Wings on a Laser

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by urbo100, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. urbo100

    urbo100 Ian

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    Being an ex Moth sailor started me daydreaming about adding wings to the Laser.

    I would see the wings being about 20 to 30cm wide (8" to 12") and extending from just in front of the cockpit to just behind the cockpit. See attached pdf. They would probably tilt up by about 10cm (4") to keep them out of the water.

    They could be made out of either high strength plastic or Aluminium to keep costs down.

    Would have to adjust hiking strap position or add another one.

    I think they could be retrofitted to existing boats by attaching through the deck/hull join at the gunwale with maybe a strap of some sort across the deck. Design details could be sorted by someone smarter than me.

    I can see many advantages with this idea:
    - Make younger and/or lighter sailors more competitive in heavier winds which could mean they could move up into the full rig sooner.
    -Masters and Grand Masters could stay with the full rig for longer.
    -Heavier sailors could get out in stronger winds and break new records.
    -Modernise looks and improved performance could entice younger sailors from moving into other classes.
    -More leverage to right boat from a capsize.

    Disadvantages:
    -More cost.
    -More weight.
    -Would slow/stop boat when heeled to far. Although easier to keep flat for longer.

    Anyway just some musings for the group to consider.

    Thanks Ian
     

    Attached Files:

  2. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    I seem to remember someone doing back in the late 70's for a joke. Personally, even as an ex mothie myself, I can't see the point.

    Part of the reason why the Moth Class died back in the early 70's was because the wings eliminated so many from the class and then the development of the skinny skiff Moths (Magnum 3 and beyond) finished the job. While it's exciting to see the class rise from the ashes with the development of the foilers, I doubt the class will ever see the day when you had 100+ boats at even minor regattas. The introduction of the Laser filled the void left by the Moths, at least in Australia.

    Pity that the Laser is being so hammered by being an Olympic class and going the same way as other Olympic classes i.e. a slow death.
     
  3. gordo

    gordo New Member

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    can everyone please just stop trying to make small changes to the wheel. it works how it is. if its not what you want then sail a boat that fits your needs and its as simple as that
     
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  4. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    :Clapping:
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    In addition to Alan's and Gordo's comments, I'd like to add that I disagree that you'd be able to sail a Laser in higher winds with foils. The rig will not consistantly withstand higher winds. I can hear mast steps, masts, and booms snapping. I'm deleting any discussion of what kind of sail it would take, as well! Ha ha.
     
  6. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I have always wondered about the Rooster 8.1 Laser in this regard - mainly the mast step strength issues. I always assumed that (some) helm on an 8.1 would be somewhat heavier than on a standard and this with a greater righting weight (more weight hiking out) and with the larger sail would be generating larger stresses on the mast step (and the mast already has quite a high leverage advantage). Not heard of any damage yet but as more people start using the rig and maybe on older boats who knows.

    Ian
     
  7. martyn

    martyn Member

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    It's been done before
     

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  8. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I have been using my 8.1 on a 120,000 hull with no adverse effects. I do check the top of the step reguarly and keep an ear open for any strange noises.

    To be fair when it gets to the conditions when you are so over powered you can't sail you drop down to a standard rig anyway. Plus with the much longer mast (around 3 feet) you tend to find the mast bends off in the gusts.

    If I break my boat I will post pictures of the damage!.....

    There are now 4 8.1s at my club, the oldest hull being used with one is a 36000 hull, that also is showing no adverse effects.
     
  9. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    IMHO, the Laser-2 is a much better boat to start with for this kind of experimentation. While it looks externally similar to the Laser, Frank Bethwaite's hull is much more "skiff like" and planes more cleanly. For example, Vanguard did the early rig development for the Vector using a modified Laser-2.

    Cheers,

    Geoff S.
     
  10. glexpress

    glexpress Member

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    I agree with the sentiment to leave the Laser as is. Want wings? Buy a skiff. Want foils? Buy a Moth.

    By the time you bastardize a Laser to have wings or foils your time and money could have been better spent getting into another boat that uses those things and uses them better.

    Someone posted in the dinghy forum on SA asking the same thing about foiling a Laser, response has been the same.
     
  11. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    From the comments, you can see it wouldn't be popular in maintaining the one-design aspects of the class.

    I think it would be a fun thing to try, and a good exercise in fiberglassing skills. I would just use an old hull.
     
  12. glexpress

    glexpress Member

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    Even for fun I don't see the reason to spend time or money doing any serious mods to a Laser.

    I'm sure there's used 49er's and Moths out there that would add up to not that much more in terms of money, it would be equal once you figure in time spend modifying a Laser.

    I guess someone's idea of fun is spending countless hours hacking up, reglassing and re-engineering a Laser then have at it. Keep in mind whatever Laser byproduct comes out of such a project it would be inferior to whatever boat is trying to be emulated.

    Even if the end goal is sailing for fun rather than racing I think it would be more worthwhile getting the right boat from the onset and start sailing sooner. Rather than spending time and money reworking the wheel.
     
  13. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Yeah, and someday I'd like to develop my woodworking skills and build my own Windmill. Now I could go out and BUY one, and it would probably sail better. But it wouldn't be the same would it?

    If someone wanted to do something like this for fun (not that urbo100 necessarily wants t do so), I wouldn't knock anybody for trying.
     
  14. glexpress

    glexpress Member

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    I guess if someone had satisfaction in their own creation then yes such a project would be the way to go.

    But, if they are considering such a project because they want to get on foils or out on a wing then there's better ways.
     
  15. Beachcomber

    Beachcomber Member

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    Hear, Hear! [or is here, here?]

    I think for tinkering and experimenting it's a fine idea. If I were to do it, I'd slap something together out of marine ply, rather than messing about with fiberglass and molds. If you want to try wings, it's a lot easier and cheaper than going out and getting a whole new boat.

    Of course, it's not going to gain traction in the class, which rightly minimizes changes to the design, and which ought to maintain physically demanding nature.
     
  16. urbo100

    urbo100 Ian

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    Thanks for the viewpoints.

    I guess coming from a Moth and NS14 development class background and being a compulsive fiddler I've got to get my had around a One Design class.;)

    Ian
     
  17. urbo100

    urbo100 Ian

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    One other thing.

    I don't believe it was wings that killed the Moth off. It was the almost impossible to sail skiffs. Now they are more stable because of the foils it might bring people back.
     
  18. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Ian, what period did you sail moths in? I was 1979-85, so post the introduction of wings. I know a huge number of guys from the mouldie periods who got out of the class when wings were introduced, pre laser. A large number more dropped out when the skiffs started to dominate (in Australia) but were to difficult to sail for many people to be bothered with, by that stage the transition to the laser was well troden path.

    I suspect it's a similar story in Europe as the Europe dinghy is essentially a 1970's unwinged wing skiff moth and it's still a significant class in some parts of Europe. Wings for the young fit people and not the common moth sailor at the time.
     
  19. petem

    petem New Member

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    I sailed moths from 1970 to 1977 in South Jersey, also in New Zealand at the 1973 worlds. The class died because of the nature of a development class. Expensive. You need to upgrade hulls and equipment every few years. The old hull being almost worthless. You can club race a 20 year old laser.
     
  20. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    I agree Peter, at least it contributed. When changes are happening quickly and people are forced to update to keep up, then start to reconsider whether to continue. The introduction of wings forced people to update their boats. For us the mouldie hull had been around for a decade without much development.

    As for the cost, I was designing and building my new boat each year or two for a while, the cost involved was covered when I sold the boat, which allowed me to build the next one at minimal cost.
     

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