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Laser M rig

Radial 171107

New Member
Hello laser sailors,

Just out of curiosities sake, does anyone have or know somewhere i could find pictures of a laser 'm' rig? Until a few days ago i had never heard of it. Was it a good design?
Thanks anyone who posts :)
If you search the forum, I think there are some threads with pics of it. Basically, it was the precursor to the radial. It had a halyard and a different top section, so you could lower it without having to take off the mast. It was put out in the 80's, I believe as a way to compete with the Sunfish. The actual sail shape wasn't that great, and it was phased out when the radial Mk. 5 sail was released.


Just sailing
M-rig didn't go over too well. Biggest problem was it still used the stiff lower mast section. Even with a smaller sail area, lightweight sailors still need the mast to bend more in a puff. The radial mast addresses this problem well. If you compare the radial lower mast to a normal lower mast, it is noticably thinner. And no, it wasn't a good design. That's why it disappeared.


New Member
I actually have one in my parents garage. I never used it and it has just been junk in the corner. It looks like a top section except shorter in length and has a jam cleat at the top. The sail was open at the top not closed like a full rig sail and radial sails today. Thinking back from my child hood days i believe the radial sail use to have a metal piece that fit on the top section and on the top of the radial sail. It allowed you to tie the top of it off also. It was a long time ago and can't remember. Also I was 125 lbs back then, now im 225! I hated sailing in heavy air until I became a meathead.


New Member
What do you mean by "The sail was open at the top not closed like a full rig sail and radial sails today."??

I have one of these that I bought off eBay - advertised as just a Radial Sail, and I wasn't aware there was a difference. I got a sailmaker to take the loop off the top that the halyard would have attached to and replace it with the cloth section you get at the top of a standard sail (which pretty much wiped out any gain from buying cheap off eBay....:mad: ).

It seems to work pretty much fine, but I only use it when it's blowing too much to sail with the full rig. I use it with a radial lower and standard upper mast.


chrisfsi said:
What do you mean by "The sail was open at the top not closed like a full rig sail and radial sails today."??
I have one of these that I bought off eBay - advertised as just a Radial Sail, and I wasn't aware there was a difference. .
Yikes! It may not have the same shape as a modern Radial. However, it's class legal and if it works for you, why worry?


New Member
I havent seen a radial sail in quite some time. I currently weigh 225. Anyways what I was referring to about the sail being open at the top, was what you mentioned in your post "with the cloth section you get at the top of a standard sail". The m rig sail and my radial did not have that. You have to tie the sail to the top of the top section. The radial had a metal bracket that slipped over the top section and the m-rig top section had a permanent jam cleat riveted at the top. Hope this clears up any confusion.

Radial 171107

New Member
Thanks for the posts James & Co! Im finding it vitually impossible to find pictures but i dont really care, just was curious.


New Member
curious... the laser I just bought has a fairlead at the top of the upper mast section. I didnt know why it was there, but i figured i could just take it out... what does the top of an M mast look like?


New Member
Hey Gavin - David (Y) here form HYC... When I get back from Lunenburg at the end of the week I'll come take a look at your boat like I said I would last month - sorry, I just forgot :p


New Member
The M's had a halyard and cleat arrangement (I used to just tie it up and rig it "conventionally", as my M only had a 12" halyard when I got it and I saw no reason to complicate things further) which would allow you to drop and furl if you wanted (or if you wanted all that halyard floating about at your mast foot too).

Mine was a blown-out old sail when I got hold of it, and it was a beauty off the wind - as a 14 y.o, I could flog most of our members on the broad reach legs in anything up to about 15-18 knots with the M... but the thing would just about stop dead on the beat legs. It was good enough to allow me to gain confidence in the boat in the bigger blows (much of our spring racing was done in 15-25 knot nor-easters, with up to a 4' rolling swell and wind chop) until I was heavy and fit enough to carry the full rig over the race distance without knocking up.

The Radial is certainly a much better-shaped unit, and reportedly performs much better upwind than the M ever did.


Super Opinionated and Always Correct
The rig and sail didn't work. The guys who sold them were sailors. They knew the rig and sail had hopeless helm problems. They probably even had great ideas about how to fix those problems.

They didn't

They sold a rig that was garbage that was supposed to go on the world's most successful racing singlehander because they thought it would make more money.

They thought a crappy non working piece of junk was acceptable to sell because they thought they could make money.

Not because they had tested it found it to be great and wanted to promote a new great addition to sailing.

The world famous Laser developers offered a new M rig for smaller sailors.

Thousands of people bought those M rigs.

The M rigs sucked.

Lots of M rigs ended up in the garages of the people who trusted and purchased.

The builders stopped .. Their reputation was hurt.

It sure should have been sailed and tested by the great sailors who were running the company and they should have said..".We can't sell this piece of crap until we make it work very very well."

They didn't.

Therefore, with all disparage intended......I call it the moron rig.


New Member
Yes, it was a dreadfully cut sail, but for many of us, it did the job... especially when the M was a cheap used alternative to the cost-prohibitive (for a 14 year old in the early/mid 80's) Radials...