Laser 2

Thread starter #1
Hi silly question, I’ve been given a Lazer 2 but would like to sail it single handed. Is this possible and if so what do I need to watch out for?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#2
This question comes up regularly. The answer is that trying to singlehand a doublehanded boat is one of those things that are possible, but not recommendable, or even fun or safe. Someone else will probably tell you it's great, and you will believe it because you want to. But you can't fool the laws of physics.

I could go on and on why it doesn't work very well, but I'll ask you first: why don't you want a crew (or a helmsman)? You live in an area full of dinghy sailors and culture! Shouldn't be any shortage of experienced and/or willing candidates.

_
 
#3
Ok, I've gone into this before. Check out Laser 2.
It all come down to attitude. We have 14/16yr olds who find single handing an L2 from the trapeze a good laugh. They have a go for it crash and burn attitude. If you have a similar attitude then single handing will be great fun.
Things to watch out for?
1) Is the water deep enough to turtle it? If not, fit a mast head float. They were designed to invert for safety.
2) Mainsail only or both sails? You have to make a few simple and cost free changes if mainsail only.
With mainsail only from the trapeze they are a real pocket rocket. A poor man's Contender. If you don't know what a Contender is, check them out. You'll get the idea. Awesome boats.
 
#4
Ok, I've gone into this before. Check out Laser 2.
It all come down to attitude. We have 14/16yr olds who find single handing an L2 from the trapeze a good laugh. They have a go for it crash and burn attitude. If you have a similar attitude then single handing will be great fun.
Things to watch out for?
1) Is the water deep enough to turtle it? If not, fit a mast head float. They were designed to invert for safety.
2) Mainsail only or both sails? You have to make a few simple and cost free changes if mainsail only.
With mainsail only from the trapeze they are a real pocket rocket. A poor man's Contender. If you don't know what a Contender is, check them out. You'll get the idea. Awesome boats.
Thanks Riv. I just got an old Laser 2 and intend to sail it both single-handed and with a crew. I have the go for it attitude, although I'm quite a few decades older than your 16 year olds!
Questions:
When you say "check out Laser 2", where? On this forum? When I search Laser 2 it drops the 2 ("too common"), and I get everything Laser, not specifically the 2.
What are the simple changes required for main and trapeze? (maybe you'll point me to where this is already posted). Funny you mentioned Contender, because that's the feel I'm looking for. I almost bought a used one until my wife suggested that I get something that two people could enjoy. She's so wise!
Thanks for the mast head float tip, and any other pointers.
 
#5
Hi, I can't find where I posted the other Info, maybe Sailing Anarchy or Yachts and Yachting. Sorry. Also search on Laser II (two capital I's)

Two sail single handed tie sheets together or tie end of sheet to trapeze handle (seriously brave people only)

If you sail mainsail only:

1) Keep rig tension, hoist jib, take off sheets. Roll around forestay and secure with sticky tape.
2) Make sure you are sheeting from the middle of the bridle. Tie a knot.
3) Vang controls all the leach tension. Add extra purchases, do it cheap laser style (pre Harken/Allen type of setup. Needs a double block)
4) Without the jib boat will have big weather helm at low speed and starting:
a) Lots of downhaul keeps camber forward and helps
b) Loose leach when starting
c) Boom never closer than corner of boat.
d) Raise Daggerboard by 9", transfers more load to rudder, so helps with weather helm. Raised dagger also gives a place to push off from when trapezing. In stronger winds (whitecaps) raise dagger board more, its a big one and you don't need it all.
e) Start with wind 90deg to the boat. Get it going, Then turn to windward

5) Sheet from the boom not the floor.
6) Lengthen tiller extension by min 2ftI use 22mm plastic water pipe and sticky tape.

7) Wear a helmet. Spreaders are painful at speed
8) Practice capsizing!
9) If it all works try raking the mast back. It helps with the trapezing but adds to the weather helm, so you raise the dagger board more. Even one hole at the shroud plates helps. Check it does not jump out of the mast foot holder!

This is just playing around you will have to fiddle with everything. If this boat had a centreboard everyone would be doing it. It planes singlehanded up wind with both sails in F3 really well.

Loads of fun
 
#8
Have a look at this to inspire you, if you are on open water nice steady breeze you will get on fine

Yup, that's pretty much what I was doing with my 470 when sailing it single handed. Here's the sequence of getting going as I remember them when you are by yourself.

- With only the leech of the main filled and the rest of the main luffing, set the jib for whatever point of sail you are going to be on (pointing, beam reaching, broad reaching, etc.) and cleat it. Leave the tail of the jib sheet draped on the deck and gunnel so you can pop it off the cam cleat if things go south.
- Hook into the trapeze.
- Sheet in the main enough to give it enough power so that you can get your hips and one leg to windward of the gunnel with your full weight on the trapeze but with your hip still touching the gunnel. You'll be balled up like a sack of potatoes to windward of the gunnel at this point.
- Keep sheeting in the main to get the boat to heel a bit more than normal. This will help you to get your feet under you and on the gunnel.
- Move your hips with one hand away from the gunnel so you can get both feet on the gunnel. You'll now be squatting on the gunnel without your legs extended.
- Now start sheeting the main in more while extending your legs. Keep an eye on the jib tell tales and keep them flowing so you will be in trim.
- Keep sheeting in the main until your legs are fully extended and you are fully powered up.

When you are fully powered up and you find you've got too little trapeze weight for the wind velocity, luff up, swing to back inside the cockpit and start depowering the main and jib.

One of the quickest ways to reduce excessive heeling because you don't have enough body weight on the boat is to raise the centerboard in small increments. Because the centerboard in the 470 rakes back as it is raised, this will slowly produce "leeward helm" where the boat wants to head off but just keep sailing by the jib tell tales, not by what the pressure in the tiller... which will start pushing towards you... is telling you.

Some of my fondest memories of sailing my 470 was single handed sailing in light and steady sea breezes.

I've also sailed it single handed with the spinnaker up as well. That is another story all together (you are quite busy) but the main bit of advice I can give you on that is to raise the centerboard almost all the way up when you've got a rolling swell passing under your boat when running.

It's actually easier to single hand with the spinnaker up on a very deep broad reach than running straight downwind. At least then you can get your weight out to counteract the force of the spinnaker and main.

Cheers,

- Andy
 
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