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

Thread starter #1
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.
 
#2
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).
 
#5
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
 
#6
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.
 
Thread starter #8
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?
 
#9
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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#10
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
 
#11
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!

_
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
 
#12
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.

_
 
#13
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???
 
#20
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....)
 
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