XD rig: The XD rig was introduced to improve the sail control of the Laser rig. The full conversion runs the outhaul and cunningham to two cam cleats sited in front of the daggerboard as well as increasing the purchase on the kicker system. This makes the boat much easier to sail and race. Any old boat can be modified to have the XD kit fitted.
Three main rig options are available: ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7), ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) and ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) rigs.
The ILCA 7 sail area is about 7.06m2. The mast is made up of two tubular alumnium sections, although a carbon top section is now available. The main advantage of the carbon top section is that it will not permanently bend (not uncommon for aluminium spars). In 2016 a new bi-radial standard rig was developed to replace the old version. The new sail has the same sail area as the original mark 1, but is made from heavier sailcloth, has a bi radial construction and uses tapered battens. It won’t make you significantly faster but will be easier to trim and should last a lot longer. In terms of body weight the ILCA 7 will suit sailors of between 70 and 85kgs (roughly).
The ILCA 6 (Radial) rig was introduced in 1988 as a youth option for the laser, it has a smaller sail area and a radial cut. This sail requires a smaller lower mast section, the top section is the same as the other sail options. The sail area is 6.07m2. The ILCA 6 sail is popular among smaller sailors and females. It is more manageable than the standard sail. A carbon lower mast section is available for the radial rig. The ILCA 6/Radial sails have gone through a number of changes over the years, at the time of writing I believe the radial is at mark 6. In terms of body weight the ILCA 6 will suit sailors of between 60 and 75kgs body weight (roughly).
The smallest rig option is the ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7), which has a sail area of about 4.7m2. The ILCA 4 is aimed at junior sailors and small adults. It uses a smaller prebent lower mast along with the same top mast as used by the other options. This rig suits sailors with body weight of around 55 to 65 kgs.
Training or replica sails are available at much lower cost than the class legal sails. The training sails are not class legal so will not be suitable for serious racing events. For most club sailing replica sails will be accepted.
If you feel you need more power from an ILCA/Laser there is an option of the Laser 8.1. This rig was developed by Steve Cockerel of Rooster Sailing to suit heavier sailors.
Other extras: if you love your ILCA/Laser and want to try something different with it there are available extras to allow foiling (just like the America’s Cup?) and also an arrangement to convert the hull into a rowing boat. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but interesting all the same.
Sailing Fast: supplies class legal laser gear in Scotland
Rooster Sailing: good for mail order, supplies all kinds of Laser gear as well as sailing and general chandlery
Maldon Sailboats: replica laser parts, good prices
Pinnell and Bax: wide selection of chandlery and clothing for mail order