The High Launch Syndrome

I hate to point out bad habits – especially when they are fun, but this is one that will eventually cost you a lot of money.

The Problem

The RC Laser is so darned tough that some sailors have found out that they can throw their boat into the water. They either launch it from shore, arching out through the air to land some 10 feet from shore – OR, they drop it off a dock 5 or more feet into the water.

Well, it may be really COOL for awhile, but then one day it happens. Your boat turns turtle and just lays there upside down in the water with the rudder sticking up – nothing else, just the rudder.

The observant sailor notes, “hmmmmm, where is my keel?”

The answer is that the boat is tough enough to take this kind of pounding, at least none have failed from it yet, but the extremely high load on the wing snap fitting at the top of the keel finally fails. Usually it breaks the fitting or tears the pivot pin out allowing the keel to slip out and be gone.

Needless to say, this is NOT GOOD! A new keel is expensive because of that hunk of lead on the bottom. So if you like to “High Launch,” then get your wallet ready for action!

This article was written by Steve Lang of