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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    34

    Default Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    I am new to dinghy sailing, and I am currently sailing my club Lasers. I am thinking about getting one for myself, but some people in my club suggested I should try Solo - we have large Solo fleet. I am happy with Laser, but not completely closed to the idea. I am looking for your opinions - ideally from someone who sailed both dinghies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Firth of Forth
    Posts
    2,585

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    You are in a fortunate position in having a large Solo fleet as well as access to Lasers. Speak to some of the Solo sailors and see if anyone will let you have a go. You'll get a much better idea by trying the boat yourself than by asking on here.

    FWIW I sail a Laser and find it more comfortable to sail and easier to right than a Solo but I'm aware that others hold opposite views.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,658

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    Laser significantly faster, put a relatively cheap new sail on an old hull and you are as 99.9% as fast as a new boat, though for serious racing the sails don't last that long. Solo more technical, lots of minor variations.

    I've given up dinghies, but my favourite just for fun boats were Lasers, once I'd learnt how to do downwind and gybe them in a strong wind without capsizing (mostly anyway).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,286

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    If you're looking to race, probably go for the boat that has the higher turnout. Personally, I hate Lasers, I hate the way that they are a "strict one design" but there's now variations in sail cut (not just size) and whether you run a folded or rolled sail, or for that matter even an illegal practice sail, all the various "official" XD go faster goodies, coupled with inherent handling flaws, design flaws you're not allowed to fix (transom bridle) with a piece of bungee or tape, and that fact that the hulls aren't carrying correctors and therefore aren't the same weight makes it a pretty horrible proposition in my book. But...and it's a big but...sometimes 25 boats regularly out for a Wednesday night race at my club is hard to argue with and begrudgingly if I wan in the market for a single hander, it would probably be a Laser for the racing only.

    I think the Solo is a much nicer boat in many ways, with much more scope to have it set up in the way you like it, and buy your foils/fittings/sails/masts from whoever you want. They are probably better value too...Lasers are often horrendously over priced for what you are actually getting for your money.

    It really does just depend on how you intend to sail/race it. If you're not bothered about fleet racing, ans assuming you want a single sailed hiker, there's also lots of other choices out there such as the Supernova which is a nice boat , and of course the RS Aero which is enjoying a very well growth...it's a really nicely thought out design.
    Bavaria 32 GBR4755L "Adastra"
    49er GBR340 "20KSB"/Fireball GBR14474 "Eleven Parsecs"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    I have a problem with my back which means it will not bend properly.

    The last time i tried to sail a laser (admittedly a club boat not well set up) i had some real issues tacking in a bit of wind. To get under the boom, I had to release the kicker, tack, then quickly get the kicker back on.

    The solo has a deeper cockpit and I can get under the boom easily even with kicker hard on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat: Portsmouth, Us: Stewkley
    Posts
    2,984

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    For dinghy sailing I'd always go with whatever is popular in the club. Handicap racing is all very well but it's a lot more exciting to be racing on the same level with the boat next to you.
    Plus I bet there are a few Solos on the for sale board in the club house! Saves a lot of hassle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat: Portsmouth, Us: Stewkley
    Posts
    2,984

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by steve62 View Post
    The last time i tried to sail a laser (admittedly a club boat not well set up) i had some real issues tacking in a bit of wind. To get under the boom, I had to release the kicker, tack, then quickly get the kicker back on.
    It's common with lasers on windy days to sit on the boom before tightening the kicker. Which leaves about 2" between blocks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    Thanks for your answers. If I will buy a dinghy it will be either Solo, either Laser - I don't consider any other. I have another boat arriving soon (Achilles 24) and today I understood I won't have much time sailing dinghy, as I wish. So currently, I am thinking about getting a cheap Laser, even if it would require some minor repairs - I will be happy to do them, add cheap XD replica kicker, proper length tiller. Anyway, I am currently embarrassing any dinghy when I sail it - for those who want to see my tacks, I can refer to video with code G5pMeWXrCQ on youtube....

    Quote Originally Posted by jwilson View Post
    Solo more technical, lots of minor variations.
    What you exactly mean by this? Lot of sail adjustment to go bit faster then others? - this is actually something I might enjoy...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,658

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by slawosz View Post
    Thanks for your answers. If I will buy a dinghy it will be either Solo, either Laser - I don't consider any other. I have another boat arriving soon (Achilles 24) and today I understood I won't have much time sailing dinghy, as I wish. So currently, I am thinking about getting a cheap Laser, even if it would require some minor repairs - I will be happy to do them, add cheap XD replica kicker, proper length tiller. Anyway, I am currently embarrassing any dinghy when I sail it - for those who want to see my tacks, I can refer to video with code G5pMeWXrCQ on youtube....



    What you exactly mean by this? Lot of sail adjustment to go bit faster then others? - this is actually something I might enjoy...
    Different masts, mast foot positions, hulls and sails from many makers on Solos, probably more than just this. I've only sailed a Solo once, maybe 45 years ago, at around the same time I first sailed a Laser. Just liked the Laser more, it steered sweetly, had a smooth climb onto the plane, and went surprisingly fast once the wind got up. It's not perfect, after all it was designed as a fun beach boat not an Olympic racer, but it's probably the closest to a true one-design you can get, and a real test of skill and some fitness.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,415

    Default Re: Solo vs. Laser dinghy

    There can be lots of Lasers out, but there could be 3 rigs. So are they sailing as one fleet? Or 3 races within a race? If you are new to sailing - you wont be ready for a full rig laser!

    A solo is slower on PY. That sounds sensible for a beginner.

    The options may mean buying a boat doesn't get you the best set-up, but as a beginner that may not matter.

    The laser is HUGE (not physically) but globally. That means you will not be the laser world champion, or UK champion, or regional champion, or club champion...

    Solo is a decent boat. Over 100 boats at the nationals so if you want serious competition you can still get it. But I doubt they need you to have entered qualifying races to get in the nationals. Dont think they have a worlds... ...but I doubt a new sailor is close to that level... if you win the solo nationals - you might want to try a laser...

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