Laser Tips

Laser Tips

Sailing & Rigging Tips

Rigging Tips

Light Air (Up to 10 knots)

  • Downhaul: Snug, with slight wrinkles from mast joint to clew
  • Outhaul: Loose, foot should be about one-hand's length from the center of the boom
  • Vang: Snug to just over-tight for the mainsheet tension
  • Mainsheet: 1 to 10 Inches between traveler blocks (reverse order from breeze, i.e.: 1 knot = more than 10", 3 knots = 7" 6 knots = 4", 10 = 1"gap etc.)
  • Body weight
    • Upwind: Body weight centered slightly forward of the mainsheet block
    • Reaching: Same, slightly aft
    • Downwind: As far forward as possible without feet leaving the cockpit. Heel the boat as necessary

Medium Air (10 to 18 knots):

  • Downhaul: Enough to smooth out the wrinkles between clew and mast joint. Slightly less in chop, if you're no overpowered
  • Outhaul: Slightly less than one-hand's length from center of boom. Marks on the boom for the becket block help make this setting consistent
  • Vang: Over-tighten the vang in relation to the power in the sail plan: If overpowered, have enough vang on to prevent the mainsheet from going up when you ease the mainsheet. If not overpowered, have it snug to slightly over-tight
  • Mainsheet: Mainsheet is block-to-block. Maximum leech tension, and max mast bend is the most efficient form of the sail. Easing will add more power unless you have sufficient boom vang on
  • Body weight
    • Upwind: Body weight should be straight out from feet in hiking strap, 4" to 6" aft of the mainsheet block
    • Reaching: Body angled back from feet 45 degrees, move further back as you start planing
    • Downwind: Straddle the centerboard until planing, then move aft as necessary

Heavy Air (18 to 30 knots):

  • Downhaul: Grommet all the way to the boom—enough to smooth out the wrinkles
  • Outhaul: Depends on how much you're overpowered. If so, maxing out the outhaul is necessary. However, if not, 3" to 4" at the maximum draft will give some shape
  • Vang: Should be on tight enough so that when the mainsheet is eased, the traveler blocks move away from each other at 45 degrees or less from the deck. The boom should be visibly bent and should not go up at all when easing the sheet.
  • Mainsheet: Depending on control of the boat and precision of driving, the mainsheet can    be 6" to 18" between the traveler blocks, almost all the time. Keeping the bow down and the sail powered up reduces stalling and sideways movement; easing the mainsheet helps
  • Body weight
    • Upwind: Body should be centered on the hiking strap, maximum hike
    • Reaching: Body aft of corner of cockpit, angled aft
    • Downwind, aft in the boat, front foot pushing off the front of cockpit

Extra tips

  • Big Sailor in Light Air
    • Downhaul: Downhaul should be slightly looser than others on average for power and height
    • Outhaul: Likewise, outhaul should stay looser longer as the breeze increases across the range, but not much more than one-hand's length
    • Vang: Vang should be snug at most, until hiking is necessary
    • Body weight: Body should be forward all the time. Center of weight should not be much forward of the mainsheet block, but knees at the block all the time, never aft. Looking to keep the bow knuckle in the water
    • Mainsheet: Mainsheet can be looser, and keeping the bow down for pace is best bet to maintaining VMG
  • Small Sailor in Heavy Air
    • Downhaul: Downhaul should be maxed out
    • Outhaul: Outhaul should be close to maxed out most of the time
    • Vang: Vang should be tightened as much as you can; ease slightly for tacks
    • Mainsheet: Sheeting out allows you to keep the bow down and the boat loaded sufficiently to prevent stalling. Sheet out between 1 to 2 feet all the time; trimming block-to-block can be dangerously slow


Buster Pike