Hull Weight: 57kg
The Laser sailing dinghy is a strictly one-design fibreglass boat and the most popular sailing dinghy in the world. Buy a new one this season and you will find the sail number will be 210,000+ but there is no need to buy new given the number of second hand boats available. The Laser’s popularity reflects the fact that it is a great all-round boat, fun to sail yet challenging to race. It’s simple to rig, reasonably quick, and strongly built. To sail a Laser well demands a fair degree of physical fitness, especially if you are light for the size of the sail. Capsizes in stronger winds are likely.
The Laser is really 3 different classes depending on which mast and sail is used. The original is the Laser Standard and there are two smaller mast and sail combinations suiting lighter sailors. This allows one hull to be used for a wide range of sailor weights (e.g. Standard rig 70 – 95kg, Radial rig 50 – 75kg approximately). At Hamilton Yacht Club we have a racing fleets of Standard and Radial rigs. The smallest rig, called the Laser 4.7, is not commonly sailed at HYC.
Last season HYC’s Laser fleet flourished and we regularly had 10 or 12 boats on the start line. It should be more of the same this coming season. Our fleet has a range of ages sailing, from teenagers to 60 year-olds. There is a competitive edge to the fleet but there is also plenty of encouragement and a willingness to have a laugh. At the front of the fleet Werner Hennig and Scott McDougall battled for the top spot through the season with Scott just coming out on top in the Laser Standard. For this performance, Scott was also awarded the overall Club Champion and had his name added to the Young Cup sailing Diomeda. The Laser Radial fleet was a bit quiet last year with sailors moving town for university, going back to Holland, becoming seriously unwell, and deciding the Starling class was a better fit. Hopefully this season will see the Radials back at full strength. The smaller sail certainly makes the boat a bit less of a wrestle.
For those looking for a more extreme Laser experience there is an even bigger (unofficial) 8.1 rig and a bolt-on foiling kit for those needing air-time. If you would like to find out more about Laser sailing there is a lot of information on the internet or, alternatively, contact the Hamilton Yacht Club secretary and he will put you in touch with an experienced Laser sailor.