Sailing with new Composite top section

Rob B

Active Member
Thread starter #1
Anyone have a link to sail trim, boat trim techniques using the new top section? I got one in December and used it through 75% of this year with mixed results. Last month I finally felt I had a speed issue and went back to my aluminum top section. One and a half regattas later I feel like I'm back to my old form and faster with the aluminum section which sucks because I don't want the composite section to be a beautiful $450.00 boat anchor in my garage gathering dust....
I don’t have link to anything but I have had a composite upper for about a year now. I am a junior laser sailor out ft Lauderdale and have a lot experience with it in a radial. Overall the main differences between the composite and aluminum is
1-The composite bends evenly meaning the top of the sail is better powered
2-The composite is stiffer so more cunno in the 10-16 stuff. And more vang to match.
3-This a bit of personal thing but I feel that it has a tendency to give you bit of extra downwind by the lee because as your leach flicks that mast kind of wobbles with it.
Overall not a huge difference just air on the side of more cunno and Vang once you get over powered and sail that thing flat.

Rob B

Active Member
Thread starter #3
We have a couple of guys up here that are a part of the Ft Lauderdale Laser program. I have talked with them about the top section as well. I have felt it's better on the full rig in winds over 10, but we've had an unusual patter this summer with no sea breeze so we've been sailing in winds below 10 which is where I've struggled, (and never used to) so I went back to the old section. It could very well be in my head. As we all know great starts can cure a lot of frustrations and I've also had my share of poor starts this year....

In February I sailed the Masters offshore event in West Palm, (first event with the composite section) and was really slow upwind. I was two blocking, (like usual with the old section) but the top guys were vanged down and eased 12" - 18" going upwind and motoring. We were sailing in a solid 15 with some higher gusts, big gulf stream swell with a cross chop on top. Ernesto Rodriguez out of Miami lead the way.

I'm right at 200lbs and in pretty decent shape, (for my age) so being able to sail flat is never an issue. I do think being vanged down and eased in breeze for some fast forward mode trumps two blocking and better height going to weather, (with the new section).

Anyway, I'm just trying to get my head around the lighter air adjustments. I'm the only one in my area with the new top section, (in a full rig) so there's no one to compare with.

This would be a great article for someone to put together in the next Laser Sailor.

Rob B

Active Member
Thread starter #4
Like I said good starts will cure a lot. I had three of these "port tack the fleet" starts out of 6 races and won the event. It was just over 10 and the first and last time I was able to even crack the top 3 in any event, (or any district race) this year using the composite section.


Your comment about good starts is definitely true. On the point of light air with the carbon mast I would just say that more is better as far as the Vang is concerned(to an extent) The reason why the guys at the front were eased that 8-10 inches and had more vang on is because it loads up the boat more and when it gets lighter your need to match the prebend of the mast to the luff curve of the sail. I personally would have about 1-3 inches more that block to block Vang on in anything under 6 then slowly ease until about block to block Vang at 10-12 knots.