Radial versus Standard: How Different?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by mnlake, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. mnlake

    mnlake New Member

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    I would like to buy a Laser Radial to sail in the the Caribbean, where the winds in the winter are most often 8-15 MPH. I'm an experienced centerboard sailor and recreational racer, about 60 years old, and am concerned that the Laser Radial would be too much work just to keep upright when day sailing, although I would like to do a little racing as well. I have two questions:
    1) How would you describe the difference between the Standard Laser and the Radial regarding how tender and difficult it is to sail in 8-15 MPH?
    2) Would it be possible to put a 4.7 sail on a Radial rig just for daysailing in higher winds?

    Any help would be appreciated
    P.S. I am 5'8" and weigh 165 lbs.
     
  2. David

    David New Member

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    I wouldn't put a 4.7 on a radial, it just won't work right... With your size, and the winds only being 8-15mph, you should do just fine with a radial.You should do fine, I'm very close to your size, and I could hold a standard rig down in 20 knot winds (mind you, it was tough...). I've since moved to a radial, simply because it's a little easier for me to handle on those regatta days ;).
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I weigh a little less than you and am two inches shorter, a few years younger, and I think the Radial would be just fine in those conditions. When the wind hits 12-15 it gets to be a challenge for me with the standard, but part of that is experience. (I'm getting better! :D )

    For the 4.7, you'd have to buy the lower mast section for it too. Not only would the sail be quite a ways above the boom, the lower mast of the 4.7 has a bend in it designed for 4.7 sail performance.

    Also, if you're racing a Radial, are there other Radial racers? If you're racing against the standard, you'll be really slow in the lower wind conditions and won't stand a chance unless you get a handicap.

    Merrily
     
  4. WestCoast

    WestCoast New Member

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    Radial target weight range is 110-150lbs.

    For breeze on, you should be just fine with a little more weight if you aren't excited about hiking hard all day =)
     
  5. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    Hi,

    You must be in the Leewards for the wind to be that light?

    I'm your size, and 55, and I'd never even consider a Radial for 8-15. I'd just get a Full rig. It's easy to hold down beating, and more fun reaching and running. If it goes to 20+ and you're not racing, then a full is better for reaching/surfing around recreationally.

    I can handle a full in 30+ if reaching around, just beating becomes a workout, but still doable. In the 30's you can do a wrap or two around the mast to reef it, but the sail shape is awful, thus hard to beat with, e.g. the cunningham becomes useless, but reaching/surfing is fun.

    So, for 8-15 trade winds, I'd get a full, and maybe a radial if you want a second rig. Forget the 4.7.

    Al Russell 182797
     
  6. pocopop

    pocopop New Member

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    I'm new to the laser and I've been reading all of these posts about the radial. I understand it's a smaller sail and the mast is shorter, but can someone explain to me what the name "radial" means? Is the sail physically different in design, or just a catchy name for a smaller version of the standard sail? Thanks.
    Ken
     
  7. Murphs

    Murphs New Member

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    the name comes from the cut of the panels in the sail

    standard sail panels are cross cut (the seams are horizontal)

    radial sails are radial cut (the seams start from the clew and go to points along the mast)
     
  8. 116794

    116794 New Member

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    the shape of the window is the give away as well, on the standard the front of the window is smaller and the back is bigger. on a radial the back of the window is smaller and hte front bigger. it matches the seems of the sail. I'd skip the 4.7 rig. I kept my radial down in 20+ windws resonably at 135 pounds and can hold a standard down in 12-15 at 150 with hiking. If i pulled out my radial i don't even think i'd be hiking. Start with a radial and adjust from there but I'm certain you won't need a 4.7.
     

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