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Added a Laser to my flotilla

Mashmaster

Active Member
In addition to my 4 Sunfish boats (all project boats) I just bought a Laser from a local college. There is only 2 things that I see that I need to fix ASAP. The bottom gudeon is broken and needs replacing and there is a tear in the deck fiberglass. I am thinking of putting in a hatch on the side of the cockpit to get to the underneath of the tear. Or I could just put a hatch where the tear is (yes I know that is cheating). What is under that portion of the boat?

It is a 1974 Laser

Wood daggerboard
Wood Rudder
Brand new sail (intensity so not class legal I know)

we are still going through the rigging to ensure we have everything.

The hull is orange and seems to be painted on? I am assuming someone did that years ago. Would you sand the bottom and reapply gel coat? or paint it? I is black under the orange and yellow under the black. Are those paint layers?

Pictures in this google album:
Laser
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Picture by picture:

The inspection port location is one of the worst ever seen. Is there an ID code on the transom? If not, then the hull number is gone, with the piece of the deck that the port displaced. The horn cleat isn't legal, doesn't even look very strong, and attached to the weakest possible point. Multiple stupidity.

The punctured deck may not be as bad as it looks. There's another fibreglass skin and a foam core in between there. If it doesn't leak, then the inner skin is intact and you don't need to (and shouldn't!) go to "the underneath". A piece of duct tape is all you need to go sailing. For a permanent solution, you'd want to consult Fred Schroth, as you're apparently located in Gouvernail Country :D

The control line cleats are very illegally fitted. (More on that later if you want.)
The "new" blue centreboard brake may wear out quite fast and possibly damage the board.
The "integrated" sheet cleat is actually legal, but doesn't probably work that well. Needs to be tested.

What are the "extra" screws next to the rudder fittings? You could take them off and fill the holes, as they're obviously not doing anything.
The drain bung may be attached to a gudgeon but not the hull (and not with a snap hook).

The orange colour looks original at first, but yes, it's a yellow boat that was black at some point! For quick cosmetic fixes, add some more orange to cover the other colours; for any more extensive paint jobs, consult Fred again.

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Mashmaster

Active Member
Ouch! At least I got this hull for a donation to the college sailing team. Did I just get a hull that is not worth the repairs necessary? This will be a practice boat, I assume never will be class legal.

Yeah, I figured this is a project boat. The inspection port through me off too. I suppose I could put remove the port and patch the hole. pretty big hole to patch. I certainly can remove the horn cleat. I am guessing whoever put it in to connect to a mooring ball.

There is a hull number that is how I knew it was a 1974 boat. It is PSL 17878 0874

My son sails FJs out of the yacht club that Fred is a member of, he recognized the name when I mentioned it to him. We haven't met but I have heard he really knows what he is doing.

I am not sure what you mean by the illegal control lines. And we didn't understand the purpose of the swivel cam cleat so we were planning on removing that.

I'll remove the extra screws when I replace the broken gudeon.

I will see if I can track down Fred for hands on advice, unless he thinks I should just drop it off at the dump instead.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
So it's sail number 17878, built in August 1974 in San Rafael, CA. Had it been built a few months earlier, then the number would have been under the bow eye...

I'm not totally sure if the port takes the hull out of the class. I wouldn't go to the trouble of patching the hole (unless Fred thinks otherwise :D ), but I might glue the hatch in place (with just a little silicone so you can open it if you really need to) and switch the horn cleat to the Allen A134. At least it would look more "lasery" :rolleyes:

The cunningham and outhaul cleats, as well as their turning blocks by the mast, should be attached to standard (builder-supplied) plates, not directly to the deck. The swivel cleat on your boat is apparently for the vang, and shouldn't be there. (Interestingly though, the original plan in 1999 was to lead the vang, too, to the deck. I believe it wasn't done because Vanguard opposed it - they thought the deck wasn't strong enough.)

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Mashmaster

Active Member
My plan for the rigging was to take it to my sons' sailing coach who is a Laser fanatic to have him go over the rigging. My son when he first looked at the boat said where is the Xd block.... So we will be learning.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
where is the Xd block
:D That would be the vang cleating fitting on the mast... To be honest, I don't think it makes much sense to spend a lot of money on that boat - whatever new stuff you need to get, go for the less expensive but still legal alternatives. The vang is a good example; of course the old Allen cleat block doesn't work as well as the newer ones, but the cost/benefit ratio is unbeatable. The risk with consulting a "Laser fanatic" (such as myself :D ) is that they want to go all-"XD" on every boat.

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
The "integrated" sheet cleat is actually legal, but doesn't probably work that well. Needs to be tested.
No need to test - now that I took a closer look at the pictures, it's clearly not a ratchet block that the cleat is integrated with. So you need to switch that to a ratcheting one (without a cleat), and after that the choice is whether to mount sheet cleats on the side decks, or to have no cleats at all.

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Mashmaster

Active Member
Well, my son had extra time this week so he did a lot of work on the boat. Hoping to take her out for the maiden voyage on Sunday.

This week:
  • pulled the inspection ports, resealed them and installed them
  • Removed the grib rails, sanded them,varnished them and re-installed them. Found that they had dry wall anchors holding them to the hull. Used the proper captive nuts, and 4200.
  • Noticed no foam in the hull, only a couple of bags, so I added one more in the bow and 2 in the stern.
  • boat and installed the Xd vang
  • replaced the tiller
  • washed the hiking strap and resealed the nuts that hold the front of the hiking strap
  • replaced the old O-ring on the drain plug
  • replaced the broken bottom gudgen
Tomorrow we will try to sand and marine-tex over the hull puncture. Also going to try to do a leak test to see if we are water tight. I am hopeful any water getting is was from non-sealed fittings and the old o-ring.

Maybe this is good money after bad, but the boat was basically a donation to the local college sailing program. And it is a project for my son and I to work together on. At some point in time, I could find a newer better hull.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Maybe this is good money after bad, but the boat was basically a donation to the local college sailing program. And it is a project for my son and I to work together on. At some point in time, I could find a newer better hull.
Just catching up to this thread on a quiet Saturday morning, but I'll add my $.02---there's nothing wrong with that boat that a little money & elbow grease won't fix. Some glasswork too, and maybe some fresh LP primer & paint. Somehow, that ugly orange color reminds me of Linus in the "Peanuts" strip, waiting for 'The Great Pumpkin' (LOL). I must say, I've NEVER seen anybody put an inspection port on the bow like that, perhaps that individual was also "cheating" by slapping the port over a damaged area of the foredeck... the only other explanation is ignorance. :confused:

Your line about "good money after bad" struck me this way: in this day & age, it's hard enough to share quality time with relatives, particularly one's children (and I say that as an uncle of something like 20 kids), so any money spent upon such a project would be money well-spent. And if the boat isn't entirely "class legal" you can always use it as a 'trial horse' in practice or training sessions. WTF, put the best sailor aboard the trial horse and see how the others do against it, that'd be a good use for it. A tacking duel is still a tacking duel, whether the boats are "class legal" or not. :rolleyes:

Moi, I'd remove or relocate that port on the bow, glass the foredeck solid again, and install the proper hardware... glass that 'tear' in the cockpit as well, or fill it if it's not that bad, for some reason I can't see all of the pics you posted in the link. My computer is fairly new, but I can't seem to scroll down to see the remaining pics. Anyway, I'd also repaint the hull (and probably the deck as well), but that's just my own opinion, I like a boat to look shipshape & smart upon the water. LP or Linear Polyurethane primer & paint will always be easier to apply than fresh gelcoat, and easier on the wallet as well. ;)

One final observation: If your club or sailing program doesn't like the boat for whatever reason, perhaps she can be sold and the money applied toward other needs, equipment, etc. Moi, I always enjoyed taking an ugly old boat in disrepair and turning her into a thing of beauty, fully functional again and looking good upon the water. In a way, it's almost like rescuing an animal from a shelter or some other unhappy situation: your KARMA is GOOD. Laser #2069 was beat to hell when I brought her up to speed, and she gave me DECADES of valuable service afterward... including those primo island voyages to Los Coronados. :cool:

MY $.02, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH... PARDON THE LENGTHY REPLY, I'M A LONG-WINDED B@STARD ONCE I GET STARTED, LOL. :eek:
 
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Mashmaster

Active Member
Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. I think we (he) is making good progress on it. Late last night I found out the bearing buddies are bad on the trailer..... So we get to learn how to replace them and repack the bearings.....

Always something.

Reglassing the bow port looks like a big job, doable but a big job.

Here is this picture of the puncture.
 

Attachments

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Ah, I misunderstood your initial post, or forgot the location of the tear... that damage is minor, but I would still fair it out and re-glass it, no big deal. The hole in the bow left by removal of the port is another story, but it can be done using a backing plate (piece of plastic-wrapped cardboard secured in place under the hole). Again, fair out the surrounding glass to provide a good bond for the new glass laid into the hole. Might wanna relocate the port to enable access and remove the backing plate once you're done, but that's not that hard. I suppose you could leave the port as it is, but it's ugly and it's in the wrong location... and the cleat has to go (use a proper eye placed elsewhere instead), that just looks plain stoo-pid. :confused:

AGAIN, JUST MY $.02, FWIW... SAY, IF YOU LEFT THE PORT & CLEAT IN PLACE ON THE BOW IN TRUE REDNECK FASHION, YOU COULD BUCK TRADITION AND CALL THE BOAT 'CLETUS!!!' ;)

Damn, sometimes I slay myself, LOL... :rolleyes:

Back to my cold beer for breakfast, got some home rehab work to knock out and I need to be in the right frame of mind... :cool:
 
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norcalsail

Active Member
A few weeks back, I saw a Laser for sale on the FB marketplace. I had seen it at $500 and then it went down to $200. Very complete with two sails and it looked to be in really good condition. Almost bought it but reconsidered as I have put a lot of money into buying and getting accessories for the Sunfish. Plus, I have two boats in Wisconsin that need work. Such a great deal though and hard to pass up!
 
Make the boat water tight and functional. It's a learning boat for your son, he is bound to put some dings in it as he learns to sail-- I know I did when I was learning to race. Get the important stuff dealt with (and get a trailer/dolly that supports the boat properly-- those bunks are killing your Laser's hull shape as they are) and just get the kid out on the water. Simplicity and functionality are always king when it comes to sailing, and the last thing I would want to do is make a boat extra pretty/pour money into it just to have more "learning" repairs in the near future. Good luck!
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
OK, got the boat on the water today. when sailing it went well except for a few issues that didn't surprise me. Nothing major. The boat was dry when we pulling it from the lake.

  • The cleats on the deck pulled free which didn't surprise me. I am already planning on that repair.
  • The downhaul line to the hook was just by 2" to reach the hole on the tack. I can fix that. It is an intensity sail vs. an official laser sail.
  • no mast cap on the top spar
  • Almost lost the clevis ring on the clevis pin on the XD Vang, is there a better system than the stupid ring? It is hard to take off and put on.
  • The hiking extension adapter on my new tiller from Intensity sails doesn't fit my ronstan hiking stick. So it looks like I will have to drill out the rivets and rivet on the ronstan connector.
Video evidence: New video by Dave Aronson
IMG_20200426_125107.jpg
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Yeah, and if ya don't wanna spruce her up, a little polishing compound will brighten up that hull... maybe get a Sunkist sticker or logo to add character, LOL. :cool:
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The cleats on the deck pulled free which didn't surprise me. I am already planning on that repair.
Which cleats? They really detached from the deck? What's the plan?

The downhaul line to the hook was just by 2" to reach the hole on the tack. I can fix that. It is an intensity sail vs. an official laser sail.
Hook? The cunningham (if that's what you mean with "downhaul") isn't supposed to have any hooks...
I'd expect even the "I" brand sails to have the cunningham eye pretty close to the "right" place. The original sail of your boat may have had it closer to the foot, though.

no mast cap on the top spar
...which means it will fill quite fast when it hits the water, leading to potentially serious righting problems. Install one.

Almost lost the clevis ring on the clevis pin on the XD Vang, is there a better system than the stupid ring? It is hard to take off and put on.
I have a bolt there :D and I don't take the vang off except for travel and winter storage.
But there are nice "quick-pins" available if that's what you want: Sailboat Quick Release Pin

Video evidence:
Rig a clew strap or tie-down line! The clew can't be too close to the boom. And sit a little farther forward :D

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Mashmaster

Active Member
Which cleats? They really detached from the deck? What's the plan?
The two deck cleats, they were just screwed into the deck with no backing. I am going to get them screwed where there is backing. Does anyone have a diagram of where the backing plates are on the deck? The original jam cleat was removed sometime in the past.

Hook? The cunningham (if that's what you mean with "downhaul") isn't supposed to have any hooks...
I'd expect even the "I" brand sails to have the cunningham eye pretty close to the "right" place. The original sail of your boat may have had it closer to the foot, though.
yes cunningham, why would my have a hook on it? Am I confusing it with something else?

...which means it will fill quite fast when it hits the water, leading to potentially serious righting problems. Install one.
Yeah, I didn't know it was missing those until my son was telling me as he sailed past me with reports. "Dad, another cleat broke off..... Dad, the tiller extension came off..... Dad, we need to order a mast cap...." I felt like every time he sailed by my kayak, there was something else that broke....

I have a bolt there :D and I don't take the vang off except for travel and winter storage.
But there are nice "quick-pins" available if that's what you want: Sailboat Quick Release Pin
My boat lives at my house and is trailered to the lake 30 minutes away so we have to remove it everytime. I will look into the quick release pin. I remember way back in the dark ages when I owned a Hobie I had a stainless steel clevis pin ring replacement that looked like a safety pin. unsure if that is a reasonable replacement.

Rig a clew strap or tie-down line! The clew can't be too close to the boom.
Thanks

And sit a little farther forward :D

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I will mention that to him. Where is the optimal body position?

I was impressed that the laser when we had wind was very responsive to accelerate up to speed compared to my sunfish. I do have to get used to tacking, the boom is so low it would catch the back of my pfd and tangle me in lines.
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
You need a clew strap as Lali said. That will raise the boom and let you rig properly.

Google search for the Laser rigging guide and Laser rules to see the correct placement of the various parts. The rules show where the backing blocks are located.

Good luck and I think you will have lots of fun with that boat.
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
Looks like the double cleat that will screw into the old location for the hull jam cleat will do the trick. Should have backer blocks under that......
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The two deck cleats, they were just screwed into the deck with no backing. I am going to get them screwed where there is backing. Does anyone have a diagram of where the backing plates are on the deck? The original jam cleat was removed sometime in the past.
Looking at the pictures again, you're probably talking about the cunningham and outhaul cleats. They should be bolted to a specific deck plate, which in turn is screwed to the centreline using the same holes where that boat originally had a Clamcleat (which is what you probably mean with "jam" cleat) for the cunningham.

The turning blocks by the mast step should also be attached to another specific plate instead of those separate eyestraps.

The measurement diagram only shows the location of the backing plates for the sheet cleats, so that won't help at this stage.

yes cunningham, why would my have a hook on it? Am I confusing it with something else?
I'm trying to make sense of your cunningham from the pictures... It a appears that whoever has fitted out that boat has only looked at some picture of a modern Laser without understanding what's really going on. First, the cunningham should use only one cleat on the deck. The other is for the outhaul. And while the outhaul may connect with a hook to the sail, the cunningham doesn't. You'll get a nice, working cunningham by keeping the orange-y line as the cleating line, and switching the hook to a piece of low-stretch line whose other (non-moving) end you tie around the mast below the gooseneck or vang tang, or to the tang itself or the vang cleating fitting (it's got a pin for exactly that). Tie the orange line likewise, somewhere low on the mast.

Your outhaul apparently still cleats on the boom, and if you want to keep it there, you might want to get a simple Clamcleat for the cunningham on the deck. If you want to lead the outhaul to the deck, then you have to get all the items mentioned above plus some extra rope and a few single blocks.

Where is the optimal body position?
That's a topic for many threads :D But in short, for good fore-and-aft trim you stay mostly by the front end of the cockpit, move forward in light air, hike at the widest point of the hull, and move farther back only when waves start slowing you down or the bow wants to dive.

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The two deck cleats, they were just screwed into the deck with no backing. I am going to get them screwed where there is backing. Does anyone have a diagram of where the backing plates are on the deck? The original jam cleat was removed sometime in the past.


yes cunningham, why would my have a hook on it? Am I confusing it with something else?


Yeah, I didn't know it was missing those until my son was telling me as he sailed past me with reports. "Dad, another cleat broke off..... Dad, the tiller extension came off..... Dad, we need to order a mast cap...." I felt like every time he sailed by my kayak, there was something else that broke....


My boat lives at my house and is trailered to the lake 30 minutes away so we have to remove it everytime. I will look into the quick release pin. I remember way back in the dark ages when I owned a Hobie I had a stainless steel clevis pin ring replacement that looked like a safety pin. unsure if that is a reasonable replacement.


Thanks


I will mention that to him. Where is the optimal body position?

I was impressed that the laser when we had wind was very responsive to accelerate up to speed compared to my sunfish. I do have to get used to tacking, the boom is so low it would catch the back of my pfd and tangle me in lines.

My 1978 Laser had no backing plates at all for deck mounting points and was generally built very lightly. I never had anything pull out though. There is a spine of thicker foam core running down the centerline of the deck on that boat that was sufficient to screw into. As long as you screw the hardware in near where the original Cunningham clam cleat was mounted, it should be fine. I would also recommend using 3M 4200 sealer to bed the mounting screws. Do not use silicone, it sucks and the seal doesn't last.
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
My 1978 Laser had no backing plates at all for deck mounting points and was generally built very lightly. I never had anything pull out though. There is a spine of thicker foam core running down the centerline of the deck on that boat that was sufficient to screw into. As long as you screw the hardware in near where the original Cunningham clam cleat was mounted, it should be fine. I would also recommend using 3M 4200 sealer to bed the mounting screws. Do not use silicone, it sucks and the seal doesn't last.
Interesting that there are no backing boards where the clam cleat was mounted. Yeah 4200 is my go to sealant.
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
Interesting that there are no backing boards where the clam cleat was mounted. Yeah 4200 is my go to sealant.
Well, sailed her today again. double cam cleat pulled out. So, next step is to put in an inspection port to epoxy in a backer block.

Clew strap didn't work awesome. The velcro gave way, how to connect it stronger? It came with no directions. The foot of the sail doesn't seem to be close enough to the boom. Is the Intensity sail cut that much differently?

On the good side, it was bone dry on the inside, even after many capsizes today.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
double cam cleat pulled out. So, next step is to put in an inspection port to epoxy in a backer block.
Try first 1) bigger screws. Are they the maximum size that fit through the cleat plate mounting holes? If yes, then 2) drill new, smaller holes on the deck. There's a 10 mm tolerance exactly for cases like this for the cleat fore-and-aft location. The measurement diagram shows the min and max distances of the cleat plate/Clamcleat from the transom (or the aft gunwale to be exact). If the screws still pull out, only then do you need to 3) install an inspection port. Even in that case, don't bother with any backer blocks; just use bolts with big washers.

Clew strap didn't work awesome. The velcro gave way, how to connect it stronger?
You might as well use a line. 3 or 4 mm low-stretch rope, twice around the boom and through the clew eye + a tight square knot. Has still won Worlds in recent years!

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Mashmaster

Active Member
Adjusted the position of the cleat block. It feels much stronger of a bond. hopefully this weekend it will work better.
 

Grack512

New Member
Mash,
I'm active in the Laser fleet at AYC. If you are up to it, bring the boat to the club when we open up Wednesday nights again. We can go over the rigging in person. I'm also out there on most weekends recently. Next time you go, just ask anyone in the rigging area, they will be happy to answer any questions.

No one here will complain about your boat or sail being class legal for our local racing. No worries there, the boat is too old. So that is expected.

The clew straps are confusing when learning to properly attached them. It takes a few tries to commit it to memory. I like the harken boom sleeve with the hook, super easy for launch and retrieval on the boat ramps. I'm in the minority there, most locals use the strap but I can think of a few of us still using the sleeve. Homemade clew tie-downs are a breeze. I've tried everything on the clew tie down over the years, so I have extras. That's an important spot on the Laser. It needs to be secure, it needs to move along your boom...
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
Mash,
I'm active in the Laser fleet at AYC. If you are up to it, bring the boat to the club when we open up Wednesday nights again. We can go over the rigging in person. I'm also out there on most weekends recently. Next time you go, just ask anyone in the rigging area, they will be happy to answer any questions.

No one here will complain about your boat or sail being class legal for our local racing. No worries there, the boat is too old. So that is expected.

The clew straps are confusing when learning to properly attached them. It takes a few tries to commit it to memory. I like the harken boom sleeve with the hook, super easy for launch and retrieval on the boat ramps. I'm in the minority there, most locals use the strap but I can think of a few of us still using the sleeve. Homemade clew tie-downs are a breeze. I've tried everything on the clew tie down over the years, so I have extras. That's an important spot on the Laser. It needs to be secure, it needs to move along your boom...
Good deal. We have been taking it out. He was going to coordinate with Spencer about how get the rigging down. But happy to meet up.
 
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