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ILCA gives LPE the boot... seeking new Laser builder

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Is there a Laser reseller watching who'd care to tell us who they pay their invoices to?

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6 hours ago, sosoomii said:

The latest accounts (to 31 Dec 2017) do indeed claim no employees, down from 10 the year before. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/00922893/filing-history

However, LPE is controlled by Full Moon (no employees) which is in turn controlled by Sina Holdco.  SH employ around 100 people (not full time judging by wage bill).  SH is controlled by Sima Rastegar, domiciled in tax haven Monaco.  The parent company is Spring Meadow Holdings Ltd, registered in tax haven British Virgin Islands.

 

I ventured down the rabbit hole for a while. 

LPE's SIC code is "manufacture of other plastic products",  yet all their financial reports state the business as just supply, distribution and sales of dinghies. Plus, their employees are small in number and always categorized as management, admin or sales. So, in spite of the SIC Code, the only way LPE are doing the direct manufacture is if all workers are contractors, and not employees.

In 2014, they had turnover of 7.3 Mill and cost of sales of 5 Mill. My guess is the 5 Mill is going to the actual manufacturer. As chance would have it, Sina Holdings, state their operations in all their financial info through 2016 as a holding company with two main subsidiaries - one in UK one is US - who in turn own "several" subsidiaries that manufacture as well as supply, distribution and sale of sailing dinghies, spares, accessories and services. So - no surprise - it appears to be a big shell game among Rastegar's interests - LPE, Sina and Full Moon all share the same address.

Where I get totally lost in all this is that 2015 LPE are not required to provide turnover, and the same with Sina after 2016. We do need someone with UK accounting knowledge to assist. 

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On 4/17/2019 at 2:09 PM, WestCoast said:

Steve - I have a lot of respect for, the company you built and sold, and your contribution to the sport.
Agree with others though, you're using some pretty outdated information to draw incorrect conclusions.

 

With respect:

RS doesn't have a 'toe hold' in the US... they are the biggest importer, with all the key dealers representing their boats.
2018 Industry data I've seen shows them selling around 2x the boats in North America that LP does...
Even if it were even - I think that's a bit more of a 'toe hold' than you infer.

LP opened the door for RS for sure, but, RS came in with tighter integration with super dealers, much better supply, and running cool events.
Better, more modern products tend to do that when cities grow, traffic worsens. 
Look at the UFO, that has grown not in the old method of dealership from the past, but selling to a clientele directly that could not care less about Lasers.

 

--
I can't speak to the managers of LP, as I find them to personally be pretty nice people.
It's hard to argue with your 'EuroCentric' notion. 
But, I find it really hard to believe that giving up the NA market was a cold, calculated business decision on their part.
It seems more like death by 10,000 cuts.

Staff cuts, infrastructure cuts, marketing cuts... it just piles up.
Parts supply has been really really bad in NA for about 9 years.
If *that's* a strategy - to not sell the stuff that customers want, dealers buy, and everyone makes money on.... for 9 years...I tip my hat to them for being more advanced in business than I am.

 

I just think that, here, where we are, the horse left the stable about 6 years ago.
The metaphors used of a house on fire are a bit dark, but, I get it.

 

I don't pretend to know what is going to happen, but, the situation is far worse than you think.
 

 The senior employees I know at LP are smart earnest people who I count as truly good friends.  

However any organization is deeply affected by the ethos of ownership. On the bookshelf in my office I have a book by Jack Mitchell of the Mitchells clothing retailer entitled "Hug Your Customer" .   Great businesses have a passion for their customers that comes from the top.  West Coast Sailing (the business) has succeeded because the owner has a passion for sailing and a passion for getting people on the water and a passion for pleasing the customer. The owner attracted employees and colleagues who shared that passion and the company radiates that commitment. They literally hug their customers.  

When ownership merely tolerates their customers ,  or contemplates the customer base as someone to exploit or where ownership is infuriated by their customers...then the writing is on the wall. 

I make this observation not to complement West Coast Sailing nor to criticize the hard working people at LP. I have 30+ years of funding companies and doing work outs and turnarounds and as a hard headed observation, the essential common ingredient for success is that passion for the customers.  I just dont sense that Rastegar has that ingredient. For the sake of Laser sailing, I hope I am wrong.

 

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Wondered about the relationship between Farzad and Sima Rastegar? Does anyone know; Rastegar appears to be a pretty common name among Iranians.

More importantly, were they invited to Gouv's Easter Regatta? If so, Gouv might try to talk some sense into them...

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2 hours ago, bill4 said:

 

I ventured down the rabbit hole for a while. 

LPE's SIC code is "manufacture of other plastic products",  yet all their financial reports state the business as just supply, distribution and sales of dinghies. Plus, their employees are small in number and always categorized as management, admin or sales. So, in spite of the SIC Code, the only way LPE are doing the direct manufacture is if all workers are contractors, and not employees.

 In 2014, they had turnover of 7.3 Mill and cost of sales of 5 Mill. My guess is the 5 Mill is going to the actual manufacturer. As chance would have it, Sina Holdings, state their operations in all their financial info through 2016 as a holding company with two main subsidiaries - one in UK one is US - who in turn own "several" subsidiaries that manufacture as well as supply, distribution and sale of sailing dinghies, spares, accessories and services. So - no surprise - it appears to be a big shell game among Rastegar's interests - LPE, Sina and Full Moon all share the same address.

Where I get totally lost in all this is that 2015 LPE are not required to provide turnover, and the same with Sina after 2016. We do need someone with UK accounting knowledge to assist. 

I had a quick look until i saw that everything was unaudited based on an exemption in the UK Companies Act.  As my general partner said to me the other day when we were going over diligence docs for the purchase of a company: "These are unaudited statements.  They'd be worth as much as toilet paper if you could print them out on something soft."

 

 

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

... "These are unaudited statements.  They'd be worth as much as toilet paper if you could print them out on something soft."

 

 

Thanks, I will happily appropriate that line

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2 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

To be fair, he may really love fingers

that's a smart joke

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22 minutes ago, KC375 said:

Thanks, I will happily appropriate that line

 

lawyer or accountant KC?

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neither, just an entrepreneur, jack-of-all-trades, I do a a lot of due dilligence for myself and for others...amusing how creative numbers can get (but I've still found nothing that tops Fastow's SPEs).

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41 minutes ago, KC375 said:

 jack-of-all-trades

masturbator of one! 

Nice to meetcha.  I wish I could show you all due diligence pile on my desk right now for a software company.  I'm swimming in copies of dozens of service contracts and license agreements.

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http://www.laser.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1229:advisory-statement-regarding-training-boats&catid=21:official&Itemid=250

 

Advisory Statement Regarding Training Boats PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 April 2019 19:09

North American Laser Class members may hear soon of Laser Performance's introduction of their Laser 'Club Edition' training boat.

LP describes it as a training boat which does not bear the World Sailing Building Plaque or a Class Approved Sail Button. This of course is fine for people to purchase and use as a training boat, but we feel it is important to clarify that these boats are not Class legal based on the Fundamental Rule within the Laser Class Rules. These boats will be ineligible to compete in any ILCA / North American Laser Class Association sanctioned event. Broadly speaking (but not exclusively) this means the boat can not be used in any regattas listed on the Laser.org website.

While the North American Laser Class Association would like all Laser racing to be conducted strictly in accordance with the Class Rules, we do not consider that we should dictate to sailing clubs throughout North America over their adoption. However, we want to make them aware that they would be open to potential protest by competing sailors in the same way as a sailor using any non-compliant gear.

Note that Laser Performance has also made the statement that the Club Edition boat is "based exactly on the same Race Laser specifications". The International Laser Class Association has no way of verifying this statement, as our Class technical officers have not been allowed to inspect the LP manufacturing facility/boats in quite some time to ensure that one-design integrity is being maintained.

This advisory statement is made solely to alert sailors wishing to compete in North American Laser Class events, that the Laser Performance 'Club Edition' is being marketed as a training boat and not as an ILCA approved racing boat.

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

masturbator of one! 

Nice to meetcha.  I wish I could show you all due diligence pile on my desk right now for a software company.  I'm swimming in copies of dozens of service contracts and license agreements.

And you have to pay attention to all the details, or at least carefully parse which ones matter enough to sweat the details.

I nearly missed a $150 million+ gotcha – the vendor committed to transferring over a fully funded defined benefit pension plan...they forgot to mention they changed all the actuarial assumptions compared to what they used the year before...suddenly employees would start dyeing years earlier under my watch etc. etc.

Best of luck with the pile of paper...and now back to the Laser/Torch/Club Laser saga...

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5 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I had a quick look until i saw that everything was unaudited based on an exemption in the UK Companies Act.  As my general partner said to me the other day when we were going over diligence docs for the purchase of a company: "These are unaudited statements.  They'd be worth as much as toilet paper if you could print them out on something soft."

 

 

The LPE financials were audited through 2014 and Sina through 2016. After that, they both just provided simple balance sheets that tell you nothing. After a bit more reading,  I see  LPE became exempt as they were suddenly classified as a “Small Entity”, which means their revenue dropped below 6.5 Mill. This amount was subsequently increased to 10 Mill in 2016, so Sina then became a small entity as well. So LPE turnover dropped from 7.3 (from last audited financials in 2014) to something less than 6.5 in 2015 and Sina dropped from 12.5 (from last audited financials in 2015) to something less than 10 in 2016.

So that is all quite boring. But we still don’t know for sure who actually manufactures the boat.

 

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1 hour ago, bill4 said:

 

So that is all quite boring. But we still don’t know for sure who actually manufactures the boat.

 

 

 

 

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totally stone age construction there

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12 minutes ago, Sailabout said:

totally stone age construction there

dugout-canoe-ancient-boat-denmark.jpg

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2 hours ago, tillerman said:

 

 

 

Yup, seen this. But who do these people work for? Unless LPE are a) misrepresenting their activities in their audited financials and b) misstating their employee count in the same document, it is not LPE...

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10 hours ago, Sailabout said:

totally stone age construction there

Not everywhere.  Club Racers training boat. Infused decks. Double bias fabric. Same weight.

 

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1 hour ago, EdS said:

Not everywhere.  Club Racers training boat. Infused decks. Double bias fabric. Same weight.

 


Apparently Brazilian Lasers are better than English Lasers.

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10 hours ago, bill4 said:

But who do these people work for? 

Maybe LP did the same as some other UK firms did a couple of years back. The government made all firms offer a work place pension scheme, which would have cost them money as they have to contribute to it as well as the employee. A way round this is to lay-off the employees & then take them back on as self-employed workers. Now the workers are all individual firms & invoice the company monthly. They now have to sort out their own tax & pension, also there is no sick or holiday pay to lay out! This is a win-win for the company. I have several friends who have had this forced on them. 

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2 hours ago, tillerman said:


Apparently Brazilian Lasers are better than English Lasers.

They are not Lasers. They are called Racer(obviously it´s a clone) .  Tested to have the same speed, weight and last longer. They race in regattas for One Person Dinghy, where English Lasers, Gammas, Torches, Racers, L99, practice parts, Intesity sails etc. are welcome. Imagine a place where a Gamma or a Laser cost US$16.000 and your money worth 4 times less, and you like to sail a one person dinghy......what can be done??

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1 hour ago, EdS said:

They are not Lasers. They are called Racer(obviously it´s a clone) .  Tested to have the same speed, weight and last longer. They race in regattas for One Person Dinghy, where English Lasers, Gammas, Torches, Racers, L99, practice parts, Intesity sails etc. are welcome. Imagine a place where a Gamma or a Laser cost US$16.000 and your money worth 4 times less, and you like to sail a one person dinghy......what can be done??

Same speed as real Lasers and all those other clone Lasers, but they last longer and are cheaper than a class legal Laser import. Sounds like these Racers should be very popular.

I imagine this kind of open class racing for "Laser-like" One Person Dinghies may become common in other countries too. 

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18 hours ago, tillerman said:

 

 

 

I don't remember who I was talking to but the rumor was that it took LP 9 man hours to build a Laser. Look at the thickness of that chopped strand mat. Ugh.

I'd love to hear from Dave Clark how the process differed back at Vanguard and how long it took to build a hull, I remember my '93 had some weave print through in some spots where I'd done some repairs.

 

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10 hours ago, Martin T said:

Maybe LP did the same as some other UK firms did a couple of years back. The government made all firms offer a work place pension scheme, which would have cost them money as they have to contribute to it as well as the employee. A way round this is to lay-off the employees & then take them back on as self-employed workers. Now the workers are all individual firms & invoice the company monthly. They now have to sort out their own tax & pension, also there is no sick or holiday pay to lay out! This is a win-win for the company. I have several friends who have had this forced on them. 

yet IR35 forced the reverse?

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 Vanguard labor standard for Laser hull was 15 hours.

SHC

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Vanguard in 2000 was about the same volume, 10-15 boats a day. 1/2 were Sunfish and Lasers, the balance was “sloops” and Optis.

15 hours meant complete through hardware, patch, QC, “putting against the wall.”

Sunfish was 12, Optimist 21.  

Labor standard times boats  produced divided by hours worked equals efficiency.  If efficiency is over 100%, give the boys a bonus and lower the labor standard next year.

Putting against the wall means placing it in finished goods inventory. We stood boats on their sterns, and often had 50-100 Laser hulls in stock. Boats sales are seasonal, and in order to level load production, we had to build inventory through Q1&2 in order to have  boats to ship in May and June.  Several million dollars of sailing dinghies in inventory can be disquieting, and makes you pay close attention to the VP sales report .......

SHC

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2 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

MFG has eight factories  around the country and builds car bodies, truck bodies, windmill blades, cafeteria trays, architectural facia, buoys, and all kinds of stuff you probably have never noticed is fiberglass. 

They built boats from before 1953 until after 1980 and never really made any money doing so. In some years, the boat business was a very expensive hobby for the owners. 

I worked there from the sixties until 1979 and I always thought we should try to do two things:

1. Get completely out of the completion and marketing part of boat building. Virtually every other product we created was some PART of someone else’s product. Examples: we build Mack Truck and Corvette boikdies but we had zero to  do with building and selling trucks or cars. 

2. Get other companies who built toys like Sunfish, Laser,  Thistle, US1, Butterfly, etc to have us build their fiberglass parts. If we could build 20 of pretty much anything made of fiberglass, we could hang the mold on our production line and cycle that mold daily. 

Everyone involved would benefit, thought me, because instead of having a tiny boatshop with ten or fifteen workers trying to figure out best practices, there would be eight factories with hundreds of workers in each one all trying to develop the most profitable ways to make good products. 

....

Years later it seems even more obvious.  Laser builders buy stuff, turn it into boats, and sell finished units.

we could be racing IDENTICAL singlehanded toys stamped out in the same sort of match Metal molds as the Sears Gamefisher hulls  and Corvette bodies. 

But.... other factors than what “I want” seem I matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

The J-boat model then. 

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13 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

MFG has eight factories  around the country and builds car bodies, truck bodies, windmill blades, cafeteria trays, architectural facia, buoys, and all kinds of stuff you probably have never noticed is fiberglass. 

They built boats from before 1953 until after 1980 and never really made any money doing so. In some years, the boat business was a very expensive hobby for the owners. 

I worked there from the sixties until 1979 and I always thought we should try to do two things:

1. Get completely out of the completion and marketing part of boat building. Virtually every other product we created was some PART of someone else’s product. Examples: we build Mack Truck and Corvette boikdies but we had zero to  do with building and selling trucks or cars. 

2. Get other companies who built toys like Sunfish, Laser,  Thistle, US1, Butterfly, etc to have us build their fiberglass parts. If we could build 20 of pretty much anything made of fiberglass, we could hang the mold on our production line and cycle that mold daily. 

Everyone involved would benefit, thought me, because instead of having a tiny boatshop with ten or fifteen workers trying to figure out best practices, there would be eight factories with hundreds of workers in each one all trying to develop the most profitable ways to make good products. 

 

Basically what happens with RS Aeros which are manufactured by MTAG Composites for RS Sailing.
 

Established in 2008, MTAG Composites specialises in the manufacture of high quality Phenolic, Epoxy/Polyester Glass Fibre and Carbon Fibre reinforced plastic mouldings with a diverse product mix for customers within the aerospace, rail and leisure industries.

Our manufacturing facilities are over 45,000 sq ft based at Coningsby, Lincolnshire UK and employ over 150 employees (most of whom have more than 20 years hands on experience in composite mouldings).

 

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9 hours ago, VWAP said:

It’s High Time to Slash the Price of the Class Laser Sails

 

https://optimist-openbic-sailing.blogspot.com/2019/04/its-high-time-to-slash-price-of-class.html

That blog seems to be viciously biased against the Laser. For example, it claims that 17 sailors DNFd both races on the first race of day 1 of the 2017 worlds. However, the scores are readily available (http://www.laserinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-Std-Men-Provisional-Results-D1.pdf) and they show that any such claim is quite untrue.

 

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13 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

MFG has eight factories  around the country and builds car bodies, truck bodies, windmill blades, cafeteria trays, architectural facia, buoys, and all kinds of stuff you probably have never noticed is fiberglass. 

They built boats from before 1953 until after 1980 and never really made any money doing so. In some years, the boat business was a very expensive hobby for the owners. 

I worked there from the sixties until 1979 and I always thought we should try to do two things:

1. Get completely out of the completion and marketing part of boat building. Virtually every other product we created was some PART of someone else’s product. Examples: we build Mack Truck and Corvette boikdies but we had zero to  do with building and selling trucks or cars. 

2. Get other companies who built toys like Sunfish, Laser,  Thistle, US1, Butterfly, etc to have us build their fiberglass parts. If we could build 20 of pretty much anything made of fiberglass, we could hang the mold on our production line and cycle that mold daily. 

Everyone involved would benefit, thought me, because instead of having a tiny boatshop with ten or fifteen workers trying to figure out best practices, there would be eight factories with hundreds of workers in each one all trying to develop the most profitable ways to make good products. 

....

Years later it seems even more obvious.  Laser builders buy stuff, turn it into boats, and sell finished units.

we could be racing IDENTICAL singlehanded toys stamped out in the same sort of match Metal molds as the Sears Gamefisher hulls  and Corvette bodies. 

But.... other factors than what “I want” seem I matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Plywood produced hot molded wooden Thistle hulls for D&M starting in 1946. US Plywood has the technology to glue wood veneers together and they had an autoclave. An old business model - interesting that RS is doing this now.

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On 4/21/2019 at 1:42 PM, Gouvernail said:

 

 If we could tool up to knock out 20,000 a year my guess is we could create Lasers for $1999 retail or less. 

This Jon Boat sells for $1485.50US at Walmart. 

Jon Boat.jpeg

How in the world are you going to make a Laser hull as cheaply, and then add a mast, boom, sail, turbo vang, rudder, centreboard, outhaul, battens, footstraps, mainsheet, decent lines etc for $500?

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1 hour ago, Curious said:

That blog seems to be viciously biased against the Laser. For example, it claims that 17 sailors DNFd both races on the first race of day 1 of the 2017 worlds. However, the scores are readily available (http://www.laserinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-Std-Men-Provisional-Results-D1.pdf) and they show that any such claim is quite untrue.

 

The claim in that blog about sail failures at the Laser Worlds 2017 is sourced to Mikko Brummer, and appear to arise from comments he made in The Sailors Voice group in Facebook. Mr. Brummer seems to be an equal opportunity hater as he described all the boats competing for the One Person Dinghy slot at the Olympics as looking like "toy boats compared to the Finn." Vicious indeed!

One of his comments read...
"Lasers regularly break down in 30+ kn, as well. On the first day of the Laser Worlds 2017, 19 sails failed in the same manner, the mast sticking out at to top end. Those sailors scored 2 DNFs for the day. The organizers arranged to fix all sails overnight, but the sailors got no redress and their regatta was in practice over. For at least some, it had economical implications, failing to make a top placing at the Worlds they also lost some support from their federations for 2018."

But he got the day wrong. Day 1 was sailed in relatively light winds but apparently there were some sail failures in strong winds on Day 3. 


Haven't been able to find any evidence that 19 sailors scored two DNFs on the third day (where are the full results?) but the chart at the end of the video does show two of the top 10 sailors with one DNF each. Another commenter on the thread attributed the sail issues to the introduction of the MK II sail.

Not sure if everyone will be able to read this but the thread on FB is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/7041592283/permalink/10156559690307284/

Bottom line - haters have to hate... and bloggers should check their sources!

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Found the full results;

https://sailing.laserinternational.org/regattauploads/2017/SM/2017_Std_Men_Worlds_Final_Results.htm

No evidence for the claim. Not even a blogger should be so gullible as to accept such claims without proof, when the evidence is easy to find.

Funny how some on the net are happy to accept any criticism of the Laser as the gospel truth, but don't accept praise of Lasers or criticism of their own class in the same fashion.

 

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45 minutes ago, Curious said:

Found the full results;

https://sailing.laserinternational.org/regattauploads/2017/SM/2017_Std_Men_Worlds_Final_Results.htm

No evidence for the claim. Not even a blogger should be so gullible as to accept such claims without proof, when the evidence is easy to find.

Funny how some on the net are happy to accept any criticism of the Laser as the gospel truth, but don't accept praise of Lasers or criticism of their own class in the same fashion.

 

Thanks Curious.

I believe races Q5 and Q6 were sailed on Day 3 - and, if I have counted correctly, there were a total of 19 DNS and DNF scores in those two races - with some sailors having one, and others having two such scores. So I can see where Mr Brummer might have got the "19" from, but he did get the story a bit mixed up. 

 

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32 minutes ago, Curious said:

Funny how some on the net are happy to accept any criticism of the Laser as the gospel truth, but don't accept praise of Lasers or criticism of their own class in the same fashion.

 

In the interests of balance, I would say that there are a greater amount of apologists for the laser thus by proxy for LPE, who they would have continue to operate with impunity simply to preserve the hegemony of  being able to pull a well rotten £500 boat, built a generation ago by an ostensibly different and by law of averages more responsible vendor, out of a hedge and take it sailing. 

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15 minutes ago, Daniel Holman said:

In the interests of balance, I would say that there are a greater amount of apologists for the laser thus by proxy for LPE, who they would have continue to operate with impunity simply to preserve the hegemony of  being able to pull a well rotten £500 boat, built a generation ago by an ostensibly different and by law of averages more responsible vendor, out of a hedge and take it sailing. 

It's a sturdy boat...

https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/2019/04/19/#big-dinghy-little-crash

E

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Agreed monolithic glass is sturdy! 

Its a masterpiece of industrial design and 40y ago it would have been state of the art. 

Its a good little sailing boat in its own right. 

But it is wildly overpriced for what it is. 

I wouldn't have an issue with this if I got the impression that some of the profit was being reinvested, rather than a long killing of the golden goose. 

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1 hour ago, Daniel Holman said:

Agreed monolithic glass is sturdy! 

Its a masterpiece of industrial design and 40y ago it would have been state of the art. 

Its a good little sailing boat in its own right. 

But it is wildly overpriced for what it is. 

I wouldn't have an issue with this if I got the impression that some of the profit was being reinvested, rather than a long killing of the golden goose. 

Profit? There isn't much at the LPE level - the last year they reported full, audited financials was 2014 when their margin was 85,000 quid. But, historically, their cost of sales has been very significant. It still looks to me like LPE is paying another family member (like Sina Holdings) to build the boats. If there is fat in the retail price, it is being realized there. But if that's the case, then the Aussie and Japanese guys must be making out like bandits! 

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Im no expert at corporate finance but of course there won’t be profit at lpe level, plus their cost of sales should be high if they are reinvesting in the sport of laser sailing, else they are doing something wrong, ie it’s one of the easiest sales with large essentially captive volumes in a fairly elastic market. I use the term market in the loosest possible sense. 

If the ILCA are happy with psa and lpj ie they are considered supportive of laser sailing, and the punters are happy (relatively speaking ) with the quality and service etc then I’m happy for them to be making out like bandits. 

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1 hour ago, bill4 said:

Profit? There isn't much at the LPE level - 

I don't suppose that means anything much. The profits will appear in the mesh of shell companies wherever suits the owners best. For instance a common trick (I have no idea whether its the case here) is for the company that nominally owns the IP to be paid a huge royalty - in this case that would be the trademark owner.

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4 hours ago, Daniel Holman said:

In the interests of balance, I would say that there are a greater amount of apologists for the laser thus by proxy for LPE, who they would have continue to operate with impunity simply to preserve the hegemony of  being able to pull a well rotten £500 boat, built a generation ago by an ostensibly different and by law of averages more responsible vendor, out of a hedge and take it sailing. 

And 45578 keeps on going like the Energizer Bunny of dinghies.  Class legal with the full rig.  Generic with the radial.  It was $500 US, probably a bit over £500 with the generic radial bottom section and sail.  

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5 hours ago, Daniel Holman said:

Agreed monolithic glass is sturdy! 

Its a masterpiece of industrial design and 40y ago it would have been state of the art. 

Its a good little sailing boat in its own right. 

But it is wildly overpriced for what it is. 

I wouldn't have an issue with this if I got the impression that some of the profit was being reinvested, rather than a long killing of the golden goose. 

I completely agree with that, Dan.

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6 hours ago, Daniel Holman said:

Agreed monolithic glass is sturdy! 

Its a masterpiece of industrial design and 40y ago it would have been state of the art. 

Its a good little sailing boat in its own right. 

But it is wildly overpriced for what it is. 

I wouldn't have an issue with this if I got the impression that some of the profit was being reinvested, rather than a long killing of the golden goose. 

It’s this type of stupid, loudmouth thinking that ruins threads like this.

So Dan, what is the exact profit you would decree a sailboat builder get to make?
Do you want to write it down here and then tell every builder what is reasonable, and what is not?
Maybe everyone should ask you how to do everything, because you seem to know exactly how to do it.
Imagine you are running a small sailboat manufacturing business already and would just open up your books to show everyone how it’s done?

 

I hate LP was much as the next sailor, but this sort of uneducated, stupid nonsense just pollutes the internet and sucks out the oxygen in what could be an interesting conversation.

Things cost what they cost, this isn’t communism.
You’re probably the same guy at boat shows who goes ‘where are the fleets?’ and then walks off the stand after finding out there aren’t 75 boats racing two blocks from his house, on his preferred night of the week, with free equipment provided by the manufacturer ‘in the name of growing the sport’

Thanks for sharing your inane opinions on the matter.  We’re all dumber for having heard it.

If Lasers were free, you’d still find something to bitch about, so please just stop bitching publicly.  It’s just annoying for everyone who isn’t quite as smart as you.
 

 

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33 minutes ago, BlatantEcho said:


You’re probably the same guy at boat shows who goes ‘where are the fleets?’ and then walks off the stand after finding out there aren’t 75 boats racing two blocks from his house, on his preferred night of the week, with free equipment provided by the manufacturer ‘in the name of growing the sport’

 

Not exactly...
 

 

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1 hour ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

It’s this type of stupid, loudmouth thinking that ruins threads like this.

...

Thanks for sharing your inane opinions on the matter.  We’re all dumber for having heard it.
 

 

Your sister eat your Easter eggs or something?

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1 hour ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

It’s this type of stupid, loudmouth thinking that ruins threads like this.

So Dan, what is the exact profit you would decree a sailboat builder get to make?
Do you want to write it down here and then tell every builder what is reasonable, and what is not?
Maybe everyone should ask you how to do everything, because you seem to know exactly how to do it.
Imagine you are running a small sailboat manufacturing business already and would just open up your books to show everyone how it’s done?

 

I hate LP was much as the next sailor, but this sort of uneducated, stupid nonsense just pollutes the internet and sucks out the oxygen in what could be an interesting conversation.

Things cost what they cost, this isn’t communism.
You’re probably the same guy at boat shows who goes ‘where are the fleets?’ and then walks off the stand after finding out there aren’t 75 boats racing two blocks from his house, on his preferred night of the week, with free equipment provided by the manufacturer ‘in the name of growing the sport’

Thanks for sharing your inane opinions on the matter.  We’re all dumber for having heard it.

If Lasers were free, you’d still find something to bitch about, so please just stop bitching publicly.  It’s just annoying for everyone who isn’t quite as smart as you.
 

 

You go know he designs dinghys  for a living as well as being one hell of a sailor don’t you ? So he has more than a little idea of how much it costs to build a dinghy .

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11 hours ago, Curious said:

This Jon Boat sells for $1485.50US at Walmart. 

Jon Boat.jpeg

 

That thing looks like a double handed Opti. Those would be great for our program. Perfect for a couple of newbie 8 year olds. Does Walmart ship to AU? They would cost $2085 AUD plus shipping. Looks like they would  stack in the container. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow some ridiculous stuff about manufacturing and cost, what the builders are or not doing, who could be building them  etc,etc. Oh wait it's the internet

Someone should contact Robert Morrison's son Richard  about building Laser hulls.

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Just imagine what Bruce Kirby might have been able to do if he had of gone to university. He could of been Walmart's in-house N.A

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Looking forward to one day getting to sail a D Zero, great looking product of obviously a lot of work by creative people.

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10 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

It’s this type of stupid, loudmouth thinking that ruins threads like this.

So Dan, what is the exact profit you would decree a sailboat builder get to make?
Do you want to write it down here and then tell every builder what is reasonable, and what is not?
Maybe everyone should ask you how to do everything, because you seem to know exactly how to do it.
Imagine you are running a small sailboat manufacturing business already and would just open up your books to show everyone how it’s done?

 

I hate LP was much as the next sailor, but this sort of uneducated, stupid nonsense just pollutes the internet and sucks out the oxygen in what could be an interesting conversation.

Things cost what they cost, this isn’t communism.
You’re probably the same guy at boat shows who goes ‘where are the fleets?’ and then walks off the stand after finding out there aren’t 75 boats racing two blocks from his house, on his preferred night of the week, with free equipment provided by the manufacturer ‘in the name of growing the sport’

Thanks for sharing your inane opinions on the matter.  We’re all dumber for having heard it.

If Lasers were free, you’d still find something to bitch about, so please just stop bitching publicly.  It’s just annoying for everyone who isn’t quite as smart as you.
 

 

Sorry to have upset you, comrade!

If we set aside how vapid or otherwise my contributions might be, I will admit I sold my last laser, a 140000 era shed that had been in the family since 1993 a few years back - maybe 2015, but I've owned 10 lasers (and countless more sails, spars, parts etc) over the years and done at least 2,000 hours of laser sailing, some of which during the beginning of the Rastegar era. I've designed a few boats - production to custom, racing to leisure, built a lot of boats in a variety of ways, and for the production stuff I have had intimate knowledge of the financials,  so I think that entitles me to some opinion on the matter, no? 

I don't own a boat manufacturing concern and praise Allah every day in that regard.

Of course it is facile to say in absolute terms what profit a builder should make. Of course its not communism and if you go to any dinghy show there are plenty of boats to chose from in a semi competitive market, albeit not many that are Olympic AND Youth pathway boats AND frankly, everywhere.


I personally would like to see a sailboat maker make a profit if his product is good, with some proportionality to volume, such that he has a sustainable business and can support his customers and people who like what his customers are getting and also want to get involved. Maybe even invest a bit back into his business, R&D etc. This is often not the case in small sailboat world with a few exceptions. Of course this is all first world stuff, guys moaning about the value that they feel that they are getting from their luxury purchase.

I don't like seeing the abuse of monopoly positions, crap governannce and / or incompetance, and defence thereof,  regardless of how little it might directly affect me. Who does? Internet would be pretty boring if everyone rolled over and accepted it.

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I really like the d-zero, I would have bought one except there aren’t any in the US let alone any fleets. If I had to pick a boat to replace the laser in the Olympics it would be this one by a landslide 

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Cheers LTFF - pretty sure a couple of zeros have snuck over the pond in containers with Devoti Finns. Possibly New York State.  But I am realistic that wouldn’t swing a purchase decision for most! 

Dan

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8 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

 

I see you quoted me

After you wrote what is below responding to Emilio, someone who is actually active in the class in a positive way,   I no longer read any of your nonsense.

 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/206926-laser-c6-rig-from-the-front-page/&page=2&tab=comments#comment-6525460

 

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26 minutes ago, VWAP said:

I see you quoted me

After you wrote what is below responding to Emilio, someone who is actually active in the class in a positive way,   I no longer read any of your nonsense.

 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/206926-laser-c6-rig-from-the-front-page/&page=2&tab=comments#comment-6525460

 

The fact you make your comments in these forums behind the safety of anonymity clearly demonstrates you find your comments to be unacceptable. 

You are AFRAID someone might find out what you write here.

Until such time as you identify yourself and put your own reputation behind your comments, reasonable people are all aware you  absolutely consider the comments you make here to be such garbage their existence wouid most certainly harm your reputation. 

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An important factor when discussing costs and margin is volume. Manufacturing costs change radically with volume and scale. It's particularly hard when volume shrinks over time - you are geared and staffed for 5k boats a year and the volume falls over a few years to 2k.

Do you invest to turn it around? Does that effort succeed, and is that growth commensurate with the investment (did you double your spend for a 10% growth? When  and how do you carefully scale down if nothing is working?  

IME it's way harder for organizations to scale down than up.

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6 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

An important factor when discussing costs and margin is volume. Manufacturing costs change radically with volume and scale. It's particularly hard when volume shrinks over time - you are geared and staffed for 5k boats a year and the volume falls over a few years to 2k.

Do you invest to turn it around? Does that effort succeed, and is that growth commensurate with the investment (did you double your spend for a 10% growth? When  and how do you carefully scale down if nothing is working?  

IME it's way harder for organizations to scale down than up.

There have been about 2000 new Lasers built - globally - each year for over a decade, and it was a pretty gradual decline to that number since the hey-days. The last time there was 5000 Lasers built in a year - globally - was in the mid-80s. So fairly predictable. The big variable would be the other 10 boats LPE sell.

In any event, I have determined trying to understand how LPE functioned - and continue to function - by looking at their old financials and corporate info is a mug's game. 

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I started sailing lasers in the 70’s on Lake St Louis, and for various crimes and misdemeanours put in a few shifts at PSI – so some imperfect lasers back in the day had my fingerprints on them. I love the laser and always will – I’ve had six hulls - still have one and enjoy it immensely. But it’s an old design that’s expensive to make and not really current. It reminds me of some of my favourite cars that where in their day enormously successful but ultimately took more person hours to build than much better quality modern competitors so they died off.

But one thing the Laser has ...if you want a one person one design dingy with competitive racing  in many places and many levels...it’s the go to boat (at least for now).

I’d love to see the Laser updated for modern production ...

But then I’d also love to see these vehicles re-introduced (ain’t going to happen)

2cvimports-2cv-citroen-charleston.jpg

15922588-1976-volkswagen-westfalia-campe

 

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4 hours ago, KC375 said:

I started sailing lasers in the 70’s on Lake St Louis, and for various crimes and misdemeanours put in a few shifts at PSI – so some imperfect lasers back in the day had my fingerprints on them. I love the laser and always will – I’ve had six hulls - still have one and enjoy it immensely. But it’s an old design that’s expensive to make and not really current. It reminds me of some of my favourite cars that where in their day enormously successful but ultimately took more person hours to build than much better quality modern competitors so they died off.

 

But one thing the Laser has ...if you want a one person one design dingy with competitive racing  in many places and many levels...it’s the go to boat (at least for now).

 

I’d love to see the Laser updated for modern production ...

 

But then I’d also love to see these vehicles re-introduced (ain’t going to happen)

 

 

2cvimports-2cv-citroen-charleston.jpg

15922588-1976-volkswagen-westfalia-campe

 

 

Interesting perspective... in the distant past I owned three small Citroens and three VW campers (serially)... but the "modern" versions that have replaced them are overpriced, overcomplicated and lack the core strengths of the originals...

 My current campervan is a Toyota: simple, well built and reliable using well proven (read, old fashioned) technology. 

 Not sure what this says about dinghies... but I do know that over half the fleet racing at my club this weekend were Lasers, about a third youth sailors at various stages of their careers, and another third their parents... that isn't going to happen in any other class in the foreseeable future... Only the Laser can deliver it.

 

Cheers,

               W.

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13 hours ago, KC375 said:

I love the laser and always will

I’d love to see the Laser updated for modern production ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two assertions seems inconsistent to me.  If you update how do you avoid obsoleting the thousands and thousands of Lasers out there?  I think its fair to say an Aero represents an updated Laser.  If somebody wants to sail an Aero they should.  Obviously a bit more expensive and far fewer of them but it seems to be a great boat.  On the flip side why not let people who want to Lasers sail them without change, regardless if its the club level folks who like the accessibility of affordable used hulls everywhere as well as generic parts and sails (and yes I realize what that opens the door too), or the Masters sailor who love the big fleets and fact that there are Laser fleets everywhere?  Regardless of if somebody supports the builder or the class association or both, why does this always turn into Laser should change and update?  The whole point of OD is that it doesn't change. 

Good grief we need some real news but alas I suspect its still going to be a little bit. 

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Other classes have changed construction materials and mehods yet survived.  Would it be a seamless transition?  No, but I think it could be done.  You also need to consider the cost of maintaining the status quo.

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44 minutes ago, Wess said:

 

These two assertions seems inconsistent to me.  If you update how do you avoid obsoleting the thousands and thousands of Lasers out there? ...

 

34 minutes ago, torrid said:

Other classes have changed construction materials and mehods yet survived.  Would it be a seamless transition?  No, but I think it could be done.  You also need to consider the cost of maintaining the status quo.

You can update the Laser in multiple ways.

At the very least you should update the manufacturing techniques without changing the performance. Allowing new and old to race together....and as discussed previously the old become less competitive over time so already there is a performance gap. I think at least this much should happen. It is just stupid to spend unneeded money in production that yields no benefit.

You can update the boat so it has the same performance (speed around a course) but improved ergonomics (yes reduced sailor fatigue could lead to improved performance over multiple races / long races).

You can gradually feed in changes so that any generation of boats stays competitive but yes older boats fall off (but they do anyway)...a number of development classes have managed this (sort of)...my I14 stayed competitive for a while as I tweaked it but no way would it be competitive now...

But at the very least update the manufacturing so as to give the builder a chance to make money and keep costs down.

A well prepped beautiful wood Albacore is still competitive with a new one but would cost a fortune to build compared with a new one.

 

DSC_0140.jpg

 

If you want to sail a classic singlehander I suppose you could sail a Finn

ff2w.jpg

Myself I like to sail a Laser...its a plastic boat...no particular soul...so make it the cheapest most efficient way possible

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3 minutes ago, KC375 said:

 

At the very least you should update the manufacturing techniques without changing the performance. 

But at the very least update the manufacturing so as to give the builder a chance to make money and keep costs down.

 

Thought you were down an Aero path.  I misunderstood you.  Totally on board with this.  That said I would guess that the bulk of most ILCA members (actual members not just any Laser sailor) are more conservative re changes and the SMOD roots.

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45 minutes ago, KC375 said:

 

If you want to sail a classic singlehander I suppose you could sail a Finn

 

Agree with your comments. The wooden vs. glass Albacore is a great example.

The Finn has gone down the same path as you advocate for the Laser. Take a look at a new Finn (Petticrows, Devoti, Pata) and compare with older Finns. In the UK there is "classic" Finn racing where one can find a wooden hull or older glass hull and race with or without a modern carbon mast and sail. See:

http://finnuk.org.uk/carbon/

I'm not advocating a "classic" Laser.

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5 hours ago, Alan Crawford said:

Agree with your comments. The wooden vs. glass Albacore is a great example.

The Finn has gone down the same path as you advocate for the Laser. Take a look at a new Finn (Petticrows, Devoti, Pata) and compare with older Finns. In the UK there is "classic" Finn racing where one can find a wooden hull or older glass hull and race with or without a modern carbon mast and sail. See:

http://finnuk.org.uk/carbon/

I'm not advocating a "classic" Laser.

 Buying a Finn is very similar to the new Star Boat we purchased and I doubt the Laser will ever be the same or should it be 

New Finn less mast and sails

http://www.nbsailsports.com.au/store/product-info.php?pid924.html

 

Investment in Finn equipment is just that – an investment. It is not a cost. There is no need to buy 10 hulls and 50 masts just to find the one that is the way you like it. You buy one of each and it comes from the builder the way you like

https://www.finnclass.org/news/20-news/1019-global-spread-equipment-longevity-and-youth-appeal

 

http://devotisailing.com/finn/

So he accepted the challenge from his friend Lanfranco Cirillo, another Finn enthusiast, and hired the famous ocean racer designer Juan Kouyoumdjian to design a totally new hull. The result is the D-Fantastica launched in September 2014, a totally new Finn that once again proved tremendously competitive.

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15 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Interesting perspective... in the distant past I owned three small Citroens and three VW campers (serially)... but the "modern" versions that have replaced them are overpriced, overcomplicated and lack the core strengths of the originals...

 My current campervan is a Toyota: simple, well built and reliable using well proven (read, old fashioned) technology. 

 Not sure what this says about dinghies... but I do know that over half the fleet racing at my club this weekend were Lasers, about a third youth sailors at various stages of their careers, and another third their parents... that isn't going to happen in any other class in the foreseeable future... Only the Laser can deliver it.

 

Cheers,

               W.

Many Laser sailors race on  or  own other boats. For some of us it is our main focus some it is not. 

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2 hours ago, VWAP said:

 Buying a Finn is very similar to the new Star Boat we purchased and I doubt the Laser will ever be the same or should it be 

New Finn less mast and sails

http://www.nbsailsports.com.au/store/product-info.php?pid924.html

 

Investment in Finn equipment is just that – an investment. It is not a cost. There is no need to buy 10 hulls and 50 masts just to find the one that is the way you like it. You buy one of each and it comes from the builder the way you like

https://www.finnclass.org/news/20-news/1019-global-spread-equipment-longevity-and-youth-appeal

 

http://devotisailing.com/finn/

So he accepted the challenge from his friend Lanfranco Cirillo, another Finn enthusiast, and hired the famous ocean racer designer Juan Kouyoumdjian to design a totally new hull. The result is the D-Fantastica launched in September 2014, a totally new Finn that once again proved tremendously competitive.

Misleading link, the Petticrows off the factory floor should be about 14000 USD, the owner of NBSailsports has a tendency to mark up prices since he's the only game in town (and I believe one of the only PSA dealers as well). New Pata should be about 17000 USD and a new Fantastica should be about 22000 USD depending on options. WIlke mast is about 6000 USD, Pata and HIT/Celidh/Whatever their name this week is runs about 5000 USD.

The big difference is that a Finn mast exploding is pretty uncommon, and hulls tend to be competitive for at least a quad (or if you're Sir Ben and you take your 2003 and put it under the knife every couple of years) The Fantastica advantage is negated in light air and certain sea states, and hulls don't really fall apart that quickly-Jose Doreste won the 350-boat 2018 Masters in an...I want to say 2009 boat?

Olympic-caliber guys usually have 2-3 boats and 3-6 masts to pick from, Giles had seven boats built with little differences in the layup locations and laminate schedule and only ended up using two of them. Granted the guy was Ainslie's sparring partner and has probably forgotten more than any of us will ever know about Finn sailing, but it isn't always a "buy once-cry once" scenario. The first couple of Fantastica runs had really horrible quality control issues after Devoti moved back to Poland from the Czech Republic, like the pintles not being on centerline and the hull to deck joint delaminating at the bow. 

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9 hours ago, VWAP said:

So LPE now sells the identical boat at a 22.5% discount without the hull plaque and sail button, for which they were paying a massive $24 per boat for both. Therefore, LPE are either admitting they can make money on the boat selling it for about $1,700 less, or intent on losing money to prove a point. Right?

Concerning the sails, Intensity also sells sails for Optis, 420's, Flying Scots, Sunfish, FJ's, JY15's, Albacore and Hobies at a fraction of the cost of the Hydes and Norths of the world. Are all the Flying Scot guys calling foul? Or is the Laser sail the only one that Intensity does a good job on? If you could buy a Laser sail from P&B, McNamara, HD, etc, would the price be the same as Intensity? Or the price of North? Are Hyde and North getting these sails built offshore for cheap and extorting all the Laser sailors?

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2 hours ago, hoom said:

https://xkcd.com/386/

XKCD is amazeballs (also extra punchlines in tooltip)

thank you for crediting. I was not so thoughtful in my post!

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8 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Misleading link, the Petticrows off the factory floor should be about 14000 USD, the owner of NBSailsports has a tendency to mark up prices since he's the only game in town (and I believe one of the only PSA dealers as well). New Pata should be about 17000 USD and a new Fantastica should be about 22000 USD depending on options. WIlke mast is about 6000 USD, Pata and HIT/Celidh/Whatever their name this week is runs about 5000 USD.

The big difference is that a Finn mast exploding is pretty uncommon, and hulls tend to be competitive for at least a quad (or if you're Sir Ben and you take your 2003 and put it under the knife every couple of years) The Fantastica advantage is negated in light air and certain sea states, and hulls don't really fall apart that quickly-Jose Doreste won the 350-boat 2018 Masters in an...I want to say 2009 boat?

Olympic-caliber guys usually have 2-3 boats and 3-6 masts to pick from, Giles had seven boats built with little differences in the layup locations and laminate schedule and only ended up using two of them. Granted the guy was Ainslie's sparring partner and has probably forgotten more than any of us will ever know about Finn sailing, but it isn't always a "buy once-cry once" scenario. The first couple of Fantastica runs had really horrible quality control issues after Devoti moved back to Poland from the Czech Republic, like the pintles not being on centerline and the hull to deck joint delaminating at the bow. 

$14,000 USD is $19964 AU at current exchange rates. Australian GST is 10% so that brings the price up to $21,960.  Add duty and it's $23,058. So that leaves $4000 for dealing with Petticrows, arranging shipping, paying for the boat to be collected from the manufacturer, packed (?), freighted from the UK to Australia, checked by customs and quarantine, brought out of the docks, and then sent to PSA. Is that "marking up" or is it actually a fairly reasonable deal?

It's interesting to hear that the Olympic Finn sailors have 2-3 boats and 3-6 masts. I have been told straight to my face by Olympic Laser sailors they don't have that many boats. I also know (because I used to train with him) that one of our Olympic medallists didn't even have his own boat but used a club boat for months on end.

 

 

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