Older boat (74) condition

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by ga4boats, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. ga4boats

    ga4boats New Member

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    I was visiting a local sailing club a few days ago and someone there had an older Laser for sale. For its age, the deck was fairly stiff, but it did have some flex in it. It did have several circular cracks on one side near the cockpit, which I could describe looking similar to the circles of an electric stove top (but very thin rotating lines or cracks). I got the owner to fill the mast step up with water. The water drained, but very slowly . The mast step went from being completely full of water to maybe draining three inches over the next five or 10 minutes. About a quarter inch of the wooden daggerboard on the trailing edge was broken off. Spars were good and the lines, rigging , sails, etc. were older, but usable. An older trailer also was included. I have no feel for what something like this is worth. I an interested in a small one person rig to learn how to sail and have some good Sunfish options (for sure a different choice altogether) available. I have bought cars and motorcycles that were inexpensive to acquire, but real costly after I did what was necessary to make them usable. That analogy may not be applicable for a small dinghy, such as a Laser. With that said, I could get this for less than $700 or I could spend maybe a little twice that much for something that should be good to go and not need a lot of upgrading. Any thoughts from those of you who know about Lasers is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    That boat might be worth $700 if the mast step was dry. I'd be wary of sailing it too much with a leaky mast step.

    Bottom end of the repair range is $20-30 in material and a few hours of your time. The top end is a new mast step ($436 at APS) and even more of your time.
     
  3. ga4boats

    ga4boats New Member

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    Thank you for the information. The price is certainly appealing, but I am not looking to do a fairly major (considering my skill level of working on fiberglass) repair. I am assuming the mast step is going to be a big stumbling block for an unrestored Laser >40 years old.
     
  4. inlandfreddy

    inlandfreddy Member

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    It's a main concern, and if not dealt with, likely a lot bigger one after a while. There is lot's of information here about fixing it, if you search the forum.
     
  5. Rob Hair

    Rob Hair Member

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    As you will see in many other posts about mast steps on a Laser, its WAY more work and expense to do the repair of a mast tube that has broken loose than to reinforce a questionable tube. The former almost always results in severe and extensive damage to the deck.

    I mention this because even a boat that costs twice what you would pay for the old Laser in question may be a candidate for preventative reinforcement of the mast tube. That's what I did with a 1984 Laser that I had, inspired by photos of boats with failed mast tubes, even though mine showed no signs of impending mast tube failure. The 3 to 4 hours of work and small cost of materials was worth the peace of mind. I've since sold the boat to a young neighbor and I'm happy that I don't have to worry about him returning with a ruined boat.
     
  6. ga4boats

    ga4boats New Member

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    Thank you for the info. I have seen some posts on doing this repair. Is it possible to do without cutting a hole in the deck to gain access to the mast tube area, or is there enough room to work with trying to reinforce via the mast step opening?
     
  7. Rob Hair

    Rob Hair Member

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    You will have to install an inspection port to do the reinforcement. The port has other uses - helping you to dry the inside, storing small items in the bag that comes with most ports, etc. Install to one side of the centerline as shown in other threads.
     
  8. Bungo Pete

    Bungo Pete Member

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    Welcome aboard. It may very well be that the trailer is worth as much as the boat, so figure $350 each. That makes it a bargain, but I would not say that to the seller! However, I would point out that the boat does need to be repaired and see if you can negotiate a lower price.

    Lasers are inherently simple boats and easy to fix, maintain and sail. The only really hard thing is sailing them well enough to be competitive, ha ha. Some of us consider messing about with old Lasers to be therapy. Rob Hair is absolutely correct regarding the advisability of reinforcing the tube on any older boat before a catastrophic failure. The job is pretty straightforward and given the huge amount of information available regarding how to do it and how to use West System (which is all that I use) most anyone can do it. You might also be able to find a local "Laser Guy" to help you. Lastly, considering what you intend to use the boat for, look for used and/or non-class legal replacement parts, sails etc. They are considerably less expensive.
     
  9. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    If you're looking for a "learn to sail" boat I recommend the Sunfish. It's way more forgiving. Depending on your size you could spend more time upside down than upright in a laser in any breeze over 12mph. The mast step repair is also not super easy. You'll have to cut a hole in the deck and put in an inspection port to get access to the step for the repair.
     
  10. ga4boats

    ga4boats New Member

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    Well I never acted on the 74 Laser and it subsequently was sold. I do have interest in a Sunfish, but the club I am thinking about joining does not have a Sunfish fleet. They do have a Laser fleet among several, but the fleet that most interests me there (besides the Laser, which admittedly at my beginning level and my age may be too me) is the Snipe fleet. I am aware of several Snipes available, and some are reasonably priced. Anyone have any thoughts on the Snipe? I realize it is crewed by two, but I think it can be sailed by one person in a non-racing outing.
     
  11. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    First sailboat ever that I was in.
    Impractically heavy on land, just plain boring on the water. Fairly good racing at places, though.
    If you want to sail by yourself, you get a singlehander, and if you want a doublehander, you get a friend to sail it with. Any compromises vary from bad to awful.
    Find another Laser and join the local fleet, or try to get some crewing time with some more experienced Snipe sailors.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    If you decide on a Laser (as recommended), get the Radial version to start the learning curve.
     
  13. ga4boats

    ga4boats New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Some very good info.
     

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