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XD vs. Old Style controls


New Member
Hey all,

I started sailing a Laser about a year ago, it came with the completely original sail controls ie. 3:1 kicker etc. I found all of them virtually impossible to adjust when sailing in anything other than very light winds, especially the outhaul. I have upgraded the kicker to a 6:1 system and also the downhaul. The outhaul is the original one and I find it completely unusable. It feels like a bit of a vicious circle, I dont seem to be able to depower the boat very well in higher winds which means I just end up having a nightmare of a time. It is probably worth mentioning that I am not the strongest of people.

I am wondering what you guys might recommend, somebody recommended that I upgrade to an XD equipped boat, would this make control adjustments much easier?

Are there any widely used upgrades to the standard controls that dont require XD equipment??

Hope you can help, Im getting reluctant to sail in winds above 8 - 10 knots which seems ridiculous!!


Great start on the 6:1 kicker and downhaul.
Do you race or day sail?
race - xd upgrade is basically required to be competitive.

daysail - many cheap alternatives / work arounds.

Here is a suggestion for an effective 6:1 that requires two lines, a block with single becket, and 2 small blocks. It is a variation of the xd rigging without buying the upgrade parts.
Primary (5-6 mm prestretch) tie a very small bowline around boom fairlead, run through clew grommet (or hook) back through fairlead, then forward and through boom cleat. Tie single becket block here.
Tie or pin both small blocks to boom/gooseneck
Secondary (5-6 mm prestretch) Tie a bowline in one end, run tag end through one small bock, through block on primary, back through 2nd small block, back to beckett. Adjust length as necessary and tie bowline at beckett.
Trim: Come to tack that allows bowline to be accessed. Reach forward and pull on bowline.
Ease: come to close hauled and release from cleat.
Cure for drooping line: soft tug on bowline to take out slack.
Total cost: $35 w/o shipping.
Cure for inability to access line on one tack: http://www.intensitysails.com/dopadeyeforo.html +$30
Cure for inability to ease at any point of sail other than close hauled: http://www.intensitysails.com/cldeupclforo.html (do not run primary through boom cleat)+45

Here is another suggestion that uses only 1 line and does not require any blocks; but you will need to deal with an annoying hanging loop, must predict the wind conditions when rigging the length of the loop handle, and must deal with leverage issues when trimming:
Begin by tying the line the same as primary above, but instead of tying a beckett block tie a small bowline. Send tag end around boom and tie bowline where you want the handle to be at fully eased. Send 2nd tag end through 1st bowline and through 2nd bowline and tie a loop handle bowline.
Trim: come to close hauled and pull on loop handle bowline.
Ease: come to close hauled and release from cleat.
Total Cost: $10 approx.

Fair winds!