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My Laser was hit by a car!

Eyeper

Active Member
It was on my trailer, and we were stopped at a red traffic light, on the way home after a great day sailing on Tomales Bay, CA. A kid in the car behind mistook the accelerator for the brake in his mom's car. The car struck the Laser dead center on the transom, and drove it forward about 4 feet, taking out the front bow support of the trailer, and then the rear of the trailer frame buckled in and stuck into the smashed front end of the Nissan. I am so impressed by the strength and integrity of this 1981 Irish-built hull! A tiny biff on the transom, and a scratch on the bottom of the bow where it went through the trailer front support, and that's the extent of it. The trailer took a lot more damage. My wife worries that I sail alone a lot, and I always remind her the most dangerous part of the day is on the road out and back.
 

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NickolasG

Member
Last September my Laser was hit in the sea, while training. There was a gust and we were going downwind, I got capsized and literally out of nowhere appeared 15m Sailing yacht, they were going on engine power and my coach saw him getting closer and closer to me and not paying attention at all, I was shocked as hell when this happen, and as a result my boat got broken (opened from the port side and stern, also tore out bottom part of mast step, broke my carbon filler and extension, broke my centerboard, bent top and bottom masts and of course ripped my sail) we immediately sent them back to marine, my coach towed me with rib and we immediately took pictures of damage etc and went to port authority. They didn’t recognize their fault and this statement went to court. Now we’re waiting for court and hopefully for compensation. It was my own boat, and dinghy repairmen say that it cannot be restored/fix in a proper way.
Wish me luck in upcoming courts, hope I’m gonna win it.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Hopefully, the kid's Mom has insurance...

Best luck to Nickolas as well; the yacht owner(s) should cover their faulty seamanship.
 

NickolasG

Member
Hopefully, the kid's Mom has insurance...

Best luck to Nickolas as well; the yacht owner(s) should cover their faulty seamanship.
He should, but in the port authority they said like : no it’s not our fault we not gonna do anything (we were speaking English back in a day because the crew of yacht were some people approximately from Germany/Denmark or Finland and we were Greeks, this is why I remember everything word-word
 

Eyeper

Active Member
Hopefully, the kid's Mom has insurance...

Best luck to Nickolas as well; the yacht owner(s) should cover their faulty seamanship.
Nope. The kid had no driver's license nor did he or his mom have insurance. And my insurance (three vehicles and one homeowners policy) did not cover my trailer damage. I gave them a break. Did not call the police, and have them issue a report or any more hassles (which might have brought up INS problems for them) but instead chewed the kid out good, and went home thankful I had an intact Laser. With help from a welder-genius friend, and only $108 in parts, I have my trailer all rebuilt and have been using it to sail again - twice in the week since the accident. Further takeaway for me? I got my insurance policy to now, going forward, cover my trailer and my precious boat for a pittance in premiums. AND, I assisted and learned a bit of metalwork with my friend to fix the trailer. All's well that ends well. I'm so impressed at the integrity of my old hull.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Nope. The kid had no driver's license nor did he or his mom have insurance. And my insurance (three vehicles and one homeowners policy) did not cover my trailer damage. I gave them a break. Did not call the police, and have them issue a report or any more hassles (which might have brought up INS problems for them) but instead chewed the kid out good, and went home thankful I had an intact Laser. With help from a welder-genius friend, and only $108 in parts, I have my trailer all rebuilt and have been using it to sail again - twice in the week since the accident. Further takeaway for me? I got my insurance policy to now, going forward, cover my trailer and my precious boat for a pittance in premiums. AND, I assisted and learned a bit of metalwork with my friend to fix the trailer. All's well that ends well. I'm so impressed at the integrity of my old hull.
I carry a $6k policy on my 2001 rig. Trailering is ALWAYS my biggest concern and the #1 reason I have the boat insured!
 

PMADONNA

New Member
Same here, i carry a separate insurance policy $5,000 on my 2006 trailer and laser, it runs around $135.00 per year. A new laser at $8,500 plus trailer $1,200 and your approaching $10,000 plus sales tax. So if anything happens, i'm halfway there.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
...the most dangerous part of the day is on the road out and back.
My friends & I said the same thing about going rock climbing in San Diego County... the drive out & back was always the most dangerous part of our mission, lol. :eek:

I don't miss that bad traffic either, or the bad drivers, regardless of nationality... best to be defensive behind the wheel, at least until you get out of the city. :rolleyes:

Same principles applied to motorcycling in Dago County, ya had to be careful on your way out to the boondocks, that city driving was downright dangerous. :confused:

Even the semi-rural roads and skinny little two-lane blacktop highways were dangerous... CA67, CA78, CA79 and Old Highway 94 in particular, I called those the "Highways of Death." :(

If I had a dollar for every person killed in a fatality wreck on those roads, I'd be a rich man, lol... moi, I always liked getting clear out to East County before cutting loose on my rice rocket, nowhere near as much traffic out there in the boondocks, on the back mountain roads, or in Anza-Borrego. :cool:

P.S. That's a good solid hull you have, a real keeper... I like the older boats, many of them were solidly built and can take a whole heap o' punishment. The newer cr@p, not so much, lol... ;)
 

ClaVaPa1

New Member
You'd be surprised how strong lasers are, the entire deck is built in sandwich construction, however it surelly isn't designed to whitstand a car impact, if something can be doine by the insurance you can have it checked by surveyor. I studied surveying myself at University (Yacht Engineering) and I am a passionate laser sailor, hope I can offer some advice:

You can do some diagnosis yorself:
  • Turn the boat upside down and ceck the hull to deck joint, make sure there aren't any new cracks and that the filling compound between the two parts, seals them perfectly (no gaps)
  • If you mast foot was watertight before, fill it with water and wait 15 minutes, ideally it shold not go down. If there was a big impact there might have been some shifting between deck and hull
  • For the same reason as above, check the daggerboard case, for any cracks at the top and bottom.
  • Turn the boat upside down both sides several times, try to understand if there something running loose inside the hull that you didn't hear before, if you do it's not the end of the world, many lasers have their flotations reserves moving inside and it should not be ahuge worry, it should sound like a large foam block tumbling inside.
  • Tap test the hull and deck with your nuckle or a rubber hammer (be gentle if you are using a hammer). The deck should sound sharp and solid, while the hull should sound nice and hollow (like a drum). If you hear anything rattling or odd, then there might have been a delamination or buckling. Note that tapping near fittings, joints and corners will have a different sound because they are naturally stiffer parts.
  • Check the rudder gudgeons, grab them with your hand and try to move them, maybe even with the rudder inside, Ideally it should not move...
Judging by the picture, yours is a fairly old boat, so I would be surprised if it passed all of these tests, but try to understand if there was any new damage done by the crash

Hope this helps, I'll try to add more if anything comes to mind...

All the Best!

Claudio
 

Eyeper

Active Member
Great to hear your input, Claudio! Yes the boat is amazingly strong and I was supremely lucky that the car stuck the strong transom joint just off to the side of the gudgeons, and as the boat moved forward the bow support on the trailer caved forward, acting as a "crumple zone." and the bow hull-deck joint is probably one of the other strongest parts of the boat.
I did a lot of diligent checking after I got the boat off the trailer. Upside down for cracks, and all around the hull/deck joint, and then through my four different inspection ports looked carefully and the mast step, centerboard trunk (years ago I had beefed these up with roving and resin which was probably a good idea) and everywhere else I could see.
And oh, yes, there's a lot of stuff moving around in my hull. Besides the "plastic milk jugs" floatation, over the years whenever I find a discarded kids' toy on the beach I open a port and throw it in. So I have these lucky charms of "Micky Mouse,' Troll dolls, and toy soldiers sailing with me.

So after all my diligence - and getting the trailer repaired - I decided the boat was sound and I will live with the couple of external impact scuffs (to remind me the most dangerous part of a sailing day is on the road), and have since sailed it 4-5 times, and in some 25 knot wind and waves, and she's still the same Irish lass she was when I bought her in 1982. (note: the next time I launch will mark 1,000 times I have sailed this boat - I'm sort of an obsessive counter)
 
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