The Laser sail boat designed by a Canadian, is a very popular, small, sailing dinghy. In fact, it is considered one of the worlds most popular in this class of sail craft. A singlehanded boat, it is designed to be easily sailed by one person. It is also, like most small racing sailboats a one-design. This means, essentially, the Laser sail boat is almost identical to other racing models and, therefore, able to compete against them without handicap. The current design continues to emphasize simplicity and performance.
Why is the public so fond of the Laser sail boat? There are several reasons given. It is tough, fast and accelerates rapidly. Cat-rigged, with only a main sail, it is simple to rig and sail without negatively impacting upon it’s performance. This simplicity of design makes it more affordable since there is no extra expenditure in obtaining hardware and sails. As a single-person sail boat, the Laser means no problems recruiting crew, no involvement in compatibility questions and no conflicts of goals and/or interests. These are factors that can have an impact on the outcome of a race or destroy the peace you can find in sailing.
Another reason for wanting to own a Laser sail boat is portability. The boat can be attached quite easily to facilitate car-topping. Laser boat racers and fans can even successfully and single-handedly place the boat on top of their car. It, therefore, stands to reason if it is easily loaded, it can be taken off just as simply. Since not all racers are trailerable and many boats cannot be loaded or unloaded without the use of a crane or travel lift, it is considered a bonus to have one that you can fit on the top of your vehicle.
The ability to easily beach the Laser sail boat is another factor in it’s popularity among boating enthusiasts. The dinghy can beached at a cottage or cabin without a major difficulty. This can not be said for all dinghy types.
The ability of this robust, yet simple sail boat has resulted in it gaining a reputation as strong competitive racer. In Bermuda, in 1974, facing 24 different countries and racing boats, it came up gold. In 1996, the Laser was accepted as a men’s Olympic-class boat in. A version of the Laser sail boat will make it Olympic Debut in 2008 in the womens Olympic class.
The Laser sail boat now has it’s very own association to govern the races. The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is based out of Falmouth, England. The globe is divided into sections with the North American Region governing Laser boat races from Canada and the United States. A periodical The Laser Sailor keeps competitors, interested boat racers and owners up to date on the latest innovations, races, rules and other related events and items of interest.
The Laser sail boat is fast, affordable and puts the fun back into sailing.