The Laser hiking strap is a high wear area of your Laser and you should be checking it every so often. Our experience tells us that the highest wear is close to the ratchet block end where the strap is likely to start to tear after time.
We've put this article and step by step guide together to explain how to change your Laser hiking or toe strap on your Laser sailing dinghy.
Before you start, here is a list of what you are going to need:
Clear the deck and cockpit of your Laser so you have plenty of room to work.
Un tie the hiking strap at the back end of the boat so it is no longer connected to the boat.
Clear the spring that sits underneath the ratchet so it is not sitting over the top of the screws.
Unscrew the screws one by one.
Put the eye strap, spring and ratchet block in the bottom of the boat so parts don't go missing.
Remove the current hiking strap.
You may have some residue left from previous silicone, you can clear this away carefully with a stanley knife blade to clean up the area for new silicone sealant.
You may also notice slight cracks around the hole, these are there on most boats as the initial pilot holes are smaller than the screw being used.
Line up the new hiking strap against the screws and eye strap you took off. In some cases the pre heat sealed holes on the Laser hiking strap may not match the width of your eye strap, if this is the case you will need to put the screw through the hiking strap in a different location.
Attach the hiking strap to the bottom of the eye strap and and ratchet block checking everything sits as it should.
At this point you should also check you have the hiking strap up the right way too. And make sure the loop is towards the back of the cockpit, not at the end being screwed into the deck.
Add new silicone sealant to the holes on the deck making sure you get some in the holes and around them. You can never have too much in our opinion.
You can also add silicone sealant to your screws too.
Check the spring is sitting on top of the screws, you don't want it getting stuck underneath as you tighten up the screws into the hull.
Hold everything in place with the ends of the screws inside the holes.
Start to gently tighten the screws, we usually tighten one half way, then do the other, and then go back and forth to evening tighten them up. Make sure they are tight.
Tidy up any silicone sealant which may have leaked out under the pressure of the hiking strap screws being tightened.
Tie on your toe strap adjustment rope at the end of the hiking strap.
If you have any questions about fitting a new hiking strap, or anything else Laser then please do get in touch.
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