Then occasionally someone posts something that captures with total clarity what Laser sailing is really about. Such was the case today in a post by Debos, which I have reproduced in full below.
Well said, sir.
The laser is not the fastest boat in the world, it is not the slowest, it is not the prettiest(particularly with its sail up), it is not the best downwind, or upwind, it goes pretty well on a reach, if you can keep it upright. It isn't the cheapest boat out there, and it clearly isn't the most expensive. It is nearly useless for camping, and it has no loo. The unstayed rig trims counter-intuitively to stayed rigs. It is not built to last forever, but is reasonably durable.
It is arguably the most popular race boat in the world, I think for 2 simple reasons:
These factors combine to produce the 6 figure sail numbers stretching across the sails of new boats.
- it was introduced at a time that it had no real competition and a huge demand for the concept, giving it a huge marketing head start, and
- the class has made a serious, long term commitment to keeping the boat as one-design as possible.
It would be nice if the manufacturers were able to provide us with prettier sails, that lasted a bit longer, for a more reasonable price, but they have figured out what we are willing to put up with and have set the bar there. The sails we have produce fairly even racing, and unless you are in superb physical shape, and compete at the very top level, the difference between a one race sail and a 30 or 40 race sail can be blown by a few minutes of lazy hiking, or inattention at the helm.
If you want to race the fastest boat in the world, you need to find a different class.
If you want the opportunity to redesign deck layouts, design new sails, alter foil shapes, add hiking systems, etc, you need to find a new class.
If you want the best, purest one-design singlehanded racing possible, available in practically every body of water that humans sail on, choose the Laser.