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An Overview of the Laser Standard Sailboat – By Stephen Goettle

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Experienced sailor, outdoorsman, and accounting professional Stephen Goettle attended Duke University, where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Economics with minors in English and Environmental Science in 2008. Currently, Mr. Goettle serves as a Financial Services Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, Massachusetts, where he works in private equity and alternatives. During his time at Duke, he spent several summers as a camp counselor, teaching young people outdoor skills. A member of Outward Bound and the Appalachian Mountain Club, he enjoys spending his free time reading, hiking, skiing, and sailing.

One of the most popular small sailing dinghies in the United States, the Laser Class sailboat is most often handled by only one person. Also known as the Laser Standard or the Laser One, the boat is manufactured by Laser Performance, and as of 2011, more than 250,000 boats of the Laser Class design exist in the world. Originally known as the “Weekender,” the Laser Class boat has been used in the Olympic games for more than 10 years.

The Laser Class sailboat is protected by the rules of the One Design class, which means that each boat is built exactly the same, whether it is new or old. These rules emphasize the skill and technique of the sailor over his or her ability to modify the boat.

The boat has gained a strong reputation for ease of rigging and handling, although competitive Laser sailing requires agility and strength. In addition to the standard Laser rigging, several other variations exist, including the Rooster 8.1, the Laser 4.7, the Laser M, and the Laser Radial. Many young sailors begin with the Laser 4.7 and gradually move up to more difficult riggings as they gain strength and experience.