Laser Sailboat: Mastering Performance and Techniques for Success

The Laser sailboat is a popular single-handed, one-design sailing dinghy known for its simplicity and performance. Designed by Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby in 1970, the Laser has become the world's most popular adult and youth sailboat, with over 225,000 boats in 140 countries.

laser sailboat wiki

The boat's versatility is a significant contributing factor to its popularity, as it can be customized for different sailors and conditions using three interchangeable rigs of different sail areas.

Laser sailboats offer both beginners and experienced sailors the joy of sailing with their user-friendly design and competitive performance capabilities .

With a strong focus on sustainability, LaserPerformance, the leading producer of Laser sailboats, actively works to minimize the environmental impact of their products through ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices.

laser sailboat wiki

Key Takeaways

  • Laser sailboats are known for versatility, simplicity, and high-performance capabilities.
  • Designed in 1970, they have become the world's most popular sailboat for both adult and youth sailors.
  • LaserPerformance is committed to sustainability through ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices.

History and Development

Inception of the Laser Sailboat

The Laser sailboat, an internationally popular one-design class, was conceived in 1969 by Bruce Kirby , a Canadian designer and former Olympian. He aimed to create an innovative design that was simple, affordable, and easy to sail.

The prototype, originally called the "Weekender," was first introduced to the public in 1971 at the New York Boat Show . Its inaugural sail featured the insignia "TGIF," a reference to its early name.

The boat's simplicity and performance attracted sailors of all skill levels, and by the early 1970s, it had become a commercial success.

Laser Class Evolution

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) was established in response to the growing popularity of this sailboat. The ILCA sought to standardize the Laser's various specifications and ensure consistency across all boats.

One of its key contributions has been the establishment of three interchangeable rigs: Standard, Radial, and 4.7 , which cater to different wind strengths and crew weights.

This adaptability has made the Laser more accessible and appealing to a broader range of sailors.

laser sailboat wiki

The Laser's rise as an international class was further solidified when it became an Olympic class in 1996. The boat's simplicity, strict one-design nature, and large worldwide fleet have made it a staple of the Olympic sailing program.

Its design has remained relatively unchanged since its inception, with only minor modifications being made to improve performance and durability .

The Laser remains a popular choice for sailors globally, both competitive and recreational. Its unique combination of simplicity, adaptability, and performance has ensured its continued success as a one-design class, and the International Laser Class Association continues to play a crucial role in maintaining the consistency of the boat and promoting the sport of sailing around the world.

Laser Sailboat Specifications

Hull Design and Construction

The Laser sailboat is known for its simplicity and performance which was designed in 1970 by Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby. The hull design contributes to its stability and speed in the water.

Its construction uses a lightweight hull, ensuring optimal handling for sailors of various skill levels. This sailboat has been designed with durability and stability in mind.

Its materials and construction techniques focus on withstanding the rigors of sailing while maintaining a consistent and smooth ride on the water.

Rigging Variants

There are three interchangeable rigging variants for the Laser sailboat, each offering different sail areas to accommodate sailor weight and wind strength. These variants include:

  • Laser 4.7 : With a sail area of 4.7 square meters, this rig is suitable for youth and lighter female sailors. It is considered the smallest and most accessible rig for Laser sailing. More information about Laser 4.7.
  • Laser Radial : This rig offers a 5.1 square meter sail area, suited for women and lighter sailors seeking a more challenging sail size. Learn about Laser Radial.
  • Laser Standard (ILCA 7) : The most common and originally designed rig using a 7.1 square meter sail, also known as MK2 , features a larger sail area suitable for heavier and more athletic sailors. Details on Laser Standard sail and rig.

laser sailboat wiki

Dimensions and Sail Measurements

The Laser sailboat has specific dimensions and sail measurements which contribute to its design and performance. Here are the key dimensions:

  • LOA (Length Overall): 4.2 meters
  • LWL (Length at Waterline): 3.81 meters
  • Beam : 1.39 meters
  • Draft : 0.787 meters
  • Weight : Standard 58.97 kg (130 lbs)

The sail measurements for the three different rigging variants are as follows:

Rig VariantSail Area (sqm)
Laser 4.74.7
Laser Radial5.1
Laser Standard7.1

These specifications ensure consistent performance and ease of handling for sailors in various conditions and preferences.

Sailing Dynamics and Performance

Handling and Maneuverability

The Laser sailboat is known for its excellent handling and maneuverability, making it suitable for sailors of all skill levels.

Its simplified rigging and straightforward design allow for easy control and quick response to changes in wind and water conditions.

The Laser's hull weight is only 120 pounds (54.43 kg), contributing to its nimbleness on the water.

Steering the Laser sailboat is mostly dependent on the sailor's body positioning and sail trimming techniques, giving more room for tactical excellence. Due to its responsive nature, the Laser rewards sailors who can make quick adjustments and maintain an optimal sail trim.

Speed and Stability

The Laser sailboat offers a good balance of speed and stability for both recreational and competitive sailing.

Its relatively simple design, combined with a large sail area of 75 square feet (6.97 square meters) , enables it to reach impressive speeds for its size while maintaining stability.

Key factors affecting the Laser's speed and stability include:

  • Hull design: The Laser's hull is designed to reduce drag and enhance stability, providing a fast and steady sailing experience.
  • Sail size and shape: The Laser's sail is optimized for various wind conditions, allowing it to perform well in both light and strong winds.
  • Sailor's weight and athleticism: The speed and stability of a Laser sailboat are also influenced by the sailor's weight and athleticism. An optimal weight range for Laser sailors is 140 to 190 pounds (64 to 86 kg) , and experienced, athletic sailors can better handle the boat in challenging conditions.

Sailor Interaction

A significant aspect of the Laser sailboat's performance is the level of interaction between the sailor and the boat.

As mentioned earlier, the Laser rewards sailors who possess excellent steering and trimming techniques, as well as a strong sense of tactical awareness.

This interaction allows the Laser to perform at its best under various conditions.

Sailors can further optimize their Laser sailboat's performance by:

  • Adjusting the sail's angle and position to match wind conditions
  • Proper body positioning and weight distribution
  • Adopting efficient upwind and downwind sailing techniques
  • Maintaining focus and awareness of wind shifts and changes in water conditions

Types of Laser Sailboats

Laser sailboats are a type of one-design dinghies, which means that they follow strict design and manufacturing rules to ensure all boats in the Laser class are identical.

The versatile laser class is widely popular as they offer different sail and rig sizes, catering to sailors of various ages, weights, and skill levels.

Laser Standard

The Laser Standard , also known as the ILCA 7 , is the largest of the three laser rigs. This adult racing class boat features a 7.1 sqm sail, making it suitable for heavier and more athletic sailors.

Laser Radial

The Laser Radial or ILCA 6 has a smaller 5.1 sqm sail. It is specifically tailored to lighter sailors, including women and youth sailors. The Radial's sail allows for better control and easier handling in various wind conditions.

This provides a level playing field for a wide range of sailors in terms of age, weight, and experience level.

Lastly, the Laser 4.7 or ILCA 4 features the smallest sail, measuring 4.7 sqm. This rig is designed for young sailors who are new to Laser sailing and need a more manageable sail size. The unique 4.7 lower mast section includes a pre-bend near the boom fitting, which allows the sail to depower more easily.

This provides a more forgiving experience for new and younger sailors.

Each Laser sailboat variant utilizes the same hull design, ensuring that the core sailing experience remains consistent across the board. This enables sailors to transition seamlessly between the different rig sizes as they progress in their sailing abilities.

Competitive Sailing

Racing and Regattas

The Laser sailboat has been a popular choice in the sailing community for competitive racing due to its simplicity and one-design class. The Laser Class Association organizes races and regattas in various formats where sailors adhere to the class rules.

The laser class has three different sail sizes - Laser Standard (ILCA 7), Laser Radial (ILCA 6), and Laser 4.7 (ILCA 4). These cater to sailors of different ages, weights, and abilities to participate in a single class.

These characteristics make the Laser sailboat a widely sought-after option for sailors who are interested in competitive racing 1 .

Olympic Presence

The laser class has a strong presence in the Olympics, being recognized as an Olympic class sailing dinghy. Laser Standard (ILCA 7) and Laser Radial (ILCA 6) are the two divisions that have been part of the Olympic Games since 1996 and 2008, respectively.

With its universal appeal and the level playing field it offers to sailors, the laser class has grown significantly in popularity over the years. It has achieved global recognition as a highly competitive sailing class in the Olympic Games.

National and International Championships

Alongside racing, regattas and their Olympic presence, the Laser Class Association also organizes various national and international championships.

Among these events are the ILCA 4 Youth World Championship, scheduled to happen in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, in June 2024 2 .

The World Championships typically attract top sailors from different nations, competing for the title of world champion.

A list of major championships for laser sailing includes:

  • ILCA 4 Youth World Championship
  • ILCA 6 World Championship
  • ILCA 7 World Championship

In addition to these flagship events, many national championships are also held regularly by various Laser Class Associations around the world. This fosters the growth of talented sailors and promotes the spirit of competition within the laser sailing community.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Routine Care and Maintenance

Laser sailboats are known for their durability, but regular maintenance is essential to ensure their longevity and maintain resale value.

Inspect the hull and foils for any damage or signs of wear. Also, check the steering systems, such as rudder and tiller, ensuring they are functioning smoothly without any wiggles.

Regularly inspect tiller extension fittings for cracking and signs of potential breakage.

Cleaning your sailboat after each use will help minimize the chance of damage from dirt, salt, and debris. Store sails, lines, and other equipment properly to avoid moisture damage, mold, and mildew growth.

Verifying the functionality of the autobailer should also be a part of the routine maintenance process.

Transport and Storage

Transporting a Laser sailboat can be done with relative ease, as they are lightweight and their compact size allows for cartop transport.

When cartopping your Laser, use appropriate padding and straps to secure the boat without causing damage to the hull, mast, or other components.

As for storage, it is essential to keep your Laser sailboat in a covered and well-ventilated area, preferably on a dolly or custom cradle that supports the gunwales to prevent unnecessary stress on the hull.

Moreover, ensure the mast and other equipment are safely stored alongside the boat.

Periodically inspect the boat during storage to check for any signs of damage, moisture buildup, or rodent infestation.

Laser Sailboat Community and Culture

The Laser sailboat has built a strong sense of community that extends across different countries. This community primarily revolves around clubs, associations, and social and recreational sailing.

Clubs and Associations

A significant part of the Laser sailing community is the involvement in clubs and associations at various levels. The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is the governing body that brings together Laser sailors from all around the world.

This association is responsible for maintaining the one-design principles, organizing international events, and promoting Laser sailing as a high-quality, competitive sport.

At a local level, numerous clubs are home to passionate Laser sailors. Club racing is a popular form of competition within the community, offering a friendly yet competitive environment for sailors to test their skills.

There are also regional associations supporting the growth of the Laser sailing community in their respective areas.

Example of Laser clubs:

  • Family Fun Sailing Club : Focused on promoting sailing for the whole family and organizing social events.
  • Weekender Club : Emphasizes weekend gatherings and collaborative sailing initiatives.
  • TGIF Racing Club : Prioritizes Friday evening club races for those looking to engage in competitive sailing after work.

Social and Recreational Sailing

The Laser sailboat's appeal extends beyond competitive racing, with many enthusiasts enjoying the boat for its simplicity and versatility in social and recreational sailing.

The Laser community is known for organizing events that cater to various interests and skill levels, ensuring that everyone has a chance to find their niche.

Some common social and recreational sailing events include:

  • Casual group sails : Informal gatherings where sailors can share tips, learn from one another, and enjoy sailing in a relaxed and social environment.
  • Adventure sails : Excursions to explore new sailing locations or participate in long-distance trips.
  • Family fun days : Sailing events focusing on family-oriented activities, making the sport accessible and enjoyable for all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors determine the price of a Laser sailboat?

When looking for a Laser sailboat, various factors such as brand, condition, materials used, size, and additional features all play a role in determining the price .

A brand-new Laser will typically cost more than its used counterpart. Higher quality materials and improved technology can also increase the price, as well as customizable options and additional accessories.

To find the right Laser sailboat at a competitive price , it's essential to compare offerings from various vendors and take time to evaluate factors like reputation and warranty. Sailing Chandlery provides more information on Laser sailboats and their prices.

What are the essential specifications to look for in a Laser sailboat?

When considering a Laser sailboat, pay attention to details like hull weight , rig size, sail size, and weight capacity , as these will affect the boat's performance and suitability for the intended use.

A standard Laser sailboat generally has a hull weight of 125 lbs or 56.7 kg , with different sail sizes available, such as ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7), ILCA 6 (Laser Radial), and ILCA 7 (Laser Standard).

Each sail size is designed for sailors within specific weight ranges, providing the best performance and stability.

How can I find a reputable vendor for Laser sailboat kits?

To find a reputable vendor for Laser sailboat kits, research different suppliers, seek recommendations from fellow sailors, and read reviews from previous customers.

Online platforms like West Coast Sailing offer resources and information on Laser sailboats, including detailed guides, FAQs, and where to find quality suppliers.

What is the recommended weight capacity of a standard Laser sailboat?

The recommended weight capacity for a Laser sailboat varies depending on the rig size.

The ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) is suitable for sailors between 60 kg and 75 kg , while the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) is better suited for sailors weighing 75 kg to over 90 kg.

The ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7) is designed for younger and lighter sailors. When choosing a Laser sailboat, ensure that the rig size matches the intended user's weight range for optimal performance.

What are the characteristics that define the best Laser sailboats on the market?

The best Laser sailboats on the market offer a combination of durability, performance, and ease of use.

Look for models with robust construction. They are made from high-quality materials to withstand harsh sailing conditions.

Additionally, seek sailboats with easy-to-use rigging systems and low-maintenance designs.

Also, make sure they have support from reputable manufacturers. This ensures they meet strict class specifications.

Is sailing a Laser suitable for beginners and what are the challenges involved?

Sailing a Laser is generally suitable for beginners. These boats are known for their simplicity, ease of use, and responsive handling. However, beginners should be prepared for some challenges.

These challenges include mastering the correct body positioning and balance or adjusting to different wind and weather conditions. It's essential for new Laser sailors to familiarize themselves with the boat's assembly and rigging process and seek guidance from experienced sailors or trainers. This ensures a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.

laser sailboat wiki

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Laser Sailing Tips

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2.1 The Laser 4.7 / ILCA 4…
  • 2.2 The Laser Radial / ILCA 6…
  • 2.3 The Laser Standard / ILCA 7…
  • 3.1 Hull Specs:
  • 3.2.1 Laser Standard / ILCA 7 Rig
  • 3.2.2 Laser Radial / ILCA 6 Rig
  • 3.2.3 Laser 4.7 / ILCA 4 Rig
  • 4 The International Laser Class Association
  • 5 The Laser Sailing Community
  • 6 The Appeal of Laser Sailing
  • 7 The Future of Laser Sailing
  • 8 Conclusion

Introduction

The Laser Dinghy, a one-design racing sailboat, was designed by Bruce Kirby and unveiled to the public at the 1971 New York Boat Show. Since then 200,000+ Lasers have been built to date and are sailed across 140+ countries, with its popularity being primarily due to its simplicity and performance.

The original concept for the Laser centered on creating a boat that was easy to build, sail, and purchase, thereby making it accessible to a broad range of sailors. The Laser quickly gained popularity and became the boat of choice for many sailing schools and clubs worldwide. It also rapidly gained recognition as a racing boat and debuted as the single-handed open-class dinghy in the 1996 Olympic Games.

Racing is very competitive due to the one-design restrictions, which means sailors are truly able to test their ability, rather than rely on differences in hull shape, sails, and other gear to gain an advantage.

Besides being used for competition, the Laser is a popular choice for recreational sailing. You can spot these dinghies on lakes, rivers, and oceans worldwide. With its one-design nature, ease of use, and practicality, the Laser Dinghy is set to remain a popular sailboat for many years to come.

The Laser Dinghy – 3 Sailboats In 1

The Laser Dinghy - 3 sailboats in 1

The laser dinghy comes in 3 rig sizes:

  • 4.7 / ILCA 4
  • Radial / ILCA 6, and
  • Full/Standard / ILCA 7 rig

This means that sailors of just about any ability or age can enter the sport, and advance with minimal cost.

Rigging is easy using a sleeved sail over a mast with no stays, and can be launched and sailed single-handedly with ease. Minimal parts mean minimal breakages and maintenance.

The Laser 4.7 / ILCA 4…

utilizes a smaller sail than the Standard rig (4.7m 2 / 50.6 ft 2 which is 33% smaller) and a shorter pre-bent lower mast section.  It is ideal for lighter sailors (up to 121lb / 55kg) and beginners.

The Laser Radial / ILCA 6…

uses a smaller sail than the Standard rig (5.76m 2 / 62 ft 2 which is 18% smaller) and a shorter more flexible lower mast section. It is suitable for sailors between about 121lb – 154lb / 55kg – 70kg. The Radial is the most popular class of Laser, as it is suitable for the largest amount of people, including youth, women, and masters. The radial sail can easily be identified by the sail cut in a radial pattern emanating out from the clew.

The Laser Standard / ILCA 7…

has a 7.06m 2 / 76 ft 2 sail, and is more suitable for sailors above about 143lb / 65kg. This rig is suited to heavier sailors in windy conditions where weight, strength, and fitness are critical.

Laser standard rig

Summary of Key Laser Dinghy Specifications

Hull specs:.

  • Length overall (LOA): 4.23m / 13ft 10.5in
  • Length waterline (LWL): 3.81m / 12ft 6in
  • Beam: 1.42m / 4ft 8in
  • Hull Weight: 57kg / 125lb

Laser Sail Area Specs:

Laser standard / ilca 7 rig.

  • Sail area: 7.06m 2 / 76 ft 2
  • Luff: 5.13m
  • Leech: 5.57m
  • Foot: 2.74m

Laser Radial / ILCA 6 Rig

  • Sail area: 5.76m 2 / 62 ft 2
  • Luff: 4.56m
  • Leech: 5.01m

Laser 4.7 / ILCA 4 Rig

  • Sail area: 4.70m 2 / 50.6 ft 2
  • Luff: 4.09m
  • Leech: 4.54m
  • Foot: 2.48m

Laser sail dimensions measurement guide

The International Laser Class Association

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA), a global organization with regional sites, governs the Laser class of sailboats. The organization is responsible for developing and enforcing the class rules, which ensure that all Laser boats are built to the same specifications and are eligible to compete in official Laser regattas. The Laser Class Association also organizes and oversees major regattas and championships, including the Laser World Championships and the Laser Masters World Championships.

Membership in the Laser Class Association is open to anyone who owns or sails a Laser boat. Members have access to a wide range of benefits, including access to official class materials and publications, as well as opportunities to compete in official Laser events. The Laser Class Association also offers support and guidance for sailors who are interested in organizing their own Laser regattas.

The Laser Class Association plays a vital role in promoting and supporting the Laser class of sailboats and is a great resource for anyone who is interested in Laser sailing.

The Laser Sailing Community

The Laser sailing community is a vibrant and passionate group of sailors who share a deep love for the sport. From beginners and avid enthusiasts to professional athletes, this global community is bound by a common bond – the thrill of sailing the Laser. As one of the most popular sailing classes worldwide, Laser sailors come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and age groups, united by their shared passion for the sport.

Laser sailing’s popularity extends across various regions, making it a truly international phenomenon. From the shores of Australia to the coasts of Europe, and the lakes of North America, the Laser class has a widespread following. Its appeal lies in the boat’s versatility, allowing sailors to compete in a wide range of sailing conditions, from challenging regattas to more relaxed lake racing. This popularity has fostered a thriving competitive racing circuit, attracting skilled sailors to local, national, and international events.

One of the most cherished aspects of the Laser sailing community is the camaraderie and sportsmanship among its members. Whether on the water competing fiercely during races or on shore sharing stories and experiences, Laser sailors exemplify a strong sense of friendship and mutual respect. Sailors often support and encourage each other, both in victory and defeat, creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for newcomers and seasoned sailors alike. The camaraderie extends beyond the racecourse, with events often turning into social gatherings where lifelong friendships are forged.

In the Laser sailing community, it’s not just about winning races; it’s about being part of a global family that shares a profound connection to the sea and the sport of sailing. The sense of unity and passion that emanates from this community is what makes Laser sailing not just a sport but, for many, a way of life. Whether you’re an aspiring sailor or a seasoned competitor, joining the Laser sailing community opens doors to an unforgettable journey filled with exciting challenges, lasting friendships, and the sheer joy of sailing.

The Appeal of Laser Sailing

Laser sailing offers a unique and attractive experience that captivates sailors of all levels. Its versatility, simplicity, and accessibility make it an ideal choice for both beginners dipping their toes into sailing and seasoned sailors seeking thrilling challenges on the water. The statement “It’s easy to learn but hard to master” describes it well and explains why it is so popular.

At the heart of Laser sailing’s appeal is the boat’s remarkable agility and responsiveness. The Laser’s lightweight hull and sensitive controls allow sailors to feel intimately connected with the water, empowering them to navigate with precision and grace. Whether cruising around or pushing the limits on a windy day, the Laser promises an exhilarating experience for all.

For those of us who are a bit more competitive, Laser sailing provides an unmatched thrill. The class’s popularity in local and global racing circuits opens up a world of exciting opportunities to test skills and compete against fellow enthusiasts. From local club races to prestigious international events, including the Olympics, the thrill of competitive Laser events creates an unforgettable sense of camaraderie and accomplishment that drives sailors to continually seek new challenges on the racecourse.

The Future of Laser Sailing

The Laser class continues to evolve with recent developments and potential future advancements. Technological innovations and advancements in materials are constantly being explored to enhance the boat’s performance while maintaining the strict one-design principle. As the class adapts to new challenges and opportunities, it remains committed to preserving the essence of Laser sailing – simplicity, accessibility, and competitive racing.

The Laser sailboat’s enduring popularity among sailors worldwide ensures that its future remains bright. With a strong and dedicated global community, the class continues to attract sailors of all ages and skill levels. The appeal of Laser sailing lies not only in its exciting on-water experiences but also in the lasting connections and friendships forged within the community.

As a class that thrives on inclusivity and camaraderie, Laser sailing’s relevance is poised to endure for generations to come. As new sailors discover the joy of Laser sailing and experienced sailors continue to push their boundaries, the future of Laser sailing remains a vibrant and promising one.

The Laser sailboat’s rich history, innovative design, and enduring popularity have solidified its place as one of the most beloved sailing classes worldwide. From its humble beginnings to becoming an Olympic icon, the Laser’s impact on the sailing world is profound, inspiring countless sailors to take to the waters and embrace the thrill of the sport. Its versatility, agility, and competitive edge make it a vessel of choice for sailors of all levels, from enthusiastic beginners to seasoned professionals.

As you dive deeper into the exciting world of Laser sailing, I invite you to explore further content on this website. Discover more about Laser sailing and the thriving global community that shares your passion. Whether you’re looking to purchase your first Laser dinghy , fine-tune your racing skills , or simply immerse yourself in the beauty of sailing, the Laser class promises a journey filled with excitement, camaraderie, and boundless possibilities. So, let’s celebrate the joy and passion of Laser sailing together.

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34 Comments

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I am switching my boat from sailing 470 to sailing a laser now. I intend to sail laser primarily to qualify for the Olympics.

My question is if my height is good enough to sail laser standard. My height is 167 cm (5 ft, 6 inches) and weight is 68kgs.

Thanks, Vincent

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Hi Vincent. Thanks for your question. I would say that at 167 cm and 68kgs, you would be at the lighter/shorter end of the scale for sailing a full rig laser. You may be able to put on some bulk before the next Olympics to handle it a bit easier. I think everyone has different opinions on what is the ideal weight for a laser. A lot depends on the conditions and your skill. Just for your info, I did some research on stats for Australia’s gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics Tom Slingsby. He was reported to be 83kg & 186cm at the time. Good luck with it, and all the best. Brendan

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My Grand daughter would like to switch froom sail Terra to Laser. What is the minimum height for the class

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Hi Norman Thanks for your question. I’m not sure that there is a minimum height. It’s more about the weight. For a Laser 4.7, the ideal weight is around 110-130 lbs (50-58 kg). Any lighter and she may have trouble keeping it flat in a breeze. cheers Brendan

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Hi, I am looking to buy a laser and am 5ft 10 (178cm) and around 68kg, I sail in a harbour so short chop is the worst condition, do you think I’m big enough for a standard?

Hi Giles I don’t think it’s as much about the height as it is the weight. At 68kg, you might be a little on the light side for a full rig. But it depends on how windy it tends to get also. If it’s generally pretty windy, you might struggle, but if it’s often fairly light, you may be ok. This thread has a good discussion on the ideal weight for laser standard sailor. Hope that helps. Brendan

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Hi My sea scout troop has taken possession of a Laser 2. It lacks a suit of sails and a rudder. talking to others, no one is sure if the rudders are identical to Laser 1’s. Can you advise?

Hi Pete Thanks for your question. I am not very familiar with the Laser 2, so did some research. However, it was very hard to come up with information on the Laser 2 specs. From what I could tell, the rudders are different between the Laser & Laser 2, however, I was not able to find the actual specs on the Laser 2 rudder. For a measurement diagram for the Laser rudder, click here (click on the “Mast Top Section, Boom and Foils” tab). For an image of the Laser II rudder, check this out . As you can see, it looks slightly different to that of the standard Laser rudder . Sorry I can’t be of more help than that. Maybe some other readers can provide some more info. cheers Brendan

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Hello, I am 6 feet tall and weigh 53 pounds, what laser whould be good for me?

Hi Alessandro Thanks for your question. I hope you mean 153lb, and not 53lb!! Opinions vary, and it depends on your fitness and ability. If you are just starting out, you may be best suited to a Radial Laser, but you are in the overlap zone between the Radial and Full rigs. So it depends a lot on your experience and fitness. It can also depend on where you live. If it tends to be quite windy on a regular basis, then you may opt for a smaller rig. Conversely, if it’s often quieter on the water, then a bigger rig may help. I’m a few lb/kg heavier than you, and I have a full-size / standard Laser rig. I find it’s great for the lighter days, but can be a bit overpowered on the heavier days. I don’t mind though, as it just makes it more exciting when you go around the top mark. cheers Brendan

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Hi I’ve just brought a laser with a radial sail but a Standard mast. I was gonna make a Radial mast out of the right alloy tube but I need the measurements. Would anyone know what is The length of a radial mast?

Thanks Kaleb

Hi Kaleb Here are the measurements for the different Laser masts for each of the top and bottom sections. cheers

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How tall is the mast on the “std” Laser? I had one once and it was fun getting it into the hole on the hull! Cliff

Hi Cliff Yes, it can take a bit of getting used to, when putting the mast into the mast step. Looking at this site , the total laser mast length should be approx.: – top section (including top plug) = 3600 – 305 = 3295mm – bottom section (including base plug) = 2865mm Overall laser standard mast length = 6160mm / 20.2 ft (approx.) Hope that helps!

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Hi, I am 155 cm tall and weigh 49 kg. Am I suitable for sailing a laser 4.7 or should I sail a 420?

Hi D I’m not an expert with the 420. For a laser 4.7, I think you would be a bit on the light side, but it also depends on how fit, strong, and experienced in sailing you are. It may also depend, to some extent, on where you live (some places are windier than others)… if you have a strong sea breeze every afternoon, then this may be too much.

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Hi, I’m a fairly experienced optimist sailor and I need to change my class due to my age. I am 157 cm tall and I weigh 46 kg. Would I be able sail a laser 4.7? The place I live can get very windy at times. Thank you

Hi Defne I think a 4.7 should be ok, but it would depend on your experience and level of fitness. Since you say that you are a fairly experienced optimist sailor, then that will definitely help. You might struggle a bit on the windy days though. If you can, ask around your local club and try to take a 4.7 out for a spin. Let us know how you go! All the best.

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Hi I sail optimists and are looking into a laser as the next boat. I weigh 122 pounds and was wondering if I should get a radial or a 4.7 rig

Hi Noah Your situation is similar to the previous comment in June, so not sure if you saw that. It depends on a few things… including how experienced you are, how fit and strong you are, and what the typical conditions are like where you sail. At your current weight, you’re probably at the lower end of the ideal weight range for a radial. But if you are young and still growing, you might want to get the radial and grow into it over the next year or so. But you might struggle a bit at 1st on the windy days. See if you can take one of each out for a spin and give it a test for yourself. Best of luck with it!

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Hello I have a Laser Radial sail with a “33” number above the boat sumber. the boat number is 177137 so its not an abbreviation of that … do you know what the 33 means? Thanks!

Hi Russ I’m not sure what the “33” about the boat number would refer to. Maybe some other readers may be able to help? Sorry I can’t help more than that. All the best with it.

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Hi. I am currently building an El Toro dinghy. I do not want to have to handle the full 14 foot one-piece mast. I read somewhere that you can retrofit a laser 4.7 mast and sail onto an El Toro hull. A Sabot boom is marginally cheaper than a laser 4.7 one, and I was wondering if a laser 4.7 mainsail would fit a sabot boom. Thanks!

Hi Alexander I am not an expert on sabots, but from my research… The Laser 4.7 sail has a foot of 2.48m / 8.1ft. The sabot sail has a foot of 7ft and a boom of 7′ 3″. So the sabot boom looks too short for a Laser 4.7 sail.

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Can anyone please tell me in what year Laser #66750 would have been made?

Hello Steve According to research that I had done previously, it looks like sail number 66750 would have been made in 1979. See this link for more info. cheers Brendan

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Hi, I have sailed Sunfish sailboats, and years ago I crewed for a friend on his J24 in PHRF races. I love the idea of excitement when I sail, but I would also like to be able I sail with a passenger. Can a Laser be sailed with a passenger for entertainment? I did not see anything about the maximum capacity of the hull. Doug

Hello Doug A Laser sailing dinghy is designed as a single-handed boat, meaning it is typically meant to be sailed by one person. However, it is possible to sail a Laser dinghy with two people, although it may not be the most efficient or optimal way to use the boat. It is only a small dinghy, so the extra weight will affect the performance. There is not much room in the cockpit for 1 person, so for 2 people, it will be even more cramped. If you just want to go out and have some fun (and you and your passenger aren’t too big), then you can probably do that. But there are many other dinghies available that are specifically designed for two-person sailing that would be a better option.

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Hello, I am looking for the width of the bottom part of the mast, to design a fitting for a wind indicator. Although I have looked through many sites (including the ones linked in the comments), I can’t find the specific measurements. James

Hello James The Laser mast diameter is approx. 2.5″ or 64mm.

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I holiday in Finland and have just been given a laser to use but I need a hand trolley to get it over the stones on the shore. When I had a laser before many years ago, I had a light hand trolley made with plastic tubing. Do you or anyone else have a model on how to make one? I have wheels

Hello Brian I do not have any plans or instructions, but there are a few forums that discuss how to make a homemade dolly. Check out some examples here and here . Otherwise, there are new dollies for sale. Have a look at this page for more info. cheers

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Hello, I’m from Brazil, and wind conditions here in Florianopolis where I live exceeds 15 knots easily. I sailed laser for several years, stopped some time ago and want to return. I am currently 59 years old, weigh 183 lb (83 kg) and I am 5’8 (1.74m) tall, being in good physical shape and codition. The question is: which laser rig would be suitable for competing, ILCA 7 or 6? Thanks!

Hello Estevao Thanks for your question. Since you have sailed a Laser dinghy before, you know how hard on the body they can be… especially on the thighs, abdominals, arms and back. If you are fit and strong, particularly in those areas, then in my opinion, you may be fine with an ILCA 7. But an ILCA 6 might be more manageable for you.

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What Is A Laser Sailboat? (Understanding The Basics)

laser sailboat wiki

Sailing has been a popular pastime for centuries, and today, the modern laser sailboat is the perfect combination of tradition and technology.

If youve been curious about the world of sailing, understanding the basics of laser sailboats is the perfect place to start.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about laser sailboats, from features and advantages to types and costs.

Well also discuss the basics of laser sailboat maintenance, as well as racing.

So, whether youre a novice sailor or an experienced yachtsman, lets dive into the world of laser sailboats and learn about this exciting and popular sport.

Table of Contents

Short Answer

A laser sailboat is a type of sailboat that is designed to take advantage of the power of laser technology.

It is a single-handed, small sailboat that is designed to be sailed with minimal crew and minimal equipment.

The hull is designed to be lightweight and sleek, providing the boat with maximum speed and maneuverability.

Laser sailboats are especially popular in competitive sailing and have become a staple of the sailing community.

What is a Laser Sailboat?

A Laser sailboat is a small, one-person sailing dinghy that is designed specifically for light wind conditions.

It features a single sail, without the need for a jib or trapeze, and is typically used for competitive racing.

This type of sailboat is very maneuverable and can reach high speeds, making it perfect for the experienced sailor who is looking for an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

The Laser sailboat is designed with convenience in mind, making it easy to transport and store.

It is also relatively lightweight, so it can be maneuvered and sailed in a variety of conditions.

Additionally, the minimal design and low cost of a Laser sailboat make it an excellent choice for sailors of any skill level.

The key to sailing a Laser sailboat successfully is understanding the basics of how the boat works.

The sail is the main propulsion of the boat, and the sailor must be able to adjust the sail and trim it to the wind to maximize the boats speed.

The sailor must also be able to adjust the boats weight distribution and the center of gravity shifting weight from one side of the boat to the other, depending on the direction of the wind to ensure the boat remains stable.

Finally, the sailor must be able to read the wind and anticipate the conditions in order to position the boat correctly.

With the basics down, the laser sailboat can provide an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

Whether youre an experienced sailor looking for a fast and maneuverable boat for racing, or a beginner looking for an easy and accessible boat to learn on, the Laser sailboat is an ideal choice.

Features of a Laser Sailboat

laser sailboat wiki

A laser sailboat is an ideal choice for sailing enthusiasts of all levels.

Its lightweight design, minimal components, and low cost make it a great option for those looking for an exciting and challenging experience.

The boat is designed for light winds, with a single sail and no jib or trapeze.

This makes it highly maneuverable and fast, allowing for quick tacks and jibes.

Additionally, the boat is easy to transport, so sailors can travel to different locations and explore different sailing conditions.

The laser sailboat is built with a strong, lightweight hull, allowing it to move efficiently through the water.

The hull is usually made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, making it durable and easy to maintain.

The single sail is made of specialized materials that are designed to be lightweight and durable, while still providing enough power to propel the boat.

The boat also features a rudder and centerboard, which provide additional control and stability.

When it comes to performance, the laser sailboat is well-known for its competitive racing capabilities.

The boat is fast and maneuverable, making it ideal for tight races and close finishes.

It also features a simple design, so it is easy to learn and navigate.

Additionally, the boat is low-maintenance, so sailors can focus on enjoying the experience without worrying about upkeep.

Overall, the laser sailboat is an excellent choice for sailors of any skill level who are looking for an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

Its lightweight design, minimal components, and low cost make it an ideal choice for those who want to learn the basics of sailing or hone their racing skills.

With its simple design and competitive capabilities, the laser sailboat is a great way to enjoy the thrill of sailing.

Advantages of a Laser Sailboat

A laser sailboat is a great choice for sailors of any skill level looking for an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

With its minimal design and low cost, the boat offers a variety of advantages over other types of sailboats.

First, the boat is lightweight and easy to transport.

Its small size and lack of jib or trapeze make it much easier to move and store than larger, more complex sailboats.

This also makes it an ideal choice for sailors who dont have access to a marina or other large body of water.

Another advantage of the laser sailboat is its maneuverability.

The single sail and lack of any additional rigging allow the boat to turn quickly and efficiently, making it an ideal choice for competitive racing.

Its minimal design also makes it more agile in light winds, allowing it to move faster and more easily than heavier boats.

Finally, the laser sailboat is relatively inexpensive, making it an ideal choice for sailors on a budget.

Its low cost also makes it a great option for beginners who want to get into sailing without a large up-front investment.

Overall, the laser sailboat is an excellent choice for sailors of any skill level looking for an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

Its low cost, lightweight design, and maneuverability make it an ideal choice for competitive racing or casual sailing.

With its minimal design and easy transportability, the laser sailboat is a great choice for sailors of any skill level.

Types of Laser Sailboats

laser sailboat wiki

There are several types of laser sailboats, each with different features and designed for different sailing conditions.

Each type of laser sailboat is designed to provide an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

The standard Laser sailboat is the most popular type, and is designed for light winds and a wide variety of sailing conditions.

It features a single sail, and is easy to transport and maneuver.

It is an ideal choice for beginners and experts alike, as it has a simple design and is relatively low cost.

The Laser Radial is a popular version of the standard Laser sailboat, designed for lighter winds and smaller bodies of water.

It has a slightly smaller sail area than the standard Laser, and is designed for single-handed sailing.

The Laser Radial is an ideal choice for sailors who want to race in light winds and smaller bodies of water.

The Laser 4.7 is another version of the Laser sailboat, designed for younger sailors.

It has a slightly smaller sail area than the standard Laser, and is designed for single-handed sailing in light-to-moderate winds.

The Laser 4.7 is an ideal choice for younger sailors who want to experience the thrill of racing in a small, maneuverable sailboat.

The Laser Bahia is an even larger version of the standard Laser, designed for heavier winds and larger bodies of water.

It has a larger sail area, and is designed for two-handed sailing.

The Laser Bahia is an ideal choice for experienced sailors who want to race in heavier winds and larger bodies of water.

Finally, the Laser Performance is a high-performance sailboat designed for experienced sailors.

It has a larger sail area than the other Laser sailboats, and is designed for two-handed sailing in heavier winds.

The Laser Performance is an ideal choice for experienced sailors who want to race in the most challenging conditions.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sailor, there is a laser sailboat designed to meet your needs.

With its minimal design and low cost, the laser sailboat is an excellent choice for any sailor looking to experience the thrill of competitive sailing.

Laser Sailboat Maintenance

Maintaining a laser sailboat is an important part of owning and sailing one.

It is essential to keep the boat in good condition to ensure maximum performance and safety.

Regular maintenance will also extend the life of the boat and ensure it is always ready for the next sailing adventure.

The first step in proper laser sailboat maintenance is to inspect the boat regularly.

This includes checking the hull, deck, and rigging for any signs of wear or damage.

It is also important to check the sail for any signs of damage or wear, and to ensure that all of the lines and rigging are in good condition.

Regularly inspecting the boat will help to identify any problems before they become serious.

Another important part of maintaining a laser sailboat is to keep the boat clean.

This includes wiping down the hull, deck, and rigging with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or salt buildup.

It is also important to clean the sail and other parts of the boat with a mild detergent.

This will help keep the boat in top condition and ensure that it will perform as expected when sailing.

In addition to regular cleaning and inspection, it is also important to perform regular maintenance on the boat.

This includes replacing any worn or damaged parts, such as the sail, lines, and rigging.

It is also important to check the boat for any signs of corrosion or wear on the hull, deck, and rigging.

Additionally, it is important to check the boats mast and spars for any signs of wear or damage.

Finally, it is important to store the boat in a dry and secure location when not in use.

This will help to protect the boat from weather, sun, and other elements.

It is also important to cover the boat when it is not being used, as this will help to keep it clean and in top condition.

By following these simple steps, it is possible to keep your laser sailboat in top condition.

Regular cleaning and inspection will help to identify any potential problems before they become serious, while regular maintenance will help to ensure the boat will perform as expected when sailing.

Storing the boat in a safe, dry location will also help to protect it from the elements when not in use.

With proper care and maintenance, a laser sailboat can provide an exciting and challenging sailing experience for years to come.

Laser Sailboat Racing

laser sailboat wiki

Laser sailboat racing is an exhilarating and exciting experience for sailors of all skill levels.

It is a unique form of sailing that allows for fast-paced, competitive racing in small, light-wind boats.

The design of the laser sailboat is simple, with a single sail, no jib or trapeze, and minimal rigging, making it easy to transport and handle.

The boat is also highly maneuverable, allowing for tight turns and quick acceleration, which makes it an ideal choice for competitive racing.

When sailing a laser sailboat, sailors must be aware of the wind direction and strength in order to maneuver effectively.

The boats light-wind design allows it to sail in conditions as low as 3 knots, but in higher winds, the boat must be adjusted accordingly.

Racers must also be aware of the other boats in the race, as collisions and jostling are common.

Most laser sailboat races are organized into fleets, with each fleet racing against each other in a series of races.

The fleet leader is determined by the sailors total points from each race, with the lowest score winning.

In addition, the top three finishers in each race are awarded points based on their finishing order.

Points are also awarded for completing the race, so even if a sailor does not win the race, they can still gain points.

In addition to competitive racing, laser sailboats are also popular for recreational sailing.

The boat is easy to transport and can be sailed in a variety of conditions, so it is a great choice for those who want to try out sailing or just enjoy the experience of being out on the water.

Overall, laser sailboat racing is an exciting and challenging experience for sailors of all levels.

With its minimal design and low cost, the laser sailboat is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to experience the thrill of competitive sailing.

Cost of a Laser Sailboat

When it comes to the cost of a Laser sailboat, there is a wide range of prices depending on your budget and the type of boat you are looking for.

Generally speaking, a basic Laser sailboat will cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

If you are looking for a high-end boat, with all the bells and whistles, you could be looking at spending up to $25,000.

When purchasing a Laser sailboat, it is important to consider the extra expenses that come with owning and operating a boat, such as maintenance costs, dock fees, and insurance.

It is also important to note that the cost of a Laser sailboat can vary greatly depending on the condition of the boat and the features included.

For example, some boats may include a trailer, sails, rigging, and other accessories, while others may require additional items to be purchased separately.

Additionally, some boats come with a warranty, while others do not, so it is important to understand what is included in the package before making a purchase.

Ultimately, the cost of a Laser sailboat will depend on your budget and what type of sailing experience you are looking for.

With a wide range of prices and features, there are Laser sailboats available to meet the needs of any sailor, from beginners to experienced racers.

Final Thoughts

A laser sailboat is a great option for sailors of any skill level looking for an exciting and challenging sailing experience.

With its minimal design and low cost, a laser sailboat is capable of racing in a variety of conditions and is easy to transport.

With the knowledge you now have on laser sailboats, why not give it a try? Whether you’re looking for the thrill of racing or just a leisurely sail, the laser sailboat experience can be enjoyed by all.

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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  • Sailboat Guide

Laser (International)

Laser (International) is a 13 ′ 8 ″ / 4.2 m monohull sailboat designed by Bruce Kirby and Ian Bruce and built by Performance Sailcraft and LaserPerformance starting in 1970.

Drawing of Laser (International)

  • 2 / 4 Traverse City, MI, US 1979 Laser (International) $2,000 USD View
  • 3 / 4 Traverse City, MI, US 1979 Laser (International) $2,000 USD View
  • 4 / 4 Traverse City, MI, US 1979 Laser (International) $2,000 USD View

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

First selected as Olympic class in 1996.

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1979 Performance Sailcraft Laser cover photo

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The story of the former Olympian who designed the world’s most beloved boat

By Andrew Blum

Posted on May 6, 2019 9:30 PM EDT

10 minute read

On a slate-gray day in September, 89-year-old Bruce Kirby leans against the ­pinstriped first-mate’s seat of Lulu as it motors in slow circles on Long Island Sound. Just outside the elegantly varnished cockpit, a fleet of small sailboats races by, its formation loose and shifting. Kirby follows the boats through a pair of binoculars. One, Jack , belongs to him; he’d be out there competing if it weren’t for his ailing back. But all of the boats are Kirby’s design.

Known as Sonars, Kirby drew their shape in 1979 with a day just like this in mind. The Noroton Yacht Club , Kirby’s home port in the suburban town of Darien, Connecticut, wanted a craft for its members to race—something nimble and fast, but also sturdy and well-behaved. The Sonar is a “one-design boat,” meaning its specifications and equipment are governed by strict rules to ensure that competing in one is a test of skill, not money. Sailing remains a sport of the wealthy, and left unchecked, they can take things to extremes. The superyachts of the America’s Cup have nine-figure R&D budgets, and crews who wear crash helmets and body armor to protect themselves at new limits of speed and performance. In contrast, a used Sonar can be had for under $10,000, and is stable enough that it’s been used by Paralympians since the 2000 games. Out on the sound that afternoon, 37 boats are ­vying for the Sonar North American Championship, with a few former Olympians among the skippers. The whole event is buoyed by ­Kirby’s presence.

Kirby is a world-class sailor and Olympian himself—he represented Canada in ’56, ’64, and ’68—but he is most famous as the designer of a slew of boats known for their swiftness, and also their clarity and simplicity. The epitome of his ethos was a blockbuster, one that defined his career and the course of sailing more broadly: the ­single-​­person racing dinghy known as the Laser.

Back on land, Kirby looks on as the competitors come off the water, windblown and skipping toward the toilets. A collision left one Sonar with a dinner-plate-size hole in its stern, and Kirby leans in for a closer look. The regatta’s press person asks him to do it again for the camera. During the awards ceremony, organizers call Kirby up to the stage for pictures with the winners, and the photographer makes everyone take off their shades, “­except the rock star; he can leave his on.” The teasing is apt; among sailors, there are few bigger celebrities than Bruce Kirby. He comes by their affection honestly. His boats are a blast. “Who wants to design a slow boat?” Kirby likes to ask. “Or own one, for that matter.”

The wheel was a Neolithic invention. It appeared on the scene 5,000 or so years ago, part of a suite of advancements in agriculture. Sailboats came earlier. Australia was settled at least 50,000 years ago, and the first humans didn’t arrive on the continent by foot. Three thousand years ago, Odysseus himself was “sailing the winedark sea for ports of call on alien shores.” Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic, by sail, in 1492—marking the start of several hundred eventful years of wind-powered global travel. Only in the past 200 years have the steamship, ­internal-​­combustion engine, and jetliner erased the sailing ship’s primacy as a means of transportation. Sailboats themselves, however, have held on, not as necessity but as sport.

No surprise then that in 1969, when Bruce Kirby got a call from his friend, the Montreal-based industrial designer Ian Bruce, about drafting a new sailboat, the brief was for a piece of recreational equipment—a “car-topper” to go along with a line of outdoor gear (tents, cots, camping chairs) for the Hudson’s Bay Company retail chain. “I didn’t even know what a car-topper was,” Kirby recalls. The craft had to be easy to transport and rig in order to make it as painless as possible to get out on the water.

The dinghy wasn’t the first boat Kirby had dreamed up, but he wasn’t designing them full time. He was working as an editor at a sailing magazine, living (like now) on the Connecticut shore. As a designer, he was self-taught, nicking a copy of Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design , originally published in 1904, from a family friend and understanding, he estimates, about a third of it. But Kirby had “three-­dimensional eyeballs,” as he describes it; he had no trouble envisioning the shape of a hull. And as a world-class racer of small boats, he knew what a fast one should feel like.

Kirby sketched on ruled paper as they talked. When they hung up, he brought it to his 7-foot drawing board and began to tinker. He knew he had to “get the numbers right.” His first consideration was what’s known as the prismatic coefficient, which defines the shape of the vessel. Is it a tub or a knife? Or, in the language of yacht design, is the hull “full” or “fine”? A rectangular barge has a prismatic coefficient of 1 because its hull entirely fills the prism made by its length, beam (or width), and draft (its depth). Most sailboats have a coefficient between 0.5 and 0.6, meaning about half that volume. If the prismatic coefficient is too high—if the boat is too fat—it will be slow, especially in light wind. But if the coefficient is too low—if the boat is too skinny—it will slice through the waves rather than ride up on top of them, or “plane.” A sailboat that planes well is fast, but more important, it’s fun. High up out of the water, wind and sail become more than the sum of their parts. Kirby settled on 0.55, a just-right number to make a well-balanced boat: fast but stable, neither too tippy nor too tubby.

But only if the sailor worked for it. Dinghies depend on “live ballast,” i.e., a person leaning, or “hiking,” out over the side. A big sail makes a boat zip, if its sailor can keep it flat. Basic physics says that their ability to do so depends on their weight, which of course varies from person to person. So, Kirby had a second number to choose: the ratio of sail size to the hull’s displacement, which depends on the weight of the boat plus its human. Kirby dialed in his ­dinghy to perform best with 180 pounds of flesh—in his words, “a good-size guy working like hell to go fast.” The decision was in part selfish; it described Kirby at the time.

Within a couple of weeks, Kirby had a sketch for Bruce. “He was in a bit of a hurry,” Kirby says. When Hudson’s Bay decided against selling a boat at all, Kirby told Bruce to hold on to the design: “I put a little more oomph in the boat than you asked for. It’s going to be a pretty hot little boat if we ever have a chance to build it.”

The chance came soon enough. In October 1970, Kirby’s magazine planned a promotional regatta for sailboats that cost less than $1,000, to be held at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Kirby and Bruce built a prototype of the car-topper and rigged it for the first time the day of the race. They came in second place. The bend of the mast didn’t match the shape of the sail, so they recut the cloth that night and won the next day’s contest. The little boat was fast and looked it, with a low profile that kept sailors close to the water. Spectators tried to buy it right off the beach.

Back home, the friends began work on a second prototype, mailing plans back and forth across the border. They built it with an adjustable mast so they could play with different configurations. By December, it was ready for final testing. Doing laps on Lake Saint-Louis near Montreal, they moved the mast forward a few inches, cut its height, and took a foot off the end of the boom, looking for just the right feel. By the end of the cold weekend, they decided their hot little dinghy—13 feet, 10½ inches long—was ready for market. All it needed was a name. At a celebratory dinner, a sailing friend—a McGill University student—​­suggested it should be something youthful and international. “Why don’t you call it something like ­‘Laser’?” he asked.

Ian Bruce had a small boatbuilding shop, and the men decided that he would manufacture the dinghy, while Kirby would receive royalties for the design. Bruce priced it at $695. At the New York Boat Show the next month, they collected orders for 144 Lasers. “We didn’t know what the hell was happening,” Kirby recalls.

There were societal factors at play. Postwar prosperity and the construction of new highways led to a boom in ­second-​home ownership in the 1960s and ’70s. Many of those new residences were along lakes and reservoirs, and there were more of those too: Between 1933 and 1968, the Tennessee Valley Authority created more than 10,000 miles of new shoreline, while the Bureau of Land Management created 200 reservoirs. A new swath of the middle class could afford a lake house and, apparently, were ready for an inexpensive sailboat to go with it.

As intended, the Laser was cheap and easy to transport, rig, and bang into a dock. “From a technology standpoint, it’s a very simple boat, and just a great, great boat to learn how to sail fast,” says Scott MacLeod, a sailor at the Noro­ton Yacht Club who twice won the North American collegiate Singlehanded Championship in a Laser—1983 and 1985—and topped out at seventh place in the Worlds.

Laser sailors first organized themselves into an international class in 1974, codifying Kirby’s design into strictly defined specs, and setting the craft on a path toward the Olympics, where it debuted in Atlanta in 1996. In the ’80s, the introduction of a smaller sail, known as the Radial, allowed lighter sailors to be competitive in heavy winds, and became the standard for women’s Laser racing. The sport of sailing is said to be in perpetual decline, but Laser racing has persisted. The 2018 Laser Masters World Championships, held in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, had 302 entries from 25 countries. (The apogee was the 1980 Laser Worlds, in Kingston, Ontario, a legendary event with 350 entries.) But there are also thousands of smaller weekend regattas, held everywhere from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, New York, to the Victoria Nyanza Sailing Club in Kampala, Uganda.

All told, more than 220,000 Lasers have been built by licensed manufacturers on five continents. (Ian Bruce sold his boatbuilding business in the 1980s. He died in 2016.) With the exception of alternative rigs with smaller sails, like the Radial, the Laser has hardly changed. There have been slight upgrades, each one documented and approved in a “construction manual” maintained by the International Laser Class Association, a kind of worldwide club of Laser sailors. Each Laser factory is audited for conformity.

“Because it’s such a one-design boat, it really comes down to the sailor,” says Sarah Douglas, a contender for the Canadian 2020 Olympic sailing team who recently came in sixth at the Laser Worlds. “It’s not equipment differences or sail differences; it comes down to what the sailor is able to do out on the water,” she says. “At the end of the day, you can’t blame your boat. It’s just you. It is all you.”

For decades, Kirby and his wife, Margo, lived in a house on Connecticut’s little Five Mile River, just upstream from where it empties into Long Island Sound. It had a deepwater dock out the back, and Kirby’s Laser—sail number 0—was laid out on the lawn. (It’s now at the Mystic Seaport Museum .) But recently they moved a few blocks away, to a more modest Colonial with a two-car garage. There are still moving boxes to unpack, yet the walls are already hung with old photos of Kirby sailing his designs, and boat models known as half hulls mounted on plaques. The Laser gets pride of place. Next to the front door, there’s a framed action shot of the “hot little boat” at its best: in the sail position known as a reach, with spray skirting off the bow as if it had a jet engine underneath.

The Laser’s simplicity makes it something like the platonic ideal of a sailboat, like a child’s drawing with a line and a triangle—but enabled by the postwar innovations of fiberglass (for its hull), aluminum (for its mast), and Dacron (for its sail). It is the sort of definitive and lasting design that comes around only rarely, such as the iPhone or five-pocket bluejeans. Except bluejeans and iPhones are constantly being tweaked, evolving along with human taste or ingenuity. Each change widens the aperture of possibility. The object does a new thing, looks a new way, or serves a new purpose.

But a Laser is a sailboat. It moves by the power of the wind along the surface of the water, a function that hasn’t changed in millennia. Granted, Lasers rarely go anywhere, except in circles. They satisfy a basic human desire for speed and competition, each high on the hierarchy of pleasures. It’s all the more remarkable, then, that among innumerable variations of small sailboats over all time, the precise design of the Laser has ridden up on the wave of history, and stayed there, for 50 years—and counting.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 Transportation issue of Popular Science.

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Published on December 1st, 2021 | by Editor

Fifty years of Laser sailing

Published on December 1st, 2021 by Editor -->

When the Laser boat emerged in the 1970s, it was a gateway drug to the world of sailing. Go anywhere, launch anywhere, race anywhere. Adults and youth sailors alike, it initiated a worldwide generation that continues today.

During the pandemic in 2020, it was the solution to social distancing, with dusty gear finding the water again. And in this era of age-based youth sailing, the Laser offers inter-generational competition, bringing all ages together for learning and living.

Mark Lammens remembered when it all began, and the experience created the foundation in which his impact on Canadian sailing has been profound, earning him the Sail Canada President’s Award for his contributions to the sport.

In this report, Mark shares his 50 years of Laser sailing:

laser sailboat wiki

When I was 12 my parents were thinking about getting me a boat. Sailing school was fun and going well in Flying Juniors, so my dad bought the plans to build a marine plywood OK dinghy in our basement.

He was very handy and built a Snipe as our first family boat years back. At the same time. the Laser just came out and was built an hour away from where we lived. They decided to spend the $795 on a brand new red Laser, #8525. The boat was simple, affordable, and fun.

The boat came with a modern name, polypropylene traveler, mahogany blades, a 3.2 oz Elvstrom sail, and Elvstrom ratchet block. It came with a wooden tiller, a short extension, brummel hooks on a clew tie down and system ropes you would see on a keel boat. It also had high quality metal gudgeons and wooden hand rails that never broke.

That summer my instructor brought me to a regatta in Montreal with 210 Lasers. Before long, there were 20 Lasers at the club.

The concept and design came from Canadians Bruce Kirby (designer), Ian Bruce (builder), and Hans Fogh (sail and rig). All three were successful Olympic sailors and saw a need for a boat that provides simple sailing for everyone. The Laser class rules embraced the one design manufactured provided boat approach to ensure fairness in racing and simplicity, though this might have slowed down the introduction of needed improvements like an auto bailer, metal fairleads, durable sail cloth, and a better ratchet block.

The boats built back then had a wide option of colors like blue, mustard, red, and yellow. Because it was marketed as a roof topper with a 2 part non-tapered simple aluminum mast, lower top sides and 130 pound +/- weight, the Laser could be easily transported on the roof of the big cars of the time. Although there was a major uptick in singlehanded racing, the boat became very popular with the cottage community as many thousands of them were bought for the weekends on the lake. By the end of 1981, a 100,000 were built.

A big part of launching was having a friend help carry the boat in and out of the water or dragging it up the beach. Marketing the ease of transportation and storage might have delayed the introduction of a portable dolly which came later from Peter Siedenburg, a Finn sailor in Toronto who saw the need and designed the Seitech Dolly.

There was also a wide range of variables like all up weight and mast rake, and it took 15-20 years for some improvements like low profile tiller, thimbles for mechanical advantage on restricted rope systems, and better quality ropes.

The first smaller sail option was called the M rig which used the standard rig bottom section with a shorter top section with a halyard. M stood for Modified or Mini, but it was really a mistake. It was very difficult to de-power when the wind came up as the mast would not bend.

The better option was the Radial rig in 1983 with a smaller bottom section and the same top section developed by Fogh. There were many challenges with the smaller bottom section as it had to be able to bend and not break. Sleeves inside the mast and a thinner wall section seemed to help allow mast bend and also not break at deck level.

The Radial boat was ultimately named after the radial sail. The sail radiated from the clew and the sail cloth needed to stretch along with the bendy mast to have the mast/sail work together. Pulling on the downhaul to depower was hard on the sail cloth durability. A better longer lasting sail like the new standard Mark 2 sail is still an issue. Sailors that are campaigning in this class have a significant sail equipment expense.

There was another option for younger and lighter sailors, the 4.7. It was designed in 2005 with a much smaller 4.7 square meter sail with an even smaller bottom section. The bottom section has a permanent bend at deck level to ensure the sail is over top of the centerboard for steering balance.

The Class Association was committed to promoting racing, ‘Sailing is Fun’ and the new go fast techniques with the member newsletter. All sailors were new to the boat and an environment of collective improvement and sharing information was the mantra of the class.

Publications such as ‘Beam Reach’ and ‘the Laser Sailor’ had district reports, regatta results, and many tips from coaches and champions to keep the class engaged and informed.

The Laser came before the invention of many products that make sailing easier. Waterproof sunscreen, Gore-Tex, rash guards, McLube, Gatorade, no stretch non-absorbing non-tangling Rooster rope, chill guards, Zhik life jackets, and energy bars were many years away. Good hiking boots, quick dry technical clothing, merino wool, and the introduction and improvement in neoprene for hiking pants and cold water sailing was also years away.

A complicated and contentious patent, royalty, and international availability issue required a boat name change from Laser to ILCA to maintain Olympic status.

Today’s equivalent Laser boat, the ILCA 7 has a carbon fibre top section option, 4.5 oz sail, tapered battens, non-slip hiking strap, electronic compass, and properly oriented harken rigging systems that can be adjusted from hiking position. With the boat’s World Sailing international status, it has national three letter identifiers plus national flag.

In 1996, 25 years after the first boats went into production, Olympic status was awarded for the Laser, followed in 2008 for the Radial. Today the Singlehanded Men’s class at the Olympics is now the ILCA 7 and the Singlehanded Women’s class is the ILCA 6.

The simple, widely available, consistently constructed boat with a two-part mast ensures that racing is testing the ability and fitness of the sailor. As a British journalist once commented on boats, “the Laser (ILCA) is a proper little yacht.”

Perhaps in light of that the class would consider bringing back metal gudgeons, hand rails that don’t break, and design a new longer lasting sail for the Women.

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SailMentor

Become the Confident Skipper of Your Own Sailboat

What is a laser dinghy the simple basics behind it’s sailing.

  • Post author: Anns
  • Post published: November 9, 2022
  • Post category: Uncategorized
  • Post comments: 0 Comments

Introduction

Sailing can be a very exciting sport, and it’s something that anyone can do. You don’t need to go to the Olympics or be an expert sailor either; the basics of sailing are easy to learn when you have someone teach them to you! We’ll cover everything from what lasers are, how they work, and what makes them different from other boats on the water. Then we’ll talk about learning how to sail in general as well as tips for getting started with your own Laser dinghy.

All you need to know about the Laser

A Laser is a single-handed dinghy. It is used in dinghy sailing, which is a type of sailing competition. A Laser can also be used for training sailors and teaching them how to sail.

The Laser class was first built in the 1950s, with the first official race taking place in 1963 at Oyster Bay on Long Island Sound in New York State. It was designed specifically for use by college students who wanted to learn how to sail boats before they graduated and started working full time.

Sailing the dinghy

Sailing the Laser:

A laser dinghy is a small, single-person boat that uses a centerboard to control its direction. It is very similar to a Sunfish, which has been called the “poor man’s sailboat” because it can be purchased for under $1,000 and sailed in freshwater lakes or ponds.

Learning how to sail is easy with these two boats because they are simple enough for anyone who wants to learn how to sail without having any prior experience with sailing. The Sunfish and Laser also have similar wind and water conditions as far as where they can be used and what type of weather conditions they can withstand.

Learning how to sail

Learning how to sail, or at least the basics of sailing, is an exciting endeavor. It can be overwhelming, and that’s okay. The first step is getting your hands on a boat and learning what all the parts are called so that you can then understand how they work together and how they help you move through the water.

The boat itself has three main parts: bow (front), stern (back), and centerboard (also called a daggerboard). When sailing in lighter winds without much windage from waves or other boats, these can be enough for moving forward with ease; however, if there is more force against the boat than it can withstand by using just its own built-in momentum alone then it will stall out or turn over completely from being overpowered by too much force coming from an outside source such as another vessel traveling faster than yours does—or even strong winds blowing directly against where your line of travel would normally take place! That’s why we need more tools besides just our hull itself….

Information about sailing

Laser dinghies are fast, fun, and easy to sail. They’re great for racing or training because they’re so light, easy to transport, and can be sailed by one or two people.

So, there you have it! We hope that this post has helped you to learn more about the sport of sailing and how it can be exciting, fun and safe for anyone. If you want more information about our sailing club or want to join us on a trip out on the water then please contact us at the club house or give us a call!

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How to Rig a Laser Sailboat

Last Updated: February 1, 2024

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 25 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 146,902 times. Learn more...

This is a step by step instruction on how to rig the original laser.

Step 1 Get all your parts together.

  • The sail should now be flapping in the wind.

Step 6 Get your boom, and put its front end into the gooseneck (the little pin sticking out of your mast).

  • If you have cleated the outhaul properly, the boom should now stay up on its own.

Step 8 Attach the clew-tie-down...

  • Test it by pulling up on the rudder. Then put on the tiller by sliding it into the space on the top of the rudder. Once it's in, insert the pin to hold it there.
  • Tie the dagger board with a long loop of elastic to the eye at the very front of the boat.
  • Verify the elastic creates enough friction that the daggerboard will stay up or down (even when you invert the boat).

Step 12 Launch.

Community Q&A

Aloha27

  • If this is a new boat, rig it entirely, on land, and test out all the parts. Pull on the mainsheet and such, in order to make sure nothing breaks. This way, you're not stuck on the water when a part of the boat fails. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Flake the main sheet twice, once on hull then lastly inside cockpit so the bitter end is on the bottom..also a weather cane clipped on mast directly across from boom is helpful as well as tell-tales (and a whistle in your life vest and a helmet on your head). Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • When rigging the boat, make sure it is pointed into the wind Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

laser sailboat wiki

Things You'll Need

  • The boat itself (the hull)
  • the dagger board and a piece of elastic
  • the rudder and tiller
  • your mainsheet
  • both mast pieces
  • one hull plug

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Back a Trailer

  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKlIYWfhx10
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3HsMXwGUNs
  • ↑ https://lasersailingtips.com/rigging-and-launching/
  • ↑ http://marinaaquaticcenter.org/sailing/PDFs/Laser%20Rigging.pdf

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International Laser Class Association

International Laser Class Association

One Boat, One Sailor, One Design.

International Laser Class Association

About the Boat

The world’s most popular adult and youth racing class. 

Originally known as the Laser, the ILCA dinghy is a single-handed racing dinghy. The biggest attraction of the ILCA dinghy is that it is protected by strict one-design class rules, which means that no changes are allowed to the boat unless they are specifically permitted in the rules. The result is that all ILCA boats are virtually identical, whether they are brand-new or 10 years old, making it the sailor that wins the race – not the boat. The ILCA dinghy is a challenging boat that rewards athleticism, subtle steering, and trimming techniques, as well as tactical excellence. It is a single-handed Olympic-class boat for both men and women and is sailed at club, national, and international levels. With over 225,000 boats in 140 countries, it is the world’s most popular adult and youth racing sailboat.

No fuss, just sailing.

One of the reasons the ILCA dinghy is so popular is the boat’s sheer simplicity. The two-part free-standing mast and sleeved sail make the boat easy to rig, and its lightweight hull makes it easy to carry and cartop.

A boat for life.

The ILCA formula combines one hull with three different rigs: ILCA 4, ILCA 6, and ILCA 7. Young sailors starting out in the ILCA 4 can move up in rig sizes as they grow physically and develop tactically without the need to buy a complete new boat every few years. The one-design protection also means that your boat will never be outdated, which explains why ILCA dinghies have such high resale values.

Finally, a strong class association that actively promotes and drives forward sailing around the globe makes mass production of the ILCA dinghy viable, keeping the cost of the boats and spares relatively low.

The ILCA Formula

A choice of rigs for different size sailors means three boats in one. See Equipment for more detailed boat diagrams. 

  • Are your children reaching the age when they want to go sailing in an ILCA by themselves?
  • Does your husband or wife fancy the occasional sail in your ILCA?
  • When you drive two hours to get to the water, have you found it is too windy for you to go sailing?
  • Are you too light to sail with the ILCA 7 rig?

The ILCA formula is the answer to all these questions. By changing only the sail and lower mast, an ILCA dinghy can be sailed comfortably in a great variety of wind conditions and provide exciting but controlled sailing even for sailors weighing as little as 35 kg. The ILCA formula is a three-rig option that has been adopted by a number of sailing schools as a simple and economical way for sailors of different sizes and abilities to sail in a wide range of winds and reduce the amount of “down time.”

The ILCA 4 uses a short pre-bent lower mast to maintain a balanced helm and a sail area that is 35% smaller than the ILCA 7. It is ideal for the lighter-weight sailor graduating from Optimist.

The ILCA 6 is the next step up in size. It uses a more flexible and slightly shorter lower mast together with a sail area 18% smaller than the ILCA 7. The ILCA 6 has a large following with national and international regattas and World Championships for men, women, and youth, attracting as many countries and competitors as the ILCA 7. Many countries support a full ILCA 6 youth program. In addition to having a strong following among lighter-weight sailors, the ILCA 6 is the women’s single-handed dinghy at the Olympic Games. 

The ILCA 7 can be sailed by any weight in light winds, but as the wind increases, it is better suited to higher sailor weights. The ILCA 7 is a single-handed dinghy for men at the Olympic Games. 

Apart from the strong second-hand market for the ILCA 7, there is an even stronger second-hand market for ILCA 6 and ILCA 4 lower mast and sails as a separate package from the hull.

Why sail the ILCA dinghy?

One of the greatest things about the ILCA dinghy is that it offers a huge amount of fun and family pleasure to all ages, yet at the same time it satisfies the desire for excellence and a physical test at the highest level in the Olympic Games. The ILCA dinghy is something very special. With over 225,000 boats built, the attraction remains strong for new owners with new boats being built at a rate of over 2,000 per year.

Seeing youngsters, fresh out of youth classes, getting a thrill out of sailing an Olympic-class boat in full control with the ILCA 4 or ILCA 6 rig is as exciting as listening to the stories of 60-year-old Masters recounting their wild rides on Pacific rollers during the 1997 World Masters Championship in Chile.

The ILCA dinghy is challenging and it is rewarding, whether at the club level or the Olympic Games. When you take your 10-year-old boat out for a local race, the challenge is to work harder, hike longer, be smarter, and sail better than the other ILCA sailors. At the end of the race, you count the number of boats behind you, and you are rewarded with the knowledge that you beat them fair and square by your own skill and effort. Even if there are no boats behind you, the challenge is to go out next time, knowing that you have equal equipment and the potential to improve.

And there is a bonus! It is quick to rig, keeps you fit, and is inexpensive.

When you look in the center pages of the Handbook and count ILCAs sailing in 120 different countries all over the world, you see that ILCA has achieved the highest-ever country entry at the Olympic Games and see how many countries are entering ILCA World Championships. You perhaps realize just how great our little boat is and why it is so important to look after it with a strong class association.

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  3. The Anatomy of a Laser Sailboat: Exploring its Parts and Functions

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COMMENTS

  1. Laser (dinghy)

    Laser (dinghy) The Laser is a class of single-handed, one-design sailing dinghies using a common hull design with three interchangeable rigs of different sail areas, appropriate to a given combination of wind strength and crew weight. Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby designed the Laser in 1970 with an emphasis on simplicity and performance.

  2. LaserPerformance

    LaserPerformance is an Anglo-American dinghy manufacturer. LaserPerformance manufactures many sailboats including: Laser, Sunfish, Bug, Laser Vago, Laser Bahia, Club FJ, Club 420, Z420, Vanguard 15, Dart 16, Funboat and Optimists. They are most well known for the Sunfish and The Laser - a single handed boat which is sailed in the Summer Olympic Games. ...

  3. Laser 2

    The Laser 2, or Laser II, is a sailboat that was designed by New Zealander Frank Bethwaite and Canadian Ian Bruce as a one-design racer and first built in 1978. Production. The design was built by Bruce's company, Performance Sailcraft, in Canada and also by Vanguard Sailboats in the United States. Production ran from 1978 until 1987, with ...

  4. Laser Standard

    The Laser Standard or ILCA 7 is a popular one-design class of single-handed sailing dinghy, originally built by Performance Sailcraft Canada. The laser is cat rigged, with a single mainsail and is a simple, light and fast boat to sail.The Laser Standard is the original of the Laser family of dinghies, which also includes the Laser Radial and Laser 4.7, both of which use the same hull, but have ...

  5. Laser

    Standard - 7.1sqm sail for heavier and more athletic sailors. Radial - 5.1sqm sail for women, and lighter sailors. 4.7 - 4.7sqm for youth and lighter females. The Laser is a true sailing phenomenon. With nearly 200,000 boats in 140 countries, it is clearly the world's most popular adult and youth racing sailboat.

  6. Laser Sailboat: Mastering Performance and Techniques for Success

    The Laser sailboat is a popular single-handed, one-design sailing dinghy known for its simplicity and performance. Designed by Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby in 1970, the Laser has become the world's most popular adult and youth sailboat, with over 225,000 boats in 140 countries.

  7. Laser Sailing Dinghy Specifications

    The Laser Dinghy - 3 Sailboats In 1. The Laser Dinghy - 3 sailboats in 1. The laser dinghy comes in 3 rig sizes: 4.7 / ILCA 4. Radial / ILCA 6, and. Full/Standard / ILCA 7 rig. This means that sailors of just about any ability or age can enter the sport, and advance with minimal cost. Rigging is easy using a sleeved sail over a mast with no ...

  8. 50 Years Laser

    HISTORY. Laser now rules the waves around the world in over 50 countries. During that time LaserPerformance has been there supplying the most sought-after Lasers and supporting the growth of the Laser sailing community around the world. "There have been more than 200,000 Lasers built around the world, the biggest number of any boat ever.

  9. About the Boat

    With over 225,000 boats in 140 countries, it is the world's most popular adult and youth racing sailboat. No fuss, just sailing. One of the reasons the ILCA dinghy is so popular is the boat's sheer simplicity. The two-part free-standing mast and sleeved sail make the boat easy to rig and its lightweight hull make it easy to carry and cartop.

  10. What Is A Laser Sailboat? (Understanding The Basics)

    A laser sailboat is a type of sailboat that is designed to take advantage of the power of laser technology. It is a single-handed, small sailboat that is designed to be sailed with minimal crew and minimal equipment. The hull is designed to be lightweight and sleek, providing the boat with maximum speed and maneuverability. ...

  11. Laser (International)

    Laser (International) is a 13′ 8″ / 4.2 m monohull sailboat designed by Bruce Kirby and Ian Bruce and built by Performance Sailcraft and LaserPerformance starting in 1970. ... the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its ...

  12. PDF laser 4.7 laser radial laser

    The Laser is a true sailing phenomenon. With nearly 200,000 boats in 140 countries, it is clearly the world's most popular adult and youth racing sailboat. Each year the Laser Class runs more races worldwide than any other class. And it's still going strong! For almost four decades, the Laser has been a sailing success story.

  13. LASER (INTERNATIONAL)

    A boat with a BN of 1.6 or greater is a boat that will be reefed often in offshore cruising. Derek Harvey, "Multihulls for Cruising and Racing", International Marine, Camden, Maine, 1991, states that a BN of 1 is generally accepted as the dividing line between so-called slow and fast multihulls.

  14. Introduction to Laser Sailing

    Introduction to Laser Sailing. April 3, 2018 Katie Olsen How To. by Jon Emmett. The Laser is truly the boat for all ages from our Junior 4.7s to our legendary (over 75 year old) Masters. No other adult class is raced in more countries in the World, in a class which takes grass roots to Olympic sailors. Come and join us to see why!

  15. The story of the former Olympian who designed the world's most beloved boat

    The Laser's simplicity makes it something like the platonic ideal of a sailboat, like a child's drawing with a line and a triangle—but enabled by the postwar innovations of fiberglass (for ...

  16. Fifty years of Laser sailing

    Fifty years of Laser sailing. Published on December 1st, 2021. When the Laser boat emerged in the 1970s, it was a gateway drug to the world of sailing. Go anywhere, launch anywhere, race anywhere ...

  17. What is a Laser Dinghy? The Simple Basics Behind it's Sailing

    A laser dinghy is a small, single-person boat that uses a centerboard to control its direction. It is very similar to a Sunfish, which has been called the "poor man's sailboat" because it can be purchased for under $1,000 and sailed in freshwater lakes or ponds. Learning how to sail is easy with these two boats because they are simple ...

  18. Laser Pico

    The Laser Pico dinghy is a small sailboat designed by Jo Richards in the mid-1990s [1] and used primarily for training and day sailing. It can be crewed by one or two children or an adult. Current models come equipped with both a mainsail and a jib, the jib however mainly functions as a training tool and provides little to no contribution to speed.

  19. Laser 4.7

    The Laser 4.7 or ILCA 4 is a one-design dinghy class in the Laser series and is a one-design class of sailboat. All Lasers are built to the same specifications. The Laser is 4.06 m (13 ft 10 in) long, with a waterline length of 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in). The hull weight is 59 kg (130 lb). The boat is manufactured by ILCA and World Sailing approved builders.

  20. Homepage

    Homepage - LaserPerformance. The Cascais is the ultimate rotomolded multi-purpose sailing dinghy. Its versatility and innovative design brings together exceptional handling, speed and stability allied with its spacious cockpit and 3 rig/ sail versions makes this the ideal platform for all levels of sailors. We believe that rotomolded boats ...

  21. How to Rig a Laser Sailboat: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    1. Get all your parts together. You should have the boat itself (the hull), the dagger board, the rudder and tiller, your mainsheet, both mast pieces, boom, boom bang and sail in one place. 2. Put together both the pieces of your mast. The bottom of the top half just slides into the top of the bottom half.

  22. About the Boat

    With over 225,000 boats in 140 countries, it is the world's most popular adult and youth racing sailboat. No fuss, just sailing. One of the reasons the ILCA dinghy is so popular is the boat's sheer simplicity. The two-part free-standing mast and sleeved sail make the boat easy to rig, and its lightweight hull makes it easy to carry and cartop.

  23. List of sailing boat types

    Toggle Other classes and sailboat types subsection. 4.1 Dinghies. 4.2 Keelboats & yachts. 4.3 Multihulls. 5 See also. 6 Notes. 7 References. Toggle the table of contents. ... Rooster Sailing: Laser 4000: AMF Apollo 16: 1977: Bruce Kirby: American Machine and Foundry: A Scow: 1901: John O. Johnson: Johnson Boat Works Melges Performance Sailboats ...

  24. 2000 (dinghy)

    2000 (dinghy) The 2000 (formerly the Laser 2000) is a performance sailing dinghy designed by Phil Morrison and currently sold by RS Sailing. It combines a traditional GRP hull and foam sandwich deck moulding with a modern asymmetric rig including a furling jib, reefing mainsail and single line gennaker hoist system.