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Help/Advice with Major Laser Job

Alright, so here's the deal. I received this laser for free from some family friends who just wanted it off their hands. I've sailed it for the past two seasons and have had a blast. I finally got it home this spring and decided that I'd make it my project over my Coronavirus break from school. Needless to say it's in pretty rough shape, but she still floats and there are no large holes in the hull. Many repair jobs have been done on the hull and it looks like the deck has been painted a couple of times. Most of the deck paint is chipping away and there doesn't seem to be a non-skid surface underneath like most of the newer lasers. For anyone brave enough to help me with this project I greatly appreciate it, for starters, wondering if I should start on hull or deck. I've washed with soap and water to get dirt off, but haven't done much else. ANY help would be greatly appreciated. I'll post some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
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Any questions please feel free to ask, I'll try and update this as often as possible, at least daily. I can send more/detailed pictures if needed.
 
In all seriousness. I would not waste time or materials on that boat. That is without a doubt the worst looking laser I have ever seen. No disrespect intended, just offering my honest opinion.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I'd just focus on getting rid of sharp edges where you could hurt yourself. Even sharp edges you don't think you'd ever come in contact with are good to get rid of - you could end up places you never expect in some wild capsize! I'd also be sure the grab rails are firmly mounted, that your traveler cleat will hold the traveller TIGHT, and that the traveller "eye straps" are solid and not about to corrode thru, and the hiking strap will stay put. Beyond that, I would not put money into this vessel - use it for fun, despite its less-than-beautiful looks.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Agree with Jason. I hate to be this negative, but that red... thing that was a Laser a long time ago is now a piece of trash. It's not a "project", but something to be disposed of. (Why do you think your family friends "wanted it off their hands"?)

_
 

Riv

Member
Wow, you get the prize for most battered laser still Sailing. It's too far gone for easy repair, but there is another way!
Check out the Flex Seal website, lots of funny videos from Phil Swift and the Flex tape really does work. I've used it to stick old raceboards back together. So buy a load of tape, choose a warm day, clean it all up with acetone to degrease and apply the tape really carefully and it will cover everything up and even look good.
You do need warm dry, clean conditions.
Finally, do not buy this stuff off eBay, most sellers have old stock which they have removed from the cardboard tube to save postage. It is ruined if this has happened. You are in the States so buy it off the Flex Seal website.
Have fun and enjoy Phil's videos
 

Horizon

Member
That is certainly one patched up Laser!

Congratulations on keeping an old Laser sailing and most importantly, going out and having fun on it.

I think what you should do with it depends on a few questions:
  • Does it leak at all at the moment?
  • What do you want to get out of it at the end of renovating it ? Do you want it to look nice or just to ensure that you can keep on sailing for a few more years, regardless of looks.
  • Are you definitely fixed on the idea of keeping it? Or would you be happy replacing it with another Laser?
On the positive side, it looks as if your boat has had the mast-step replaced, which is great, as this is a common area of failure in older boats and hopefully yours is still strong and leak free there.

If the boat doesn't leak at the moment or the water coming in is very minimal, I might be inclined to leave it as it is and carry on having great times sailing again when we can get back on the water. Although, as Beldar noted above, if you are going to keep on sailing, then getting rid of the sharp edges and making sure that all the fittings are safe and secure is a really good idea and shouldn't involve too much work or expense.

If the boat does leak, then I would invest a little time on finding the leak, which should be a relatively simple process - there are various topics on the forum that will help you with that. Depending on where the leak is, may require more or less work and expense to fix it.

As others have commented above, it is not worth spending a lot of money on your boat unfortunately. You can easily start to build up costs when doing boat work, especially if buying fibreglass and epoxy and sadly, if you are going to spend that sort of money, you will probably be able to find a hull or complete boat for sale for similar or less money.

If you had any ideas about repainting the boat, I think I would avoid that as it will add weight to what is already going to be a very heavy hull by the looks of it and because of all the work that he been done before, it will be very hard, if not impossible to make it look good. And paint on fibreglass rarely stays looking good for long, in any case.

The main thing is to ensure that you have a boat to use once we can all get back out on the water.

Have fun and safe sailing.
 
Thank you all for your input. I'm new to this and pretty much just wanted to see what, if anything could be done. Taking all of your advice into consideration, I'll just plan on fixing what absolutely needs work to keep er floating and able to have a good time. Fortunately there's minimal leakage, but one thing I was considering was sanding down the deck as the current paint jobs are wearing off and the flakes are annoying to have all over in the cockpit and on my clothes. Any thoughts on this?
 
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