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laser or laser radial?

jond908

New Member
I see lasers and laser radials for sale. the laser website says the radial has a smaller sail, but the specs ON THE SAME WEBSITE say the sail area is exactly the same.

I guess my question is, why would anyone buy one over the other? Have they changed the specs on radials over the years? I just thought I would buy a laser, because I'm over 200 pounds, and supposedly they have more sail area. what gives?
 

torrid

Just sailing
I see lasers and laser radials for sale. the laser website says the radial has a smaller sail, but the specs ON THE SAME WEBSITE say the sail area is exactly the same.

I guess my question is, why would anyone buy one over the other? Have they changed the specs on radials over the years? I just thought I would buy a laser, because I'm over 200 pounds, and supposedly they have more sail area. what gives?
Don't know the exact sail areas, but the Radial is a smaller sail with a shorter mast.

You say you weigh over 200 lbs.? Yeah, you don't need to bother with a Radial rig. It's for people 120-150 lbs.
 

jond908

New Member
Torrid:

Thanks. That makes sense. Even if the area's the same the shorter mast would make it easier for a lighter person to handle.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
The website you looked at was inaccurate. The standard rig is approximately 7.06 sq.m and the radial aproximately 5.76 sq.m. The specs have changed at various stages, but that's more to do with other factors than the physical size.

The radial is specified as the Woman's and Youth preferred rig, but can be sailed by anyone. It's recommend for people weighing between 55-70kg (120-155lbs) but many of the top radial sailors are 75-80kg (165-175lbs) and some above 90kg (200lbs). Being a smaller rig, it suits those who are heavy but not very agile, who are unfit or who are inexperienced. I'd actually argue that you really need to be well above 60kg (130lbs) to be competive in the radial unless you are very experienced in moderate to strong winds, the smaller girls really take a pounding.

The full specifies above 60kg (130lbs), but in reality you need to be above 75kg (165lbs) to be able to sail it 15knots and if you are over 90kg (200lbs) you'll rapidly wont be that competitive above club level without a lot of work from personal experience and having gone through that weight range and currently at 100kg (220lbs)*.

* Note: Despite this weight, I am actually fairly agile and fit, I do a fair amount of cycling (60-160km/week or 35-100miles/week) and also rock climbing.
 

WestCoast

New Member
The guys have it, but if you are in the states and need imperial:

Full Rig/Standard 76 sq ft
Radial 62 sq ft

The radial accomplishes this with a different 'cut' of the sail, and a shorter lower mast section of the two piece mast.

At 200lbs, you will want the full rig to get the most out of the boat.
 
...
The radial is specified as the Woman's and Youth preferred rig, but can be sailed by anyone. It's recommend for people weighing between 55-70kg (120-155lbs) but many of the top radial sailors are 75-80kg (165-175lbs) and some above 90kg (200lbs). Being a smaller rig, it suits those who are heavy but not very agile, who are unfit or who are inexperienced. I'd actually argue that you really need to be well above 60kg (130lbs) to be competive in the radial unless you are very experienced in moderate to strong winds, the smaller girls really take a pounding.
...

I weigh in around 175 lb, agile, and sail both full and Radial. "Heavy" by norms for the Radial.

The Radial sail design is *excellent*. Being a radial cut, it tends to carry its power low in the sailplan, and the more flexible mast allows the rig to be very adaptable to conditions -- adjusts and depowers really well. For its smaller area, the Radial carries a remarkable amount of power, and since that power is relatively low in the sailplan (proportionally lower than the full, plus the shorter mast to begin with) you can still maintain lots of drive to blast through waves, even with the sail fully de-powered.

I really, really like the Radial, especially in a blow! When its windy, I prefer it, and can easily hold my own against the fulls who are struggling to hold it down (or swimming ;-) In a blow, it is fairly comparable upwind (with much less sweat equity), a tad slower downwind, and a rocket on reaches once you get the hang of powering it up.

-- Peter
 

USA182772

Member
65-70kg seems to be the best all around weight for the men at international regattas and I think 60-65kg at the woman events (is the norm)... 77kg was 1st and 2nd place at the Mens Radial Worlds last year in Auckland on a very breezy course.
 

jond908

New Member
Thanks for all your advice. I'm sailing on Lake Michigan and we don't have a lot of heavy wind in the summer. I'm thinking that the laser standard is probably the better boat for me.
 
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