Thursday, October 15, 2009

Star and Laser Comparison

Before I wrote my own paean on the Laser for our Less is More writing project I received an email with a submission from Susie Pegel, in which she addressed the same issue by comparing the Laser and the Star. Susie of course has had a distinguished sailing career in both classes, winning the Laser North Americans as a young woman, competing successfully in the Star in her "middle" years, and is now a regular on the Laser Masters circuit (where she still beats most of the men.)

These days I tend to avoid posting a direct comparison between the Laser and another class of boat because of the inevitable impression it creates that I am implying that someone else's choice of boat is inferior to mine. So before you attack this post just remember
  • It's not written by me.

  • Susie knows what she's talking about (even if I often don't).

  • Just because some of us like Lasers doesn't mean that we don't know that they aren't for everybody.

  • Personally I think it's a marvelous thing that are so many different kinds of sailing boats and so many different styles of sailing. That way we can all choose a boat that suits our interests, aptitude, and income.

    Chacun à son goût!

Peter Vessella, John MacCausland and I can speak to the topic of "LESS IS MORE." I am referring to comparing and contrasting the Star to the Laser.

more control lines than you can count5 control lines
crew requiredno crew required
trailer requiredtrailer optional
hand brake on trailerdig your flip-flops into the gravel to stop runaway boat
usually mast breaks when you death roll
(see Vince Brun death roll, 1988 Star NAs)
mast does not break when you death roll
hiking strap and hiking vest required need hiking strap only
halyardsno halyards
more stays than you can countno stays
spreadersno spreaders
jibno jib
whisker poleno whisker pole
$65,000 for a new boat$6,000 for a new boat
spreaders and stays constantly need adjusting for changing conditionsonly need to adjust outhaul, cunningham and vang for changing conditions
more expensive than a 3-ring circusmore fun than a barrel of monkeys


Carol Anne said...

Gee, with only a few minor changes, the first column could read "ETCHELLS".

At least my mast doesn't break during a death roll.

Greg said...

Skip Etchells built and raced Stars before designing the Etchells. So it's no wonder there are similarities between the two boats.

Pat said...

... and his wife Mary as crew was the only woman to ever win the Star worlds.

The comparison didn't get too much into the fine points of physical torture on the Star vs the Laser.

Is droop hiking quite civilized?

Can we talk about this in a forum in which children might be present?

Carol Anne said...

And Pat and I this afternoon spent some quality time on board what might be the last Etchells built by Skip Etchells himself (but certainly was among the last), USA 38. It was originally painted green, so I wonder whether it might have been a Shillelelagh.

Tim Coleman said...

why is a barrel of monkeys fun?

Tillerman said...

According to Charles E. Funk, word historian: "One monkey arouses a great deal of amusement. Two or more than double the interest and amusement. If one were to release a barrel full of monkeys, we must suppose that their antics would become hilariously comical."

Pat said...

But how would the monkeys react to having been confined in the barrel? What accommodation would the barrel need to meet SPCA or OSHA health and safety standards? Would the monkeys be too hyper or grouchy to type out the collected works of Shakespeare? (Or with only one barrel of monkeys do you just settle for a couple of sonnets?)

Tillerman said...

It's an old whiskey barrel. The monkeys are very happy.

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