Looper

Laser C5 Rig

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I'd love to hear insight from others.  In my mind this is just a express lane to further divide the class and accelerate the decline.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Looper said:

I'd love to hear insight from others.  In my mind this is just a express lane to further divide the class and accelerate the decline.

 


"Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad."

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I too am skeptical, but I do have a couple of thoughts.

One, for now this effort appears to be focused on maintaining Olympic status and the upcoming "sea trials".  It would not necessarily be adopted by the general class outside of the Olympics.  And it is not certain the sea trials will go anywhere.

Also, this particular rig looks to be a replacement for the 4.7.  This is geared towards sailors new to the Laser, so there is less entrenchment of the existing rig were it to be adopted for the general class.  There is discussion of C6 and C8 rigs, but it is hard to comment without actually seeing anything.  Maybe the C5 is serving as a guinea pig of sorts for development and implementation of new rigs for larger sailors.

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Was launched and sailed as a demonstrator at the Australian Laser Championships held a fortnight ago in Devonport, Australia. Its happening ... I think you can get an order in ...

We also previewed a new carbon radial lower section at the Class AGM. Was a thing of beauty and will hopefully be adopted across the class ASAP! 

 

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You can check out the minutes of the Australian Laser Class Association AGM at www.lasersdownunder.com

Should be a veritable feast of Anarchist info there for North Americans and Europeans!!! ;-)

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Innovators' dilemma!

I'm glad someone is making a move before the world moves on. The Laser hull is a classic, and a new rig can give untold number of hulls a new life. 

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It really wouldn’t take much to build the Laser @40 kilos with a reshaped deck removing the need for a core and durable well reinforced laminates in the hull. 

As the Laser’s entire construction is of materials and shapes that absolutely become non-competitive over a few years of hard use, the fantasy of “keeping the old boats competitive” accomplishes nothing except the eventual death of the entire game. 

The current question, no one can answer, “Can the Laser be updated in a fashion that keeps the door closed to boats like the AERO?”

The well known well entrenched Laser game needs to survive  only two obstacles: 

1. The design and creation of the updated version of hull laminated, deck design, rig, and sails

2. The seduction of a new investor who is willing to build and market the modern toy. 

***+*

Currently the Laser game has neither and the AERO game has both. 

Assuming RS continues to vigorously seek the singlehanded sailing market, after some period of time, the AERO may possibly replace the Laser as the singlehanded racing toy. 

It could take another ten years of LP to allow RS to steal the Laser market. 

Sailors who want to start playing in modern boats currently can purchase an AERO but the most top level singlehanded competition is still only found in the old established Laser. 

There is another factor which may hasten the rise of the AERO and perhaps contribute to the demise of the Laser. 

AEROs are fun new toys many of us can afford to purchase and for everyone but those who are capable of winning in 100 boat fleets, the competition is already there. In North America, the AERO is already to most available new pretty ready to use toy. 

I am going sailing on mine tomorrow. 

 

 

 

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Carbon rigs...solid glass hulls...mylar sails...long competitive life...I know a boat that has had all four for thirty some years...

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Oh come on, you're pretending the ancient overweight Finn is modern? 

Snide and silly attacks like that are the sort of thing that makes one glad your class is out of the Games. If you weren't so negative, you'd have more support.

 

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22 minutes ago, Curious said:

Oh come on, you're pretending the ancient overweight Finn is modern? 

Snide and silly attacks like that are the sort of thing that makes one glad your class is out of the Games. If you weren't so negative, you'd have more support.

 

I was kidding but ok. 

Ancient? Compared to a Moth maybe, last Finn redesign was in Q3 2014, last Laser redesign was in...1971?

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Is the Laser C5 an officially sanctioned international development for the Laser (with Rastegar’s backing) or just another aftermarket rig?  The video isn’t clear - the ILCA president says he doesn’t see the future as ali spars and white sails, but doesn’t go as far as to endorse this specifically. 

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5 hours ago, sosoomii said:

Is the Laser C5 an officially sanctioned international development for the Laser (with Rastegar’s backing) or just another aftermarket rig?  The video isn’t clear - the ILCA president says he doesn’t see the future as ali spars and white sails, but doesn’t go as far as to endorse this specifically. 

This appears to be largely an effort by PSA, with support but not official sanctioning from the ILCA.  Page four of this document is the closest to any sort of official announcement I have seen.

http://www.lasersdownunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2018_19_ALCA_AGM_2019_Minutes_V3_With_Reports.pdf

LP does NOT appear to be involved in this effort, which I can only take as a positive.

Then there's this gem of a Facebook post from everyone's favorite Laser builder.  It seems to present some Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory just short of Elvis and the moon landing.

Quote

2019 AND BEYOND for LASERPERFORMANCE
January 2019

With 2018 behind us we have perspective on an impactful year that will shape the group’s strategy for the next decade. In 2018 LaserPerformance saw the full results of its 2016 restructuring. Of particular importance has been the implementation of company-wide operations on integrated digital platforms and the re-establishment of effective supply chains for core products allowing for timely fulfillment. However, LaserPerformance has also faced new challenges that were simply beyond its strategic and operational planning.

When we announced our restructuring in January 2016 we could not imagine that the world would change the way it has. The most significant of these changes are BREXIT - the UK decision to leave the EU - and the US introduction of tariffs for imports from China and Europe.

Brexit has already taken its toll with repeated delays in shipping schedules in and out of the UK as well as the threat and uncertainties of a hard BREXIT yet to disrupt our business further.

US tariffs have already increased our product costs. We have not passed any cost increases to our customers but have seriously suffered financially as a consequence. We continue with our strategy of reducing costs of participation to our sailors and curbing an upward cost spiral.

Both Brexit and US tariffs create significant limitations in our flexibility to work with the best sub-contractors possible in an industry that already suffers from a lack of choice for quality volume manufacturers. Meeting the demands of volume and consistency in quality for our one design boats has proven practically impossible anywhere in the world with no contract manufacturer able to give us what is needed. Further, meeting the demand for parts has directly impacted supply of original equipment.

These challenges have impacted us at a time when we have been working to become a digitally conversant business, whilst suffering from an onslaught of litigation and legal challenges from the International Laser Class Association in coordination with Bruce Kirby and his Australian partners at the Performance Sailcraft Pty group. Ironically, there seems to be a continuing desire to attack and claim our intellectual property assets by these parties whilst insisting that they want our support to fund their activities and maintaining the Olympic status of the Laser boats. The result of these remarkable and spurious challenges has been a diversion of millions of dollars into legal fees which would have been otherwise available to our sailing community initiatives; an unsigned Olympics 2020 contract and an expiring license to operate for ILCA ending August 2019.

All these are critical elements in our ongoing review of long-term strategy. We are seeking not only to reposition LaserPerformance but also to impact sailing in a meaningful and sustained manner for many years to come.

As a result of the US-China trade war, we have decided to set up our own manufacturing facilities in Portugal with the objective of becoming fully operational by this year end. Manufacturing of all sloops and collegiate sailing boats will be given priority. Our existing resources in China will continue to supply the Asian markets. Laser Sailboats manufacturing in Banbury, UK, will expand to include the Sunfish boat.

As a result of Brexit, we will review our UK based service operations to ensure reliability of timely supply and avoiding the disruptions of the past year experienced by the group. Also in the UK we will launch a new SailLaser Centre on the same principles of the original centre in Weymouth as part of a plan to launch four flagship centres around the world including USA, Portugal, and China.

This year will also be an exciting year for us in product development. This will include new products under a strategic design relationship with Tripp Design, naval architects based in the USA and Holland, for a family of new products with the first launch in June 2019. Further, we will introduce the ARC in May 2019, a contemporary racing rig and sail for Laser and Laser Radial that broadens the sailor weight range and increases overall performance. We will also relaunch a redesigned family of SEITECH trolleys, dollies and racks in March 2019.

Class relationships and World Sailing will be a focus of our external partnerships. As key stakeholders, we would be engaging with them in the hope of bringing them requisite resources for their successful expansion and continuity. These include the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) where we would move for a motion to bring back ILCA to the UK;
move for a motion to fund a full time and dedicated executive team for the ILCA; support the Laser Class Action Group led by stakeholders in Europe; and ensure the ILCA license is renewed and the Olympic contract is executed accordingly.

Further, with the International Sunfish Class Association (ISCA), we would move for a motion to modernise the ISCA Constitution for gender and geographic balance with support for the addition of two continents to the ISCA to meet World Sailing 6-Continent rule; and to provide ISCA with a multi-year sponsorship program that would support its activities and increase sailor participation and retention.

Finally, the successful support to the 2018 Charter and Events Programme will continue and be expanded in 2019. Primarily focusing on events involving Laser and Sunfish sailors, the Programme will further expand in North America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean to directly support our sailing community and the classes they are members of.

We cannot close without giving special mention to Jeff Martin who passed away suddenly on January 11th. Jeff served ILCA for over 40 years and his tireless and selfless commitment to Laser was a huge contributor to the success of Laser over the years. We are saddened and will remember him with fondness and reverence.

 

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34 minutes ago, torrid said:

This appears to be largely an effort by PSA, with support but not official sanctioning from the ILCA.  Page four of this document is the closest to any sort of official announcement I have seen.

http://www.lasersdownunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2018_19_ALCA_AGM_2019_Minutes_V3_With_Reports.pdf

LP does NOT appear to be involved in this effort, which I can only take as a positive.

Then there's this gem of a Facebook post from everyone's favorite Laser builder.  It seems to present some Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory just short of Elvis and the moon landing.

 

I saw the FB thing.  Already shot e-mails to NA class folks.  I'm hoping this isn't real, but will just become some sort of "Subset" of the class, (that likely won't get a lot of play).

Is this real or what?

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10 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

I was kidding but ok. 

Ancient? Compared to a Moth maybe, last Finn redesign was in Q3 2014, last Laser redesign was in...1971?

When was the last Opti redesign or lightning re-design, J24 re-design, (IC)?  The Melges and Aero are the Laser re-designs.

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12 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

It really wouldn’t take much to build the Laser @40 kilos with a reshaped deck removing the need for a core and durable well reinforced laminates in the hull. 

As the Laser’s entire construction is of materials and shapes that absolutely become non-competitive over a few years of hard use, the fantasy of “keeping the old boats competitive” accomplishes nothing except the eventual death of the entire game. 

The current question, no one can answer, “Can the Laser be updated in a fashion that keeps the door closed to boats like the AERO?”

The well known well entrenched Laser game needs to survive  only two obstacles: 

1. The design and creation of the updated version of hull laminated, deck design, rig, and sails

2. The seduction of a new investor who is willing to build and market the modern toy. 

***+*

Currently the Laser game has neither and the AERO game has both. 

Assuming RS continues to vigorously seek the singlehanded sailing market, after some period of time, the AERO may possibly replace the Laser as the singlehanded racing toy. 

It could take another ten years of LP to allow RS to steal the Laser market. 

Sailors who want to start playing in modern boats currently can purchase an AERO but the most top level singlehanded competition is still only found in the old established Laser. 

There is another factor which may hasten the rise of the AERO and perhaps contribute to the demise of the Laser. 

AEROs are fun new toys many of us can afford to purchase and for everyone but those who are capable of winning in 100 boat fleets, the competition is already there. In North America, the AERO is already to most available new pretty ready to use toy. 

I am going sailing on mine tomorrow. 

 

 

 

If this C5-C7 rig business is for real it's the best thing that could ever happen to the Aero and Melges 14 class.  

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13 hours ago, torrid said:

Is it too soon to start a Laser Classic class?

I think we have it already.  Masters Class.

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2 hours ago, RobbieB said:

When was the last Opti redesign or lightning re-design, J24 re-design, (IC)?  The Melges and Aero are the Laser re-designs.

Optis and Lightning’s (and Stars, 470s, 420s, 505’etc) are all built to a set of scantlings.

I don’t remember hearing anything about the Lightning class trying to keep boats with wooden rigs and cotton sails competitive with the newest Tom Allen boat. 

I love the Laser but if the ILCA is trying to modernize they should go full hog and go to tapered single piece carbon rigs and radial mylar sails. It’s not like it would be difficult for CST/Forte/Selden to pump those out on a mandrel and get them on the line for roughly the cost of the two piece ‘luminum.

Olympic-level sailors are already buying a new boat a year, and it’s not like it would make the local yardstick fleet non competitive overnight.

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34 minutes ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Optis and Lightning’s (and Stars, 470s, 420s, 505’etc) are all built to a set of scantlings.

I don’t remember hearing anything about the Lightning class trying to keep boats with wooden rigs and cotton sails competitive with the newest Tom Allen boat. 

I love the Laser but if the ILCA is trying to modernize they should go full hog and go to tapered single piece carbon rigs and radial mylar sails. It’s not like it would be difficult for CST/Forte/Selden to pump those out on a mandrel and get them on the line for roughly the cost of the two piece ‘luminum.

Olympic-level sailors are already buying a new boat a year, and it’s not like it would make the local yardstick fleet non competitive overnight.

Watch the video.  That's what has been done here.  There's only two ways this new design gets a half decent launch.  1)- The Laser gets selected as the 2024 Olympics boat in the two category's it already fills.  2)- LP only ships the new rig with all new boats. 

Either way the transition will be slow, painful and likely kill the class given the differences between these rigs and current rig.   There's no way the new rigs can be raced with the current rigs and expecting enough current Laser owners to drop $2,000.00+ for a new rig to stay in the class is optimistic at best.    

Aero and Melges are just waiting for LP to stub it's toe.  This could very well be it.  However, how many people have $10k to drop on a single handed dingy?  The advancement of the sport is pricing out the competitors. 

 

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There are plenty of examples, at least in the US, where one designs have been majorly updated as modern materials have become available. 1.5 thumbs points out the Lightning, which is a great example. The Star is even a better example since the first Stars were gaff rigged.

While the Laser has seen quite a few evolutions such as sail design, rigging and now the composite top section, the class has yet to undergo a design change equivalent to the Lightning going from wood hulls, masts and booms and cotton sails to what is presently raced. Making a change to the Laser analogous to that of the Lightning would not be such a big deal IF there weren't already 200,000+ Lasers around the world. It's a tough position for the Laser class to find itself with no easy answers. It sure doesn't help the Laser class with the recent builder problems.

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

Watch the video.  That's what has been done here.  There's only two ways this new design gets a half decent launch.  1)- The Laser gets selected as the 2024 Olympics boat in the two category's it already fills.  2)- LP only ships the new rig with all new boats. 

Either way the transition will be slow, painful and likely kill the class given the differences between these rigs and current rig.   There's no way the new rigs can be raced with the current rigs and expecting enough current Laser owners to drop $2,000.00+ for a new rig to stay in the class is optimistic at best.    

Aero and Melges are just waiting for LP to stub it's toe.  This could very well be it.  However, how many people have $10k to drop on a single handed dingy?  The advancement of the sport is pricing out the competitors. 

 

For me to get a new Laser from West Coast Sailing *today* would cost me $7,000. And for $7,000 I get a boat that will be very fast assuming that I already own all the little go-fast pieces and upgrades, but the deck will start delaminating and the bottom will start rippling and it will be less than fast in about 200-300 days of sailing ( 2-2.5 years for me)

I could buy an Aero for $9,000, and it will still be fast and won't delaminate and have ripples in the bottom because RSSailing wasn't retarded and tried to cut corners by using chopped strand mat in a compressive surface, and it will still be fast, considering that 2014 hulls are still out winning races five years later.

Which is the better investment?

Laser needs to build better boats for what they charge, both changing the laminate schedule and adding the carbon stick would help that.

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I have not seen the de-lam issues.  However, I've also not yet owned an LP boat.  Since 2002 I've had a knack for finding "cherry" vanguard boats from 98' and my current 2001' hull.  

I communicated with the NA class office earlier and they said the C-Rig is the ILCA plan with testing and market trials during 2019 with some decision making in early 2020.  The "ARC" rig that LP announced in their memo is a complete mystery to current ILCA class admin and leaders....Looks like the shit show the sunfish class went through has now moved on to the Laser class.  Fun times!

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Sad to hear about Jeff Martin.

What the heck is LPE on about with this statement on facebook: " legal challenges from the International Laser Class Association in coordination with Bruce Kirby and his Australian partners at the Performance Sailcraft Pty group"

  * What legal challenges from ILCA?

Good grief it would be hard to find a worse builder than LPE.  What a freaking shame.

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With respect to the Facebook post cited earlier (2019 AND BEYOND for LASERPERFORMANCE), one can strike everything related to Brexit. That ship has capsized and is up for salvage. 

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1 hour ago, Wavedancer II said:

With respect to the Facebook post cited earlier (2019 AND BEYOND for LASERPERFORMANCE), one can strike everything related to Brexit. That ship has capsized and is up for salvage. 

They seem eager to blame anything and everything except their own corrupt business practices.

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Nice looking rigs, hope they aren't just more made in China. Woukd be nice to see adults sailing it, getting a bit tired of fat old men promoting junior sailing.

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58 minutes ago, Bruno said:

Nice looking rigs, hope they aren't just more made in China. Woukd be nice to see adults sailing it, getting a bit tired of fat old men promoting junior sailing.

Actually if you look carefully at the C5 video, there is a 6 foot tall 20 something bloke off the 18's sailing it, in addition to the poneytailed youngster ...

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I sail a laser every friday afternoon with a bunch of weekend warriors, mostly older than myself, and we run our monthly Grand Prix club race one Sunday a month. I don't know if there's a lot of people among the laser fleet around the world in a similar situation, but I reckon there are quite a few.

I got my 1983 boat in exchange of a 400€ guitar. and I've invested just as much on a new Rooster MKII sail and a few strings, blocks and such, maybe a bit more.

Could I realistically  have this with another class? No.

Would I rather sail a modern, light boat like the Aero? Yes.

For a fleet like mine introducing the new rigs would make it a lot more expensive, many would not (or could not) do the investment and it would not bring any new sailors to it, so from my point of view, it's not worth it.

Unfortunately for the laser class (IMHO) there's not a bright future unless they cut the prices by  A LOT!, and even so... I asked the Spanish RS distributor the price of a new competitive Aero, he said about 8,000€, a new Laser goes for what, 7,000€? It's just a matter of time that the Laser becomes a class more for people like me, than people like Robert Sheidt...

About a complete redesign of the boat (or new construction standards), I really don't think it can be done. If you bring a new boat that cannot compete with the old ones you lose the only advantage the laser now has, the fleet size.

And to be honest, competing againtst this picture below is very hard, and old man carrying his boat like a windsurf board is the best advertisement I've ever seen.

Screen+Shot+2016-09-17+at+2.12.44+PM.png

 

 

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I think that post ^ is naive.

Firstly no one in their right mind routinely carries their Aero. It is way easier to pull around on a trolley. 

But more importantly, Laser don’t particularly care about you. By your own admission you, and countless others like you, sail a Laser but have never spent a penny with them. If you buy a second hand boat and a replica sail you are not doing much for their bottom line, save the indirect impact of creating demand for used goods. Lasers could be sold for less, but why bother - they are still cheaper than the alternatives and outsell them too. They can cut the price if that will increase profit. 

 

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So they just released the new composite Radial bottom section. To me that's a clear indication that rig will be around a while longer.  However these rig "choices?" go down it will ultimately lead to fragmentation of the class.  Word is they'll stick with the current rigs for the Olympic test/trials.  If they are re-selected for 2024 that will pretty much kill any momentum the alternative rigs could possibly get, (at least until 2024).   At best the alternative rig options are going to get enough of a hold to support regions and specific areas.  Complete proliferation of them just won't happen, (that's my prediction).

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19 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Laser needs to build better boats for what they charge, both changing the laminate schedule 

 

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Just following this possible metamorphosis of the Laser loosely. Can't help but think that this type of change/updating/modernizing has been very destructive to many one-designs in the past. Are enough Laser sailors really willing to embrace these changes? Do a vast majority feel the boat is great " as is " ?

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Can't speak for everyone, but my district which has 50+ members and an active season circuit is happy with the boat as is.  Boats exchange hands fairly often in the $3k range and we typically keep them active in the district.  None of us are anxious to shell out $2k plus and learn a whole new rig system.  Nearly all of the full rig guys are masters.  However, we are all for growth of the fleet as well.  So, if we get an influx of new/interested sailors really wanting the new rig change out I'd imagine we'd have a discussion on it and put it to a vote at our annual meeting. Until then we'll continue the current course.

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43 minutes ago, xonk1 said:

Just following this possible metamorphosis of the Laser loosely. Can't help but think that this type of change/updating/modernizing has been very destructive to many one-designs in the past. Are enough Laser sailors really willing to embrace these changes? Do a vast majority feel the boat is great " as is " ?

It's a deep case of innovators dilemma. The OD class is powerful because the OD is strict(ish), and the boat generally hasn't changed.

That's what makes it strong. That's also what makes it vulnerable to this innovation thing I keep hearing about. So you inevitably have two camps: the the class definition is sacred group, and the why would I buy an old design boat when new fun stuff is available ? I'm simplifying, of course, there's folks who lovingly restore old boat and nurture a social group around sailing them, there's the ability to pay for new toys, there's a dozen factors at play.

What's uncontroversial is -- if the class does not evolve, the class will slowly taper off and die. Various factors will help make it sooner or later -- ie: a responsive supplier ;-) -- but it's a matter of when.

The big question is -- can you evolve the class in small steps that modernize it, but are small enough that folks don't feel it splits the class hard? After all, if I'm racing a 10yo sloppy bendy  hull/rig/sail against a brand new Laser, I am on a slower boat already. Happens all the time. We take that one in the chin, and keep sailing OD because the difference is there, but it isn't that large or for whatever reason we deem it acceptable.

Can the new rigs be culturally acceptable, so the class evolves? What can be done to reduce the friction/conflict? 

If the answer is "no", then the migration to new toys will happen anyway, but in other classes (ie: Aeros, foilers)...

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56 minutes ago, xonk1 said:

Just following this possible metamorphosis of the Laser loosely. Can't help but think that this type of change/updating/modernizing has been very destructive to many one-designs in the past. Are enough Laser sailors really willing to embrace these changes? Do a vast majority feel the boat is great " as is " ?

The boat was great in 1971.  With almost fifty years of evolution in hull and rig technology, the boat itself is not so great any more.  What is great is the infrastructure of sailors, class, and regattas that has resulted from those fifty years.

The challenge is to update the technology of the boat without destroying that infrastructure.

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34 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Nearly all of the full rig guys are masters.

That is the big problem.

Sincerely,

One the masters guys who isn't getting any younger.

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20 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Laser needs to build better boats for what they charge, both changing the laminate schedule

Now that's an interesting idea. They could change the mfg process to make a longer-lasting boat, and either keep the original weight, or play some game with removable weights (as Tasars would, but only when sailing mixed fleet).

The move to longer-lasting hulls would be good. OTOH, it'd change the current economic/social dynamic where new hulls enter the market at a fast rate because top sailors replace every season. I remember Bethwaite grousing about 49er/29er hulls being long lasting, and how that led to a scarce 2nd hand market and scant production volumes for the builder...

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50 minutes ago, torrid said:

That is the big problem.

Sincerely,

One the masters guys who isn't getting any younger.

Yes and no.  Our Radial fleet has seen the most growth in the district with kids stepping up out of the Opti's.  They are staying in the radials until college.  Some will sail a full rig in lighter air events.  Once they go to college we may see them in the summer events, but when they graduate we don't see them again.  The full rig growth we're getting is the Dad's of Opti sailors.  They are typically old college sailors and when they see us at events they're like, "Hey, I can get back into this. Instead of sitting on shore at my kid's opti event I can sail again!"  While we have growth in the full rig it's 90% older guys who left and are coming back.  The current price of entry is attractive as well.

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1 hour ago, torrid said:

That is the big problem.

Sincerely,

One the masters guys who isn't getting any younger.

After some more thought I'd say this is not just in the Laser class.  If you look at those who have jumped to the Melges and Aero I'd bet a bunch are older, (35 and up).  What college grads have $10k jingling around in their pockets for a dingy?

Which brings up another topic.  The "Boats of the Year" in sailing world were ridiculous.  They are all expensive, single use, high performance, physical boats.  If people are wondering why sailing is loosing buyers just look at the damn boats!  

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I see virtually nobody between 20 and 40 sailing a Laser.  If you ask me, that is the prime age range for it.

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Sadly, Most sailors ( male and female ) between 20 and 40 are working long hours and raising families. Makes a great life but little time, energy and money left for sailing. They come back later in life with more money and time but less energy, strength and agility. Trying to get back into a boat they loved as a young person can be quite humbling. The answer is to keep sailing SOMETHING. Happy Sailing!

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3 hours ago, xonk1 said:

Just following this possible metamorphosis of the Laser loosely. Can't help but think that this type of change/updating/modernizing has been very destructive to many one-designs in the past. Are enough Laser sailors really willing to embrace these changes? Do a vast majority feel the boat is great " as is " ?

Stars used to be made of wood and had gaff rigs. Finns used to have wood and then aluminum masts and cloth sails. Lightnings, 5O5's, Snipes, Albacores, E-Scows have all updated. Sure, neither are as big as the Laser but they're still going 70+ years later. Does it make the original 1971 hulls obsolete? Maybe. Does it keep the Laser relevant for longer? Yes. 

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I'm sure these other classes back in the day faced a lot of discussion regarding upgrading. Back then, at least in the US, these were very popular and owners of the original designs would have been concerned about the changes. One example of a class that didn't obsolete the "older" boats is the Thistle. Wooden Thistles are hot molded plywood. When Thistles switched to glass hulls the woodies were not obsoleted as the hot molded plywood hulls were already light weight and it was "easy" to match weight with glass. When Thistles went from wood to glass, the masts remained spruce for a period of time before going to the gold anodized Aluminum telephone pole and finally the present Al mast. No one is competitive now with a wooden or gold Al mast but plenty of woodies remain competitive.

If the hull construction of the Laser was updated (forget for a minute the spars and sails), could similar results be obtained, i.e. the original Laser hulls are theoretically competitive with the updated hulls? I know this is not a direct comparison with Thistles as there's no way a 1970's vintage Laser hull can enable someone to win a major championship but for most sailors it seems reasonable to expect that it would be hard to blame a 1980's / 1990's hull as to why you didn't do well compared to having the new updated hull. 

And finally, one motivation for changing from wood to glass hulls on these various classes was presumably lower cost to build. If the Laser hull construction were updated a sure way for total failure would be the wrong pricing.

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2 hours ago, xonk1 said:

Sadly, Most sailors ( male and female ) between 20 and 40 are working long hours and raising families. Makes a great life but little time, energy and money left for sailing. They come back later in life with more money and time but less energy, strength and agility. Trying to get back into a boat they loved as a young person can be quite humbling. The answer is to keep sailing SOMETHING. Happy Sailing!

Well said!

Best if they sail something w/o risking any lead poisoning.

E

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2 hours ago, xonk1 said:

Sadly, Most sailors ( male and female ) between 20 and 40 are working long hours and raising families. Makes a great life but little time, energy and money left for sailing. They come back later in life with more money and time but less energy, strength and agility. Trying to get back into a boat they loved as a young person can be quite humbling. The answer is to keep sailing SOMETHING. Happy Sailing!

Surprisingly, the Laser was the best choice for me the last 10 years as a 20-40 something.  After trying to race on OPBs which included deliveries, crew meetings, practice, boat prep, etc, hardly any time was actually spent racing. What other boat can I sail that has a huge OD fleet with countless events all over the place?  Meanwhile, i don't have to manage crew and the boat can travel cheap on the roof of my car or on a trailer with a couple other people.  When I want to go sailing close to home, I head down to the harbor, spend 5-10 minutes rigging, kick the boat in the drink and i'm off sailing.

Now for the issue at hand.  I understand that the changes to the top section and the mk2 sail were about durability and less about performance.  These new rig/sail combos will be a huge fundamental change to the boat that basically makes it a new (read: different) boat.  And in all seriousness, at what performance gain?  I can't imagine that the boat will be that much faster or sail significantly better.  If the boat was such a slug in the first place you wouldn't see the world's top racers in the boat that you do today competing in it.  People flock to the Laser because of the quality of the racing, not because it's easy to lift or sails a little better around the course.  I say leave the boat alone, continue to make small incremental changes, and if it loses Olympic status, so what?  For the first 25+ years of it's existence the Laser did just fine without the Olympics.  I'm sure the same would hold true if they went away as well.

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8 hours ago, sosoomii said:

I think that post ^ is naive.

Firstly no one in their right mind routinely carries their Aero. It is way easier to pull around on a trolley. 

But more importantly, Laser don’t particularly care about you. By your own admission you, and countless others like you, sail a Laser but have never spent a penny with them. If you buy a second hand boat and a replica sail you are not doing much for their bottom line, save the indirect impact of creating demand for used goods. Lasers could be sold for less, but why bother - they are still cheaper than the alternatives and outsell them too. They can cut the price if that will increase profit. 

 

Look, I love the laser and I'm not saying carrying your boat is something good, but being able to do it is. You should see some of the older sailors in my fleet dragging their boats (with their cockpits half full of water) up the ramp after a couple of hours racing...

My point is big changes in design will effectively make a different class, and then the laser would lose it's advantage which is the current fleets you can race in around the world, and in exchange of what? A new boat that looks like an Aero? It'd make no sense.

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15 hours ago, chuso007 said:

Look, I love the laser and I'm not saying carrying your boat is something good, but being able to do it is. You should see some of the older sailors in my fleet dragging their boats (with their cockpits half full of water) up the ramp after a couple of hours racing...

My point is big changes in design will effectively make a different class, and then the laser would lose it's advantage which is the current fleets you can race in around the world, and in exchange of what? A new boat that looks like an Aero? It'd make no sense.

EXACTLY!!!!

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But the manufacturer doesn’t care how many boats are sailing, they care how many are selling.  If your fleet of 40 year old boats withers away, so what?  It won’t lose them a penny.  

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The Australians/Asians are working on some designs for new Laser rigs.

LP is apparently working on some different designs for new Laser rigs.

On the video the ILCA President says that we don't see the future for the Laser as "white sails on aluminum masts."

Sounds like the class and the major manufacturer all see the need for change.              

Knowing the Laser class my guess is that the change will be introduced very slowly. But it seems inevitable that 10 years from now the Laser will be a very different boat from what it is today. 

Will the class split into two tribes - Classic Lasers and New Generation Lasers? Who can tell? If it does there might still be more people sailing some flavor of Laser than there are today.

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the best hope for the laser fleet would be that the change is smooth/gradual enough that people don't have to spend $2k immediately to keep up. that's more than a lot of people spent on their boats to begin with

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Just exchanged some e-mails with one of our top brass class association leaders.  As Tillerman stated "change will happen".  However, it will be slow and well planned.  The C5 rig shown is designed as a option/replacement to the 4.7 rig.  No need for any knee jerking. We're all good to continue the course in our respective existing rigs for several years.  When I'm deep into my mid/late 50's I will likely have a whole new perspective on things anyway.  Keep calm and sail on.

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

Just exchanged some e-mails with one of our top brass class association leaders.  As Tillerman stated "change will happen".  However, it will be slow and well planned.  The C5 rig shown is designed as a option/replacement to the 4.7 rig.  No need for any knee jerking. We're all good to continue the course in our respective existing rigs for several years.  When I'm deep into my mid/late 50's I will likely have a whole new perspective on things anyway.  Keep calm and sail on.

... and it's worth noting that the 4.7 is probably both the poorest rig for the boat (arguably, both the rig and the sailors that use it are too small for the hull) and (my guess), the one with the most volatility (growing sailors passing through the class, with purchases potentially funded by parents).

 So, the change would be most significant, improving the worst combination; and short-lived, as 4.7 sailors move out of the class relatively quickly.

Cheers,

              W.

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The Laser achieved success as the least expensive, reasonably durable, simply rigged, functioning, fun, sailing toy. 

If has slowly morphed into a more durable, conveniently rigged, not quite as inexpensive but way less expensive than most sailboats toy. 

The original market in which Lasers and Sunfish prospered is being served by no one. 

The AERO is chasing  the market held by the current rendition of the Laser.

in North America, LP is operating in a fashion which makes the concept of AERO’s success appear reasonable. 

I would like to see someone go after the market originally chased by Laser, Sunfish, and a myriad of other similar “everyman’s” boat designs. 

On the meantime, I own both an AERO and six Lasers. They are the necessary tools for the singlehanded games being played in Texas. 

Price: Both AEROs aNd Lasers are at the least expensive end of the current “must have this much $$$ to play.”

and: the failure to grow fleets is ABSOLUTELY NOT about the cost. 

At my home club we have two fast growing fleets. In the last year out Pearson 26 fleet has added eight $15,000 boats. 

Our J-80 fleet has added a dozen boats complete with hydro hoists for about $35,000 each. I could sell four more J-80 tomorrow if i could find  them. 

Meanwhile, over 200 new powerboats averaging over $100,000 each were just sold at Austin’s winter boat show. 

There are plenty of people with plenty of money to buy sailboats. The problem for the Laser on Notth America is simple ....

THERE ARE NO STOCKING DEALERS!!!!!! 

SUMMARY: O am still racing my Laser and hosting a Laser regatta but I bought an AERO and I am building as rapidly  as I can so we will all have a game to play when the last bunch of our old Lasers wear out. 

 

 

 

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How much will the c5 rig be?

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7 hours ago, SCANAS said:

How much will the c5 rig be?

This pricing was posted on the Laser Forum a couple of weeks ago, I'm assuming in Australian dollars:

These are the currently suggested prices for the full package: the mast, boom, sails and rigging, in Australian Dollars.
C5: $2000
C6: $2600
C8: $3600

As of now, only the C5 appears to exist.

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On 1/18/2019 at 9:46 AM, dgmckim said:

the best hope for the laser fleet would be that the change is smooth/gradual enough that people don't have to spend $2k immediately to keep up. that's more than a lot of people spent on their boats to begin with

Yeah, but supplied and batch is always cheaper. By the time I get each component the last one is already worn out and I’ve bent three uppers (new sail bang loading without composite upper).    $$$ Just causing damage. Certainly a way to keep us tied, but just give me the thing already!

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The FP article sums it up pretty well IMO, and agrees with what I posted above in that the future of the class will greatly depend on competitive prices, because the tech side is lost no matter what improvements you introduce to the hull, or the rig.

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Nothing against the Aero, lovely boat, and I still race my laser at age 66 but the VX Evo is what has tickled my fancy.  Now THAT"S a game changer. 

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3 minutes ago, bibs said:

Nothing against the Aero, lovely boat, and I still race my laser at age 66 but the VX Evo is what has tickled my fancy.  Now THAT"S a game changer. 

Are you going to race it as a keelboat or as a dinghy?

Game changer? MX Ray, CL Stealth, Musto Skiff, Laser Vago, Rs100, Rs800, Devoti D-One...all pretty well trodden ground

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14 hours ago, bibs said:

Nothing against the Aero, lovely boat, and I still race my laser at age 66 but the VX Evo is what has tickled my fancy.  Now THAT"S a game changer. 

Nothing against all the boats discussed on this thread, but in my opinion in the world of small boats a game changer is a boat like the UFO! And, last I checked, Dave Clark et. al. have absolutely zero interest to promote the UFO as anything but a great platform to get people foiling and racing at the price point in the neighborhood of the Laser or Aero.

That's a game changer!

The various boats vying to replace the Laser in the Olympics are simply gradual evolutions / advancements of the Laser design.

The VX Evo looks like a great boat also - perhaps an evolution of the Finn but it's way to early see if the VX Evo will have the world-wide love of the Finn with 300+ boats in Masters regattas!

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58 minutes ago, Alan Crawford said:

The VX Evo looks like a great boat also - perhaps an evolution of the Finn but it's way to early see if the VX Evo will have the world-wide love of the Finn with 300+ boats in Masters regattas!

Totally different game. Evo is apparent-wind spinnaker sailing, Finn is brutalizing yourself upwind and downwind with free pumping, it just happens that the Evo's hull volume is more suited to big boys than the 160-185lbs that most singlehanders are designed for, hence the lead centerboard kit.

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21 hours ago, Alan Crawford said:

Nothing against all the boats discussed on this thread, but in my opinion in the world of small boats a game changer is a boat like the UFO! And, last I checked, Dave Clark et. al. have absolutely zero interest to promote the UFO as anything but a great platform to get people foiling and racing at the price point in the neighborhood of the Laser or Aero.

That's a game changer!

The various boats vying to replace the Laser in the Olympics are simply gradual evolutions / advancements of the Laser design.

The VX Evo looks like a great boat also - perhaps an evolution of the Finn but it's way to early see if the VX Evo will have the world-wide love of the Finn with 300+ boats in Masters regattas!

IMHO- The EVO has priced itself out of the market. $15,000.00 for a new set up w/trailer?  Don't get me wrong.  It looks like a lot of fun, but how many people are going to spend that kind of money for a single hand dingy?  $7k more you can get a decent used VX and if all these new boats are built so well there should be no worries with boats getting "soft" anymore.

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3 hours ago, RobbieB said:

IMHO- The EVO has priced itself out of the market. $15,000.00 for a new set up w/trailer? How many people are going to spend that kind of money for a single hand dingy? 

Musto Skiff out of the box $16.3K

O.K. after finding a mast, boom, and sail $14-20K

Mach2.3 Moth $21.5K (My quote was in 2015 so I don't know if AMAC's pricing is current, certainly the Exocets will be more)

A bare Devoti Finn hull is $16.5K...

DNA A-Cat without any goodies is $28.5K.

Not saying the Evo isn't expensive but some very successful OD's have an even higher ticket cost, obviously it takes a different kind of person to want to sail A-Cats or Finns and they'll never be as numerous as the Laser, but $15K out of the box you can probably expect to get $10K used down the line, and most of us can manage that. 

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1 hour ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Musto Skiff out of the box $16.3K

O.K. after finding a mast, boom, and sail $14-20K

Mach2.3 Moth $21.5K (My quote was in 2015 so I don't know if AMAC's pricing is current, certainly the Exocets will be more)

A bare Devoti Finn hull is $16.5K...

DNA A-Cat without any goodies is $28.5K.

Not saying the Evo isn't expensive but some very successful OD's have an even higher ticket cost, obviously it takes a different kind of person to want to sail A-Cats or Finns and they'll never be as numerous as the Laser, but $15K out of the box you can probably expect to get $10K used down the line, and most of us can manage that. 

Other than the Finn do the other classes really have the numbers that would consider them "successful", (thinking globally- not regional pockets) and looking at numbers only.  Now that the Finn is out of the Olympics it will be interesting to see what happens with participation outside of the masters division there.  

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I think all of those classes get 100 boats at their Worlds.  I’d call that success. 

Why is the gnav curved on the C5 rig?

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On 1/17/2019 at 5:51 AM, onepointfivethumbs said:

For me to get a new Laser from West Coast Sailing *today* would cost me $7,000. And for $7,000 I get a boat that will be very fast assuming that I already own all the little go-fast pieces and upgrades, but the deck will start delaminating and the bottom will start rippling and it will be less than fast in about 200-300 days of sailing ( 2-2.5 years for me)

I could buy an Aero for $9,000, and it will still be fast and won't delaminate and have ripples in the bottom because RSSailing wasn't retarded and tried to cut corners by using chopped strand mat in a compressive surface, and it will still be fast, considering that 2014 hulls are still out winning races five years later.

Which is the better investment?

Laser needs to build better boats for what they charge, both changing the laminate schedule and adding the carbon stick would help that.

What is winning races in a medium-size non-Olympic class may have nothing to do with what is winning in a huge Olympic class.  Look at it this way -  the Aero champion here only beat 20 boats. A good sailor can easily beat 20 Lasers on a 30 year old Laser. The difference is that in Lasers there are way more than 20 boats to beat.

The other issue is that the single skin construction make go soft but can last at lower level for eons, which is great for club racing.

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On 1/18/2019 at 4:04 AM, RobbieB said:

 

Which brings up another topic.  The "Boats of the Year" in sailing world were ridiculous.  They are all expensive, single use, high performance, physical boats.  If people are wondering why sailing is loosing buyers just look at the damn boats!  

Hell yeah. The Quant 23 was declared a "BOTY" and they seem to have sold 10 of them. A foiling cat that was a BOTY seems to be stuck with just one boat built.

That sort of thing is an example of how out of touch the sailing media has become. It's interesting to see how few of them actually regularly sail, or own, the sort of boats that they are anointing as the bee's knees and the future.

Once upon a time, the sailing media was full of people who owned and sailed the boats they praised. Now they often don't own anything, or like Scooter own something that they'd abuse or ignore if it was owned by someone else - and yet they still tell other sailors to go out and buy the latest foiler. If the bleeding edge is so great then why don't those who choose BOTYs and stir up the hype get out there themselves with their own cash? 

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3 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Other than the Finn do the other classes really have the numbers that would consider them "successful", (thinking globally- not regional pockets) and looking at numbers only.  Now that the Finn is out of the Olympics it will be interesting to see what happens with participation outside of the masters division there.  

Not looking to derail the thread but I'm fairly confident the Finn will stick around. The Masters are a big part of it, and I reckon that a good chunk of younger and Worlds-caliber guys will jump ship now that the Olympic carrot is gone, but there are huge fleets (especially in Britain, Holland, and Germany) of guys who just absolutely love the boat and don't care about the Olympics. Probably also some back-and-forth with SSL guys, since they're very close cousins in terms of sailing style and necessary weight. I think seeing however many Silver Cup entries there are this year will be a pretty good litmus test.

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3 hours ago, sosoomii said:

I think all of those classes get 100 boats at their Worlds.  I’d call that success. 

 

Not all of them do, and at least one of the builders in that list has bought not a single new hull plaque (necessary for new boats) for two years, which leads the association to believe that they are no longer selling any boats. A survey in that same class showed that 90% of over 200 respondents felt that costs were a major issue.

If a drop in the Laser class to 1600 boats per year is seen as a sign of doom then it can hardly be said that a class that builds 16 boats  per year(which is what one of the listed classes does) is a great success.

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1 hour ago, Curious said:

What is winning races in a medium-size non-Olympic class may have nothing to do with what is winning in a huge Olympic class.  Look at it this way -  the Aero champion here only beat 20 boats. A good sailor can easily beat 20 Lasers on a 30 year old Laser. The difference is that in Lasers there are way more than 20 boats to beat.

The other issue is that the single skin construction make go soft but can last at lower level for eons, which is great for club racing.

There were 200+ hulls at the Aero worlds so not sure where' you're getting that number.

What mythical fleet do you sail in where you regularly have 20+ boats on the line?

I take it that you don't roll tack, since that's the first place the deck starts delaminating...

 

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1 hour ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

 

I take it that you don't roll tack, since that's the first place the deck starts delaminating...

 

How's a roll tack putting any stress on the deck?

E

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1 hour ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

There were 200+ hulls at the Aero worlds so not sure where' you're getting that number.

What mythical fleet do you sail in where you regularly have 20+ boats on the line?

I take it that you don't roll tack, since that's the first place the deck starts delaminating...

 

I wrote "here" so why did you think that meant the worlds? The Laser class has plenty of places with 20 boat fleets even at club level - at least three in my old home town. 

The Laser has over 100 national class associations, has dozens of Olympic aspirants sailing full time or close to it, and over 1300 sailors at world titles (including many who had to qualify). It   The Aero is a cool boat but it's not Olympic and has 1/6th the fleet even when the worlds are open and in the class homeland. 

It's obvious that what you need to win in a vastly larger class with heaps of pros and full timers is very different to what you need to win in a smaller class. You can win or place in nationals in smaller classes with older gear because they are smaller and less competitive than Lasers, not necessarily because the gear ages differently than in Lasers - and I know that from personal experience. 

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they just need to man up and make the olympic boat the Fireball. and make the competitors home build their own boat. now that'd be something!

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16 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Not looking to derail the thread but I'm fairly confident the Finn will stick around. The Masters are a big part of it, and I reckon that a good chunk of younger and Worlds-caliber guys will jump ship now that the Olympic carrot is gone, but there are huge fleets (especially in Britain, Holland, and Germany) of guys who just absolutely love the boat and don't care about the Olympics. Probably also some back-and-forth with SSL guys, since they're very close cousins in terms of sailing style and necessary weight. I think seeing however many Silver Cup entries there are this year will be a pretty good litmus test.

Yeah.  I'm a big fan of the Finn and hate to see anything go south there.  I've never sailed one, but it's still on my bucket list, (even at 52).  

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35 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Yeah.  I'm a big fan of the Finn and hate to see anything go south there.  I've never sailed one, but it's still on my bucket list, (even at 52).  

Not to continue the hijack but..

You can make this happen easily! Not sure if you know about Warren Miller (famous for making great ski movies) but he had a quote that applies to sailing as well as skiing: "if you don't do it now you will be one year older when you do".

There's a good Finn fleet near you in Mobile, AL. Joe at Dinghy Racing USA has some good used Finns in stock in the US:

http://www.dinghyracingusa.com/index.php

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38 minutes ago, Alan Crawford said:

Not to continue the hijack but..

You can make this happen easily! Not sure if you know about Warren Miller (famous for making great ski movies) but he had a quote that applies to sailing as well as skiing: "if you don't do it now you will be one year older when you do".

There's a good Finn fleet near you in Mobile, AL. Joe at Dinghy Racing USA has some good used Finns in stock in the US:

http://www.dinghyracingusa.com/index.php

wow. That site is my kind of porn!  Just saved it to my favorites. Charleston is a bit of a hike from Mobile, but the right event and a boat charter there could be a great road trip!

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14 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

wow. That site is my kind of porn!  Just saved it to my favorites. Charleston is a bit of a hike from Mobile, but the right event and a boat charter there could be a great road trip!

I think there's somebody in Savannah...lemme check.

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

wow. That site is my kind of porn!  Just saved it to my favorites. Charleston is a bit of a hike from Mobile, but the right event and a boat charter there could be a great road trip!

I suppose you know that the 1996 US Finn Olympic representative (sailing in Savannah) was from Charleston?

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1 hour ago, Alan Crawford said:

I suppose you know that the 1996 US Finn Olympic representative (sailing in Savannah) was from Charleston?

No.  I thought Kevin Hall was our '96 guy?   Memory fails a little.  I know Eric and John Porter, (both from Savannah and both tried to qualify in the Finn for '96) pretty well.  I've duked it out with those guys on the Laser the past few years.  John's kid Collin is a great radial sailor and John got back into the boat.  Eric drags his out for the annual Savannah event, but other than that he pretty much focuses on his lightning.  

Edited by RobbieB
Didnt read first post correctly

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34 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

No.  I thought Kevin Hall was our '96 guy?   Memory fails a little.  I know Eric and John Porter, (both from Savannah and both tried to qualify in the Finn for '96) pretty well.  I've duked it out with those guys on the Laser the past few years.  John's kid Collin is a great radial sailor and John got back into the boat.  Eric drags his out for the annual Savannah event, but other than that he pretty much focuses on his lightning.  

Will Martin. I raced against Will in Lasers in the mid-late 1980's. Good guy.

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44 minutes ago, Alan Crawford said:

Will Martin. I raced against Will in Lasers in the mid-late 1980's. Good guy.

Yeah.  Don't remember him.  I was very active in the Laser scene around here in the early 90's when a lot of the Finn guys were racing Lasers for the fleet practice here in SC and coastal GA.  I'm sure Will was sailing then.  Anyway, haven't seen or heard his name around here in the last 7 years or longer.   

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Is this the best sailing video ever?

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3 hours ago, tillerman said:



Is this the best sailing video ever?

Threadjack for Finn love. Love it.

The Finn YouTube channel is the tits. Robert Deaves puts his heart and soul into showing people how cool the boat is, the trouble is convincing people to pay the cost of several Lasers to get into one, then you find out that your mast isn’t right and spend yet another Laser to get the right one, and then Darrell ends up spanking you in a borrowed boat with a 20-year-old mast. Absolutely love it.

 

I also give one-word interviews with the sailing media. The low boom has brained me enough that me no think too good no more.

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2 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Threadjack for Finn love. Love it.

The Finn YouTube channel is the tits. Robert Deaves puts his heart and soul into showing people how cool the boat is, the trouble is convincing people to pay the cost of several Lasers to get into one, then you find out that your mast isn’t right and spend yet another Laser to get the right one, and then Darrell ends up spanking you in a borrowed boat with a 20-year-old mast. Absolutely love it.


Makes the RS Aero sound like a bargain. For just over the cost of one Laser I can have a boat on which everything is absolutely right but, in spite of that, a whole slew of "Darrells" can spank me in older boats. Why spend four Lasers just to get the same result?

But when I grow up I want to sail a Finn and be like Darrell.

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