How Long Is A Laser Sailboat?

How Long Is A Laser Sailboat? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

May 22, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • A Laser is an ideal boat for those wanting to dinghy race or be active on the water
  • Laser boats are 13.78 feet long and some use a smaller sail depending on your weight
  • The Laser hull is an excellent dinghy design with a few sail modifications
  • Laser sailors are able to transport the boat on a trailer or the top of a typical car
  • Laser sailing is arguably the best dinghy since it utilizes an ideal weight and boat length

Laser sailboats are a popular racing dinghy that are compact and easy to handle. But how long is a laser sailboat?

A Laser sailboat is approximately 13.78 feet long and comes in three different rigging versions depending on your sailing needs. These boats include the Laser Standard, Laser Radial, and the Laser 4.7. Each rig type still remains just under 14 feet in boat length.

After careful analysis the Laser appears to have a perfect design and great boat length to accommodate any type of sailor no matter their experience. It is estimated that over 200,000 Laser boats are in about 140 countries and makes it the most popular racing dinghy out there.


Table of contents

Differences in Laser Boats

Laser boats all remain the same boat length of 13.78 feet so there will be a level of familiarity if you were to move from one rigging type to another. Since they are a one design boat they are typically the same style but newer models might have something that the older ones do not.

The only differences will be in the rigging that you choose upon your purchase. You can see the rigging types below and how they might apply to your skill and body type.

Laser Standard - Best All Around

The Laser Standard has a 76 feet squared sail and is meant for sailors that are more athletic or have a heavier build. The skill level ranges between beginner and expert but most adults with some sailing experience will opt for this rigging type.

Laser Radial - Best for Lighter Sailors

The Laser Radial has a 62 feet squared sail and is meant for women or lighter weight sailors. The skill level ranges between beginner and expert but most that have limited experience will likely choose this one.

Laser 4.7 - Best Beginner or Youth Sailing

The Laser 4.7 has a 50.59 feet squared sail and is best of youth sailors or lighter sailors in general. The skill level still ranges between beginner and expert but this is a perfect introduction into dinghy sailing for anyone.

The Charecteristics of a Laser Boat

A Laser boat is made up of many different parts. Each part makes the boat unique and is why it is able to be around 14 feet in length. If any one of these parts are damaged or missing you will not be able to experience the Laser as it was intended to be.

Mast Section and Boom

The mast is adjustable into two different parts. One of them being the shorter lower mast section and allows you to change direction based on the wind.

The boom is similar to the mast in that it helps control the angle of the wind hitting the sail. This is located at the bottom of the sail along the footing.

Various Types of Sails

The sails are any of the three types that were mentioned above. The size of your sails will depend on your personal weight so it is important for the right balance and performance to find the sails that are accommodating to you.

Stability with Daggerboard and Rudders

The daggerboard is a keel type that enters through a slot on the hull. This is essential for a boats stability. Rudders have to be down while sailing in order to properly steer the boat.

Steering with a Tiller

The tiller allows you to steer the boat through the rudder and is necessary if you want to sail. Most Laser boat racers opt for a tiller extender so that they can control the boat while leaning over the edge for balance.

Best Tips for the Purchase of a Laser Boat

Laser sailing is a one of a kind experience on the water and not meant for simple cruising. These boat types are used in the Laser World Championships and have their own Laser class among dinghy races throughout the world. They are governed by the International Laser Class Association and races have a set of Laser class rules.

Bruce Kirby and his innovation helped sketched and designed the first Laser boat in 1970. This paved the way for a revolutionary brand.

Since the earliest models it has gained a lot of popularity among dinghy sailing. Today you can still find some original Laser Standard sail and many newer models that could fit within your budget or sailing goals.

What to Look for in a Laser Boat

You could look to purchase a Laser boats based on a variety of factors. These could be new or used but will ultimately vary depending on the desired use.

If you happen to find an older Laser boat you should give it some thought. These boats are designed with the same hull type over the years and the quality has been consistent.

Hull’s Condition

The hull needs to be in good shape no matter if it is new or used. Make sure there are not any holes or spots that are soft which would later become a hole.

The hull weight should also be around 130 pounds since that is what new Laser boats are weighing. If used you should ask the owner how they stored the boat whether on land or left at a marina in the water.

Age of Laser

Laser boats can be great if they are taken care of over time. A 1970 version will obviously look and feel much different than a 2023 model.

A lot of models have the same hull and same specifications since they are a one design boat. If applicable you can check the hull number and look it up to get an accurate representation of the boats age.

Average Cost to Expect

Laser boats range in price depending on a variety of factors. If the boat was taken care of over the years then a used version will definitely be a the best bang for your buck.

A Laser boat that is used but in good condition could vary between $2,000 and $5,000. A newer Laser boat could start around $5,000 and be as high as nearly $6,000.

It is best if you can shop around to find a great deal on a Laser boat. Since there are over 200,000 Laser boats in regulation around the world the chances of finding one at a good price near you is highly likely.

Why You Might Consider Purchasing a Laser Boat

Laser boats are a great way to be active on the water and get a feel for sailing. The best thing about it is that you can have a good time without needing a ton of experience sailing beforehand.

Ease of Transportation

These are compact boats that can be easily transported by a truck or trailer. It would be best to transport with a trailer but not everyone has that capability. Some small cars can carry these if you can figure out a safe way to transport the boat.

Different Versions and Rig Setups

They make two different hardware versions and three different rigging types. Since the design is essentially the same over the years many sailors of different experience levels can work on their sailing skills.

XD is best for sailors wanting to find performance. Race is best for those wanting to sail recreationally or for racing in clubs.

Easy to Learn Sailing Skills

If you have never sailed on a boat like this then it will take some practice. There is a slight learning curve since you need to use your body to help balance the boat while racing. They are great for anyone with a competitive spirit and that love to go fast.

How Long Is A Laser Sailboat?
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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