Used Laser Buying Guide (Part 2)
This is a follow on from our Part 1 Article where we covered used Laser Hulls and Spars. Here I'll go through what you should look out for when assessing the Laser Sail, Foils and rigging.
In assessing the quality of a second-hand boat another thing you should look out for is the age of the sail. As I'm sure you already know, sails tend to wear out with use, and if you plan on racing or competing at a high-level anytime soon, you want to have a sail which is in good condition. You can test the age of the Sail by feeling the cloth and seeing how stiff the cloth feels. If you touch the sail cloth and it feels very soft to the touch, then it is likely that this sail has been well used. You can also look out for significant creasing around the cunningham eye, mast sleeve, or at the head of the sail.
Checking the quality of second-hand foils is usually pretty straightforward. Are there any significant chips in the centreboard or rudder?
Alongside obvious chips on scratches, here are some other things I would look out for.
- Bending or deformation
Older foils are produced with small metal rods in the centre of the foil to increase their stiffness. These can bend due to heat, and lead to the foil no longer being ‘straight’.
- Air bubbles
Nearly all Laser foils are coated in a substance called gelcoat. If not applied properly, there can be bubbles between the gelcoat and fiberglass which expand as the oxygen heats up.
Tiller and Tiller Extension
- Check the Tiller and Tiller extension for any cracks
- See if there are any tears in the Tiller Extension Universal Joint
- See if the tiller has any wear from the traveller rope
Ropes and control systems
- Check all control lines for wear or ‘fuzziness’
- Make sure all blocks run correctly
- Look for any signs of cracking on the following items:
- Vang body
- Vang key
- Ensure wheels are round and have no flat spots
- Check for corrosion around main connection points
- Ensure all zips, and straps are present
- Look for signs of UV damage
- Check covers for any tears
That's pretty much all there is to it when it comes to purchasing a second hand boat. If you're looking for somewhere to buy used gear, check out our Used Gear page or the Australian Laser Buy, Swap and Sell Facebook group.