Thinking about buying a Laser

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by roger l, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. roger l

    roger l New Member

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    I currently own a Catalina 14.2 and enjoy sailing it very much. However, my wife and son do not enjoy sailing as much as I do. I just start having fun and thay are ready to come in. I feel that the Catalina is a little to big for me to sail single handed. Therfore, I am looking to buy a smaller boat that I can sail by myself. How much different is it to sail a Laser from a Catalina 14.2? I am looking for a boat that I can go out and have some fun with. I am not planning on racing just doing some fun day sailing. Would the Laser be to much boat for this? Would the Zuma be a better boat for daysailing?
    Any help would be great.

    Thanks
    Roger L
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know anything about a Catalina 14.2, but the Laser is great to just go out for a fun sail. I googled Northfield and see that it is close to Akron. I'm in Columbus and sail at O'Shaughnessy Reservoir across from the zoo. Where do you sail?
     
  3. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    You probably didn't capsize the Catalina 14.2 except when you specifically tried in order to practice righting it.

    You'll capsize the laser and be in the water a lot. If you're ok with that, and you're really pretty much just not going to take your family out, then yeah, the laser's a great choice.
     
  4. roger l

    roger l New Member

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    Northfield is half way between Cleveland and Akron. I do most of my sailing on LaDue reservoir and Pymatuning reservoir. LaDue is kind of small but it is electric motor only. Pymatuning is 10HP max so I do not have to worry about being a target for the jet skis.

    Roger L
     
  5. drwatershed

    drwatershed Member

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    I live near Akron and sail smaller lakes than either Ladue or Pymatuning all the time on my laser, in fact my son (12) learned to sail so well I have 2 because the laser is not really good for daysailing and carrying anyone bigger than 100lbs as cargo is difficult. (that is my daughter (10) on the bow in my icon picture) I like the laser beacuse you can get it out relatively quickly on almost any small (or large) lake and you will have fun. It will be wet fast fun in any kind of wind but very fun. IF you don't want to race (or at least if you don't care about winning, there are lots of reasonably priced older lasers out there in our area. I know of several sitting in people's garages that probably could be for sail if the right inquiries were made. My boats are both pushing 30 and are still fast and fun. The sail options make them sailable for kids too. Though my son was a bit blown out in the remnents of IKE even with his 4.7.
     
  6. Kaiser

    Kaiser Member

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    I pretty much did what you're talking about... My C-15 hasn't seen the water for a few years from a lack of people to sail with, so I decided to get a boat that I could rig and launch very quickly and that I could singlehand easily.

    The Laser fits those criteria well. I think it took me about 20 minutes yesterday to rig, launch, park the truck, and get sailing. I just wish I hadn't gotten in such a hurry to buy... I spent too much $$ for too old a boat (condition-wise).

    It's unfortunate that putting a passenger on isn't really an option... but if you keep the Catalina you'll have that covered too :)
     
  7. monkey_feet

    monkey_feet Arlington, TX

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    You can't find a better boat for the price. If you do turn it over, you can get it right back up. And in the breeze! What a fun ride.

    I own both an MC Scow and Laser. They are both great boats, but for what you want to do, the Laser is the way to go.

    All I can say is don't buy a Sunfish...
     
  8. mjbhawg

    mjbhawg Member

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    I am rehashing what others have said yes the Laser is a blast its takes no time to rig and you can
    find parts for it. Sure you can find cheaper boats their class is few and can't find parts. Don't
    get a sunfish and be very carefull when you look for a used one. Look at threads on here on
    buying a used Laser and Kaiser can attest to that.
     
  9. roger l

    roger l New Member

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    Thank you for all of the good information. I have a few questions. When you say that I will get wet sailing a laser is it because I will get wet from hiking out or because the boat will capsize and I will end up in the water? If the boat does capsize does the Laser have a tendency to turtle? How easy is it to right a capsized Laser? Drwatershed, since we do not live that far apart it would be great if we could get together and talk a little about your two Lasers and see how they are rigged and look at a Laser close up.
    Again thanks for all of the information.


    Thanks
    Roger L
     
  10. Sailingpj

    Sailingpj New Member

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    A laser is really easy to right, even when it turtles. You will get wet from both hiking out, and being in the water. Sometimes you can end up in the water without the boat flipping. I have had bad luck with hiking straps. 3 times now my hiking strap has broken while I was all the way out.:mad:
     
  11. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

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    I am in my 3rd year of sailing a laser, previously I had a very old sunfish for a while. I can telly you I really enjoyed sailing both, but that I enjoy the Laser more. A couple of things to know before getting into a laser:

    1) lasers will tip over (you'ver heard that before in this thread) They have a rounded hull shape and enough sail area so that it is easy to flip them and you will flip yours sailing it - especially going downwind.

    2) lasers are a pretty athletic boat - in anything above 8kts you have to start hiking pretty hard to keep them level, and they really only sail well when they are sailed flat. In addition you have to pull the mainsheet in enough to bend the mast so the blocks a the back of the boom and traveler are touching. This isn't difficult, but holding it there and pulling it in in the puffs and releasing it slightly in the lulls will give you a workout.

    3) the sunfish has a hard-chined hull and a relatively flat bottom so is much more stable than the laser - but I have capsized the sunfish plenty also.

    4) the sunfish boom is much lower than the laser's so when you have it tied down for performance, so it makes tacking a jibing a little challenging.

    5) the laser's rounded hull makes it easier than the sunfish to right once its been capsized.

    6) the sunfish lateen sail means that it sails a little differently on port vs starboard tack and this was something the really good sunfish sailors can take advantage of -- definitely not me!!! I personally didn't like this little odditly of the sunfish

    sounds like a few people up your way are willing to let you try a laser - so that's obviously the best idea, but don't get too down if you capsize a lot at first, you really do get the hang of it pretty fast (getting back in the boat after capsizing that is :) )
     

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