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Dave S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dave S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 04 at 12:29pm

Originally posted by Phil eltringham

I the class association now have the 5000 moulds, you could borrow them and build one in pre-preg carbon/kevlar sandwich, hull will be about 65kg instead of nearly twice that, ask CST for a mast section and put a masthead kite on it and it should be able to give the 49er some reasonable competition. 

Why bother? If you want to give 49ers a run for their money, far easier and cheaper just to go out and buy a 49er. That way you get to join in with their races too.

Or if you're really keen to build yourself a bespoke boat, build a 14 and join in with their races instead.

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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 04 at 9:11pm
The 4000 and 5000 have a very different hull shape to a 49er. Just look at one alongside a 49er and the differences are vast.

 IIRC, the Lasers have vastly more rocker along the chines and keel (slower at high speed, probably better in light all else being equal) more U-shaped sections rather than Vee (lower wetted surface area but probably inferior high-speed handling), more beam forward (better in light airs perhaps, not as fast upwind in chop but easier to handle especially throough the zone of death).

Phil Morrison has said that he designs his boats to be fast in light airs and easy to handle in strong winds. Julian doesn't worry all that much about light airs and even by skiff standards his boats are not at all that easy to sail in strong winds and chop. So the designers have very different ideals in things other than weight.


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redback View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 04 at 9:12pm

You are probably right - just having a little dream. 

Now, if only the Laser had been developed instead of the "back-of-the-envelope" being passed straight to the builder.  For one thing the mainsheet wouldn't get caught around the transom!

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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 04 at 10:13pm
Sorry, the Laser WAS developed a lot after the "back of the envelope" sketch (which was actually on a yellow legal pad that still hangs above Bruce Kirby's computer).



The first design had a centreboard not a dagger; more rudder rake; a mainsheet that went to a take-off on top of the rudder; and a bracket that held the boom at a rigid angle onto the mast, rather than a vang. But as Kirby says, the original sketch looks a lot like the boat that was built.

The reaction that the Kirby/Bruce/Fogh team got from hot sailors when they first showed them the boat encouraged them to develop it a bit more towards the racing side of the equation.

Ian Bruce reckoned the rudder blade was raked too much, so he made it more vertical; that's why the bottom of the rudder isn't horizontal. I don't know when the other gear went on, but by the time the first boat sailed it had a dagger, conventional vang and gooseneck and the rope traveller IIRC.

Having said all that, I've always had a fantasy of doing a carbon Laser, and turning up to a race with it. You'd just have to make sure that no-one realised it was carbon and disqualified you for life before you revealed the joke!

I wouldn't mind having a Laser with no corners on the transom, a cored hull (same weight but better lasting) and more durable spars. But the best change, AFAIK, would be to just hang the existing rudder more vertically to get rid of that *&^%$#@ weather helm!


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Blobby View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blobby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 04 at 1:04am
The weather helm would still be there - you would just be able to hold the tiller without being a gorilla...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Granite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 04 at 9:22am

If only will always be the problem for strict one desings as the designing is done at the start in a short period of time by profesionals (who have to be paid) then everything is fixed by the rules.

Lessens that are learned by sailing the boat are not allowed to be adopted, just look at the time it took for the laser to get rid of the nitting and alow extra blocks in the sail controls!

If a bit of development were allowed the sails would last more than a couple of weeks and the hulls would last more than 6 months.

 

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Stefan Lloyd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stefan Lloyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 04 at 9:58am

Originally posted by Granite

If only will always be the problem for strict one desings as the designing is done at the start in a short period of time by profesionals (who have to be paid) then everything is fixed by the rules.

Yes, although it depends on the way the class is run to some extent. I helped run a one-design class association for several years. We did have a process to evolve the rules to slowly improve the boat. But to change anything required 3-way approval - class association members, the manufacturer and the RYA (who administered the rules). That certainly reduced the rate of change.

For manufacturers' one-designs, there is often not much profit on the original sale. They make their money on sails and other spares (just like a lot of other consumer goods). That means that an increase in the lifetime of sails is unlikely to be in their interests.

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redback View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 04 at 12:46pm

The Laser has its place, it's a wonderful boat for learning close tactics and windshifts.  I remember thinking it was ridiculously fast when it came out, since I was sailing a 2 man spinnaker boat, reckoned to be "high performance" which had a very similar handicap.  I've had 2 and won many club trophies in both (and the odd open) but these days I find it so hard work for so little speed.  These days I sail a boat which is considerably faster but the Laser taught me a lot.

If only I could sail something faster still but that would require more practice than one day a week provides.

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James Bell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote James Bell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 04 at 1:09pm

>I remember thinking it was ridiculously fast when it came out, since I was sailing a 2 man spinnaker boat, reckoned to be "high performance" which had a very similar handicap

Let me guess ... a Scorpion ?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote fizzicist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 04 at 4:41pm

The Laser is a fantastic boat. sl*gging off aspects of its design seems to have become a sport in itself.

The mainsheet round the transom is merely a nuance that you soon overcome by learning to pull the loose main through the blocks as you tack/gybe. Which any good sailor will be doing on a gybe anyway, in order to control when the sail comes over.

The weatherhelm soon disappears if you sail the thing completely flat. Which you should do anyway if you want to be quick.

As for longevity, well I'm 14stone and sailed one laser for 10 years. I broke one mast, wore out two sails and had a scuffed & chipped daggerboard. My boat took a lot of hammer and the only damage was from the trailer. Yet I was still able to run at the front of the fleet at club events and finish in the top 10 at the open meeting I did last year. 

I sold the boat 6 months ago, but every time I get in a Laser I am astounded by just how lively it is.

The downside to the Laser was how many miserable buggers sailed it who spent the entire time on the water shouting at everyone else. Since moving onto an RS300, I've been amazed how relaxed other competitors are. Perhaps it's because the challenge of the boat itself takes up more mental capacity.

Either way the Laser is a great boat and has done an immense amount to popularise the sport.

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