Wood vs. Fiberglass

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by LoupGarou, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. LoupGarou

    LoupGarou New Member

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    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.:D 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.
     
  2. jwisenb495

    jwisenb495 Member

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    I would say if you could find one with no repair would be good but only if you pour water in the step to see if it leaks or not. That being said it depends on the repair. If an entire kit was used than I would stay away from if you want to race seriously. If an inspection port is there (by mast step) open it up and shine a light inside to see what it looks like. Better yet if you have a digital camera put it inside and get some good pic's to see what is in there. With that being said you seem to be on the right track with the softness/stiffness. A good look around the holes and fittings and a check of hull and deck is about all. An old boat can be as competitive and in about the same shape depending on how it was cared for.
     
  3. LoupGarou

    LoupGarou New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll post whatever I decide to do.:)
     
  4. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    The wood blades were only around for the first couple of years (early 70's) by the mid 70's plastic grab rails and the steel reinforced blades were in place.

    To be within class rules, you can only use wood blades on a hull that was sold with wood blades. If you don't care about that, the next thing to do if you want to use wood blades with a newer hull is to make sure the daggerboard fits in the trunk. Some of the wood daggerboards were quite thick...
     
  5. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    I was hoping you were asking about repairing ypour hull with laminated wood instead of laminated fiberglass. it cpould be done just as easily as a fiberglass repair and the wood repair all varnished would sure look special.....




    Note: Before attempting such a repair, consider the use of the terms "special education" and "Special Olympics"
     
  6. LoupGarou

    LoupGarou New Member

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    Is there a way to match a hull/sail number with the type of gear they were built with? I am looking at one boat which is listed as 1979, but it has wood equipment.
     
  7. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    If that is the case the blades have been swapped out sometime along the way.

    The last wood blades were certainly supplied before 1976
     
  8. pez

    pez Member

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    The grab rails on 1769 are teak, the daggerboard and ruddder do not seem to be teak, but are perhaps mahogany... I didnt realize they quit so early in making the wooden parts.

    I mean, who doesnt like wood?
     
  9. bedient@mac.com

    bedient@mac.com New Member

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    You're right about the wood. I stumbled across and older boat with wood when I was looking. There's some nostalgia to the whole thing. I really don't know if I could switch to plastic. THEY FLOAT TOO! In addition, my boat also has the stainless gudgeons. They're bulletproof. I varnish my blades once a year, wet sanding between coats. Don't bother varnishing the grab rails or the tiller stick, just a little teak oil once in a while.

    Somewhere on this list there are some other threads discussing wood vs. plastic.

    Here we go:
    http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=2525
     

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