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laser vs laser pico

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Everything is different. IMO the two are not really comparable. Want a sailing challenge get a Laser. Just want to dink around get a Pico.


Pico was meant to be a Laser Trainer. Pro's, mainsheet does not catch around the transom. Rig is similar to old syle Laser but has no battens so reefing is easy. Stable and suprisingly fast and fun in a blow. Fully self draining.

Rounded ergonomic side decks so much more comfortable than a Laser. Nice boats, popular at my club (we have 6) and can be rigged with a Jib so you can sail with an adult and small child). They have a dished foredeck area so often we have three smaller children sailing one. One on main and tiller, one on jib and the smallest forward of the mast throwing water at the others. So they are more fun for smaller children than a Laser. They are easy to right and do not turtle easily (though we always use mast floats anyway)

Reliable, in 10yrs I have not replaced any parts on the club fleet apart from a few bits of rope, bungy cord and tiller extension joints. Sails still good

Cons: Quite heavy as it is Rotomould. I'm 80kg and I feel I'm too heavy for it unless I put the jib up as well. Quite short so in a big breeze (F5+) they can nosedive if you don't get back quick. (is that a negative or positive point?). Lower than a Laser so wetter.

I'm 6ft 1" and have to use the leeward toe straps so I expect they were really aimed at about 70kg max and 5ft 4". Most younger people less than 30yrs old like them, the over 40s don't as you will kneel a lot.

All the stainless fittings are rivetted on with stainless rivets into Aluminium. This is the only Pico headache when sailed on salt water. This year after 10yrs the booms are all scrap as the boom vang fitting has chewed away the booms. Last year I re-rivetted all the mast fittings and added Duralac.

They do fade if left in the sun and look horrible. Rumours are that with age they deteriorate in the sun and get brittle and crack. Ours all have top notch covers.

So buy a Pico with a jib that has not been left out in the sun for 10yrs and washed in fresh water and get a versatile and easy to live with boat if you are a lighter and smaller person and have a small child to amuse and don't mind kneeling. Otherwise the Laser is a more fun to use for a larger adult (kids don't like them as there is no where to sit (unlike the Pico) other than the cockpit that is safe) and more rewarding when you get it right just get your PPE! (hikers, pads, gloves good boots).