SALTY DOGS IN SMALL BOATS:  LASER >>  ("Laser 2")
     The Laser >> (the >> is the class symbol on the sail), or Laser II or Laser 2, was for many years one of the preeminent double-handed dinghys in the world.  It is equipped with a spinnaker and so will surf off the wind in sufficient wind, and trapezes so that it can be balanced on a plane on the wind.  It is no longer in production production in the U.S., although the parent company in Europe reportedly will build them if an order is large enough, but not in onesies and twosies.  Used boats are available but need to be inspected carefully.  Like all high-performance machines, if a boat has been used hard, it could be showing signs of age.  The cessation of large-scale domestic production has led to a natural decline in the boat's popularity in the U.S. Their continued construction  in Europe is proving to continue this popular class there.  In about the last decade or less, this class has seen a resurgence in the U.S. with some regional and national championships taking place.  In the recent past, American sailors have competed in the World Championships.
     The following images are from the CORK Worlds at Kingston, Ontario, Canada and are courtesy of Geoff Webster, photoone@ihorizons.net.
     Camano Sail and Power uses the Laser>> at its Camano Island State Park ("CISP") waterfront sailing facility in Washington State.  Suggested minimum weight crew + skipper = +-250 pounds.  A challenging but fun boat to sail.


note especially the clothing being worn to protect against hypothermia from cold water and wind.  Camano Sail requires cold-water protective clothing (e.g. wetsuits, watertight windbreakers, insulated booties and gloves etc) for all small boat sailing at their CISP waterfront facility.


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