Sailing is a tranquil and pleasurable activity. However, every now and then you may feel – to quote the famous movie line – “the need…the need for speed”. Surging through the water with the wind behind your sail, is a definite adrenalin rush. The Laser sailboat is famous for this, and a lot more. When it comes to sailboats, the Laser is one of the most recognizable ones out there. Reports suggest that almost 250K units of this boat type have been sold till date, in a period spanning almost 50 years. That speaks volumes about the boat’s longevity and the endurance of its legacy.
Reasons for the Laser Sailboat’s Popularity
One of the primary reasons for this popularity lies in the boat’s no-frills approach to sailing. Right from rigging to launch (something that can be accomplished in under an hour), to its legs-in design that provides all the requisite control at the crew’s fingertips, the Laser sailboat exudes simplicity and convenience. Being ultra-light in hull weight, it can be heaved-in with minimal effort and exertion so that all your energies are stored for the actual sailing part.
Weight is another notable and pertinent aspect of the Laser. The extensive use of fiberglass keeps the boat light yet stable. The use of aluminum spars and a light mast further help in curtailing the overall weight. With a hull weight of just around 130 lbs, and an overall length of under 14 feet, the boat is very easy to stow away and equally easy to be towed by an SUV or a pick-up truck. This convenience and portability adds to the Laser sailboat’s mass appeal while saving you a lot on parking and transportation costs.
Until the mid of the last century, sailing used to be a novelty activity partaken mainly by the rich and the famous. Things slowly changed with sailing becoming a popular national pastime in the U.S. The Laser sailboat can be credited as being one of the catalysts of this shift. Ever since its commercial production started in the early 1970s, the Laser has been a flag-bearer of low-cost yet high-energy boating. Not only is it one of the most affordable boats that you can buy, it is also low on maintenance costs and efforts. The spare parts are cheap and easy to source as well.
The fiberglass is not just light, it is rather durable as well. The Laser requires minimum upkeep and is able to take rough use well within its stride. Being the boat of choice for many first-time buyers, it is not surprising to find them still sailing their beloved Laser even after dozens of years have passed. This is clear evidence of the vessel’s longevity and ability to withstand natural forces.
Speed and Agility
Apart from the aforementioned, the other key attractions of the Laser sailboat are its speed and maneuverability. After all, there is a dedicated Olympic games event for the Laser class of sailboats which is a testament of its popularity in the racing circuit.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned sailor, a gentle-pace lover or a speed demon, are on light air and flat water or in windy and choppy conditions, trust the Laser sailboat to handle in an exemplary fashion. Even at the speeds of 15 knots and above, the boat stays stable and maintains its grip well. The mast and the line kit are easy to operate, something that is vital since it is a single-hand, single-crew boat. With a Laser sailboat you can feel the wind and the surf with the assurance of your safety and a pure satisfaction of sailing.