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Trying to date my Laser without a hull number... please help

Sunnykiwi

New Member
Hi, I have included some pictures of my laser to help but I believe it can be anywhere from a 70's model to a 90's model. I'm just really not sure. Any help or expertise would really be appreciated :) What do you guys think?
 

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Horizon

Active Member
Hi Sunnykiwi,

Given your username and your location - is the boat from NZ or did you buy it in the US?

As the rudder gudgeons are metal, that indicates it is a 1970's boat. Exactly when they moved over to plastic gudgeons depends on where your boat was made.

Has the boat been repainted? It is hard to tell, but the deck looks far whiter than I would expect from a 1970's boat from any manufacturer. The decks were an ivory/bone colour back then. And it looks as though the hull may have been painted as well. I think I can see red paint on the drain plug.

The hull colour does look pretty similar to original gelcoat from either UK, US or Australian and NZ builders in the early to mid 70s.

It looks like the grabrails have been replaced for plastic ones. The originals would have been wooden as would the rudder blade. The centreboard looks to be an original wooden one.

The sail isn't the original - 3.8oz cloth came in in 1986.

If the hull has been repainted - it is possible that the hull number has been painted over. It would have been on the transom somewhere, depending on the manufacturer. If it is an NZ (or Aus) boat, the number would have been just above the bottom gudgeon and if that has been moved in refurbishment, then the number may have been covered up. If it is a US boat, the hull number would most likely to be on the right hand side of the transom, up close to the hull deck join.

Are there any signs of any numbers there which have been painted over?

Just in case it is a UK boat, the hull number would be under the bow eye and again, may have been painted over.

If I had to guess, assuming the hull colour is original - I would say the boat is a 73 to 76 vintage.

I hope that helps
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Very good overview from Horizon, as one would expect :)

The stainless rudder fittings and the wooden centreboard definitely place the boat in the early or mid-1970s. It's unlikely that they would have been transferred to a newer hull. As the previous poster told, the key is to find any trace of the embossed number or code that lies under the paint on the transom or under the bow eye. (You may have to unscrew the eye to find out.) You might want to take pictures of the middle and starboard areas of the transom (preferably so the light comes from the side) and post them here for further analysis.

The sail is the Standard 1986 to 2016 model, and the number on it indicates it came from a 1999 boat.

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Sunnykiwi

New Member
Hi, thank you so much for your replies, I really appreciate it!
The boat came to me in OK condition and I have personally done a bunch of work on it.

The original color of the deck was a bone/ ivory/ off-white color and the original color of the hull was white. I have included a picture of the boat before I dismantled it and put it back in working order. The person who sold it to me had painted the hull red and after a bunch of sanding I found the original white underneath, but I could not get all the red off, so I painted it in an original red laser color.

I am afraid that during my sanding I may have sanded off the numbers? But I wouldn't think so just because I think I would have seen at least a trace of the hull numbers during that process, Do you think it was possible I sanded it off?

I am located in Florida and the person I bought it from was also located in Florida, so I think that the boat is most likely American made.

I am honestly kind of stoked I have a vintage boat in such good shape with no fiberglass damage or deck softening, I just don't think it was used much.
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
That's weird. If the boat has been in Florida all its life, then it was almost certainly built by the original builder, Performance Sailcraft, in Montreal. Their 1971 and '72 boats had the sail number embossed under the bow eye, and later ones carried the HIN code near the starboard corner on the transom. It's in practice impossible to not see those if you're in such close contact with the surface as you have obviously been, and likewise impossible to sand them off inadvertently.

Did you get any paperwork with the boat? Have you talked with the previous owner about this?

Your boat is obviously an originally legal Laser, but technically it's out of class if it can't be identified. Were you planning to race it?

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Horizon

Active Member
It looks like you have done a good job on renovating her.

I think it is unlikely you have sanded the hull number off, as they are quite hard to miss.

Of course, it is not impossible that the previous owner filled over the number to make the transom smooth, before painting and this is why you cannot see anything.

Here are some examples of early hull numbers, which might give you are clue as where to look. The code to the different builders can be found here Laser Serial Hull Number Identification

It will be a shame if you are unable to find her original number but you will still have just as much fun sailing her!
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Thanks Horizon for the informative pictures! Where did you get them? (Is there more somewhere?). I wasn’t aware that Californian (PSL) boats had the code on the port side in the early days... and PFS in the middle.

Fun fact: the code on the dark blue -painted boat must be wrong (number, date, or both) as it’s incompatible with all other information of the time, including the pale blue boat’s code. This kind if mistakes are probably very rare, but they do happen. For example, one of our own (much newer) club boats has an ”impossible” building year.

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Horizon

Active Member
I keep an occasional eye on the For Sale adverts and if I see one with a photo of the hull number, I keep a screen shot of it, as you never know when it may be useful!

Given how quickly boats were being built in the early years, it is not totally surprising if there was en error or two in the boat numbers.

Here are the only other PFS ones I have:
 

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monkey_feet

Arlington, TX
Given its age this may be a daunting task, but you could start going back in ownership. Maybe find the original owner or owner's family with a picture?

Good luck. The boat looks great.
 

Sunnykiwi

New Member
Hi Guys! Thank you for helping me find the Hull number ! It’s Canadian from 1972 :) it was located under the bow eye! A rubbing with a crayon helped me find that little bugger, I can’t believe I missed it! Thank you for all your help I really do appreciate it.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
What do you all think?
1972 definitely.
The original Performance Sailcraft plant in Montreal produced some 800 boats in 1971, and 2000 in the following year. Building in California started in April ’72, so that’s a more likely origin if the boat was sold as new in Oregon.
The number looks like 2354 to me, without enhancing the picture. Nothing on the sail(s)?

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CraigO

New Member
No number on the sail, but a manufacturer "Elvstrom" (with umlaut). Sail bag says 'Toronto Canada' on it. I've no idea as to its original ownership, I got it from a friend to got it for 'free' when he purchased a vacation home on a small lake here in Oregon. (It's not a sailing lake really) Would have to play private detective. It definitely looks like the 3rd digit has a curved top, but it looks a little different than the 3, so I'm going to assume it's an 8.

Thanks for the help!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
All Laser sails were made by Elvström Canada up to early or mid-1974. I believe that the crown logo was dropped when other sailmakers joined in.
That a sail has no numbers indicates that it was never used for racing, and that the boat probably never traveled very far. That’s why I think an old Oregon boat was more likely built in California (San Rafael to be exact) than eastern Canada.
It definitely looks like the 3rd digit has a curved top, but it looks a little different than the 3, so I'm going to assume it's an 8.
I blew up the picture and played with exposure and contrast, and it looks like that digit has a corner at upper left, and the lower loop is open, which point to a 5. If you want to make sure, clean the area and take more pictures with light coming from different directions.

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CraigO

New Member
Thanks, I did some playing with a flashlight and decided that it's a '5'. Good eye.

Thanks again!
 
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