Wess

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

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2 hours ago, Sailinginmygenes said:

Can anyone confirm that laser performance are now in receivership, I was told this by a member of their staff, I had heard they were in trouble and are even trying to sell their boats and some product on eBay.

The mesh of companies and ownership round Laser Performance is so complicated its hard to know what's true. Laser Performance (Europe) is moribund, its got virtually nothing in the way of employees or assets and doesn't appear to be significantly trading. On the Companies house website its now listed as a Dormant Company. Trademarks are held by  company called Velum Limited. Current Laser builders appear to be Laser Performance LLC, which is an American company with a recently established UK presence. That's listed in Companies House as active. So I'm inclined to think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what you've heard.

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21 minutes ago, Schteiny said:

The boat is no longer the entry-level bargain it once was. Compared to what?

In other markets perhaps decent used boats may be plentiful. I think that in North America that is not the case except in sailing hotbeds and even there the prices are much higher than $3000. The Laser Forum is loaded with 2008 and newer boats starting in the $3,500 range and maxing out at in the $5,000.00 USD range for a 2019 boat in FL right now.  If you're looking for a used Finn that gets you a hull, rudder boom and lines on an OLD boat. 

 

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2 hours ago, RobbieB said:

wow.  39 4.7's!

81 radials, too! damn if that doesn't rule - not exactly surprising as at our biggest two D12 regattas last year, the youth sailors in Radial were close to or outnumbering the adult sailors in the full sail. Which, in my mind, whips ass. I'll have to do some research but it seemed like we had a healthy mix of boys and girls, too.

It's great to see the 4.7 catching on. fantastic!

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Here’s an allegory for those who wonder how a coup to replace the bad people at LPE with a membership led committee turns out. International Laser Class bad, ILCA good...

 

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17 hours ago, Sailinginmygenes said:

Can anyone confirm that laser performance are now in receivership, I was told this by a member of their staff, I had heard they were in trouble and are even trying to sell their boats and some product on eBay.

Apparently  they have got no stock at Long Buckby only a load of laser hulls without plaques or fittings because they have continued to build them after they had lost their builders license.

Is this a way of getting out of paying the Bruce Kirby damages and also their suppliers if this is true.

 

Yes

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You know you both can be correct...

17 hours ago, Schteiny said:

The ILCA will never recreate the ubiquity of the Laser Class. Everyone knows this to be true. The class now exists solely as a elite sailor development platform. Cheap to enter, perhaps, but it’s pay to win. The numbers will likely continue to dwindle in this environment. Very sad. 

 

17 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Everything is what you make of it.  There is a healthy used market, (as you point out) where there's a low cost of entry for club level and regional level Laser sailors of all ages, (from Opti or Bic platform up) to pickup a race ready boat and compete almost anywhere and have a decent OD fleet.  This boat is still creating the best tactical sailors in the world and it's still the most popular singlehanded OD boat.  While it's possible, (anything is possible) it could fade away I don't believe that is likely.  Amid all the chaos D12 has had one of the most successful seasons ever and rolling into 2020 with a big head of steam.  While I don't foresee many in our district shelling out $9,000.00+ for a new Laser I also don't see anyone shelling out $9,000.00+ for an Aero or more for a Melges.  Neither one of those platforms have a low entry price option like the Laser does and likely won't for quite some time.  So, you can sit around a few years, (hand ringing over the bad ILCA overlord's) and do nothing while you're waiting for that $3,000.00 Aero.  Or you can get online tomorrow, find your pretty nice $3,000.00 Laser and have a great 2020 regatta season.  Again, it's gonna be what you make of it.

 

15 hours ago, Schteiny said:

So from your perspective, the attraction of the class rests upon the past glory of the Laser class. In my mind it is very much the same as Star or Finn. If I wanted to begin sailing any of these classes the price is quite low but if I want to be competitive the price is considerably higher. This is not how the Laser class functioned in its heyday. The boat is no longer the entry-level bargain it once was. In other markets perhaps decent used boats may be plentiful. I think that in North America that is not the case except in sailing hotbeds and even there the prices are much higher than $3000. I assume that is because the supply has been restricted for some time. The ILCA is hoping on an explosion in the Asian market. Don’t hold your breath. 

What would most benefit Laser fleets at the club level is not what the elite want and what the elite do want - and they control ILCA - is contrary to the interests of club level sailors.  Because you don't grow from the top, I agree with you Schteiny, that ultimately the actions of current ILCA leadership will kill the class or at least bifurcate it.

That said I would (and have) said to anyone looking to get into single-handed dinghy racing even at the entry, grass roots, club level... get a Laser.  I am getting a new boat would not buy an Aero at even 1/4 of its current price.  Honestly would not take it for free.  Nothing wrong with the boat or the people/fleet... there just isn't enough of them and there will not be for a decade or more.  Yea its a better boat but if you want to race a OD single-handed dinghy then keep in mind you are buying the fleet not the boat.  And at both the club and elite levels the Laser fleets are far bigger and more common than Aero fleets.  Unless you happen to like to travel long distances to find a fleet I can't imagine why anyone would buy an Aero over a Laser.  The Laser is simply a bigger and more common fleet at any and all levels (entry to elite) and geographies.  The current class leadership may suck (or you may love them depending on your perspective) but they don't matter much at the club level.  Most club level Laser sailors don't join ILCA and they do whatever is in the best interest of their local club and fleet.  ILCA is officially opposed to generic parts and sails but both these tings are widely used at the club level.  If generic boats ever emerged in a sustainable way (I doubt they will - don't think LPE and its club boat survives and ILCA is proactively trying to kill other pathways to this end); they would likely be adopted at the club level as well irregardless of ILCA's official position.  The one point I would disagree with Robbie on is the price of used Lasers.  The prices are going up while the quality is going down.  That $3000 "pretty nice" used Laser is actually a pretty rare bird were it didn't used to be.  If this trend continues - and it may given how ILCA actions have resulted in huge price increases for new boats - things could change and the Aero might supplant Laser faster but I honestly doubt it.

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17 hours ago, RobbieB said:

hand ringing over the bad ILCA overlord's

LOL Tiller said that its PSA that are the overlords which I think makes ILCA leadership their minions!  WS plays the role of the evil villain I am guessing.

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12 hours ago, sosoomii said:

Here’s an allegory for those who wonder how a coup to replace the bad people at LPE with a membership led committee turns out. International Laser Class bad, ILCA good...

 

"A coup to replace the bad people at LPE with a membership led committee."

Did something happen while I was sleeping? 
 

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17 minutes ago, tillerman said:

"A coup to replace the bad people at LPE with a membership led committee."

Did something happen while I was sleeping? 
 

Yes Laser was booted out of the Olympics because it ain't a Laser anymore, and the Aero was inserted.  But then because they weren't FRANDLY they got booted too and the Finn was re-selected.  Then in an odd alliance Gouv and Rasty stormed the Texas fort and took over control of ILCA.  ILCA leadership in turn took over the Aero class.  While all this was going on WS took out a loan and already defaulted on it. But have no fear, they are increasing fees on the Aero in order to survive.  Finally Kirby announced he was launching the Torch class and boats, not to focus on Olympics but rather to carry the torch of his and Bruce's original concept of a simple affordable SMOD boat and would be selling what are essentially generic Lasers at $4K per unit.  I was then I realized I was dreaming...

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17 minutes ago, tillerman said:

"A coup to replace the bad people at LPE with a membership led committee."

Did something happen while I was sleeping? 
 

Depends how long you’ve been asleep! :)

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13 minutes ago, Wess said:

Yes Laser was booted out of the Olympics because it ain't a Laser anymore, and the Aero was inserted.  But then because they weren't FRANDLY they got booted too and the Finn was re-selected.  Then in an odd alliance Gouv and Rasty stormed the Texas fort and took over control of ILCA.  ILCA leadership in turn took over the Aero class.  While all this was going on WS took out a loan and already defaulted on it. But have no fear, they are increasing fees on the Aero in order to survive.  Finally Kirby announced he was launching the Torch class and boats, not to focus on Olympics but rather to carry the torch of his and Bruce's original concept of a simple affordable SMOD boat and would be selling what are essentially generic Lasers at $4K per unit.  I was then I realized I was dreaming...

Now that's funny!

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45 minutes ago, Wess said:

You know you both can be correct...

 

 

What would most benefit Laser fleets at the club level is not what the elite want and what the elite do want - and they control ILCA - is contrary to the interests of club level sailors.  Because you don't grow from the top, I agree with you Schteiny, that ultimately the actions of current ILCA leadership will kill the class or at least bifurcate it.

That said I would (and have) said to anyone looking to get into single-handed dinghy racing even at the entry, grass roots, club level... get a Laser.  I am getting a new boat would not buy an Aero at even 1/4 of its current price.  Honestly would not take it for free.  Nothing wrong with the boat or the people/fleet... there just isn't enough of them and there will not be for a decade or more.  Yea its a better boat but if you want to race a OD single-handed dinghy then keep in mind you are buying the fleet not the boat.  And at both the club and elite levels the Laser fleets are far bigger and more common than Aero fleets.  Unless you happen to like to travel long distances to find a fleet I can't imagine why anyone would buy an Aero over a Laser.  The Laser is simply a bigger and more common fleet at any and all levels (entry to elite) and geographies.  The current class leadership may suck (or you may love them depending on your perspective) but they don't matter much at the club level.  Most club level Laser sailors don't join ILCA and they do whatever is in the best interest of their local club and fleet.  ILCA is officially opposed to generic parts and sails but both these tings are widely used at the club level.  If generic boats ever emerged in a sustainable way (I doubt they will - don't think LPE and its club boat survives and ILCA is proactively trying to kill other pathways to this end); they would likely be adopted at the club level as well irregardless of ILCA's official position.  The one point I would disagree with Robbie on is the price of used Lasers.  The prices are going up while the quality is going down.  That $3000 "pretty nice" used Laser is actually a pretty rare bird were it didn't used to be.  If this trend continues - and it may given how ILCA actions have resulted in huge price increases for new boats - things could change and the Aero might supplant Laser faster but I honestly doubt it.

Well I just hooked a buddy up with a sweet/very little used 2006 or 2009 Laser for $3,000.00 last night so.... Guess it's all in who/what you know?  Anyhow, fully agree that both of us can be right and the folks at the top aren't always making the best decisions.  Just look at World Sailing for God's sake.  That whole entity just needs to be shuttered.

Grass grows when it's fertilized and that can only happen on the ground.  However, it needs rain too and that comes from the top.  In the end you have to have strong leadership to keep something strong globally.  Grass roots at best is effective regionally.  Some classes do their best to keep things going nationally, but when you have 20 boats show up at a national event something is not working. (I'm referring to older classes, not start ups).

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57 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Now that's funny!

Yea, ILCA now stands for International Lesser Class of Aeros. :P

51 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Well I just hooked a buddy up with a sweet/very little used 2006 or 2009 Laser for $3,000.00 last night so.... Guess it's all in who/what you know?  Anyhow, fully agree that both of us can be right and the folks at the top aren't always making the best decisions.  Just look at World Sailing for God's sake.  That whole entity just needs to be shuttered.

Grass grows when it's fertilized and that can only happen on the ground.  However, it needs rain too and that comes from the top.  In the end you have to have strong leadership to keep something strong globally.  Grass roots at best is effective regionally.  Some classes do their best to keep things going nationally, but when you have 20 boats show up at a national event something is not working. (I'm referring to older classes, not start ups).

I think (?) the used Laser market is very geographically specific.  The more new boats come into an area - and I am guessing that down by you and FL especially you see far more new ones - the more affordable the used boat market is.  Where you rarely see new boats, the used boats can pull higher prices. 

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Somehow this band and song seem highly appropriate to the current situation.  No matter who you think the rat(t) is!!

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Wess said:

Somehow this band and song seem highly appropriate to the current situation.  No matter who you think the rat(t) is!!

 

 

God I hated that song....

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Ratt distinguished themselves by having the shittiest, least creative music of the entire hair band era while somehow having the absolutely hottest fans.

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7 hours ago, Wess said:

Yes

Asset stripping to declare insolvency isn’t exactly the greatest idea or particularly legal though.

Presumably they’ll just continue with one of their many other companies and kick this case down the road for another decade or so. Maybe Velum will actually build a Laser.

LP have been trading under Laser Sailboats Ltd in the UK for the last few years. The Laserperformance that lost the case has not had anything going through the books since. It was one of the main reasons they were demanding that the ILCA sign their new ‘redesigned’ agreement.

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4 hours ago, Old Yeller said:

First time I have seen this:

"Meanwhile the International Laser Class Association is proceeding with the selection and issuance of new Building Licences, and is working through a short list of Builders around the world.

New tooling from master moulds held by the class have been created and sent to the short-listed builders who will have to make their own jigs and then build a sample of ten ILCA Lasers which will be scrutinised by measurers for compliance with the Class Construction Manual before their licence application is approved or declined.

It is expected that process will take "a few weeks" after which new ILCA legal Lasers will be able to be supplied under a competitive model without restriction as to territory or prices."

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Any consensus on what constitutes a grassroots Laser sailor? I was super keen "in the day", but now I race as often as I can on Thursday nights, and try to get in a couple club regattas. I have been to 2 nationals in the past 20 years - they were both within 3 hours. What am I (easy, now...)?

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On 2/14/2020 at 8:57 PM, aroy210677 said:

It is not carbon. The composite section is identical weight and has as close as possible bend characteristics as the Al section.  

This is not true.

The new composite section is lighter (.5 - .65lbs depending on the AL section measured against).
So, it’s about 10% less weight at the top 2/3rds of the mast.


I’d say the deflection is ‘similar’ - but the reaction and flexibility / whippiness of the mast is certainly quite different.
If you don’t sail Lasers - you can just look at the top sailors, and see who still uses the significantly heavier alloy top section for racing.

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2 hours ago, bill4 said:

First time I have seen this:

"Meanwhile the International Laser Class Association is proceeding with the selection and issuance of new Building Licences, and is working through a short list of Builders around the world.

New tooling from master moulds held by the class have been created and sent to the short-listed builders who will have to make their own jigs and then build a sample of ten ILCA Lasers which will be scrutinised by measurers for compliance with the Class Construction Manual before their licence application is approved or declined.

It is expected that process will take "a few weeks" after which new ILCA legal Lasers will be able to be supplied under a competitive model without restriction as to territory or prices."

 

The first sentence is true - well, ‘factual’ at least.

The second sentence is not true.

The third sentence is not only not-true, but it’s disingenuous at best, and patently false and dishonest more accurately.

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Rule for written communication: Any sentence that starts with 'it is expected' should be ignored.  

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There's a judgment form from the jury up on scuttlefuck 

 

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35 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

There's a judgment form from the jury up on scuttlefuck 

 

That's a whole lotta money

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43 minutes ago, WCB said:

That's a whole lotta money

there are two intriguing things about that form.  

 

1) It suggests that there are punitive damages still to be decided upon

2) LPE and HMI both have been judged culpable, but there's nothing about whether they are jointly and severally liable.

 

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3 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

The first sentence is true - well, ‘factual’ at least.

The second sentence is not true.

The third sentence is not only not-true, but it’s disingenuous at best, and patently false and dishonest more accurately.

So the author just made up the second and third sentences?  

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4 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

This is not true.

The new composite section is lighter (.5 - .65lbs depending on the AL section measured against).
So, it’s about 10% less weight at the top 2/3rds of the mast.


I’d say the deflection is ‘similar’ - but the reaction and flexibility / whippiness of the mast is certainly quite different.
If you don’t sail Lasers - you can just look at the top sailors, and see who still uses the significantly heavier alloy top section for racing.

https://southeastsailboats.co.uk/uncategorized/composite-top-section-myth-busting-and-what-you-need-to-know/

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6 hours ago, WCB said:

That's a whole lotta money

Should any of it ever be paid, and doubtless there's a few more years of appeals and things to go through yet.


Its all of minimal interest to sailors though. Its the contracts between BKI and the Laser companies that could make a difference in the unlikely event that the dysfunctional US legal system reaches a conclusion before we're all underground.

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9 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

The first sentence is true - well, ‘factual’ at least.

The second sentence is not true.

The third sentence is not only not-true, but it’s disingenuous at best, and patently false and dishonest more accurately.

What makes you think the second sentence is not true?

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5 hours ago, bill4 said:

For what it’s worth, as someone who has sold maybe 200+ composite top sections to customers so far....

They are certainly lighter than AL ones.
There is simply no objective way to say otherwise.

I’ve personally weighed dozens of composite sections, against a sample of aluminum sections from various eras. Yes, AL top sections change weights regularly... But, every composite top section was around .5 pounds less than AL ones. 

Happy to be proven wrong with someone who has measured more than I personally have, but it’s what I do for a living.
(well, I’m retired in December... but, still)  


I’m not a good enough sailor personally to educate everyone on how the comp. mast bends vs. al... but in my experience, it was different (especially with the MkII sail). I would say it felt more ‘springy’ - but, again, not an Olympic Laser sailor or anything like that. Just a guy who’s sold the equipment and raced it for 15 years.

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5 hours ago, bill4 said:

So the author just made up the second and third sentences?  

It would sure appear that way.

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51 minutes ago, greenwhiteblack said:

What makes you think the second sentence is not true?

I have no reason to believe it’s true either, actually.

I’ve been in contact with every one of the potential new builders, and, unless they are lying to me, none of them have any new tooling.

In fact, I don’t believe the new tooling has all been built yet.


Let’s SAY it was all built already hull and deck molds all - maybe in a geographically convenient place like... the UK.
Ok, great, that’s done.

And magically in February it was airfreighted (super cheap way to get molds places) to all the builders around the world who were marked as ‘approved’ (who, of course, haven’t signed contracts yet, but, let’s ignore that).


Then, yes, I am sure once they got their shipment via airfreight in 7 days..., they instantly built all the supporting jigs and tools that same week, and are already ready to produce boats in a few weeks! 

 

Unfortunately - this is fantasy land stuff - and completely at odds with any facts I have been told or know.
 


Listen guys, we’re desperate for a solution to the woes of all this too.  I promise, we want to supply sailors worldwide with the gear they are used to buying from WCS. This has been what we’re good at for years. It’s what we do - and have an entire staff built around accomplishing...

But, if you think 7 builders, are going to be ready to supply new boats, in a few weeks - that’s just.... I mean, I have no words.
My best estimate would be Q3 2020 for anyone to have new boats, approved, finished and in condition that the market might want to buy them. If someone put a gun to my head, I would say Q4 2020 or Q1 2021 for any of that to be stabilized.

 

And yes, meanwhile, strangely, PSA get’s the world to themselves.

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On 2/19/2020 at 5:08 AM, Schteiny said:

So from your perspective, the attraction of the class rests upon the past glory of the Laser class. In my mind it is very much the same as Star or Finn. If I wanted to begin sailing any of these classes the price is quite low but if I want to be competitive the price is considerably higher. This is not how the Laser class functioned in its heyday. The boat is no longer the entry-level bargain it once was. In other markets perhaps decent used boats may be plentiful. I think that in North America that is not the case except in sailing hotbeds and even there the prices are much higher than $3000. I assume that is because the supply has been restricted for some time. The ILCA is hoping on an explosion in the Asian market. Don’t hold your breath. 

took expensive for an asian boat and asia is short of 6' 200lbs sailors, more growth in Jet skis I think

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There was a CEO that I briefly worked for that colleagues described this way... "he would lie when the truth would do."  Never thought that line could be applied to a sailing class's management team but congrats ILCA.  You managed the impossible.  Those statement are absurd on their face.  What are the odds that they will next claim they were misquoted?

Why don't you want to send them your money and give them your support Wess?  "Because they lie when the truth would do."

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12 hours ago, bill4 said:

Any consensus on what constitutes a grassroots Laser sailor? I was super keen "in the day", but now I race as often as I can on Thursday nights, and try to get in a couple club regattas. I have been to 2 nationals in the past 20 years - they were both within 3 hours. What am I (easy, now...)?

For me you fit in the "grass roots" model and in my district you're a perfect candidate for me to go after to get to come out to district level events.  In our district our district champion is decided by the one who has the lowest points over a series of district races, (instead of 1 regatta) that are distributed among all of the active clubs in the district, (we try to rotate clubs a little each year).  This gives us a chance to get sailors on the water around the district.  We have 7 regattas and it takes 4 to qualify for the championship trophy.  We award regattas to clubs that have active laser sailors and are in an area where their sailors travel to other regattas.  We blend into existing open events as the days of "Laser only" regattas became unsustainable due to lack of participation.  Clubs were passing on hosting us and now they are courting us to put their event on our calendar.  I see grass roots as district level when it comes to ILCA.  For sailing in general I believe it starts at the club level.

 

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As it relates to the upper sections.  I have both.  The combination of the composite top section and MKII sail are VERY different in trim from the aluminum/MKI set up.  The MKII has more luff curve and the stiffness of the composite top section does not match it under sheet tension alone.  So, in light air you're using way more vang than you do using the aluminum top section and even more when the MKI luff curve is taken into consideration.

Then you actually back the vang off a little when the breeze gets up in the 8-10 range before cranking it back on in 12+.

From feel I can't tell a weight difference but to me, (from feel and trim) the composite is significantly stiffer than the aluminum section.

I also far prefer the Hyde MKII over the North MKII.  However, I was really frustrated when I had my MKI and the Composite top section and trying to figure them out.  I think by the time I had it squared away my North MKI had seen better days...

Now- All that said-  I've seen well sailed MKI sails with the aluminum section sail just as fast as the fancy new MKII/composite spar set up.  In my mind the class has done it's job keeping things even enough to avoid an arms race.  I think my district currently has only 2-4 max sailors, (out of 58ish class members) sailing the MKII/Composite top section set up.

 

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2 hours ago, RobbieB said:

For me you fit in the "grass roots" model and in my district you're a perfect candidate for me to go after to get to come out to district level events.  In our district our district champion is decided by the one who has the lowest points over a series of district races, (instead of 1 regatta) that are distributed among all of the active clubs in the district, (we try to rotate clubs a little each year).  This gives us a chance to get sailors on the water around the district.  We have 7 regattas and it takes 4 to qualify for the championship trophy.  We award regattas to clubs that have active laser sailors and are in an area where their sailors travel to other regattas.  We blend into existing open events as the days of "Laser only" regattas became unsustainable due to lack of participation.  Clubs were passing on hosting us and now they are courting us to put their event on our calendar.  I see grass roots as district level when it comes to ILCA.  For sailing in general I believe it starts at the club level.

 

Very similar format in our district as well. I used to run it in the '80s for a few years when things were really hopping. It has certainly slowed, but a very keen bunch - noting  a half dozen made the trip to Florida for the East Coast Masters mid-winters. We get 12-20 Thursday nights at our club.

Anyway - speaking as a grass roots sailor, I don't have a problem supporting ILCA and am a member. The boat I have now I bought used two years ago, and therefore did not pay the plaque dues. I bought a new sail and paid the button dues. It never occurred to me to fret over ILCA getting or not getting a cut. With my previous Laser, I bought an Intensity sail as a second sail. Didn't even occur to me that as a result ILCA was not getting any money. Don't care. I may or may not buy a new top section, but probably not. ILCA presence has no bearing at all on my purchasing decisions. So - not all grass roots sailors are on the same page. 

 

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18 minutes ago, bill4 said:

Didn't even occur to me that as a result ILCA was not getting any money. Don't care. I may or may not buy a new top section, but probably not. ILCA presence has no bearing at all on my purchasing decisions. So - not all grass roots sailors are on the same page. 

I understand that.  While we push for people to join the class with the mentality that they'll be more active if they feel a little invested in being a part of something.  You do have to be a class member to get an end of the year District Championship Award/counted in the series.  However, we don't make people use class gear, (I know.  Some hypocritical picking and choosing going on) .  We feel that ultimately more boats on the water will help us grow and allowing it to be as expense friendly as possible, (non-class legal gear) helps the effort as well.  I'm a fan of the class and while I preach it I don't ram it down anyone's throat.  In the end it's an individual decision and hopefully our new folks get in, get the "bug", join the class and start using class gear.  That all takes time.

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You guys crack me up.  First heard somewhere back around 1912... "there is ice ahead should we slow or alter course?  Please don't bother me with that unimportant fake news nonsense; there is a waltz playing on the aft deck and I do love to dance.... Say Mr. Smith, we are salt of the earth grass roots fellows are we not?  Why yes of course Mr. Astor.  Of course we are."  :lol:

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On 2/18/2020 at 4:17 PM, JimC said:

The mesh of companies and ownership round Laser Performance is so complicated its hard to know what's true. Laser Performance (Europe) is moribund, its got virtually nothing in the way of employees or assets and doesn't appear to be significantly trading. On the Companies house website its now listed as a Dormant Company. Trademarks are held by  company called Velum Limited. Current Laser builders appear to be Laser Performance LLC, which is an American company with a recently established UK presence. That's listed in Companies House as active. So I'm inclined to think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what you've heard.

This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.

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On 2/18/2020 at 4:17 PM, JimC said:

The mesh of companies and ownership round Laser Performance is so complicated its hard to know what's true. Laser Performance (Europe) is moribund, its got virtually nothing in the way of employees or assets and doesn't appear to be significantly trading. On the Companies house website its now listed as a Dormant Company. Trademarks are held by  company called Velum Limited. Current Laser builders appear to be Laser Performance LLC, which is an American company with a recently established UK presence. That's listed in Companies House as active. So I'm inclined to think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what you've heard.

Which of the mesh of companies is building Sunfish?

Which company holds the Sunfish trademarks?  

Will this award of damages against LaserPerformance affect the supply of Sunfish?

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20 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Which of the mesh of companies is building Sunfish?

Which company holds the Sunfish trademarks?  

Will this award of damages against LaserPerformance affect the supply of Sunfish?

Sooo, I haven't asked anyone but I get the feeling ILCA and PSA are safe from this?  Actually it would only really apply to someone building and selling the boats and not paying Kirby something correct?

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10 hours ago, WestCoast said:

For what it’s worth, as someone who has sold maybe 200+ composite top sections to customers so far....

They are certainly lighter than AL ones.
There is simply no objective way to say otherwise.

I’ve personally weighed dozens of composite sections, against a sample of aluminum sections from various eras. Yes, AL top sections change weights regularly... But, every composite top section was around .5 pounds less than AL ones. 

Happy to be proven wrong with someone who has measured more than I personally have, but it’s what I do for a living.
(well, I’m retired in December... but, still)  


I’m not a good enough sailor personally to educate everyone on how the comp. mast bends vs. al... but in my experience, it was different (especially with the MkII sail). I would say it felt more ‘springy’ - but, again, not an Olympic Laser sailor or anything like that. Just a guy who’s sold the equipment and raced it for 15 years.

George? NO, say it aint so.  You retiring from West Coast Sailing?    That is way more worrying news than any dumb legal settlement.

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44 minutes ago, IPLore said:

George? NO, say it aint so.  You retiring from West Coast Sailing?    That is way more worrying news than any dumb legal settlement.

I was so hoping he meant December 2020 future and not already retired December 2019.  Given he is posting under the WCS banner one can hope.

And what is this legal settlement of which you speak Kemosabe?  I think you have smoke in your eyes.  You have been pushing that peace pipe for years without success.  All parties appear  to have been and still are in full scorched earth mode.  There can be only one...

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2 hours ago, Wess said:

You guys crack me up.  First heard somewhere back around 1912... "there is ice ahead should we slow or alter course?  Please don't bother me with that unimportant fake news nonsense; there is a waltz playing on the aft deck and I do love to dance.... Say Mr. Smith, we are salt of the earth grass roots fellows are we not?  Why yes of course Mr. Astor.  Of course we are."  :lol:

And then there is the flip side...

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

Sooo, I haven't asked anyone but I get the feeling ILCA and PSA are safe from this?  Actually it would only really apply to someone building and selling the boats and not paying Kirby something correct?

Yes, the award is against two companies in Rastegar's mesh of companies - Quarter Moon and LaserPerformance (Europe). Quarter Moon was the American builder, I believe. Nothing to do with ILCA or PSA.

With new builders coming on-line "soon" many Laser sailors seem to feel that they don't care if Rastegar ever starts building ILCA legal Lasers again. I was asking whether the judgement could affect the supply of Sunfish from LP.

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43 minutes ago, bill4 said:

And then there is the flip side...

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Not bad Bill but Aero sold more boat in the US than you guys did. You gotta fuck up things pretty badly to flip that tend line. And while I may be a dick... at least I ain’t a lying dick LOL!!

PS - Edit to add... not referring to you obviously.

PPS - Damn this place is fun!

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47 minutes ago, Wess said:

Not bad Bill but Aero sold more boat in the US than you guys did. You gotta fuck up things pretty badly to flip that tend line. And while I may be a dick... at least I ain’t a lying dick LOL!!

PS - Edit to add... not referring to you obviously.

PPS - Damn this place is fun!

I suspect the numbers will change with a builder. Plus - what is much more significant (especially for us grass roots guys) is the number of sailors who bought used Lasers and are getting active! No sense in comparing to Aeros - I hope they keep growing. 

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Wasn’t this in the previous ruling in favour of Global Sailing:

 “1983 Agreement also sought to protect the Kirby Plaintiffs’ intellectual property by requiring that, after a termination of the agreement, a builder licensee must stop manufacturing Lasers and stop using the production tooling, moulds, and plugs associated with manufacturing Lasers. The 1983 Agreement also provided that, in the event the agreement was terminated, the licensee would “attempt in good faith to negotiate a sale to [the licensor], or to negotiate a sale to another [Laser licensee] al plugs, moulds, and tooling” owned by the licensee and related to manufacturing Laser”
 

I was under the impression they weren’t supposed to be making the hulls regardless. Probably miss something major to the contrary though.

Some of whoever they are’s operating companies. Any one of which might shirk responsibilities on payments due:

Quartermoon, LP Topco, SINA, Full Moon Holdings Ltd, LaserPerformance NA, Laserperformance Europe, Laserperformance LLC....

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2 minutes ago, bill4 said:

I suspect the numbers will change with a builder. Plus - what is much more significant (especially for us grass roots guys) is the number of sailors who bought used Lasers and are getting active! No sense in comparing to Aeros - I hope they keep growing. 

I don't think Laser and RS Aero sales numbers in the US last year prove anything other than that LP wasn't actually allowed to sell class legal Lasers in the US, whereas the US RS Aero class continued its steady growth for a fifth consecutive year.

There are lots of reasons that people give about why they buy RS Aeros but I have never heard anybody say, "I really wanted to buy a new Laser but it's hard to find a new Laser so I settled for an RS Aero instead."  

Also I have never heard anybody say, "That @Wess dude on Sailing Anarchy has really got me pissed off about how much ILCA and WS are ripping off Laser buyers so I went out and bought an RS Aero to stick it to ILCA and WS."

With new Laser builders coming online "soon" I hope lots of people buy new RS Aeros and new Lasers and we can all have fun in the boat we prefer.

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2 minutes ago, tillerman said:

LP wasn't actually allowed to sell class legal Lasers in the US

So much so wrong and so little time...  LPE never stopped selling class legal Laser in US to this date.  You could buy one tomorrow if you wanted... and you know you want to.  Get off your knees and get out of that Aero...

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12 minutes ago, Wess said:

So much so wrong and so little time...  LPE never stopped selling class legal Laser in US to this date.  You could buy one tomorrow if you wanted... and you know you want to.  Get off your knees and get out of that Aero...

I bow to your superior knowledge. So why were Laser sales in the US so low last year?
 

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Wasn't the huge judgement in regard to the use of Kirby's name and not the Laser trademark?

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https://www.whipgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Kirby-Jury-Verdict.pdf

Point of detail in the judgement. The award of $4.5 million against Quarter Moon Inc. is in favor of Bruce Kirby Inc. whereas the award of $2.3 million against LPE is in favor of Bruce Kirby personally.

Anybody knows who owns Bruce Kirby Inc. these days? I know Bruce sold BKI to Global Sailing some years ago. Did he end up buying it back?

The jury also ordered punitive damages in an amount to be decided by the court.

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1 minute ago, torrid said:

Wasn't the huge judgement in regard to the use of Kirby's name and not the Laser trademark?

Yes

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8 minutes ago, tillerman said:

https://www.whipgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Kirby-Jury-Verdict.pdf

Point of detail in the judgement. The award of $4.5 million against Quarter Moon Inc. is in favor of Bruce Kirby Inc. whereas the award of $2.3 million against LPE is in favor of Bruce Kirby personally.

Anybody knows who owns Bruce Kirby Inc. these days? I know Bruce sold BKI to Global Sailing some years ago. Did he end up buying it back?

The jury also ordered punitive damages in an amount to be decided by the court.

Think I’m right in saying that he did buy them back and filed a lawsuit against LP shortly afterward but lost because he wasn’t deemed to have the right to challenge. Something to do with the fact that he had sold them in too short a time scale or to that effect at least.

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27 minutes ago, tillerman said:

So why were Laser sales in the US so low last year?
 

You tell me! 

I don't think its because the Aero is a better boat though any reasonable person would say it is.  And the Aero shouldn't be winning this fight since the Laser has a better fleet and (used to be) a much more affordable boat. 

Hmmm, maybe its the class association of the Aero is focused on growing from the bottom while ILCA is focused on the elite and growth in China and Asia.  And I don't think I have yet to see or hear the Aero class leadership lie repeatedly.  So they have that going for them...

Or maybe lemmings are not very bright and don't know what the boat is called anymore so canntt figure out how to buy one. 

Or...

Wait for it...

... maybe they are all waiting for the new builders who have molds to start supplying boat in the next "few" weeks.

You claim to be a smart guy... maybe you can tell me exactly how many weeks a "few" is in ILCA speak?! :P

 

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3 minutes ago, Wess said:

You tell me! 

I don't think its because the Aero is a better boat though any reasonable person would say it is.  And the Aero shouldn't be winning this fight since the Laser has a better fleet and (used to be) a much more affordable boat. 

Hmmm, maybe its the class association of the Aero is focused on growing from the bottom while ILCA is focused on the elite and growth in China and Asia.  And I don't think I have yet to see or hear the Aero class leader lie repeatedly.  So they have that going for them...

Or maybe lemmings are not very bright and don't know what the boat is called anymore so canntt figure out how to buy one. 

Or...

Wait for it...

... maybe they are all waiting for the new builders who have molds to start supplying boat in the next "few" weeks.

You claim to be a smart guy... maybe you can tell me exactly how many weeks a "few" is in ILCA speak?! :P

 

If my previous explanation is incorrect, I don't know why Laser sales are down. Is it a supply problem or a demand problem? Has it been hard to buy a new class legal Laser from LPE in the USA recently or has it not? 





 

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15 hours ago, RobbieB said:

I also far prefer the Hyde MKII over the North MKII.  However, I was really frustrated when I had my MKI and the Composite top section and trying to figure them out.  I think by the time I had it squared away my North MKI had seen better days...

In the old days, the North MK I was a softer cloth and routinely a flatter head than the hyde MK I.  From my experience, there was also about a .4kg difference between light and heavy top sections at the dealer (2.2kg to 2.6kg from memory).  I think the Aussie top sections seemed like a harder temper though.  I also felt the aussie bottom sections were stiffer as well.  

Maybe psycho sematic.  We did weigh a lot of top sections though.

I haven't sailed with a MKII sail or carbon section.  If the carbon sections are at least consistent from batch to batch, that has to be a good thing!

Edit:  looking at other top section weights, maybe my memory was a little off.  I certainly remember 2.6kg.  I had it in my head that the other was 2.2, but that seems a long way from other weights listed online.

Edited by Spoonie
Faulty memory

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5 hours ago, tillerman said:

If my previous explanation is incorrect, I don't know why Laser sales are down. Is it a supply problem or a demand problem? Has it been hard to buy a new class legal Laser from LPE in the USA recently or has it not? 





 

Reportedly it has been equally hard to buy a Laser in the USA from LPE (aka Laser Performance Europe) as it has been to buy a Laser in Europe from Laser Performance (North America) aka Quarter Moon .   The FRAND police have been alerted.

In other breaking news, in the midst of the champagne popping at PSA parent's HQ as they celebrated winning over $4m via their ownership of BKI (which they only paid $2m for), the chairman was heard to remark "Geeez this sure beats building boats for a living.....lets take the money and run"......and the factory has been closed. Thus leaving a small Japanese facility as the world's sole supplier of the dinghy formerly known as Laser.

ILLCAH however has announced another 12 builders are in the pipeline.  Last week, they all received authorized copies of the original paper napkin that Bruce Kirby originally sketched the Laser drawing on. It is anticipated that CAD CAM molds and tooling will be completed promptly based on the Kirby drawing and the remnants of a soggy and charred version of the construction manual rescued from the mysterious fire that broke out at the LP factory in Banbury.  New boats are expected to be hitting your local dealer before the end of the month.  US builders have a head start because they have retained Steve Clark as a consultant who is able to recall the approximate laminate schedule from memory and has lent them his old Laser to use as a plug.

To ensure consistency, it has been agreed that all boats going forward will be roto-moulded, except for the Japanese builder who has insufficient funding for the new tooling.

The president of World Sailing started to make a brief statement commenting that "All's well that ends ....."......before returning to the bankruptcy hearings that have occupied WS for the last few weeks.

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I'm being satirical,

You're distributing fake news

He's lying

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11 hours ago, Wess said:

You tell me! 

I don't think its because the Aero is a better boat though any reasonable person would say it is.  And the Aero shouldn't be winning this fight since the Laser has a better fleet and (used to be) a much more affordable boat. 

Hmmm, maybe its the class association of the Aero is focused on growing from the bottom while ILCA is focused on the elite and growth in China and Asia.  And I don't think I have yet to see or hear the Aero class leadership lie repeatedly.  So they have that going for them...

Or maybe lemmings are not very bright and don't know what the boat is called anymore so canntt figure out how to buy one. 

Or...

Wait for it...

... maybe they are all waiting for the new builders who have molds to start supplying boat in the next "few" weeks.

You claim to be a smart guy... maybe you can tell me exactly how many weeks a "few" is in ILCA speak?! :P

 

I have no idea where a new LPE Laser could be found on the East Coast for the past few years.  I'm talking new- not a charter boat.  West Cost Sailing has had them, but that's way over yonder.

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I didn't specify location though its not just WCS that has them.  I am simply refuting Tiller's absurd statement that you can't buy a plaqued LPE Laser in the US and that was the reason that Laser sales were way down.  That is BS pure and simple.  You know I was/am looking for a new boat and thanks again for the Miami PSA boat connection.  It was also not hard to find new LPE boats I could buy from multiple sources and I am in the US the last I checked.  I mean if the standard is a boat in every US local dealer/boat shop... well of course not but Tiller is kidding himself.  Maybe that is what he - and I know that is what Gouv - pines for and wants (and bless their hearts) but those days are gone and never coming back again.  Not for Laser, ILCA, Areo, or anything,  But bottom line... if you were in the US and wanted to buy a new Laser, you could (and can).  And if anyone claims they canntt they are an idiot or a liar.

 

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

I'm being satirical,

You're distributing fake news

He's lying

Jim, you have hurt my feelings.

This information is reliable. I got it third hand directly from somebody who knows somebody who read it online.

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2 hours ago, JimC said:

I'm being satirical,

You're distributing fake news

He's lying

I'm telling it how I see it.

You are either a liar or an idiot.

He's a dick.

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1 hour ago, IPLore said:

Jim, you have hurt my feelings.

This information is reliable. I got it third hand directly from somebody who knows somebody who read it online.

Easy now or we'll have to get you on CNN as an "expert".

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

I know that is what Gouv - pines for and wants (and bless their hearts) but those days are gone and never coming back again.  Not for Laser, ILCA, Areo, or anything,  But bottom line... if you were in the US and wanted to buy a new Laser, you could (and can).  And if anyone claims they canntt they are an idiot or a liar.

Agree on the good'ole days being gone forever.  That applies to our sport in general for way more reasons than shitty builders and/or parts supply, (however, neither of those help!).

I'm sure some LPE's can be found.  However our area dealer SAYRE Sailing hasn't been able to get boats or parts for a long time.  Then, when he did get a new LPE boat to sell, it came equipped with a non-class legal sail.  Since it was the first MKII cut sail in the district it took us all about a year to figure out it had no class button...

In the business world one of the key buying factors for customers is "Ease of doing business".  If it's a pain in the ass most move on.  How many times have you walked into a restaurant/drive through to a big line of people and immediately turn on your heels and head to the next joint?

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Wow.   Who's a thought Bruce Kirby a multi-millionaire in his twilight years?  Enjoy your revenge, one 'Rita at a time on the beach, sir!

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

Easy now or we'll have to get you on CNN as an "expert".

I represent the grass roots of sailing. I'm dormant in the winter, need regular liquid refreshment in the summer, hang out with the occasional worm and try to avoid lawnmowers.

 

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54 minutes ago, IPLore said:

I represent the grass roots of sailing. I'm dormant in the winter, need regular liquid refreshment in the summer, hang out with the occasional worm and try to avoid lawnmowers.

 

If you are grass roots, don't forget you will need aeroating in the Spring.

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13 minutes ago, tillerman said:

If you are grass roots, don't forget you will need aeroating in the Spring.

That is funny! Nicely done.

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3 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Agree on the good'ole days being gone forever.  That applies to our sport in general for way more reasons than shitty builders and/or parts supply, (however, neither of those help!).

I'm sure some LPE's can be found.  However our area dealer SAYRE Sailing hasn't been able to get boats or parts for a long time.  Then, when he did get a new LPE boat to sell, it came equipped with a non-class legal sail.  Since it was the first MKII cut sail in the district it took us all about a year to figure out it had no class button...

In the business world one of the key buying factors for customers is "Ease of doing business".  If it's a pain in the ass most move on.  How many times have you walked into a restaurant/drive through to a big line of people and immediately turn on your heels and head to the next joint?

But you are twisting truth again. This all started because the Aerobian dude claimed you can’t buy an LPE Laser is the US. That is A.) not true and B.) he also linked that untruth to the reason Aero has outsold Laser in the US. You then twisted the truth (that you can buy a Laser in the US) into an ease of purchase argument that is equally untrue relative to the Aerobian’s hypothesis about why Aero has outsold Laser. In fact it’s easier (for me and I bet for you too if you are completely honest) to buy a Laser than it is to buy an Aero from an ease of purchase standpoint.  B)

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17 minutes ago, Wess said:

In fact it’s easier (for me and I bet for you too if you are completely honest) to buy a Laser than it is to buy an Aero from an ease of purchase standpoint.  B)

I have no idea.  I have not tried to find/buy or looked for a new Aero.  I know a small fleet of Melges 14's popped up in Atlanta 2 years ago and 4 VX Evo's landed in Beaufort, SC 3 years ago, (one of which is already posted for re-sale).  All Aero activities seem to be located in the Washington State area, Florida,(during February), Texas/Austin and the Northeast.  Don't see any activity elsewhere except 1 or 2 here and there, (like statewide in some places).  I know ZIM and KO Sailing are dealers and advertise the boats and even take some around for trials, (like Melges is doing or at least did for a while).  Laser hasn't had that activity in years.  Actually, there's a Laser Performance travel trailer sitting in a yard over in Mt. Pleasant, (other side of the bridge North of Charleston) that someone has converted into their "Man Cave".  It's pretty fully to see...Guess they picked it up at a pawn shop or something.

Either way Aero has WAY more sales/marketing support related activity than you've seen from anyone offering Lasers for sale. I don't count charter opportunities, but I will say the most Lasers sold in NA in 2019 appears to have come from PSA charter boat sales at the World event in Canada.  

I'm sure the Aero marketing efforts have not hurt.  However, clearly the interest is still there for the Laser when you look at event registrations across the country.  Yes, it's mostly divided between Masters and Jr Dream chasers, but the recent uptick in 4.7's is fun and interesting to see.  Maybe the availability in the used market is what's keeping the fleet numbers up.  I know good used boats get snapped up pretty quick around here either by someone looking for a newer hull and/or a Jr stepping up from an Opti/Bic.  Hell, I've placed 2 people with sellers in the past 2 days.

I will also say that I've had nothing but crickets trying to help Maru move his 10+ new PSA boats in Miami.  I'm sure the $9k price is part of that as well as the long drive to Miami especially when you can grab a very nice and competitive used boat for under $5k.  

All that said.  Where, (outside of West Coast Sailing) can you get one of the LPE leftovers in NA.  I'd love to know the inventory situation.

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3 hours ago, RobbieB said:

 

Either way Aero has WAY more sales/marketing support related activity than you've seen from anyone offering Lasers for sale.

 Either way Aero  a SMOD business model will always have WAY more sales/marketing support related activity than you'll ever see from anyone offering Lasers a Multi builder model.

 

Good point.

 

Would you rather have a frandly builder or a friendly builder? :)

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Have you ever been to a major USODA regatta? They always have 3-4 dealer/builders trailers in the boat yard offering charter boats and gear. Zim, McLaughlin, Sturgis had Winner Optis I believe, maybe one was a dealer for Far East. Multiple builders all promoting at the same event. Seemed to work pretty well.  

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15 hours ago, IPLore said:

Good point.

Largely nonsense I suspect. If you've got three one man builders chasing five new boats a year then vendor support is going to be minimal, but if you've got three major mass market operations each chasing a bigger share of 15,000 boats a year then its liable to be pretty decent.

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9 minutes ago, JimC said:

Largely nonsense I suspect. If you've got three one man builders chasing five new boats a year then vendor support is going to be minimal, but if you've got three major mass market operations each chasing a bigger share of 15,000 boats a year then its liable to be pretty decent.

Largely misleading response.

  • There was nothing "one man builder" about the previous model of 3 Laser builders, each SMOD suppliers in their respective regions such that any vendor support for general class activity directly benefited their own business.  But your point is taken, we are not comparing the Comet to the Wianno Senior, we are comparing the business model of the ILCA Dinghy to the business model of the RS Aero and the former business model of the Laser.
  • The market for Lasers (or boats formerly known as Lasers) is nowhere close to 15,000 boats per year. The real number is closer to 2,700 per year https://www.laserinternational.org/about-the-laser/how-old-is-my-laser/
  • The ILCA is contemplating adding 7 builders to the existing 2 builders for a total of 9 builders who can sell product anywhere in the world.
  • WS's and ILCA's interpretation (mistaken IMHO) of FRAND also means that additional qualified builders can apply to build Lasers and they cannot unreasonably be denied or discriminated against. 
  • If LP or any successor to LP in bankruptcy can demonstrate that they are qualified to build the boat formerly known as the Laser, that brings the number to 10.......chasing a market of 2700 boats (300 each) per year.

Of course, the reality is that not all 10 will survive. I don't think that 5 or even 3 will survive.

I have two questions that y'all can contemplate

1) If the boats from one builder, (Builder Z) are considered to be noticeably faster/superior to other builders, even though these boats cost $2,000 more than other builders, where will you buy your boat from?

2) If the boats from all the builders are proven to be identical, and one builder (Builder L)  is selling the boat online for $1,000 less than anyone else, delivered ready-to-sail to your doorstep, and is available at large dealerships for less money than any other builder. Where will you buy your boat from?

When you have a multi builder model.......you compete on either product superiority or price.   General Class support and subsidizing your competition does not help you sell boats in a competitive global multi builder model. You either have to have a faster boat or a cheaper boat. Once you have ousted the competition , then you can turn your attention to growing the TAM (total addressable market) and start supporting the class.

This is especially true if the boats are equal and identical.......then you can only compete on price....and the race is on to be the low-cost producer. Marketing expense is justified but spending money on the Class that helps all builders is not going to be money well spent.   

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4 hours ago, IPLore said:

1) If the boats from one builder, (Builder Z) are considered to be noticeably faster/superior to other builders, even though these boats cost $2,000 more than other builders, where will you buy your boat from?

Been there done that...   Once upon a time... Tornado's had multiple builders until Marstrom offered a premium boat at a premium price.   He then owned the the market for Tornados.

Now, the more interesting question....What if the faster boat is not agreed upon.   The F18 class has true believers supporting designs from several builders.   So, when the "faster" boat is debatable ... everyone competes on both steak and the sizzle.     Good result.

The problem becomes when you set up a four year test with the best sailors in the world keenly interested in knowing the answer to "which boat is fastest"  So IMO, if there is a speed difference it will be discovered.... But if the gold cup circuit rotates providers, it won't matter to the market...and true believers will support various builders products and you won't have that acid test on the race course.

I don't think multiple builders becomes a huge problem unless you have a gross excess capacity of boats.  YMMV

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