Laser vs. Butterfly

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by h2oTravis, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. h2oTravis

    h2oTravis New Member

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    I've been sailing about a year and am considering buying an older Laser. I'd like to get a small, simple boat and the Laser fits most of my criteria, but I haven't sailed one yet. (Not quite warm enough yet here in the Midwest US)

    I took sailing lessons on a Santana 20 and sailed around in a club-owned Butterfly for most of the summer of 2009.

    How stable is a Laser compared to a Butterfly? I may or may not get into racing, but for now, I just want a relatively inexpensive and simple boat to have some fun in light/moderate winds.

    Thanks
     
  2. AQBill

    AQBill Member

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    How about a Sunfish? Easier to manage in a blow than the others and you can set your rig up to allow you to take a friend! Cheaper, too, at least cheaper than a Laser. Not sure about the Butterfly... More importantly, are there any fleets in your area. While you may or may not want to race, it's nice to have a one-design choice.:D
     
  3. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    I have sailed all three boats in question (Laser, Butterfly and Sunfish) in Michigan in years past. The Laser is a great boat, fast and responsive but with its round hull shape, it is tippy and prone to capsize especially dead downwind in a strong breeze. They are also rather expensive new compared to the two other boats, but can be found old and used in the $500 to $1,200 range.

    The Butterfly is a scow shape hull (flat bottom) and very stable. It sails well but is somewhat slower than the Sunfish or Laser. That said, it is a well designed boat that is fun to sail in all ranges if wind. I don't know what they cost these days new or used.

    The Sunfish might be your best bet, good performance and a lot more stable than the Laser and almost as stable as the Butterfly. New they cost about $4,000. Used they run
    anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for a decent boat.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  4. h2oTravis

    h2oTravis New Member

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    Thanks - I appreciate you guys sharing your experience. I think I was shying away from a sunfish because of the lateen rig (no experience with it), but I'll definitely consider it now.
     
  5. MasterMike

    MasterMike D22

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    My father had a Butterfly when I was a kid. We sailed it for years, sometimes with two aboard.

    With a little experience, a Laser is much more fun to sail. The scow bottom really pounds even in minor chop. The Laser planes much sooner as well. A much more responsive boat.

    Another opinion +/-
    M
     
  6. h2oTravis

    h2oTravis New Member

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    I appreciate it, and I'll take as much experienced advice I can get. I want to be an educated buyer.
     
  7. h2oTravis

    h2oTravis New Member

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    Thought I'd let you know that I bought a Sunfish. I found a 1979 Sunfish on Craigslist for $300 (with a trailer!). It's in fine shape for being 30 years old.

    Trailer needed some new wiring, new light bulbs, and tires. Everything was original on the boat as far as I know. I replaced the halyard and outhaul lines, and am planning to replace the tiller bridal. The sail is... uh... 30 years old - but still usable. I'll probably replace it at some point.

    Anyway - time to hit the water!
     

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  8. AQBill

    AQBill Member

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    Way to go h2oTravis! Get yourself a copy of the Sunfish Bible from the Class Office. It's full of all kinds of interesting tips about sailing your fish. Don't know if there's a fleet around Omaha but perhaps you can check that out too. Finally, keep in touch with us at the Forum. :D
     
  9. tag

    tag my2fish

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    I kind of like the color patterns on your sail, and it doesn't look too bad!
    $300 for the boat and trailer sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

    let us know how she sails! looks like the kids are dying to test it out.

    cheers,
    tag
     

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