Laser Sails Sizes
The Laser has three sail sizes that are chosen by the sailor’s weight. The standard sail has a sail area of 76 ft² and is generally recommended for sailors weighing no less than 175 lbs. The middle sized sail is the radial which is 18% smaller in sail area to the standard and is generally recommend for sailors weighing between 121 to 159 pounds when racing. The radial besides having a smaller sail also utilizes a shorter lower mast section than the standard rig. All other rigging is the same. The smallest rig is the 4.7 which has a sail area that is 35% smaller than the standard rig and is generally recommended for sailors weighting between 110 – 120 pounds. The 4.7 utilizes an even shorter lower mast section that is pre-bent aft to align the smaller sail’s center of effort to that of the hull’s. All other rigging is the same to the standard rig. Note that that standard Laser rig can be sailed by any weight sailor, but as winds increase the rig is best suited for higher weight sailors.
In addition to the three sail sizes, there is the option of using a racing sail or a practice sail (also called a recreational sail). If you will be racing in Laser class events you will need to use a racing sail. Racing sails will have the Laser class plastic button attached to the tack of the sail designating it as a class legal sail. Practice sails are the same cut as racing sails, but use a heavier cloth that holds its shape and last longer; and are less expensive. Because racing sails are of a lighter weight material that does not hold its shape as long (stretches with use), using a practice sail when not racing is a popular and economical choice. Both racing and practice sails are available in standard, radial and 4.7 sizes.
Racing sails require the use of class legal battens. Prior to the release of the standard MkII Bi-Radial Standard Sail, all racing sail used the same set of three untapered battens. If you have a racing sail and it is not the MkII Bi-Radial Standard Sail use the untapered battens. If you have the MkII Bi-Radial Standard Sail you will need to use the set of three class legal Mark II tapered battens. Recreational sails use untampered battens.
Tip: Check that your batten tips are securely affixed to your battens. If not glue them on with 3M 5200 sealant/adhesive to prevent them from coming off in the batten pocket (extremely hard to get them back out if they come off in the pocket).
Tip: For non-tapered battens - batten tips that are curved (convex) are that way to catch and hold the elastic that is sewn permanently into the batten pocket. Be sure to insert these ends into the batten pocket.
Sail numbers are made of sticky back Dacron (peal and stick) material. They are available in precut or digital eights (‘8’) that will need to be individually cut by you to make them into the needed digit. Be sure to order them for both sides of the sail.
Installing numbers can be done at home using our instructions and video (links above). If you take your time and don’t rush, it is not difficult. If you prefer, APS can install them for you for a small fee.
‘Class Rule 4 (with 27(e) for Laser Radial and 28(e) for Laser 4.7) require that your sail numbers (and National Letters if used) are a certain size and color and are placed on the sail in a certain position. National Letters are only required at World and Continental Championships and other events described as international events in their notices of race and sailing instructions.’
‘Numbers/letters drawn on the sail with permanent ink pens or similar are illegal. Style and Colour Each number/letter must be upright, solid (not outline), a uniform thickness and easy to read. Each number/letter must be one colour only. All the letters must be the same colour. The last 4 digits of the number must be the same dark colour (preferably black). Any preceding digits must be all red or a single different contrasting colour. The colours must be dense and contrast so that they are easy to read.’
These come in two styles – envelope for folded sails and tubular for rolled sails. For recreational sailing an envelope style is easier and take less space when transporting and storing. For racing sails you may want to opt for a tubular style bag that protects a rolled sail. Rolled sails do not have less creases/fold-marks and retain a flatter sail material surface (which can promote better air flow/attachment).