The Laser dinghy is a popular one-design class of small sailing dinghy. It is a single handed boat, meaning that it is sailed by one person. The design, by Bruce Kirby, emphasizes simplicity and performance.
Three simple, interchangeable rigs take the growing sailor from the Optimist to an introduction to youth dinghy sailing with the 4.7 rig and then to full youth sailing in the Radial (5.7m2) with the final step to the full rig (7.06m2). A unique step- by- step progression in the same equipment in the same Class with the only difference being the sail and lower mast.
The prototype of the boat was originally named the “Weekender” but it was officially unveiled as the Laser at the New York Boat Show in 1971. The Laser dinghy became an Olympic-class boat in 1996, and a special Olympic edition of the boat was released that year in commemoration.
Over 175,000 Laser dinghies have been built. Due to its relatively low cost, responsive handling and single-design restrictions, the Laser dinghy is the most widely-owned small sailing dinghy in the world, and the most popular racing class.