on July 20, 2001
After sailing other dinghies for a couple of years, I started sailing Lasers this summer, and picked this book to improve my technique. The book's guidance definitely improved my abilities and helped me to tame this fantastic boat, which I sail almost exclusively now. While acknowledging the benefits of the book, the authors should address the uneven quality of the diagrams and their relation to the text. In fact, after four editions it is high time for a redesign of the graphics.
For example, a basic skill for tacking and jibing is a "behind-the-back" maneuver that would best be explained with a series of pictures. There are several examples of this throughout the book, and when there is a relevant diagram or picture, the quality varies.
While I hope the authors address this criticism, there is nevertheless a wealth of information and advice that can be gleaned, espcially if one has a reasonably vivid imagination. I rate this book a worthwhile buy, especially because of the dearth of books on the Laser.
on October 24, 2000
This is a must read for all Laser sailors. Tillman reviews all the basics techniques a laser sailor must know to sail efficiently. He also touches upon some very advanced techniques employed by the world's best laser sailors. Tillman is an accomplished sailor who shares his own experiences as well as the experience of many other great Laser sailors throughout the chapters of this book. He doesn't give you one single answer on how to sail a laser, but instead will explain several methods depending on your sailing style and body size. The book is clear and concise. It can be knocked off in a few hours by most people. The one improvement I would like to see is that it doesn't have a whole lot of detail concerning how to handle the tiller. More emphasis should be given to how to switch hands during a tack or jibe depending on weather conditions, etc.
on May 15, 2003
If you want a book to help you help you understand how to sail a laser, this isn't it!
As well as being very dated (it seems all the photos were taken in the 70's) subjects as vital as tacking is explained in four bullet points, with no photos.
on August 6, 2009
This book assumes you already know most of the basics of sailing. If you don't, some useful information can still be found by reading "between the lines", but i'd look for a more basic reference to get started. Book is oriented towards those who own a laser and want to race and/or go faster.