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December 22, 2023 3 min read

The Most Frequently Asked Laser / ILCA Questions

With over 223000 Lasers/ILCAs being built worldwide, it is one of if not the most popular single-handed dinghy. You can travel to most sailing clubs in the UK and you will find multiple Lasers in the boat park. 

With the Class being so vast you can get and folded boat or purchase brand new depending on budget. We often get asked questions from people beginning to sail the Laser/ILCA and below are some of the most frequently asked.

What is the age and colour of my boat?

This is a very common question when trying to insure your Laser is the sail number. 

You will need to know this and there is a handy list that tells you the age - Laser Age List. This is also good if you are buying a secondhand boat to make sure that the sail number on the sail matches the Hull


Also by knowing the age of your Laser you can find out what colour Gelcoat was used when your boat was made and make your boat look new again or tidy some small damage. 

What rig size do I need?

ILCA 4 / 4.7 Is recommended for 35kg to 55kg Crew weight 

The ILCA 4 / 4.7 Sail Area is 4.7m2 


ILCA 6 / Radial Is recommended for 55kg to 70kg Crew weight

The ILCA 6 / Radial Sail Area is 5.76m2 


ILCA 7 / Standard MKII Is recommended for 65kg+ Crew weight

The ILCA 7 / Standard MKII Sail Area is 7.6m2


Just remember this is only a guide. 

Most sailing clubs have club boats you can try and get a feel before you buy a boat or rig.

Replica Or ILCA Sails and rigs?

At Sailing Chandlery we stock ILCA and replica parts. But what should you use?


It is mainly down to personal preference if you are planning on using your sail every weekend for many years to come, the ILCA sail is the one for you. The initial cost is more but the key difference in the sails is the weight of the Dacron. 

Replica sails are made from 3.8oz Dacron comparatively to the ILCA Sails are constructed from 4.2oz Dacron. 


The heavier Dacron increases the strength and provides you with a stronger and longer lasting sail.

If you aren't planning on racing every week and just planning on going out for a sail/cruise the replica sails are fantastic Great value for money and an affordable way to get out on the water

ILCA Vs Laser Boats

Whether you need an ILCA or a Laser is down to one main use case. 

If you want to go to national championships and the Olympics you will need an ILCA.

If you are planning on club racing and local club open meetings you will be okay with a Laser.

The key difference between the two is the plaque on the back of the cockpit. The Laser doesn't have a world sailing plaque like the ILCA this is why it can't be used for nationals or worlds.

I have bought a secondhand boat what should I buy

New sail or rig package for a fresh start in your new boat.


XD Parts and packages - If you have pre-XD boat we sell upgrade packs with new purchase systems and instructions. The higher purchase systems make sailing the boat easier with a vast amount more adjustment to the rig.

Where do my sail numbers go?

Instructions for Applying Sail Numbers Here

How Do I Cut My Digital Sail Number  

We have a handy article that shows you how to do this here.

Digital Sail Number Sailing Chandlery
https://www.sailingchandlery.com/blogs/product-information/digital-sail-numbers-how-they-work