Can I just focus on the mainsheet and tiller?

Thread starter #1
Picking up my new laser this week in Austin and taking her out for the first time to Lake Travis. Have keel boat experience, but will am a little overwhelmed with what I am reading about the boat in preparation.

Question: Can I just focus on the main sheet and tiller my first few times? I'm taking off work as soon as the deal is done and want to get on the water as quick as I can.

Any other advice?
Thread starter #4
Thanks guys. I was contemplating not going out until I had a laser guy to go with me, but seeing the two posts, I"M GOING FOR IT.
She's still at the dealer - fastest looking boat on the showroom floor. I will pick her up Thursday or Friday. As I write this, grinning ear to ear with anticipation.


Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Wednesday night at 6 pm there are races at Austin Yacht Club. If you don't feel ready to mingle with other boats, that is certainlyn understood.

However, Catching a ride on the boat that runs the races is a great way to see lots of people sail lots of Lasers and to see it really is not all that intimidating. Be there by 5 or so for that ride. They need to have the buoys in the water by 6 pmbecuase there is not much daylight after that.

Then after the races, go eat dinner with the gang at the restaurant of the night and chat about your new toy with people who are dedicated to helping you to learn how to have lots of fun with a Laser.

If you have not been to AYC, understand, you are totally welcome to come out and check the place out because "YOU HAVE A SAILBOAT"

Actually the qualification is "You are interested"

OK really the qualification is " You might be able to be convinced you are interested in sailing."

If you give the AYC Laser fleet a chance, the folks will spend all winter sailing with you so you are ready to have a blast sailign all next season and beyond.

Note, there is also a centerboard regatta at AYC this weekend. Laser sailors from all over the state will be there for an event that was postponed when the lake flooded.

Stop by my boatshop and I will fill your arms with bunches of Laser related goodies. I have enough old newsletters and Laser books to keep you in reading material for the entire winter.

The number is 266-SHOP
Thread starter #6
Thanks for all the good information. I met you in the store today. I was out there, but just sailed around the area between AYC and the races. I didn't look good, but I got her to go where I wanted to. Only complaint I will have to discuss with the dealer is she is taking on water from that black rubber plug. Not water tight. I will take off work all day tomorrow to sail and will come by your shop. I'll call to find out where you are at, and thanks for the reading material.
P.S. I have applied for membership. I"ll be at the next prospective member interview.
Not that you asked for advice (never stopped me before - jsut ask my kid and wife!), but the one easy lesson that took me over a year to learn is ...

The way you keep the boat flat upwind is by 2-blocking the mainsheet. To make this work I have to sheet in until the 2 blocks are touching & I really have to have my traveler tight. It seems that if I have just 3" of extra play, either with a loose traveler or I let the mainsheet out a little, then I REALLY change the draft and power in the main and as the wind comes up have great difficulty keeping the boat flat. Those last few inches of mast bend matter.

duh! Oh the other important thing about sailing a laser is keeping the boat flat upwind :)

Good luck & have fun!
Thread starter #8
Took her out for the third time today and hit a marina - knocked off a piece of the gel coat. Now I need to find some grey gel coat and figure out how to fix it. Perhaps the dealer can help me. I'm talking to a guy about laser lessons before I go out again. Thanks guys for the help.scott