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How to buy a competitive boat

Hoffy

New Member
I am in the market for a competitive laser. I definitely want it to be fast enough to compete on the highest level of club racing and be able to do well regionally. I am lucky enough to live in VT where the US Championships are in August. I'd like it to give me the chance to do well there, but I mean "do well there" in the class of 36 year old guys who race regularly once a week at a club level. I bought, raced, and sold a 1976 laser in the late 80's and have an intermediate understanding of what to look for. I'm asking for more specific info on what age boat, sail, and rigging are necessary to meet my needs.
 
I heard a new boat is pretty competitive.
Otherwise anything close to new, but not sailed by a heavy guy or by a really good sailor (they destroy the boat). Of course, you want all the new hardware and a carbon tiller. Oh, and a new sail, of course!
Then again, that does not make you sail very fast. PRACTICE is more important than the boat!
Georg
 

sailor327

New Member
As Georg said practice and skill are way more important than a new boat and all the upgrades (they do help though). people with old boats beat people with new boats all the time. Its the sailor not the boat that wins the race, thats why we sail one-design.
 

maljam

New Member
sailor327 said:
As Georg said practice and skill are way more important than a new boat and all the upgrades (they do help though). people with old boats beat people with new boats all the time. Its the sailor not the boat that wins the race, thats why we sail one-design.
Absolutely. Our little club was donated a pretty-beaten-up 1970's Laser, and one of our regular sailors took it out and won a few races in it against almost brand-new Lasers! ya, it's not always the boat, it's the sailor in this one-class field.
 
Merrily said:
How's that?
What does a good sailor do to a boat? Well s/he sails it fast, but that can only be done by putting a lot of stress on the boat, which means that over a couple of years the boat will loose its stiffness. Really good laser sailors put their full weight into sailing the boat and sail a lot in general and in heavy weather too. A not so good or not so fit sailor will put much less stress on the boat, will not sail it as often and will not take it out when it is blowing.
Some of the oldies are much stiffer (and probably a bit heavier) than a boat that has been sailed for a year by a prof.
What does it matter? Especially in waves it matters. Every time you hit a wave with a boat that has lost its stifness you will feel it slow done, regardless of what you do with your body to counter the wave. I think the boat just flexes and slows down instead of pushing through the wave.
Georg
Georg
 

Hoffy

New Member
I've made an initial exchange with VTgent and printed off the article link. Thanks everyone. Hope to see you on the water. If you want to sell your boat. Let me know.
 

Ericbh3

New Member
I'd like to share that I bought a used boat from VTGent49 last spring and found him to be a real straight shooter. He was honest and fair, and mailed me battens when he found I'd forgotten them. I was unsure about dealing with somebody "from the internet," but VTGent proved himself to be a real honest guy.
 

Michelle

New Member
Ericbh3,

What hull number did you buy from VTGent? I sold my old boat to him in Feb 05 and he fixed her up and passed her along.
 

vtgent49

Member
Michelle,

Your's went to Montreal, and is learning to speak French!

I buy and sell a few a year, to build our fleet (Montreal is only 1 hour away). We have about 30 boats now. And we're hosting the '07 US Nationals in August. I know enough about them to buy sight unseen, and usually avoid problems. Or I can fix (most) problems. Plus I travel a ridiculous amount, so hauling one home is often no biggie.

See you at the MW Masters.

Al Russell 182797
 
Like crazysailor said a new boat is the way to go in my opinion. That way you can be sure that nothing bad happened to it. Also, if you are in the market for a "souped up" laser, go with the laser pro model.
 

Radial 171107

New Member
There are plenty of great boats out there that arent new, and some people can't afford a new boat. The most important thing is the mast step, then probably making sure the hull is stiff and doesnt leak.
 

Hoffy

New Member
Thanks for the continuing advice...I'm still shopping. In an effort to build capital for the buy...anyone want to buy a snowmobile? Super fast trail sled. Well kept, roll tacked once, never jybed.
 

HECS

New Member
I am in the market for a competitive laser. I definitely want it to be fast enough to compete on the highest level of club racing and be able to do well regionally. I am lucky enough to live in VT where the US Championships are in August. I'd like it to give me the chance to do well there, but I mean "do well there" in the class of 36 year old guys who race regularly once a week at a club level. I bought, raced, and sold a 1976 laser in the late 80's and have an intermediate understanding of what to look for. I'm asking for more specific info on what age boat, sail, and rigging are necessary to meet my needs.
I moved from a brand-new boat when I dropped out of serious Lasers a while back, to a 1976 boat. As a Master's boat, the old girl with one+ year old sail is about 100% competitive; it beats the recent Masters World Champ and the current Grand Masters world champ, and finishes with the recent Apprentice world champ. An upwind speed problem for 2 1/2 of the 4 races at our Masters champ proved to be 100% down to the idiot who was pinching (me, of course). The only speed problem is bits that fall off it (and me).

Maybe you should buy an old boat; tell your wife and kids that you saved thousands of dollars and therefore have earned a corresponding time off work; and use that time to train. It's more fun than the office and makes you go faster!

:)
 
Just keep looking. I found a 03 baby blue boat, with EVERYTHING for 3000. You just need to find someone who is fed up, and doesnt care about the money.
 

Hoffy

New Member
Hey sk8, that sounds like me with the snowmobile! Knot, it really looked more like a death roll than a roll tack to my friends, but I walked away. Darb, since you ask...$2000 obo. It is a 2000 Ski Doo MXZ Adrenaline 600. I have no trouble keeping up with anybody...even the guys on revs. It has 96 brand new studs and dooly's. Properly summerized. A two place, 10 ft trailer is also available for $1000 obo. New tires and Jack stand. Both prices negotiable! Both stored indoors in off season. Yes, I rolled it once--the first time I rode it. But it was in powder and the only damage was the windshield which I replaced. I've ridden it for three years since. Anybody who tells you they haven't crashed his sled is lying...like saying you've never death rolled when it is blowing 25. THAT I've done more than once.
 

Hoffy

New Member
HECS, very good advice. That is still within the realm of possbility. I also have a friend willing to loan me his boat (late 80's) all summer. Keeping that in my back pocket. I continue to be pleased to hear all the feedback that older boats can compete with newer ones once the sailor works out the cobwebs.
 

Chainsaw

Brmmm Brmmm
If it were me and I could afford it I'd buy new. Failing that I'd buy up to ten years old, good sound hull, turbo kit and make sure everything worked, and buy a couple of new sails to go with it.

Have to agree with the practice/experience comments here. I have been beaten buy some boats in terrible condition (rigged with a sheet you could moor a ship with, no turbo kit, sunburnt polyester twine for a traveler, gunwale cracked and dinged) twice the age of mine by superior sailors.

Sometimes I wish I could buy experience like a new sail.
 
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