Wondering why only the builder supplied clew tie-down sleeve is allowed?

Thread starter #1

This is my first posting on this forum, but this is something that I don't understand and would like to know more about.

I've read the postings about the Harken clew sleeve, and it seems to be a good piece of kit, but Euro 45 seems a bit much for my boat performance level combination. Still have trouble not finishing last (especially in light air).

So in one of my books about laser sailing I found a description of a similar set-up, using a piece of PVC pipe, with a tie-down line around it. That seems a good, cheap alternative, and postings on this forum were enthousiastic about it.

However, as I understand it, it's illegal!

Making my boat illegal wouldn't be much fun, so I will not do that.

But I have this nagging question: if the builder supplied sleeve is allowed, why is the PVC pipe illegal. I just don't get it. What is it that I'm missing?



Active Member
Basically the part has to be builder supplied. If you look at the top guys most of them are using the velcro clew straps which work just as well if not better.

Don't forget that with a Laser unless the class rules state it is specifically allowed then it is not.


Former ISAF Laser Measurer
The others have it correct, but you also need to look at the history involved. When I started sailing lasers 25+ years ago, you were only permitted to use a piece of rope to tie down the clew. The class rules were relaxed about 10 years ago to permit also a velco strap and also beads etc. But about 4 years ago this new solid sleeve was developed in consultationb with the ILCA technical committee, it's a relatively new piece of gear and would previously been illegal had the class rules been modified to specifically permit this item.

While I've seen better versions of it developed independently of the ILCA technical committee, I don't particularly like this piece of gear and it seems not to have gained wide acceptance particularly at the elite level. The most commonly accepted item seems to be the velco strap which works extremely well, is easy to fit and costs a fraction of the solid fitting.