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Laser C6 rig from the front page

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I'm digging the C5 and C6 rigs that are in the development stage for the Laser.  I am looking forward to a C7 for us bigger sailors.  It certainly looks like it's bringing the Laser into the contemporary world.  It won't stop me from buying my carbon upper this month from West Coast Sailing but that's because I figure the C7 and other rigs are a year or two away.

 

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The curve at the bottom helps with the luff tension and sail support. It also looks cool and hides the vang. 

I like the sail but wish they would address the rudder too. That original beast needs a serious redesign.

I'd like to see a larger sail too but I don't think I'll switch from my Swift. I like hanging in the easy chair as opposed to killing myself hiking.

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I meant the actually compression vang, attached to the upper side of the boom. It’s not a straight rod. 

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1 hour ago, TeamFugu said:

The curve at the bottom helps with the luff tension and sail support. It also looks cool and hides the vang. 

I like the sail but wish they would address the rudder too. That original beast needs a serious redesign.

I'd like to see a larger sail too but I don't think I'll switch from my Swift. I like hanging in the easy chair as opposed to killing myself hiking.

Fugu you need to grab a Laser so you can actually race.  A few miles up the road from you now with your new home, is a fleet of Lasers with 15-20 out on Tuesday nights.  Either that or we need to hire you to run our RC!

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Something something silk purse something sows ear.

 

Did they put a Laser rig on a 49er hull too?

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Lipstick on a pig. Trying to tinker with the rig is pointless. The laser was cutting edge and an excellent piece of industrial design in its day allowing for a good cheap product that could be mass produced. Times have moved on and they should either leave it or get rid of it. A new laser is over £5000 in UK money and this no longer fulfils the original brief. 

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I don't think a laminate/expensive rig is the way to go, you will still have an old, dated boat with an unnecessarily expensive rig (heck, the RS Aero has Dacron sails) and you'd still have two fleets, the boats with new rigs and the boats with old rigs.

I'd rather have new, better built boats with dacron sails and maybe better spars. Of course you'll have split fleets but top sailors change boats every year and play in a different league anyway. 

Same hull design but different build, slightly different deck (or not), same sails and different spars. Either that or make them A LOT cheaper than the competition.

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imho, carbon mast and membrane sail on a laser are kinda like ipstick on a pig...

coat, hat...

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3 hours ago, sosoomii said:

Popcorn at the ready as Laser Performance have just released pics of their carbon rig too...

Do you have a link?  Thanks. 

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2 hours ago, Trovão said:

imho, carbon mast and membrane sail on a laser are kinda like ipstick on a pig...

coat, hat...

LP effort is lipstick on a pig.  The Cx effort is a prom dress, high heels, and a tiara.

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3 hours ago, torrid said:

LP effort is lipstick on a pig.  The Cx effort is a prom dress, high heels, and a tiara.

I'll be honest I prefer the LP one

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3 hours ago, torrid said:

 

Nice

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Ask all the older Laser sailors with bad knees if the DECK should be redesigned first. Should be very easy to replace a poorly designed deck with a new, comfortable ( hiking ) deck on top of a really nice hull. Keep the best of the Laser ( hull ) and replace the rest. 

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New deck, new layup, new rig, actual sail controls... Hey why not put a prod & assymetric on it? Oh and a proper planing hull, probably gonna need wings & a trapeze too :rolleyes:

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My first Laser came with a 3.2 oz sail, 3:1 vang, 2:1 cunningham and ouhaul (if you fashioned a rope loop for some purchase), '70's Holt Allen fittings, wood foils (which I actually liked), a teak tiller with a 24" aluminum extension, and line that tore your hands apart. Plus, I was lucky as my hull was almost close to water-tight and the mast step didn't rip out. Those early boats were made by a bunch of stoners in Quebec who didn't give a flying fuck about quality control. The upside? The boat was a lot of fun to sail and it offered the best racing and social experience of any other fleet by miles.

Fast forward 45 years, and the boat is so much better in so many ways than it used to be (although still outdated), and the fleet racing is still the best, although fleets have dwindled in many geographies - but this has as much to do with general decline in dinghy racing in those places as anything else. It's not like everyone got out of Lasers and joined other fleets.

If you are fit enough and train properly, straight leg hiking is much less strain on your knees than bent knee/droop hiking. While tiring on my legs, I never felt any pain in my knees straight leg hiking. My knees are fucked from Laser sailing as I am 6'2" and the intense compression on the joint from kneeling and pushing off during tacks/gybes and folding oneself like a lawn chair while sailing in light air has taken its toll. (I have quit and restarted Laser sailing 5 times thinking I could overcome...). But this is not some flaw in the Laser design - it is simply a characteristic of a shallow cockpit and my own skeletal structure. Chances are the Aero, Melges and Devoti, with their shallow cockpits, would net me the same result after sailing them for as many years. 

The new boats are clearly upgrades to the Laser. How can they not be? With 50 years to figure it out, one would fucking hope so. It has been a difficult task for the Laser to keep up, as it has tried to improve over the years while maintaining its strict one-design roots without forcing people to spend too much money to keep up. And having a builder who has been (ahem) indifferent has not helped. 

It will be interesting to see how the new Laser rigs - which look great - are adopted by the sailors, and how the class will deal with it all. I am also anxious to see how performance improves. There will be 6 Lasers (for now), 3 Aeros, 3 Melges and 2 Devotis for the market to consider. IMHO, that's too many and the racing quality will be diluted for all.

 

 

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20 hours ago, bill4 said:

 

It will be interesting to see how the new Laser rigs - which look great - are adopted by the sailors, and how the class will deal with it all. I am also anxious to see how performance improves. There will be 6 Lasers (for now), 3 Aeros, 3 Melges and 2 Devotis for the market to consider. IMHO, that's too many and the racing quality will be diluted for all.

 

 

Yes, six types of Laser in the Pacific/Oceania area (the three C rigs plus the three 'classic' versions) and four or more types (the three classic ones and at least one new one)  in LP territory. I doubt that the C rigs will be sold in the LP area and vice versa.

In the same context, which rig will be chosen for major international regattas (Worlds, Olympics, etc.) in the future? 

Will World Sailing force a decision?

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On 2/15/2019 at 7:10 PM, VWAP said:

Nice

It looks like Aero's Mast, isn't it?

On 2/15/2019 at 3:38 PM, torrid said:

 

 

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5 hours ago, EdS said:

It looks like Aero's Mast, isn't it?

 

And?

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On 2/16/2019 at 12:57 AM, xonk1 said:

Ask all the older Laser sailors with bad knees if the DECK should be redesigned first. Should be very easy to replace a poorly designed deck with a new, comfortable ( hiking ) deck on top of a really nice hull. Keep the best of the Laser ( hull ) and replace the rest. 

Nah. You can argue that the Laser is the ultimate international OD class and should be treasured as such. You can argue that classes such as the Aero and D-Zero present far more pleasant boats to sail for those who want a 21st century experience. Both those positions have their merits. I really don't see the point of abandoning the Laser as an OD but not moving on to an integrated modern design. Or as others have said, why put lipstick on a pig?

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3 hours ago, dogwatch said:

You can argue that the Laser is the ultimate international OD class and should be treasured as such. 

 

As a former Laser Class District Secretary, a Laser owner since 1981 and the current owner of a 1995 Laser, I think the Laser design should be frozen and we should stop all this experimenting with composite spars and Mylar sails and whatever. The Laser was the perfect boat in 1971 and everybody should be happy with that and enjoy it for what it is.

If people want something more modern them let them go and buy something different. (Full disclosure - I own an RS Aero as well as my Laser.) But don't mess about so much with the essential character of the Laser that you end up turning it into an imitation of a Melges 14, only not as good.

 

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15 hours ago, tillerman said:

As a former Laser Class District Secretary, a Laser owner since 1981 and the current owner of a 1995 Laser, I think the Laser design should be frozen and we should stop all this experimenting with composite spars and Mylar sails and whatever. The Laser was the perfect boat in 1971 and everybody should be happy with that and enjoy it for what it is.

If people want something more modern them let them go and buy something different. (Full disclosure - I own an RS Aero as well as my Laser.) But don't mess about so much with the essential character of the Laser that you end up turning it into an imitation of a Melges 14, only not as good.

Furthermore.  These rig changes are taking the strongest, (by the numbers at least) one design class in the world and diluting it into a mish mash of rig variations that can never share the same race course.  OD racing anything in a fleet of 20+ beats OD racing in a fleet of 4.

 

 

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It seems to me that the Cx rigs are largely intended for the Olympic aspects of the class, at least for the next few years.  Would the class eventually switch from the classic rigs to the Cx rigs over time?  I think that remains to be seen.

I guess the C5 is more a 4.7 replacement and not really an Olympic class.  A teen starting in the C5 would probably be less excited about switching over the the Radial than the C6.  Again, no telling how all that would play out.  And it may be a moot point if the Laser is dropped after the upcoming sea trials.  I know the sea trials are with the classic rigs, but I'm sure the timing of all these new rigs being unveiled publicly is not a coincidence.

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On 2/17/2019 at 5:12 PM, tillerman said:

As a former Laser Class District Secretary, a Laser owner since 1981 and the current owner of a 1995 Laser, I think the Laser design should be frozen and we should stop all this experimenting with composite spars and Mylar sails and whatever. The Laser was the perfect boat in 1971 and everybody should be happy with that and enjoy it for what it is.

If people want something more modern them let them go and buy something different. (Full disclosure - I own an RS Aero as well as my Laser.) But don't mess about so much with the essential character of the Laser that you end up turning it into an imitation of a Melges 14, only not as good.

 

Also I hope the Laser (with the original rigs) stays in the Olympics for ever. The Olympics has always been a place that recognizes the history of yachting and has had a role to showcase  classic one-designs no matter how many newer alternatives come along.

 

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9 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Also I hope the Laser (with the original rigs) stays in the Olympics for ever. The Olympics has always been a place that recognizes the history of yachting

You are trolling us mightily :-)

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I actually really like the way that looks... very nice!

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Planform and mould shape look good to me. That said looks like it’s not that happy upwind tho, poss cheap materials / panel layout combo. Hmm maybe opportunity missed. 

Video not too detailed tho. 

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It certainly does look great. I am looking forward to learning if there is much of an uptick in actual performance. I suspect it will be marginal - the Aero 7, with all its technology, is less than 3% “faster” than a standard Laser on the Portsmouth Yardstick scale. So it may wind up being largely a cosmetic enhancement, thereby validating the “lipstick on a pig” sentiment. (Noting there would be other benefits in ease of rigging and perhaps ease in righting).

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1 hour ago, bill4 said:

So it may wind up being largely a cosmetic enhancement

How about longevity?

- A well sorted out carbon rig can last forever, it's flexibility/springy-ness doesn't compromise the material.

- A well sorted out laminate sail will perform well for longer (and then f'ng disintegrate, so it's a mixed bag).

How about more responsive to gusts with less work from the sailor? A well sorted out modern rig is more "automatic" (in bethwaite's terminology).

 

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i mean, if the spar doesn't break at a rivet point, and the sail lasts longer because of improved material, I don't think it'd be 'lipstick'. Plus the sail track on the mast eliminates the possibility of the sail being twisted at the top. plenty of positives.

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On 2/18/2019 at 5:45 PM, tillerman said:

The Olympics has always been a place that recognizes the history of yachting and has had a role to showcase classic one-designs no matter how many newer alternatives come along.

 

Elvstrom/Ainslie/Coutts/Barker/Bertrand/Scott/Hogh-Christiansen/Loof/Percy might disagree...

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45 minutes ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Elvstrom/Ainslie/Coutts/Barker/Bertrand/Scott/Hogh-Christiansen/Loof/Percy might disagree...

I'm all for keeping the Finn AND the Laser in the Olympics - and while we are at it, bring back the Star too. 

These boats embody the true spirit of Olympic sailing. Respect history and tradition. Don't change what isn't broken.

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Why did they think it was a good idea to use a font for the sail number where differentiating 5, 6 and 8 is a serious challenge? Or will the rigs be colour–coded by size? Or maybe the number of battens is the key?

 

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Interesting to note that all the existing equipment is being used for the tender/trials with a proposed changed for a composite lower section for the Radial.

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7 hours ago, dgmckim said:

i mean, if the spar doesn't break at a rivet point, and the sail lasts longer because of improved material, I don't think it'd be 'lipstick'. Plus the sail track on the mast eliminates the possibility of the sail being twisted at the top. plenty of positives.

The plastic top doesn't break anymore and the new sail lasts longer. 

Laminates might be faster and better looking but would be more expensive to ship or bring along when chartering a boat at a regatta. The hiking stick is enough of a PITA.

"ILCA has no plans to replace or remove any of our existing classes. The 4.7, Radial and Standard classes will continue as always with controlled, incremental evolution and development aimed at improving longevity, increasing the ease of use and reducing the cost of ownership. "

I don't see how any of these new rigs could be seen as controlled incremental evolution or reduce the cost of ownership.

The Rooster 8.1 and the Intensity Power Head have been around for a while but don't seem to be taking over the class...

I have a hard time seeing a market for these rigs.

E

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Still frame with native caption taken from the latest ad from LP on the benefits of the ARC rig. Interesting pitch. Let's see how this format war goes..

LP_ARC_AD.png

Shows up around 2:07

 

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Hi Margaux, Coming back to Charleston soon?  Have a few nice loaner Lasers at JIYC you're welcome to for any local open events.

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  • Don't change anything! Don't fragment this beautiful large fleet, don't rattle the 2nd hand market, don't f'ng move.
  • Here's 6 new rigs (for a total of 9 rigs), developed by two camps who aren't talking to each other, unclear plans (Olympic proposal is on the old rigs, etc).

Don't tell me there isn't a better way. Innovator's dilemma is real, but there's strategies for this.

Also to consider, market/crowd behaviors will usually show very slow erosion on the status quo up to a tipping point, once there "everyone switches". 

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I think these FrankenLasers need a new name. Maybe "Torch" is still available....

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30 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:
  • Don't change anything! Don't fragment this beautiful large fleet, don't rattle the 2nd hand market, don't f'ng move.
  • Here's 6 new rigs (for a total of 9 rigs), developed by two camps who aren't talking to each other, unclear plans (Olympic proposal is on the old rigs, etc).

Don't tell me there isn't a better way. Innovator's dilemma is real, but there's strategies for this.

Also to consider, market/crowd behaviors will usually show very slow erosion on the status quo up to a tipping point, once there "everyone switches". 

"Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad." - Prometheus

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Would be nice of LP could put a fraction of this effort into improving their global distribution.

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7 minutes ago, torrid said:

Would be nice of LP could put a fraction of this effort into improving their global distribution.

i'm PRETTY sure LP made it clear that the global distribution problems were everyone else's fault

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1 minute ago, dgmckim said:

i'm PRETTY sure LP made it clear that the global distribution problems were everyone else's fault

I wonder how LP expect to be able to manage the introduction of such a drastic change to the design of the boat - including managing the complexity of 6 (maybe 9) possible choices of rig and all that that will do to fracture into splinters the racing fleets of Lasers around the world - when they don't seem to be able to manage the availability of something as simple as a class-legal daggerboard brake. 

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What's really interesting is how they are circumventing the entire ILCA in this.  They took a rig to FL let a few of the 20 somethings sail them so they could get footage, but no one from the class was invited?  Sounds like another Sunfish class situation brewing to me....

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Yes, what was the outcome in the end from all the Kirby litigation? If ILCA, LP and PSA all promote different versions of the Laser, which is the real one?  

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1 hour ago, sosoomii said:

Yes, what was the outcome in the end from all the Kirby litigation? If ILCA, LP and PSA all promote different versions of the Laser, which is the real one?  

The one authorised by Bruce Kirby.

Large_Exhibit%2016Laser%20plaque.jpg

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The permanent dysfunction between LP, ILCA etc should automatically disqualify Laser from the Olympics IMO.

Olympic classes should be fully under control of an ISF authorised Class Association run by sailors & with multiple builders (or at least clear authority to change builder) not hostage to a single manufacturer.

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1 hour ago, hoom said:

The permanent dysfunction between LP, ILCA etc should automatically disqualify Laser from the Olympics IMO.

Olympic classes should be fully under control of an ISF authorised Class Association run by sailors & with multiple builders (or at least clear authority to change builder) not hostage to a single manufacturer.

I would have thought that a class in permanent dysfunction would get on very well with World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee.

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7 hours ago, tillerman said:

I would have thought that a class in permanent dysfunction would get on very well with World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee.

+1

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I am not sure how Laser (broadly and including all the various stakeholders) could have fucked things up any more. They passed muster with the EU Commission, then made it through Phases 1 and 2 of the re-evaluation process - which included price, customer service, manufacturing site visits, review of equipment to major events, accessibility to the market by new builders and standardization of equipment amongst different builders. I think many would be surprised they even managed get to this stage based on the performance (no pun intended) of the builder over the past few years. So they were apparently able to convince WS that all was well and the troubles were behind them. It even seemed that equipment and parts flow was improving significantly. If ever there was time for solidarity and consistency of messaging showing a consolidated global approach to the Laser, this was it! 

So what do we hear next? 6 different rigs from two parts of the world were being researched independent of one another. This confirmed that there really is no global approach, and (probably worse) Laser themselves believe the rigs proposed for the Olympics are outdated and need to be replaced - or at least supplemented with alternatives. Why the fuck would they not wait until after the Olympic selection process to work on this initiative? And in the unlikely event (I now believe) they secure the spot in the 2024 Olympics, who would want to utilize a different rig to what is being used in the Olympics and, presumably, all the qualifying events?  Do WS need to now consider that the class looking for continuance as an Olympic dinghy in its present form is in a transformative state? I think they must.

You can't make this shit up. I think Laser have sealed their fate. Sorry, Tillerman, I think you will be sailing an Olympic class boat soon!

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1 hour ago, bill4 said:

 

You can't make this shit up. I think Laser have sealed their fate. Sorry, Tillerman, I think you will be sailing an Olympic class boat soon!


I may have to buy a Finn.
 

 

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I hear they are developing a few new rigs. It's all the rage.

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23 minutes ago, bill4 said:

I hear they are developing a few new rigs. It's all the rage.

I did hear that there were going to be two new RS Aero rigs for the Olympic submission - same basic design of spars and sails but different sail areas from the 5, 7 and 9 rigs that normal Aero people sail.

I think the idea was that all the Olympic wannabes with their Mommy Boats could go and sail their 6 and 10 rigs (or whatever they would be) at Olympic wannabe Mommy Boat regattas, and leave us normal people to carry on happily sailing the normal Aero rigs at normal people regattas.

Could work I suppose.

If that doesn't work out, I suppose there is always the Melges 14. Or move to Mars.
 

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3 hours ago, tillerman said:

I did hear that there were going to be two new RS Aero rigs for the Olympic submission - same basic design of spars and sails but different sail areas from the 5, 7 and 9 rigs that normal Aero people sail.

I think the idea was that all the Olympic wannabes with their Mommy Boats could go and sail their 6 and 10 rigs (or whatever they would be) at Olympic wannabe Mommy Boat regattas, and leave us normal people to carry on happily sailing the normal Aero rigs at normal people regattas.

Could work I suppose.

If that doesn't work out, I suppose there is always the Melges 14. Or move to Mars.
 

i think it's going to be the devoti d-zero

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I think everybody needs to take a deep breath about the Laser.  How many years did it take to come out with the MkII sail?  People can try whatever they want in the boat but ultimately the class will take a measured approach towards deciding what the future for the class looks like.  No builder can single handedly dictate that change.  They may even decide that all of this is worthless and they could just say that the MkII and carbon upper is enough for the foreseeable future.  

As for the Finn, I'm Finn sized and I think the boat is cool but those are crazy expensive.  A 1999 is $10k after you buy the $6k hull and then have to go find the $3k mast and $1k sail and don't get me started on the "numbers" of the mast.  I keep trying to convince my brother who has the Finn bug to buy a UFO instead so he can foil around for less money.

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On 2/16/2019 at 11:57 AM, xonk1 said:

Ask all the older Laser sailors with bad knees if the DECK should be redesigned first. Should be very easy to replace a poorly designed deck with a new, comfortable ( hiking ) deck on top of a really nice hull. Keep the best of the Laser ( hull ) and replace the rest. 

Why not both?

We look like getting a range of improved rigs that will fit a Laser hull. What we need, then, is an improved hull that will fit a Laser rig (and thus, will fit the new rigs).

Design the new hull to be no faster than a Laser, just _better_. Better ergonomics, modern construction that is stiff and doesn't go soft. A deck that doesn't need a wafer-thin carbon tiller to fit under the standard traveller. Same or similar hull lines.

Create a new class for the new hull and rig, with rules that grandfather in existing Laser hardware. That is, new class rules would define the new hull and rig, but would permit Laser hardware as acceptable alternatives.

Let's call it C-class as a working title, since I assume we're using the C rigs. I'm sure that name has been done before, so somebody will need to think of a better name.

So, anyone who owns a Laser already has a C-class legal boat. If you want to update your rig on your existing Laser hull, that's legal. If you want to update your hull and keep your Laser rig, that's legal. Of course, a brand new C-class hull+rig is C-class standard.

New hull doesn't need to be any more expensive than a new Laser hull. May be possible to make it cheaper?

There would be tricky IP legalities in specifying Laser parts as C-class legal, without having Laser class organisations on board, but that's what lawyers are for.

Of course, we can't dial in exact parity between the old and new hardware. There's going to be conditions where the new boat is faster, and conditions where it's slower. Ideally, it would go a little both ways so nobody would be clearly advantaged. It would be nice if a top Laser sailer would be marginally slower in the C-class boat, but could learn the boat and become marginally faster. There's a design spec to work toward :D

In competition... Laser class isn't going to go away. Assuming it stays in the Olympics, that will stay pure Laser for the medium term future. There will be Laser class events (nationals, worlds) that won't allow C-class boats. At club level... each club would need to decide whether to switch from Laser to C-class (including their existing Laser fleet, plus updates if desired). That choice would probably be driven by an established Laser guy at the club, looking to upgrade. It would be a gradual transition, allowing production to ramp up as demand grows.

Long term... I would hope that updated C-class hardware becomes the standard, because it's designed to be better (just not faster) than the Laser alternative hardware. Pure Laser would probably always be a niche, but may become almost irrelevant especially if C-class got up as Olympic class one day B)

And yet, a curious punter could pick up a beat up old 1970s Laser with non turbo rigging for loose change, and race in a big local fleet of well-matched boats. Probably not going to win against better sailors with newer gear... but that's mostly down to the sailor not the boat.

For the record... I just bought a beat up old 1970s Laser with non-turbo rigging, looking to sail my first race for 20+ years. I picked Laser because they're cheap, ubiquitous, and nominally even matched, so I can learn to sail better. If I wanted crazy fast and exciting like a Wazsp, I wouldn't have bought a Laser (to be honest I probably would have just upgraded my catamaran or sailed the one I have more). I don't expect to win  Laser races - there are a couple of national level Laser sailors at my club, with boats far less worn out than mine - but I might finish on the same lap. If I get hooked, I might one day buy a newer (or new?) Laser for 10x what I paid for mine. Or I might buy a C-class if it's better and I can race it in the same fleet.

OneGoat

Writer of manifestos :huh:

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i'm still not sold on this whole 'going soft' idea. i don't think it makes a difference in boats made in the last 20 years. i'm not saying it doesn't exist... just that i think people overstate its relevance. sure makes for a nice sound bite when people want to trash the laser.

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A Laser with improved deck ergonomics, better construction and an ARC carbon rig?  That is literally the Devoti D0.  Very nice boat, I had one.  It is much better to sail, especially when windy (much comfier, lower sheet load and easier to handle), and, from a sailing perspective, is a better boat than the Aero too (much better rig). Only two downsides a. the rudder stock b. Devoti themselves do not seem that interested in supporting the class. Perhaps both will change if Olympic selection is the prize.

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Devoti D0 looks nice.

Can I sail a D0 in my local Laser club fleet? I'm not going to get one if there's no races.

Can I race my entry-level third-hand Laser in a D0 fleet? Laser owns the segment because the cost of entry is low, and a cheap boat is not at a massive disadvantage.

Is the D0 designed intentionally to be competitive against Lasers, so that the better sailor should win regardless which boat (or combination of hull and rig) she's sailing?

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11 minutes ago, OneGoat said:

Devoti D0 looks nice.

Can I sail a D0 in my local Laser club fleet? I'm not going to get one if there's no races.

Can I race my entry-level third-hand Laser in a D0 fleet? Laser owns the segment because the cost of entry is low, and a cheap boat is not at a massive disadvantage.

Is the D0 designed intentionally to be competitive against Lasers, so that the better sailor should win regardless which boat (or combination of hull and rig) she's sailing?

Nope, zero was designed to same requirements (ie car toppable, easy to rig, room for two etc)  and box dimensions as laser, and to offer an off the beach sailing proposition that is as versatile and accessible as the laser / sunfish. 

Any performance gain without negative impact on accessibility was considered as upside. As sosoomi says, it’s  a “nicer” sailing proposition than laser as well as quicker. I dare say all the  trials boats are a nicer sailing proposition and quicker. One zero sailor likened getting back into a laser to sailing “an ironing board laden with bricks.”

The advances in design and materials mean that you’d have to sandbag a zero or aero or melges 14 pretty heavily to get parity with laser on performance. Trail a rope out the back if needs be.

I expect all 3 trialists would actually be cheaper to own after a year or two of sailing. 

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9 hours ago, dgmckim said:

i'm still not sold on this whole 'going soft' idea. i don't think it makes a difference in boats made in the last 20 years. i'm not saying it doesn't exist... just that i think people overstate its relevance. sure makes for a nice sound bite when people want to trash the laser.

I’m with you on that

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9 hours ago, dgmckim said:

i'm still not sold on this whole 'going soft' idea. i don't think it makes a difference in boats made in the last 20 years. i'm not saying it doesn't exist... just that i think people overstate its relevance. sure makes for a nice sound bite when people want to trash the laser.

Agreed, I’ve been using a club owned 93’ and it’s still pretty solid even after years of junior sailing abuse and surfing waves in the inlet

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The Laser was a superb boat in 1971. It revolutionized the one design singlehanded sailing scene around the world. It is still one of the most popular sailboat classes in the world and thousands of people love it.

And yet some people keep coming up with ideas to make the boat something different. More comfy, more ergonomic, better deck, better hull, better rigs (the more the better apparently) etc. etc. etc. (Personal peeve - if you value your "comfort" then don't sail a small singlehanded hiking dinghy; buy a good couch and binge on Netflix.)

Enough already. Why mess with a good 
thing? The Laser is what the Laser is. People who love the Laser, love the Laser for what it is. The product is fine. All it needs is a network of local dealers with new boats and legal parts in stock, providing great customer service (like we had not so long ago) and it will thrive for many more decades. The beauty of the Laser is that it's still pretty much the same boat that Bruce Kirby designed all those years ago. It's the sameness that makes it great.

Sure, some contrarians like me will go off and let themselves be seduced by more modern designs, but we are no real threat to the future of the Laser.

There's nothing wrong with the Laser. Don't meddle with the boat. Fix the company.

 

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10 minutes ago, tillerman said:

There's nothing wrong with the Laser

Agreed! There's nothing wrong with the little Nokia brick phones. I loved mine. You could drive a car over it, it'd survive a quick dunk in water. Battery charges lasted 4-5 days.

Nokia had epic internal battles. Change, or don't? Change, but how? - there were many possible operating systems, hw formats. No fleets but developer mindshare - who will make apps for our new phone l... it had no users on day one.

Small brick phones are still being made of course. So the faithful we're right. Right?

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6 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

Agreed! There's nothing wrong with the little Nokia brick phones. I loved mine. You could drive a car over it, it'd survive a quick dunk in water. Battery charges lasted 4-5 days.

Nokia had epic internal battles. Change, or don't? Change, but how? - there were many possible operating systems, hw formats. No fleets but developer mindshare - who will make apps for our new phone l... it had no users on day one.

Small brick phones are still being made of course. So the faithful we're right. Right?

The difference between phones and Lasers is that if you get a newer model of a phone you can still make calls from it to any other phone.

The Laser works because it hasn't fundamentally changed in nearly 50 years, so any Laser can race on equal terms with any other Laser. That's the beauty of the beast. That's what makes the class strong. Once you compromise that principle you have destroyed the fundamental reason why people buy Lasers.

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37 minutes ago, tillerman said:

The Laser was a superb boat in 1971. It revolutionized the one design singlehanded sailing scene around the world. It is still one of the most popular sailboat classes in the world and thousands of people love it.

And yet some people keep coming up with ideas to make the boat something different. More comfy, more ergonomic, better deck, better hull, better rigs (the more the better apparently) etc. etc. etc. (Personal peeve - if you value your "comfort" then don't sail a small singlehanded hiking dinghy; buy a good couch and binge on Netflix.)

Enough already. Why mess with a good 
thing? The Laser is what the Laser is. People who love the Laser, love the Laser for what it is. The product is fine. All it needs is a network of local dealers with new boats and legal parts in stock, providing great customer service (like we had not so long ago) and it will thrive for many more decades. The beauty of the Laser is that it's still pretty much the same boat that Bruce Kirby designed all those years ago. It's the sameness that makes it great.

Sure, some contrarians like me will go off and let themselves be seduced by more modern designs, but we are no real threat to the future of the Laser.

There's nothing wrong with the Laser. Don't meddle with the boat. Fix the company.

 

Definitely agreed that they need to fix the company.  Mclaren needs to be kicked to the curb.  Rumors that they were selling LP were a tease.

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10 minutes ago, tillerman said:

The difference between phones and Lasers is that if you get a newer model of a phone you can still make calls from it to any other phone.

Of course. There's still some similarities -- not on the users but on the developers side (hence my fleet vs devs comment). The first developer for the iphone had no users. The first Aero buyer had no fleet to race in. 

It's not a perfect comparison. Nothing ever is. I do expect however that we'll see the usual crowd/market behavior. Aero fleets will grow slowly to the tipping point... and then a fast transition. Some folks and even fleets will keep sailing Lasers forever. There's still non-foiling moths out there.

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2 hours ago, Daniel Holman said:

I’m with you on that

I've owned 7 lasers over the years.  Two had soft hull issues.  My 76 hull that I bought for $400 in 1989 and one of my 98 hulls that I bought in 2003 and sailed pretty hard until 2011.  There was a hull repair on the port side of the bow that was a little thin and began to flex.

I suppose they can begin to "flex" a little over time if you're sailing the hell out of them like 150 days a year, but for the regular owner, (and proper care) I don't see it being an issue.  My current hull is a 2001.  Any speed issues I have are not related to the condition or stiffness of the hull.

 

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Let’s suppose the new rig is just plain wonderful. 

Who is promoting it?

who is selling it? 

Who is organizing events where those with the new rig can play?

****

i predict some sailors will abandon Laser racing to go play with the wonderful new rig. 

 

I predict others will abandon Laser racing because the absence of those who bought the new rig will destroy their fun.

I predict fewer new sailors will show up on the start line with Lasers because some will buy the new rig and no standard rig.

I predict few sailors will buy the new rig because there will not be any stocking dealers anywhere near any potential customers.

in the meantime, I hope somebody is successful in his/ her/ their attempt to create a new fleet of singlehanded racing Sailboats. 

Currently, RS is investing heavily in the promotion of the AERO. A few AERO fleets now exist in North America and it is possible to (within a day’s drive) race in 20 boat fleets most weekends.  

AERO. Isn’t there yet. There are not yet forty boat fleets every weekend. There are not yet 100 boat fleets at big North American events. 

As I see it, the new rig for the Laser is very likely to further damage  the struggling Laser game and IN SOME PLACES the AERO will have an enhanced opportunity to become the toy used in the singlehanded game. 

Finally: Due to the obstacles thrown in our faces by LP,  both our North American Sunfish fleet and Laser fleet are struggling unnecessarily to stay vibrant. As those two fleets continue to struggle and lose event after event from their schedules, singlehanded sailing will need to have a new toy or it will suffer greatly.

if the new toy comes at the right time and is well promoted, singlehanded sailing in  North America could boom as never before. 

Based upon all of the above, I have purchased an AERO and I am sending friends out fir rides on it and introducing those who enjoy the ride to our local dealer. I still love sailing in huge fleets and the 30 boat 2018 Laser Nationals told me I better get off my ass and do something about fleet building. 

 

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2 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

 I do expect however that we'll see the usual crowd/market behavior. Aero fleets will grow slowly to the tipping point... and then a fast transition. Some folks and even fleets will keep sailing Lasers forever. There's still non-foiling moths out there.

Good points.

I would characterize the growth of the RS Aero class in the USA since Aeros were launched here in 2015 as steady, but not spectacular. Every year is better than the previous one with more owners, more regattas and bigger attendances at regattas - but we certainly haven't reached a "tipping point" nationally yet.

The US is a big country and the growth so far is in pockets... Pacific North West, California, Texas, Florida, New England etc. Maybe we should be looking for regional "tipping points" first? 

So what does it take (short of being selected as an Olympic class) for a new boat like the Aero to reach (and pass) the tipping point.  A regatta within daily driving distance at least once every two weeks in the season with 20 or more boats at most of them? A regatta within daily driving distance every week in the season with 40 or more boats at most of them? As many Aero regattas (with at least as good an attendance) as the Laser regattas in a given region? Or are there better ways to measure class growth and predict when we will reach the tipping point?

Asking for some friends.

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Wow.  What a mess.   It's not like there's masses of singlehanded sailors to fill all these classes, and their subgroups.  How ever will people feel the joys of being over early in 110 boats, only to pass the last one just before the finish?  ...or the sorrows of being spat out the back!? B)

It's too bad there's not something of a formula that all these designs are made for, like the Windsurfer displacement boards had in the 90's... a bunch of manufacturers building to a box rule.    

Max wl length,, Beam,, Weight for hulls.   Divisions for sail area.                           Too late I suppose.   :mellow:

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I don’t buy into the Aero being cheaper than the laser either, whichever boat is the new Olympic dinghy is going to go up in price (unless it stays the laser) lasers especially used ones were cheaper before they became an Olympic class boat, a used Aero now is 6k+ and there’s not a lot of them out there so if it’s (or the melges14/d0) chosen basic supply and demand the price is going to go up until there’s way more boats on the market, also it’s still a darcon sail that’s not going to last much longer than the laser and it’s $100 more, plus the aero hasn’t been around long enough to see how it holds up long term

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Please!! Absolutely do NOT confuse the fact I am pulling for the success of the AERO or my pessimism about the future of the Laser and Sunfish  in North America as something different than it is. 

I would most love to see huge fleets of a variety of singlehanded boats. It would be fabulous to hit a Laser regatta one weekend, AEROs the next, Sunfish Wednesday night, play on Mc Scows the next week, and maybe even sail in an OK dinghy fleet. ( only masochists sail Finns) 

i would love to see a $3000 sailing toy that could reprise the 100,000 new toys success of the 1970s Laser.

BUT!!!!!!

My very best guess is the entire Laser thing is running on fumes and will never again see sufficient builder promotion and local dealer support to create the sort of grassroots to world class games we enjoyed as recently as 2002.

The very shortest route to a great singlehanded sailing game would still be to seriously organize and support the classic Laser game.... but LP is playing better defense than either team did in the recent Super Bowl. (The analogy goes much deeper. LP has obviously scouted out every play that ever worked for building a great Laser or Sunfish game and they have shut down every single play that ever worked) 

I wish the only replacement boat on the horizon cost a whole lot less but  I really do not believe sticker price is that much of a hurdle to sales and fleet building success. 

People buy all kinds of toys that cost way more than AEROs in numbers that have never been seen in the sailing game. 

I am certain the formula for success is the same as it has always been. 

1. Build great toys

2. Get one of your own

3. Invite people out for a Sail and make damn sure they have fun

4. Sic the local dealer on the prospect 

5. Welcome the new folks when they show up

6. Keep organizing and hosting events and support events held by others 

7. Repeat until giddy 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Please!! Absolutely do NOT confuse the fact I am pulling for the success of the AERO or my pessimism about the future of the Laser and Sunfish  in North America as something different than it is. 

I would most love to see huge fleets of a variety of singlehanded boats. It would be fabulous to hit a Laser regatta one weekend, AEROs the next, Sunfish Wednesday night, play on Mc Scows the next week, and maybe even sail in an OK dinghy fleet. ( only masochists sail Finns) 

i would love to see a $3000 sailing toy that could reprise the 100,000 new toys success of the 1970s Laser.

BUT!!!!!!

My very best guess is the entire Laser thing is running on fumes and will never again see sufficient builder promotion and local dealer support to create the sort of grassroots to world class games we enjoyed as recently as 2002.

The very shortest route to a great singlehanded sailing game would still be to seriously organize and support the classic Laser game.... but LP is playing better defense than either team did in the recent Super Bowl. (The analogy goes much deeper. LP has obviously scouted out every play that ever worked for building a great Laser or Sunfish game and they have shut down every single play that ever worked) 

I wish the only replacement boat on the horizon cost a whole lot less but  I really do not believe sticker price is that much of a hurdle to sales and fleet building success. 

People buy all kinds of toys that cost way more than AEROs in numbers that have never been seen in the sailing game. 

I am certain the formula for success is the same as it has always been. 

1. Build great toys

2. Get one of your own

3. Invite people out for a Sail and make damn sure they have fun

4. Sic the local dealer on the prospect 

5. Welcome the new folks when they show up

6. Keep organizing and hosting events and support events held by others 

7. Repeat until giddy 

 

 

 

 

They call that the "Spark plug" and it's always been the best way to build fleets and sell boats.  I was the spark plug for Park City Sailing.  I bought and fixed up over forty Lasers (sometimes the same one multiple times as people come and go) to be able to supply good boats to new members.  I also organized new boat purchases and we have added over a dozen brand new boats into the fleet.  Finding spark plugs is tough though.

In the ski industry people relied on the manufacturers to bend over backwards for years with demos, and free promo gifts...etc to bring excitement to skiing.  There are still plenty of people who expect that type of involvement from the manufacturers but just like the sailing industry, those sales have shrunken and the money isn't there any more. I think if we want to build fleets, we need to think differently.  

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On 2/22/2019 at 9:32 AM, Daniel Holman said:

I’m with you on that

My 1982 Laser from Canada flexes enough that the deck starts to split at the rail every time I sail it in more than 18 knots. I'm in a constant repair cycle with the damn thing. If you think the death roll is bad downwind in a good Laser, you should try it with 60 lbs of water in the hull.

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How is your 1982 Corolla running? 

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6 minutes ago, bill4 said:

How is your 1982 Corolla running? 

Probably pretty well if it had only been used for a few hours a month on Wednesday afternoons. :ph34r:

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