Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Less is More; The Laser......Not!

With Tillerman, all paths lead ultimately to the Laser class. So, when Tillerman, introduced his writing assignment, Less is More, it was obvious to me that the Tillerman would eventually post on how the Laser class sailboat fits "Less is More". Hmmm! Let's see if we can poke some holes in this.

The design brief that Bruce Kirby received from Ian Bruce for what eventually became the Laser was for a recreational craft that urban Canadians could take up to their cottages and day sail on the myriad of Northern lakes that dot Canada. It was to be an updated Sunfish, using a hull developed from Bruce Kirby's International 14 designs, a simple Marconi rig on slotted alunimum tubes, very simple controls using stock and often plastic fittings. It was truly about the minimum you could get away with in a small sailing dinghy using a conventional rig. The original name of the class was Weekender, to reflect it's recreational emphasis. it quickly became apparent that the Laser was a very quick and exciting racing dinghy.... and there became the rub.

So as of today, what MORE do you need to add to the Laser to race it properly;

  • Laser Vang upgrade $278 USD
  • Cunningham and Lines upgrade $298 USD
  • Clew Sleeve $49.5 USD
  • Carbon Low Profile Tiller $200 USD
  • Carbon Tiller Extension $105 USD

For a grand total of $936.51 of MORE stuff to race this craft.

Mind you, any experienced Laser racer will tell you all this stuff makes the Laser easier to sail and more enjoyable to race. So this MORE is good but it is not LESS.

Oh, don't forget the following when you buy a Laser;

  • Dolly $580 USD
  • Padded Hiking Straps $28 USD
  • Hiking Pants $129 USD

And maybe a compass $300 USD, Dry Suit $700 ..................


Tillerman said...

I totally disaagree with this whole thesis.

No real racer would use one of those clew sleeve contraptions.

There. That saves you $49.50.

Less is more.

Joe said...


Anonymous said...

No need for carbon (tiller and extension) either. Only a minority in my club did spend the money and they usually aren't winning the races.

Have to agree with Tillerman,
Less is more.

Tweezerman said...

I went into this post somewhat cheekily...... it is fun to tweak the Lasers every once in a while; but the main theme of this post is that when you race sailboats you add MORE (pick one or MORE of the following); more sail purchases, more controls, more ropes, more clothing, more weekends, more practice, more regatta fees and on and on and on. Doesn't matter if you race a 6' Frosty dinghy or a CAL 36.

I love to race sailboats, particularly the small ones...


More is .... MORE.