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Advice on buying 2nd hand laser


Hi All,
Am new to the Laser class (mainly sailed Enteprises in the UK) and am looking at buying my first laser (second hand). I am going ot see it on Saturday afternoon and was just wondering if I could get some pointers and what to look for and what to watch out for.

The sail number is mid 120k
I have asked about the mast step which is water tight as well as other repairs, the seller has told me that there has been a repair inside the cockpit, where the side-walls meet the cocpit floor, the gelcoat has been ground off, and fibreglass strip bonded. The floor and approx bottom 10cm have then been covered in marine paint.

I have also asked about the decks going soft and any de-lamination.

It has an XD down/outhall but the old kicker

The price seems pretty good and am only looking to race at club level, if I get really into it then I will sell and buy something allot newer and more competative.

Any thoughts good or bad would be very helpful

Many Thanks



I usualy look at the mast step to see if it is not broken, and the centerboard trunk too. fill the mast hole with water and check if the water goes down.

Place the boat up on grass or over a tire and look at the tramson to see if water comes out. If a lot of water comes out don't buy it.

If you have a bathroom scale, take with you. Place the boat on the side and over the scale at equilibrium point - close to the centerboard. the ideal weight is around 57kg, if it is over 60, the boat start to get to heavy.

check the hull to see it is soft also, you can do that by putting pressure with your hand or close your hand and "hammer" the hull to check if it firm. if the boat is not all scratched up means that it was taken some good care

The deck does not matter too much if it is soft were you sit or not.



Here are 2 quick links:

The hints are not top "up to date", but there is nothing to say against.

One is of the international Laser class hompage (scroll down a bit) take there link "Buy a used Laser". They offer a printer friendly version, too.


Another link is taken of the homepage one of your best TLF members "gouvernail":

http://schrothfiberglass.com/LaserMaint.htm#Rebuilding an Old Laser - by Allan Broadribb

Beside of the other hints, my advises are this:

"Top down" the hull, and before doing that, you let mount the centerboard into the centerboard trunk and let join the rudder to the transom. Go to the rear of the boat and view if, related the the centerline of the hull the rudderblade and the centerboard (daggerboard) are "in line" / no angle related between both and to the vertical of the centerline. (sorry for my English).

Roll the upper mast segment (and the boom) on a very plane surface, to be sure, this upper mast segment is not bend (in the moment). The blades of the rudder and the daggerboard may not have any broken or bent edges. The may not be cracked at the head of the blade and look for that there is no rusty areas to be seen at the blades (old blades). The "deck to hull joint"-bonding may not be defect anywhere.

The waterside of the hull especially at the bow and the keel line may ot be worn out (no gelcoat on the hull) to much by bumping to peers and slipping the hull over the ground.

Put water into the mast tube as much as needed to be plane to the deck, wait 10 to 15 minutes. The level of water may not get lower. Look for "spider"-cracks at the daggerboard trunk on the waterside of the hull and at the hole around of the mast tube at the deck. If there are some, you better do not buy this hull. The cockpit may not has any crack at the lower edges angles. If so -> don't buy.

All fairleads may be "not loose", neither at the deck / at the transom, nor at the spars (gooseneck rivets may be tight and the gooseneck pin may not be worn out in the metall-fixing at the mast).

If the sail is blown out, you get better ones for recreational sailing /club racing at Roostersailing/UK, Intensity Sails USA or "insails"/UK.

Look for the bailer if it works, if there is one

Thats my 2 ct.

Ciao and happy sailing



Thanks for all the tips, I am writing these down as a checklist

However something that LooseLu has said worries me a little


The cockpit may not has any crack at the lower edges angles. If so -> don't buy.
The seller says that there has bee a reapair to the angle between the cockpit sides and floor which I quoted in the original post and that the cockpit floor has been treated for de lamination by drilling and injecting epoxy, is this a big issue??


...The seller says that there has bee a reapair to the angle between the cockpit sides and floor which I quoted in the original post and that the cockpit floor has been treated for de lamination by drilling and injecting epoxy, is this a big issue??
Maybe someone else knows how the cockpit construction is done and could respond more knowledgeably. From here on in it's only my opinion... :D

I was under the impression that the cockpit is supported at the rear and not on the sides and that soft spots requiring epoxy injection are typically found on the deck of the boat. There is a post on the site about the cockpit coming loose at the rear and that's where I saw pictures showing it being supported at the rear. I may be wrong - it might be supported on the sides too but it sounds a little wierd to me :)

My personal opinion is that the used boat market is a buyer's market for the most part. On this site there's a really nice boat for sale (older) with all the newer trimmings for $900 US. If I were closer geographically I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

This is where it gets really subjective. My personal ideal used boat would be one that's basically mint except for an issue like a leaking mast step. Something that requires one serious repair and then it's back in shape - and priced accordingly.

For me, I would always shy away from soft hulls or soft decks or any form of potentialy 'off the beaten path' repair. In the case of soft spots it usually that means water got in the boat and stayed there for a period of time until it did some damage. Is the damage limited to that area? I don't know - and it might be hard to tell.

I don't know what the used Laser market is like in the UK or how much choice you have but I would try to find a clean dry boat that might need work in an area that you would be willing to address if it offset the price by the proper amount.

I guess it all comes back to price, expectations and quality of repair in this case. Hope this helps?