The Laser was designed by Bruce Kirby
with simplicity and performance in mind,
and quickly became the quintessential
one-design. The Laser is fast responsive,
lightweight and virtually maintenance
free. It's accessibility and modest
price make it a sailor's dream. With
over 160,000 Lasers sailing in 85 countries,
this boat has motivated more sailors
to excel in the sport than any design
in the history of sailing.
Laser's flush deck, minimal beam (4.5'),
and low freeboard (12') keep the hull
weight to a minimum (average 130 lbs)
for simple car-topping and easy handling
on shore. The "place for your feet"
cockpit means the boat ships very little
water and comes up dry when righted
after a capsize. The two-piece mast
and sleeved sail are in keeping with
the goal of simplicity.
the mid-80's, the Laser Radial Rig
was developed, The Radial mast uses
the same top section as the 'ful rig'
with a shorter, more bendy bottom
section. The sail is 18% smaller (62'
square) than the full rig, and has
a lower center of effort for more
power relative to heeling force. For
lighter weight sailors, this allows
better performance and handling than
with the full rig.
racing is arguably the most competitive
and close sailboat racing in the world.
Still, the real beauty of a Laser
lies in its invitation to go sailing
for the pure joy of it. With no standing
rigging to bother with, no obstacle
course of fittings to bruise and cut,
no cockpit full of water, the bare
essentials of tiller, mainsheet and
sailor can come together to feel the
magic of the wind and water cast its
1,000 worldwide regattas are held
yearly by the Laser Class Association,
and the International Laser joined
Olympic racing in 1996.
Vanguard Sailboats, 'Laser History'