Hello Forum. I am not a very experienced laser sailor, but can get around a race course without running into too many other boats. My wife really enjoys sailing her newish (2000) laser and is starting to become competetive. She would like me to be able to share this sport with her in a way other than helping her rig the boat and then drinking beer on the shoreline waiting to help her de-rig it. I'm not sure how much I will enjoy racing so I don't want to invest $$$ in a brand new boat, but I also don't want to rely on our club's tired old beater boats that wiggle around like a wet noodle. Therefore I have decided to try to find something in the range of $1000 and dress it up with a new sail (or maybe a new radial for my wife and I will use her old sail). I have found a few boats from the late 70's - mid 80's in that price range. OK- all that being said, I will get to the question: Being somewhat of a yachting traditionalist, I kinda like the idea of showing up to a regatta with my laser proudly sporting a mirror-like coat of varnish on the grab rails, dagger board, and rudder. Is this just a romantic idea, or there advantages/disadvantages to the wood gear? Also, aside from making sure that the hull and deck are still stiff, is there anything else I should look for? Is a mast-step repair a good thing or bad? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.