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Documentation on Laser variations??

shorefun

Active Member
My 16 year old has just finished his second year of sailing. He expressed interest in a laser.

No, I am not spending $2k on a laser. I am looking for a decent deal and fixing stuff is what I can do.

What I see is the lasers at the club have a couple of blocks on the deck that I believe control the sail luff and foot tension.

So what are the variations of the hulls through the ages and what are considered the too old you should not get involved features. For example on a sunfish you stay away from the bronze rudder mount hulls.

Thanks!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
There's a lot of info on this topic on the Forum. Just use the search box (upper right).

For instance, here's an old thread that is relevant
Old vs. New Laser | SailingForums.com

Finding a decent Laser under $2K will be hard...

PS: How big/heavy is your 16-year old? If he is under 160 lbs, a Radial rig would suit him better, at least initially.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The Laser(ILCA) hulls built today are, as far as I know, the exact shape as they were in 1971 when the class started. No changes like the Sunfish has gone through. Even the fittings that have have been allowed later are easy to retrofit, in principle you don't need to drill a single new hole. (And aren't actually even allowed to unless the old holes are unusable for some reason.) So in that sense, there are no boats that would be "too old to get involved" with. Mast steps on the oldest (1970s) boats is a weak point, though, but the forum is full of instructions how to deal with that. Others may know more specifically which years or builders might be smart to avoid.

But like Wavedancer said, combining "less than 2000 dollars" and "decent" may be tough. Going down to that price range you're dealing with boats that are 30+ years old, and simply replacing worn-out/broken/missing parts may cost more than you expect.

What level is your son aiming at?

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
The new vang and Cunningham make the boat much more sailable. But finding a decent boat with those parts for under $2k may be tough. Finding a decent boat without those parts is possible, but look at the cost of upgrading. If it’s possible to up the budget I think it will result in a happier and more engaged youth sailor.
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shorefun

Active Member
I understand how you might think I need to spend a few K on a good boat. But I am playing a long game. Just gathering some knowledge as sometimes super deals pop up. So far I have bought 3 Sunfish. The first with a Seitech dolly was $50, $200 for a 2006 that needed hole fixed in ther back where something hit it, and $300 for a well worn 1996 with a Seitech dolly and a few minor holes. I spent big money on a Hunter 170, $500. It needed some repairs but pretty minor in the scheme of things.

I got lucky in each case and I find there are deals if you know what you are looking for and especially if you can do a few repairs.

It all starts with knowing what you need to look our for on the boats.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
How big/heavy is your 16-year old? If he is under 160 lbs, a Radial rig would suit him better, at least initially.
What level is your son aiming at?
Shorefun, answering these questions would get us moving forward. Case in point, as Wavedancer said, if your son is on the light side, he needs a smaller rig than what is usually included with older Lasers. Newer boats are often sold with several sizes. Also, the higher his goals are, the smarter it is to invest in higher-end equipment right away.

All in all, this should be all about what best meets your kid's needs, not about his father's game of hunting supercheap deals. At 16, you want to get on the water now, and in a boat that doesn't hold you back (and which you're not embarrassed to show to your friends, too).

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Alright, so perfect Standard/ILCA 7 size. Gives you more choices with used boats. But don't hesitate buying one that includes smaller rigs, too, as they may be what the next owner after you wants :rolleyes:

So after he decides at what level (local/regional/national/international...) he wants to be competitive within the next few years, then we'll have a pretty good view of what level of equipment it would be smartest to start out with.

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monkey_feet

Arlington, TX
Where are you located? If you are looking for a deal, I used to post on Craigs List, "I'll buy Lasers in any shape" I found some very interesting deals.

You may also want to look for boats that will be a bit more and you can sell off some extra parts to lower your overall investment into the boat.

Given your Fish comments, it sounds like you like the hunt for deal. I'm the same way. One other suggestion is to find a fleet. Got to the club and ask the active sailors which boats are never used, and reach out to those folks. I have gotten well below market prices if you are pro-active. Heck, I got a free E-Scow that way because the guy didn't want to pay storage anymore. The great thing about the Laser is that they are everywhere. Will you get a boat to win the nationals, probably not, but you can find starters all day long.

For the kid, you may also want to see what's going on for a youth circuit. Here in Texas we have a great one. www.txsail.org. My oldest raced in it for a few years and my high school senior is active in it. If he's got an interest in racing, that's a good way to keep him interested. For some reason, kids like to hang out with their peers vs a bunch of old Laser sailors! :)

Good luck in your hunt.
 
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