Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Pennlaser, Jun 19, 2017.
Best mast tie down method?
Cunningham starboard or port side?
Deck cleats useful at all?
Hi, I'm happy with the Rooster Sailing's mast retainer, this lets the mast slide out a bit wich increase the stress on the mast tube a bit, if you don't like that You can instead tie a strong piece of bungy cord tight over the vang tang and down to both eyes of the deckplate.
I have no clear argument for having the downhal on starboard and no strong view on keeping or removing the deck cleats.
Don't know about "best", but anything that doesn't restrict mast rotation while still not letting the mast rise more than a few cm is good enough. (I think the Rooster system fails the latter.) Mine is a 2 mm line that goes twice around the mast, once through the deck plate eyes and once above the vang tang, and tied to itself with a square knot. Any attachment of the centreboard elastic to the deck plate is best done with a separate piece of rope.
Doesn't really matter. I have mine on port as a leftover from the pre-2001 rules era, with the rationale that it's easier to pull in on port tack, which is how you usually round the leeward mark.
Depends on how comfortable you are with holding the sheet in your tiller hand while doing other things with the other. Personally, I'd feel a little helpless without them, although about half of the top sailors of the world seem to disagree. It's something of a cultural thing, too: Aussies and Kiwis don't use them, but most Europeans do.
The laser class handbook had a good example of the mast tie down.
I run Cunningham on left. It's my preference for no reason but that's what I do.
I have deck cleats. Use them rarely but like having the option. Once again it's personal preference.
I do not like the Rooster mast retainer shown in that video, it allows the mast to move too far out of the tube when you capsize, which could cause major damage. I have a 3mm Excel Vectran line that I run through the desk plate then cross behind the mast in an X-shape, then over the vang tang on the mast, I secure it with a square knot, but you could add a fastener. This setup lets the mast rotate but does not let it slide out of the mast tube. If the boat already has deck cleats I wouldn't bother taking them off, but I wouldn't add them.
I use a triangle of shockcord hooked over the vang tang. As long as the shockcord is tight, it will not let the mast fall out, but it puts less jarring on the fittings and is less likely to pull the fairlead fitting out of the deck.
I run the cunningham on the starboard side for exactly the opposite reasons to LaLi. I always used to run the outhaul on the port side in the pre new fittings era, so I could pull on the outhaul before a bottom mark (usually port rounding), so I continued this once the new fittings came in, particularly as my outhaul system is based on the old system but with two lines and running to the deck.
I've never had deck cleats on a laser I've regularly sailed, but have experienced them on other lasers and hate them, but I can understand why some people use them. For the record, almost all Australian Lasers have deck cleats, but some of the guys regularly competing overseas might have decided not to use them in more recent years. More than once in a fleet of 100 or more boats over the last 30 years, I've been the only one without deck cleats.
You have showed this before, and it looks so simple and neat. But does it really have to be tight all the time to work? And if so, does it let the boom go all the way out (and stay there) even in light air?
Ok, so I generalized from watching Burton and Wearn on World Sailing TV, sorry
When I first started racing Lasers, it was beat into me to never use the deck cleat as you just can't react fast enough in a puff. They aren't really meant to be used for an extended period, anyway. Just a quick hold while you switch position or adjust a line.
Trying to think back I think my original beater Laser had them, but I removed them to break myself of the habit. I eventually got enough strength in my arm that I didn't need them.
Another issue is they are placed right where you want to sit in light air, not very comfortable. That's enough to keep me from ever having them again.
Thanks for all the responses.... much appreciated. I'm going to look at all the mast retainer solutions.
You want to talk old days, we used to keep one mainsheet cleat on the port side so when you rounded the leeward mark you would cleat-off and shove your foot between the mainsheet ratchet and the boom to gain leverage to put the 3:1 vang on. Good times...
How are people using them now? For trimming upwind? I can't imagine that being useful.
Yes it does need. To be tight, but also corded tie down systems can't have to much slack. When I was measuring, the test of a tie down system was if I could lift the mast out of the mast step, if I could, then the system failed the class rules. The amount of stretch available permits the mast to. Do at least on full rotation, so whilst sailing, just going down wind is absolutely no issue. The only issue is when rigging you need it hooked over before the vang is set up, so a small issue if you put the whole rig set up, in in one move.
When You say mast step is that equal to the doughnut?
Pretty sure Alan meant mast tube
If so, following the class rule doesn't protect from breaking the tube while righting the boat.
Best use I found is after four back to back races for the 30min sail back to the landing... I did need a rest. They also come in handy in the last bit of an upwind leg if you want to untangle the mainsheet.
Correct. The class rules only prevents the mast falling out of the mast step/tube. If you have a line/shock cord with to much slack it is very easy to lift the mast out with just the stretch on the luff and the high powered Cunningham purchases.
When I was a measurer I regularly proved the need for the retaining line by lifting the rig out and giving it to the owner to deal with.
The class rule only says "To secure the mast in the event of a capsize". That can be interpreted in more than one way - like quite a few others, I've always thought that here "securing" means "not letting come out enough to damage the mast step", not just "preventing complete disengagement".
Ok, as far as the other international measures I've worked with, it's been interpreted as complete disengagement. The word secure in this situation means to parent it getting loose. I fully understand you concern, as I thought that the most likely scenario for that to occur was when lift whole rigs in difficult conditions.
I can honestly say that in the 30 + years of sailing lasers I've never seen a mast step damaged beyond the pre 90's boats where the mast tubes used to come away from the hull. The tube itself seems to be very robust.
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