Rigging and launching a laser sailboat may seem a bit complicated at first, especially if you’ve never done it before and you’re just a sailing beginner, but once you learn the basic of rigging a laser and launching a laser sailboat, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
In this article we’ll go through the steps you need to know for successful rigging a laser and launching it, so when the time comes to sail out, you do it without any problems.
Practise Until You Master It
Although not complicated, the easiest way to learn how to rig a laser sailboat is by practising. This way you’ll not only learn how to do it, but you’ll also get used to specific rigging routine that works the best for you. It will be useful because there is no specific order to be followed, so once you find your own rhythm, you’ll probably stick to it. Also, by practising at home you’ll be in a good situation to make sure all the knots you know how to tie work for this activity and will keep you safe. If not, check out our guide on how to tie the knots.
Before You Leave The Home
Don’t go out if the weather doesn’t allow it. Before every trip check the forecast, if it says that conditions will be bad for sailing, it is better idea to postpone it to avoid risking without a dire need. You could also learn what to do in case the storm hits.
How To Rig And Launch A Laser Sailboat
Now it is time to learn how to properly rig and launch a laser sailboat.
The first step should be detaching the trailer from the car if it has to be removed when parked. Take the vessel out of the trailer on the dolly and place the dolly near the launching area. Make sure the bow is pointing into the wind. Learn how to predict the wind.
Follow by unpacking all your laser sailing gear, along with all the ropes and spars, and placing them within a hand reach, just to make sure you’ve taken everything you’ll need with you.
Take the boom and lay it on the deck. Use the mainsheet rope and move it through the blocks and eyelet on the bottom, then through the block in the cockpit, and finish up with the traveller.
Lay the sail out beside the hull, and install the battens. Connect mast sections and feed it through the mast sleeve located in the sail, while trying to keep the boom spigot in line with the sail. Do your best to keep any kind of dirt away from the bottom part of the mast to avoid possible abrasion that could damage the hull in the future.
Make sure there are no obstacles above your head. If there is nothing on the way, like power lines or something similar, proceed with lifting the sail up from the masts bottom half. Lift it vertically; slot it into the mast step hole. If there is a breeze, slightly leaning towards it may help and make things easier. This part may be tricky and you may need help to do it properly.
Take the boom and slot it into the mast, and follow by tying off the outhaul and to the sail clew with a bowline knot. Attach the clew tie-down and pay attention not to tie it over the outhaul.
Now it is time to attach the vang and cunningham. At the end side of the cunningham tie a small loop, and then take the vang pin end to feed through it, so the Cunningham’s eye stays down, near the deck, to keep it from moving up. The next part of this step is to move the Cunningham through those two eyelets in the rope, down the eyelet on the deck, and finish up with moving it back to the cleat located in the cockpit. For easy grip during the time on the water, tie a bowline in the end.
Add the rudder while paying special attention to the lift stop. When it clicks the way it should, leave it standing. Then, attach the tiller, secure the retaining pin while keeping the tiller under the traveller. Now you should place the centreboard on the deck and attach the drain plug into the hull’s stern.
Easing the mainsheet out should make the boat stand steadily, so you could get your gear and yourself ready for your trip. This is also the moment you should check the forecast again and make sure the weather works in your fashion. Check out our list of the best life jackets.
It is time to move the vessel into the water. Move it around carefully as you reach the ramp. Take it down into the water, while trying to keep it into the wind. The only thing to avoid is the wind surpassing 90° to the hull. Anything below will work great.
Move the dolly into the water until it becomes completely submerged. This should make the boat movement off the dolly way easier. Now, there are two options. The first is to move the boat onto the shore so you can retrieve the dolly. This way you should pay special attention to keeping the drain plug on the bottom away from any damage.
The second and easier option is to have someone to help you and drag the dolly out of the water.
Turn the boat so it points to the breeze and use the centreboard to slide it into the fin case. It should be up for the most of the way, but also it is important to keep it low enough so the boom can clear the fin every time it moves around. Take the elastic strap and un it up to the eyelet at the bow, and then follow with the centreboard return, or guide it to mast.
Once you reach the water deep enough, push the rudder down or pull the attached rope to rotate the rudder. In case it can be done, wait until you enter deeper water. Once you place it down, tie the line off and keep it from hitting on the bottom. And read how to sail safely.
How To De-Rig The Sailboat
It is even easier than the rigging part – reverse the course of the actions. Before you store it away, wash all your gear as thoroughly as possible using the fresh water, and let it dry. When folding, make sure not to make a winkle.
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Rigging and launching a laser sailboat is not complicated, if you follow instructions and don’t rush it. With this article as your guideline, you’ll be in the water in a no-time.
More Sail Reviews:
- Sailing Anchors
- Sailing Jacket
- Sailing Shorts
- Sailing Bags
- Marine Battery
- What To Look For When Buying A Used Boat
- How To Whip A Rope
- Tack And Jibe
- Sailing Rules Of The Road
- Safe Sailing
- Rig a laser sailboat, Wikihow.com