When I purchased the laser, it was missing the auto-bailer, and then I snapped the top of my mast. This put me in immediate need of a mast upper section and I found intensitysails.com. I contacted the owner, Jim Myers, and then drove to Warwick Rhode Island to pick it up. Jim has a 2nd floor warehouse space that is packed with small sailboat parts neatly organized on shelves. It was like a hobby store for a sailor. If I wanted to, I could have dropped $1000 in 20 minutes of shopping. Jim asked me about my sailing intentions and I mentioned New Bedford and Sailtember. He immediately offered to put me in touch with other laser sailors in the area.
That all being said, I had the pleasure of sailing with Derek and Eric today. They are both retired and big into their Lasers. We met up at Colt State Park in Rhode Island and sailed for a good three hours.
I learned a few basic things too:
My boat is slow. But not super slow. I know these guys are better technical sailors than I am and they have a lot more practice.
My boat doesn't seem to have its hull numbers in any of the regular spots.
My boat is taking on too much water (for my comfort) and it seems like the rate has accelerated recently. Or as Eric puts it "Your boat is sinking".
My sail shape in general sucks. I know battens will help but I think I should buy a newer sail.
I need a new sail, a real cunningham, a real outhaul set up, clew strap, battens, floating marine radio, a beach dolly and a new trailer solution that works with the dolly. And I'm leaving out boat covers, a padded hiking pants a new PFD.... All in due time!
Rhode Island was a very pleasant change of pace. I only wish that I had remembered to ask to switch boats with Derek or Eric when we got back in so I could have a few minutes hands-on with a properly rigged boat, and more importantly, so I could get one of their impressions on what replacements/upgrades I should do first.
When we returned I took a few photos.
Ever hear the "There were these three lasers sitting in a parking lot" joke?