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Laser Sailboat Questions

Q: What’s the difference in the three different sail sizes?

A: There are three different sail sizes available on Lasers. The largest one is the Full Rig (also sometimes called Standard Rig), which is 76sq feet. The next size down is the Radial Rig, at 62sq ft. The smallest size sail is the 4.7 Rig at ~49sf ft. The different sail sizes roughly correspond to the weight of the sailor - but can also be used to compensate for different wind conditions. The target weight range for the full rig is very roughly 165-185 pounds. A Radial is 130-155lbs, an the 4.7 is 105-125lbs. In how the Rigs are used - remember the Laser has three total spar pieces. The mast is two pieces (top and bottom section) and the boom. The only component that changes between all three of the Rigs, is the corresponding lower mast sections (and sail obviously). The boom is the same for all three, as is the top section - those never change. The Full Rig uses a that same boom and top section, with a full rig lower mast. The Radial sail is used in conjunction with a Radial Lower Section and the same boom and top section as the others. And finally, the 4.7 Rig is used in conjunction with a 4.7 lower mast section, but still uses the same boom and top section as all the other rigs.

Q: What’s the difference between the ‘Race’ and the ‘XD’ model?

A: All the Laser manufacturers have historically offered a 'basic' package as well as a higher spec accessories package for racing. These days, despite the name, the ‘Race’ version is the most basic version of the Laser we sell. This model has all the modern control systems, but lacks any of the go fast racing upgrades. The ‘XD’ Laser includes everything in the Race package... plus upgrades sailors who race generally desire. Those XD accessories include things like a composite top section, carbon tiller and carbon tiller extension, smaller and lower stretch diameter lines, and a few upgrades to the turning blocks. Which one to buy is entirely subjective but in general - if you are just doing some sailing around - the Race version is perfectly adequate. If you're looking for a fully dialed in package for maximum speed and performance - the XD is a great package to not have to worry about what else to get in the future.

Q: What’s the ideal weight range for this boat?

A: See the above question on sail sizes, but in general, the Laser can accept sailors from 110lbs up to 200lbs for recreational sailing. For racing, the weight ranges are a lot tighter for each of the specific sail sizes.

Q: What’s the difference between a ‘Trolley’ and a ‘Dolly’?

A: A dolly is a cart that goes under the boat to easy storage, launching and retrieving (generally at a boat ramp or sailing club). Made famous by the Seitech company many years ago, these are lightweight aluminum, purpose sized for each boat. Dollies disassembled easily into a few pieces that can fit in the trunk of a car. A dolly also has a strap to support the hull and occasionally some ‘flippers‘ that will grab the gunwale for storage. The ‘Trolley’ is a similar product in some ways, and very different in others. Trollies have become quite popular in the US in the last 5 years and have been the de facto standard in the UK for decades. A Trolley is an ‘A Frame’ style cart, usually made of galvanized steel, that does not break down. It is a more stable and heavy cart to use with your boat, and it always has built in side supports to hold the boat in place. It has an advantage over a Dolly, in that you can stack multiple Trollies on top of each other for dense storage of multiple boats. Dollies are still more popular than Trollies here, but that is getting close to 50/50 each year.

Q: What’s a good trailer for this boat?

A: If you have a Seitech or Dynamic Dolly for your boat, the Right On Trailer for the Laser is an economical method. It’s a painted trailer, so, not as durable as a galvanized trailer, but, it works well. https://westcoastsailing.net/right-on-laser-and-sunfish-trailer/

If you are after a custom trailer - the best one available is the Trailex Laser version: https://westcoastsailing.net/trailex-laser-trailer/

Q: Where are Lasers built now?

A: As of 2019, there are three Laser builders. One in the UK, one in Australia, and one in Japan. There is lots going on behind the scenes here, but Lasers have not been built in the US since 2014 or so. Could change in time, but that is where they are built currently.

Q: What are these 'Event Boats' I hear of?

A: Event Boats' are new Lasers that have been used for a few key events during the summer. After they have been chartered out for racing, they can be purchased from us at a discount off of new. In general, we get our Event Boats in the Fall and sell them over the Winter.