Thanks everyone! My sailing history started with a Vagabond 14 that was too much for me to handle solo as a new sailor. Years later I tried again with an American 16 fixer-upper, gained some confidence then went up to a nice Precision 165, which unfortunately I could not launch easily from my lake's shallow ramps. Next was a Catalina Capri 14.2, which I still have now and is a great family boat. But I wanted something quick to load and launch that would be exciting to solo and easy to right after a capsize. While looking for an old Laser, I found this Precision P-13 in nice shape at a great price, so here we are. I brought the boat home, cleaned it up, and here's what the cockpit looks like.
First question -- It has a factory-installed self bailer. But I'm not sure if it's working?
The boat will have a little bit of water in it before I even board after launching. After about 30 minutes of sailing, there is a noticeable amount sloshing around my feet. I push the bailer open but the water doesn't appear to exit the boat, even if I'm moving at a good clip. The person I bought it from said I should see the water being sucked away.
When I get it back on the trailer and open the bailer again, all the water quickly drains out. Also I remove the drain plug from the transom and there's no water inside the hull either.
Caprintx, are you sure the bailer was fully deployed and the flapper at the rear wasn't stuck? My experience with Elvstrom bailers (on an OK dinghy many years ago) is that they work very well (better than the Laser bailer).
Thanks to a generous local Laser enthusiast, I just got a lightly-used standard class-legal Laser sail to try out on this boat. Anything I should keep an eye out for as far as fit and performance goes?
From the stats I found on the interwebs, the Laser sail will be 4" longer at the foot, and 2" longer at the luff. Yet the Sailboat Data website says the Laser has 76 sq ft of area as opposed to the P-13 having 85 sq ft?
In any case, should make for a fun ride when I test drive this new sail!
If that is how the sails differ, then you will quite possibly run out of range of adjustment both on the outhaul and the cunningham, that is, you can't get them tight enough. But you have to try it first, as it's a matter of spar length and the placement of fittings. Different mast bend may be whole another issue as well.
Yet the Sailboat Data website says the Laser has 76 sq ft of area as opposed to the P-13 having 85 sq ft?
Foot's a bit high off the boom, but otherwise I reckon it'll work... reminds me of those kids in school whose pants legs were a tad short, LOL. We used to call 'em tidewaters, tide waders, whatever... no worries, nobody else will notice on the water.
The tack end is quite nice and high (which is a good thing), but at the other end you do need to rig a clew tie-down. Take a length of thin (3 or 4 mm) low-stretch rope (Dyneema or pre-stretched polyester) and tie it through the clew eye and around the boom a couple of times. Cut off excess rope (leave a few finger widths of tail) when it's at the right tightness; in a Laser, that would be as tight as possible, but in this case it's probably more practical to leave a few mm of space between the sail and the boom.
Good point, I've been using a tie-down since 1975, my usage predating the racing tip which appeared in an early edition of THE NEW LASER SAILING by Dick Tillman, published sometime in the early '80s. Same book wherein some top racer back in the day suggested slinging the vang's "cleat block" directly off the boom, making it easier for a solo sailor to grab the dangling bowline tied as a hand loop. Meh, I suppose some sailors like doing things the hard way, and what do those racers know anyway???
Hey, OP, even though your boat is a Laser clone, you can find some good sailing & racing tips in those Tillman books, I think he went on to publish a few more with co-authors in later years. Most of those tips will apply to your boat, since it's not all that different from a true Laser. I stumbled upon THE NEW LASER SAILING in the public library back in the day, if you have a decent library nearby you might check there first before ordering any of Tillman's books... the Coronado Public Library also had a number of other small craft sailing guides on the shelf.
The main point of the early-1980s style of rigging the cleat block on the boom was that the straight boom key allowed it to swivel at a time when actual swiveling shackles were not yet explicitly allowed. Also, it was an upgrade to 4:1 from 3:1.
Interestingly enough, this was one of the few things that were banned by the big rule change of 2001: the vang cleat block (even the old-style Allen) has to be attached to the mast now.
Well, LaLi is undoubtedly good when it comes to class specs, racing rules & regs, and all that crapola… moi, I'm just a hand off the beach who sails for spiritual reasons, not competitive ones, AYE??? Nothing I'd rather be doing than sailing with some skimpily-clad hot blonde (or brunette or redhead) aboard my boat, gotta watch those freakin' redheads though, they can unexpectedly go off and create maritime disasters, LOL.
P.S. Funny that you should have the very same book I read back in the day... you must be pullin' my chain, LOL.
Any advice on how to better secure the bow to the trailer for transport? The bow eye fairlead has one screw completely stripped (spins freely), and the other is probably close. While the interwebs say that the hull weighs only 140 lbs, I cringe at the thought of the boat breaking loose on the way to the ramp.
Excellent advice here suggested adding some purchase to the lines. So I added a micro-block to get a 3:1 outhaul, and corrected the cunningham rigging to the standard setup. It wouldn't be too difficult to go from 3:1 to 4:1 on the vang, but not sure if that'd make a real difference? I still need to add the advised Dyneema clew tie-down.
I finally found time to get this boat on the water for a few hours with the 'new-to-me' Laser sail. It seems to fit exactly like the original sail. But the sailcloth feels a bit thicker, and it's a lot more 'crispy' than a 30 year-old sail.
Winds were forecasted 7 knots with gusts to 16. I stayed within a large cove at my local lake with plenty of kayakers nearby and some motorboats anchored for swimming. Since I'm new to this boat, I wanted people around, just in case I got in trouble.
There were a few of times when I could see a gust approaching. With that advance notice, everything lined up perfectly, and the boat just took off. I found myself flying across the water until I ran out of lake. What a rush!
This was only my third time out on this boat. So it is hard to tell if it's the learning curve, luck, or the new sail that made it so fun.
One thing I learned -- I need to practice recovering from capsize and get more confident in that before I can really start testing the boat's limits. Fear of capsize kept me pointing into the wind and/or letting out the sheet when I felt like I may be in danger of going over.
I wouldn't put the boat in the water without tying the clew down. It's as fundamental as having the battens in place (or more so).
For non-racing purposes the outhaul is really a "set-and-forget" adjustment, which you probably wouldn't have needed to upgrade.
Whatever you mean with a "standard" cunningham (a 6:1 is the most common in the Laser), it's good enough if you can pull out all horizontal wrinkles with it.
The vang is the most important adjustment, and the more purchase it has, the easier it is to use. There are countless inexpensive ways to upgrade it, and you're not even limited to any rules as yours isn't a class boat! But if you go with the current fittings, at least get a swivel between the cleat block and the mast - it's a huge improvement in adjustability.