What's new

I want to buy a boat! But which one?


New Member
When I was a kid, like ten - we used to sail a laser (single sail) at the nearby lake. I remember it being such a good time that I am ready to introduce my son to it (he is six). I can sail - I have owned a few catamarans but for space purposes would like a mono hull design. So... I have decided on something in the Laser family, but which one? Since I may want to go out with my wife in addition to my kid I need a boat that would be fun for two adults... will a standard laser (single sail) be enough or do I need a Laser II or ???? Any education would be great.



New Member
A standard laser really isn't good for several people, it can be doen but it dosn't perform to well =P
I'd figure the best option for maily sailing would be a smaller keel-boat, or if you want to be able to transport it and store it on land there are problably alot of less "race-oriented" boats that are better for family sailing.

Personaly I don't know much about the other boats in the laser family but I figure there are better boats for family sailing =p


Brmmm Brmmm
What about two adults no kid?
I've seen this done recently - guy plus girl. They appeared to be having a great time. They were smiling and waving - so that has to be good news. Looked better than a Dad yelling at kid from a chase boat with kid scared and snivelling scenario.

(When are we going to do something about that? Yelling "Go higher!" at your kid in 25 knots isn't sane coaching. :confused: Didn't work 20 years ago and sounds even more stupid now. :rolleyes: )

The wind was in the heavier end of the range though. They appeared to be new to sailing, but didn't capsize.


if you're in europe, the Laser 2000 would fit the bill quite nicely. they're a bit more family oriented, with asymmetric spinnaker and nice wide hull. while they wont match a laser 1 in lighter airs, in over 15knots they are just ridiculously fast. :eek:

I also noticed recently that Vanguard in the states is now building the RS Feva. these little rotomoulded plastic boats are really versatile, could easily be sailed single handed, and could carry three people easily, although they are quite short. Get the XL model with spinnaker etc, and you'll have loads of fun! :D

Buy an old laser for yourself too, 'cos once the wife and kid get hold of the feva, you'll probably never get it back! ;)

As a side issue, some top RS800 sailors recently took out their wives Feva in club racing and beat me around half the course, before capsizing on the gybe mark. twas quite windy!!
The PN for a feva is 1189, vs 1089 for a laser 2000, and 1078 for a standard laser.


are you sure that the boat from your 10 year old memories was a Laser? maybe it was a sunfish, or some other boat. the forum crowd may be sounding a little cautious to you because the majority of us sail or race our boats alone. no crew or passengers, because it really hurts the performance. however, there are loads of other family friendly boats out there. a local yacht club or sailing center should have examples of what works in the area.


New Member
the forum crowd may be sounding a little cautious to you because the majority of us sail or race our boats alone.
That's right... a very large percentage of this forum's members race Laser 1's. But here's some info provided by wikipedia:

"The Laser 2 is a double-handed version of the popular Laser one-design class of small sailing dinghy It is a quick, planing dinghy that differs from the laser in that it has a jib, symmetric spinnaker and a trapeze for the crew. It was designed by Australian Frank Bethwaite and was first launched as a product in Australia then North America in 1979 and in Europe in 1980. The hull is made of GRP (glass reinforced plastic). The rig is a Bermudian rig sloop with spinnaker. It is designed to be a mid to high performance racer. Its most common current use is at university class in Busa events. A version known as the Laser Fun was available, the same hull but featuring a reefable mainsail and a roller furling jib, and with the option of an asymmetric spinnaker (Laser Fun New Wave)."

And by sea-dreamer.com:
"The Vago is made with super linear foam sandwich polyethylene hull with pivoting centreboard and self draining cockpit. The rig incorporates Selden T6 aerospace grade alloy spars, 'single line' slab reefing mainsail and jib furling systems. Hyde sails comprise superkote 0.9oz gennakers, resin impregnated polyester woven jib/mainsail and a radial cut Kevlar laminate cloth 'performance' mainsail. Holt 'Dynamic' range hardware and trapeze conclude the specification."

And Sailing World:
"The Feva is ideal for youth sailing, but there's plenty of performance to satisfy two smaller adults. The Feva's asymmetric is easier to handle than a standard spinnaker and is appropriately sized for younger sailors."


New Member
My wife and I sail a Laser I together because that is the only boat we own. :) We certainly are do not present much competition in a race, but we have fun. I could see it would work very well with a smaller child and single adult, especially from a teaching perspective, and it would help to get your kids sailing independently. Eventually you could get a second laser to help further training because you have another boat of the same class to compare to. I'm not sure I would recommend a laser II for sailing with kids because if you have any decent wind, you *need* your crew to help you. Perhaps that is an unfair demand of a kid just learning to sail. Of course, that being said, we've really enjoy sailing our club's Laser II's over the last couple years and we're now looking to upgrade on our laser I.



Timbo, Two reasonable size adults can have a great time in a Laser, especially when they are husband/wife or boy/girl :) Yes, it's a little crowded tacking or jibing, but it works and the boat will still sail even in light air.

It's will also work well for teaching your son to sail and as he gets a little bigger and more skilled, you can get him a 4.7 rig (smaller sail and mast) and he can go out and solo (that's when you both will have big smiles on your faces)

A two person boat will give you more room, and possibly more performance in light air, but it also comes with it's own baggage (usually more cost, more hull weight, in addition to the points mentioned in the post above about the crew having to really help sail the boat) Depending on where you are in the US, a couple of the simpler two person boats are the Vanguard 15 (at least in the States you can consider it a cousin of the Laser family) and the Club 420 (lots of beater boats available for low $$$). The downside to these are they are not really meant for singlehanding and none would be appro for sending your son out by himself for a solo sail in a few years...


New Member
Maybe look at a Vanguard Zuma. It's essentially a laser with a bigger cockpit and smaller sail. Or, a Nomad may work. It's also made by Vanguard, and is 17 feet.
(When are we going to do something about that? Yelling "Go higher!" at your kid in 25 knots isn't sane coaching. :confused: Didn't work 20 years ago and sounds even more stupid now. :rolleyes: )

Hey! Thats what my coach was doing, and then I broke my mast. He was like go in. ok!
I have trained, kids, girlfriends, wife, friends all on my Laser 2 Grand-Pr ix Aka. 1994 Race Model since 1994. I also loved the beloved Laser since the 70's, however the purchase of this Bethwiate Class designed dinghy is the best choice, I ever could have made, as it has been the most awesome trainer. Best thing about it is the update they put into it in 1993, being the spinnaker deployment system, way cool, and a snap to use. I found even you can go out on the trapeze singlehanded as well, with the expendable tiller. It can be exasperating to fly the spinnaker, and trap. out, at the same time, but what a load of fun. Still all in all I can't shake myself away from the original Laser I babied all these years. Buy both you can't go wrong!


New Member
Sorry for hijacking, but this is the second thread now (other being the where are the women sailors thread) where the question of 'what ever happened to the Laser II?' has presented itself in my mind. Only rode on one once, but it was a sweet ride, at least back in 1991. Cute boy who owned it too, but whatever; that was a long time ago...

Ps. Hey it's only taken 5 years to get to my 100'th post!

Mudi 08757

What about the Taser??? Saw the Taser Worlds (i think) along the Columbia river ten/eleven years ago. Where are they now??


While we're calling up different classes, anyone know of the N10 class? (a.k.a. Parker River Turnabout a long time ago). I'm getting the impression this more of a northeast thing but that's just my impression. :p