July 25, 2017

What's Missing from my Practice Laser?

By Doug
The training has started for people going to the Laser Master Worlds in Split in September. Here’s my practice Laser, do you see anything missing? 


I like practice to be a little harder than normal, so here’s what I don’t use to force me to be more aware of my surroundings:
  • A compass to keep my head out of the boat.
  • A watch so I can focus on boats around me at the start.
  • A flag at the top of the mast forces me to feel the wind.
  • Hiking pants helps me feel the boat.
  • An old MK1 sail is not fast and makes we work harder.
So, here’s what’s missing – my practice sail has no telltales. This forces me to sail by feeling the pressure on the centerboard, rudder, and sail. Sailing at night is the best way to get the feeling for a boat but if you can’t to this, sailing without telltales is the next best thing.

July 16, 2017

A Lesson In Boat Design

By Doug
On a recent drive back from the lake there were repairs being made to the highway, and there was heavy traffic and lots of bumps in the road. At one point, all traffic stopped and when I started to move again, felt my trailer behind me shudder. Looking in the mirror, I could see that a truck was really close but because of my vision issues, I could not see how far back it was.

Did it bump my Laser or did my trailer hit a bump in the road? I thought about getting out, but being in the middle lane with lots of traffic, I decided to continue driving.

When I got home, I checked the back of my Laser and could not see any damage. Good, I must have hit a bump. I told Pam about this and she immediately checked out the back of my Laser, saw no damage, and then called me an old man who didn't know how to drive.


But then the trunk of my car would not open properly. And then I noticed that the front of the trailer was really bent. Yup, I had been nudged by something solid enough to push my Laser into the back of my car.

So, here’s the lesson. My Kiwi Laser was built for the 1993 Worlds and I’ve sailed it every year since then. Many people feel that Lasers are now outdated and are looking to newer designs like the Aero and Melges 14. It’s a natural progression as boat designs get lighter and more hi-tech.

When Lasers first came out, they were a modern and, as my aging Laser proved, a really durable design. Let’s make sure that newer boat designs are not sacrificing durability for better performance.

July 01, 2017

Happy Birthday Canada!

By Doug
Today is Canada's 150th birthday and as a Canadian, I'm feeling a little homesick. We have a lot to be grateful for, and in our sport we have a bunch of really good up-and-coming sailors.

I had the pleasure of meeting Forest Wachholz in Florida, one of the many sailing ambassadors that Canada has.


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