Towing Laser behind a boat....

Thread starter #1
So, we're about 4 miles by water to the local club where my 12 year old will be racing. Races run until dark, so sailing home is not an option. We tried towing down there with the center console last week - pretty tough.

I tried the daggerboard halfway down, but once on plane the boat still skewed back and forth and basically wore out my daggerboard friction pad in a few minutes. It seemed to be causing a LOT of stress on the Laser around the trunk also. Bad juju.

It did better with only the rudder on, tiller tied amidships. It threw a nice fountain of water up through the trunk and put a lot of water in the cockpit. Still not acceptable in my opinion.

Is there a good trick for towing Lasers behind a boat? Is idle the only acceptable speed?

In the end, we may be throwing it in the back of the pickup truck...


Idle is the only acceptable speed, maybe slightly faster, but on plane? Yikes!!! and someone should be in the boat steering it, rudder on, centerboard down.
Rudder down someone in the boat steering to follow the power boat, center board out, you can tow at pretty close to full pace, definatly get it planing or it will take all week! Ive never had an issue with water through the slot, oppies do it but not on lasers, get the person sitting in it to be fairly near the back would be my only suggestion.


Upside down?
Staff member
The manufacturer strongly 'recommends' that the boat be towed at less than 5 mph; just as Merrily wrote. Moreover, do not use the bowhandle; rather use a tow rope (the sheet will work just fine) around the mast.
Its probably not good for the boat to tow on a plane, but if you have to you might also try without the rudder and daggerboard, it will be more like pulling a tube or something similar.

Maybe its time to invent a laser trailer for the water?

Rob B

Active Member
I tow the boat with nothing in it. No rudder, no dagger board. I put the lower mast section in and lead the tow line through the bow eye and tie it off to the mast section. Then I let the boat back enough so it rides just in the wake of the power boat when on a plane. I go around 15 mph /no problems.
I've towed the the boat empty the same way as Rob, my only "governor" on the speed is waves, ie I'll avoid the tow if the hull is going to get pounded, otherwise it's a pretty smooth ride back there.
Sailing in long island sound, we get towed a lot (wind dies fast!). I've been pulled by coaches at breakneck speeds, 20+ knots, and although when we hit a wave i think im gonna die, its still a lot of fun :D. The best way to tow a boat when no one can ride in it is to take everything out, including blades, spars, and rigging, and tie the mainsheet to the hiking strap and then lead it through the bow eye. I have towed to regattas many miles away by doing this, and it saves me having to steer the boat the whole way. If your towing at high speed fully rigged with someone in the boat (on a plane), sure that theres some one looking back because capsizes on the tow line happen. I once had a crazy coach who was towing 5 or 6 of us in on a no wind day, he was going full speed on a plane with all of us weaving behind him. One of the boats capsized and he didnt realize, despite our yelling, for a few minutes. Obviously it did not end well; for the capsized boat that was being pulled a 20 kts or the sailor left behind. (luckily no injuries or bad damage)

Hope this helps!