Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Laser and RS Aero decks

Aero self draining cockpit
The Aero and the Laser deck and cockpit are completely different experiences.  On the Laser you put your feet into a narrow cockpit and sit, knees up, as on a stool.

The Aero is flatter and more like a dish making the Aero  comfortable in light to moderate breeze. There is more room to move, its feels like lounging in a bean bag or sliding around the floor.

In light conditions the Laser is cramped, knees tucked, butt perched on the hard edge of the cockpit.

Hiking in strong winds the boats are similar, and while the Aero deck is nicely shaped, I still need hiking pads to make it comfortable.

Downwind, it has taken some time to get used to having to kneel on the Aero and I initially missed the seated position of the Laser.  As I gain experience the Aero kneeling position is becoming more familiar and allows a more active approach to downwind carving. Knee pads have made a difference.

Self draining cockpits like the Aero were a common feature of Moths in the 1960's when the Laser was invented and Moths also had centre sheeting.  This is a superior setup.

When the Laser designer chose the block to block sail plan, with a low boom it also required the lowest and smallest possible cockpit and venturi system to drain it.

The Aero's self draining cockpit simply does not fill up in waves.  In a Laser you have to shift back and heel the boat to stop water coming over the bow and filling the cockpit.  Ten litres of water in a Laser cockpit is very slow and slow to clear. 

The Aero in a strong breeze and waves can sail  flatter, have better fore and aft trim and use its fine bow to cut through waves. The occasional green wave over the bow passes out the back in a few seconds.

Laser cockpit needs a venturi to drain

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