What is the Laser 4.7?
The Laser 4.7 is just a standard Laser with 2
changes. All you need to do to change any Laser into a Laser 4.7
is to rig the boat with the 4.7 bottom mast & sail. It is that
easy to change any Laser into a safe and exciting boat for children &
The Laser 4.7 uses a short pre-bent lower mast to maintain a
balanced helm and a sail area that is 35% smaller than the Laser
Standard. It is ideal for learning to sail or for the lighter weight
sailor graduating from Optimist. The International Laser Association
recommend's the 4.7 for crew weights between 35 to 55 kg. In New Zealand
we have found that crew weights of 45 to 65 kg are more appropriate for our
conditions. The photo's below show the 4.7's sailing next to an Optimist
and Standard Rig Laser.
Why Sail a Laser 4.7?
The 4.7 has many advantages for sailors and their
parents. It is so simple and inexpensive to get started in the Laser 4.7
that we hope that New Zealand with have many more children & teenagers
sailing. Like its bigger brothers the 4.7 is fast and exciting to
sail and gets on the plane easily. We have found that even though
Starling & Splash have larger sail areas of 5.5 square
metres the 4.7 is faster around a race course than both and only in very
light conditions is the Splash marginally faster.
Advantages for Sailors & Parents
1 Strict One Design. The Laser
and its strict one design is the most popular sailing dingy in the world.
This gives sailors & parent's confidence that it is the sailor that
wins a regatta and not the boat and how much money has been spent
2 Low costs to get sailing in a 4.7.
There are around 4,500 Lasers in New Zealand. Any of
these can be turned into a 4.7 by the simple addition of the short pre-bent
lower mast & 4.7 square metre sail. Older second hand Lasers can be
purchased cheaply and the lower mast and sail can be bought from Boat Bits for $795
& if you want to save
that official sail for Regatta, training & club sails can purchased from nzsailing.net
for $389 and we also have a selection of 2nd hand Laser 4.7
sails and lower masts for sale
3 Fast & Easy to Handle. The 4.7 is
extremely exciting to sail and in winds over 15 knots goes around a race course
at a similar speed to that of the Standard Laser. If you do capsize the
boat is very easy to right (given its relatively small sail area) and like all
Lasers it comes up dry and you are ready to go again. Recently, at a Manly
Twilight, the winds were forecast 35 to 45 knots from the East. Many of
the Standard and Radial sailors did not go out. Most of the 4.7
fleet went out and had a ball! One the 4.7 sailors had only just
completed their Level 2 YNZ learn to sail course! They all came back to
beach at the end of the three races buzzing!
4 Easy to Rig. Like its bigger
brothers the 4.7 is simple to rig and get out on the water and start having
5 One boat purchase is all that is
needed. Once you have a 4.7 you don't need to purchase any other boats.
As you grow bigger you simply buy a Laser Radial bottom section and sail
to get a Laser Radial. The Laser Radial is the Women's Single Handed
Olympic Dingy and the ISAF Youth Dingy. If you keep, growing just buy a
Standard bottom section & Sail and you have the Men's Single Handed Olympic
Dingy. Parents will really appreciate this aspect of the 4.7.
6 Low maintenance. The 4.7 does
not need painting and maintaining like other classes. For the last 30 years
the Laser has grown into the most popular dingy in the world because owning
one is all about enjoying sailing and not about maintenance. Parents will
also appreciate this!
7 Fully Supported by NZ Laser
Association. The 4.7 already enjoys the support of the well established NZ
Laser Association which has many benefits including Nationals & North
Island Regatta where the 4.7 sailors are sailing on the same course and in the
same boats as their Olympic heroes. It is
a fantastic opportunity
the 4.7 sailors to be out on the water and talk to Sailors like Jo Aleh and
8 Annual Coaching Camps with New Zealand's
Best Dingy Sailors. Part of the support from
the NZ Laser Association mentioned above, includes New Zealand's top Dingy sailors like Jo
Aleh, Miranda Powrie, Andrew Murdoch & Michael Bullot will be providing
annual coaching camps for 4.7 sailors.
Competition. The 4.7 has a very large following worldwide and
international competitions are hotly contested with Male & Female World
Championships. At the 2006 Worlds in
were 237 entries in the Male event and 88 in the Female.
10 Top NZ 4.7
Sailor gets a free trip to the World Championships. Each
year the winner of the NZ National 4.7 Championships will get their
airfare paid for them to travel and compete in the World
Championships. Travis Dow is the first winner of this prize and
will travel to South
compete. In 2008 the best 4.7 sailor in NZ will be
travelling to Croatia.
So what are you waiting for
go out and have some fun!!