The little boat has been around for 35 years plus and there is a lot of information out about how to sail it.
So this BLOG is just some ideas to bounce off.
If you are just starting then go to PRIMARY ADVICE of Feb. 09. That is the best starting place.
There are a lot of books and DVDs to tell you how to do it.
Dick Tillman "The Complete Book of Laser Sailing" The first and revised and new sections added. The old bible
Glen Bourke "Championship Laser Sailing" How to, plus the story of his run to World Champion.
Ben Ainslie "The Laser Campaign Manual" includes a CD ROM. Great picture sequences.
Ben Tan "The Complete Introduction to Laser Racing" Not written by world champion but biggest and most complete with training and medical section. If you only have one book, get this one.
Tim Davidson "The Laser Book" Some of the best pictures.
Paul Goodison "RYA Laser Book" Great pictures and advice with some simple things glossed over.
"Laser Coach 2000 CD" Computer thing with around the course format.
Rick White "Red Hot Sailboat Racing DVD" Basic DVD The one to start with.
Steve Cockrell "Rooster Sailing Lasser Boat Whisperer" both "Up wind" and "Down wind" DVDs These are the MUST ones. Advanced sailing. Do a lot of the other stuff first so you don't get to scared with the high wind materal.
Michael Blackburn "Bass Strait Laser" Crossing Bass Strait is a long time on a broad reach. Amasing what he puts on and can still sail a Laser. Surfing and gybing sequences. Maybe share this one with friends but you can skip this one.
"Advanced Laser Boat Handling" DVD by the Laser Training Center in Cabarete. Instructional DVD pictures of professional type sailors demonstrating tacks, gybes, etc. If you really want to be good you should see this DVD.
"Sailfit Seminars" DVD Sailfit.com... 82 minutes from Kurt Taulbee's Seminars in Clearwater, Florida. He has given a 5 day seminar here in Eustis, Florida. and is well thought of. Tillerman attended at least one of his in Clearwater. A good look at seminar exercises and lots of stuff done the wrong way with Kurt's comments. The comments cover some new ground for us. You should see the no rudder exercise, if you have ever tried it and given up. How about pulling up the centerboard on the starting line, if you want to slide to lee a little.
"Daring Downwinds-- Clearwater Pass" DVD Sailfit.com Kurt Taulbee's video of the high winds and high waves as the tide rips out the pass, the high winds blow in and crazy radial sailors try to get back in. Some comments about how to handle it by Kurt, but more questions than answers. A little like the Bass Strait Crossing, but with a bunch of wipe outs.
At Lake Eustis Laser fleet you can borrow all these books and DVDs from Sam. In another fleet maybe just divide them up and get most to pass around. All the advice is not the same and you get a little different flavor from each.
Now if you do that -- you can skip all the stuff I put in the right hand side of this blog.
I am an old guy that has sailed Lasers for a few years, and do it locally, and encourage others to join us. We have a good little group going -- have some extra boats to loan and invite you to come and join us on Lake Eustis in central Florida.
Look for me at Lake Eustis Sailing Club and check the web site.
Check out these blogs
If your life jacket can catch on the boom, then wear a shirt over the jacket to hold it down.
If you fall out of the boat, let go of the tiller extension and hold onto the sheet. You can pull on the sheet to get back to the boat and don’t have to swim after the boat.
Don’t sail alone on windy days.
To Manage storms. 1) Turn down the boat and sit on the high side until the wind gets lighter. Then right the boat and sail home.
2) If home is down wind, let the sail out in front of the boat and let it luff, while you broad reach or run under control. If you have standard sheet, you will have to untie the knot at the end, pass the end through the racket block and retie the end. If you don’t retie the sheet will run out and hard to get back. If you have the knot at the boom block, you can change your mind about sail direction. You can head up and get the sheet end back. If you have a 50 foot sheet you can let the sail all the way out without fooling with the end, but you have to put up with the extra 4 to 6 feet of line in the bottom of the boat the rest of the time.
3) If you need to go upwind in survival situation, get the vang all the way off or unhook it so when you ease the sheet a little the boom will rise. Then close reach back and forth, driving the boat with the bottom half of the sail full and the top in a luff.
Tacking in high winds 1) Be moving fast when you begin the tack. 2) Tack in a flat spot or on the down side of a wave. 3) Turn fast to a close reach, hike, trim in and then get back to close-hauled. 4) If caught in irons, fall off to almost beam reach, trim in fast and try and get going before the wind cranks you back into irons again.
UP WIND AND DOWNWIND.. Try to keep the boat balanced– near flat. If a gust makes you heel, ease the sheet to keep flat before the end of the boom hits the water (too Late). If the boat heels to windward, trim in and bear off or both.
When on a run or reach and fast planing, get the board half way up. A full board can plane up to the surface if it gets a little angle.
When planing move as far back in the boat as you can to get on the more stable stern sections and the bow up.
When on a reach or a run, control the heel by sheeting in or out. If a gust catches you, heeling and forcing you up, sheet out to flatten the boat and gain control.
On a run you are more stable by the lee. Keep the boom in at 70 or 80 degrees from hull midline. You may want to put an extra knot is the sheet there so it won’t go out further if you drop the sheet. Not too much vang as you want some twist at the top of the sail to help prevent accidental gybe.
By the lee is a little more stable, but dead downwind can be really unstable. So go downwind by the lee or broad reaching.
If the boat heels too much to windward, turn the boat toward the boom with the rudder. This will tend to sink the transom and twist the boat more upright. The worst that will happen is a gybe. Don’t try to head up, like some of us did years ago.
The “death roll” happens when the top of the sail get pointed to windward and starts the boat rolling, and then the apparent wind at the top of the mast kicks in and accelerates the capsize to windward. “Death roll” because it happens so quickly it is hard to control. When the roll starts turn the boat toward the boom with the rudder – see “if the boat heels too much to windward” above.
Now if you turn over to windward and are righting the boat, think about holding onto the centerboard as the boat rights, going under the boat and coming up on the windward side to again right the boat or to just get in. (The San Francisco roll)
In Lake Eustis we have especially sticky mud in the bottom at about 12 feet deep. If you get you mast head into it, it may take two people on the centerboard to get it free or a motor boat to pull the bow forward and downwind.
In general, it takes PRACTICE to make these adjustments and keep the boat level. If you get over a little the boom can quickly get in the water. Time then, to practice “right the boat”
To practice in higher winds you might want to try the 4.7 and radial and to work your way up to full rig..