By Joe Berkeley

And now, for the special-edition Laser buyer’s news. Recently, I acquired a new boat. There are many ways to accomplish that mission. Here are a few methods you may consider.

A Laser from a good home.

There are some boats for sale in your fleet, and your new boat could be in the boat paddock at Sail Newport. Here is such a boat.

Nick Ewenson’s Laser has many things going for it. The yacht is lightly sailed by a light guy. This is a 2014 model, sail number 206082 which includes LP’s upgraded systems, such as XD Carbon tiller, extension. The boat is complete with Seitech dolly, bottom cover made by North and blade bag made by the same. There are two rolled, never-folded Hyde sails, one with 15 days on it, the other with just two. The boat has only been sailing 17 days. Throw in a Vectran traveler, light air mainsheet, Mark II centerboard retention system, brown-on-top, white-on-the-bottom dead-sexy GRP blades, and you have an enviable Laser. Interested? Contact Nick at newenson@gmail.com. Don’t worry, Nick’s not leaving the fleet. Since he works for LP, he’s going to buy a brand new boat as he is an ambassador for the brand.

Christine Neville has a Laser for sale. As she is campaigning for the Olympics, she can offer you some top tips on how to rig up your new boat. Reach Christine at chrisnev@gmail.com

Scope like Shope

The reigning US Masters National Champion and fleet Co-Captain Peter Shope has a knack for finding used boats on craigslist. He believes even 20-year-old Lasers can still have good life left in them. When Shope goes craigslist shopping, it’s a bit like a master chef thumping the produce in a farmer’s market. He doesn’t weigh the boats or check the rake, he presses his hand against the hull and searches for lightly used boats owned by light people.  Shope also has great affection for older spars, as he prefers vintage aluminum over the new stuff.

If you’re going to take this approach, you need to be quick. Scott Pakenham-Beaker was rigging up one day, when he said, “Hey, Peter, I saw a good boat on craigslist for sale in Hingham.” As Shope pulled his Laser off his trailer, he replied, “I just bought it.” Doh! This boat may fit that criteria:


Scratched for less scratch

Once a year, Laser Performance the builder has a sale where scratched display boats go up for sale. Steve and John Kirkpatrick both bought boats at this sale, then Steve used his legendary powers of persuasion to convince me to buy a scratched boat. There are some savings to be had, especially if you already own some of the parts like blades and spars. Dan Neri is another fleet member who took this approach and thus far he has been pleased with his yacht. He once said, “I get a lot of value out of my boat, I use it all the time.”


There are many boats with many interesting stories on this Laser-only website. Check out Peter Johnstone’s yacht, as he used to be the builder of the class before he went on to found Gunboat.



Your Laser dealer can get you exactly what you want and take a lot of legwork out of the equation. If your time is more valuable than your money, this is the way to go. Sturgisboatworks.com has new Lasers in stock and they will be chartering boats at the Worlds. So when the Worlds are over, they will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 charter boats or event boats for sale. So you can hug a fleet of boats before you decide which one you love most. The charter boats coming out of Worlds will save you $1000 on the boat and $1500 on the entire package which includes: Seitech dolly, top cover, spar bag, blade bag, new and improved blades, and all XD rigging. Mark Bear might be interested. Are you? Hit up Matt Wake at matt@sturgisboatworks.com

Borrow a friend’s

Maybe you have a buddy who never goes sailing anymore who does not want to part with the boat. A season of frostbiting does not put that much wear and tear on a Laser, as we sail in protected areas away from huge waves. The owner may be happy to see the boat on the line, so that’s a cost-effective solution.

Fleet boat

Jack McVicker, Scott Pakenham-Beaker and others have been bringing the three fleet boats up to snuff. Laser Performance and Intensity both gave the fleet a deal on some modern parts to get the fleet boats on the water. While you probably don’t want to charter a fleet boat indefinitely, it could be the answer to get you out on the water while you search for your boat.

There is a lot of good information online about how to buy a Laser. Here are some links for your consideration:

This one is from West Coast Sailing.


It’s always good to hear from the Brits


After you buy your boat, the best thing you can do for it may well be to “Seidenberg it.” I took Peter’s advice. The details of that procedure were listed in the previous fleet news. Of course, the most important part of any Laser is the sailor. So get your equipment in order, and start laying the foundation for a happy 2015-2016 season of frostbiting today.

Bonus Content

You’re happy with your boat, so you’re thinking about riding a road bike to improve your endurance. You are not alone. There is a mutant gene that connects sailing to cycling. Just ask Steve Kirkpatrick, Stuart Streuli and Ed Adams. Speaking from experience, it’s easy to fall in love with cycling and go off the deep end.

That’s exactly what happened to Dave Kirkpatrick. The former Vanguard employee has fallen for road biking and has even started a bicycle company called November Bicycles that provides riders with great value by cutting out the middle man. Check it out at novemberbicycles.com  If you want to get a bike, Dave can help you figure out how to get what you need. He’s at: http://www.novemberbicycles.com/contact-us/