Fold in Your Sail?

We get calls frequently about how to take a creases out of an RC Laser sail.  Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible to do (terry towel over sail with iron set to max steam).    So the obvious answer is “Don’t get a crease in your sail!”

Since preventative maintenance is the way to go, we are promoting proper packing of the RC Laser into our fantastic carry bag.  Sometimes we get a little sloppy and the sail gets folded when incorrectly installed in the bag.  So here is the article as a refresher!

RC Laser
Boat in Bag Instructions

Yes, there is a right and a “not so right” way to pack your boat in the handy carry bag.

To pack and unpack the bag, lay it logo side down,  and unzip the bag.

Packing

Sails – pack the sails first since the weight of the other items packed in the center flap makes it hard to insert the sails smoothly.  Flip the center flap up and place sails with the luff of the sail in first, the foot of the sail to the right, and the head of the sail to the left (that leaves the leech of the sail with the sail streamers closest to you, and the zipper).

Parts of the Sail

Put the tack of the sail all the way in to the back of the pocket so that the clew of the sail is comfortably inside the zipper.  Lay sail flat with no folds.  If you have the A sail, it will stick out the left end of the bag – we will get to that later.  Before folding the center flap over the sail, carefully fold the wind streamers back over the sails to keep them from getting caught in the zipper.  Now fold the flap down over the sails and check again to make sure no sail, strings, streamers are sticking out that could get caught in the zipper.

Keel – On the right side of the flap are two long thin pockets.  The one closest to the fold of the bag is for the keel.  ALWAYS insert keel fin into the pocket with the pointed end (trailing end) of the ballast pointing toward you (away from fold in bag).

Rudder – Goes in the shorter of the two pockets – right next to the keel.  Make sure to close the cover on this pocket area to keep the keel and rudder in place.

Hull – Remove the batteries and the hatch from the boat first.  Dry you hull before inserting into the bag.  Insert the hull into the large pocket UPSIDE DOWN and STERN FIRST.  When full in the pocket, the tiller will stick out through the hole in the left end of the pocket.  The two Velcro-fitted straps then cross the forward end of the boat to keep it firmly in place.

Spars – in the fold of the bag are two Velcro strap keepers.  Take your mast sections, and the boom and secure them with the straps.  Even the A mast will fit right along with your standard mast and boom.

Transmitter, batteries, hatch, etc.  – To the left of the hull pocket is the transmitter pocket.  Insert the transmitter BOTTOM FIRST into the pocket with the control sticks FACING UP. You will also find room in this pocket to put other small items like boat batteries, hatch, sun tan lotion,  etc.

Boat Stand – If you have a boat stand, fold it flat and then put the open ends around the stern of the hull with the closed end around the left end of the radio pocket.  It fits perfectly if you do it right – not worth a darn if you do it wrong.  You’ll see.

A Sail – If you have the A sail, you will now fold the head of the sail back across the radio compartment.  We recommend that you insert something (foam, or tube of some kind, to fold the sail over to keep it from getting a hard crease in the sail as it folds back over the radio compartment.  The flap then covers the fold in the sail to protect the sail from the zipper when closing the bag.

Towel – I recommend carrying a hand towel in your bag.  It fits nicely along the curve of the bag where the masts and booms are stored.  Always dry off your boat and parts before putting in bag – and make sure to leave the hatch open.

Boat Assembly

 –  Remove the hull first.

–  Install the keel in the hull first, followed by the rudder.  The keel protects the rudder from damage while boat is lying on the ground.  We do not recommend using a boat stand outside as it is too easy to blow the boat over.

–  Install your battery pack in the boat

–  Install the chosen sail on the mast, then the boom, and finally stand in boat and connect the mainsheet. Note that the mainsheet (black string) must be on the right side of the mast when inserted.

– Turn on transmitter, then boat, and make sure everything is working.

Shipping

If you are going to ship your boat or check it as baggage on an airplane (which I have done countless times with no damage) these extra packing tips are worthwhile.

~ Remove the 8 batteries from the transmitter as well.  They can be stored in the transmitter pocket in a zip lock bag or similar, but the momentum of the batteries left in the transmitter often smashes the compression clips at the end of the battery trays.  Even though not permanent damage, you must pry these clips out or you will end up with intermittent power in the transmitter.

~  Use waded newspaper or other packing, to fill in the ends of the bag.  Especially pay attention to packing between the radio pocket and the stern of the boat.  A hard shift of the boat that strikes the tiller on the radio, can cause the gears in the steering servo to be damaged.  Also, plenty of packing around and over the radio is important.  A real squash of the bag can jam (and break) the control sticks on the face of the radio.  The bottom line is to fill the open spaces in the ends of the bag and you will be amazed at the pounding this boat and bag can take.

~  Put the whole boat, in the bag, in the bag shipping box.  Even though the box does not protect the boat and contents very much, it does keep the bag from getting scuffed up.  You may have noticed that if you cut the tape on this box, it lies completely flat, and yet when you need it, it only takes a little tape to reuse it over and over.

Post comments below if you have questions – we’ll be happy to answer them!