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Laser mainsheet -- cleat or no cleat?

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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: 08 Jul 17 at 10:52am
You don't need or want cleats on your laser - FACT

Don't claim opinions as fact. Even as alternative facts. I most certainly do want cleats on my Laser and having done both I'm quire sure about it. The fact that some are happy without and prefer things that way is not contested - I'm certainly not going to try and impose my preferences on others, so perhaps you could do the same? 
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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 10:56am
Originally posted by GarethT

Originally posted by RS400atC


Originally posted by bustinben

Sheet loads in the laser aren't high, so you should be able to just hold it in your tiller hand while you adjust other control lines.  Some people do use the side cleats, but most find that they get in the way and stop you from using the optimum body position in light airs.
The sheet loads seem pretty high to me. Mine does not have cleats, and I often find I'm sat where they would be.Maybe I don't use enough kicker and sit too far forwards?I don't wear gloves except for crewing anything with a big kite or the depths of Winter.


In a breeze you'll be needing to use sh*t-loads (I think that's the correct term) of kicker to keep the sail flat, and the mainsheet controls the sheeting angle.

Sitting toward is good in the lighter stuff, and I've seen a number of foreheads gashed by cleats, so I would remove them from the decks.

I use centre jammers on the OK, but you are sat above it so it is easy to release. In a laser you are sat at the same level as the cleat, so I can imagine having problems releasing it bearing off on a breezy day.

It's the puffy days when I find the sheet loads high.
Breeze off the land, so quite variable. You don't want the sail too flat or you stop dead in the lulls, it's fairly hard on the sheet in the puffs. I've got a little carbon harken ratchet at the mo, and what I think is Rooster sheet. I might try a different block. Maybe a softer rope would grip in the block better.
I end up jamming the sheet on the gunwhale on a long tack.
Lots of people here use cleats on the deck and don't go slowly or fall in often.
I've not tried a Mk2 sail yet, that might be easier as they like a bit more kicker in the light stuff?
I've noticed that not using 'enough' kicker results in the traveller not always moving to the same place, despite the horse (bit of string) being pretty tight.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zippyRN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 10:57am
Originally posted by JohnJack

Don't want to be a fun sponge, and this horse has already bolted long before barn doors were jammed closed. Isn't the Laser a one design. Isn't a ratchet block and cleats specified? and technically not having them, or a centre jammer be out of class

being a fun sponge doesn;t come into it 

fitting  or not of side deck cleats is optional , as is the exact model of cleat  (  although for the use the get the cheapies  that are / were  the standard  cleat  are more than adequate )

fitting a  centre jammer  is also allowable,  the  last block  is the one pieceof  mainsheet hardware that is  relatively  free choice on the laser. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 3:25pm
It is a matter of preference. I never had any on my Lasers but I sail inland on a small puddle where tacking on shifts is key and the legs are not that long.

On more open water you might want cleats.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 17 at 1:15pm
Originally posted by sandgrounder

Originally posted by laser193713

The fact that at least 80% of lasers on the circuit don't use the cleats is probably more relevant than the fact that some of our forum users have cleats on various other dinghies. You don't need or want cleats on your laser - FACT.


Difficult to generalise really. Keith Wilkins won more Laser Masters World titles than anyone whilst using a centre jammer, so each to their own

And recent Laser national champ Dan Holman, and Laser legend Robert Scheidt.  Seems some pretty successful sailors have used them on Lasers. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wiclif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 17 at 7:22pm
I am thoroughly in favour of a proper mainsheet jammer.

It all depends, in my opinion, as to whether you can reliably flick the mainsheet out of the jammer. If you cant, then you are better to use just a ratchet block, preferably with cleats on the side deck. Cleats make a big difference to your chances of reliably surviving gybes when it is blowing.

I can't see why sailors elect to have a mainsheet jammer in boats other than Lasers, yet seem unable to cope with them in a Laser
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 17 at 10:46pm
Originally posted by Wiclif

I can't see why sailors elect to have a mainsheet jammer in boats other than Lasers, yet seem unable to cope with them in a Laser

I think the issue with a centre jammer for a laser is that the bit of boat is gets screwed on to is not horizontal, but slopes down towards the back. Consequently the jamming/unjamming angle varies depending how far aft you are sitting. If sitting aft, it won't go into the cleat. Sit forward and it won't come out.

Personally, I rarely switch the ratchet on, even my irreplaceable Fredie takes feel away. I'd personally rather cheat and cleat it off when doing so does not really matter and the arms are tired. But mostly being a pond sailor, I'll just take the strain and keep the feel; adjustment needs to be pretty much constant.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 17 at 11:41pm
This might do the trick...one on each side...nice and shiny...envy of the boat park...




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Post Options Post Options   Quote laser193713 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 17 at 10:15am
Originally posted by Wiclif

I am thoroughly in favour of a proper mainsheet jammer.

It all depends, in my opinion, as to whether you can reliably flick the mainsheet out of the jammer. If you cant, then you are better to use just a ratchet block, preferably with cleats on the side deck. Cleats make a big difference to your chances of reliably surviving gybes when it is blowing.

I can't see why sailors elect to have a mainsheet jammer in boats other than Lasers, yet seem unable to cope with them in a Laser

I can understand the benefits of cleats on some boats. I don't understand how a cleat helps you gybe a laser when it's windy though...? Anyone care to explain this?
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transient View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote transient Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 17 at 1:03pm
laser193713,
I suspect the reason there are so many advocates for  Laser mainsheet jammers or cleats on this forum is more a concession to age and comfort. Fair enough, they're good reasons and like me the forum is getting older. No doubt there will come a time in the not too distant future when I'll want cleats as well.

I'm no expert on Lasers, I used to have one didn't like it but I have read loads of stuff on sailing lasers over the years and I can think of no technique, at any point of sail that lends itself to jammers or cleats. The time it takes to adjust sail controls can be handled by holding the mainsheet in the tiller hand.

If you're fit, able and still have aspirations of improving (which is what this forum used to be about) don't bother with cleats.




Edited by transient - 10 Jul 17 at 1:12pm
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