Need Help/Advice

Thread starter #1
Hello. I need some advice.

Yesterday I was sailing my Laser 14 (no jib) in serious wind and waves. I was doing good until I tried to tack into the wind. I pushed the tiller away, released the mainsheet, and leaned back. The sail flapped like crazy and all three battons flew out. I got about 60% around the tack, then lost speed and started drifting. I regained control and tried again. I when with the wind, turned 90 defrees, then tried to tack. I was catapulted over the boom and onto the sail as the boat capsized. I managed to get her back up and get in, but the boom came unattached and I coasted to the shore with the current.

What could I have done to fix this? Why did the battons come out? Am i tacking wrong?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#2
What's a "Laser 14"? There are Lasers 13 and 16, so I assume it's either of those, or something similar. When you say "no jib", I take it that the boat is supposed to have a jib, and leaving it out does lead to handling problems like yours. Coming out of a slow tack is especially hard when you have the main pushing you back into the wind. This is what happens with the countless people who try to singlehand boats meant to be sailed by a crew of 2 or more. If you're going to sail by yourself, get a singlehander, and if you have a multiple-hander, get a crew. Or at least rig the jib, too, and don't go out in conditions in which you can't handle both sails and don't have enough weight.

I can't really visualize what made you capsize. Sheet too tight, weight too far in, turned the boat too hard, freak gust...

If battens fly out of a sail in normal (or even "serious") conditions, it means you haven't attached them properly.

If the boom disengages from the mast in any conditions, it means you haven't attached it properly, including keeping the vang tight enough.

_
 
Thread starter #3
What's a "Laser 14"? There are Lasers 13 and 16, so I assume it's either of those, or something similar. When you say "no jib", I take it that the boat is supposed to have a jib, and leaving it out does lead to handling problems like yours. Coming out of a slow tack is especially hard when you have the main pushing you back into the wind. This is what happens with the countless people who try to singlehand boats meant to be sailed by a crew of 2 or more. If you're going to sail by yourself, get a singlehander, and if you have a multiple-hander, get a crew. Or at least rig the jib, too, and don't go out in conditions in which you can't handle both sails and don't have enough weight.

I can't really visualize what made you capsize. Sheet too tight, weight too far in, turned the boat too hard, freak gust...

If battens fly out of a sail in normal (or even "serious") conditions, it means you haven't attached them properly.

If the boom disengages from the mast in any conditions, it means you haven't attached it properly, including keeping the vang tight enough.

_
Thank you for all your advice. By Laser 14 I mean the boat is 14 feet long. I tis not designed to have a jib. Sorry for not being clear.

I think I capsized from turning to hard and not leaning agaist it hard enouph.

Thanks so much for all the advice and help!
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
#4
It sounds like you we're in conditions that you were not ready for. And as LaLi said, it seems you didn't have the battens or vang installed correctly. Did you have the vang connected? Be sure that the vang is set up so that even with it full off (vang line released) its tight enough so that the boom can't come off the mast (as long as the clew remains attached to the boom). Did you have the clew tie down strap installed?

Please excuse me if you already know all of this, but if not, a rigging guide is where you probably need to start:

http://www.foghmarine.com/laser.pdf

There are also other rigging guides for the Laser that a Google search will find.
 
Thread starter #5
It sounds like you we're in conditions that you were not ready for. And as LaLi said, it seems you didn't have the battens or vang installed correctly. Did you have the vang connected? Be sure that the vang is set up so that even with it full off (vang line released) its tight enough so that the boom can't come off the mast (as long as the clew remains attached to the boom). Did you have the clew tie down strap installed?

Please excuse me if you already know all of this, but if not, a rigging guide is where you probably need to start:

http://www.foghmarine.com/laser.pdf

There are also other rigging guides for the Laser that a Google search will find.
Thanks for your help and time! He vang was clipped on the boom and the mast. I guess it was not tight enouph and the boom slipped out of the mast. I did not use a tie down strap. I untied the secondary when the slipped out. I didn’t was the sail to tear or be damaged. I am using a similar rigging guide. Is there something I am missing about the battons? I thought you just slipped them in and they were good to go.

Thanks again!
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
#6
Please read and follow the rigging guide carefully. The Laser is not a complicated boat, but if you omit rigging steps you will have problems. Make sure you use the mast retaining line. And become an expert at tying a bowline - several are used on your boat.

The battens are to be inserted curved end first and held in place by the lower part of the pocket.

You must use a clew strap or its equivalent to hold the clew to the boom - lack of this is likely why your boom came off. The line is the out haul. It is for adjusting the fullness of the sail, NOT for holding the clew to the boom.
 
Thread starter #7
Please read and follow the rigging guide carefully. The Laser is not a complicated boat, but if you omit rigging steps you will have problems. Make sure you use the mast retaining line. And become an expert at tying a bowline - several are used on your boat.

The battens are to be inserted curved end first and held in place by the lower part of the pocket.

You must use a clew strap or its equivalent to hold the clew to the boom - lack of this is likely why your boom came off. The line is the out haul. It is for adjusting the fullness of the sail, NOT for holding the clew to the boom.
Got it, thank you for your help. I order a new clew strap and battons.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#9
By Laser 14 I mean the boat is 14 feet long. I tis not designed to have a jib.
Ok, thanks, that clears it up. Around here the length of, and number of sails on a Laser is such common knowledge that any attempt to further "clarify" things ends up doing the opposite...

Vang: tie a knot (figure 8, or a big bowline if you want a "handle") in the vang line tail so that it hits the cleat when the vang is at the loosest you ever want it to be - that is, just barely no slack when everything is rigged. You may need to push the boom down a bit to get the vang key in and out.

Clew strap/tie-down: the clew needs to be as close to the boom as possible, and you can use a length of thin but strong line (like 3 mm Dyneema) wrapped a couple of times through the clew eye and around the boom instead of a strap.

Battens: they have to sit tight against the back end of the batten pocket, and against the elastic strap in the front. It's possible that the elastic has died if your sail is very old.

Tacking in heavy weather: bear away to the new tack from head-to-wind as fast as possible, let out plenty of sheet, hike hard, and sheet back in when the boat is moving again.

_
 
Thread starter #10
Ok, thanks, that clears it up. Around here the length of, and number of sails on a Laser is such common knowledge that any attempt to further "clarify" things ends up doing the opposite...

Vang: tie a knot (figure 8, or a big bowline if you want a "handle") in the vang line tail so that it hits the cleat when the vang is at the loosest you ever want it to be - that is, just barely no slack when everything is rigged. You may need to push the boom down a bit to get the vang key in and out.

Clew strap/tie-down: the clew needs to be as close to the boom as possible, and you can use a length of thin but strong line (like 3 mm Dyneema) wrapped a couple of times through the clew eye and around the boom instead of a strap.

Battens: they have to sit tight against the back end of the batten pocket, and against the elastic strap in the front. It's possible that the elastic has died if your sail is very old.

Tacking in heavy weather: bear away to the new tack from head-to-wind as fast as possible, let out plenty of sheet, hike hard, and sheet back in when the boat is moving again.

_
Thank you guys so much for everything! I have a new set of battons coming.
 
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