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Commissioning a 1988 Laser that has not been used in many years

LETLMT

Member
I own a 1988 Laser and have not sailed it in about 20 years. It has been stored on the trailer either indoors, or under a covered deck, or for a short period outside but covered. I am finally in a position where I have time to sail it again, but want to make sure that everything is still in good shape.

I have been reading about the mast step issues. Besides filling the hole with water to see if it leaks, what else needs to be checked to make sure that it is still secure? How do you check? How do you fix it if there is a problem?

What else should be checked? How?

Is there anything that should definitely be replaced before I sail it? All of the blocks, vang, etc. have been kept in a storage bag (with the rudder, tiller, dagger board, and sail) inside. The sail looks to be in good shape from what I have unfolded so far, no mold.

Thank you for any input I can receive. I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of it. I always enjoyed sailing it.
 

thieuster

Active Member
Check for leaks: go out sailing and check afterwards if there's water coming out of the drain plug... The other method: attach an airpump to the drain hole, block the vent hole in the cockpit and slightly pressurise the hull. Check for leaks with soapy water (bubbles...) Check especially the mast step and the seem where the deck is bonded to the hull (turn the boat over for that).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The mast step probably isn't a problem in a 1988 hull.

Rig your boat, take pictures and post them here so we can see if there's anything that would be smart to update.

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LETLMT

Member
OK. It needs to get a bit warmer around here before I can do that. I will send pictures in the spring.
 
If your upper mast collar has two rivets, flip the mast and re-install the colalr with just one rivet (whether the mast is straight or not).
Then buy a boom sleeve
Laser Boom Sleeve - 90418
and install that as well.
Now you can go sailing.
If you're into racing, upgrade to the new controls and buy a new sail.
I bought a 1988 laser in 2011 and broke the top mast and then the boom pretty quickly.
E
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
If you value your boat please be very careful if you intend to use air pressure in the hull to check for leaks. Even just 1psi will result in several thousand pounds of force pushing the deck and hull apart.
 

thieuster

Active Member
You are right. I'm not referring to an electric pump, more one like this (I used that on an old Laser): a foot pump from an outdoor shop

 

LETLMT

Member
Why do I need to flip the top section of the mast if there does not appear to be anything wrong with it?

Do I need to put the boom sleeve in if I don't plan on upgrading the vang?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Why do I need to flip the top section of the mast if there does not appear to be anything wrong with it?
If the joint sleeve is attached with more than one rivet, it multiplies the risk of breakage at that point. If there is only one, don't worry.

Do I need to put the boom sleeve in if I don't plan on upgrading the vang?
It actually doesn't have anything to do with the purchase ratio of the vang. But if you can make your boom more durable, why not? You'll even have more room in the boat when the boom doesn't bend as much...

I thought a 1988 boom would already have the sleeve, Stick some narrow but rigid object through the front plug hole to find out; the forward end of the sleeve should be about 10-15 cm in. If it's there, then you have again one thing less to worry about.

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You should flip the top mast if it has two rivets in the collar (which it will, if it's a 1988 mast). Reinstall with one rivet only.
You should also install the sleeve in the boom. It will break even with the old style vang.
E
 
I thought a 1988 boom would already have the sleeve, Stick some narrow but rigid object through the front plug hole to find out; the forward end of the sleeve should be about 10-15 cm in. If it's there, then you have one thing less to worry about!

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If it has a sleeve, it will be the short one; it will break at the mainsheet block. The new sleeve goes past the mainsheet block and make the boom pretty much bulletproof.
E
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
If it has a sleeve, it will be the short one; it will break at the mainsheet block.
I have the short (65 cm) sleeve, but I don't worry about my boom breaking anytime soon. I'd say switching to the longer (90 cm) sleeve isn't worth the trouble, but if you have none at all, then go ahead and get one. Emilio already posted a link.

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ProATC

New Member
If it has a sleeve, it will be the short one; it will break at the mainsheet block. The new sleeve goes past the mainsheet block and make the boom pretty much bulletproof.
E
Funny, I just bought a brand new sleeve (from a reputable laser parts website) and already put it in place, and it did not go past the mainsheet block eyelet. Should I be concerned???
 

LETLMT

Member
LaserPerformance says that the sleeves are not available, but APC does have them with a 4 week lead time
 

Eyeper

Active Member
Lots of talk about old booms breaking. Mine (1981) took a hellish beating and bending for many years and never broke, while mast sections (upper and lower) broke several times. Any YouTube videos of a boom breaking? (Now, I do have the new one with a sleeve....)
 

ProATC

New Member
And your boom won't be a Laser boom after that. This one needs to be an original LP part.

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How would anyone (ILCA enforcer) know if there is a reinforcing sleeve or is a LP part or of a certain length? Take the boom apart?
 

thieuster

Active Member
No. But I've seen a boom being rejected at measuring during the World Championship Radial U19 in Kiel. The boom (and other mast parts) are compared with a tech drawing spread out on a table. One boom was obviously (and visible) not straight anymore. The girl had to source another boom (we had a spare one in the trailer).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
How would anyone (ILCA enforcer) know if there is a reinforcing sleeve or is a LP part or of a certain length?
The length and location are easy to measure through the hole in the front plug with a long stiff wire or some such. Of course you can't see whether it's an original part or not, but that's beside the point, which is rule compliance in general. Is it ok to cheat if you don't get caught?

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
What if my top mast connection fitting has 3 rivets? Even more susceptible to breaking or is it more reinforced?
It's even more likely to break! If you go sailing with that, be sure to rotate it so that the middle rivet points aft. But yes, that spar should really be end-for-ended.

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Lots of talk about old booms breaking. Mine (1981) took a hellish beating and bending for many years and never broke, while mast sections (upper and lower) broke several times. Any YouTube videos of a boom breaking? (Now, I do have the new one with a sleeve....)
Boom were fully sleeved by the year 2000 or so, well before GoPro cameras.
Sleeved booms are pretty bulletproof so no videos of any breaking.
E
 
Of course you can't see whether it's an original part or not, but that's beside the point, which is rule compliance in general. Is it ok to cheat if you don't get caught?

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But if the manufacturer no longer provides the class legal sleeve, I would not feel bad about using a similar generic alu tube.
BTW, I have a class legal sleeve on order with ASP for a backup boom; we'll see if they deliver.
If I only had one boom and needed a sleeve, I would not wait for the class legal sleeve.
Order the class legal sleeve but in the meantime install a generic tube so your boom won't break.
E
 

LETLMT

Member
I went out and took some pictures of the boat. It needs to be cleaned up a bit.

On the lower section of the mast there is a metal ring and I forget what it is for.

I had modified the boat to be able to adjust the sails from either side, so there are 3 clam cleats on either side, but I am planning on going back to the standard official set up.

I bought all new lines from APS and a newer Laser Race Vang from LaserPerformance.

My sail looks to be in good shape, but I won’t really know until it is used. It is the older style, not a MKII.

The top section of the mast has 2 rivets. They are 180 degrees from each other and one is at the top of the black plastic ring while the other is at the bottom of the ring. Does it still need to be flipped? I will be sailing on a lake with generally very light, 6 knot average, winds.

My rudder and daggerboard are in decent shape. The front edges are a little worn and the paint came off, but no major dings.

How can I tell if the boom has the sleeve inside without taking it apart? Does it really matter in light winds? For the cost of buying and installing the sleeve I could pretty much replace it if it breaks. It seems like a lot of work to put the sleeve in.

Any other thoughts about what you can see from the pictures?

Thanks
 

Attachments

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
The metal ring around the lower mast is mysterious to me. Did this piece come from another type of boat?
 

thieuster

Active Member
Perhaps to attach one end of the downhaul? The clam-cleat behind the compass puzzles me, though.
More modern solutions for the downhaul look like this:
(Pic from Southeastsailboats)

 

LETLMT

Member
Yes, the clam cleat between the compass and cockpit is for the down haul.

Where does the other end of the down haul go to in your picture?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
On the lower section of the mast there is a metal ring and I forget what it is for.
Probably has to do with the double-ended controls, which don't look very well-working at all (in addition to being spectacularly illegal). Get rid of it, and the fairlead below the vang tang as well. That lower mast has quite a few extra holes to snap at.

there are 3 clam cleats on either side, but I am planning on going back to the standard official set up.
Good.

The top section of the mast has 2 rivets. They are 180 degrees from each other and one is at the top of the black plastic ring while the other is at the bottom of the ring. Does it still need to be flipped?
Their being at different cross-sections does reduce the risk somewhat, but you might as well end-for-end the spar anyway. It's not a huge job.

How can I tell if the boom has the sleeve inside without taking it apart? Does it really matter in light winds? For the cost of buying and installing the sleeve I could pretty much replace it if it breaks. It seems like a lot of work to put the sleeve in.
As I said, stick something thin, long and rigid through the hole in the forward boom plug. If the sleeve is there, you will easily feel its forward edge.

Fitting a new sleeve does take some work (just getting the old plug out can pe a real pain), and although it makes the rig nicer to tune in all conditions, it's a safety feature only in heavier winds.

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LETLMT

Member
There is definitely something inside the boom. It starts about 6" in from the end. I assume that is the tube that you all have been talking about. Yeah!!
 
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