laser electrical system

Thread starter #21
so i just took apart the bow light i ordered. it has a single festoon type bulb. 12v 8w. that isn't going to work at all. WAY too high of power draw. i've got a few led type modules lying around. i figure i can fit two of them into the same fixture with a total watt draw of around 2.8w. i guarantee they will be much brighter and create less heat as well! each of the led modules i'll put in has 24 SMD leds. i've only got 12Ah, so i only want to use 5-6Ah or less with no recharge for long battery life. that means i can use ~66watts for an hour and be done if i don't have incoming (solar) power. so, the bow light alone, with mods, could run for around 15-20 hours before the battery would start stratifying, though if in emergency, the bow light could run for 24 hours at max.

I'm gonna have to agree with the masses here, and say that chopping big holes in your boat, no matter how well done is gonna severely limit resale. I know I personally would run quickly from any boat modified like this, and no I dont race. I own 2 boats, a laser and a Capri 13 which is basically a laser clone. I keep the laser as stock as possible because even though I dont race I know that I can always easily sell it to someone who does. That IS the market for lasers, not casual day sailors. And yes, the vast majority of people that sail these boats dont stay out more than a couple hours, and dont need to carry a bunch of crap with them. I sailed 25 miles the other day with nothing more than a couple water bottles and some sunscreen. When I go out with my buddy who likes to bring stuff with him he just stuffs everything in a waterproof bag and straps it to the deck.

It's your boat though, do what you like. Just know ahead of time that you will most likely have a hard time selling the boat, and even if someone does want it they will likely use the modifications as a reason to haggle you hard on the price.
do you guys all just sail your boats for two hours max and not need any water/food/clothing?
If you sail in a regatta, you will be on the water from 10:00 until 16:00 or so. Sandwiches and water stored in a fat bag plus anything else necessary for the day's race.

Just last night, we were joking about using the tiller extension (motor bike style) to drive a small inboard motor for light wind days. If you really want an engineering project, that one will get you some praise.


Very Senior Member
Adam, unless you're trying to blind oncoming traffic, I'd suggest just a single LED module, something like the front end of one of these 2$ LED flashlights I see, with 9 diodes in them. They run forever on only 3v and are all kinds of bright. I don't know the exact wattage, but would assume it to be a fraction of a single watt.
first post here. i bought a laser a few weeks back and have been having a riot with it! this is kinda long winded... and yes, i'm turning my laser into a RV for the water! no i don't plan on ever racing the craft. i usually sail for 4-6 hours on the columbia river outside portland, OR

the thing that bugs me about the boat is the lack of dry storage. i plan on putting in a 13x30 waterproof hatch between the mast and cockpit. adding two bulheads, one in line with the mast pocket??, and one just in front of the cockpit. i'll add drainage thurofares along the bottom as to allow water trapped in the hull to migrate from bow to stern, yet stay out of the dry (bulkheaded) portion. this dry space should allow me to easily fit all electronics, as well as enough gear to do overnighters on some of the islands in the river.

i've already bought a 30W solar panel to mount in front of the mast on the deck, a 14Ah 12v SLA, and a charge controller. i also purchased a chinese amp that hooks to an ipod that draws ~15w with two 3" marine type speakers that aren't chinese. so that covers the the music, and power set up.

sometimes it gets pretty suspect on light conditions as i'm pulling into the ramp, so i'd love to have a lighting rig so i can be safe and take my time, and potentially night sail! i know i'll need a red/green light for the bow, but i'm confused on how to rig 360 degree white light. are they usually mast top? i could work that if i had to, but it would be a PITA! can i do a light off the stern on a pole? is that legal with sailer and sail potentially blocking the light? even two lights on the back two corners would be easy. i plan on using led for all lighting.

some background on me: i worked in a boatyard for a few years. before that i build a half dozen CLC 15-17' sea kayaks. i own an offgrid ranch with solar and wind power. i built the wind turbine and it's capable of over a Kw. i know my way around a few things, but this sailing this is pretty new to me!

thanks for any thought/advice/flames!

Ya it will be nice to share some pics. Looks useful information.
Most people have trouble thinking outside the box.

Yes, you will be making drastic changes from the original design. But the boat you have is older. You also got a trailer in the deal. For the amount of money you have invested, I think you should have the right to modify it to fit YOUR requirements.

My Laser had 4 inspection ports to repair previous hull damage and the hull/cockpit seal came apart with a simple tug. I paid $800 for the Laser with a trailer then sold the trailer for $400. After separating the hull and cockpit, I removed then fiberglassed over 3 of the 4 inspection ports and reinforced the hull repair. I epoxied the hull and cockpit together for strength. Soon I will repaint the whole boat (it was painted once already after its first repair).

Ultimately, the boat has to be something YOU want to use in a way that suits your needs. Experimenting on an older boat is not a bad thing to do. It can bring new insights in many ways. I like your idea of running lights for those late evening cruises.

People need to remember, not everyone races. It is an older boat. As the older boats are removed from the market, the value of the others can increase. But I think that you will have a lot of fun with your modified Laser. That is all that matters!
OK so I'll confess I sold my first Laser 1895 to a guy who asked if an outboard motor bracket could be installed on the transom .......... I just gulped and said ....... sure ......!
OK so I'll confess I sold my first Laser 1895 to a guy who asked if an outboard motor bracket could be installed on the transom .......... I just gulped and said ....... sure ......!
Freedom of Choice! Got to love it. Who knows what the individual needed to solve a problem!

My '78 Laser (hull number 64701) is being restored to functional use. I know it will never be a racer again, but I enjoyed learning how it was constructed when I separated the hull and decking. The boat is now solid and is a good learning boat for me. I expect to get a new one in a couple years and pass this one down to the younger generation in the family. In the meantime I don't worry about dings and scratches and things that go bump.

I wonder what size outboard that guy decided to put on the Laser. Bet it was FAST!
OK so I'll confess I sold my first Laser 1895 to a guy who asked if an outboard motor bracket could be installed on the transom .......... I just gulped and said ....... sure ......!
A friend's brother uses old laser hulls to make duck boats for the Chesapeake and puts a small motor on them, as well as gutting them so you can lie down in could make a miniature PT boat replica maybe, lol. Then use the jetskiers for a dynamic slalom course.

Sorry that was rude of me.
Thread starter #31
well, i've officially murdered the boat. it is no longer legal to race!

the original construction of lasers is interesting. from the deck down, it's fiberglass, foam, then fiberglass. it looks to be made from polyester resin as well, but not sure on that one. all of my modifications have been done with west sytems epoxy. i LOVE that stuff!

i've been taking pictures of the whole thing and will post them when the project is completed. so far, the hole for the main hatch has been cut about three inches behind the mast. the hatch is 10" x 28". i wanted it big enough to easily get tents/sleeping bags in and out. the front bulkhead(s) are done, but not yet fitted to the boat. it's a two piece bulkhead that fits along side the mast pocket. this should make the mast pocket much stronger! they fit almost perfectly within the hull, 1/8" gap at the most.

the rear bulkhead is going to sit just in front of the center board "sleeve"?? i just added some additional fiberglass layers to it tonight. it fits pretty darn good, but is going to need a bit of trimming to make it fit perfect.

i'm using 3/4" PVC pipe that i've ripped in half on the table saw to lay on the bottom of the hull to let any internal water travel from front to back of the boat. i'll fiberglass over that as well.

the bow light has been installed and wiring run to the waterproofed area. i've yet to retrofit an led module into it, but i'm thinking just one module will do it.

i'm in a rush as i want to sail this weekend, so hopefully the project will be mostly complete by the weekend.