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Got an Old Laser, What Now?

MEDDERX

New Member
I had a neighbor who was giving away their laser (husband passed, just wanted it gone). I think its a '74? All things considered I would say its in decent shape but being that it was free I'm pretty interested in overhauling it but not sure how far down the rabbit hole I should go. Also I learned how to sail on other dinghy's but don't necessary know all the lingo so bear with me.

Aside from cleaning the whole thing, daggerboard and keel seem to just need a sanding and refinish, new ones are more than I want to spend. Going to replace all the lines and probably hardware. Have yet to really look at the sail but I think it just needs a good cleaning for now. My biggest concern is the hull because I have yet to see inside it or inspect the underside closely. Luckily the mast step seems fine as it has been holding water and sounds solid. There is some splitting at the bow but minimal compared to what I have seen others have. The drain hole seems to be cracked and abstinent of a plug so I question how much water has been inside it and for how long.

I am also looking at building a PVC dolly for it but that should be pretty straight foreword. Also curious about rigging a spinnaker but that can wait till its seaworthy again.

I suppose the first things I want to know are if I should consider splitting it open and also if I should sand it all down and refinish it?
 

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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
You should run a soap bubble test to see if there are any leaks other than the one on the left side near the bow.
With respect to repairing that area, there has just been a 'vigorous' discussion about how to do that.


Hull Separation Repair | SailingForums.com

Obviously you also need to find a plug for the drain, or replace the whole thing with a new one (not expensive).

Replacing the hardware may cost you, and may not be necessary. Touching up the blades is fine, of course.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I think its a '74?
The wooden foils do point to the early 1970s. If it's a '73 or newer there's a code on the transom. What does it say? If it's even older, then you find the sail number under the bow eye. What is it (if it's there)? I'd like to see the stickers on the aft wall of the cockpit, too.

daggerboard and keel seem to just need a sanding and refinish
The centreboard (or daggerboard, if you want to call it that) looks great. If the wooden foils weren't outlawed on newer boats, I'd actually pay money for that. All it needs is a stopper.
The rudder blade needs, as you said, just some sanding and varnish.

Going to replace all the lines and probably hardware.
Lines probably need replacing, all of the hardware not. You may want to change the plastic Clamcleats to aluminium, and the swiveling sheet cleat to a ratchet block. The fairleads, eyestraps, grabrails and such are probably ok.

There is some splitting at the bow but minimal compared to what I have seen others have.
Doesn't look very critical, and should be pretty easy to fix. Plenty of (sometimes contradicting) tips on that on the forum.
I'd be more worried about the hit on the port side in the gunwale. What does that look like from below?
I'd also check the bottom edge of the centreboard case and the bailer hole, as those are common leakage areas.

The drain hole seems to be cracked and abstinent of a plug
The same model is still available if you want to keep a "vintage" look: Drain Plug (White) A threaded one should be more watertight in the long run, though:
Drain Plug (Allen)
When you drill out the rivets on the old plug housing, be careful not to enlarge the holes in the transom.

Also curious about rigging a spinnaker
:eek: WHAT?

I suppose the first things I want to know are if I should consider splitting it open and also if I should sand it all down and refinish it?
You're thinking too big here. The hull looks fine, apart from a crack or two. There is absolutely no reason to "split it open" (I feel pain just writing that!); no refinishing is needed as the gelcoat looks good, at least in the bow area. The transom seems to have faded a bit, but clean the boat first so you see what the colour really is. These are just aesthetic things anyway, and don't affect the sailing of the boat.

_
 

joe c

banned
that boats going to clean up really nice. the splitting is sooo minimal. thickened epoxy it or panel bonding adhesive ive discovered is really close too. then check for leaks. hose bucket and some warm water with a big carwash mop. then some fibreglass stain remover. that chip will fill and sand back with thickened epoxy then fair it. good luck matching the color of you dont have the eye. nightmarish. very cool.
 

MEDDERX

New Member
The wooden foils do point to the early 1970s. If it's a '73 or newer there's a code on the transom. What does it say? If it's even older, then you find the sail number under the bow eye. What is it (if it's there)? I'd like to see the stickers on the aft wall of the cockpit, too.

I'd be more worried about the hit on the port side in the gunwale. What does that look like from below?

You're thinking too big here. The hull looks fine, apart from a crack or two. There is absolutely no reason to "split it open" (I feel pain just writing that!); no refinishing is needed as the gelcoat looks good, at least in the bow area. The transom seems to have faded a bit, but clean the boat first so you see what the colour really is. These are just aesthetic things anyway, and don't affect the sailing of the boat.
that boats going to clean up really nice. the splitting is sooo minimal. thickened epoxy it or panel bonding adhesive ive discovered is really close too. then check for leaks. hose bucket and some warm water with a big carwash mop. then some fibreglass stain remover. that chip will fill and sand back with thickened epoxy then fair it. good luck matching the color of you dont have the eye. nightmarish. very cool.
After cleaning it up some I'm more confident with it, till have yet to roll it over though. The hit on the gunwale does not show through from underneath. There is a bit of lose fiberglass there that might be a hole to the inside but I dont want to pull it out to check just yet.

Glad to know that there is no need to overhaul it inside and out. nearly half of the stuff I was finding online initially was people doing that. With that being said though, after drilling out the drain and being able to see better inside there is at least a couple pounds of sand/gravel sitting in the back of the boat. Probably from years of sitting at the waters edge with no plug in. Maybe worth installing a hatch/access port, Laser Bottle Port ?


Most the grime is coming out, still tons of small dark spots that I am working on. Still some discoloration but I'm not sure what level of white I should be expecting, surely not golf ball white. The hull's yellow comes out much nicer than expected though and should look great when its all cleaned and waxed.
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Things do suddenly look much worse than yesterday :confused:
I have a hard time even visualizing what's happened there. It's like the surface has cracked... but it hasn't. Weird. In any case, there’s something broken on the inside, and fixing that may not be worth the effort.
Is the yellow colour just paint after all? Is that a white-ish surface that’s visible at the bailer hole?

_
 

MEDDERX

New Member
Things do suddenly look much worse than yesterday :confused:
I have a hard time even visualizing what's happened there. It's like the surface has cracked... but it hasn't. Weird. In any case, there’s something broken on the inside, and fixing that may not be worth the effort.
Is the yellow colour just paint after all? Is that a white-ish surface that’s visible at the bailer hole?
The white in the bailer hole is just some soap bubbles, it appears the yellow is the original color.
In the areas right around the bailer, centreboard and centreline it still feels solid, its the areas that dont have structural supports that feel soft and is worse in the rear than middle. There is a crack about 3” long that I was told was a possibility when I got it. Looks like it might be going all the way through but cant tell until i do the bubble test. Though I’m less worried about that than what I think is deamination.

Additionally when i flipped it over it sounded like there was a lot more gravel inside than I initially thought. Not sure if it is part of the problem but it will be is going to be its own problem either wayI think.0B52D204-8DB4-4BEE-97F8-7DB56162DD28.jpeg
 
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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
That looks pretty bad unfortunately.

BTW the decks of that vintage were a light tan gelcoat, which is why you are not having any luck getting it whiter.
 
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