Laser ramp ready checklist

Don’t be a ramp hog

Laser launch checklist

  • Tiller extension secured in your tiller.
  • Tiller in your rudder, and tied up tight, with the tail twisted around the tiller so it won’t come out.
  • Rudder tucked under traveler, with rudder bolt forward of traveler so that it doesn’t slip out. (Laser rudders don’t float.) Below is an example of what you DON’T want to do, since the rudder/tiller combo can slip as soon as the boat is tipped into the water:
Almost right, except the rudder bolt should be FORWARD of the traveler so that it doesn’t slip out.
  • Traveler line pulled tight. Without this, the rudder/tiller combo and slip and sink.
  • Mainsheet rigged up.
  • Clew tie fully rigged up and tight.
  • Outhaul fully rigged up, and pulled tight so sail has less power and is more manageable if a puff of wind hits at an awkward time. Like this:
Outhaul pulled tight so the sail has less power if a puff hits, clew strap on, mainsheet rigged up
  • Cunningham full rigged up, and loose so that boom can go out easily.
  • Boom vang fully rigged up, and eased to the stopper knot; this way, the sail has less power and is more manageable if a puff hits unexpectedly. Have something in the vang key socket on the boom — shock cord, velcro, tape — so that the vang key doesn’t fall out. Like this:
Vang eased to dump power in a puff, cunningham eased so rig can fully rotate
  • Daggerboard placed in cockpit, with shockcord ready to hook up. It’s a good idea to place the leading edge down, touching the cockpit, so the trailing edge is in the air; this way you’ll avoid nicks. Like this:
Round edge of daggerboard is down, back tip is up — all to avoid damage
  • Mast retainer line hooked up. Use shockcord for this, not a piece of rope. Why? I’ve seen times where a boat’s boom rotated 360 as the boat was pulled up the ramp, hosed down, and walked to its parking spot. The spectra mast retainer line pulled out the deck blocks at the base of the mast, leading to a time-consuming repair. Shockcord is class-legal. As a practical matter, you don’t need the mast retainer to keep the mast in the boat during a capsize. The cunningham does this on its own. The mast retainer you need only to be rules-compliant.
  • Dolly rail riders placed in the down position, so boat is resting on strap. Like this:
Rail riders are down, so the boat slides in easily
  • Bowline is untied from dolly, with a couple of wraps around the handle if needed to keep the boat from slipping off.
  • Clothing be fully dressed. Hat on, sunglasses on, gloves on, etc. It never ceases to amaze me how someone rolls up to the ramp half dressed, then realizes they’ve forgotten something, and has to run a minute across the parking lot (not fun in a wetsuit!) to go get it. Simple solution: get fully dressed before you wheel your boat.
  • Lifejacket — have it on and zipped up.

Laser retrieval checklist

  1. Rudder & tiller tucked under traveler, with rudder bolt forward of traveler.
  2. Traveler pulled tight, so your rudder and tiller don’t sink.
  3. Daggerboard shockcord off, and daggerboard resting in cockpit, back tip up.
  4. Mainsheet knot untied. and mainsheet pulled completely off the boom, so boom can swing out 180 degrees if needed.
  5. Outhaul pulled tight so sail is more manageable.
  6. Vang fully eased to stopper knot
  7. Cunningham fully eased so it’s not stopping the boom from rotating.
  8. Dolly rail riders in down position, so boat will easily slide up on the strap.




Occasional thoughts on tech, sailing, and San Francisco

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Al Sargent

Al Sargent

Occasional thoughts on tech, sailing, and San Francisco

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