After unboxing and sailing Bob’s Laser for about an hour and a half, then boxing and unboxing it and sailing it for another hour we have made some observations and conclusions:
All RC boats have flaws: You have to lean over further to pick a Laser up out of the water, and the sail servo is not quick (possibly accounting for the long battery service). All newly owned boats have “bugs”: Bob did not correctly tie the sheet to the main boom on his first try. That bug was corrected in about 90 seconds.
However, in 2 ½ hours of sailing and otherwise fooling around with the Laser, that was all we could find in the way of flaws and bugs. As seasoned kit boat builders (Soling and Victoria) we are all very impressed.
It is a misconception that the best thing about a Laser is the fact that you can literally sail it 10 minutes after you take it out of the box for the first time, and 5 minutes after you take it out the second time. The best thing is the way that it sails: It’s mesmerizing.
During saltwater trials with winds at 14 mph gusting to 18 plus, she sailed smartly with just her B sail. For 3 different skippers she proved that she can turn sharply around windward and off wind marks, point well, get out of irons faster than whatever you are used to sailing, remain very controllable going downhill, and for 30 minutes she stayed within 3 to 16 feet of a Soling which was sailed by her seasoned skipper, Salty Bob.
As a bonus the cockpit was totally dry after an hour in rough water, and had one drop inside (possibly from the hatch cover) after a couple of hours of ploughing through the chop. We noticed that the servos responded perfectly using 4 AA alkaline batteries for the entire sail out.
Conclusions: At well under $400 delivered to your door with all electronics and a B sail, this is a great club boat for our salt water and daily wind here on the Gulf.
While we will never stop sailing the Victoria Thunder Tiger, and will always be a proud part of the Region 5 Vic fleet, the Laser adds an entirely new dimension to RC sailing in the Coastal Bend. Today we bought 2 more. That makes 3.
Fair winds and plunder,