The Laser is a fibreglass single-hander, simple to rig but lots of fun to sail. It has the advantage of needing very little maintenance and there is a huge second hand market to choose from. However, the Laser is not recommended as a boat for a beginner.
Designed in 1970 by Bruce Kirby and now manufactured as a "single design" boat by licensed boat builders around the world, over 200,000 have been built. Due to its relatively low cost, responsive handling and single-design restrictions, it is the most widely-owned small dinghy in the world, and the most popular racing class.
There are three interchangeable sizes of rig that can be used with the same hull, making the boat suitable for juniors to advanced full sized sailors. To use the full rig, a bodyweight of around 11 to 12 stones is needed.
In 1996, the Laser was chosen for the Olympic high performance dinghy class and many of the world's top sailors perfected their skills in the Laser. They are easy to handle ashore and can be carried on top of a car.
Type – Single-hander
Length – 4.23 m
Beam – 1.37 m
Weight – 60 kg
Sail Area (Full Rig) – 7.06 m2
P.Y. – 1080
New boats cost about £4,000 and second hand start at about £500.