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Red Laser Gelcoat

gibbs

New Member
Hi everyone, I'm based in Aus and have just received a free Laser from my club. There were some reasonable cracks in it that I've fixed with fibreglass and there are some other chips in the gelcoat that I'll need to repair. I've come looking for advice on how to get a similar gelcoat to fill in these chips. The boat's hull number is 135324 which I believe dates from 1988. I can't seem to find much information regarding this red gelcoat so I'd love some advice on where to buy a similar shade of red. I've attached some photos for reference.

Also, the only place I can find the hull number is stamped into the transom between the rudder gudgeons, how can I find out where it was manufactured + any more info?

IMG_7530.JPGIMG_7530.JPG
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
It's highly unlikely that your boat was built by anyone else than Performance Sailcraft Australia in Fountaindale. Contact them and see if they can help you. That shade definitely wasn't available in Europe at that time.

No stickers/plaques on the back wall of the cockpit?

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gibbs

New Member
No stickers at all, I'll get in touch with them, thanks for your help! Seems to be a quite rare colour.
 

Horizon

Active Member
Interesting, I don't recall PSA making any hulls of that colour as standard around that time- but they have always been amenable to doing custom colours so it could be one of those. Or, I have seen a very similar colour on a New Zealand built 100k hull.

Certainly red hulls from PSA were more common in the 70s.

It would be interesting to see a photo of the deck and one of the transom with the hull number.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I have seen a very similar colour on a New Zealand built 100k hull.
That's a possibility that crossed my mind as well. I assume that few boats moved permanently across the Tasman Sea (and the trademark border) at the time, but of course I could be wrong. Even so, this boat could be the rare exception.

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gibbs

New Member
There is a possibility it has moved, given I have no history on it aside from records of it racing in Port Macquarie in 1998, so it would have been before then. Otherwise, the deck is quite white. Here are some images of the deck and hull number on the transom, thanks again for your help!

IMG_7538.jpgIMG_7442.JPG
 

Horizon

Active Member
Thank you for those further photos.

Curiously, the font and spacing, especially of the number "1" looks nothing like the numbers I have seen on Aussie or NZ Lasers advertised. I will be very interested to see if PSA do get back to you with an answer.

Although I am afraid that even if they are able to give you details of the gelcoat they used, matching it will still be trial and error due to fading over the years.
 

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gibbs

New Member
Thanks for your input! I think that matching it will be nearly impossible but even if I get close it will be good given the age of the boat.

Nice observation about the font/spacing, any explanation you think for this? There's obviously a small chance that the boat was imported/travelled with someone but that is highly unlikely. I'll be sure to update if there is a response from PSA.

Do you think that someone might have re-gelcoated it? It seems unlikely given its quality but I would not know.
 

Horizon

Active Member
From looking at your photos and the work that you have done on your boat, I can't see any evidence of repainting or gelcoating.

It is possible it was imported from elsewhere but certainly not from either UK or USA as the USA numbers were all a very different format on the transom and UK boats were numbered under the bow eye before they went to stickers on the rear cockpit wall.

So maybe it is a Japanese hull (PSJ) - I am afraid I have never seen a hull number from a PSJ boat to know what format they were. Or without looking it up, maybe a SouthAmerican hull, but I can't remember the dates off the top of my head for the opening/closurures of the Brazilian / Chilean / Argentinian Laser factories.

However, I would hope that if you do contact PSA, they may have access to the lists of Laser hull numbers allocated to the various factories and be able to tell you who built it, if they didn't.

Whatever you find out though - it looks like you are doing a good job on her - happy sailing :)
 

gibbs

New Member
Thank You! I sent an email to PSA yesterday but given its the weekend, I'm not really expecting a reply til later this week. The hull was in pretty good conditions aside from the couple of cracks where someone has clearly hit something. I'd agree it looks unlikely that its been re-gelcoated, and further sanding today confirms that. I'll keep you updated, in the meantime here are the fiberglass repairs sanded down! IMG_7548.JPGIMG_7550.JPGIMG_7549.JPG
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
maybe it is a Japanese hull (PSJ) - I am afraid I have never seen a hull number from a PSJ boat to know what format they were.
I have, and they had short codes (not sail numbers) in that position. These were much newer (post-2000) boats though.

maybe a SouthAmerican hull, but I can't remember the dates off the top of my head for the opening/closurures of the Brazilian / Chilean / Argentinian Laser factories.
Brazilian boats had "PSB" in front of the sail number, and Chilean boats used a coding akin to the North American one.

Production in Brazil started in 1974, moved to Chile between '83 and '97 (yeah, a more accurate date would be nice to know), and finished about 2005. Argentina started just last year :)

South Africa is the one last possible origin :D

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Horizon

Active Member
Ah Yes, I had forgotten about the South African production!

I meant the Argentinian production which started in 1983 - see below extract from Beam Reach number 18 from the end of 1983 (which also had the report of the 1983 Laser Worlds in it). I don't know how long they lasted for.

Somewhere I am sure, in the International Office, there must be a list of the hull numbers issued to which factories and the dates they were issued,which would certainly be very interesting and useful.
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
You learn something new every day :D So now the question is not only how long that previous Argentine operation lasted, but did it overlap with Brazil and/or Chile, or was there a break at some point? And did they export any, and if so, where? Too bad that story doesn't mention the name or location of the company in question.

(If my count is now right, the Laser/ILCA has been built by 24 different companies or subsidiaries throughout its history.)

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Horizon

Active Member
Yes, it is a shame that there isn't more detail about the Argentinian factory.

I believe the Chilean factory opened in 1984 - see below extract from Beam Reach Number 19 from late 1984/early 1985. And I know they produced the boats for the 1997 Worlds in Chile, so they were going for a reasonable length of time.
 

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gibbs

New Member
Wow, great finds on those old articles! Horizon, your post about the Irish Laser factory from the 80's made me consider that they could be also from there. The red boats (despite the photo's discolouring) look like a similar shade of red so it would be interested to find and compare an Irish built boat's hull number from a similar time. I'll go ahead and search for them now and I'll share my findings!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The Irish had been out of the Laser building business for several years when that red boat was built. Moreover, no European boats have had the sail number embossed on the transom.

I believe the Chilean factory opened in 1984 - see below extract from Beam Reach Number 19 from late 1984/early 1985. And I know they produced the boats for the 1997 Worlds in Chile, so they were going for a reasonable length of time.
The Chilean manufacturer that built the boats for those Worlds, and till 2005 (or so) was Primex, not "Femoglas". 25 :rolleyes:

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Horizon

Active Member
I would be interested to see your list of 25 - I can only make it 24 (adding in Primex :) )

Here is my list. I have made it up quickly from the Wiki on here, Dick Tillman's book and my own resources.

Was there a Swiss builder or were they just dealers?

Here is a Primex hull number too, I believe
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Cool list :) Mine would look very similar except:
  • "PFS" and "ZFS" were the same thing, just different codes
  • I don't think "PSC" stood for any separate builder, either
  • there was a Swiss builder in Neuchâtel, who operated in the early 80s and probably already in the late 70s
  • I'm counting LaserPerformance separately from PSE, as well as LP(US) being a separate subsidiary.

For a second I thought you had stolen this picture from my phone:

IMG_0005.JPG

:rolleyes:

Here's the whole boat:

IMG_0003.JPG

Number 107481, owned by my club. In good shape for a 38-year-old.

That "PRX" code is certainly of one of the boats Primex built for the 1997 Worlds.

I keep my Tillman always at hand, too :D

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Horizon

Active Member
Cool list :) Mine would look very similar except:
  • "PFS" and "ZFS" were the same thing, just different codes
  • I don't think "PSC" stood for any separate builder, either
  • there was a Swiss builder in Neuchâtel, who operated in the early 80s and probably already in the late 70s
  • I'm counting LaserPerformance separately from PSE, as well as LP(US) being a separate subsidiary._
Thank you - that helps clarify things. I always wondered whether there was actually a Swiss builder.
 
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