Newbie Laser Sailer, mast step question...

Thread starter #1
I've just bought a 2nd hand laser, and I'm putting it together right now. The mast seems to be a very slack fit in the step... almost as if there's meant to be a sleeve there or something, but I can't find anything on the net for sale, and all the pictures I can find look the same as mine. I've attached a photo to be clear, can anyone help? I'd be surprised if it was meant to be as slack a fit at this, but maybe it's why the gelcoat's chipping off??? Cheers for any assistance.
 

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#3
Since it's an older boat your mast step probably has more wear and thus a looser fit than a newer boat. My guess is the chipping around the edge are from someone in the past struggling to step the mast. You might want to patch the chips but if the step is otherwise sound (ie holds water etc.) you can probably sail the boat for awhile before you need to think about doing any mast step repairs. There's a number of previous posts on the forum you can search for on how to do the repairs for when you're ready to do that.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#4
It looks like it may be worn, but even on new boats the mast does not fit like a glove. As long as the step is watertight, I don't really see anything wrong with what you have. I would repair the chips as sorosz suggests, but please do not waste any time or effort trying to repair a phantom problem. Sail your boat instead. And use a mast retainer line.
 
Thread starter #5
Brilliant, thanks everyone for the replies. I've got the stick in it now, and control lines sorted. But having hunted out the centreboard etc, I've discovered that there's no rudder or stock. The guy I bought it from has moved to NZ, not much chance of sorting it out at his end now. Best place for UK spares? New, or 2nd hand.....
 
#6
Hi. For secondhand spares try ebay, apolloduck.com or Maldon Sailboats
New- Rooster [including replica stuff ie cheaper but not class legal] and other mail order chandlers - Northampton Sailboats? or Maldon again.

By the way the mast step is the most ingenious bit of design on a laser. It lets the mast rake back when sailing upwind and forward downwind. Including mastbend the mast tip moves a substantial amount. This can sometimes be seen on a wide angle bow mounted camera. Other classes spend hundreds of £££s and endless string to achieve this, I know I also sail a Flying Dutchman.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#7
Hi. For secondhand spares try ebay, apolloduck.com or Maldon Sailboats
New- Rooster [including replica stuff ie cheaper but not class legal] and other mail order chandlers - Northampton Sailboats? or Maldon again.

By the way the mast step is the most ingenious bit of design on a laser. It lets the mast rake back when sailing upwind and forward downwind. Including mastbend the mast tip moves a substantial amount. This can sometimes be seen on a wide angle bow mounted camera. Other classes spend hundreds of £££s and endless string to achieve this, I know I also sail a Flying Dutchman.
Interesting point. In fact, I have been wondering why the mast step (hole) was elliptical, rather than circular. You may have explained it for me... :)
 
#8
Hi. For secondhand spares try ebay, apolloduck.com or Maldon Sailboats
New- Rooster [including replica stuff ie cheaper but not class legal] and other mail order chandlers - Northampton Sailboats? or Maldon again.
There's also a UK based facebook group that has second hand dinghy bits n bobs http://www.facebook.com/groups/dinghies/

By the way the mast step is the most ingenious bit of design on a laser.
Design or lucky accident ?
 
#10
I think the oval mast step may be a lucky accident rather than desingh. Best place to buy new parts is 1st mark.co.uk the e commerce site hasnt been made yet but they do take telephone orders for the time being.
 
#11
It would be a whole lot easier to build a straight cylinder for the mast step. No way is it a lucky accident. We are talking about a very successful sailboat designer. As I said- a most ingenious bit of design.
 
#12
I just picked up a 1976 Laser and the step holds water and the deck is stiff...do I have to reinforce the step as I have been hearing that but do not want to fix something that is not broken if you know what I mean...the boat was not sailed a lot that is for sure. thanks
 
#14
No, keep it like it is.

Yes thanks thieuster that is what I am thinking...we are in Oregon where the winters are typically mild...if stored outside with a tarp over it like a tent on the trailer and that way I can just uncover it and take off when on a good clear windy day during the winter(dry suit of course). Just looking for a tiller and extension to get it on the water but waiting to find a used one if possible.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#15
Well, if what one could call common knowledge on this forum is true, then the mast step tube/hull connection is a weak spot in North American -built Lasers of the 1970s. Being watertight is a good sign but not a guarantee. The thing is that if it fails, it does so catastrophically and destroys the deck, which means a lot more work than any preventative repair would have required. It's going to look fairly ugly, too, no matter how well it's done. I understand that the consensus here is that it's better to be safe than sorry, but those more experienced with this will likely give more detailed answers below.

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#16
Well, if what one could call common knowledge on this forum is true, then the mast step tube/hull connection is a weak spot in North American -built Lasers of the 1970s. Being watertight is a good sign but not a guarantee. The thing is that if it fails, it does so catastrophically and destroys the deck, which means a lot more work than any preventative repair would have required. It's going to look fairly ugly, too, no matter how well it's done. I understand that the consensus here is that it's better to be safe than sorry, but those more experienced with this will likely give more detailed answers below.

Thanks LaLi, I was wondering if you knew if one built by Don Trask in San Rafael Cal. in May of 1976...I have heard some years have been better than others as far as reputation in some makers of the Laser. Any personal insight appreciated. I have been a longtime accomplished windsurfer and have sailed my Cat 22 for several years and Sunfish Sailor since 12 yrs old HOWEVER..i am a complete nuuub when it comes to the Laser and really looking forward to trying her out soon.
 
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LaLi

Active Member
#17
I was wondering if you knew if one built by Don Trask in San Rafael Cal. in May of 1976...I have heard some years have been better than others as far as reputation in some makers of the Laser. Any personal insight appreciated.
Don't really know if there is a difference between Californian and Canadian hulls in this sense. I am much more familiar with the European (British/Irish/Swiss) -built boats, and the mast step doesn't seem to be a widespread problem with them. Or maybe the broken hulls have been just thrown away...

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