"Dead" Laser surgery, or what to do with an old Laser


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We had an old very soft boat at our club that we thought about cutting up and dumping. It got one last chance through an ad on Craig’s List from a fellow who takes such Lasers and makes them into Classic Moths. I've paraphrased his e-mail in the following: He described the operation as cutting off the deck, and then cutting out a section in the middle and grafting or splicing it back together. One choice for splicing is with an interior heavy butt joint with a thinner external layer of tape. The deck will likely be plywood, sheathed in glass and epoxy but it could also be all fiberglass. The dagger well stays where it is, or at least does not get sealed over and re-cut.

This makes the Laser a 'Maser' that meets specs of the US Classic Moth Boat (CMBA) http://www.mothboat.com/CMBA/. It comes in at a slower subclass (GEN I) of Classic Moth.

This project is worth the time to him because
1. It gets him TWO Masers (He has another hull to pick up) for his children to play around with.
2. They can be stored outdoors since they will be mostly fiberglass (Most Classic Moths are almost all wood)
3. The correspondence with the Classic moth skippers out east is fun.
4. The 11 ft hull moves and stores easily
5. US Sailing recognizes the US Classic and US Modern Moth with Portsmouth ratings, making mixed fleet racing possible.

US Classic Moth, a small restricted development class on the East Coast, has made a comeback by Moth skippers who sailed it until the class was wiped out by the Laser in the 70s. The class has an iffy potential for growth, but seems to be holding OK now. The skippers in this class are great guys with a couple of women and a couple of juniors (grandkids).

US Moths (the first Moths) started in 1928-ish as a development class and spawned Aussie, French, and British Moth classes that still exist.

Interestingly, the Europe Dinghy is a one design that came to be when it was a developmental Moth that had it's specs frozen in order to become one-design. The Europe dingy is essentially a Moth with a slightly larger sail (more roach) and a great value today since the class was recently dumped by the Olympics.

The current INTL Moth class is a young descendent of the original US Moth class. The INTL Moth class evolved to $10K lifting foiled skiffs in the last few years.

The US Modern Moth Class is an East coast class alongside the Classic Moth with a less-restricted version of the US Classic Moth that allowed assymetrical spinnakers and retractable bowsprits.

There eventually will be a full how-to with photos, description, and templates to be posted on the CMBA webpage.



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That's really slick! and its a great way to reuse/recycle an old boat. Keeps the boat out of a landfill (which is a place no boat deserves to be). Thanks for sharing this and I can't wait for the how-to.
Kind of makes for a heavy Moth though doesn't it? I would think it would be tough to turn the 130 lbs laser hull into a 75 lbs Moth. Or does replacing the deck with plywood actually save that much weight?