet and steering by body weight would have to be classified as a "go slow" technique.
     
  12. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    National differences in "fleets" is interesting. I have the impression (not based of figures nor facts) that in the UK the Laser Standard is more popular (larger standard fleets). However, in France the Radial has much larger fleets (looking through the published results the Radials have much much larger fleets).

    What then becomes interesting is the difference between the two countries in terms of people weights. I wonder if this might be related to how much people weigh. Certainly the UK has far more people who weight a bit more than they should whereas France is a somewhat slimmer nation. The statistics show this clearly, however, just walk round a K town and a French town and it will immediately strike you about the difference in the size (width) of people. Whether this relates to the Standard/Radial balance who knows (I'm sure I'm making 2+2=22 here).

    Ian
     
  13. gordo

    gordo New Member

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    well i would say cleating the main is bad. but steering with body weight when running is a "go fast" technique. while carving you should be triming your main along with it. remember the most speed efficent way to steer a boat is not with the rudder. the rudder acts as a break. stering with you bodyweight downwind takes a good deal of practice but is a good technique, you have to really get locked into the boat to do so, its hard for somepeople to really find a good seated posistion to do so. but back to my point that is is a "go fast" technique
     
  14. cbyc_radial_sailor

    cbyc_radial_sailor New Member

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    haha after reading that and watching the youtube video all i can say is wow...
    how much do you weigh exactly? I sail 4.7s because they won't let me sail a radial because I weigh 85 lbs. I would suggest getting a new lower mast section and a new sail... both sized for a radial. The boom and upper mast stay the same. Same with the hull.
     
  15. Lee

    Lee New Member

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    I'm about 150 lbs. and sail both a radial and full rig. Compared to a full rig the radial is noticeably slower, especially in light to moderate wind. This seems to be supported by the higher Portsmouth ratings for a radial rig versus a full rig at all wind strengths. The difference in speed seems to diminish as the wind strength increases but it is still present. If you are in a mixed fleet it can be frustrating to have a built in disadvantage if you sail the radial. However, I find that I enjoy sailing the radial more than the full rig once the wind builds. Being in control is a good thing. Having both rigs is a great option and one reason I like the Laser. Getting the lower mast section and radial sail was one of the better decisions I have made.
     

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