Do you know there’s a new sail proposed by Laser Performance for the Laser Standard class? Yes, it is called Mark II and it’s available for testing and training right now, while they wait for a satisfactory answer from ILCA, ISAF and PSA to make it class legal. In this article Laserista.com will tell you about new sail features and improvements made by Laser Performance, and also mention some of first impressions received by sailors testing it on their boats.
The new Laser Standard Mark II sail by Laser Performance
In words of their builders, “This is the training sail everyone has been waiting for. The Mark II is more durable due to its bi-radial construction, it is manufactured out of longer lasting 4.5 ounce Dacron cloth with optimized sail patches and the new luff tube design is easier on the upper spars.”
And they also state, “Although it has not been approved by the Laser Class or ISAF for competition, it is time to put the training sail out in the market for the sailors to train and enjoy.”
In UK they’re going further and offering a rebate coupon, “While we wait for its approval, with each purchase the consumer will also receive a rebate coupon towards their purchase of a class approved Mark II sail, if and when it becomes available. Coupon will be valued at £50 redeemable through dealer or directly through LaserPerformance.” They also mentioned after class approval, the Mark II starbursts will revert back to red.
Laser Standard Mark II sail’s new features and improvements by Laser Performance
BI-RADIAL CONSTRUCTION – The radial panel structure of the Mark II sail attempts to best match the load paths expected while sailing. The intent was to make a sail that has the shape intended while offering improved durability.
LARGER WINDOW – A larger window increases safety by allowing sailors to visualize the race and see other boats better.
TAPERED BATTENS – A sail shape is not an even curve. To better match the designed sail shape, the Mark II sail uses tapered battens of varying stiffness so they will best match the sail shape where they are installed. Battens are included in the sail and fit into Velcro fastened pockets.
LUFF TUBE MAST JOINT PATCH – A long standing gripe of Laser sailors is the crease that develops from the mast joint to the clew. The patch on the Mark II is designed to greatly reduce this crease by accommodating the factors that create the crease.
4.5 OZ. DACRON SAILCLOTH – The 4.5 oz cloth is chosen for the Mark II sails because its engineering supports radially designed sails best and has a cloth weight that offers improved durability while not being too heavy for light air conditions.
OPTIMIZED PATCHING – It is widely understood that the greatest loads on a sail are found at the corners. Without proper patching, large creases emanate from the corners. The best types of patches attempt to match the load path expected and with sufficient layers and size to best distribute the loads into the sail body. The Mark II patches are optimized into a radial design to match the load paths. Also notable is the tack patch that has components in the sleeve. This is designed to help the sail last longer under the stresses of high downhaul loads.
First customer’s impressions about the new Laser Standard Mark II sail
I used it yesterday morning at Grafham. The wind was 10 to 15 knots through the session (F3/F4). As a mature sailor of 70 Kilos this is exactly the sort of day where I have to say standard or radial and many of my peers opted for the radial.
Based on this first session I am very impressed with the new sail. It is not faster in a straight line it seems very evenly matched when the boats are sailing together. However the handling is much better. The head of the sail is very sensitive to the kicker adjustment so no more heaving on the kicker. The same applies to the out haul. I found I only needed a moderate amount of cunningham on the beat to take the wrinkle out.
Most importantly I found that as the sail depowered it retained it’s shape and I could still sail properly and keep up with the fleet. With the MK1 sail I end up with a slab of cloth which does not point. At my weight I found I could keep up with and in front of my peers in the radials once it was a force 4. Whereas with the MK1 I would have dropped back because I was overpowered.
This sail certainly answers my main gripe about the MK1 standard sail in club racing, I can use it in a wider wind range and save the Radial for really blowy days or masters regattas where I do not have the stature or fitness to cope with a 5 plus race series which might include a blowy day (I sail for pleasure not for a workout) in a standard.
I found I enjoyed the session much more because the sail was so much easier to handle when the wind picked up. Now we have this sail I am very glad I hesitated last year and didn’t buy an Aero 7!
Customer Feedback 26th January – Source: SailingFast.co.uk
Sailors have taken ILCA’s Radial sail for Laser standard, to the races. It’s time to make the (clearly) better sail class legal. PSA, get on with the program. LP, sails came without the red dot, why? Regatta report: 12 sailors, 6 countries, 12-18 knots. 5th Rob Muru CAN, 4th: Dave Wells CAN, 3rd Jorge Abreu DOM, 2nd Ari Barshi DOM, 1st: Andy Roy CAN.
Laser Training Center Cabarete – Source: Facebook.
Big thanks to Ari for allowing us to try out the new sail. It is clear that the design is a quantum improvement over the current sail. It’s made from a firm 4.5 oz dacron (it will be loud on the starting line when everyone is luffing before the gun), has a larger window (will reduce port-starboard incidents), has tapered battens (nice batten pockets), the mast sleeve is custom designed for the two-part mast, and it has reinforced tack and clew patches for much longer life. In our races yesterday Ari sailed with an older, used sail, and I may have had a slight speed advantage on him but I think only because my sail was brand new and his was older. The sail looks cool and doesn’t have all the ugly large wrinkles that we all have had to look at with the old sail. C’mon PSA, just sign the paper and get this sail introduced!
Andy Roy – Source: Facebook.
You can read more about and purchase new Laser Standard Mark II sail here.