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Sabre dinghy (Australian class)

Anyone here who has sailed a Sabre?

They are an Australian class

Just wondering if i could get a comparison with a Laser from people who have sailed both??

I hate the laser at the moment, but also don't want to buy another boat if i have just as many problems in it.

Im not sure if ill have the opportunity to sail a Sabre before buying one, so im trying to do as much research as possible

Im just looking for something that is more stable than a Laser, easier to right from a capsize & less fitness/athleticism is required to sail the boat
 

Horizon

Member
Hi,

I have sailed a Sabre, albeit many years ago, back in the 80's!

They are really nice little boats and you ought to be about the right weight range for one.

They are quite different boats to sail compared to a Laser. Apart from the fact the Sabre is a stayed rig which requires different tuning techniques (but may be more what you are used to), the boom is a lot shorter and slightly higher out of the water than a Laser, so less likely to catch in waves. But you still need to sail the boat flat!

The cockpit is much larger and deeper and requires a different hiking styles to a Laser - not quite so much straight leg hiking. But you will still need to hike hard when the wind gets up.

Having a larger cockpit is quite nice. It is more comfortable, more space for a water bottle/food. Space to take a friend, child out in - although all these things are also possible in a Laser, and I have done so many times.

The Sabre rig isn't reefable, unless you have reefing points put in specially (and that may not be class legal) whereas you can reef a Laser/Laser radial.

The Sabre is a shorter, wider hull and is more stable initially so probably won't capsize quite so readily as a Laser, but it will still go over!

As for capsizing itself, I think if you are having issues with a Laser, then you might well still find a Sabre difficult. It is a wider hull and floats quite high out of the water, so you may find it hard to reach or get on to the centreboard. Again, it is getting the right technique and a Laser is a very easy boat to get upright, once you have got the technique sorted.

I don't think the Sabre has a sealed mast (whereas the Laser top section is sealed and should be airtight) therefore, the Sabre may turtle more easily.

If you are interested in sailing a Sabre (or any other boat), please don't get one without trying one out first.

I am not sure how much Sabre activity there is in Brisbane/Qld but get in touch with the association and asking if there is anyone local to you who would be willing to give you a go in their boat. If there is one thing that is generally universal to sailors from all classes, is that they are more than willing to give their time to others and introduce them to their class and help as much as possible. All you have to do is ask.

Also, it would be very helpful to find someone knowledgeable about Sabres to find out the points to watch out for in a second hand boat. In all classes, it is easy to find poor examples which you will regret buying. This would be true whether buying a wood or glass boat. And, if there is not much Sabre activity in Brisbane and you do buy one, but do not get on with it, then will you be able to sell it again very easily? And especially with wood Sabres, they have a number of weak spots which a class member would be able to help you spot before you buy.

I assume you have found the various Sabre association websites and Facebook pages - although I couldn't find a Facebook page for the Qld association, which may mean they are not very active there.

Whether you stick with the Laser, or change to another boat, I think it depends on what your sailing ambitions are. Are they just to be able to get out on the water for some fun on a Saturday afternoon or do you really want to race. I know there aren't a huge range of singehanded options available...are there any Spiral dinghies your way? Very similar to a Laser, but smaller and more designed for their smaller sail than a Laser is - as the radial and 4.7 are just later add-ons.

If I were you, I would contact the class association, find a friendly Sabre sailor who will lend you their boat for an hour or so and try it out. Even if you have to travel a little way to do so, it is better to do that now, than spend a long time regretting buying a boat you are unhappy with.

But before getting rid of the Laser, I still think it is worth getting some outside advice on sailing and capsizing technique. There are loads of Laser sailors around - please just ask for help at your club or wander down to another where there are lots of Lasers sailing. You lose nothing by asking!
 
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!

Im used to 125's so the stayed rig is much more familiar for me. Ive also heard that the 125 & Sabre hulls are pretty similar

Ill do my best to get a ride on one before i buy!

I have heard Sabres do float high when capsized. But i guess at least righting lines are legal in the class, unlike in Lasers.
 

Horizon

Member
Yes, the Sabre and 125 are very similar hull shapes. I loved sailing the 125 - had many a great screaming reach out on the trap over the waves in Port Philip Bay :) !
 
Do you happen to know how a Sabre stacks up in terms of speed compared to an Impulse or Laser 4.7?

Yardsticks dont necessarily tell the full story i find

There are no Sabres at my club, but there is a good fleet of Impulses (which im too light for). There is a nearby club that has some Laser 4.7s. Just wondering how i would go racing them in a Sabre.

I dont want to race myself every week. But i really don't enjoy the laser :(
 
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