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Blatantly Non-Class Legal Laser Modifications

Keithdb

New Member
Hi All,

I appreciate that the purists believe the laser to be perfect and any perceived flaw is not a really a flaw but merely a delightful quirk that can be overcome through the proper application of technique and practice allowing a single minded adherence to the class rules with all those that disagree being smelly, incompetent cheaters. If this is you, your opinion it has been duly noted so please feel free to sneer derisively and find another post.

For anybody left, and purely as a matter of curiosity you understand, has anybody made any modifications to their laser hull/spars/sails/rigging etc with the sole purpose of making it faster and/or easier to sail? The more class illegal the better J

That said let’s stick to what has actually been done (and ideally photographed) and stop short of any mod that the means the finished boat requires a power source other than the wind.

Let the discussion commence…..
 

jeffers

Active Member
In my opinion there are very few mods that are made that make any difference in performance they just make the boat more usable.

The only modification I have seen that I do strongly object to are the transom corner inserts which reduce the possibility of the mainsheet getting caught.

Most others are done in ignorance rather than a desire to cheat.
 

torrid

Just sailing
I assume you mean other than a non-class sail? That one is the most common, and obvious. And accepted.
 

Keithdb

New Member
In my opinion there are very few mods that are made that make any difference in performance they just make the boat more usable.

The only modification I have seen that I do strongly object to are the transom corner inserts which reduce the possibility of the mainsheet getting caught.

Most others are done in ignorance rather than a desire to cheat.

Yes I have heard tell of these mythical transom corners (I think someone else called it a transom mainsheet deflector) but I'm darned if I can find more than a passing mention of them on the odd forum and have had no luck securing a picture. What do they look like and do they actually work?
 

Keithdb

New Member
I assume you mean other than a non-class sail? That one is the most common, and obvious. And accepted.
Yes in terms of sails I'm thinking slightly more blatantly non-standard. I've uploaded pictures of a few examples I've found of various different designs. The first looks like a standard sail but is fully battened. The second is similar but made out of mylar rather than dacron and the third...well the third one is shall we day different but by all accounts faster (at least for the more full bodied sailor).

Any thoughts about potential performance or improvements?
 

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Keithdb

New Member
Any thoughts about rigging mods? Obvious one would be using fiddle blocks to rig a fully centered mainsheet arrangement similar that found on the byte (minus the traveller obviously) or bigger dinghies like the bahia.

Doubtful this would help performance one tiny little bit but it would prevent transom snagging without corner deflectors.
 

jeffers

Active Member
Yes in terms of sails I'm thinking slightly more blatantly non-standard. I've uploaded pictures of a few examples I've found of various different designs. The first looks like a standard sail but is fully battened. The second is similar but made out of mylar rather than dacron and the third...well the third one is shall we day different but by all accounts faster (at least for the more full bodied sailor).

Any thoughts about potential performance or improvements?

That first sail is not fully battened those are 'depth' lines so you can judge the curve of the sail easier. If you look closely you can see the battens and they look pretty standard.

As for the other 2 if anyone turned up at Hunts with one they would be told to use something more appropriate or sail in the handicap fleet with an adjusted PY.
 

Keithdb

New Member
That first sail is not fully battened those are 'depth' lines so you can judge the curve of the sail easier. If you look closely you can see the battens and they look pretty standard.

As for the other 2 if anyone turned up at Hunts with one they would be told to use something more appropriate or sail in the handicap fleet with an adjusted PY.
Fair enough. The more rule focused gentlemen at my club would send you packing as well but that's not the point of the thread. Just trying to determine if the laser can be made faster/easier to sail regardless of rules so let's assume that we are in fact relegated to the handicap fleet with an adjusted PY and go from there.

Any other thoughts?
 

laserxd

Member
-definitely adding a performance, "turbo" type sail

-adding a trapeze or "hiking rack" see video:

-slight modifications, adding stays, jib halyard, jib and sprit for an asym (sort of like an RS, they point better, more comfortable hiking and reaching whoo! $$$$$$ :( capsizing :( )

-modding the entire hull to make it more like a skiff or catamaran, less surface area more hiking power, a fun project for an old hull

-adding stickers, and decals lol
 

Keithdb

New Member
-definitely adding a performance, "turbo" type sail

-adding a trapeze or "hiking rack" see video:

-slight modifications, adding stays, jib halyard, jib and sprit for an asym (sort of like an RS, they point better, more comfortable hiking and reaching whoo! $$$$$$ :( capsizing :( )

-modding the entire hull to make it more like a skiff or catamaran, less surface area more hiking power, a fun project for an old hull

-adding stickers, and decals lol
Loving the "hiking rack" :) True ingenuity at its best!!

Not sure I can picture the catamaran idea. I've got images of a sailing equivalent of a three legged race with two lasers bolted together with scaffolding tubes each with its own sail and sailor. Amusing to be sure but probably with dubious performance gains.

I'm totally onboard with the decals though, adding a go faster stripe can't help but improve the performance (at least of the sailor in order to avoid the inevitable abuse that would result through sailing a pimped up boat through the finish line in anything less than first place).
 

tcraig812

Member
Please post some close up photos of that hiking rack. I love Laser sailing but that hiking out for a few hours is only so much fun. I know, "keep it flat to go fast," but I am trying. :rolleyes:
 

Biggestnacho

New Member
Would one be able to exchange the deck cleats for a cleat that is attached directly to the mainsheet block? Would this be illegal?
 

jeffers

Active Member
Would one be able to exchange the deck cleats for a cleat that is attached directly to the mainsheet block? Would this be illegal?

I believe that is allowed but most people who used it found more of a hinderance than a help so went back to the deck cleats (if they needed them).
 

torrid

Just sailing
Would one be able to exchange the deck cleats for a cleat that is attached directly to the mainsheet block? Would this be illegal?
A laser pretty much requires continuous trimming of the mainsheet. I think a cleat at the mainsheet block would just get cleated when you don't want it to be. Mounting them on the side of the deck allows cleating the mainsheet momentarily if needed, but keeps the cleat out of the way otherwise.

Of course, some people just don't have them at all.
 

jeffers

Active Member
I still get called a cheat for using a rooster 8.1 rig in light airs.

Really....if you are PY racing then just stick your tongue out as you sail past, that is what I do. Although the small tweaks in PY over that last couple of years have made the standard rig very competitive against an 8.1 rig in most conditions.
 
The 8.1 rig suits our lake well so yes even with the PY its almost a guaranteed win, thats why they don't like me using it, the latest comment was if you swap rigs you stay with the lowest PY all season being the 8.1 then the heavy airs using the radial you would still be handicapped as the 8.1.
 
Don't actually see much wrong with that. If you change rig to match conditions why shouldn't you have the lowest PY used during the year
Actually our club does this for each series during the season as sailors swap from standard to radial to really little rig depending on conditions.
If you see an advantage in using a smaller rig, then that is your advantage, not the rating

Steve/Alex
 

jeffers

Active Member
The 8.1 rig suits our lake well so yes even with the PY its almost a guaranteed win, thats why they don't like me using it, the latest comment was if you swap rigs you stay with the lowest PY all season being the 8.1 then the heavy airs using the radial you would still be handicapped as the 8.1.

I used to do this but then felt it was cheating and could unfairly skew the PY. The 8.1 is slower as the wind rises....
 

49208

Tentmaker
In the easier to sail category - move the rudder blade to a more vertical position (from the current 78 deg.)
In the easier to sail and faster categories - a shorter on the foot main, with either a square top or fat head - there are examples posted here and http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=116331
Rig a trapeze. There are some pics somewhere out there, believe those were from a few kids down under
 

tonyquoll

Member
Upgrading the old vang/kicker with a cheap, no-legal system would provide advantage.
Here is Australia, the class-legal "Laser vang complete" is $350+. If I use alternative blocks, I can put together a system with the same purchase ratios, cam-cleats & all, for less than half that price.
It's very tempting to do this, and add a new non-legal sail, to have a great club racing boat. But then it would suck to have to remove it all and go back to the old crap at major events.
 

jeffers

Active Member
You can have whatever blocks you like at the top of a kicker I seem to recall it is only the lower assembly that must be a Laser genuine part (you can pick these up for much less than $350 I would hope).

The kicker assembly (like your mast, boom, rudder, daggerboard etc...) are not a consumable item and, in my view, should always be class compliant.
 

tonyquoll

Member
Following Shevy Gunter's advice (from "Designing custom control systems"), I have achieved class-legal upgrades to the cunningham, and an 8:1 vang that still uses the old V-jam block.
However, this requires sheeting the main in tight before pulling the vang in order to get it tight enough upwind, and a sharp yank to leeward to try and release it going offwind. There is clear disadvantage to the guys who have the 'turbo' vang unit, as I cannot adjust it as often or as accurately as they can. I also need to luff to windward while tightening it in strong winds, which sometimes causes me to going into irons.
Australian retailers NB Sailsports, Laser Direct and Binks Marine all sell only the "Vang complete", all over $350. The lower block is not available seperately.
Considering why compliance is required:
mast; part of the original design and the specs have big effect on the boat's performance
boom; part of the original design, except a sleeve was added a few years on. An alternate section would have negligible effect on performance.
rudder & daggerboard; both part of the original design, and alternate shapes or materials would have significant effect on performance.
sails: non-legal sails available, some say there is variation in cut & cloth, with effects on performance.
mainsheet block: any can be used, with alternatives that offer different ease of adjusment
vang block; NOT part of the original design; the'turbo' came out decades later. Alternate systems affect ease of adjustment, with no effect boat speed or performance once adjustments are made.
I'd argue that if you can choose any mainsheet block, the only reason you shouldn't be able to choose any vang block, is to pay royalties. This discrimates against impoverished sailors & is to the detriment of the class.
 

jeffers

Active Member
Argue all you like on this. The class rules state this fitting must be builder supplied. Have you tried looking at other stores that ship internationally?

They are available second hand too and come up on ebay regularly .
 

tonyquoll

Member
> Argue all you like on this.
OK thanks, I will. In the 2 years I have a Laser, there has not been one available 2nd hand in Aus. On an Aus forum (since deleted), there were a few of us pleading for 2nd hand gear, all to no avail.
A search in ebay archives reveals no results. Looking at imports, convert currency, add freight, about the same price. I'll just have to weigh up the priorities; rent, power-bill or new vang unit, ummm, cant decide.
Sounds like you have it good over there in the UK! Well, apart from the weather and all that...
 

jeffers

Active Member
Just performing a little research. You can get a new Allen XD Kicker on ebay, shipped worldwide for around $220 AUD:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALLEN-XD-KICKER-FOR-LASER-SAILING-DINGHY-CLASS-LEGAL-BRAND-NEW-LIMITED-OFFER-/251302421057?pt=UK_Sporting_Goods_Sailing&hash=item3a82caa241

Checking out the price of a Harken kicker, £200 which equates to approx $335 AUD.

A Harken bottom assembly is £135 which is around $230 AUD. (sao £65 for the extra bits, blocks and ropes made to the right lengths).

The prices are comparible, there are none second hand on ebay in the UK at the moment. They do tend to get snapped up quickly when they appear. I myself have sold 2 over the years as they came as extras with boats.

I agree the kicker assembly is expensive but it is a one off investment (aside from new ropes) and sometimes you have to bite the bullet like many in the UK have which is possibly why there are more around second hand than in your beck of the woods.
 
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