Convert Laser to Contender???

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Sharkbait42, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    I was just wondering if anybody has attempted to convert a standard Laser into a Contender-type boat (meaning with a trapeze, etc) or if anybody has put wing seats on a Laser (hiking wings, whatever they are called). Just curious.
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  3. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Foils would be pretty amazing!!! I'm kinda tempted to trick out my Laser because I have a full rig sail and I'm only 115 lbs, so it's way too big... haha the boring option would be to get a radial rig, but the fun option would be to just add racks or something...

    Yeah, checked out that thread and it sounds like nobody's actually tried converting a Laser before, except into a Classic Moth which only would be a good option if the deck on your Laser is soft beyond repair.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Lasercontender

    Have you seen Bill Hansen's Turbo sail for the Laser? Bill is a member here(Hansen Sails) -you could contact him...
    About foils: see the rendering below by Mal Smith of a unique approach to adding foils to a Laser. He is a member here and you could PM him or e-mail him to see if he has gone any further with this project....

    click on image:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Wow... have not seen that before. Do you know what the sail area is? Very cool. Is it made out of Mylar? or something similar?
     
  6. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    so add that sail, add stays to the mast and a trapeze....
     
  7. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Just like I tell my clients, "Anything is possible". I also add "These types of projects have three critical criteria to carefully consider and optimize":

    1) Quantity of money,
    2) Amount of time and effort,
    3) Expected quality of the result

    The I tell them "They only get to choose two out of the three above to be optimized - the third will not be possible to meet expectations".

    Basically, development projects can be done, but with limited funds - it will take a lot of time - or - the result will not be good. Or with endless money and a good result, the project will take forever. You get the idea.

    Although Mr. Smith has drawn foils on a Laser, it is a very heavy, underpowered, draggy hull with very limited righting moment and structural design that is probably not up to the job in terms of supporting a stayed mast, hiking racks and high point loads from the lifting foils. His design is optimistic, but has a much lower chance of success than a design that is bespoke designed for the foiling application. First strike - unmodified hull design limitations.

    Making a Laser significantly lighter is certainly possible, but not cheap or easy for someone who doesn't have a lot of resources and experience. If money were no object, this would mean pulling a mold off an existing hull, splashing a foam cored carbon / hybrid hull using either resin infusion or vacuum bagging - along with redesigned internal structure for the application. Fixing the mast step strength and providing strong enough chainplates and rack support are pretty necessary. And it will not BE a Laser when you are done although it may superficially look like one. Second strike - cost of fixing the hull issues.

    All the above issues outlined in strike one and two can be mitigated (but not eliminated) by a optimal team with the right skills, lots of time and lots of money. Unless you've got an endless supply of time, money and skills, the resource problem is undeniable and chances of successful outcome are not great. Mr. Smith may have a chance of getting his project to "foil" in perfect conditions, but the chances it will do so and be faster around the racetrack than the unmodified Laser across all normal racing conditions (heavy, light, seas, shifts etc.) are very low. Third strike - quality and quantity of resources needed for even low performance expectations.

    I'm all for people jumping into projects and learning everything they can, but a hard look at your chances of success and the things necessary to optimize those chances has to be considered. It is easier to build a Formula One race car from scratch than it is to try and make one from a John Deere tractor.

    I'm trying to present a point of view here that gives you an idea of the magnitude of the challenge you are setting, not discourage you from trying. If you are up for the challenge and are not afraid of spending money, time and effort - go for it.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  8. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    CutOnce, I always knew that the magnitude of the challenge that I'm thinking about is huge, but I think that the norm, the standard, can always be improved. Especially on a boat like a Laser. You're completely right about the time, money, and energy that it would take, but you know, once I get my Fireball ready to sail, I won't have a project anymore D: (but then again every boat is a project... but you get my point). Time is not an issue, but money certainly is, but the lack of money would just make this a very slow project, not an impossible one.

    As far as the weight of the Laser, heavier boats have been put on foils (granted they were designed for this) I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but for example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCuP-XHefTo
    The shape of those foils might be something to think about too, on the Laser, if they can be incorporated in some way. They look like they would have a lot less drag than traditional foils, like say on a Moth.

    Or, also a cool option would be to make the Laser like some of those Australian dinghys; cram a bunch of people onto a 12 or 14 foot boat and then add as much sail area as humanly possible. I think the AUS dinghys were mentioned on http://earwigoagin.blogspot.com/.
    But, instead of cramming a bunch of people on the Laser, stick one brave soul on there with sufficient leverage and a bunch of sail area and then, if my theory is correct, you could have a rocket ship (possibly).

    Doug: I think I will email Mr. Smith and see if he has made any headway on his project.
    Foils are certainly fun to think about.
     
  9. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Sharkbait, why not just buy a Contender, they are a fun boat, I had the very first one out of the moulds when Craig first made one..KA2 (KA1 was the original wooden boat of Craigs.)
     
  10. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Oh and by the way, as far as it not being a Laser when done, ANY change to the Laser technically makes it "not a Laser" (as far as it being a one design goes). I could make the mast an inch shorter or the rudder a better shape and it "not be a Laser anymore". I have no intention of keeping my Laser a "Laser" because my boat was made in the 70's and will never be a good racing boat, much less class legal. I intend to make it a Super Laser. Or Monster/Mutant Laser. It depends. CutOnce, I'm not picking on you, I just thought your comment was a little funny. Just a little. I do appreciate your input. Thanks!
     
  11. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Buying a Contender...

    While I would just love to buy a Contender, my parents would probably put me out on the street or kill me (whatever thought comes to mind first, I guess) if I even mentioned getting another boat. I already have the Laser and Fireball taking up valuable garage space (although I am going to move one of the two to a yacht club in the spring). Yes, a Contender would be awesome, but wouldn't it be way more interesting to make a Mutant Laser??? :p I guess I could sell the Laser, buy a Contender, but I've never seen a Contender for sale before nearish to NC... if you see one, let me know. But still: Mutant Laser = WAY cooler

    Oh and here is another thread about Laser owners wanting foils...
    http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=100637
     
  12. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    yeah, but you can NEVER have too many sail boats, life is too short not to have one for every day...I just bought a Hobie 14 last night...wooopeeee (with trapeze)
     
  13. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    Congrats on the HOBIE!!! Yet another cool boat to put on hydofoils.... :D I totally agree with you with the fact (hehmm: fact) that it is never possible to have too many boats, but unfortunately, my parents don't share the same logic.
     
  14. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...well you will have to educate them.....or trade them in...on a new boat.
     

  15. Sharkbait42
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    Sharkbait42 Junior Member

    hmmm... good plan....

    Ok look at this picture... they put a CAR on foils for goodness sakes!!!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! (don't ask me what those foils are attached to)
     

    Attached Files:

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