Boat Classes

The world’s most popular adult & youth racing class

The Laser is a single-handed racing dinghy. The biggest attraction of the Laser dinghy is protected by the One Design class rules, which means that no changes in the boat are allowed unless they are specifically permitted in the rules. So in theory all Laser boats are the same whether they are brand new or 10 years old, making the sailor the one, who wins the race, not the boat. The Laser is a challenging boat that rewards athleticism, subtle steering and trimming techniques, as well as tactical excellence. It is a singlehanded Olympic class boat, also sailed at club, national and international levels. With over 200,000 boats in 140 countries, it is clearly the world’s most popular adult and youth racing sailboat.

No fuss, just sailing

One of the reasons why the Laser is so popular is the boat’s sheer simplicity. The two-part free-standing mast and sleeved sail make the boat easy to rig and its lightweight hull make it easy to carry and car top. 

A boat for life

The Laser Formula combines 1 hull with three different rigs: Standard, Radial and 4.7. Young sailors starting out in the 4.7 can move up in rigs as they grow physically and develop tactically, without the need to splash out on a completely new boat. The one-design protection also means that your Laser will never be outdated, which explains why Lasers have such a high resale value. A strong class association which actively promotes and drives forward Laser sailing around the globe makes mass production of the Laser viable, keeping the costs of the boats and spares relatively low.

By changing only the sail and lower mast the Laser can be sailed comfortably in all wind conditions and provide exciting but controlled sailing for any sailor weighing as little as 35 kg.  The Laser Formula is a 3 rig option that has been adopted by a number of sailing schools as a simple and economical way to keep sailing in all winds and reduce the amount of ‘down time’.

The Laser 4.7 uses a short pre-bent lower mast to maintain a balanced helm and a sail area that is 35% smaller than the Laser Standard. It is ideal for learning to sail or for the lighter weight sailor graduating from Optimist.

The Laser Radial is the next step up.  It uses a more flexible and slightly shorter lower mast together with a sail area 18% smaller than the Laser Standard. The Laser Radial has a large following with national and international regattas and World Open & Youth Championships attracting as many countries and competitors as the Laser Standard Rig. As well as a strong following amongst lighter weight sailors the Laser Radial is also used for youth, women and masters racing.  Many countries now support a full Laser Radial Youth program, and in a survey of national yachting authorities conducted by the International Sailing Federation the majority replied that the Laser Radial was their preferred youth boat.

The Laser Standard can be sailed by any weight in light winds, but as the wind increases it is better suited to higher sailor weights.

Apart from the strong second hand market in Lasers with the Laser Standard rig, there is an even stronger second hand market for Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 lower mast and sails as a separate package from the hull.

Source: ILCA