Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England USA
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning
Andy, you have been getting some decent advice here. Having spent time as an instructor, I felt my advise was measured and reasonable.
Sasha and Rich.... did you actually read what I said? Or did you just pounce on what you thought was a bit of miss-information. I said a Laser is ONE (not THE) of the fastest SINGLE SAIL (only one sail) MONOHULL (no outriggers etc..) boats out there. I''ve sailed on one of the "Patient Lady" little america''s cup cat''s, and Olympic Class Tornado''s and I doubt you have sailed anything faster, so I think I can speak with a little authority here.
I have RACED and WON in: Lasers, Blue Jays, Lightnings, Thistles, Flying Dutchman, 420, 470, Fireball, Sunfish (beat the WORLD CHAMPION once!), Tornados, Contenders, Atlantics, and Stars, to mention just a few.
IMHO the LASER was one of the trickiest to sail, and a BEAR in winds over 12 - 14 kts. There are easier boats out there to learn on. But the Laser is something you can grow with. One of it''s unique capabilities is that you can reduce sail in windier conditions. The sail is on a sleeve over the mast, you can roll up some of the sail around the mast, ala in mast furling systems. (the shape goes all to hell, but it won''t matter when you are learning) This can help you get out when the wind pipes up, or help you get back if you find yourself overpowered during a daysail. A wetsuit is almost mandatory to enjoy the Laser to it''s fullest.
Ignore the bar fights that sometimes ensue here. I think we all are trying to help, no one knows everything, and opinions vary world wide.