Are Old Lasers Slow?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by KBiedermann, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. KBiedermann

    KBiedermann New Member

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    I recently bought a '76 Laser (#25832) made by Performance Sailcraft. The boat was completely refinished and the decks/mast step are both solid. I was wondering if the boat would be a competitive class racer. If the boat is in excellent condition, does the age really effect its performance? Any comments would be appreciated

    Kurt
     
  2. Lasersailor166131

    Lasersailor166131 New Member

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    Unless the boat has been waterlogged or repaired extensively I would say no.
     
  3. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Newer hull will always be stiffer.
     
  4. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Older hulls are generally no slower, but the newer hull you can make mistakes and get away with it. For example you can hit a wave badly and get away with it with a stiff hull, with an old soft hull you hit the wave wrongly you will lose speed. Hit the wave correctly with either and both will keep going at the same speed.

    Quite a few of the better Australians train in older boats to improve their technique.
     
  5. Int. Sailing Academy

    Int. Sailing Academy Member

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    Definitely, some people win major events on some old boats. Good technique will always go a very long way on the Laser!
     
  6. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Thinking back to my first Laser and its marshmallow hull, I couldn't surf period. It was just too soft, and I didn't have the skill to make it surf. It certainly wasn't a tool that was going to help me learn to surf. I eventually upgraded to a newer hull and learned the nuances in trim, helm and body placement that were required.

    That being said, I can see how someone already skilled in sailing downwind can improve their skills with a soft hull as AlanD describes. However, I think that is too big a challenge for some beginners.
     
  7. monkey_feet

    monkey_feet Arlington, TX

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    I would say that it's not just the boat, but your skill level. If you are a beginner, an older boat is just fine. As you get better, you will want to upgrade your equipment.
     
  8. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    This.
     
  9. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Double edged. Yes, there is no real need to have the latest hull and equipment, your technique is what will let you down and that is what you need to improve. But I the person is racing then the sooner they attach onto the back of the fleet, the sooner they will enjoy the racing. Having a boat that makes it more difficult to attach onto the end of the fleet may discourage them from sticking with the laser. To some extent it depends on the fleet, it took my partner nearly 12 months to catch onto my old fleet because the end of the fleet was so high level. In the second fleet we raced with, she always had fun because she had 3 or 4 others around her.
     

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