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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2005
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

I am also in melbourne. Springvale, to be precise.

Don''t wish to be here today, the weather is being annoying.

Sasha
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2005
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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.
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Old 03-07-2005
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Silmaril, that''s a lot of experience.

Perhaps you can help me too.

My son is an Optimist sailor (11 Years old) and I have never sailed anything with less than 6000lbs.
I would like to have a not so difficult boat to sail with the kid down the river. Do you think a modern snipe is a good option? (there is one selling for a good price, it is an U.S. racing model).

Paulo

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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Paulo,

The Snipe is a really fun boat. I have never raced one, but have done some harbor sailing on one. They are a little wet, but that is half the fun for an 11yo. They also have a good international following, and you should be able to squeeze a race or two in with your son. They move along nicely, and you can have fun racing without the need to worry about spinn. gear. A great boat to get your feet (and the rest of you in a breeze) wet in dingy''s.

Now is a perfect time for father/son racing. I remember when I started sailing at 10 with my dad, we raced on weekends in our little Blue Jay. They are some of the most happy memories I have of my father (may he rest in peace).
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Snappa,

If sailboats are scarce I guess you need to look at what''s available and choose what might be best suited to your needs.

There does seem to be some sailing activity going on in and around tokyo, as these websites seem to indicate:

http://www.sail-japan.info/links.shtml

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/%7ejg5m-oohs/yacht/club.htm

And there are several one design class associations there in Japan, apparently:

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/%7ejg5m-oohs/yacht/club.htm

Good luck in your search. There''s got to be some sailors out there in the land of the rising sun.

AF
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Thanks for the links!
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Old 03-08-2005
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Thanks Simaril.

I am going to follow your advise.

Paulo
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Snappahead,

You might try driving around to the marina and talking to the clubs over there. There is nothing like the knowledge of local sailors. If you talk to a couple, you will learn much more than you will on this board.
I think the advice to find something that will surround you a bit better than the board-like Laser is good. And you could even find a suitable boat for sale, or an ad for one while you''re there.

Good Luck
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Old 03-17-2005
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

Dear friend,
the thread you started has disintegrated into a hot discussion about the suitability of dinghy class racing for learning to sail or about the fastest boat around - entirely useless stuff to you. Listen to my personal experience: Thirty (YES 30!) or so years ago, while on my sailing learning curve, I learned and sailed and had fun AND capsized on a LASER single handler. It was very, very useful, simple, cheap and handy, most dinghy sailing schools/clubs having this class of boat at your disposal. I would surely sail again one of these "toys" now in my fifties, given the right wind and sailing ground conditions.
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Old 03-20-2005
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Suitability of a Laser dinghy for learning

My advice comes only as someone who learned to sail in a dinghy. One point that I don''t see mentioned here is the Laser''s lack of a jib. I think it might be better to learn on a boat that has one, as understanding the slot - how the jib and main work together - will be a good thing as you work your way up the sailing hierarchy. One thing is for sure, dinghies are unforgiving and that is exactly what you need to learn on. You will capsize - probably a lot at first - and that is just part of the learning process. Learn how to quickly right your boat, and the cold waters of Tokyo Bay will be enough incentive to figure out how to minimize that event. Good luck and have fun.
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