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1975 Laser, what’s holding the screws for rudder bracket??

shorefun

Well-Known Member
I have a 1975 Laser I got along with the 3 place trailer. I have 3 sunfish and my boys want to do the local race series next summer. The people with the trailer wanted to move this Laser. At $200 I got the hull, a mis-match of parts that makes up a radial set up and an Intensity sail, a dagger board and a rudder. No tiller, no rigging.

The hull has some issues like a poorly repaired side bash, some sort of a repair the the mast hole base, and some of the screws for the rudder brackets are too large.

First question is what is behind the transom? Do they have some wood back there or is it just thick glass? Do I need to put in an inspection port and a backer? Can I grind out an area and put in new glass from the outside? Just filling the holes with epoxy and redrilling? Only like 2 of the screws are in their original holes.


The mast tube base was repaired by a 4" inspection plate. They kind of wadded up some glass around the base. It seems secure, as in the lower mast in the hole and try to move it at the top. It did not move. When I look down the hole it is likely that the bottom is worn through as I can see some fiberglass at the bottom. The wood block is still there and not rotted. My thoughts are to pour either epoxy or thickend resin down the hole for about 1/4" to 1/2" as a place for the mast base to rest and seal any leaks at the base. Inside the glass is not well laid up and form fitting. I have tried to get the stuff out, but it is well bonded to the hull. I was worried it was not well bonded. I am contemplating trying to get epoxy or resin into any gaps in the glass cloth and let it be.
At the front edge of the dagger board trunk they put a small piece of glass. It is not very pretty. Also around the opening of the trunk on the bottom they put some glass on top the gel coat like they were trying to fix something.

This is clearly a high mile hull. Lots of wear in the trunk at the front and rear edge corners. It has been used my multiple generations in one family at a local yacht club competitively. I am pretty handy with some more advanced repairs on Sunfish hulls. I am trying to reasonably put this together to go have fun on. I would like to hear what you have to say about things.

FWIW, I have already ordered a 6" plate as I know I cant properly get in with a 4" plate and do any work on the mast base.

The side bash has one layer of glass matt laid on top with minimal feathering of the edges. I will remove all of that repair and feather it properly and lay in some glass. Kind of far away from the access port to do behind work. But I am going to see what I might be able to do from behind. given the age (very old) of the poor repair just on the outside, I am going to guess any proper repair just on the outside is going to fairly sturdy.

Thanks!
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
First question is what is behind the transom? Do they have some wood back there or is it just thick glass? Do I need to put in an inspection port and a backer? Can I grind out an area and put in new glass from the outside? Just filling the holes with epoxy and redrilling? Only like 2 of the screws are in their original holes.
There should be a thick (and wide) piece of wood laminated into the transom on the inside. However, some 1970s boats have turned out to have a relatively thin and loosely attached piece of plywood there. It may be only on European boats, but I'd be suspicious of all builders of that time.

The attachment of those rudder fittings does look extremely sketchy! I'd suggest taking everything off, cleaning it all up, installing an inspection port on the aft deck, and finally bolting the fittings back.

As the mast step goes, the reinforcement doesn't look pretty but it probably does its job, that is, prevents the bottom end of the step from detaching from the hull. I wouldn't do anything to it.

Do NOT pour anything into the step before measuring whether there really is material missing down there. In no way are you going to raise the bottom of the step by 6 to 13 mm in any case! I don't have a number for the height of the step, but I will soon :D

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shorefun

Well-Known Member
Thanks,

I really want to put even a thin layer at the bottom because it appears to me that some or all of the bottom is damaged. I feel it is wise to get some coating there to protect the wood just in case.

I will wait for your dimensions.
 

shorefun

Well-Known Member
Second question, How far from the rear should I make the inspection hole? Is there anything underneath I need to avoid?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thanks,

I really want to put even a thin layer at the bottom because it appears to me that some or all of the bottom is damaged. I feel it is wise to get some coating there to protect the wood just in case.

I will wait for your dimensions.
In addition, one can put a piece of (flexible) plastic in there as well.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I will wait for your dimensions.
Got dark yesterday before I could get to the club. Have to try again today.
How far from the rear should I make the inspection hole? Is there anything underneath I need to avoid?
There should be nothing special underneath, it's an evenly thick core construction throughout.
Above the deck surface, it's better to avoid the traveller line, so even an offset (non-centreline) location for the port is an option. However, I see you have illegal traveller eyes, so depending on how they're attached, you may want to gain underdeck access to those, too, through the same opening. A mid-deck position could enable you to reach the traveller cleat and hiking strap eyes as well, if needed in the future. (I have no inspection ports myself, so this is just speculation.)
In addition, one can put a piece of (flexible) plastic in there as well.
Yes, you can drop an extra 1 mm (max) thick plate of any material down there, but the results have been somewhat mixed. If they do diminish abrasion, the effect isn't huge.

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monkey_feet

Arlington, TX
Congrats on the boat! Couple of things. When putting the inspection port, so you can put a backing plate for the rudder. don't go to close tot he edge. The core does NOT go all the way. I'm not 100%, but if memory serves it's several inches.

If you feel that mast step is leaking, I've not seen anyone pour resin down that hole. I would think epoxying in a thin piece of lexan would do the trick. I think the resin would just crack up over time.

Good luck and look forward to updated progress!
 

shorefun

Well-Known Member
The traveler eyes are coming off. As in they one side had a regular steel nut that is mostly none existant so it will come off at some point. I need to get new ones and either relocate the mount position or fill the holes. Have not quite got that far yet.

The mast hole base I am mostly concerned with sealing the bottom. At this point I am most likely to use the more flexible thickened epoxy from West Marine I bought for another project. A brush on a stick and get the bottom with a coating going just a bit up the sides, not much. I am not looking for abrasion resistance, just some protection for the wood at the bottom.

I am not currently going for class legal with this boat. Honestly, it would be a better use of money spending the $1500+ for a boat in better condition with all the class legal parts. This is just an old laser that I should be able to get back on the water to have fun.

One of the interesting problems is trying to figure out the cunningham and downhaul lines. I have the hardware on the deck, but no lines or blocks. It seems you can only get the parts as part of a full kit. I was trying to find just all the lines for them. Plus I need the Vang that goes with that.

I may just set it up as only a recreational rig with the 3:1 vang.

Learning as I go.
 

monkey_feet

Arlington, TX
If it's a kick around, yes, go cheap. I did the same thing with my first Laser back in the day. There are links with old school Cunningham and outhaul. Here is a video
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Ok, my mast step turned out to be 358 millimetres deep :D including a thin (< 1 mm) ProTect plate. (And measured from top of deck level.)

I am not currently going for class legal with this boat. Honestly, it would be a better use of money spending the $1500+ for a boat in better condition with all the class legal parts. This is just an old laser that I should be able to get back on the water to have fun.
Even if you're not currently planning to race the boat, you - or a possible next owner - may want to do so in the future. Also, "fun" doesn't mean illegal, and legal doesn't mean expensive. All you need now is some line, a few small blocks, and some vang fittings. Don't fall for the "full" kits - they usually lack something you need, and include something else you don't, at the same time. Where do you do your shopping? I can make a list for you, and even rig similar solutions on my boat and post pictures (which is something I've thought of doing for quite some time anyway :D ).

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shorefun

Well-Known Member
I will buy from anyplace in the US. I was looking at westcoast because they have better pictures and a list of parts. But only for the information. I would buy from where ever.

Here is one example of a parts list they have:

I will need a full set of lines too.

My rudder gudgeons are the metal ones and have been deformed some. Is there an advantage to the plastic ones?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
That upgrade kit is typical. It includes the deck plates with blocks and cleats, all of which you already have (your plates may actually be fake, but let's overlook that for now), and lacks at least a clew hook and a clew strap. You don't absolutely necessarily need the last two, but damn, a package like that should include something to attach the clew.

The plastic gudgeons can be considered slightly better for exactly that: they don't deform very easily. They may break, but that is very rare. (You'd need a direct hit!)

What's your schedule with the boat?

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shorefun

Well-Known Member
No schedule with the boat. Well, I would like to handle the fiberglass work before temps get too cold to glass. Wont be used till spring so I am in no rush.
 

shorefun

Well-Known Member
I love your use of the metric system even realizing I am stuck in the wonderful US of A where we dont do that metric stuff cause we are the greatest something. :)

Yes, I have metric tape measure and yes I go both ways. Just less used to the better metric way.

I got 370mm to the bottom.
 

shorefun

Well-Known Member
Decided to take off the old repairs. No attempt to feather edges and bring the surfaces level. They filled it and put a layer of mat over it. I am not done with prep. I am going to put a screw the “tongue” that sits a little low to bring it up level. Then glass it up.
This side repair really should have a rear repair. Way more work then I care to do and I am confident I can do it from the outside.
i was chasing some cracks at the trunk. Nothing real bad. I will put in some glass and gel coat it.
 

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shorefun

Well-Known Member
I patched the side today. The before is sanded out feathered down. To help hold the pieces level I put a sheet metal screw in the middle of small pieces of paint stirrer. I cut a couple of larger gaps at the break and put hot glue on the stirrer wood. Then slide the wood behind. That kept the “tongue” area level with the other areas as it was staying slightly below level.
 

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