Laser Measurement

Measurement News

In July 2013 I stepped down from the UKLA Committee as the UK Laser Association's Measurer. I shall keep these Laser-related pages up for a little while, but this information should be hosted on the UKLA website. Ideally a new Measurer will take this on and adapt the content as the ILCA rules evolve.

Summary of changes in 2012

(There were no changes for 2013; the situation was murky enough already.)

These changes came into effect at the beginning of 2012. If you want full details, look in the March 2012 edition of Laser World.

  1. Mainsheet Knot

    The compulsory stopper-knot in your mainsheet must prevent it from running out through the mainsheet block. A measurer may test the knot by trying to pull it through the block. If he succeeds after you've done a day's racing you've probably just wasted that day's sailing. Tip: if you use a thin mainsheet make the tail-knot a blood-knot (a figure-8 with an extra twist).

    A knot used to tie the end of the mainsheet to the toestrap or toestrap-elastic can now also function as the compulsory stopper-knot. The bowline was designed to be a rescue-knot, to work well under tension while you're pulling a casualty aboard, but to comes apart easily once the casualty is on board. Tape the bowline up, or you'll only notice it's come undone when you see the tail-end of your mainsheet whizzing out through the boom-blocks. Too late! I tie a fig-8 knot just before the bowline.

  2. Centreboard elastic

    You can now lead the centreboard retention line (which can be line or bungee) through an attachment to the deck block fitting or (if you still use the pre-2000 fittings) the Cunningham fairlead. That attachment can be a loop of string, a shackle, a hook or a clip. Personally I find that my mast-retention line does the job just fine, but you can use separate items.

  3. Clothing Limits

    The clothing limit for the 4.7 is 8 kg, and for the Radial it's 9 kg, the same as for the Standard rig.

  4. Electronics

    You're allowed one compass, mounted on the deck or in the cockpit (though not on a hatch cover). Electronic compasses are banned, except when integrated within a watch worn on the wrist. If you were to take such a wrist timer off and mount it on the deck or elsewhere, that would be banned.

    If a timer is attached to the boat, how is a Measurer supposed to know whether or not it has a digital compass? By knowing the specs of every timing device that might be used by a helm? I rather think not. Is a measurer expected to know how that timer works to see if it does have a digital compass? I don't think so either.

    "Any use of electronic equipment not specifically allowed in the rules is prohibited unless modified in the sailing instructions."
    The 'unless modified in the sailing instructions' was a deliberate get-out to allow tracking devices to be mounted by regatta organisers.

    Before you rush over to Upper Bogwash Sailing Club and persuade its Sailing Sub-Committee to allow digital compasses, the ILCA Rules specifically do not permit electronic compasses. See my piece about replica kit for information about the illegitimate misuse of SIs to over-ride Class Rules.