Saturday, December 31, 2011


Well, here we are backwards and rotated left and I don 't know how to straighten it out.  This is a drawing that we reversed to make a T shirt print, but if you tip your head and play with the reversed label I think you get the idea.  It has been that kind of year.  I lost my wife to smoking.  But she did pretty good--81 years.  Maybe more than a lot of others.   I can still sail the laser several times a week.  I live in Florida so that goes on 12 months a year.  I signed up to go to the gym and we will see how that turns out.  No New Years resolutions.  I will just follow my nose.

This afternoon and tomorrow afternoon we will have a "last day" sail in 2011 and  then tomorrow
a "first day"sail in 2012.  No big deal.
  I just checked and 120 people looked at this blog yesterday.  Hey, check in.  Just a hello in the comments!   Maybe I need a contest with prizes like Tillerman.
           I will make more posts, so just keep coming.  

Friday, December 30, 2011


The death roll or quick roll to windward on the downwind legs has been a long term problem.  The picture above is from Yachting January 1979 an article by Finn sailor Van Collie about fellow Finn sailor Edward Bennett of San Francisco. (I have all kinds of old papers here.) Edward practiced capsizes in order to handle them better.  Edward proposed to lie back in the water instead of trying to get back in the boat.  That unweighted the down side of the boat and helped turn up into the wind.  Van Collie called it “Bennett’s bath”.  In the old days when I tried it, it never seemed to work well, so now I try to remember the “boat whisperer” advice.
That is Steve going upwind in a radial.   Steve says to stop the death roll turn toward the sail. The rudder will dig deep into the water tending to right the boat and the worse that will happen is a gybe.  Get or borrow the "boat whispperer" CD.  Maybe I will get my rubber suit on (It will be getting cold here in Florida next week--that will be next year--check the date.) and go out and practice capsizes.                                                                            .

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


If you boat is upside down, you will not be sailing fast.  If there is a race, you probably won't win unless everybody else turns over.  Here are a number of ways you can  turn over.
Hiking strap breaks.
Death roll.
Vang on as you go around windward mark.
Stick the end of the boom in the water.
Dead downwind in big gust..
Roll tack with too much roll.
Hiked out in big header.
Result of collisions downwind.
Gybe and slow crossing.
Gybe and hook sheet on transom.
Maybe we will talk about the DEARTH ROLL Friday.

Monday, December 26, 2011


You may have read about Brad Funk's problem with the hiking strap coming apart at the Internationals, and in our last local races one of our local sailors, who will remain namelesss at the moment broke the line holding the hiking strap in.  He was just ahead of Sam, so I had a great view of his head first backward fall out of the boat, while the boat turned over the other way.  If we had a video, we could sell admission  to view the fun.
That leads to the list of things to check for wear on your boat.
Hiking strap.
Rudder hold down at the top gudgeon.
Sheet at ratchet block - reverse before wear.
Look for crack in rubber hiking stick attachment.
Traveler at the fair leads - maybe retie bowline
Out haul at the fair lead.

Maybe that is why, people with a big sailing budget just get a new boat every one or two years.

Friday, December 23, 2011


This is an old stolen picture from sailors in the North country with maybe Mrs.
Claus sailing her Laser. 
Not to be bragging, but maybe you would want to know about this. I just figured out a few days ago that my “how to sail the Laser” blog has a “stats” section, which I can look at, but I don’t think you can. My posts usually have no comments left behind. I don’t know who looks at it. I often think I am just playing games with the computer. Now I find that 50 to 100 people look at it every day. Wow! Last month 2,314. Wow! For the three years that I have been doing it, 46,634. Wow again!

The “stats” section also has an “Audience” world map with the USA and Alaska filled in in green and Europe, Australia and New Zealand stippled in light green. Who is sailing Lasers in Alaska?

“Traffic sources” include which is a very talented, prolific, long standing blogger on a variety of topics including Laser Sailing.---- but also the International Laser Association of North America has a news section with a list of 5 blogs with links. Clay Johnson, John Bertrand, Proper Course, Sam Chapin and Mike Leigh. So there we are in Number 4 spot.

My howtosailthelaser blog is mostly about Laser sailing which often can be related to any sailing program. There are some posts that would be of general interest particularly the 9 chapters of “Life Coach” in July of 2010 and the “Lasers have fun” in August 27, 2011.

 I know the Stats will encourage me to put more posts up.

Proper Course has been quiet since Thanksgiving and I assume that Tillerwoman and Tillerman are sailing in the Caribbean so we will be reading about that in January.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This is the picture that I used because of the big smile and it was the third World Championship or something like that.
The Number One pick was "Lasers Have Fun"  August 27, 2011.
We have a lot of talk about how to sail the boat faster.  How to be ahead at the finish.  How to be ahead at the start, but it really is all about having FUN -- not just about winners.
Yes, I think that was the best.  The others were a mix. You could take any of them.
Do you notice that I don't have many comments below these posts, but there is a spot where I can see how many people took a look.  Today 33 people looked and yesterday 102.
I am surprised and happy.
I will do more before the end of the year. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This is a big boat note.  Well, not this big boat, but look at all those sailors that could be sailing Lasers.
My number two is LASERS SAIL THE WALLY,  JULY 20,  2011.
This is a fine tune for the wind shifts to m ake you just a little faster.

Tomorrow will be my pick for number one.
I bet some of you can pick that one out.

Monday, December 19, 2011


This is Marit again.  She is beating up on the Laser Radials some more this week. As noted before, new boat (see the 200,000 number), polished bottom, clear start watch on the mast, big arms (no tiny girl), and the pile the hair on top of your head to help you hold the boat down when max hike. This is not about Marit, but I love the picture.

        The number three pick for the year is "THE LASER ELEVEN"  April 25, 2011.

I will try to be back tomorrow with NUMBER TWO..

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Number four is "LASERS START FAST"  APRIL 14, 2011
Nothing like a good start to get you out where you can work you plan.
If you have trouble moving out fast, review this and get some practice in. 
My pick for number three coming up tomorrow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Number 5 in "Lasers sail by the lee".  July 27, 2011.
More accuately triming, near gybe, has done a lot for my downwind speed.
If you haven't been doing it, you need to try.
I will try to put up my #4 tomorrow.
Check back.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Actually these are not Laser sailors but MC scow sailors at Lake Eustis
Sailing Club in Florida.
What a good looking bunch!
During the past year I used some material from Buddy Melges book "Sailing Smart"
and I group them together.
Lasers Look Out for the Rules... January 6, 2011
Lasers Sail Early ...January 10, 2011
Lasers and the Melges Start ....   January 14, 2011
So here are the scow sailors along with good advice from the son of the MC scow designer,
but that is another story.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Continuing the best of 2011.
I want to roll three together that are somewhat related.
Look those up and see how they are related.
Good luck in the New Year. 
I put three in the next group also..

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Number 8 of the best of the 2011 posts is "Laser Learning"  on May 4, 2011.
That was new information for me and
I am always wondering and amazed at what this sleeping thing is.
One third of your life is done doing that laying down or when sitting up in front of the TV.
Number 7 is a little group coming up next.
Yes, I cheat a little.

Monday, December 12, 2011


THE OLD GUY looks back at the years posts.  Some of them are pretty good.  To start off with the three that deal with boat maintenance.
LASERS COIL THE LINE.  January 19, 2011   This is worth looking at unless you are an old hand at handling all kinds of long ropes.
LASERS REVERSE THE SHEET July 17, 2011.  When you do it depends or you schedule.  Once a year at beginning of season if you don't sail much.   Problem for us in Florida where we sail all year long.  Don't wait till you see the wear at the ratchet block.
LASERS POINT THE RIVET AFT. October 25, 2011.  Even the most experienced can forget to do that if you are rushed to get out to the races.  Come early and mark your top mast and bottom mast so you have to be looking at the marks as you mess with the mast and the sail.

I have twelve more that I pick out as pretty good.  They will be coming next.

Friday, December 9, 2011


The new year is coming up and you need to support your class and get the quarterly magazine "The Laser Sailor".   It is $40 for the year and send it to ILCA of NA, 2812 Canon Street,                                             San Diego, California, USA 92106   619-222-0252,  Fax 619-222-0528

I have temporarily given up on an index for the articles in this blog.   Too long.

Next will be my picks of the past year.