The Angle Of The Dangle

Adjusting Your Main Sheet

Many of you have been left contemplating your navel after fiddling with the mainsheet on your RC Laser. This little piece of black string can really be annoying, especially when you are not sure what you are trying to adjust to do what.


Sometimes you receive a brand new boat and the length of this string can be wrong – and sometimes, you just plain screw it up fooling with it. Therefore, some guidance is in order to help you get the right adjustment for best performance.


What you are reaching for is an adjustment that brings the boom in to the “quarter” when the radio control level is set to full in. Note – The main lever is full in, but the fine control slide should be set in the middle. This picture, from above, shows the boom in the proper fully trimmed position.

If this looks too far out to you, join the crew. But this is the way cat boats sail the best. Full sized Laser sailors will tell you, “this is the way it is, get used to it.” Remember, that you still have “in” movement available with your fine control slide.

Adjust Full In – don’t worry about the full out position

  • Untie the knot at the boom end of the mainsheet.
  • Turn on the transmitter and the boat power. Move the sail control lever to the full trim position. Now set the fine control slide to the middle of its range.
  • Retie the knot in the boom end of the mainsheet so that the boom is located as shown in the picture above. After tying the knot, check the trim position several times to make sure it is correct. When you slide the fine tune lever all the way in, then the boom should come all the way to the centerline.

Boom Slider

The slider on the boom, that you are connecting the sheet to, should be positioned directly over the brass eye in the deck. Don’t move it forward or aft as it loads the winch unnecessarily and doesn’t provide any advantage.

Do not be concerned with where the boom goes when fully released, just where it is when the sail is fully trimmed. You want to know that your sail will come in to the best sailing angle in light to moderate wind, while you have the fine tune centered and the stick all the way in. If it blows hard and you need extra trim, then you slide the fine tune all the way to trim direction and you get extra trim.

As for downwind, the sail will go out past 90 degrees. That is not a problem. You still have control over how far out it will go. And you will learn to sail your boat “on the lee” to your advantage.

Control Line Adjustment

I have never seen a new boat that has the control line adjusted improperly, but it could get out of adjustment. With the radio fine tune in the center of its range, run the control from full in to full out. You should not get the knot in the control line (monofilamant line) either into the drum (full out) or into the bow roller, full in. If it does reach either end, carefully lift the drum (unscrew first) and turn slightly on the splined shaft to adjust.

This article was written by Steve Lang of