The Laser is a highly popular family of small one-design single handed sailing dinghies using the same common hull and interchangeable rigs with different sail areas. Bruce Kirby designed the Laser in 1970 with an emphasis on simplicity and performance.
The Laser is one of the most popular dinghy classes in history. As of 2018, there are more than 215,000 boats worldwide. It is an international class with sailors in 120 countries, and an Olympic class since 1996. A commonly cited reason for its popularity is that it is robust and simple to rig and sail, while also providing very competitive racing due to the very tight class association controls which eliminate differences in hull, sails, and equipment.
The Laser hull can be fitted with different interchangeable rigs with varying sail area and similar parts. This allows for a wide range of sailors to sail and compete in a range of wind conditions despite the Laser's small ideal crew weight range for a given rig. Three rigs are recognised by the International Laser Association: original Laser standard with a sail area of 7.06 m²; the Laser Radial with a sail area of 5.76 m²; and the Laser 4.7 with a sail area of 4.7 m². The Laser's hull is made out of glass reinforced plastic. The deck has a foam layer underneath for strength and buoyancy. The dagger board is removable for storage and transport.
Class Association www.laser.org.uk