Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by kriss, Apr 13, 2009.
if anyone sailed amf froce 5 sailboats can you compare it to a laser?
arf, arf, arf. its a dog
There's an annoying prick at my lake that has a force 5 and keeps coming by anf telling me how good it is... that may be but I do notice that whenever I am out he's not...
We had some moderately string (maybe 20+) winds one weekend and we had been enjoying the lasers all day, he comes by and asks us if we had been out and that he was afriad he would break something on his force 5... I thought "force 5" was a reference to a windspeed of about 20 kts...
Sry... realize my post adds little to the answering of your question... and I hate to be such a "show up and race me" kinda guy... but I just get a weird vibe from this guy who owns a force 5, and that is the extent of my experience.
F-5 more sail area. Double ended cockpit led controls =more adjustable. Heavier. hard chines so a little more stable on a plane.
I like them I am too small and no real fleets up here. I would buy one if I could find one.
'Avg' Portsmouth handicaps:
Force 5 = 95.4; Laser= 91.1; hence, the Laser is a bit faster.
For more input about your question, see:
In addition to beaker's comments, the Force 5 has a halyard, I believe.
Might be a good option for a larger sailor. However, you will hardly find any boats to race against.
I'll stick with my laser. I've never sailed a Force 5 but I do like the ability to find a race on just about any body of water I sail on.
You can't do that with a Force 5....
I really like 'em - but the Laser's got better parts availability and people to race against
A couple of them around that race in our portsmouth series. They really like them and are very competitive in most conditions. Like others have said - heavier than a laser, more sail area and hard chined hull.
My first boat was a Force 5. It has a sleeved sail, but I sold it because to sail OD pretty much anywhere I needed a Laser. 26 years later and still sailing lasers.
I've owned both for quite a few years. My observations:
Force 5 has/is:
- much better controls since the get go (Harken blocks, mid-boom sheeting, a real traveler, an 8:1 vang since 1978)
- more comfortable to hike on due to the curved deck
- more durable sail
- more design weaknesses, but most have been fixed with new designs incorporated by the current builder (post 1993)
- reasonably comfortable for a couple to daysail in compared to a Laser (the F5 was conceived as a dinghy capable of carrying a couple - that's what some of the very early ads showed) while the Weekender/Laser was always a one-person boat)
- no history of mast step problems
- terrible quality control in the early-to-mid 1980s
- extremely limited OD racing
- very small active class
- a very affordable (on the used market) way for a newbie to get into sailing with a planing dinghy
- pretty close in performance to the Laser in winds 10 kts or less
- much slower then the Laser in 12-15 kts where the Laser will plane much more quickly and easily
- more difficult to handle off the wind than the Laser in 20kts+ (ie, slower) due in large part to the higher center of effort and relatively narrower forward hull section
- less responsive than the Laser (heavier, esp if the foam in older boats has absorbed water)
So, yeah the Laser is faster in most conditions and clearly is the way to go for serious OD racing. And the average Laser sailor is much more experienced (ie, "better) than the average Force 5 sailor. And although having Vanguard in the picture does provide some benefits, Laser sailors really get screwed on parts pricing. The most glaring example is the sail which is roughly 20% smaller than a Force 5 sail and far less durable, yet costs significantly more even though it is produced in vastly greater numbers.
It's really too bad that when Kirby designed the original Weekender way back in the dark ages he didn't use the Super Sunfish rig as his model for the running rigging rather than the Sunfish. Would have been a much better design IMHO (mainsheet half as long, traveler, etc)
But the Laser despite its crummy rigging scheme is still by far the premier single-handed OD dinghy. It really doesn't make much sense to denigrate the Force 5 as a "dog" since its design criteria were different (capable of carrying a couple). It's kind of like disparaging a minivan b/c it doesn't handle like a sports sedan; they were designed with different purposes in mind.
I'm glad I own both. My wife and I can have a blast on a windy day in the F5 and when I want to be humbled I race my Laser. There are SO many excellent Laser sailors out there!
I've not sailed since 1980, or so, when I sold my 21' Seafarer. I'm an older salt looking to get back into a relatively comfortable planing hull. I want some excitement, but I don't need to race. The thrill of the wind, spray and hike are sufficient. May I conclude you who denigrate the Force 5, would recommend it for me? You make it sound reasonably comfortable for 2 and exciting enough for someone who needs a hand getting in and out of a Sunfish. Or, do you recommend something else, altogether different?
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