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what is the max wind for lasers


New Member
Just for a bench mark what is the max anyone thinks for a laser . In a club race . i have been out in 20 knots but i have not been racing long

post what you think:)


Rob B

Well-Known Member
It's all too often people over estimate how hard the breeze is blowing. All to often "20" is a true 15, (both are trying conditions to sail in).

Full rig with an able person you pretty much cap out at a true 25. 30 is probably above the limit.

Radial rig? Who knows what max wind level a 200 pounder could take the radial out into.

4.7 rig? Hurricane season is just around the corner!


Brmmm Brmmm
Full rig with an able person you pretty much cap out at a true 25.
I'd pretty much agree with that. I call it 'solid'. A solid 20 kn means there's 20 kn in the lulls and gusts as high as 35kn. When you see that fine skin grain pattern all over the waves, down their faces and in the troughs you're at about 20 kn solid.

Of course you could be already out in 20kn solid and get caught in a 40- 50kn squall. And while you wouldn't be sitting on the beach thinking, "Choice! 40knots... just enought to rig up!" When you're already on the water you only have the choice to sail it or sit on the gunwale with the sail in the water till it passes.

So possibly, the cap out limit is what the boat will take until you capsize or brake the mast.


New Member
I just got in from sailing a full rig at 30.1 knots ( as it said on our weather guages)

I'm 175lbs and I could NOT keep it down. I capsized about 10 times and ended up loosing 2 battens.

I'd say 25 knots is the limit without reefing the main.


New Member
Well last fall a big storm came through and me and my friends deciding to take a risk rigged up (I in my Radial, they in their 420). Well, when we were rigging the the breeze was blowing a consistent 25 gusting to 35, the club manager walked over to us and warned us that the breeze was supposed to build to around 50 knots gusting to mid 60's, at which point we just laughed and continued to rig. So, when we got out there I felt that downwind I could handle the boat well, reaching I would heel quite a bit in the puffs, and upwind was miserable, I could keep the boat generally flat, but I was doing a lot of luffing and pinching. We got back in and checked the wind speedometer and it was clocking in at a consistent 30-35 gusting to mid 40's. So, I would never even try to race in this stuff, but downwind and reaching was the most fun I have ever had in my Laser.



New Member
A friend of mine was out in his laser in avrage 36knot winds, gusts at 46knots.
(Reported by the wind messurmentthing at our club and doublechecked at the neighbor club).
It's quite possible to sail in conditions like that, of course you'll capize a few times but it's not impossible =p
You can sail a laser untill it breaks, it just comes down to how many times you can handle capsizing =P


My experiences correlate pretty well with previous posters. The University here in Madison has a complete set of instruments on their building that report the wind speed/direction every 30 seconds, so it's possible to get a very good idea of the range of wind-speed at any time.

A couple of years ago when I was sailing very actively I went out in winds that averaged at/over 30 knots (typ. short-term variation between 25-35 kn with peaks to near 40) on a couple of occasions. I'm well into the "100-kilo club", and I didn't have any problems keeping the boat upright. Upwind wasn't much of a problem, and downwind was just insane. I never got the boat powered up fully before the hull was completely overpowered (shooting off the top of waves and burying into the back-side of the next one, etc.). Upwind I had the boom out pretty far most of the time, so the sail was ragging pretty badly, and I was just waiting for something to break (mast, leech, boom, mast-step, ...). Downwind I was just hanging on trying to keep the boat from crashing and burning. :eek:

Basically while it was thrilling, it wasn't much fun. I didn't go much faster that I would have in 20-25 knots, and much of the time I couldn't savor the thrill because I was paying so much attention to just keeping everything together. The possibility of totally destroying my boat didn't seem worth it, either. :(

Since then, I've decided that my ideal "thrill day" is one with average winds around 20 knots, and extended puffs (couple of minutes) into the mid/upper 20's (and usually also lulls of the same duration down to the mid-teens). I don't have any problem sailing in 20 knots, and a couple of minutes of "hyper drive" is great fun :D The lulls let you rest (physically and mentally).

Thankfully, we get days exactly like that every couple of weeks here!


Geoff S.