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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 07-24-2010
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Laser Sailing

I bought a laser recently, and prior to Thursday took it out into Marblehead/Salem Harbor a couple of times. I took it out Thursday in 15 knot winds with gusts of 30. It was gusty and shifty, and needless to say I went in the water a few times. I could handle it pretty good into the wind, by letting the main out or turning into the wind during the gusts. But down wind it was pretty squirelly and I lost control a few times. It was still a blast. When I got her planning, I really flew.

But can someone direct me to a good forum where I can get some instructions on the laser?

And of course, if anyone here can offer advice I'd really appreciate it.
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Old 07-24-2010
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Sounds to me like you were just having a lot of fun. Once your Laser gets up on a plane it is worth all the dunking you endured.
There is a forum dedicated only to Lasers: The Laser Forum - Sailing - Racing - Rigging - Repair
Keep practicing in higher winds. You will get better at seeing the gusts or cat paws blowing across the water that are a sign that it is time to really hike out to keep the boat flatter. You may be able to rig up some kind of hiking harness or even a trapeze but for now just get out there and do it.
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Old 07-24-2010
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Lasers do great in heavy wind

YouTube - Extreme Reaching

Do you have a full or radial rig?
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Old 07-24-2010
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and you can reef them by wrapping the sail around the mast a couple of times, then readjust/retie the outhaul to fit;.

The dunks will be worth it, downwind sailing is less intuitive than upwind especially on flyweights like Lasers, but once you get the hang of balancing the sail area above the boat's pivot point (and rebalancing during and after a jibe), you will love it to death and be the envy of your couch-potato friends..
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Old 07-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dub420sailor View Post
Lasers do great in heavy wind

YouTube - Extreme Reaching

Do you have a full or radial rig?
Now that is some serious Laser sailing.
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Old 07-24-2010
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Lasers are a blast. I'm biased, but I think dinghy sailing can teach you more about sail trim and reading the wind than many years of sailing larger boats.

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Old 07-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dub420sailor View Post
Do you have a full or radial rig?

I don't know. Without going out and measuring the sale size, how can you tell?
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Old 07-28-2010
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I'm not a laser sailor, but the radial is smaller than the full (one section of mast is shorter and the sail is a bit smaller). The sail is also cut differently. This may help you Radial versus Standard: How Different? [Archive] - The Laser Forum.
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