These are a few of my thoughts, and only provided as a loose guide for what to check for in buying an SB3 from the second-hand market.
3009-3069 were built in the UK, and have black spars unless replaced.
3072 we think, and onwards, were built in Malaysia by DK Yachts, where they are built today.
In early 2005, rudders began to break, as they became more and more loaded by better technique – they were ALL replaced by Laser, with higher spec carbon reinforced blades and no boats have the old ones which were all recalled – this should not be a concern.
Due to wobble in the rudder fittings, a new set with brass bushes was developed around July 2005. Be aware that with the loose rudder fittings, it is possible that some movement and weakening of the rudder fittings and transom attachment may have occurred – probably worth taking them off and making sure no movement has occurred around the bolts – I would suggest replacing the buses will be an annual / biennial maintenance issue.
Some keels have been replaced, and some hulls have been replaced by Laser – the seller should be very happy to point this out to you!
There have been no major recalls apart from this, and any changes have been minor tweaks, within the strict rules guidance by Laser.
All the old boats should be legal, unless someone has had work done to them which has not been ratified by the Class Measurer – any works done to keels and rudders are supposed to be declared to him, so he should have a record. Theoretically if you were measured and found to be outside class rules after the keel had been altered, your boat could be illegal and works would need revised or the foil replaced. If you get an old boat with a perfect foil, I would seriously check who did the work and if it was legal.
Likewise, a shabby keel has probably not been ‘jobbed’ and should be legal, which is within build tolerances by Laser.
Obviously check for damage in collisions, and have a look downstairs for any loosening of the bulkheads – some mast bases were apparently not that well sealed, and the marine ply became a bit damp – one boat had this replaced that I know of.
Rigging seems to be fine, though with the massive loads involved, will need the appropriate maintenance.
Trailers, if they have been put in the sea, will need annual maintenance, so check if the brakes work and release, and that the central brake mechanism on the ball hitch moves under load – maybe tow it round the yard a few times if you wish – bearings are cheap, but should be replaced before they stick altogether – if dry sailed, as many in Hamble are, then should be no issue.
Review the checklist for general maintenance issues also available on LaserSB3.com under SB3 Top Tips.
I hope this is helpful.
Remember 3017 won the Nationals in 2005, 3200 won the Europeans in 2006, so there is little or no difference in my book speedwise.
Worth reviewing the SB3 Top Tips as well, if new to the fleet, as it will save you a lot of frustration and damage to your boats!!