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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
CenterboardBrake

Huh? New Sunfish Class?

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Sunfish sell groups of boats to resorts, summer camps,, sailing schools,  etc. That's a significant amount of new boat sales. I'm not sure how many new boats are sold to individual recreational sailors, as there's a plethora of used ones available cheap. But probably more than racing sailors. Racing sailors (ISCA members) are about 10% of new sales...at least that was the numbers Johnstone claimed about 25 years ago. It's probably still in ballpark. 

Sunfish would probably be a good boat in Asia. Very suitable for smaller, lighter sailors, without needing a small rig (like Laser Radial). It's also popular for youth sailing...small kids sail double-up, older kids solo, and the price is friendly compared to Optis. That's how it became popular in Caribbean and South America. Most sailors there are teens and early 20s, whereas most US and European sailors are older adults. In the hands of a good sailor, it's not that far off the pace of a Laser...can even beat them in very light and very heavy conditions.

I am positive that ISCA is not standing in the way of marketing the boat to Asia and more European countries. They would welcome that. I get the impression that LP is just fabricating excuses for what appears to be a power play. I suspect that builder has in mind some changes that ISCA would never accept, so they're attempting to bypass them. 

 

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On 11/10/2017 at 9:44 AM, torrid said:

Found this on wikipiki.  Seems to have been included as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  I'm quite surprised I don't recall this from all the discussion in the Laser blowtorch thread.  I figure this was intended for something more like oil tankers and cruise ships than sailing dinghies, thought it may still be applicable.

Title V: Vessel Hull Design Protection Act

DMCA Title V added sections 1301 through 1332 to add a sui generis protection for boat hull designs. Boat hull designs were not considered covered under copyright law because boats are useful articles whose form cannot be cleanly separated from their function.[5][6]

Actually it came about because of recreational power boats. When we design tankers, there is essentially nothing proprietary you can do that would be protected. Unless it is something novel such as for instance an air lubrication system or some sort of patented propulsor.

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10 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Sunfish sell groups of boats to resorts, summer camps,, sailing schools,  etc. That's a significant amount of new boat sales. I'm not sure how many new boats are sold to individual recreational sailors, as there's a plethora of used ones available cheap. But probably more than racing sailors. Racing sailors (ISCA members) are about 10% of new sales...at least that was the numbers Johnstone claimed about 25 years ago. It's probably still in ballpark. 

Sunfish would probably be a good boat in Asia. Very suitable for smaller, lighter sailors, without needing a small rig (like Laser Radial). It's also popular for youth sailing...small kids sail double-up, older kids solo, and the price is friendly compared to Optis. That's how it became popular in Caribbean and South America. Most sailors there are teens and early 20s, whereas most US and European sailors are older adults. In the hands of a good sailor, it's not that far off the pace of a Laser...can even beat them in very light and very heavy conditions.

I am positive that ISCA is not standing in the way of marketing the boat to Asia and more European countries. They would welcome that. I get the impression that LP is just fabricating excuses for what appears to be a power play. I suspect that builder has in mind some changes that ISCA would never accept, so they're attempting to bypass them. 

 

Now you are going from 20 year old information from Peter Johnstone so there is that....
But if true that is quite completely opposite what successful established class boats of that time saw for sales numbers. Lightings thistles stars snipes etc were over 95% racing sailors buying them. And over 90% of them were in the top 10% ofr their class rankings. But this is also 25 year old information...

But it also makes some sense. The Sunfish is nothing like all those legacy classes. It has those market niches you mention. I have a friend with a dealership to this day. There are not a ton of orders but a few recent brand new boats went to non racing sailors.

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18 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Sunfish sell groups of boats to resorts, summer camps,, sailing schools,  etc. That's a significant amount of new boat sales. I'm not sure how many new boats are sold to individual recreational sailors, as there's a plethora of used ones available cheap. But probably more than racing sailors. Racing sailors (ISCA members) are about 10% of new sales...at least that was the numbers Johnstone claimed about 25 years ago. It's probably still in ballpark. 

Sunfish would probably be a good boat in Asia. Very suitable for smaller, lighter sailors, without needing a small rig (like Laser Radial). It's also popular for youth sailing...small kids sail double-up, older kids solo, and the price is friendly compared to Optis. That's how it became popular in Caribbean and South America. Most sailors there are teens and early 20s, whereas most US and European sailors are older adults. In the hands of a good sailor, it's not that far off the pace of a Laser...can even beat them in very light and very heavy conditions.

I am positive that ISCA is not standing in the way of marketing the boat to Asia and more European countries. They would welcome that. I get the impression that LP is just fabricating excuses for what appears to be a power play. I suspect that builder has in mind some changes that ISCA would never accept, so they're attempting to bypass them. 

 

Yea I said largely the same in the post prior.  Absolutely agree.  The Sunfish market is largely recreational.  But we differ on your last two sentences.

I am guessing its a power play only in the sense that they want to consolidate their hold on the IP.   And while you think they lose... I think LP fights to the bitter end on this and wins (sadly).  I would love to be wrong though...

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15 minutes ago, Wess said:

Oh come on.  That is wishful thinking and spin.  And its not like ISCA is opposed to having a global class.  I would have a hard time believing that this is the real driver and rationale behind LP's action.

To some extent I think this is exactly what they said clearly in the first webinar.  Without the IP they own nothing and they (LP) believe they own the IP and need and want to do a better job of protecting and consolidating it. That is a fairly reasonable position to take.  Now to IPL's point they may not have done such a hot job historically and indeed potentially inadvertently ceded some of that IP... making this an attempted take back.

Do I like it; no!  But I can understand it.  And I think they have a better chance to win than most here. And I think a win has some pretty broad implications and a loss minimal downside.  In that event you take it to the mat if you are LP.

Think of it this way.  LP has will and resources to fight a battle that matters a lot to them.  They can make life pretty miserable (litigation wise) for the class officers.  Do those class officers have the will and resources to fight this battle.  Is WS going to stand up in front of or alongside them... I am guessing the answer is no.  Are sailors (in the numbers necessary) really going to stand up and say no to LP... again I am guessing the answer is no. 

So its clear, I think what is happening sucks.  Its taking control away from the racing sailors who helped make the boat what it is (this is likely more true for Laser than it is for Sunfish).  But I think LP has a stronger hand here than folks realize.

Its a bit like the outrage over the NFL anthem protests.  There is what people say and then there is what people do.  Internet outrage only goes so far in real life.

Hope I am wrong but I think LP could well win this.

I somewhat agree. 

Whatever IP LP owns, it appears they want to cancel whatever long standing agreements are in place for ISCA to use it. ISCA is a non-profit, and their use of IP is in support of the boat and class. That's completely to the benefit of the builder. Without ISCA, there would be no WS recognized International Class, no World Championship, and no PanAm Games. Sunfish would still be a boat sitting on beach at resorts for guests to rent, and likely lose market to other boats that are cheaper and simpler. 

Im not positive that LP wins this...it could just as readily blow up in their face. It all depends on which Class WS recognizes, and I have no idea which way WS will go. LP does have deeper pockets than ISCA, so they likely will sue if they lose. 

I've messaged a few friends still active in the Class and Association for their thoughts. Haven't heard back, I suspect they've been told not to say anything.  I agree that LPs explanation is BS. There's something more at play. I suspect (this is pure speculation) that LP is contemplating a pretty drastic change to the boat that the Class is unwilling to go along with. 

 

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22 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Now you are going from 20 year old information from Peter Johnstone so there is that....
But if true that is quite completely opposite what successful established class boats of that time saw for sales numbers. Lightings thistles stars snipes etc were over 95% racing sailors buying them. And over 90% of them were in the top 10% ofr their class rankings. But this is also 25 year old information...

But it also makes some sense. The Sunfish is nothing like all those legacy classes. It has those market niches you mention. I have a friend with a dealership to this day. There are not a ton of orders but a few recent brand new boats went to non racing sailors.

The Sunfish is a different set-up compared to Lightning's, etc. so not comparable when looking at overall sales. Plus those boats have multiple licensed builders, Sunfish has always been one that has sold a few times over the years. It was a recreational boat that people started to race, I think Lightning's, etc. were designed with developing a class from the beginning, such as the J24's, Melges, etc. were.

 

The builder has the bat and ball and has most always played nice with the class. I agree, there is some control issue that they want to take that has never been done before. Probably bean counters that do not have any sense of reality in the big scheme. So what if some little class people get screwed, we'll make our money, history and tradition be damned.

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@RKoch - I can not be 100% sure but I believe this is not a case of "they (LP) want to cancel whatever long standing agreements are in place for ISCA to use it."  If the comments on the first webinar are to be believed - and I have to believe Bill Crane (the webinar speaker for LP) would have been counseled to be careful about this as in case of litigation this would come back to bite them - it was stated that ISCA was claiming they owned the name, while LP was claiming they did and the ISCA needed a license from them, which they were willing to give to the class to allow the continue to use it.  The class simply needed to concede that LP owned the name (and LP would license it to them).  Crane flat out said I believe that if ISCA continued after the date to use the name LP would sue them.  No beating around the bush.  It was a short, clear, and strong statement on this point.  No wiggle room.  After date X if ISCA uses the name LP would sue.   If anybody else listened in and heard different please correct me, but that is what I recall.

My guess is its a simple as this and no boat changes are contemplated but I have zero insight to that.  Pure guess.

PS - There could be pages written on the "name" and the "IP" and how they inter-relate but I ain't going there.  That is the land of IPL.

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1 minute ago, Wess said:

@RKoch - I can not be 100% sure but I believe this is not a case of "they (LP) want to cancel whatever long standing agreements are in place for ISCA to use it."  If the comments on the first webinar are to be believed - and I have to believe Bill Crane (the webinar speaker for LP) would have been counseled to be careful about this as in case of litigation this would come back to bite them - it was stated that ISCA was claiming they owned the name, while LP was claiming they did and the ISCA needed a license from them, which they were willing to give to the class to allow the continue to use it.  The class simply needed to concede that LP owned the name (and LP would license it to them).  Crane flat out said I believe that if ISCA continued after the date to use the name LP would sue them.  No beating around the bush.  It was a short, clear, and strong statement on this point.  No wiggle room.  After date X if ISCA uses the name LP would sue.   If anybody else listened in and heard different please correct me, but that is what I recall.

My guess is its a simple as this and no boat changes are contemplated but I have zero insight to that.  Pure guess.

PS - There could be pages written on the "name" and the "IP" and how they inter-relate but I ain't going there.  That is the land of IPL.

I think it's more than that. ISCA is separate from the builder, always has been. Builder has representation on the World Council and Rules Committee. There's no question in my mind that ISCA owns the name International Sunfish Class Association, having gotten approval from previous builders to use 'Sunfish' in their name, and the Sunfish logo on promotional material. I haven't heard a clarification from people I've messaged, but I don't think the Class is taking the position that they own Sunfish brand name or logo, but simply that they've had a long term implicit or explicit agreement to use them to promote the Class, thus the boat. What ISCA owns is the rules the boats race under. Those rules have been successful, proven by International recognition by WS and inclusion in the PanAm Games. Until current status, I don't see where either Party had an insurmountable beef with the other, to the extent they want a replacement partner. 

Until now, the Class and builders have worked together in mutual support, for the benefit of both. Disagreements were resolved amicably with reasonable compromise. I've been a participant in the discussion over a few of those disagreements, though it was many years ago. That's why I think something bigger is afoot. My hunch is that LP is contemplating a big change, that the Class isn't on board with. Since the builder doesn't control the Class, they are trying to decertify it and replace with a Class Organization they control, that will rubber stamp any change the builder wishes to make. That's the only scenerio I can think of for the builder to become hostile to a successful Class Association that has a long history of benefitting the builder. 

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41 minutes ago, RKoch said:

I think it's more than that. ISCA is separate from the builder, always has been. Builder has representation on the World Council and Rules Committee. There's no question in my mind that ISCA owns the name International Sunfish Class Association, having gotten approval from previous builders to use 'Sunfish' in their name, and the Sunfish logo on promotional material. I haven't heard a clarification from people I've messaged, but I don't think the Class is taking the position that they own Sunfish brand name or logo, but simply that they've had a long term implicit or explicit agreement to use them to promote the Class, thus the boat. What ISCA owns is the rules the boats race under. Those rules have been successful, proven by International recognition by WS and inclusion in the PanAm Games. Until current status, I don't see where either Party had an insurmountable beef with the other, to the extent they want a replacement partner. 

Until now, the Class and builders have worked together in mutual support, for the benefit of both. Disagreements were resolved amicably with reasonable compromise. I've been a participant in the discussion over a few of those disagreements, though it was many years ago. That's why I think something bigger is afoot. My hunch is that LP is contemplating a big change, that the Class isn't on board with. Since the builder doesn't control the Class, they are trying to decertify it and replace with a Class Organization they control, that will rubber stamp any change the builder wishes to make. That's the only scenerio I can think of for the builder to become hostile to a successful Class Association that has a long history of benefitting the builder. 

I hear you on your first paragraph.  In my post that is exactly what I was getting at with my comment "There could be pages written on the "name" and the "IP" and how they inter-relate but I ain't going there.  That is the land of IPL." I just think its a bit more complicated and murky for lack of a better term, than you suggest.  I think this is exactly where the fight is at and I suspect LP has the will and resources to see it to the end where I doubt the class does. Now to be fair to your change the boat comment... even if you and the class are correct that they own the class name, if it was just that, even if they are in the right, its a silly thing (by itself) for the class to come to blows over with LP builder/Sunfish IP owner.  That point is far more important to LP (because it would dilute their IP ownership in an important way for a boat that is more recreational than racing so it matters (to LP)).  If it was just this and LP was willing to do what it said (give a license to the class to use the name; the class just has to cede the IP owns the name) then I would think the class would be wise (as in don't start a land war in Asia... conventional wisdom accepting reality kinda way wise) cede the point.  Anyway, we shall see. Will be interesting to watch.

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I agree it will be interesting. Although ISCA has some funds on hand, I agree that their finances can't compete with LP's deep pockets in a legal battle. ISCA does have a long and positive relationship with WS, while all LP has is money to buy influence. That might be enough, though I think the Laser issue may have left a bad taste in WS's mouth. Tough to predict WS's response, and it wouldn't be a surprise to me if they made a decision coming from way out in left field. It's possible that an opening in Olympics and PanAm Games could be created that could be filled by a less litigious boat manufacturer, if they were able to supply the worldwide numbers. That's why I think LP's hostile stance could blow up in their face....WS may decide they've had their fill of FR.

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Yea I see the same thing.  WS can milk what they can from LP while pulling away as you suggest... and not get their knuckles skinned by avoiding directly supporting ISCA.  Guessing they just stay silent, collect the LP cash, and move on down the road from LP as the opportunity presents.  Bummer for grass roots club level sailors.

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Direct from the ISCA president's letter:

"The World Council was prepared to sign a trademark agreement until LP required that the ISCA initials and the name International Sunfish Class Association name were to be signed over to LP as well."

This was specifically over the name of the class association and the initials.

Interestingly the NORs the class has posted for next year include an ISCA logo with the "A" being the distinct sail shape, but no Sunfish logo.  The only reference to "sunfish" was the domain name in e-mail addresses.  I suspect those will be changed to something else shortly.  It appears isca.org is currently a password-protected website.

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3 minutes ago, torrid said:

Direct from the ISCA president's letter:

"The World Council was prepared to sign a trademark agreement until LP required that the ISCA initials and the name International Sunfish Class Association name were to be signed over to LP as well."

This was specifically over the name of the class association and the initials.

Yes, because LP claims the class name intersects the IP they own and that they would license the class name back to the class to use.  The class claims they own the name.  LP stated clearly they will sue if the class uses that name after date X because they claim they own it because of the IP.  This much of the dispute seems clear and consistent from both sides.

But if its just this (and LP is willing to license it back to the class) its maybe a silly fight for the class to get into even if they are right. IP rights will matter more to LP, they are better resourced, and in theory are incented to fight to the death (unless WS steps in which I doubt).

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First, I agree with those who say that the Sunfish has a very large recreational customer base. Thus the "vibrant class association" (my words :wacko:) is less important than a racing class such as the 5-0-5 or Laser.

However, a Class Association provides hundreds of thousands of dollars of promotional value that the builder is never going to be able to replicate.  The Class Association generates news, images,  social media and class credibility that is essential to the racing sailor but almost certainly also helps promote the recreational market. 

No builder or commercial entity is going to replicate the volunteer who sends 20 emails and makes 10 phone calls to persuade 4 extra sailors to attend the regatta or the volunteer who makes the sandwiches at lunch or the volunteer helps pull up the anchor at the pin end.....or the volunteer who patiently answers the questions from the prospective owner thinking of buying a used Sunfish for the first time.   I could go on, we know who they are and they dont work for builders. A skilled business person in the sailboat industry harnesses and encourages this volunteer army, they dont fight with them over the use of the logo.

What seems to be missing here, is good consensus building skills. Possibly both sides are missing those skills.

The argument seems to have originated with one of the oldest friction points in the history of one -design sailing: The availability of spare parts from the class builder.  Raise your hand if you belong to a class over 20 years old which hasnt had a spare parts issue at some stage.....OK there will be some.....but this is not uncommon.

A consensus building approach would have said to the builder:  This is an important issue to the class members. While realizing that inventory and distribution of spare parts is always challenging, come back with some solutions.

Then to the Class Association :  Approving third party part suppliers is not always a good idea. You need a profitable builder. Spare parts are the razor blade profits to boat building. Lets figure a way that our builder can preserve the profitable spare parts business so that our class is well supported but at the same time, improve availability. 

LP trying to set up a new Class Association is the "nuclear response" to class/builder friction...and is not very businesslike. 

Class/builder friction is a periodic occurrence in sailing.If you are not good at working with class associations, find another business....making strollers for example.

 

 

 

 

 

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The problem here is that ISCA (and before that, USSCA) has used 'Sunfish' as part of their name for over 50 years. Alcort employees who raced Sunfish were part of the group that founded USSCA, so it's logical to conclude that the Class had the permission and blessing of the builder to use the name and logo. They certainly were aware of it.  I think this constitutes a 'licensing agreement', whether implicit or explicitly written out in contract. Subsequent builders have not challanged that..., although the builder doesn't own the Class it's a huge promotional and organizational asset that LP will have difficulty replicating. 

If LP wants a specific licensing agreement, they can also cancel it or let it expire. In effect, that holds ISCA hostage to the builder, which is LP's intent. For all practical purposes, it's a coup attempt over control of the Class.  Since the working relationship between the the Class and prior builders has been highly beneficial to both parties in the past, it would appear that the builder is contemplating changes the Class will never approve. That is why the builder wants to control the Class, or replace it. I don't see any other logical explanation. 

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" What seems to be missing here, is good consensus building skills. Possibly both sides are missing those skills. " What seems to be missing here, is good consensus building skills. Possibly both sides are missing those skills. "

Um, no.  Clearly looking at the Laser thing recently, there is only one actor who lacks consensus. LP.

That company needs to be drop-kicked.
Fuck them.

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14 minutes ago, IPLore said:

First, I agree with those who say that the Sunfish has a very large recreational customer base. Thus the "vibrant class association" (my words :wacko:) is less important than a racing class such as the 5-0-5 or Laser.

However, a Class Association provides hundreds of thousands of dollars of promotional value that the builder is never going to be able to replicate.  The Class Association generates news, images,  social media and class credibility that is essential to the racing sailor but almost certainly also helps promote the recreational market. 

No builder or commercial entity is going to replicate the volunteer who sends 20 emails and makes 10 phone calls to persuade 4 extra sailors to attend the regatta or the volunteer who makes the sandwiches at lunch or the volunteer helps pull up the anchor at the pin end.....or the volunteer who patiently answers the questions from the prospective owner thinking of buying a used Sunfish for the first time.   I could go on, we know who they are and they dont work for builders. A skilled business person in the sailboat industry harnesses and encourages this volunteer army, they dont fight with them over the use of the logo.

What seems to be missing here, is good consensus building skills. Possibly both sides are missing those skills.

The argument seems to have originated with one of the oldest friction points in the history of one -design sailing: The availability of spare parts from the class builder.  Raise your hand if you belong to a class over 20 years old which hasnt had a spare parts issue at some stage.....OK there will be some.....but this is not uncommon.

A consensus building approach would have said to the builder:  This is an important issue to the class members. While realizing that inventory and distribution of spare parts is always challenging, come back with some solutions.

Then to the Class Association :  Approving third party part suppliers is not always a good idea. You need a profitable builder. Spare parts are the razor blade profits to boat building. Lets figure a way that our builder can preserve the profitable spare parts business so that our class is well supported but at the same time, improve availability. 

LP trying to set up a new Class Association is the "nuclear response" to class/builder friction...and is not very businesslike. 

Class/builder friction is a periodic occurrence in sailing.If you are not good at working with class associations, find another business....making strollers for example.

 

 

 

 

 

I agree. There has been parts problems in the past, either availability or quality. The Class and previous builders have worked through them, often together. There are several solutions to a current parts problem, if one exists. If nothing else, the builder could ask patience from the class while they sort it out, which the Class has previously done. I think 'parts availability' is just a smokescreen for bigger issue. That's why LP is going nuclear.

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On 11/10/2017 at 12:00 PM, MR.CLEAN said:

I've asked World Sailing Prez and Comms officer to respond to some questions on this issue BTW.  They have received my email and usually will respond within a day or two.  My email said:
 

 

World Sailing are likely not to reply to this or any other inquiry.

Both sides will have signed a contract with WS and the best chance of this dispute being mediated and resolved is if WS preserves its position as a neutral governing body that the Class and the builder can air their grievances with.

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4 minutes ago, RKoch said:

I agree. There has been parts problems in the past, either availability or quality. The Class and previous builders have worked through them, often together. There are several solutions to a current parts problem, if one exists. If nothing else, the builder could ask patience from the class while they sort it out, which the Class has previously done. I think 'parts availability' is just a smokescreen for bigger issue. That's why LP is going nuclear.

I cant imagine a sensible businesslike reason for going nuclear. I havent listened to the webinar.

In RS headquarters they must be rubbing their hands in glee....

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1 minute ago, IPLore said:

 

In RS headquarters they must be rubbing their hands in glee....

Yes, my thought exactly. The self-inflicted drama LP is creating is definitely an opening for a less contentious builder to walk through. 

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1 minute ago, IPLore said:

I cant imagine a sensible businesslike reason for going nuclear. I havent listened to the webinar.

In RS headquarters they must be rubbing their hands in glee....

It is the old 'cut your nose off to spite your face' routine.

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3 minutes ago, ~HHN92~ said:

It is the old 'cut your nose off to spite your face' routine.

The only way cutting off their nose is logical is if they have a 'plastic' replacement face.

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I hate being the contrarian in this but I don't think its unilaterally LP going nuclear or cut off your nose if my understanding of the context (from the first webinar, speaking to few who would know, etc...) is correct.  Consider that if LP's fight is simply to ensure that no one (other than those they license) can use the sunfish logo and sunfish name and the class refuses and undercuts that (as the class's own statement seems to), then LP really doesn't have any option.  If LP doesn't fight to try to have that (control over the Sunfish name and logo) then their Sunfish business (boats, parts, sails, you name it) is eventually, theoretically, toast.  It might be an attempted take back from the class.  I absolutely agree it might have been lost IP rights through historic neglect but that does not change the business need to fight to retain, retake, consolidate IP rights to the extent possible.  That fight should have been out of the public eye and quietly done and if both sides were reasonable, everyone should have been able to work this out.

The interesting thing to me is the public statements from both sides say the fight over is exactly what I wrote and nothing more.  Certainly both the class and LP have made pretty inflammatory public statements so if it was something else you would think they would say so.

On the surface at least this is as simple as LP wants to claim IP rights critical to its Sunfish business that the class claims it owns.

I know this ain't a popular view but it takes 2 to fight and both sides may eventually wish they simply stepped back from the brink.  Tillerman will hopefully appreciate this.  Just seems like too much...

 

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I have some 'insider' knowledge. Source asked not to mention their name.

Licensing agreement...there is a written licensing agreement between the Class and builder, that is renewed on 5 year intervals. Apparently it's up for renewal soon. ISCA does own their rules. 

Parts... It does appear that's the major bone of contention. LP's suppliers have them on COD, because they don't pay their bills. LP is only buying enough parts for the new boats they produce. Parts for racers, like racing sails, replacement spars, etc, have been virtually unobtainable for 5 years or so unless you 'know somebody'.  Class membership has dropped by a lot in US, that is a significant reason. The Class authorized outside sources in order to keep their boats sailing, since LP was unable and unwilling to supply them. LP naturally blew their top.  If LP has the money to subsidize a new class org, you'd think they'd have the money to pay their suppliers. The same parts problem will likely continue with the new org.

LP relocated the manufacturing to China, after promising the Class they wouldn't. People who have seen and sailed the Cinese-built boats report several  problems. 1) The Chinese are using vacuum bags or resin infusion, as opposed to the wet-layup used in US built boats. They are reported to weigh about 110 lbs, the U.S. boats typically ran about 122-123. The new boats are potentially faster, if they hold up. My previous observation is that the occasional 'lightweight' hull that slipped by QC didn't last long. Boats in 122-123 range held up well.  2) There's thinner gelcoat and  more roving print-through on the Chinese boats, and they don't look as good. 3) Something is off on the boat's balance...either mast or cb trunk location. It used to be racers positioned the gooseneck at 15" for optimum light-moderate air performance. Now it's reported to be 10". 4) Tillers replaced with aluminum U-channel, riveted on. Many instances of them failing and falling off.  Rudders pulling out of transoms. 

Source had no idea of what WS's response will be. Agrees that Class doesn't have the deep pockets that builder has for legal fight. They think that if Class loses the fight, will just carry on without using Sunfish name or logo, will lose some membership (already dropping due to unavailable parts), but continue organizing regattas under their rules. Using available parts (also much less expensive) will make them attractive option to the builder's Class. Source also reports that some youth training programs  have dropped Sunfish, and some fleets have switched to the Aero.

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4 minutes ago, RKoch said:

4) Tillers replaced with aluminum U-channel, riveted on. Many instances of them failing and falling off.  

 

I have a 2008 build with an aluminum tiller shaped like the old wood tiller. Boat had very little use when I bought it and freshwater only. In a moderate 15-17 knot breeze the rivets pulled-out as I was going downwind, right at the mark rounding. Fortunately being alone I was able to recover and limp the boat to the finish from the mark to the offset line.

Until then I had not noticed that it was just rivets.

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One more bit of info my source provided. ISCA paid for their website to be created, not the builder. When the builder formed their own class org, they simply cut and pasted most of the material on ISCA's website to their own, in violation of ISCA's copyright. ISCA had to obtain a cease and desist order to force its removal. In response, LP got a cease and desist order for ISCA to stop using Sunfish logo.  This is probably a good prediction  of how LP is going to operate their new Class org.

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One more bit of info my source provided. ISCA paid for their website to be created, not the builder. When the builder formed their own class org, they simply cut and pasted most of the material on ISCA's website to their own, in violation of ISCA's copyright. ISCA had to obtain a cease and desist order to force its removal. In response, LP got a cease and desist order for ISCA to stop using Sunfish logo.  This is probably a good prediction  of how LP is going to operate their new Class org. I see no reason to trust LP in any kind of agreement, and if WS decides to get in bed with them they'll likely end up with fleas.

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1 hour ago, RKoch said:

The Class authorized outside sources in order to keep their boats sailing, since LP was unable and unwilling to supply them. LP naturally blew their top.

To someone unfamiliar with the situation, the class switching to allow parts from outside suppliers may seem like the class not acting in good face.  However as an admittedly biased party who has experienced LP's supply problems first hand, I understand the class association's actions and support them.

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7 minutes ago, torrid said:

To someone unfamiliar with the situation, the class switching to allow parts from outside suppliers may seem like the class not acting in good face.  However as an admittedly biased party who has experienced LP's supply problems first hand, I understand the class association's actions and support them.

Agreed. If LP had paid their suppliers, there wouldn't be a parts shortage, and this whole issue would have been avoided. My source said its been a problem going on for 5 years now. How long should someone have to wait to replace a bent boom, or buy a new sail? 

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Fight?? Why?? If the class officers win??  Win what?? Really!! WTF does a Class officer win if he is stuck to manage the class?? 

Some small number of the sailors of the world  seem to believe that they would like to have a worldwide racing game in single-handed toys.

 So what ???

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39 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

Fight?? Why?? If the class officers win??  Win what?? Really!! WTF does a Class officer win if he is stuck to manage the class?? 

Some small number of the sailors of the world  seem to believe that they would like to have a worldwide racing game in single-handed toys.

 So what ???

Well, that's the point. LP is killing the Class through neglect of existing sailors. There's not much left to fight over. Without parts, there's not much to sustain the Class. Without a Class, there's no organized racing. Without organized racing, there's no reason to be a WS recognized International Class, no matter how many boats LP sells to resort hotels. It's in WS's hands. They can uphold ISCA as the Class Organization that ISAF had approved as an International Class, and with outsourced parts ISCA can continue racing. Or WS can recognize the builders new Class Org, which has no members, has no experience running a Class, has no experience running a regatta, and will likely flop. The builders class org will only exist as long as they're willing to pump money into it. I wouldn't take their assurance it will be long term. 

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If anybody cared, there would already be a US builder of a generic Sunfish and the class officers would bevteaningbuo with that builder to get membership up to 10,000 boat owners by 2020. 

How hard would that goal be to meet?? How hard is it to convince one person in 30,000 to join the class??

Is our game do lame we can't get one person in 30,000 to sign up??. 

30,000??

what is current class membership for Lasers and Sunfish combined?? It it 1 in 300,000 Americans?? Or is it fewer?

 

 

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From the class newsletter 'Windward Leg':

Letter from the ISCA President …
     As most of you know from my letter last week, LP is using deception to start their own Sunfish Class, ISCO. This was done in retaliation because the World Council would not sign over our rights to the ISCA initials and the name International Sunfish Class Association in a restrictive trademark agreement to LP. At our World Council meeting held in Brant Beach on August 30, 2017, we voted that we would not relinquish our rights to ISCA at any cost. Enough was enough.      The class is tired of being held hostage to LP.  From threatening to withhold World Championship boat shipments, unless we signed the agreement, to not being able to get class legal parts for many years, created the need for the World Council to take action.  The World Council has changed the class rules to allow ISCA, not the builder, to approve class legal parts for the boats.  These rule changes have been submitted to World Sailing, and they have assured ISCA that they are working to approve this ASAP. Unfortunately, LP has left the Class with more problems than solutions, broken promises and few choices.  It would be ideal if LP could just support the class make boats, and let us sail them.      Recently LP has notified many of you to sign an agreement with them.  We caution you … DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING from LP, Velum or ISCO! Beware; LP has many different layered companies. Although the letter stated it was signed by ISCA, it was not!  ISCA had nothing to do with the letter.  All of ISCA’s letters will originate from the Class office.      This agreement is being done to benefit LP, not one­design sailing for our Class. Once again LP offers nothing. Where is their plan for charter boats?  Since 2011 ISCA has to find a dealer to layout all of the money for the World Championship Charters.  With all of the problems over the years this has become an increasingly difficult sell to dealers. Therefore, the 2018 ISCA World Championships will be a bring your own boat Regatta. (see NOR link below)
https://www.sunfishclass.org/documents/nor_2013/NOR_2018_ISCA_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_Preliminary.pdf
     This Class belongs to the members and not LP.  Make no mistake about it, ISCO is LP and LP is ISCO.  In order for ISCA to become a recognized Class by World sailing (ISAF) in 1984, the Class had to be independent from the builder for a year before being recognized.  AMF spun the Class off to be an independent internationally recognized Class and now LP wants it back.  The one caveat is that they want ISCA members to run it under their control.      Here is an update on the actions we are taking. We will do our best to keep all of you updated on a regular basis as things develop. We continue to fight for our Class and will not give up.
1 Our attorney issued LP a “cease and desist” letter telling them to stop using any information copied from our website. That includes our, Class Rules, Constitution, mission statement and personal information of our members. This is a clear copyright violation. The outrage expressed by many of you directly to LP has been a huge help. Thank you for your support.
2 The update from Hector Duval, our ISCA World Sailing representative who met with World Sailing at their annual meeting in Mexico last week, is quite encouraging. Please note that World Sailing has not made any public statements of support yet, but we feel it’s important that you know what is currently happening there.
a.     The general consensus of the World Sailing members, who Hector talked with, do not support ISCO’s and LP’s actions.  World Sailing is run for the sailors not for the builders. World Sailing is very familiar with LP and their issues and, as a result, World Sailing currently supports ISCA not ISCO.
b.     The consensus for approving our class rule change, giving us the right to approve class legal parts, is positive. It has even been hinted at that we should expect an approval letter quite soon.
     Again, we await a public statement of support from World Sailing’s within the next week. We all know we are not alone in our fight for independence. The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) has also had similar issues.  LP has not been supporting our Class since 2011, but they are intent on starving us for parts and controlling us. Once World Sailing acts we will know what our next steps will be.      What we do predict is that LP will continue their fight to try to take control of our class.  LP hopes to win by depleting the class’s funds. Now more than ever, it is crucial that everyone renews their membership and supports the class with donations.  We did not choose this fight, LP did. Donations will help with our legal expenses and with keeping the class independent.  So you’ll be hearing more from us about ways you can help.      Lastly, I want to thank Hector Duval for all his efforts at the World Sailing Annual meeting in Mexico last week.  Hector was very busy and was able to get meetings on short notice with World Sailing’s key personnel. Hector, I know I’m speaking for our entire class; THANK YOU for all of your hard work this week. We would not have been able to move as quickly as we did without your help.”  It is important to note that we are all volunteers, and Hector was at the World Sailing meeting on his own nickel.  We did not pay his way; he does this because he loves this class like we all do!

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9 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

From the class newsletter 'Windward Leg':

Letter from the ISCA President …
     As most of you know from my letter last week, LP is using deception to start their own Sunfish Class, ISCO. This was done in retaliation because the World Council would not sign over our rights to the ISCA initials and the name International Sunfish Class Association in a restrictive trademark agreement to LP. At our World Council meeting held in Brant Beach on August 30, 2017, we voted that we would not relinquish our rights to ISCA at any cost. Enough was enough.      The class is tired of being held hostage to LP.  From threatening to withhold World Championship boat shipments, unless we signed the agreement, to not being able to get class legal parts for many years, created the need for the World Council to take action.  The World Council has changed the class rules to allow ISCA, not the builder, to approve class legal parts for the boats.  These rule changes have been submitted to World Sailing, and they have assured ISCA that they are working to approve this ASAP. Unfortunately, LP has left the Class with more problems than solutions, broken promises and few choices.  It would be ideal if LP could just support the class make boats, and let us sail them.      Recently LP has notified many of you to sign an agreement with them.  We caution you … DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING from LP, Velum or ISCO! Beware; LP has many different layered companies. Although the letter stated it was signed by ISCA, it was not!  ISCA had nothing to do with the letter.  All of ISCA’s letters will originate from the Class office.      This agreement is being done to benefit LP, not one­design sailing for our Class. Once again LP offers nothing. Where is their plan for charter boats?  Since 2011 ISCA has to find a dealer to layout all of the money for the World Championship Charters.  With all of the problems over the years this has become an increasingly difficult sell to dealers. Therefore, the 2018 ISCA World Championships will be a bring your own boat Regatta. (see NOR link below)
https://www.sunfishclass.org/documents/nor_2013/NOR_2018_ISCA_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_Preliminary.pdf
     This Class belongs to the members and not LP.  Make no mistake about it, ISCO is LP and LP is ISCO.  In order for ISCA to become a recognized Class by World sailing (ISAF) in 1984, the Class had to be independent from the builder for a year before being recognized.  AMF spun the Class off to be an independent internationally recognized Class and now LP wants it back.  The one caveat is that they want ISCA members to run it under their control.      Here is an update on the actions we are taking. We will do our best to keep all of you updated on a regular basis as things develop. We continue to fight for our Class and will not give up.
1 Our attorney issued LP a “cease and desist” letter telling them to stop using any information copied from our website. That includes our, Class Rules, Constitution, mission statement and personal information of our members. This is a clear copyright violation. The outrage expressed by many of you directly to LP has been a huge help. Thank you for your support.
2 The update from Hector Duval, our ISCA World Sailing representative who met with World Sailing at their annual meeting in Mexico last week, is quite encouraging. Please note that World Sailing has not made any public statements of support yet, but we feel it’s important that you know what is currently happening there.
a.     The general consensus of the World Sailing members, who Hector talked with, do not support ISCO’s and LP’s actions.  World Sailing is run for the sailors not for the builders. World Sailing is very familiar with LP and their issues and, as a result, World Sailing currently supports ISCA not ISCO.
b.     The consensus for approving our class rule change, giving us the right to approve class legal parts, is positive. It has even been hinted at that we should expect an approval letter quite soon.
     Again, we await a public statement of support from World Sailing’s within the next week. We all know we are not alone in our fight for independence. The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) has also had similar issues.  LP has not been supporting our Class since 2011, but they are intent on starving us for parts and controlling us. Once World Sailing acts we will know what our next steps will be.      What we do predict is that LP will continue their fight to try to take control of our class.  LP hopes to win by depleting the class’s funds. Now more than ever, it is crucial that everyone renews their membership and supports the class with donations.  We did not choose this fight, LP did. Donations will help with our legal expenses and with keeping the class independent.  So you’ll be hearing more from us about ways you can help.      Lastly, I want to thank Hector Duval for all his efforts at the World Sailing Annual meeting in Mexico last week.  Hector was very busy and was able to get meetings on short notice with World Sailing’s key personnel. Hector, I know I’m speaking for our entire class; THANK YOU for all of your hard work this week. We would not have been able to move as quickly as we did without your help.”  It is important to note that we are all volunteers, and Hector was at the World Sailing meeting on his own nickel.  We did not pay his way; he does this because he loves this class like we all do!

If 2a and 2b are true it would be great news for sailors!  And the beginning of the end for LP.

Sort of surprised at the tone and content of ISCA public statements.  If these statements have been reviewed and approved by ISCA counsel, then they believe they have a very strong, unassailable legal position.

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10 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

From the class newsletter 'Windward Leg':

Recently LP has notified many of you to sign an agreement with them.  We caution you … DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING from LP, Velum or ISCO! Beware; LP has many different layered companies. Although the letter stated it was signed by ISCA, it was not!  ISCA had nothing to do with the letter.  All of ISCA’s letters will originate from the Class office.

Exactly what sort of agreement was LP asking individual sailors to sign?

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2 minutes ago, torrid said:

Exactly what sort of agreement was LP asking individual sailors to sign?

I think to the new class ISCO. I have not read more since the initial notification from them.

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50 minutes ago, Wess said:

If 2a and 2b are true it would be great news for sailors!  And the beginning of the end for LP.

Sort of surprised at the tone and content of ISCA public statements.  If these statements have been reviewed and approved by ISCA counsel, then they believe they have a very strong, unassailable legal position.

How much does 50 years of precedent count for?

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If they are careful not to use LPs trademarks in any manner they are not allowed to, and careful not to represent themselves as being supported by or associated  with LP in any way, its hard to see what action LP could take against them. Trademark law is well established, it shouldn't be too hard to set the boundaries.

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$$$$ vs principles.

This may not end well.

The game of sailing  needs a new builder of singlehanded racing boats whose owners believe support and development of singlehanded sailboat racing, and sailboat racing generally, is findamental to  that business. 

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That sounds pretty encouraging, especially WS. 

Hector Duval has been involved with the Sunfish Class for decades. From DR...I imagine their parts supply issues are worse than the U.S.

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19 minutes ago, JimC said:

If they are careful not to use LPs trademarks in any manner they are not allowed to, and careful not to represent themselves as being supported by or associated  with LP in any way, its hard to see what action LP could take against them. Trademark law is well established, it shouldn't be too hard to set the boundaries.

You can always use the word 'Sunfish' just not in the stylized way that the logo's and trademarks are done. If you couldn't then every article or notice written with that word would be liable for lawsuits. "It is a class for racing Sunfish sailboats" and always have a disclaimer that it is in no way associated with the Sunfish builder and/or their trademarks in any fashion. Maybe add something about what assholes they are in it to boot.

Well, maybe not the assholes part...

Maybe a change to the class name in a way to indicate sailors and not the builder, like a car club that likes Corvettes, Porches, etc. and holds rally's for those cars.

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I looked over ISCO's website, and have some comments.

1)  they have listed no national class officers, nor regional reps.

2) they list several regattas, apparently copied from ISCA. It's not clear which group is requiring membership. IDK if the regattas are even aware of being listed on ISCO's site.

3) The ISCO rules are a direct word for word copy of ISCAs, and are the IP of ISCA. ISCA has grounds for a lawsuit there. LP is too stupid to even write their own rules?

4) LP is using 'International' in the name of their new class, and have not received recognition as an International Class by WS. They also claim to be the organizers of the 2018 World Championships, which is probably news to the organizers working under ISCA.  Also, as ISCO is not recognized by WS, they can't use the term 'World Championship'. Another violation of IP by LP. 

LP's efforts at starting a new class appear to be pretty ham-fisted,  incompetent, and ignorant. Are their corporate lawyers and CPAs going to try to create and run a class? That's going to be a hoot.  IDK how the fuck they think they're going to get this lame effort approved by WS. 

 

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20 minutes ago, RKoch said:

I looked over ISCO's website, and have some comments.

1)  they have listed no national class officers, nor regional reps.

 

They have listed regional reps. Click on names of US regions on this page.  

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4 minutes ago, tillerman said:

They have listed regional reps. Click on names of US regions on this page.  

Those are ISCAs regional reps, copied from ISCAs website.  In some cases out of date. I don't know if any of them are supporting ISCO, in some cases I'm sure they aren't and their name is listed without permission. Have spoken to several recently. 

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35 minutes ago, RKoch said:

 

4) LP is using 'International' in the name of their new class, and have not received recognition as an International Class by WS. They also claim to be the organizers of the 2018 World Championships, which is probably news to the organizers working under ISCA.  Also, as ISCO is not recognized by WS, they can't use the term 'World Championship'. Another violation of IP by LP. 

 

Correct me if I am wrong but, in reading the regulations of World Sailing, it appears that there is no such thing as an "International Class" any more.  Apparently the correct term is now "World Sailing Class."

See for example Regulation 10 in the World Sailing Regulations.

 

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1 minute ago, RKoch said:

Those are ISCAs regional reps, copied from ISCAs website.  In some cases out of date. I don't know if any of them are supporting ISCO, in some cases I'm sure they aren't and their name is listed without permission. Have spoken to several recently. 

Yes, the names on the ISCO website are ISCA regional reps.

But they are not exactly the same names as those on the ISCA website. For example, when I click on the New England Region on the ISCA website it says Eric Woodman is the rep. But on the ISCO website it says the New England rep is Mark Stoughton. I know Mark has requested to have his name removed from ISCO but it's still there right now.

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The silliness of this is exactly the same when Kirby/PSA and LP both tried to start their own class associations.  There simply aren't enough class volunteers to go around.  Given the history of LP the last few years, I can't imagine anyone associated with the ISCA even thinking of defecting to ISCO.

The one way which LP could have any power with the ISCO over the ISCA is the world championship, with or without WS approval.  If the world championship were to be held in a location like Antigua, LP/ISCO could supply charter boats when ISCA could not.  No bring your own, not enough boats to borrow to go around.

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3 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

The game of sailing  needs a new builder of singlehanded racing boats whose owners believe support and development of singlehanded sailboat racing, and sailboat racing generally, is findamental to  that business. 

Wouldn't it be nice?
 

 

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3 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Yes, the names on the ISCO website are ISCA regional reps.

But they are not exactly the same names as those on the ISCA website. For example, when I click on the New England Region on the ISCA website it says Eric Woodman is the rep. But on the ISCO website it says the New England rep is Mark Stoughton. I know Mark has requested to have his name removed from ISCO but it's still there right now.

ISCO apparently copied old info. Todd Edwards used to be the Gulf Coast Regional Rep, but is no longer. I am positive he and some of the National Reps I know want nothing to do with ISCO. It looks like ISCO is using many of those reps, if not all, without permission. 

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7 minutes ago, torrid said:

The silliness of this is exactly the same when Kirby/PSA and LP both tried to start their own class associations. 

 

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24 minutes ago, torrid said:

The silliness of this is exactly the same when Kirby/PSA and LP both tried to start their own class associations.  There simply aren't enough class volunteers to go around.  Given the history of LP the last few years, I can't imagine anyone associated with the ISCA even thinking of defecting to ISCO.

The one way which LP could have any power with the ISCO over the ISCA is the world championship, with or without WS approval.  If the world championship were to be held in a location like Antigua, LP/ISCO could supply charter boats when ISCA could not.  No bring your own, not enough boats to borrow to go around.

LP has refused to supply Worlds boats for a couple of years. ISCA had to arrange with regatta hosts to pre-sell the required boats, which LP then shipped. LP is not shipping any boats to the 2018 Worlds in Brandt Beach. It is a BYOB regatta. ATM, ISCA is the only group authorized by WS to hold a World Championship. ISCO is not authorized to hold a regatta under that title. 

Yes, I agree it would be difficult to host a BYOB regatta in many locales. Even with factory cooperation it's tough. At the Worlds in DR, a couple of individuals paid for many of the boats...about half the fleet of 130. If it looks like the boats are mostly spoken for, the factory would ship about 70-80. A couple Worlds I was at had about 40, and there had to be an elimination series. A couple Worlds didn't sell many boats, and the builder had to ship them back to US. 

Theres a huge amount of logistics in putting on a major regatta, and a lot of hours of volunteer work by many people. I've been involved in several roles, including regatta chair. LP is completely clueless on pulling one off. It's far more involved than just getting an R/C together for a few days (which is many hours of voluteer itself). There's also arranging for housing, meals, entertainment, parking, boat storage before during and after, immigration, marine LE approval, and contingency plans for emergencies.

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34 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Correct me if I am wrong but, in reading the regulations of World Sailing, it appears that there is no such thing as an "International Class" any more.  Apparently the correct term is now "World Sailing Class."

See for example Regulation 10 in the World Sailing Regulations.

 

You're arguing semantics. Lame. Doesn't matter what it was or is currently called. 

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7 minutes ago, RKoch said:

LP has refused to supply Worlds boats for a couple of years. ISCA had to arrange with regatta hosts to pre-sell the required boats, which LP then shipped. LP is not shipping any boats to the 2018 Worlds in Brandt Beach. It is a BYOB regatta. ATM, ISCA is the only group authorized by WS to hold a World Championship. ISCO is not authorized to hold a regatta under that title. 

Yes, I agree it would be difficult to host a BYOB regatta in many locales. Even with factory cooperation it's tough. At the Worlds in DR, a couple of individuals paid for many of the boats...about half the fleet of 130. If it looks like the boats are mostly spoken for, the factory would ship about 70-80. A couple Worlds I was at had about 40, and there had to be an elimination series. A couple Worlds didn't sell many boats, and the builder had to ship them back to US. 

Theres a huge amount of logistics in putting on a major regatta, and a lot of hours of volunteer work by many people. I've been involved in several roles, including regatta chair. LP is completely clueless on pulling one off. It's far more involved than just getting an R/C together for a few days (which is many hours of voluteer itself). There's also arranging for housing, meals, entertainment, parking, boat storage before during and after, immigration, and contingency plans for emergencies.

Sorry to keep being a nit-picker but aren't the 2018 ISCA Sunfish Worlds going to be in Wrightsville Beach?

https://www.sunfishclass.org/news/article/carolina-yacht-club-to-host-2018-sunfish-world-championships

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6 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Sorry to keep being a nit-picker but aren't the 2018 ISCA Sunfish Worlds going to be in Wrightsville Beach?

https://www.sunfishclass.org/news/article/carolina-yacht-club-to-host-2018-sunfish-world-championships

Yea, confused locations of two regattas. Brandt Beach was 2017. Anyway, it's byob (for the first time). 

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3 minutes ago, RKoch said:

You're arguing semantics. Lame. Doesn't matter what it was or is currently called. 

I plead guilty. It's genetic. One of my sons is a lawyer. I get it from him.

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23 hours ago, RKoch said:

Source had no idea of what WS's response will be. Agrees that Class doesn't have the deep pockets that builder has for legal fight. They think that if Class loses the fight, will just carry on without using Sunfish name or logo, will lose some membership (already dropping due to unavailable parts), but continue organizing regattas under their rules. Using available parts (also much less expensive) will make them attractive option to the builder's Class. Source also reports that some youth training programs  have dropped Sunfish, and some fleets have switched to the Aero.

 

3 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

You can always use the word 'Sunfish' just not in the stylized way that the logo's and trademarks are done. If you couldn't then every article or notice written with that word would be liable for lawsuits. "It is a class for racing Sunfish sailboats" and always have a disclaimer that it is in no way associated with the Sunfish builder and/or their trademarks in any fashion. Maybe add something about what assholes they are in it to boot.

Well, maybe not the assholes part...

Maybe a change to the class name in a way to indicate sailors and not the builder, like a car club that likes Corvettes, Porches, etc. and holds rally's for those cars.

You guys are both saying the same thing essentially, and I agree, that this is headed towards being a generic boat class.  All the way back to the Kirby/Laser mess this was something I was in favor of as it could benefit the grass root club level sail and make access easier.  But...

Keep in mind we don't sail spare parts or sails, we sail boats.  And somebody has to make those boats to a spec that is the same as all the old boats so old and existing boats can still play the racing game.  Getting somebody to do that is not inconsequential especially for Sunfish when the racing market is so small.  LP will of course continue to make boats (however they want and likely lighter and faster than historic Sunfish as has already been seen) and sell as they always have into the recreational market using the Sunfish name and logo which I assume they will vigorously defend.  Even worse LP can likely undercut any new Sunfish builder (to the class spec) on price as well leaving any generic builder a very small and declining market.  The lose of the racing market does not hurt LP as much as the loss of the recreational market would. So...

I am really not sure the existing class does not lose even if winning the legal battle to exist.  LP has the option to say, OK, lets part as friends people who want to join our Sunfish class can and they can use our new boats and those that want to stay with your generic boat class can as well and we wish you well.  But we will not build boats for you to your spec - you have to find your own builder to do that - and we will not give you boats for your regattas (ISCA has already acknowledged they are now in a bring your own boat phase which severely limits where they can have regattas).  And who is going to build boats for ISCA to an ISCA standard?  I was so hopeful that out of the Kirby/Laser mess Kirby would actually launch the Torch.  He was the best positioned to do for Laser exactly what ISCA needs somebody to do for them.  But he didn't.  I really wonder if anybody will.

I really wonder that in winning if the class doesn't really lose in the end.

This seems stupid.  How did they both ever end up here (rhetorical)...  all the builder had to do was supply parts... all the class had to do was not claim IP.  Both should have been willing and agreeable to that.  Had they, this likely never happens.  Instead they both did the opposite.  Dumb!  Does not matter who started it, but I fear it ends badly more for the class than for LP much as I would like the alternate ending.

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Wess, you're missing a couple points. There's a Brazillion old Sunfish sitting around in backyards. Many of them can be competitive, if parts can be obtained. My old 1973 hull (bought for $10) won the 1992 NAs, and is still competitive (if I fix the leaks). That's what the class is seeking to do....get parts to keep boats sailing. Even new Sunfish would be welcome...once the customer heads out the door the builder has no control over what group they race with.

IP...the class is perfectly willing to renew the old IP agreement. ISCA is not claiming to own the Sunfish trademark or logo, and agrees that LP does. The issue appears to be that LP wants ISCA to additionally sign over to LP  IT'S IP, which consists of the Class rules, the International Sunfish Class Association name and ISCA initials. The Class isn't willing to do that, besides, that would appear to be in violation of the agreement between ISCA and ISAF ( now WS). LP is still currently in violation for copying ISCAs rules on the ISCO website, not to mention listing ISCAs national and regional representatives as their own, apparently without permission from ISCA, USSCA, or the individuals themselves.

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I agree with you on the old boats parts.  Laser is the same. But I guess we disagree that a class can grow, and thrive without a supply of new boats.  Or without builder (or other... ISCA muddled on with dealers doing this for past few years) support for charter boats at major regattas.

And at least the way I read the class communications they are claiming (perhaps rightly but still) aspects related to IP that would concern me if I was the primary holder of the Sunfish name and logo IP.

I would love to be wrong but don't see a pretty sunset at the end of this path.

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You do not need LP for parts if there are other suppliers that will submit their products for class approval. The only thing the class sailors need from LP is a new hull on occasion, if they choose to buy one. Like R says, there are a ton of them out there that can be bought from a recreational sailor and then add your racing parts to it for class legal competition. I bought my latest one from a guy in Central FL that had 2 of them he bought for his kids. They did not like the boats so I bought mine for pennies on the dollar. The boat was roughed-up some and the sail was missing but I had the parts from an old boat to set it up. A little elbow grease to clean-up the scratches and wala - a new race boat cheap.

The class does not need LP once the parts and pieces are sorted. Barring LP harassing the class it will hurt LP more than the class. The more I think about it this may actually be good for the class as long as LP does not persist in challenging the class at every move. As long as the class stays clear of infringing any of LP's 'rights' then all should be OK.

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Love the idea of a "generic" class and boat but guess I am not as optimistic as you guys.  But just watching how this plays out will be interesting and informative for other classes.

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30 minutes ago, Wess said:

Love the idea of a "generic" class and boat but guess I am not as optimistic as you guys.  But just watching how this plays out will be interesting and informative for other classes.

It will also be a good test of how important the brand is.

There was a lot of discussion during the Laser/Torch fiasco about how important the name "Laser" really is and whether people would rally around the same boat under a different name, with opinions on the question very divided. But in that case new Torches would have been an identical design to the Laser, supervised by the original Laser designer, and at least in the case of the Australian Torches built in the former Laser factory.

I?CA seem to be making an even bolder move. Not only are they planning to attempt to perpetuate a class without the rights to use the name or logo of the existing boat, but they appear to planning to make it work without any access to new boats.

Good luck to them. We live in interesting times!

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The Class is only opening up parts suppliers. Sails are still one design. I don't think you can build your own sail. So far there's no indication they're allowing anything other than a Sunfish built hulls. There are so many used boats the class could get along a long time even if there were no builder. 

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Not that any class is really growing at this point, but no class is going to grow without a supply of new boats from a supportive builder.  Even recycling older boats from backyards, a lack of new hulls is only going to accelerate the downward slide in participation.

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6 minutes ago, torrid said:

Not that any class is really growing at this point, but no class is going to grow without a supply of new boats from a supportive builder.  Even recycling older boats from backyards, a lack of new hulls is only going to accelerate the downward slide in participation.

LP is still building new boats. The problem is replacement parts for existing boats, and LPs demand that ISCA sign over IP ISCA owns. 

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1 hour ago, RKoch said:

The Class is only opening up parts suppliers. Sails are still one design. I don't think you can build your own sail. So far there's no indication they're allowing anything other than a Sunfish built hulls. There are so many used boats the class could get along a long time even if there were no builder. 

Come on.  Saying it does not make it so.  I don't think (??) your statement is true.  From the ISCA letter:  "In August 2017, the World Council decided that we would not sign the restrictive trademark agreement and changed ISCA class rules to allow non-builder supplied, class approved spars, masts, goosenecks, sails and parts." 

That seems to me to include everything but the hull and certainly does include sails.  :)  Now don't misunderstand... mind you I don't care and am all for generic sales of sails!!  It made a huge difference in access for new sailors in the Laser class.

But no new boats that are equal to the old boats?  Good luck with that.  I hope I am wrong but just don't see it.  That class - like Laser - is held together by the elite, not the club level sailors.  And the sailing for the elite in the class just got a whole lot crappier under ISCA. For them the grass will be greener with ISCO.  Like your's its just an opinion and one I hope I am wrong about.

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I believe the intent is to no longer require the factory racing sail (it's no longer available) , but the class has contracted for a replacement that's sold by the class. That's my understanding. So the sail is still single sourced and nearly identical. Much cheaper, I imagine.

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7 hours ago, tillerman said:

I plead guilty. It's genetic. One of my sons is a lawyer. I get it from him.

Say what???  You LIE!!  MAGA.  I am sure that Tillerson  is Secretary of State!!

Blatantly stolen from a copyrighted blog that like Merica... used to be great.  But then it stopped.  :(

 

:lol::lol::lol:

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18 minutes ago, RKoch said:

I believe the intent is to no longer require the factory racing sail (it's no longer available) , but the class has contracted for a replacement that's sold by the class. That's my understanding. So the sail is still single sourced and nearly identical. Much cheaper, I imagine.

I wonder if the new sail from ISCA will have the Sunfish logo on it?

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13 minutes ago, Wess said:

Say what???  You LIE!!  MAGA.  I am sure that Tillerson  is Secretary of State!!

Blatantly stolen from a copyrighted blog that like Merica... used to be great.  But then it stopped.  :(

 

:lol::lol::lol:

They say that all good things come to an end.  But let's hope that Sunfish sailing will go on for ever.

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9 minutes ago, tillerman said:

I wonder if the new sail from ISCA will have the Sunfish logo on it?

Good question. Probably not. Should have a shark.

 

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12 hours ago, Wess said:

If 2a and 2b are true it would be great news for sailors!  And the beginning of the end for LP.

Sort of surprised at the tone and content of ISCA public statements.  If these statements have been reviewed and approved by ISCA counsel, then they believe they have a very strong, unassailable legal position.

I don't know who their counsel is but even if every word in this letter was true, I would not have advised writing it. 

Dont get me wrong. I am someone who  relishes combat and confrontation but I choose my ground carefully. 

Paragraph 2 was weak.

The general consensus ....blah.....it has been hinted we might get a letter of approval.....blah

Ugh!

Issue the cease and desist.

Update the class members with clear succinct facts.

Present a clear strong case to WS, orally and in writing.  Agree a schedule with WS that will allow them to review the information you have presented to them. Make yourself available to answer any questions that may occur to them . Agree a date for a conference call to see if they have reached a preliminary decision. Do Not  front run them and presume to know what that decision is.

when they have made a written decision , publicize it.

 

 

You do not tell the burglar that you might have a knife in the drawer......you walk over to the drawer and get it .

Its embarrassing if the knife turns out not to be in the drawer......he won't take you seriously .

its also foolish because he might just walk over to the drawer before you get there and throw it out the window....or even worse use your knife to stab you.

 

Or as an older colleague of mine used to say " A bird in the hand is worth more than a bird in the bush.....but if you have a bird in the bush,don't tell the other side about it"

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From past experience on ISCA World Council...the Persident is not operating in a rogue manner or with a small majority support. If ISCA is taking this stance, it's with the support of a huge msjority of the class. Although it may be a tactical advantage to play the cards close, president is also acting to keep the class membership informed. I see no problem with his approach so far.

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There seems to be more transparency with the class in this situation than during the Laser fiasco.  We got that "vote early, vote often" message very suddenly with little accompanying information.

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I have a Sunfish sitting in my shop that is here for minor repairs from blowing around the neighborhood during Hurricane Harvey.  

 

It is shaped just like a boat for which  I have been considering building some tooling.

hmmmmmm

 

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9 hours ago, tillerman said:

They say that all good things come to an end.  But let's hope that Sunfish sailing will go on for ever.

Ah dude, you shot an aerrow through my heart and those of your other many readers.  I always wondered if the follow up (data) was legit or just funnin?  I assumed funnin but in this crazy world you never know...

BTW, you drop so many great little gems in threads that I don't think most get.  Loved #271.

Be well my internet friend.

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

Ah dude, you shot an aerrow through my heart and those of your other many readers.  I always wondered if the follow up (data) was legit or just funnin?  I assumed funnin but in this crazy world you never know...

BTW, you drop so many great little gems in threads that I don't think most get.  Loved #271.

Be well my internet friend.

I have an idea that has been blowing around in my mind since New Year's Eve.

It is shaped just like a new blog for which I have been considering writing some posts.

Hmmm!

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Since New Year's Eve?!  That is almost a year!  I am just hoping that blog is not shaped like a quiver and all full of... well you know.  As a laser (see what I did there) lover I canntt take any more XXXXX through my heart.

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10 hours ago, RKoch said:

Good question. Probably not. Should have a shark.

 

Get with Cindy and use the one from the old Team Florida shirts.

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