Laser 4.7 vs Radial: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to choosing the right rig for your Laser sailing needs, it's important to consider factors such as your weight and experience level. The Laser 4.7 and the Laser Radial are two popular options that cater to different sailors. The Laser 4.7 rig is specifically designed for smaller sailors weighing between 110 and 140 pounds (50 – 65kg). It offers a lighter and more manageable setup, making it an ideal choice for those who’re just starting out in the sport or have a smaller build. On the other hand, the Laser Radial rig is widely recognized as the women's Olympic class and is suited for sailors weighing between 140 and 175 pounds. With a slightly larger sail and a more powerful setup, the Radial rig provides a greater challenge and is better suited for those with advanced skills and experience on the water. Ultimately, the choice between the Laser 4.7 and the Laser Radial comes down to personal preference, skill level, and body weight, ensuring that you can find the perfect rig to match your sailing aspirations.

What Is the Difference Between Laser and Laser Radial?

This makes the Laser Radial more suitable for lighter weight sailors, particularly women and youth sailors. The smaller sail size and shorter mast section allow for better control and maneuverability in lighter wind conditions.

Another key difference between the Laser and Laser Radial is the level of competition. The Laser Standard is the Olympic class boat for men, while the Laser Radial is the Olympic class boat for women. This means that at international events, separate races are held for each class, with sailors competing against others in the same division.

Both classes offer exciting and challenging sailing experiences, and have their own dedicated fleets and competitions.

What Are the Different Fleet and Competition Opportunities Available for Laser and Laser Radial Sailors?

  • Participating in local Laser and Laser Radial regattas
  • Competing in regional Laser and Laser Radial championships
  • Joining national Laser and Laser Radial teams
  • Attending international Laser and Laser Radial events
  • Exploring fleet racing opportunities in the Laser and Laser Radial classes
  • Considering match racing competitions in the Laser and Laser Radial
  • Exploring collegiate sailing options in the Laser and Laser Radial
  • Participating in team racing events in the Laser and Laser Radial
  • Exploring opportunities for Laser and Laser Radial sailors in offshore racing

The Laser 4.7 is a sailing rig specifically designed for beginners or lighter weight sailors who’re transitioning from smaller boats like the Optimist. With a shorter and pre-bent lower mast, the Laser 4.7 provides a balanced helm and a smaller sail area, making it easier to handle and control on the water. Let’s explore more about it’s features and benefits.

What Is a 4.7 Laser Sail?

The Laser 4.7 is a sailboat that’s specifically designed for those who’re new to sailing or for lighter-weight sailors who’re transitioning from the Optimist class. It features a shorter pre-bent lower mast, which helps to maintain a balanced helm, ensuring stability and control while out on the water.

One of the key differences between the Laser 4.7 and the Laser Standard is the sail area. With less sail area, it becomes more manageable to learn the basics of sailing and build up skills gradually.

It’s design and sail plan help to create a balanced and manageable sailing experience, allowing beginners to learn and progress at their own pace.

The History and Development of the Laser 4.7 Sailboat

The Laser 4.7 sailboat is a popular single-handed sailing dinghy that’s a long and interesting history. Developed in the late 1970s by a Canadian sailor named Hans Fogh, it was intended as a smaller and more manageable version of the Laser Standard and Laser Radial sailboats.

The Laser 4.7 quickly gained popularity, particularly among youth sailors and those new to the sport. It’s smaller size and reduced sail area made it easier to handle, while still maintaining the thrilling speed and performance of it’s larger counterparts.

Over the years, the design of the Laser 4.7 has undergone some minor changes and improvements. The hull shape and rigging have been tweaked to enhance the boat’s stability, responsiveness, and overall sailing experience. The sail itself has also been modified to better suit the needs and capabilities of younger or less experienced sailors.

Today, the Laser 4.7 remains a popular choice for youth and beginner sailors, as well as those looking for a fun and exciting dinghy to race or sail recreationally. It’s simple yet efficient design, affordability, and competitive class organization have helped it maintain it’s status as a staple in the sailing community.

Source: What’s the Laser 4.7 & Why sail it? – New Zealand Sailing Ltd

The Laser Radial is a popular sailboat known for it’s maneuverability and performance. Measuring approximately 4.2 meters (13 feet 9 inches) in length overall, it’s a waterline length of 3.81 meters (12 feet 6 inches) and a beam of 1.39 meters (4 feet 7 inches). This compact size allows for agile sailing while maintaining stability on the water. It’s design and dimensions make it suitable for a wide range of sailors, from beginners to experienced racers.

How Long Is a Laser Radial?

The Laser Radial is a popular sailing dinghy known for it’s maneuverability and speed. It’s a one-design boat, which means that all boats produced are built to the same specifications, ensuring fair competition among sailors. One of the key dimensions of the Laser Radial is it’s length overall (LOA), which measures approximately 4.2 meters or 13 feet 9 inches. This length includes the maximum extent of the boat from bow to stern.

The LWL is the length of the boats hull that’s in contact with the water when it’s afloat. This measurement is important for determining a boats stability and performance characteristics.

The beam refers to the width of the boat at it’s widest point, typically around midship. The beam of a boat affects it’s stability, maneuverability, and carrying capacity.

The Laser Radial is designed to be a single-handed boat, meaning that it’s sailed by one person. It’s size and dimensions make it manageable for a single sailor, allowing for quick and agile maneuvers on the water. The boats relatively compact dimensions also make it easier to transport and store when not in use.

Choosing the Right Laser Radial for Your Needs: This Topic Could Offer Advice on Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Laser Radial, Such as Age, Condition, and Equipment, to Find the Best Fit for Your Sailing Goals and Budget.

  • Age: Consider the age of the Laser Radial you’re looking to purchase. Older models may be more affordable but might require more maintenance and repairs.
  • Condition: Inspect the condition of the boat carefully. Look out for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or poor repairs that might affect it’s performance and longevity.
  • Equipment: Assess the equipment that comes with the Laser Radial. This includes the sail, spars, foils, and rigging. Make sure they’re in good condition and suitable for your sailing goals.
  • Sailing Goals: Think about your sailing goals and how the Laser Radial you’re considering will help you achieve them. Are you looking to compete in races, cruise leisurely, or improve your skills?
  • Budget: Set a budget and stick to it. Laser Radials can vary in price depending on their age, condition, and included equipment. Consider both the initial purchase cost and potential future expenses.


The 4.7 Rig, with it’s focus on smaller sailors, offers a suitable option for those in the lower weight range looking to excel in Laser sailing. On the other hand, the Radial Rig, chosen as the women's Olympic class, provides a platform for sailors in the slightly higher weight range to showcase their skills. Both rigs serve their purpose in ensuring fair and competitive racing experiences for sailors in their respective weight categories.

Scroll to Top