Too Old to Start "Lasering"

Thread starter #1
I know this has probably been beat to death here before, but..................... OK here is my situation. I am 62. I bought a Laser several years ago after a long layoff from sailing. went out in the dead of winter (Pacific Northwest) poorly rigged the first couple of times and spent most of my time trying to right the boat after capsizing and nearly freezing to death even with my wet suit. Looking back it I am sure it was hilarious to anyone observing. Anyway I sold the boat after not really giving it a chance. I am wondering if at my age it makes sense to give it another try. Also curious if I would be better starting with a radial vs full rig. I weigh 180, but ideally would be at 160. I have gained a bunch of weight from a chronic running injury causing inactivity. I need to start getting back in shape again and think the physical demands of sailing a Laser may be the ticket. Plus, heck, I just enjoy sailing!

Opinions as to my potential success at this venture welcome.

Thanks, Mike
 

49208

Tentmaker
#2
As long as you are breathing and walking, give it another try!

I sail with a number of guys your age (and older) and they all have fun. One thing most of them do is switch to the radial rig when the breeze gets over 10-12, and they weigh right around your weight. It should be all about having fun and not worrying about capsizing. (And frankly, the radial rig is just better balanced and lacks the heavy weather helm sailing upwind)

I don't know what the air/water temps are where you are sailing, but if they sink below 50/50 I think you'll be happier in a drysuit.
 
#3
Mike.
Just about to hit 59, and just got a Laser earlier in the year after a long dry spell
and it was still in my blood. I did go out get a newer model and have upgraded the
rigging a bunch nothing like a nice mainsheet and the newer vang is next. I am 175
and exercise because the Laser is a different animal. Go for it .

Mike
 

feic

New Member
#4
At 58 I'm a bit over 90kgs (I blame the malaria, ideally I should be around 78kgs, and I'm working on it), and have been sailing my laser around 10 years. I wear swimming shorts and t-shirt in the Indian Ocean and a drysuit or wetsuit shorts/vest in the Irish Sea/Atlantic. At 24C in winter in my part of the Indian Ocean, I'm happy to push it as hard as I can and capsize fairly regularly, especially when shooting the reef.

Interestingly in the season in Ireland, I race twice a week on a 33' cruiser... I'd have to say the cruiser racing (electric winches are outlawed) can require more effort than the laser (with some exceptions) especially when we are crew-short. And wearing a heart monitor during a race recently, we calculated that I burned more than 3000 calories on the cruiser, against 1800 for a similar stretch on the laser.

If you are concerned about your health, a physical with your MD might not be a bad idea... I'm aware that my own heart rate shoots sky high, when I'm righting the boat and then climbing aboard from a capsize... and that's in warm water...it might be worth just checking that your cardiovascular system is fit enough to handle the short burst of load.

And finally my father-in-law also sails a laser.. he's 70.... and says it helps keep him fit....
So no I don't think 62 is too old at all... just be aware of your own fitness...

David
 
#5
Mike.
As one GM to another - 'yes we can'! However, Laser sailing alone will not necessarily remove your pounds. My advice - get a bike as well. Cycling and/or swimming are ideal. You'll get fitter quicker and enjoy your sailing more. Go for a radial rig, and a full rig as well if you have the luxury. Pick your conditions whilst you are building strength and technique, and remember that you are doing it for fun!
 
Thread starter #6
Thanks for the replies guys. No worries on the Laser being the sole conditioner. I have 2 road bikes, a mountain bike and a bunch of other "fitness" alternative toys. And had a recent physical-no limitations. A couple of months ago I was going to do a sprint triathlon until the old chronic running injury raised its ugly head again, so I was in decent shape then-just not now!

I appreciate the encouragement and I think I will begin to nose around for a used Laser. There are a bunch in Portland at a dealer. Not sure if I should get an old one that is really cheap or a more current one (not so cheap). Most all of them have the new rigging package so that's not an issue. Also need to decide if I want to trailer or cartop.

Thanks again
Mike
 
#7
I'm only 42, but have never sailed before in my life. I also weigh 225. After 6 lessons in a Sunfish (with my 14 y.o. son), I bought a Sunfish and a Laser.

I've been starting to feel a little bit like I might be too old for this, but you guys are very encouraging!

:D
 
#8
Hey Laserers! , I live in Geneva,NY on Seneca Lake. I sailed my laser on election day and the following Thursday. Air temp high 50's ( It snowed here the weekend before); water temp 40's. Looking forward to higher temp ( 53-55) this weekend (Nov 15-16) so I can sail yet again. Age 67... My user name is lasermaster62 which I established as a hotmail email address 5 years ago. I weigh 160. Get a good work out in 12+. I used to weigh 182 and do notice the difference in higher winds. Sailing last week was exhilerating! Never Too Old!!! Bill Swingly
 
#9
I, also, am new to sailing lasers. I am 48 years young and a paraplegic (I leave the wheelchair at the dock); although, I've sailed and still have catamaran.

I have no problems since I use a 4.7 rig and a kitty hawk trailer.

I will use full rig when recreational sailing with another person or after some practice and a season of laser sailing.

I've only sailed laser about a half-dozen times thus far and will be out tomorrow sailng with predicted wind of 20 mph. woohoo! :eek:

I will eventually post some pics on the "how-to" from a wheelchair perspective!

Happy Sailing!
 
#13
Thanks guys! I went sailing in that high wind Saturday Nov 15, here in Austin, TX with about 25 kts and gust up to 34 kts.

Quite fun, and I was doing really well. I wanted to make one last last run before I started for the dock when I capsized. No problems... although it turtled. First time it did that (for me, anyway) as I use a mast float. Use the mainsheet to loop around the DB that was sticking up and pulled on that to right it. It actully went really quick considering it was completely upside down.

And, I lost my tiller as it fell out despite the rudder line and tiller pin (on tether). Luckily it was an old tiller/extension and I planned on that upgrade next. My boat is an 82 with all vang/c'ham/outhaul upgrades.

So once aboard, I just leaned back and grabbed the the rudder to sail back to docks about a 100 yards on a reach. I was lucky it happend so close to the dock.

lasermaster62: Fantastic---looking forward to your photos. You are an inspiration!! Thank you
mjbhawg: Wow the next time I moan and groan about to old to Laser I will think of you WCsailor you are an inspiration.
I will have pictures soon as it is hard to take pictures of a sailing boat from aboard the boat as I usually sail for practice.

Did not have boat ready in time for summer laser series.

Well gotta go order a tiller and, meanwhile, I sail my cat (need to install new tramp and mast righting winch rig onto trailer)

Thanks again!

Phil
 
#14
Thanks guys! I went sailing in that high wind Saturday Nov 15, here in Austin, TX with about 25 kts and gust up to 34 kts.

Quite fun, and I was doing really well. I wanted to make one last last run before I started for the dock when I capsized. No problems... although it turtled. First time it did that (for me, anyway) as I use a mast float. Use the mainsheet to loop around the DB that was sticking up and pulled on that to right it. It actully went really quick considering it was completely upside down.

And, I lost my tiller as it fell out despite the rudder line and tiller pin (on tether). Luckily it was an old tiller/extension and I planned on that upgrade next. My boat is an 82 with all vang/c'ham/outhaul upgrades.

So once aboard, I just leaned back and grabbed the the rudder to sail back to docks about a 100 yards on a reach. I was lucky it happend so close to the dock.



I will have pictures soon as it is hard to take pictures of a sailing boat from aboard the boat as I usually sail for practice.

Did not have boat ready in time for summer laser series.

Well gotta go order a tiller and, meanwhile, I sail my cat (need to install new tramp and mast righting winch rig onto trailer)

Thanks again!

Phil

Wow
 
#15
I, also, am new to sailing lasers. I am 48 years young and a paraplegic (I leave the wheelchair at the dock); although, I've sailed and still have catamaran.

I have no problems since I use a 4.7 rig and a kitty hawk trailer.

I will use full rig when recreational sailing with another person or after some practice and a season of laser sailing.

I've only sailed laser about a half-dozen times thus far and will be out tomorrow sailng with predicted wind of 20 mph. woohoo! :eek:

I will eventually post some pics on the "how-to" from a wheelchair perspective!

Happy Sailing!
Hi WCSailor,

I know it's been a few years since you posted this, but if you are still around, I'm curious about how you sit in a laser and keep your balance as a paraplegic. I am also paraplegic and my father in law has a laser that I have been wondering if I could sail. The only boats I have sailed are the Martin 16 and 2.4 mr. Looking at the Laser, it doesn't seem like something I could sail. Does the 4.7 rig allow you to sit relatively stationary in the bottom giving enough clearance for the boom above you while tacking?
 
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