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Buying a laser

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Jilays89 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 Nov 16 at 5:32pm
Hello All,

I am new to the forum but not to sailing/racing.

I have been on a break from racing since starting Uni, now after about 8 years am looking to get back into it with a single hander. I have determined that a Laser is best given that my local club has a good regular fleet.
I will probably on be racing at club level for at least the first season.
I have previously helmed mirrors and 420s to national level but never raced a single hander.

I have two questions if anyone can help me out.
1. Does the age of laser I buy have much of an impact on placings? I am trying to keep the budget as low as possible (1000 or less ideally but could stretch to 1500) I know that the XD kit is well worth having.

2. I am 5'10" and approx 10 stone 10. It seems to me that I am border line between Radial and Standard so I'm a little unsure which way to go.

Most boats I have seen forsale seem to vary wildly in price for the age and kit but most seem to have a standard and radial sail so the second question may just come down to trying them both, but if there comes a decent priced boat with one I don't want to choose the wrong one!

If I have missed anything important let me know

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 16 at 5:41pm
If you're sailing inland you're probably more likely to want the big rag, but why not ask at the club what they find suits?

Lasers do get tired with use, but quite slowly, and the difference between a brand new boat and a worn out veteran is very small compared to the difference between a front of fleet and back of fleet sailor. The condition of the sail makes a big difference though.
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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 16 at 8:47pm
I am same height and weight and struggle with standard sail in any kind of wind, capsizing so often I would have been faster with the smaller sail, however I am not a regular laser sailor, (this is just my experience with them), however has Jim says ask at your club.
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Jilays89 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jilays89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 16 at 9:47pm
Thanks for the replies, I should have mentioned that I sail in Poole harbour so mainly short chop.

Is it a reasonable assumption that I'd find a laser with XD kit for 1000 or less?
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Jilays89 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jilays89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 16 at 6:38pm
Also is there a minimum age laser that would get me a decent club racer?
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PeterV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 16 at 11:57am
In my experience it's better to look at condition than age, a good looking old Laser (non damaged gunwhales, unscratched hull) will be faster than a later number in worse condition. A very old Laser (1970s) with a good sail is almost as fast as a new Laser in flat water but slower in choppy water.
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PeterG View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 16 at 12:10pm
When checking condition, try pressing on the bottom. I once had a 30 year old Laser which had been shingle beach launched for years, and the bottom had got soft - no obvious external marks but just soft when you pushed it in. When I bought a newer boat there was a marked difference in how easily it would get up on the plane.
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Buzz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Buzz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 16 at 3:56pm
1500 should get you a 175000 laser with XD equipment. Check mast step holds water. Check for delamination of foredeck and side decks. Check there is no star or spider cracking in the cockpit where the vertical sides of the cockpit meet the floor of the cockpit.
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Andymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 16 at 7:04pm
Advice, all as above.
This link contains some useful advice;
http://www.laserinternational.org/aboutlaser/buylaser
As previously implied, the biggest performance loss/gain is probably the nut on the end of the tiller.
Next to that, a decent sail.
Earlier this year I paid 100 for a 77K (circa 1978/9) Laser in structurally sound conditition, with (at that age) the almost inevitable remedial foredeck hatch and maststep strengthening.
With the addition of a sail from a 181K boat and some extra blocks and string, I was sailing midfleet at open meetings. The biggest failing being me!
At 10st 10lb you are on the cusp of radial/full rig. I would suggest you aquire both with a view to  downsizing when F4+.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote patj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 16 at 7:47am
If you want to buy a second hand Laser, look regularly on the Facebook page for Dinghies and Dinghy Bits For Sale.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dinghies/
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