Finding the Right Laser Rig: Formula

Choices of Rigs for your Laser Hull :

The options for the Laser, one of the most popular single-handed dinghies in the world, comes in the way of a choice of three rigs allowing an owner to set up the Laser to sail in a variety of conditions and sailor weights. Laser sail areas

Finding the Right Laser Rig – 3 Choices:

Now this is where it becomes a bit interesting because all three rigs fit and work exceptionally well with the Laser hull. Any sized sailor can sail with one of these rigs in most conditions and have fun. But what if you are thinking competitively? What is optimal for you? The quick and simple formula is this:

  • 4.7 Rig – Designed for smaller sailors 110 – 140 lbs. (50 – 65 kg).
  • Radial Rig – Used as the women’s Olympic class, and designed for sailors 140 – 175 lbs. (65-80 kg).
  • Full or Standard Rig – Used as the men’s  Olympic class, and designed for sailors 165 lbs.+ (75 kg+).”Olympic sailors are in the 180 lbs. range but club sailors do well weighing in over 200 lbs. in certain conditions.”
    Paraphrased from

Laser 4.7 Rig:

Laser4.7 You are not stuck with only one size rig for your Laser hull. The Laser 4.7 uses a short pre-bent lower mast to maintain a balanced helm and a sail area that is 35% smaller than the Laser Standard. This makes it an excellent choice for kids who are learning to sail or outgrowing the Optimist dinghy. If the Laser hull is kept in good condition the rig can be easily upgraded to 2 different rigs as the child becomes heavier or develops finer sailing skills.

•  4.7 Laser mast uses the Standard upper mast
•  4.7 mast lower section is used specifically for sailing the Laser 4.7
•  This is combined with the top section to complete Laser 4.7 mast
•  This section comes with gooseneck and vang tang; fully ready to go
laser-radialNote: The International Laser Class Association states that a sailor weighing 75 lbs. can sail with the 4.7 rig. Keep in mind that this statement is made considering light to moderate wind speeds.

Laser Radial Rig:

The Laser Radial is the next step up. It uses a more flexible and slightly shorter lower mast section that the Laser Standard rig, along with an 18% smaller sail area. The Radial has a large following that continues to grow with national and international regattas and World, Open, & Youth Championships. The Radial also has a strong following among lighter weight sailors and is used for youth, women and some masters racing. Many countries now support full Laser Radial youth programs. The International Sailing Federation found in their recent survey of national yachting authorities that the majority chose the Laser Radial as their preferred youth boat.
Laser 4.7 Radial and Standard Rig
Rigs for laser

A look at the hardware that changes the 3 rigs:

The Upper Mast section on the left side in this drawing is identical for all 3 rigs.
It mates together with the other lower 3 mast section choices shown at the right. These parts are all available from Shoreline Sailboats along with class legal sails. The lower mast sections come with a gooseneck and vang tang; completely ready to go.

No matter which rig you choose, the Laser is a challenging boat that rewards athleticism, subtle steering, and trimming techniques, as well as tactical excellence.

Please contact Shoreline Sailboats with any Laser related questions: