Today's Laser sailboat
s have changed little since 1971. There have only been 3 major modifications
to the Laser rig
. The first was the Laser M
, followed by the Laser Radial Rig
, still in use today.
The third alternative sail was the Laser 4.7, developed in 1989. A 4.7 square meter sail. The smallest of the sail revisions, with a sail area of 51 feet. This sail was designed to extend the Laser's usability to the younger sailor of 75-120 pounds. It's roughly 1/3 smaller than the standard Laser sail, and has a specially designed lower mast section that is precisely bent to allow the center of effort to be moved into the right place. This makes sure the 4.7 has the same responsiveness of the standard Laser. The idea is that young sailors can start off with the 4.7, and as they grow, move up to the Laser Radial Rig, and then to the standard Laser sail, while keeping the same boat.