Few ?'s...New to me Laser needs some work

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Joe789, May 1, 2017.

  1. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Rather then post questions in a bunch of different threads I've decided to keep it all here in one. Looked through 10 pages of posts in this section, lots of great info - glad I found this website!

    Recently picked up a what I think is a Laser (no Laser badges or stickers anywhere on the hull or sail, original thrown out by mistake by PO but they bought & used a new one once - see pics). Haven't sailed one in nearly 20 years but I'm looking forward to getting it on the water. Hull has been painted a few times & makes reading the serial # difficult. I tried putting a piece of paper over the # & then lightly used a pencil to go over it hoping the # would be easier to see, but didn't have much luck. Any other ideas? I'll post a pic when I get a chance but this is what I think it is... ZRS 76278M78J which really doesn't make sense as sail # puts it as a 1980 but the last part makes it a 78 (I think). The ZRS is likely ZFS but it is hard to tell, & if it is relates to boats built between 82 & 85.
    The dark blue hull throws me off too as I've never saw another one like it.
    The cockpit drain is brass I'm guessing it has been updated from plastic but when lifting the back of the boat it was moving maybe an inch compared to the cockpit. So next project is to make an excess port in the rear deck & repair like others here have done with fiberglass & pvc cut in half for a drain.
    The sail is what I think is a standard, emailed the company with the # on it but they couldn't tell me what it was.
    Mast step has been fixed, correct? Need to test if it'll hold water.

    Last pic is of some of the cockpit crack repairs my Dad & I have finished. There was a pool noodle jammed in under there to hold it up, it's quite soft without it. Need some more info about fixing the floor & the deck where you sit. People drill holes & inject epoxy but I don't quite understand the process. I like that idea more then trying to separate the top & bottom of the hull.
    A few pics...I'm sure I'll have lots of questions.
    Thanks!
     

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    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  2. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Some notes:

    The sail is a 4.7 (or rather, a 4.7 ripoff). However, the location of then mast joint indicates that it's a Standard lower mast with a cut-off topmast. So you have a small sail on a crazy stiff mast.

    The blue looks at first close to the typical shade that was popular in the 1970s, but the cockpit drain picture shows that it's a later coat of paint.

    The ZFS code was used by the original Montreal builder from 1974 to 1984-ish. Some details point to a building date earlier than 1978; if you post more pictures, show the rudder fittings close-up.
     
  3. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Interesting - the guy at Intensity claimed it was a standard, I'll have to measure it next time I have it out. The rivets in the mast have been changed to make it a different length I do know that, but nothing seems to be factory curved. Here are some more pics, happy to report it floats! & judging by date I found under the rear deck once I cut a hole to install an inspection port I think it's a 78
     

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  4. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    I have used aircraft paint stripper before to remove powder coat from factory motorcycle wheels, it's strong stuff. I may try it here to see if I can get a look at the serial #
     

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  5. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Here are some pics of the rudder mounts, deck cleats (you can see why I couldn't get the sail # under forward deck cleat), traveler blocks & hardware. Let me know if this stuff is junk & should be replaced.
     

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  6. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Didn't need to fiberglass the cockpit to the hull, the leaks stopped after some 4200 around both sides of the cockpit drain. Cut out some plywood to reinforce the bottom of the inspection ports. Used C clamps & 4200 to stick things together.
     

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  7. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Tested the mast step & it leaked so jammed some 4200 in the bottom & put a piece of 'Teflon' (old hockey boards from a rink) down there which stopped the leak. Used a fan to help with airflow/drying. Then tried it out, didn't even get wet. Was about 14C, the water would have been cold!
     

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  8. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Are there good & better places to purchase things I need for the boat? Site sponsors? Have been on the west coast sailing, APS & Intensity sails pages & have a list of things I'd like to order today. Hiking strap ($20), fast pin for vang ($3.50), battens ($10), clew strap ($10), sail bag ($20), cvane wind indicator ($40) & maybe an inspection port bag ($22).
     
  9. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    That tells you more about the company in question than about the sail. It's definitely a 4.7 copy: you can see it even from the panel layout, and in the first picture it's clear that the foot is shorter than that of a Standard (or a Radial). Here are the measurements anyway: Measurement Diagrams – International Laser Class Association
    The only thing that would be (intentionally) pre-bent would be a real 4.7 lower mast, and you obviously don't have that.
    That's more likely the last three digits of the sail number.
    Everything looks like junk when you use way too much sealant, and paint over the fittings. The fact that someone has wasted money on a deck plate + cleats shows a serious misunderstanding of priorities... and the way the cleats are worn shows that the boat has received some serious abuse. It's not a pretty boat, but may actually be totally functional. It would be easier to say if you had pictures of it rigged and ready to sail.
    For a Canadian especially, I can recommend Fogh Marine: LaserPerformance | Boat Parts | Sailing
     
  10. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Thanks for replying, expected more to chime in. Ah well...

    Looked on that Fogh site, everything is more expensive even after the $ is exchanged so I will be buying from Intensity. The only thing they didn't have was one of those cat/fat bags. I need to figure out which tiller extension I should buy (or make) that'll work with my wooden tiller. Any suggestions? Here's a pic of the boat before I tried it.

    Was thinking the 78 would match up with the last part of the serial # I could make out but I'll know more if I can get some of the paint stripped. Did the rudder fittings pic give you an clues to it's age?

    Which is the most popular wind indicator for Lasers? Thinking I'm going to go with the C vane one.
     

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  11. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Get the cheapest 120 cm extension, and cut the tiller so that it's level with the aft wall of the cockpit.
    Not really. I thought they might be stainless (early to mid-1970s), but it's just the paint and excess sealant that makes them look weird at a distance.
    The Little Hawk, at the mast top.
     
  12. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    Welcome aboard Joe. I have a boat of similar vintage and getting her fitted out and working right is for me, at least as therapeutic as sailing her. Regarding your HIN (ZRS 76278M78J), I have 76187, and the last two digits are 79, indicating that mine was made in 1979. Assuming that the 5 digit sail number is correct, I am thinking that perhaps your "78J" is "79J". Just a thought.

    You hit upon a couple of things that I thought I should address. First you originally thought that you'd need to tab in the after bulkhead to the inside of the hull, and specifically mentioned a piece of PVC pipe cut in half to make limber holes. This means you might have seen a similar repair that I did and posted here about 10 years ago. I have since found pictures of a disassembled boat and realized that the PVC is not necessary. The cockpit is held to the inside of the hull by three dollops of Bondo - at each cockpit corner and the centerline drain hump. You can't see the former but usually see the blob where the cockpit drain hole and hull bushing hole meet. I have since done a 1980 boat, and only tabbed in these three areas but first creating a fillet with thickened epoxy. The result is a repair that is equivalent in strength and has better fore and aftmovement of water and air. The reason I am telling you this is because as you know, these ZRS boats originally had a plastic cockpit drain bushing and when it broke, they leaked. You have stopped the leak, but she still is probably flexing and you may end up seeing a crack around the bushing on the outside of the hull. therefore, when you can, I would re-bond that bulkhead to the inner hull.

    As for your sail, it does look like a 4.7. I would send that picture of the rigged boat to Jim Myers at Intensity. He is a good guy and I have been doing business with him for many years. It could be that he inadvertently sent you the wrong sail.

    hope this helps.
     

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  13. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Found some home made tiller extension ideas using an old golf club or hockey stick & a big key ring holding them together, may go that route so I don't have to buy a tiller u-joint.

    Could of been your repair pics I looked at & got the PVC idea from. Will keep an eye on the hull for cracks, thanks for the info. Used 5200 under the corners of the cockpit. The floor is still pretty soft tho. Managed to get a piece of plastic hose (see pic) under the cockpit, may try to fill it with spray foam to see if that helps any.

    I didn't buy the sail the previous owner did, they only used it once & didn't know what size it was. It was Jim I sent pics to a week or so ago & he said it was a standard. Ordered $140 worth of stuff from him today & just sent him pics of the rigged boat, will see what he says.

    Cheers
     

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  14. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    I believe that the cockpit deck is foam cored like the deck proper and has probably delaminated. This can be repaired using West System by drilling a series of holes and injecting epoxy. It is not the prettiest when completed, but it will do the job. Below find an image of the only attachment points for the after portion of the cockpit. As you can see, there are just three. The forward end is supported only by the daggerboard trunk. IMHO, your 5200 repair is not going to do much to stop the flexing.

    As far as your sail is concerned, something just doesn't look right - the clew should be closer to the end of the boom. But then again it could be how image was taken or something else. If 'ol Jim says it's a full rig, then he should know.

    Lastly, there is also an image of my limber holes from the first repair and as you can see from the exposed images, they are not necessary. I would also say that you should stay away from foam. if it is open cell, it will act like a sponge and just soak up water or moisture. Hope this helps.
     

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  15. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Finally took the laser out for an afternoon sail yesterday. It's an old girl, used paint stripper to uncover the serial # which is ZFS76278M79J. Looks much better after a paintjob!
     

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  16. cskudder

    cskudder Active Member

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    Very nice! Good on ya and congrat's on getting her back on the water. Wishing you many good days and years with it.
     
  17. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    Congratulations for getting her afloat again. I'm sure it was a feeling of accomplishment. Some of your earlier posts indicate a liberal use of sealant to make repairs, particularly as it pertains to the mast step. I suggest you invest in some West System and their fabulous book called Fiberglass Boat Repair and Maintenance. it is the bible in terms of using epoxy.
     
  18. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    After talking with Jim (@ Intensity) some more & sending other pics it is in fact a 4.7 sail. I'm roughly 190lb so am looking at a bigger sail. Anybody my size have any problems with the power head sail intensity sells? Strongly leaning that way vs a standard sail, I've got nieces that want to come along so even more weight. The power head is roughly 100 sq/ft, the standard is roughly 75 & the 4.7 is 50.
    Rigged up a tiller extension, looking forward to getting out again. Plan to use it lots in August. Been watching Youtube for ideas on a PVC cart to get it from my truck to the water.
     
  19. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Well the mast step lasted about 1/4 mile with the power head sail before it broke. Mast came down but no damage to mast or sail, just the deck. Considered one of these Laser Mast Step Repair Kit - Diversified Fiberglass but the decks are soft & somebody local has offered me another laser that seems to be in much better shape despite it being roughly the same age.
     
  20. Joe789

    Joe789 New Member

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    Have a couple great sails in with a new to me 70's laser after reinforcing the mast step. No regrets on buying the powerhead sail, was out in 25 knots & still haven't got wet besides the odd splash.
     

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