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
Last year “speed and smarts” went over the sail controls. Here is a picture of Melges 24 with controls indicated. On a Laser we have in order of relative importance the sheet, outhaul, vang and Cunningham. We have a traveler, but these days always set tight. If occasionally you want to point higher for a short time, you can pull the boom in and friction will hold the traveler in a little toward the center. Halyard and back stay are absent. Luff tension is all up to Cunningham and mast bend is shared with sheet and vang.
So here we go... Sheet to 8 to 12 inches from block to block at the end of the boom for light air. Put on enough vang to keep it there and if very light you can sheet out and bear off to get some speed while heeling the boat to leeward to reduce wetted surface. As wind picks up and you need to sit out to keep flat then sheet in to block to block. This tightens the leach and lets you sail higher, but also bends the mast and flattens the sail. When you sail out of pressure be sure to ease your sheet again to get more fullness in the sail. You will be working the sheet all the time.
Outhaul = out to eight inches of fullness from center of the boom to foot of sail for average going up wind. If you are having trouble holding boat down going upwind then pull bottom of the sail flatter. Increase to 12 inches going downwind and on reaches. Mark the boom end in inches or other reference, because different sails may be stretched more or less and not always pull out to the same mark. Reference you outhaul line so you can just pull or ease the right amount without measuring or looking around.
Vang off at the start so you can luff and stall more effectively. Then set up quickly just before accelerating at the start. Set for what you will need going up wind. See above for light wind setting. In Average winds only enough to accelerate when bearing off to duck behind a port tack boat when going up wind. When you get up to not being able to hold the boat down then you need to “super vang”. “Super vang” is to two block with the sheet and then pull on the vang as hard as you can. Now when you ease the sheet out the boom goes out mostly laterally and not much up. The mast stays bent. You can keep the boat flat in over powering conditions by just bearing off and sheeting out. When you are super vanged you have to duck low under the boom when you tack, because the boom stays low. When you approach the windward mark you need to get the vang off before rounding. When you are super vanged you will usually be going so fast it will be hard to get all that right—you need to get enough practice so at it is automatic.
Cunningham is to move the draft forward when the wind is up and the draft stretched back to the center of the sail or behind the center. Don’t use it to pull out the ordinary horizontal wrinkles in the sail as they are usually part of the draft. Cunningham off going down wind.