Laser Measurement


Welcome to the ILCA Measurement section. My aim is to help you set up your boat within the strict ILCA rules for racing.

I created these Measurement pages in 2008, when I became the UK Laser Association Measurer, to provide a practical guide for Laser sailors everywhere, not just in the UK. When I stood down in July 2013 I left the pages in place, but withdrew them after some pages became out of date. Alan Davis is the current District Measurer for UKLA.

I have now revised these pages to bring them up to date for 2021.

Please note: this website is privately run, and has no direct links with the UKLA or ILCA. Any views or opinions expressed are mine alone.

The ILCA Rules

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) was set up in the early 1970s to administer the Laser dinghy from the start as a 'strict one-design', one of the earliest dinghy classes of this type. The Laser has always had a set of strict rules to ensure that everyone competes with as-near equal equipment as possible. This principle extends to defining exactly how the boat is rigged, not just which physical items are permitted. The one-design principle was so crucial that competitors at the top-level 'Senior' (i.e. not Masters) World Championships are allocated new boats to enforce equal equipment. The ILCA class rules, approved by World Sailing, are a continuation of that principle.

Why are the Laser class rules so ultra-strict?

The Laser's phenomenal story was built on the principle that success in Laser racing is properly earned, that you deserve your wins because of your sailing skills, not because you've been able to set your boat up in a way that gives you an advantage, or buy some ultra-expensive kit that helps you go faster. Some rigging rules might seem pointless, but anyone who has raced these boats even for a short time soon learns that even a small technical advantage over other boats can translate into a big gain. A few sailors try to 'improve' their boats; in almost all cases that's against the rules. The whole point of Laser racing is to eliminate variations between boats so that the competition is between sailors not boats, no matter what the World Sailing rules say.

I don't deal with every ILCA Rule, but I try to deal with the most common misunderstandings about what is allowed under the rules, and what isn't. If you're a UK Laser sailor with a Measurement question, please email Alan Davis, the UK Measurer. For everywhere else, please contact your own District Measurer.

Download the up-to-date ILCA Rules PDF from the ILCA website. (© ILCA)