Blatantly Non-Class Legal Laser Modifications


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....
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.


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.
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.


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 .
> 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...


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

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.