Laser vs Laser 2
So I've just recently started my third year sailing (second year racing), and I've kind of been thinking it's about time my girlfriend and I moved up to our own boat(s). The yacht club happens to be selling off some of the lasers and laser 2s from their youth sailing program fairly cheaply, so the timing would seem to be good.
My question is, should I buy a single laser 2, or a pair of standards?
I'd kind of like something I can singlehand myself if she can't make it out, and I worry about being able to keep the 2 upright by myself with a main and jib up.
On the other hand, it would be nice to at some point be able to take one of my non-sailing friends/younger siblings/ etc out for a sail, and I'm not too sure a standard would have the space for two people.
I'm still sort of leaning towards the standard, but I figured I'd throw a post up on here and see what you guys thought.
I would think the 2 would limit your racing unless they have a big class of them in your area ?
I just went through the same decision. In the end, I decided on a Laser II because I wanted to be able to practice with as many sails as possible. I posted in forums and asked around, and was told that I should be able to single-hand the Laser II. (That said, I've only been out on it with friends so far, so I haven't tried single-handing it yet.)
One thing to consider: my Laser II was in poor shape when I got it, and while working on it, I found that parts are getting harder to come by, since the Laser II is no longer being made. There are quite a few parts that are identical on a Laser, so you can order those, but others are a little more iffy. For example, mine came without a spinnaker, which I figured was no big deal - I'd just pick one up somewhere else. But I've been surprised by how difficult it is to locate a whisker pole for a Laser II.
Overall, I still think I made the right decision - it's fun to have two people out, I should be able to single-hand, and I get to practice with both the main and jib (and spinnaker, if I can ever find one.) But there are drawbacks to be aware of, such as limited racing and parts availability.
I'm not too concerned about racing it - There isn't really any formal dinghy racing around here, and the few times someone has brought one out on a Wednesday night they've just raced with the PHRF fleet.
What I'm mainly looking for is a relatively simple boat that I can take out after work and just mess around with.
The fact that the II is sloop rigged is a definite plus as far as I'm concerned, although I'm not sure about handling a main and jib while at the same time trying to steer and not flip over :p
I'm supposed to be taking a friend's standard laser out on Sunday, so I guess I'll just have to see how well I do. If it's not too bad, I might go with the 2 instead.
The standard Laser is a great boat and is easily handled by one, or two people of modest size/weight (better in higher winds).
On the other hand you could always sail the Laser 2 with just the main when you go out solo at first. Learn to tack both sails at once while soloing and lose the jib when the wind picks up or whatever survival strategy you come up with.
Both of them are great boats.
Does the Laser 2 you are looking at have the trapeze lines to the mast for hiking out? If so you'll need a harness to hook into the trapeze. The Laser 2 is quite a bit more 'technical' then the standard Laser with more gear and rigging.
There is something nice about a simply rigged boat that is easy to set up and break down.
Your money, your life and your choice. Have fun with it.
Disclosure: I have only sailed the standard Laser (non racing set up) and have wanted to try out a Laser II.
My son has a Laser 2 in Arizona, USA, and has had some challenges in finding parts, especially on a budget. Cb, where is the club that was selling the Laser 2 boats?
Re: Laser vs Laser 2
I had a Laser 2 when I first started sailing and had no trouble single handing it - seems I did something to the jib sheets so I could cross sheet them and control the jib from the high side - I got the Laser 2 over the plain Laser because the Laser did not have enough room for me (I am 6 ft 4 inches tall).
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