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New:....member,to sailing,to lasers, too many lasers

Thread starter #1
hopefully just a brief introduction , and a few starter questions.
I’m middle aged and landlocked, but always had an interest in sailing. Have some lakes and rivers nearby.
A few years ago I took a two weekend sailing class out of muscle shoals al. Had a great time and learned a lot. We sailed in 470s and lasers mostly, and a round or two in some bigger boats. I remember sailing as a team in the 470 and of course solo on the laser......anyway , I couldn’t get enough of the laser...they almost had to drag me off the lake at the end of the day!.......anyway...looked around for a cheap laser at the time and couldn’t find any nearby...got busy with life....

So...stumbled across a trailer full (4) on a military surplus auction....ya, I bought them. Hope to pick them up in the morning. Sight unseen...don’t know condition , fingers crossed.

Anyway, 2 86 models and 2 96 models. I believe they came out of millington tn navy yard (rental fleet?)
I’m hoping they’ve never been used.....can you tell I’m an optimist?


Anybody been around Memphis or the navy know anything about these boats?

Anybody sail a laser on bay springs lake ,pickwick lake, or the tn river south/east of pickwick? I may need some pointers.

I’ve browsed over the most recent 30 or so forum pages, so have an idea of what to look for as far as condition.....but I am sure I’ll have tons more questions and I’ll try to share some pictures.
Thanks in advance for any comments


Just sailing
Please post up pictures of what you bought. I'm quite curious.

Boats like that are often part of an ROTC program. I think they have to qualify with some minimal sailing experience, and at least one point in time the Laser was the boat used.

Be sure to count up spars, rudders, centerboards, etc. People running military surplus are obviously not Laser experts, so some parts could go missing.

Rob B

Active Member
I'm going to venture a guess that you just picked up one hell of a deal! I'll bet those boats were not used more than a dozen or so times.

Make sure you've got all the spars, rudders, daggerboards, sails, tillers and blocks. Take the best boat for yourself, (or maybe two) and sell the others. You should be able to sell them fairly quickly at $ 1,500.00 each, (remember they don't have dollies, covers and have all old rigging).

What a find!

How did you stumble across this?
Thread starter #5
Well, picked up the boats this morning.......won’t have to worry about getting that first scratch on these boats..
They have definitely been used....hopefully it’s mostly cosmetic.
Haven’t yet taken any of the boats off the trailer to get a good look......
I am missing one rudder assembly, but I guess they tried to make up for it by including:
5 tillers
6 booms
5 upper mast sections and 5 lower mast sections
And 7 or 8 sails ( I just briefly looked at 2 of them....one has NAVY in big pretty blue letters and one nice crisp one has a tear about 8” long in the middle top....repair?)

As Torrid mentioned above, they have been used by the naval ROTC , I noticed an inventory tag on one.

Anyone have a short lower mast they’d be interested in trading or selling? I’ve got an 80lb 13yr old I’m thinking of rigging a 4.7 for......anyone have experience shortening lower section for 4.7 rig?...i know...search the threads...ill do that.

Anyone repair trailing edge of dagger board? .looks like a small child took a bite out of the back of one.
Pictures to follow later.

Rob, I just occasionally search the internet for surplus or other auctions and try to find stuff that I don’t need so that I can quickly return to the doghouse....just in case I ever get out:(
Thread starter #6
Pulled boats of of trailer
2 96’s look great
1 of the 86 models looks good and is firm everywhere
The other 86 is soft/flexible on either side of the cock pit....more so on the starboard side...will need some work:(

Rob B

Active Member
I understand the doghouse! Last laser I bought the wife had no idea I was even looking. I called her the day I bought it, "Um, honey..When you come home tonight you won't be able to park in the garage...um, why??? Because there's two lasers in there now....I, know, I know, but it was a deal I didn't think I was going to get....Yes, I will sell the old boat and it shouldn't take long..." She was cool with it though as it's my "One thing" that keeps me sane. I did sell the old boat and it only took 2 weeks.