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Laser Tips

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9444
Printed Date: 16 May 22 at 7:04pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Laser Tips
Posted By: EmmyC
Subject: Laser Tips
Date Posted: 30 May 12 at 6:26pm
I had my first sail in my Laser the other day in a force 3-4 and I had a bit of trouble getting it block-to-block. Was I not trying hard enough or should I upgrade the ratchet?

Thanks ;)



Replies:
Posted By: Neptune
Date Posted: 30 May 12 at 9:21pm
The ratchet only helps you hold it not pull it on.

Perhaps more kicker would help.

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RS200 and returning to a Musto, ex 300


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 30 May 12 at 10:31pm
Remind us which rig please.

But default answer is just pull harder


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http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/" rel="nofollow - Great book for Club Sailors here


Posted By: timeintheboat
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 7:03am
I'd go with Neptune. Assuming you are hiking hard then to get block to block you are going to be bending the rig by pulling in the mainsheet - unless you get something to bend the rig for you - which is the kicker.

When you have it pulled in as tight as you can reach forward and twang the kicker - how tight is it?

I my old days of (full-rig) sailing in those conditions I would go block to block, pull on the kicker so it is taut and then in just a bit more as the default (and marked) starting position.


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Like some other things - sailing is more enjoyable when you do it with someone else


Posted By: radixon
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 9:11am
I'd check out the rope you are using, some are too thick and hold the water.

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Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 5:04pm
Thanks for the response guys.

I still have the old kicker (about as much use as a chocolate teapot), the Harken is on order - That may have played a large part in me not getting block-to-block. Also, my mainsheet has a tendancy to knot and tangle itself - Perhaps I should replace it ;)


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 5:08pm
Most people use a 7mm mainsheet in a Laser these days.

It does take a reasonable amount of force to get it to go block to block so if you don't have XD style kicker assistance then you may struggle unless you are strong in the upper body department (or a gorilla like me).

The old kickers are useless so just concentrate on getting as much on as you can until your new one turns up.

Grippy gloves also help but you so tend to burn through them quickly.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 5:11pm
The other thing you can to is go above close hauled to reduce the force on the sail and crank the mainsheet on then lock the kicker off. Then come back down to a close hauled course. You need to do it pretty quickly though or the boat speed drops right off.

I use this technique when it gets to upper F5/F6 territory.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 5:18pm
Thanks Jeffers - I did try that once or twice but I was far too slow and kept heading into wind quickly - I guess that may have to be something to perfect!


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 5:40pm
Which rig are you using? The 4.7 is easy to get to block to block with no kicker because of the bent mast, the radial is a little bit harder but because a large amount of the mast is top section which is really bendy it shouldn't be a problem. The full rig can be a bit hard if you aren't a gorilla! 

The kicker will help but don't get lazy and just use that to pull the boom down, it will bend the bottom of the mast far too much and flatten the sail and you will go slow. Best practice is to have the kicker on just so it isnt slack when it is about 10 knots of wind, then as it builds keep pulling and pulling to flatten the sail. 

An important thing to remember with your new kicker will be to let it off when you are sat around between races etc and to ease it enough on reaches and downwind.  If you don't do this you will find yourself bending a lot of top sections! 

As said, the most common mainsheets these days are about 7mm, rooster polylite or similar.  That said, when I finished lasers I was using a development version of the Laser red fleck mainsheet which is slightly under 6mm.  There were a number of versions of that sheet and if I remember rightly Paul Goodison took the yellow fleck version to the olympics where it was light wind, this was about 5.7mm there was a white fleck and a green fleck version too i think.  I quite liked the thin mainsheet but others would definitely disagree! If in doubt use the rooster 7mm sheet.


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Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 5:57pm
I have the Radial which I use most, however I will be purchasing a 4.7 rig for those windier days. I have quite a lot of upper body strength, although most of the time I'm scared of breaking something!


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 8:18pm
I would suggest a list of things to do would be

1) fit the new harken kicker, be careful not to use too much with all that extra power!
2) tie the end of your existing mainsheet to a fence post or similar, run the rest through your hands and "ring it out" until you reach the other end. Like a skipping rope except not round in circles, just randomly shake it.  That should help get the twists out. 
3) if twists continue try a new mainsheet
4)regularly check your top mast for bends, a bent mast is firsly slow, and secondly not legal under the class rules. 
5) occasionally check the bottom section for bends, i have seen radial bottom sections bend where the sleeve ends on the inside. Somewhere just above the gooseneck i think.
6) if all else fails PULL HARDER!LOL

If you have any other questions just ask. There are loads of tweaks you can do to the laser to make it much more fun to sail without being illegal. Most are free/cheap to do.  Just ask!


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Posted By: PeterV
Date Posted: 31 May 12 at 10:03pm
I struggle to understand this post.  I thought there was only one way to go block to block and that's to pull the mainsheet in.  Then, whatever kicker is fitted you take up the slack on it.  The higher purchase on the modern kickers only makes it easier to pull the kicker tighter than this basic setting.

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PeterV
Finn K197, Finn GBR564, Hunter Duette.
Warsash


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 01 Jun 12 at 1:38am
Yes, but by bending the mast with the kicker it is easier to get the mainsheet block to block. It shouldn't be hard anyway, just much easier with the kicker on!

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Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 01 Jun 12 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by EmmyC

I have the Radial which I use most, however I will be purchasing a 4.7 rig for those windier days. I have quite a lot of upper body strength, although most of the time I'm scared of breaking something!

Don't worry about that. Lasers are pretty strong and stand up to a lot of abuse. 

Do inspect your spars and fittings regularly and as soon as they get loose re-rivet them.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 01 Jun 12 at 5:40pm
Originally posted by laser193713

I would suggest a list of things to do would be

1) fit the new harken kicker, be careful not to use too much with all that extra power!
2) tie the end of your existing mainsheet to a fence post or similar, run the rest through your hands and "ring it out" until you reach the other end. Like a skipping rope except not round in circles, just randomly shake it.  That should help get the twists out. 
3) if twists continue try a new mainsheet
4)regularly check your top mast for bends, a bent mast is firsly slow, and secondly not legal under the class rules. 
5) occasionally check the bottom section for bends, i have seen radial bottom sections bend where the sleeve ends on the inside. Somewhere just above the gooseneck i think.
6) if all else fails PULL HARDER!LOL

If you have any other questions just ask. There are loads of tweaks you can do to the laser to make it much more fun to sail without being illegal. Most are free/cheap to do.  Just ask!


Thanks for the help - I imagine ringing out the mainsheet will help as it tangles non-stop.

The top-mast was bent when I bought the boat - I have been putting off buying a replacement for a while due to the fact my priority was the Harken kicker.  I had no idea that a bent top mast made such a difference?


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 01 Jun 12 at 6:26pm
You can always 'end for end' the top mast (unless it has already been done) just make sure the bent bit points forwards unless you straighten it first.

With the mainsheet if you pull it out the boat and slowly walk along it whilst gripping it fairly tightly until it is fully extended this can help with the kinking and tangling. I do this twice before tying the loose end off at the mainsheet ratchet, it does help.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 10 Jun 12 at 5:55pm
Hi guys.

I took on all the advice you lot gave me and I got block to block with no trouble. I now, however, have another problem: There is far too much going on at the mast and things are getting into the way of other things - Making sail control hard. Is there an order I should rig things up in in so that there are no problems? Also, how do I stop the outhaul blocks getting caught on the clew strap?

Thanks ;)


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 10 Jun 12 at 6:02pm
Keep the cunno all one side of the boom (mine is to sbd) and outhaul the other. I don't have this problem at all, I have to say.

Sounds like the primary outhaul line needs to be a bit longer - there should be more than enough travel in the secondary line for the block to always be mast-side of the clew strap


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http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/" rel="nofollow - Great book for Club Sailors here


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 10 Jun 12 at 10:37pm
I will dig out some pics of my old boat if i can find them, shows everything very clearly and some interesting tweaks that make the boat much easier to rig particularly when changing between the 4.7 and radial because of the change of length in the foot.  

As for leading the cunningham down one side of the boom, yeah it can help but only really on the the standard rig where you can sometimes run out of travel with an old sail in very heavy winds. I did rig the cunningham round the front of the mast for a while but it takes quite a lot of setting up to get it right, works brilliantly when it is set up though!


Posted By: Buzz
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 2:20pm
Another way to get the kinks out of a mainsheet is to tow it behind the boat for a while.


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 2:38pm
Originally posted by fab100

Keep the cunno all one side of the boom (mine is to sbd) and outhaul the other. I don't have this problem at all, I have to say.

Sounds like the primary outhaul line needs to be a bit longer - there should be more than enough travel in the secondary line for the block to always be mast-side of the clew strap

Good advice here and make sure you tie your handles as close to the cleats as possible and use up all the spare rope so as to minimise the 'tails' from each control line as you adjust it. 

If you switch between a 4.7 and a radial then it is permissable to have a rope tail tied to the clew eye for use as an attachment to your 'hook' on your outhaul (specifically to make is easier to switch between the rigs).

Same with the cunnigham. I always found that a 'cascade' style cunningham always hade for a very long 'tail' which has a habit of going through the mainsheet block when you sheet in hand over hand when rounding up. To avoid this you can switch to an alternative arrangement which has a similar amount of purchase but the tail is shorter (PM me and i can get you some pictures).

That and tying the kicker 'tail' to the front of the daggerboard will also help.

Then once you are settled on a leg use your front hand to make sure the lines are untangled. Nothing worse then frantically trying to untangle the knitting as you approach a mark!


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 2:40pm
Originally posted by Buzz

Another way to get the kinks out of a mainsheet is to tow it behind the boat for a while.

Much easier to run it out on shore before you get on the water though, then dead end it at the mainsheet block, this helps to prevent twists and kinks.



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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 5:44pm
Originally posted by jeffers

Originally posted by fab100

Keep the cunno all one side of the boom (mine is to sbd) and outhaul the other. I don't have this problem at all, I have to say.

Sounds like the primary outhaul line needs to be a bit longer - there should be more than enough travel in the secondary line for the block to always be mast-side of the clew strap

Good advice here and make sure you tie your handles as close to the cleats as possible and use up all the spare rope so as to minimise the 'tails' from each control line as you adjust it. 

If you switch between a 4.7 and a radial then it is permissable to have a rope tail tied to the clew eye for use as an attachment to your 'hook' on your outhaul (specifically to make is easier to switch between the rigs).

Same with the cunnigham. I always found that a 'cascade' style cunningham always hade for a very long 'tail' which has a habit of going through the mainsheet block when you sheet in hand over hand when rounding up. To avoid this you can switch to an alternative arrangement which has a similar amount of purchase but the tail is shorter (PM me and I can get you some pictures).

That and tying the kicker 'tail' to the front of the daggerboard will also help.

Then once you are settled on a leg use your front hand to make sure the lines are untangled. Nothing worse then frantically trying to untangle the knitting as you approach a mark!


Sounds like a few ropes are the wrong length - It was my outhaul getting stuck in the ratchet the other day. Seems like I will have to spend a while tweaking!

Oh, and I have yet another question - What is the best thing to do in light winds? The other day in a force two I seemed to be going backwards when running - Should I be making more movement, or less? Thanks ;)


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 5:58pm
Originally posted by EmmyC


Sounds like a few ropes are the wrong length - It was my outhaul getting stuck in the ratchet the other day. Seems like I will have to spend a while tweaking!

Oh, and I have yet another question - What is the best thing to do in light winds? The other day in a force two I seemed to be going backwards when running - Should I be making more movement, or less? Thanks ;)

Definitely! The outhaul should never be that far back (IMO). I have mine set so that max depth has the handle up against the cleat so I know that I can just uncleat it if required and it will g to that setting. from there to min depth leaves me about 9-12 inches of 'tail' at the most (probably less than that).

Running in light winds....get the boat heeled over to the center of effort of the mainsail it over the center of resistance of the boat so the max effort goes in to moving the boat forward. Then get as far forward as you can to reduce the wetted area of the hull. it is a balancing act, be prepared to fall in whilst you practice. As long as there are no waves then keep as still as you can. if there are waves then others will need to comment as I am pond sailor.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: EmmyC
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 6:35pm
Originally posted by jeffers

Definitely! The outhaul should never be that far back (IMO). I have mine set so that max depth has the handle up against the cleat so I know that I can just uncleat it if required and it will g to that setting. from there to min depth leaves me about 9-12 inches of 'tail' at the most (probably less than that).

Running in light winds....get the boat heeled over to the center of effort of the mainsail it over the center of resistance of the boat so the max effort goes in to moving the boat forward. Then get as far forward as you can to reduce the wetted area of the hull. it is a balancing act, be prepared to fall in whilst you practice. As long as there are no waves then keep as still as you can. if there are waves then others will need to comment as I am pond sailor.


Thanks for the help - I'm never sure whether to stay stock still or move like an idiot round the boat! As for waves: I've pretty much mastered upturns and downturns - I've managed to pull away from faster boats on windier downwind legs. So, I shall have a fiddle with my outhaul :D Thanks again




Posted By: Ginge
Date Posted: 11 Jun 12 at 7:08pm
Don't worry, my outhaul is longer than my downhaul aswell, what I do is make a handle out of the outhaul and loop it aswell as handles, should be about the correct length..

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Laser


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 12 Jun 12 at 6:29pm
Also, if it's light, and/or flat, keep the tiller centred, adjusting the heel and sheet to steer

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http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/" rel="nofollow - Great book for Club Sailors here



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