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


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What exactly went wrong with Harken - Vanguard Boatyard in the US? 

Some 6 or 7 years ago a merger took place (that was the last time there was an official display of the laser range at the Paris boat show) The logo was changed to that three triangles thing supposed to be a ship bow cutting a wave, rumor was that american capital had taken control... and at the time there was an amazing and absolutely non viable range of dinghies on the advertizing leaflets, including old crocks like the Flying Junior (A 1970's success from the defunct ALPA italian boatyard) plus the full range of Laser skiffs (3000 / 4000 / 5000) going nowhere because of their non selection for the olympics, the costly oddities (Laser EPS and Laser Vortex)...

Surely some sort of rationalisation had to take place ...and it did , but in the process a few valuable and moderately profitable boats, with some class following (3000 / 4000 and SB3) were dropped and resurrected at other minor boatyards UK with the original moulds. (Vandercraft, Rooster, Rondar)

Vanguard US seems to have disappeared at that point, or shortly after, in that big streamlining effort....pity because though their boats were not top notch quality (it could have been improved by better quality control, layup scheme..etc)  that would have left a valuable builder with  a real volume production capacity in North America.

There is apparently a trade off in the building process: It is not easy to have at the same time real  volume production, for , say, a few thousands of boats / year  (like for some chopped projected matt boats of the 70's) and close tolerance quality boats . The answer is probably investment in the production tool and a better trained, really skilled work force... of course that cuts some of the immediate profit margin but pays dividends in the long run.

Of course, you have to forget rushed and costly "innovations" (Laser EPS , Vortex...etc) and related development costs .

LP UK seemed to have achieved just that (their high retail price can be blamed on juicy profit margins, plus hefty ILCA dues, plus absorbing the development costs of the failed 5000, Eps , Vortex..etc) , some say their boats are crap but ...no, my 2006 186332 remained competitive enough for more than 10 years before i traded it for a very good 6 months old, second hand "ice blue" from the french olympic team (selling the old boat paid about half the price of the new one)...and the result of the ongoing bar brawl is to deny market access to a reasonably skilful and efficient builder.

As for the "fast aussie lasers" I think there might be a minimal speed advantage with the stiffer aussie boats -the big patches of matt in the bow- and the Composite foils as opposed to the old "foam over stainless steel rods" ones but the may be some self suggestion in that : "It is rumored that (quoting George Orwell) some lasers are "more equal than others" and that mine is one of these...so i'm confident in my boatspeed and start do do better in races just out of self confidence."

 

 

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55 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

He can only repeat what has been heard before. That is surely obvious...

Cheers,

                W.

Indeed. Blatantly obvious.

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42 minutes ago, mockingbird said:

What exactly went wrong with Harken - Vanguard Boatyard in the US? 

Nothing went wrong, the business was sold. This from Wikipedia: "In 2007 Vanguard Sailboats was acquired by Performance Sailcraft Europe. The combined company is known as LaserPerformance." Steve Clark was the owner of Vanguard and a regular contributor here. If he reads this, I am sure he will reply.

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WG:

I think you are partly right. Generally I believe it has never been a good idea that ISAF chose SMOD classes for the olympics, cause they were hoping for manufacturers to cheaply supply equipment for major events. It is just difficult to have control over the equipment, especially if the equipment was never designed or build to be olympic. But many arguments of NA sailors are also not valid. During Tornado olympic times there was just one builder worldwide, plus very few dealers. And it has never been a problem to buy boats or spare parts from Marstrom to be able to compete on olympic level. NA sailers could have bought a container full of boats at any euro dealer. Works for other classes like Contender as well. The time where you had a Laser dealer in every town or country are definitely gone. You are absolutely right that the current situation is a desaster for the european circuit. But I am not fully sure if LPE is to blame or PSA, WS or ILCA.  LPE lost the court case in the US, for not paying royalties. Principally they have no rights to build class legal boats. But ILCA or PSA are offering them to get a building license again. If they don't want to do that, and prefer to build a  new class, well that's bad for the class, but their decision. WS will propably don't like that. . But of course it was not a brilliant idea of ILCA to terminate LPE as a builder without having enough other builders ready which can supply at least the same amount of boats at the same quality and the same price in europe. Now the class is in a very difficult situation to ensure that different new builders will produce to the precise spec within very short time. They are now starting to hire technical staff. Something that should have been done years ago. Next thing is that the class rules are not made for the current situation. And even if the molds all come from a single source, that does not mean that hulls from different builders are all the same. Maybe the world council members should build a boat themself to understand. 

 

But yes, you said:

ILCA should not have mucked up the European Laser scene in order to try and resurrect the NA one.

Cheers,

                 W.

 

And that's correct. 

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9 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

the appropriate response is to seize control of their product and attack their business

Was it ever their product? Basically they were a contracted builder, like others. Yes, builders had ownership of the trademark in their areas, which I presume was to give them confidence they couldn't be thrown out on a whim and would invest, but the deal was strictly "You have a contract which means you can sell these boats on these terms". LPE have repeatedly violated the terms of their contracts, that's reasonably established, goodness only knows why, but the Laser Class was never *theirs*.

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16 minutes ago, JimC said:

Was it ever their product? Basically they were a contracted builder, like others. Yes, builders had ownership of the trademark in their areas, which I presume was to give them confidence they couldn't be thrown out on a whim and would invest, but the deal was strictly "You have a contract which means you can sell these boats on these terms". LPE have repeatedly violated the terms of their contracts, that's reasonably established, goodness only knows why, but the Laser Class was never *theirs*.

Also true. From this point of view the termination of LPE came even far too late. Still, as a class you have to find a way to get enough good and cheap boats to the sailers. At the moment it does not help to look backwards. There are problems that need to be solved. There are far too many Lasers in use in Europe. If you drop the class, especially youth sailing, and replace it with something else you will hurt the complete sailing sport in europe, as fleets will get smaller everywhere, and many people will stop travelling to regattas. Already happened to twohanded international youth sailing with the split between 29er and 420.

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Problem is , to get a really wide basis a class needs to be built around a very versatile boat ...any fool with sufficient money can get / build a winning boat at the America Cup (it is just a matter of hiring the best designers, source the best and latest technology and software from aerospace and software industry  and have a very (very very very...) deep pocket.

Designing and building  a very wide diffusion boat is on the contrary a quite subtle compromise ( trade off between build quality and affordability performance and costs and above all aptitude to fill the bill in a wide spectrum of market slots) .

Nowdays there are lots of semi cheap (and heavy) "soft plastic" boats for basic training, but none (except possibly the RS Feva) are good for both training and racing (and nevertheless RS markets a similarly sized boat -the Zest- but with a completely different expensive mold, instead of a simplified Feva for the sailing school market). There are lots of expensive high performance dinghies dinghies (the very latest A cat , very latest Foiling moth,Aeros, 29ers...etc) just as utterly unfit for the second hand recreational market as the post 12 metre AC boats (The old  "twelves" could be converted into sucessful cuiser-racers like Ted Turner or Jean Rédélé -Monsieur Alpine Renaut-  did.)

Something many people in present day small boat (increasingly cottage-garage) industry seem not to grasp is that dinghy and light craft are increasingly faced from competition from other outdoor sports. A sophisticated full carbon dirt bike can be used much more frequently than a dinghy and costs half the price . Sailing schools and club managers know it for sure (nowdays people go for sit on top inexpensive kayaks or possibly Kiteboarding as a first attempt to go "messing about on the water" ) but lots of "boat craftsmen" or "boat jewellers" keep trying to manufacture faster and lighter sophisticated boats for a dwindling number of aficionados.

In the 50's the Vaurien Class (it Kickstarted popular sailing in France and Half of Europe) made sure the boat should be sold at the price of two ordinary non-racing bicycles.

This became gradually untenable (it was a professionally built, no-kit-building, plywood boat and manpower grew more and more expensive) and if the initial success gradually waned it was chiefly because plywood needed a lot of maintenance and the hard chine shape could not easily be molded in GRP before the FRP sandwich innovation.

I once wrote an article for the french Laser class newsletter , with a comparative of price evolution over some 20 years  between a Laser and  cheap 125 cc motorcycle (in those times the cheap 125 cc bikes came fom behind the Iron Curtain , East Germany and Czechoslovakia,any not-too-well off student could buy them with one or two months of summer job wages... now they are Korean Built , using ex japanese 125 cc bikes tooling ande are just as affordable) ...

The curves closely matched between 1973 and the late 80's and after that the Laser became increasingly over expensive and disappeared from mainstream boat retailers and could be bought only from low volume specialist retailers (In the 60's a Vaurien could be bought complete and ready to sail in big parisian department stores as BHV).

Décathlon is trying to launch a cheap dinghy (using inflatable paddleboards technology) , not trying to make big profits out of it but obviously hoping induced profits out of their "Tribord" clothing and boating gear line of products. 

Another well documented example of the "greed for speed" sophistication trend being a road to disaster is the windsurfing market: The first Drake-Schweitzer Windsurfer was an inexpensive all round toy....but quickly the toys went in the sophistication spiral (I seriously raced in the Division 2  Lechner/ Crir /DB2 regatta boards, parallel to Laser racing and it was untenable: the measurement rules and winning equipment changed every 6 months) The funboard scene became un-affordable in a different way (expensive kit with absolutely electrifying speed and thrills...but working only in strong breeze conditions ....bringing lots of frustration if the weather forecas was only moderately un-accurate.)

Stangely enough the original Winsurfer class has been resurrected in Italy , with a somewhat bigger board , an efficient CB case and retractable Centreboard (the ubiquitous  Allgaier design ) , a less floppy rig - sail , and a modern system for the mast articulation that does not pop up right into your groin when you lift the sail...and it enjoys a reasonable success (there were 140+ competitors at the Lake garda big european championship...

The geniuses at LP PSA and ILCA should ponder that instead of making their best to slaughter the goose that used to lay golden eggs...and for the legal actions, well, there is a french saying (from Normandy where pepole are legal minded) stating that a a very bad agreement is always better than a very good court action.

 

 

 

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There is no new Laser/ILCA market in the US for LPE (or anyone else) to serve.  ILCA kept changing the boat and increasing costs and eventually what you got, for what you paid, just didn't make sense for grass roots sailors.  Sailors looked for other options.  Some were lower cost options and thus you saw a.) an active used boat market, and b.) non class legal (for ILCA events) generic sails being bought and used widely (at the club level where ILCA requirements are generally not strictly followed), and c.) people at the club level not joining ILCA or paying class dues.  There were also higher cost options for higher quality boats such as Aero and even though they had much smaller fleets they surprisingly got traction in NA to the extent they were outselling Lasers even before the sh*t hit the fan with the Laser class blowing up and potentially fracturing.  That alone should tell you a lot about what the NA market was thinking about ILCA boats. 

I really do crack up at those that say LPE didn't serve the US market.  There was no new ILCA broad market left to serve.  The class killed it.  I know you lemmings will of course not believe truth but riddle me this batman... before covid hit, PSA had ILCA/Laser boats in NA. So did LPE and they both still do.  Go ask PSA how many they sold (to final customers.. sailors; not dealers/middlemen).  Go on.  I dare you.  I will wait.  Remember this is pre-covid.

If you think there is a NA market for ILCA/Lasers for LPE or anyone to serve, then tell me why all those PSA ILCAs weren't snatched up and sold in this robust market.  And don't use the covid excuse.  This is all pre-virus and right at the right time when people do buy both for winter events and in anticipation of Spring sailing.  

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54 minutes ago, mockingbird said:

Problem is , to get a really wide basis a class needs to be built around a very versatile boat ...any fool with sufficient money can get / build a winning boat at the America Cup (it is just a matter of hiring the best designers, source the best and latest technology and software from aerospace and software industry  and have a very (very very very...) deep pocket.

Designing and building  a very wide diffusion boat is on the contrary a quite subtle compromise ( trade off between build quality and affordability performance and costs and above all aptitude to fill the bill in a wide spectrum of market slots) .

Nowdays there are lots of semi cheap (and heavy) "soft plastic" boats for basic training, but none (except possibly the RS Feva) are good for both training and racing (and nevertheless RS markets a similarly sized boat -the Zest- but with a completely different expensive mold, instead of a simplified Feva for the sailing school market). There are lots of expensive high performance dinghies dinghies (the very latest A cat , very latest Foiling moth,Aeros, 29ers...etc) just as utterly unfit for the second hand recreational market as the post 12 metre AC boats (The old  "twelves" could be converted into sucessful cuiser-racers like Ted Turner or Jean Rédélé -Monsieur Alpine Renaut-  did.)

Something many people in present day small boat (increasingly cottage-garage) industry seem not to grasp is that dinghy and light craft are increasingly faced from competition from other outdoor sports. A sophisticated full carbon dirt bike can be used much more frequently than a dinghy and costs half the price . Sailing schools and club managers know it for sure (nowdays people go for sit on top inexpensive kayaks or possibly Kiteboarding as a first attempt to go "messing about on the water" ) but lots of "boat craftsmen" or "boat jewellers" keep trying to manufacture faster and lighter sophisticated boats for a dwindling number of aficionados.

In the 50's the Vaurien Class (it Kickstarted popular sailing in France and Half of Europe) made sure the boat should be sold at the price of two ordinary non-racing bicycles.

This became gradually untenable (it was a professionally built, no-kit-building, plywood boat and manpower grew more and more expensive) and if the initial success gradually waned it was chiefly because plywood needed a lot of maintenance and the hard chine shape could not easily be molded in GRP before the FRP sandwich innovation.

I once wrote an article for the french Laser class newsletter , with a comparative of price evolution over some 20 years  between a Laser and  cheap 125 cc motorcycle (in those times the cheap 125 cc bikes came fom behind the Iron Curtain , East Germany and Czechoslovakia,any not-too-well off student could buy them with one or two months of summer job wages... now they are Korean Built , using ex japanese 125 cc bikes tooling ande are just as affordable) ...

The curves closely matched between 1973 and the late 80's and after that the Laser became increasingly over expensive and disappeared from mainstream boat retailers and could be bought only from low volume specialist retailers (In the 60's a Vaurien could be bought complete and ready to sail in big parisian department stores as BHV).

Décathlon is trying to launch a cheap dinghy (using inflatable paddleboards technology) , not trying to make big profits out of it but obviously hoping induced profits out of their "Tribord" clothing and boating gear line of products. 

Another well documented example of the "greed for speed" sophistication trend being a road to disaster is the windsurfing market: The first Drake-Schweitzer Windsurfer was an inexpensive all round toy....but quickly the toys went in the sophistication spiral (I seriously raced in the Division 2  Lechner/ Crir /DB2 regatta boards, parallel to Laser racing and it was untenable: the measurement rules and winning equipment changed every 6 months) The funboard scene became un-affordable in a different way (expensive kit with absolutely electrifying speed and thrills...but working only in strong breeze conditions ....bringing lots of frustration if the weather forecas was only moderately un-accurate.)

Stangely enough the original Winsurfer class has been resurrected in Italy , with a somewhat bigger board , an efficient CB case and retractable Centreboard (the ubiquitous  Allgaier design ) , a less floppy rig - sail , and a modern system for the mast articulation that does not pop up right into your groin when you lift the sail...and it enjoys a reasonable success (there were 140+ competitors at the Lake garda big european championship...

The geniuses at LP PSA and ILCA should ponder that instead of making their best to slaughter the goose that used to lay golden eggs...and for the legal actions, well, there is a french saying (from Normandy where pepole are legal minded) stating that a a very bad agreement is always better than a very good court action.

 

 

 

Can problem be solved with a Replica Laser / ILCA  that is in line with other Replica parts ?

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May be there is still a market everywhere ....with a reasonable price (somewhere around 4500€ ) for a long lasting boat (say a properly cured-in-the-mould "ice blue" standard laser , with possibly one ore two useful and cheap improvements (like a renewable anti anti wear +  friction strip at the top of the CB case on the leading edge, a thicker stainless steel cup at the bottom of the mast well and an anti wear solid nylon ring at the deck level, plus some careful beefing up of the deck where not too delicate sailors sit -or rather heavily land-after a quick rolltack).

Those three points are what i have to cure on my sailing school lasers with a long career (my ex- very first Laser a 1974 sail number 17802 is still in use there, albeit with a big lot of battle scars ).

Mast well issues are curable with some fiberglass and resin skills, but delamination on the "seat of the pants"part of the deck if it gets soft is usually dealt by selling the hull for cheap and getting a better one for a few hundreds of euros.

There is probably a market for new Lasers if the potential buyer knows his boat can be sold on the second hand market after a decent racing career for half the price of a spanking brand new one. That used to be the Volvo marketing aproach back in the 70's (they advertized swedish steel built long lasting cars as opposed to the US built "paper cars" built with a very clear planned obsolescence marketing line). If the fast paced rig-spars sails foils building technique aussie style "improvements" are accepted, the buyer is clearly some sort of victim of a swindle.

There may still be  a market for original sails provided they are sold a an honest price around 250/ 300 € (A french Laser sailor visited the Sri Lanka factory ad then published an article in the french newsletter saying the gap between production costs and retail price was so indecent he would name his next laser "Battleship Potemkin" . He was polite enough not to call the factory a sweatshop but his comments were sort of scathing).

Replica parts are OK for non competitive or entry level club races (and some non class cheap sails are manufactured in Europe, not Sri Lanka). There are good and not so good replica parts specially with non waterproof aluminium top masts...same for aftermarket non original autoparts.

At a higher level you need some sort of insurance thet the boat is really one design and remains that way for a long period of time. Normally this insurance is provided by the class association namely ILCA. Problem is ILCA is only partly financed by fee paying individual members .

A big chunk of ILCA finance comes through the builders ....and as the buiders struggle to sell too expensive boats they try to sell "improved parts"like carbon spars and XD kits instead.

It is just like some motorcycle manufacturers: Bikes are (thanks god and the japanese and german makers) increasingly long lasting and reliable ...so some builders go for the juicy aftermarket "custom parts" to ensure profit margins.

Initially Harley Davidson pioneered that kind of approach (think of the thousands of gadgets and bolt-on factory kits and upgrades that can be added to the basic bike) , then the ressurected Trimph Company got in the game (plenty of inspiration from the infamous "Ton-up boys" and "cafe racer" period) ...and Ducati did the same thing but with a "crotch rocket" / "racing style" line of goodies. 

It may be good for a stupid guy with a deep pocket fancying he is dennis Hooper, Marlon Brando or Valentino Rossi ...but it is a completely stupid approach for a One design dinghy meant for equal terms racing from grassroots to top level.

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By the way , Harken Vanguard was bought by Laser Performance ...but why did they chose to close the facility?

Some dinghy buiders like Parker and KD of Netherlands diversified in production of GRP parts ( amongst them special bath tubs for disabled people) . It gave them some longer lease of life...

Seems quite a bold decision to close the only facility building lasers on the big North american continent...

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1 minute ago, mockingbird said:

By the way , Harken Vanguard was bought by Laser Performance ...but why did they chose to close the facility?

Some dinghy buiders like Parker and KD of Netherlands diversified in production of GRP parts ( amongst them special bath tubs for disabled people) . It gave them some longer lease of life...

Seems quite a bold decision to close the only facility building lasers on the big North american continent...

Maybe so few people were buying Lasers that it wasn't worth keeping it open, as they had capacity in Europe?   Then it turned out that the demand was so low that it wasn't even cost effective to ship them over; with dealers buying so few boats + parts that they couldn't sustain the business?

 Who knows... whatever the reason they seem to be paying for it now (some say deservedly).

Cheers,

              W.

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Let’s just say, the LP Laser market in North America did not die despite  the coordinated enthusiastic organizational and promotional efforts by LP and the NA-ILCA. 
 

Laser (and Sunfish) sailing still has the exact same opportunity for simple joy as it did fifty years ago. 
In fact a Hobie 16 has the exact same joyous ride as it had in 1975. 
 
I am certain, if we gave rides on any of the three toys to 100,000 people thousands of those people would be eager to purchase a toy and go play.

There are no available new toys.

There are no salesmen offering rides.

There are no enthusiastic new owners eagerly showing their new toys to their friends. 
 

There is an ongoing battle among some folks who want to be in charge 

Now what??

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West Coast has been working hard to make singlehanded sailing happen.

They have done so with no support from builders or class associations. 
 

It seems there are poles where at one end we have those who want to be in charge and at the other we have those who tirelessly work to make sailing happen. 
 

The game will have a chance to prosper when it has builders, salesmen, promoters, and organizers working as a team. People will have to enthusiastically and strategically invest not only money but their time.

”Cashing in” will only come much much later and will likely only be paid in attaboys. 

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19 hours ago, mockingbird said:

What exactly went wrong with Harken - Vanguard Boatyard in the US? 

Some 6 or 7 years ago a merger took place (that was the last time there was an official display of the laser range at the Paris boat show) The logo was changed to that three triangles thing supposed to be a ship bow cutting a wave, rumor was that american capital had taken control... and at the time there was an amazing and absolutely non viable range of dinghies on the advertizing leaflets, including old crocks like the Flying Junior (A 1970's success from the defunct ALPA italian boatyard) plus the full range of Laser skiffs (3000 / 4000 / 5000) going nowhere because of their non selection for the olympics, the costly oddities (Laser EPS and Laser Vortex)...

Surely some sort of rationalisation had to take place ...and it did , but in the process a few valuable and moderately profitable boats, with some class following (3000 / 4000 and SB3) were dropped and resurrected at other minor boatyards UK with the original moulds. (Vandercraft, Rooster, Rondar)

Vanguard US seems to have disappeared at that point, or shortly after, in that big streamlining effort....pity because though their boats were not top notch quality (it could have been improved by better quality control, layup scheme..etc)  that would have left a valuable builder with  a real volume production capacity in North America.

There is apparently a trade off in the building process: It is not easy to have at the same time real  volume production, for , say, a few thousands of boats / year  (like for some chopped projected matt boats of the 70's) and close tolerance quality boats . The answer is probably investment in the production tool and a better trained, really skilled work force... of course that cuts some of the immediate profit margin but pays dividends in the long run.

Of course, you have to forget rushed and costly "innovations" (Laser EPS , Vortex...etc) and related development costs .

LP UK seemed to have achieved just that (their high retail price can be blamed on juicy profit margins, plus hefty ILCA dues, plus absorbing the development costs of the failed 5000, Eps , Vortex..etc) , some say their boats are crap but ...no, my 2006 186332 remained competitive enough for more than 10 years before i traded it for a very good 6 months old, second hand "ice blue" from the french olympic team (selling the old boat paid about half the price of the new one)...and the result of the ongoing bar brawl is to deny market access to a reasonably skilful and efficient builder.

As for the "fast aussie lasers" I think there might be a minimal speed advantage with the stiffer aussie boats -the big patches of matt in the bow- and the Composite foils as opposed to the old "foam over stainless steel rods" ones but the may be some self suggestion in that : "It is rumored that (quoting George Orwell) some lasers are "more equal than others" and that mine is one of these...so i'm confident in my boatspeed and start do do better in races just out of self confidence."

 

 

As one who writes diatribes of his own, I feel obligated to read those written by others and posted in the same threads. 
 

I also feel obligated to question those statements where it is obvious the writer is attempting to make a case while exhibiting utter cluelessness.

if there is a field where I am honestly able to claim status among the world’s experts it is the proper composition of structural fiberglass laminates.  I have been fascinated by and involved in design, construction, testing, use, and maintenance of fiberglass laminates for close to 60 years. 
 The chop strand mat laminates in the Laser are the most durable parts of the entire craft.  
The panel stiffness suffers from  being stressed  because of inadequate reinforcements in certain regions of the hull. On the other hand, those panels never fail. 
If those panels were made of woven cloth they would never have been stiff in the first place. 
Lasers typically degrade because of failures within in the core materials, their adhesion to the adjacent laminate, or both. Lasers also degrade because of physical abuse from improper trailering, improper storage, physical abuse, or damages related to water  allowed to gain access to the surfaces and wood inside of the hull.

   When an author mentions chop strand mat and suggests it’s use in boat construction indicates that construction is therefore of a lower quality, I am instantly aware that author is willing to opine while remaining too ignorant to offer a well considered opinion.

    My inclination is to believe the author who ignorantly blathers on about one subject likely blathers ignorantly on a variety of subjects. 
 

Therefore, with respect to the quoted post, I don’t. 
 

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19 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

As one who writes diatribes of his own, I feel obligated to read those written by others and posted in the same threads. 
 

I also feel obligated to question those statements where it is obvious the writer is attempting to make a case while exhibiting utter cluelessness.

if there is a field where I am honestly able to claim status among the world’s experts it is the proper composition of structural fiberglass laminates.  I have been fascinated by and involved in design, construction, testing, use, and maintenance of fiberglass laminates for close to 60 years. 
 The chop strand mat laminates in the Laser are the most durable parts of the entire craft.  
The panel stiffness suffers from  being stressed  because of inadequate reinforcements in certain regions of the hull. On the other hand, those panels never fail. 
If those panels were made of woven cloth they would never have been stiff in the first place. 
Lasers typically degrade because of failures within in the core materials, their adhesion to the adjacent laminate, or both. Lasers also degrade because of physical abuse from improper trailering, improper storage, physical abuse, or damages related to water  allowed to gain access to the surfaces and wood inside of the hull.

   When an author mentions chop strand mat and suggests it’s use in boat construction indicates that construction is therefore of a lower quality, I am instantly aware that author is willing to opine while remaining too ignorant to offer a well considered opinion.

    My inclination is to believe the author who ignorantly blathers on about one subject likely blathers ignorantly on a variety of subjects. 
 

Therefore, with respect to the quoted post, I don’t. 
 

Hmmm. Don’t have a dog in this fight but I do have a question...

Are you saying that if you wanted to build a Laser copy that was the same weight and shape (to have similar sailing characteristics), but was as durable and the lowest cost to produce (at scale) as possible that you would use chop strand mat?

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1 hour ago, VWAP said:

Availability: IN STOCK

https://westcoastsailing.net/laser-sailboat/

 

Availability: More boats arriving soon! Contact us for lead time estimate.

https://westcoastsailing.net/rs-aero/

Word on the street is there are 10, (possibly more) 2020 PSA Australian worlds boats being sold in the US for $ 6,800.00ish....

 

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2 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Maybe so few people were buying Lasers that it wasn't worth keeping it open, as they had capacity in Europe?   Then it turned out that the demand was so low that it wasn't even cost effective to ship them over; with dealers buying so few boats + parts that they couldn't sustain the business?

 Who knows... whatever the reason they seem to be paying for it now (some say deservedly).

Cheers,

              W.

The whole thing coincided with the last recession, which I think pretty much killed demand for years.  Now did demand ever recover, at least before all this Corona BS?  Don't know for sure.  It may have recovered some, but will never be what it was even pre-2008.  Combine that with a builder unmotivated to work the class to promote the boat, and you have no market at all.

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2 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Word on the street is there are 10, (possibly more) 2020 PSA Australian worlds boats being sold in the US for $ 6,800.00ish....

 

 

1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

Confirmed.

 

If you are going to confirm your own rumors you need to switch over to your sock puppet.  Good grief; are you Canadian or something??  :P

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7 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Word on the street is that a gazillion (possibly more) RS Aeros are being sold in North America, and that @RobbieB is going to start a fleet in Charleston SC.

What is your point?

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Gouv said:

If those panels were made of woven cloth they would never have been stiff in the first place. 
Lasers typically degrade because of failures within in the core materials, their adhesion to the adjacent laminate, or both. Lasers also degrade because of physical abuse from improper trailering, improper storage, physical abuse, or damages related to water  allowed to gain access to the surfaces and wood inside of the hull.

   When an author mentions chop strand mat and suggests it’s use in boat construction indicates that construction is therefore of a lower quality, I am instantly aware that author is willing to opine while remaining too ignorant to offer a well considered opinion

 

Gouv, that sounds a bit like an old discussion in proboat some 20 years ago.. 

Yes it is true that you can't replace CSM with WR as thickness will be reduced due to higher fiber content. For the same panel weight you still have a higher density due to higher fiber content and a thinner and therefore less stiff panel. Lasers hulls are made from pure CSM. The problem with that is that the panels are still not very stiff. If the laminate is not thick enough (which is not possible with Lasers cause the boat get's far too heavy) the laminate will flex. If a CSM laminate is flexing this will lead to microcracks due to the high resin content and low mechanical properties of the laminate. Microcracks makes the laminate soft, so Lasers will loose of the original stiffness quite fast. Of course it does'nt help if the panel spans are too big, cause you don't use stiffeners like in Lasers. That was actually the simplest and cheapest way to build boats at the beginning of the 1970s. Higher elongation resins could help a bit against microcracks, but these are much more expensive. ( well maybe 80€ per boat). All other classes switched to coremat laminates a long time ago. Panels are thicker and therefore stiffer for a given weight. Means longer lasting due to less microcracks. Next step is to use Biax instead of CSM plus a 6% elong. resin and you've got a longlasting and bulletproof boat at the same weight. Well today you would of course replace Coremat with Soric and infusion,  and the boats get's even better. That's no high tech, but basically todays low cost standard. Cheaper and much better than pure CSM construction. 

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3 hours ago, Bill5 said:

Nice try

 

Damn. I had to try... but there is still hope...

2 hours ago, VWAP said:

What is your point?

That you have no sense of humor or perspective. Are you Canadian?

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1 hour ago, jgh66 said:

Gouv said:

If those panels were made of woven cloth they would never have been stiff in the first place. 
Lasers typically degrade because of failures within in the core materials, their adhesion to the adjacent laminate, or both. Lasers also degrade because of physical abuse from improper trailering, improper storage, physical abuse, or damages related to water  allowed to gain access to the surfaces and wood inside of the hull.

   When an author mentions chop strand mat and suggests it’s use in boat construction indicates that construction is therefore of a lower quality, I am instantly aware that author is willing to opine while remaining too ignorant to offer a well considered opinion

 

Gouv, that sounds a bit like an old discussion in proboat some 20 years ago.. 

Yes it is true that you can't replace CSM with WR as thickness will be reduced due to higher fiber content. For the same panel weight you still have a higher density due to higher fiber content and a thinner and therefore less stiff panel. Lasers hulls are made from pure CSM. The problem with that is that the panels are still not very stiff. If the laminate is not thick enough (which is not possible with Lasers cause the boat get's far too heavy) the laminate will flex. If a CSM laminate is flexing this will lead to microcracks due to the high resin content and low mechanical properties of the laminate. Microcracks makes the laminate soft, so Lasers will loose of the original stiffness quite fast. Of course it does'nt help if the panel spans are too big, cause you don't use stiffeners like in Lasers. That was actually the simplest and cheapest way to build boats at the beginning of the 1970s. Higher elongation resins could help a bit against microcracks, but these are much more expensive. ( well maybe 80€ per boat). All other classes switched to coremat laminates a long time ago. Panels are thicker and therefore stiffer for a given weight. Means longer lasting due to less microcracks. Next step is to use Biax instead of CSM plus a 6% elong. resin and you've got a longlasting and bulletproof boat at the same weight. Well today you would of course replace Coremat with Soric and infusion,  and the boats get's even better. That's no high tech, but basically todays low cost standard. Cheaper and much better than pure CSM construction. 

Like I wrote... chopped strand mat is perfect for a cheap heavy boat like a Laser. 
The laminates last forever on Lasers everywhere except the planing surface and the sides of the bow where the boat becomes soft and slower because the panels are insufficiently reinforced. 

The chop strand mat laminates on the  oldest surviving  Lasers are still just fine. The failures of deck foam, mast steps, and from general abuse kill lasers long before the chop strand mat gives up. 
Does the boat become soft and non competitive?? Yes 

Coukd the flexibility issues be solved without switching off Chop Strand mat?? Yes. ..... but the resulting boat would go too fast 
 

The problem with Lasers is there is no way to nske the boat more durable without speeding it up 

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7 hours ago, Wess said:

Hmmm. Don’t have a dog in this fight but I do have a question...

Are you saying that if you wanted to build a Laser copy that was the same weight and shape (to have similar sailing characteristics), but was as durable and the lowest cost to produce (at scale) as possible that you would use chop strand mat?

Probably . If I were to build a Laser for myself and it has to weigh 130 lbs and look like everybody else’ boat, I would love to use a well adjusted chopper gun and spray the material EXACTLY where I wanted it.

 

if I were building a fifty pound cheater hull for myself it would be all vacuum bagged with lightweight reinforcements 

For a Thirty pound boat I would need carbon fiber but I think a thirty pound Laser might not sail as well as hoped. 
 

none of this matters. I won’t be building any lasers any time soon. 

 

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A Laser is 4m long and 1.6m wide.

I have never done the sum, but one could be confident guessing that there is 10m² of surface area.

A 29er is 12.5m² and a 49er is about 16m².

A bare 49er hull is about 58kgs, so divide that by 16 and you end up with 3.6kgs/m², the 49er is has a little carbon, plenty of glass, epoxy, vacuum consolidated 99% foam core , yad yad yad.

A 29er is also about 58kgs bare, so its 4.4kgs/m², but its far more idiot proof, polyester, again vacuum consolidated, 95% foam core.

But the price difference is chalk and cheese.

If you adopted 29er practice with a Laser its likely the weight could come down to 44kgs, which is not a lot for the inevitable price increase.

Longevity will treble or quadruple,  laminate thickness will reduce and the bitching will hit a crescendo! (people dragging the boat up beaches)

If you adopted 49er practices, then your looking a 36kgs for a hull, not much carbon, but extraordinarily tough.    But price would double at a guess.

You can get lower than that, but you need to get rid of the Gelcoat and the gunwhale bonding process.

Other way to get rid of weight is make the boat smaller, which is what Aero's do.

Also, think about getting back into a 36-40kg laser after capsizing, not fun, it will roll ontop of you!

Then you get into who is this boat for, my guess is that 49er practice is not what's wanted, it's too "exotic".

But the big change on the horizon is work place practices, and this comes back to Gouvernail comments re vacuum consolidation.

I doubt that wet layup will be viable for ecological reasons in as little as 5 years time in some places, so boats like the Optimist and Laser will need to be infused, more likely a cross between infusion and RTM.   That will lead to vacuum consolidation which will lead to much thinner laminates with much closer to perfect stoichiometric (fibre to resin) ratios.  

Point being if you vacuum consolidate, you will need to up the glass quantities, and that in turn will make the boat tougher.

Not even suggesting that there is a time line for this to happen. 

But earlier this year I was asked to have this conversation with IODA (Optimist Class) about this plus PET cores and Flax fibres.

One thing is certain, that in 5 years time, things will be different! 

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Well , i'm not a building expert (only a guy who has repaired lots and lots of second hand boats abused by incompetent beginners) and i don't doubt it is posssible to make a lighter and /or stiffer laser hull from the same moulds (by using some more recent techniques like wacuum bagging).

When i spoke about projected matt , I was thinking of the 70's really cheap boats by La Prairie (a now extinct french boatyard) that used to build boats this way but with a lowfibre content -too much resin for the glassfibre.

This was pretty OK for the little 12 Ft cruising dinghy (Zef -some 15000 built) as the rig had almost no tension but when they went to a 14 ft trainer and then a 16ft racer (Surf and italian designed Caneton-Strale) it was horrendous ...the hulls could not take even moderate rig tension...granted it is almost half a century ago and composite plastics have evolved quite a lot...but still i doubt about the interest of completely changing the laser building layup .

First it would at once throw the existing boats into obsolescence and kill grassroots laser sailing in a matter of a few years

Second, the 56kgs weight is not really an inconvenience (two moderately fit guys can easily handle the hull and load it on a car roof rack) . After  all the incredibly heavyweights Finn (130 Kgs even if this now includes the metallic centreboard) and the "real anvil" 173 Kgs Snipe are still active racing classes after respectively 68 and 89 years of existence.

Third "advanced" composite building techniques need advanced skills for repairing (in any case more skills than usually found among average sailing instructors) ...The robin egg thin Aero hull does not stand very well the test of sailing school use (specially the flat side panels in case of collision ,a frequent occurence in sailing school practice).

The Glénans have just dumped their aeros (they bought a few, some 3 years ago,saw they did not bring such a big difference in speed (after all its still is a non trapeze hiking singlehander so cant get a huge increase in sailpower) and were much too fragile to be used the same way as lasers  .

Then they fitted them with the same foiling  kits they had fitted on their lasers (the rationale being that a lighter hull would go in foiling mode lower in the windspeed  range. Then they realised the boats did not stand even semi competent sailing school handling, then dumped the aeros on the second hand market before they looked like complete wrecks and then bought a batch of non plaqued "club" lasers from LPE plus a few german made beginner friendly (3 foils) dinghies designed from the start for easy foiling.

Granted , a laser hull may get a bit soft after some time but it is absolutely inconsequential at club racing level ...a 10 or 20 years-if properly maintained and dry-stored- hull will still win local races (the mains speed factor is the sail, buying a new one generally gives a bonus in boatspeed that even an average sailor can percieve).

Fourth : Laser sailors do not want an "inevitable price increase"...what they want is a big price decrease through cutting down unrealistic profit margins and a fair chunk of the boat and spares retail price going into ILCA , which they increasingly percive as an non-transparent , high running costs governing body. 

As it is the Laser is fairly OK for three or four successive lifes : International competition, local competition , club and sailing school , cheap fun boat for just cruising...it makes it somehow more eco-friendly .

I feel the price top guys pay (or their National Authority or club pays for them) for replacing their boats frequently because of the percieved infinitesimal (but vital if you are battling for olympic selection) drop in performance is kind of a contribution to club and grassroots sailing where people have much more to gain by refining their strategic/tactical/boathandling skills and are perfectly happy with an ex olympic circus boat....But this is only true if the class remains in one part and is governed in a sensible way to cope for the interest of every sailor from top to grassroots.

If new buiding techniques should be introduced (because of tighter workplace regulations) the move would have to be the same as when the unavailable 3.2 oz sail cloth wasreplaced by the 3.8 sailcloth : Hans Fogh was specifically asked not to design a"faster" sail just one that would perform exactly like the old ones...which he did brillantly.

 

 

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Laminate schedule that won’t displace current GRP structure but does address Longevity whilst maintaining physical similarity. 
A defined engineered RTM process that has the B moulding (inner) set up to deal with mast location, cockpit attachment regions (deck to hull) and importantly addressing Hull stiffness (via a grid geometry contained within the B mould). Deck moulding ~ similarly by way of RTM, perhaps consider replacing the foam core with LRC soric.

Replace the postage stamp rudder ~ something a bit longer in span - BK suggested this a long, long time ago.

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2 hours ago, mockingbird said:

Fourth : Laser sailors do not want an "inevitable price increase"...what they want is a big price decrease through cutting down unrealistic profit margins and a fair chunk of the boat and spares retail price going into ILCA , which they increasingly percive as an non-transparent , high running costs governing body. 

Can you detail the "fair chunk" that goes to the ILCA from retail sales?  When I looked into it myself correlating the yearly boat sales to ILCA income in the annual reports (with estimated additional sail sales), the income from that was a seemingly reasonable  part of the ILCA budget.  Plaque and button fees seemed to be quite low compared to retail prices

You can get an estimate of boat numbers from here: https://www.laserinternational.org/about-the-laser/how-old-is-my-laser/
A table with financials to correlate to those boat numbers can be found at the bottom of the page here: http://www.laserinternational.org/blog/2019/11/29/2019-ilca-world-council-meeting/

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16 hours ago, Wess said:

 

 

If you are going to confirm your own rumors you need to switch over to your sock puppet.  Good grief; are you Canadian or something??  :P

Well first I heard about it through e-mail.  Then I received the actual sell sheet the dealer is passing out.  

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Well , i'm not a building expert (only a guy who has repaired lots and lots of second hand boats abused by incompetent beginners) and i don't doubt it is posssible to make a lighter and /or stiffer laser hull from the same moulds (by using some more recent techniques like wacuum bagging).

When i spoke about projected matt , I was thinking of the 70's really cheap boats by La Prairie (a now extinct french boatyard) that used to build boats this way but with a lowfibre content -too much resin for the glassfibre.

This was pretty OK for the little 12 Ft cruising dinghy (Zef -some 15000 built) as the rig had almost no tension but when they went to a 14 ft trainer and then a 16ft racer (Surf and italian designed Caneton-Strale) it was horrendous ...the hulls could not take even moderate rig tension...granted it is almost half a century ago and composite plastics have evolved quite a lot...but still i doubt about the interest of completely changing the laser building layup .

First it would at once throw the existing boats into obsolescence and kill grassroots laser sailing in a matter of a few years

Second, the 56kgs weight is not really an inconvenience (two moderately fit guys can easily handle the hull and load it on a car roof rack) . After  all the incredibly heavyweights Finn (130 Kgs even if this now includes the metallic centreboard) and the "real anvil" 173 Kgs Snipe are still active racing classes after respectively 68 and 89 years of existence.

Third "advanced" composite building techniques need advanced skills for repairing (in any case more skills than usually found among average sailing instructors) ...The robin egg thin Aero hull does not stand very well the test of sailing school use (specially the flat side panels in case of collision ,a frequent occurence in sailing school practice).

The Glénans have just dumped their aeros (they bought a few, some 3 years ago,saw they did not bring such a big difference in speed (after all its still is a non trapeze hiking singlehander so cant get a huge increase in sailpower) and were much too fragile to be used the same way as lasers  .

Then they fitted them with the same foiling  kits they had fitted on their lasers (the rationale being that a lighter hull would go in foiling mode lower in the windspeed  range. Then they realised the boats did not stand even semi competent sailing school handling, then dumped the aeros on the second hand market before they looked like complete wrecks and then bought a batch of non plaqued "club" lasers from LPE plus a few german made beginner friendly (3 foils) dinghies designed from the start for easy foiling.

Granted , a laser hull may get a bit soft after some time but it is absolutely inconsequential at club racing level ...a 10 or 20 years-if properly maintained and dry-stored- hull will still win local races (the mains speed factor is the sail, buying a new one generally gives a bonus in boatspeed that even an average sailor can percieve).

Fourth : Laser sailors do not want an "inevitable price increase"...what they want is a big price decrease through cutting down unrealistic profit margins and a fair chunk of the boat and spares retail price going into ILCA , which they increasingly percive as an non-transparent , high running costs governing body. 

As it is the Laser is fairly OK for three or four successive lifes : International competition, local competition , club and sailing school , cheap fun boat for just cruising...it makes it somehow more eco-friendly .

I feel the price top guys pay (or their National Authority or club pays for them) for replacing their boats frequently because of the percieved infinitesimal (but vital if you are battling for olympic selection) drop in performance is kind of a contribution to club and grassroots sailing where people have much more to gain by refining their strategic/tactical/boathandling skills and are perfectly happy with an ex olympic circus boat....But this is only true if the class remains in one part and is governed in a sensible way to cope for the interest of every sailor from top to grassroots.

If new buiding techniques should be introduced (because of tighter workplace regulations) the move would have to be the same as when the unavailable 3.2 oz sail cloth wasreplaced by the 3.8 sailcloth : Hans Fogh was specifically asked not to design a"faster" sail just one that would perform exactly like the old ones...which he did brillantly.

 

 

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The trouble is information about ILCA is hard to come by . One sure thing is they tend to hold their meetings in rather expensive hotels (I witenessed that personally when AFL asked me to attend a ILCA Meeting during the Radial Worlds 1995  in Tenerife) . Eurilca on the other hands chooses much cheaper venues.

It is not easy to get info about the level of wages for paid class officers,don't want to spread rumors or go into libel cases , some say they are quite high (Somebody knows for sure exactly how much the late Jeff Martin was paid or eric Faust is currently paid ???) ...That's why so many people  put the stress on transparency when they send their feedback to ILCA.

There is another hint : Non plaqued lasers from LPE vere sold at 4000 UK pounds a piece (if bought in batches of 4) when LPE tried to get cash through a clearance sale this winter (we all saw the ads, there were also Laser Bugs , Laser Picos and Laser Vagos) of course this by-passed the normal retailers profit margins but also ILCA dues . Here again transparency is needed

 

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14 hours ago, tillerman said:

Word on the street is that a gazillion (possibly more) RS Aeros are being sold in North America, and that @RobbieB is going to start a fleet in Charleston SC.

No.  I've gone Opti.  Starting a masters class.  First practice was this past weekend.

Opti.jpg

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6 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

No.  I've gone Opti.  Starting a masters class.  First practice was this past weekend.

Opti.jpg

Hope you've got the certificates for that boat... it won't measure in now, so you'll be relying on grandfathering it in... A taste of what's to come in the Laser world, perhaps? :-)

Cheers,

               W.

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16 minutes ago, mockingbird said:

The trouble is information about ILCA is hard to come by . One sure thing is they tend to hold their meetings in rather expensive hotels (I witenessed that personally when AFL asked me to attend a ILCA Meeting during the Radial Worlds 1995  in Tenerife) . Eurilca on the other hands chooses much cheaper venues.

It is not easy to get info about the level of wages for paid class officers,don't want to spread rumors or go into libel cases , some say they are quite high (Somebody knows for sure exactly how much the late Jeff Martin was paid or eric Faust is currently paid ???) ...That's why so many people  put the stress on transparency when they send their feedback to ILCA.

There is another hint : Non plaqued lasers from LPE vere sold at 4000 UK pounds a piece (if bought in batches of 4) when LPE tried to get cash through a clearance sale this winter (we all saw the ads, there were also Laser Bugs , Laser Picos and Laser Vagos) of course this by-passed the normal retailers profit margins but also ILCA dues . Here again transparency is needed

 

from my rough maths, ILCA receives about 2.3% per plaque on a hull and 6% or less on a sail.  6% is estimated based on sail volumes being approximately 3x that of boat sales, although I expect that sail volumes could be considerably higher, bringing the number closer to 3%.

With a rough idea of the number of non-volunteer staff in the association you can also get an idea of the wage range, it's a subset of the "Administration" line item.

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The "Postage stamp" rudder is perhaps not so bad . The transom is low so means a small rudder stock (and the original vocation of the laser was to be a cheap but better sunfish

(originally a 1000 dollars retail price was targeted) so with cheap  riveted aluminium and stainless steel stampings it was difficult to make a stronger rudderstoch and thus a bigger rudder . Of course a die cast dagger rudder stock (49er style) would be stronger but would not be very good when beaching in some swell and breakers. A strong rudderstock can possibly made out of carbon fiber (Mini 6.50 ar Vendée globe style) but it is definitely not inexpensive .

My sailing instructor practice taught me tat there are two sort of controls on a dinghy Primary or direct ones e;g rudder for steering, hiking for balance and mainsheet for propulsion control...this is basic training...but there are secondary or indirect controls that have to be mastered by intermediate /advanced learners, steering the boat straight by getting the boat flat by hiking or depowering the sail . Usig a big rudder blade to keep some sort of control on a heeling boat is not good seamanhip . Lots of drills in laser training are done with a locked rudder and steering by hiking. The comparatively bigger rudder blades on a 420 do break if badly used ( I did that in 35 kts and th blade was not coss grain plywood but a strong and well made glass over solid wood Rondar blade) The Laser "postage stamp" will never fail in such conditions , it will just stall with a lot of bubbles and tell you it is time to put the boat flat and level before bearing away and round the bloody f..ing windward mark...

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Same goes with the toothpick boom and the "british style" transom main (as opposed to the centre main).

To be cheap the laser relied on just two aluminium extrusion tools (one for the lower mast and one for the upper mast and boom) and it was just plain round tube witout any rail for a boltrope (which in turn called for a windsurf style sleeved sail -that proved to be aerodynamically efficient and cheap- no block, no hook , no halyard) .

Of course a thin boom ruled out a centre main and called for the well known mainsheet arrangement...that does catch into the transom corner because of the "rolled lip" hull to deck bonding which is both useful to carry the boat and a very important and very stron structural feature. It is not very difficult to learn how to avoid this snag and i'd say it is part of the nobody'sperfect stule of the laser...

One unexpected bonus is that a broken aluminium topmast  is easily converted in a (class compliant) boom . I have done that some 20 times for my  (chronically underfunded)sailing school , I was tthe kind of scavenger /trashman sort of guy who went begging for broken topmasts after a big race in strong winds (I usually got one , possibly two when the entries were around the 160 mark...

The broken booms then can useful second life to build a kind of corrosion free structure in the club showers  or as a windsurf roof rack or beach gazebo structure (we had to convert the big collective showers space into indivudual "privacy" boxes with phenolic resin panels over aluminium structure...it does look just as good and sometimes better than anything i've seen in public swimming pools.

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@ Southern cross : I never broke a laser rudder blade or rudderstock in 40 years of laser sailing. Some rudderstocks had loosened rivets after 10tear service .

i did not threw them to the bin, just replaced the worn rivets with bits of stainless steel tubes + stainless steel bolts ...sort of thing that saves quite a few 100€ bills when you run an underfunded not-for-profit sailing school.

On the other hand i replaced quite a number of wooden and even composite FRP rudderblades when akamikaze minded instructor took out a dinghy in a 30/35 Kts Mistral blast...They are all volunteers so entitled to that sort of fun...

 

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@ JMP a rough estimate of paid staff  wages is better than no estimate at all... but  transparent (and possibly certified) annual account sheet sent to every due-paying member seems even better, if only to stop rumors of foul practice

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10 minutes ago, Southern Cross said:

The rudder is to bloody small ~ your reasoning is incorrect..

Now you folks want a new rudder on the Laser?!!?  :blink:  Geeze why don't you go buy a different boat instead?  I don't understand folks like you or Julian (new rigs) who keep wanting to change the boat... why don't you go build your own dang boat and class?  Why do you have to keep changing and killing this one?  The success of the Laser was due to the fact that it was cheap, robust, and easy to rig and sail. And that the class was SMOD and the fleets were guaranteed to be OD.  Now its expensive, less robust, gets more and more complex and you have a fractured class. ILCA killed SMOD and with it went OD.  I had hoped somewhere in all this mess some organization would focus on the club level and getting back to what worked for the masses.  Cheap, robust, simple, SMOD.   

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The rumours about putting a bigger ruder blade have been around for more than 15 years and radio boatpak always said it was the Aussies asking for that...I think Performance sailcraft tried to adapt the bigger longer blade from the Laser 2 (later Laser 3000 ar vandercraft 3000) but it was not successful (because of the low transom calling for a low rudderstock).

Certainly some carbon fibre craftsman can design and build a low but strong rudderstock but it would be a 400€ retail price bit . The carbon fibre for the tiller should nott have been authorized (the tiller was "free" in the original boat constitution , it adds 180€ to the boat price and is just like racing wheels plonked on a cheap econobox car.)

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Interesting video ...i beg to disagree about the hiking pants/pads . I do have them but use them only 20% of my sailing time (heavy wind , long races 3or 4 races a day ) for light winds im much better off without them and i alwas sail barefooted even in winter (got used to that in the time waterballasts were permitted , as i'm sort of short the boots weight was better placed in the ballast jacket.)

Something  you do not have in this video is a direct comparison on a race course by equally skilled helmsmen and with different types of weather/chop/waves...etc

Wonder if some sailing magazine has already done that .

I dont think you 'd have the same kind of speed differential as between a classic dinghy and a slalom or course/race no centreboard windsurf.

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Mockingird - you have raised a bunch of questions dealt with ad nauseum on this and other threads, but I suppose they need to be revisited from time to time.

1) Can anybody actually argue that the Aero is not lighter/faster/more comfortable to hike on than the Laser? 

2) There are some things that would be better on the Laser. As a 40 year design, yes - but not at the expense of the whole idea of the class. I think there have been enough changes already.

3) ILCA need to be more transparent about their revenue stream, and where it goes.

4) I only notice the rudder is too small when I make a mistake.

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10 hours ago, Southern Cross said:

The Laser is a great boat. I have owned one since 1974.

but the rudder is to small, 

Have  you owned others or just the mentioned one you have owned for 46 years?? 

 

 

Is to small as small is to what??

 

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2 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Have  you owned others or just the mentioned one you have owned for 46 years?? 

 

 

Is to small as small is to what??

 

I have owned three Lasers, still have one.

Rudder blade : specific to the Laser ( ie. global dynamic consideration of Laser hull, foils and sail plans) I have found the lack of blade area is obvious at times ~ in general terms, I’m not going to go into matters of span, sweep, taper/volume ...etc.

I know that BK wanted to modify the rudder blade very early in the boats history, the Class officials deflected his advised suggestion.

 

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49 minutes ago, Southern Cross said:

I have owned three Lasers, still have one.

Rudder blade : specific to the Laser ( ie. global dynamic consideration of Laser hull, foils and sail plans) I have found the lack of blade area is obvious at times ~ in general terms, I’m not going to go into matters of span, sweep, taper/volume ...etc.

I know that BK wanted to modify the rudder blade very early in the boats history, the Class officials deflected his advised suggestion.

 

Is to small? 
 

 

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IMHO, the Aero is lighter, a bit faster (but just a bit, it is still a single hander without trapeze or hiking racks)  and possibly more fun to sail than the laser but it has been developed with individual buyers in mind and it does not fit the bill for : Rentals and beach clubs, sailing schools and people with only 1000 or 2000 € to buy a toy, so cannot have the kind of usefulsecond/third/fourth life the laser has....²plus there are no cheap spares either adaptable or second hand on the market. I have always used second hand cars (the money went into the Laser and travel expenses) so my first move when i had to change my car (after some 400 or 500 000 Km) was to get information about what to buy next at small garages and junkyards...lots of people do this and the same goes with the Laser Vs Aero

The Aero may be better on the water , certainly lighter , but it is not the onky decision factor: Lors of regattas, lots of cheap spares, lots of second hand boats for the not too well-off.

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2 hours ago, mockingbird said:

IMHO, the Aero is lighter, a bit faster (but just a bit, it is still a single hander without trapeze or hiking racks)  and possibly more fun to sail than the laser but it has been developed with individual buyers in mind and it does not fit the bill for : Rentals and beach clubs, sailing schools and people with only 1000 or 2000 € to buy a toy, so cannot have the kind of usefulsecond/third/fourth life the laser has....²plus there are no cheap spares either adaptable or second hand on the market. I have always used second hand cars (the money went into the Laser and travel expenses) so my first move when i had to change my car (after some 400 or 500 000 Km) was to get information about what to buy next at small garages and junkyards...lots of people do this and the same goes with the Laser Vs Aero

The Aero may be better on the water , certainly lighter , but it is not the onky decision factor: Lors of regattas, lots of cheap spares, lots of second hand boats for the not too well-off.

OK. Add to my points above:

5) The Laser/ILCA is a better school boat. Especially the cheap one you can get from LP (soon to be Portugal)

6) There are more and larger Laser/ILCA fleets than there are any kind of boat, which is not news.

I am not sure what you mean by "decision factor" in your last line. 

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On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 6:53 AM, Wess said:

Now you folks want a new rudder on the Laser?!!?  :blink:  Geeze why don't you go buy a different boat instead?  I don't understand folks like you or Julian (new rigs) who keep wanting to change the boat... why don't you go build your own dang boat and class?  Why do you have to keep changing and killing this one?  The success of the Laser was due to the fact that it was cheap, robust, and easy to rig and sail. And that the class was SMOD and the fleets were guaranteed to be OD.  Now its expensive, less robust, gets more and more complex and you have a fractured class. ILCA killed SMOD and with it went OD.  I had hoped somewhere in all this mess some organization would focus on the club level and getting back to what worked for the masses.  Cheap, robust, simple, SMOD.   

Stangely, I agree with most of this, Wess! But I would argue that the SM in SMOD disappeared as soon as there was more than one factory, and this was before ILCA even came into existence. And there are hundreds/thousands of organizations that focus on the club level. Clubs. No need for oversight.

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10 hours ago, jgh66 said:

No

Generally speaking "Flat is fast", (some exception to light air and certain wave angle sailing).  There's a sunfish book written in the 60's titled, "Sail it Flat".  So, this is not a new concept.

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On 5/12/2020 at 8:30 AM, RobbieB said:

ZIM, (in North America) received their molds a few weeks ago.  BlatentEcho is incorrect.

 

JFC, I'm sorry, but the level of idiocy here is simply astounding.

None of this is remotely true.
Remotely......

You been to their factory, you have pictures of molds? 
Nope and nope.

--

There won't be an NA builder for the ILCA in 2020, and I doubt in 2021 or beyond.

Additionally, yes, PSA is selling used event ILCAs (not Lasers), usually without sails, for more than new Lasers.
That is also a fact.
 

 

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6 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Generally speaking "Flat is fast", (some exception to light air and certain wave angle sailing).  There's a sunfish book written in the 60's titled, "Sail it Flat".  So, this is not a new concept.

and your rudder is not going to ventilate.... then there are also better means of steering than moving the tiller..

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On Lasers you can start in light wind by standing in front of the mast and do some tacks and gybes... Next step stand on the boom mainsheet in your hand an steer..

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On 5/12/2020 at 8:30 AM, RobbieB said:

ZIM, (in North America) received their molds a few weeks ago.  BlatentEcho is incorrect.

 

17 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

JFC, I'm sorry, but the level of idiocy here is simply astounding.

None of this is remotely true.
Remotely......

You been to their factory, you have pictures of molds? 
Nope and nope.

--

There won't be an NA builder for the ILCA in 2020, and I doubt in 2021 or beyond.

Additionally, yes, PSA is selling used event ILCAs (not Lasers), usually without sails, for more than new Lasers.
That is also a fact.
 

 

Pics or it didn't happen Robbie! 

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On 5/14/2020 at 12:00 AM, Wess said:

Hmmm. Don’t have a dog in this fight but I do have a question...

Are you saying that if you wanted to build a Laser copy that was the same weight and shape (to have similar sailing characteristics), but was as durable and the lowest cost to produce (at scale) as possible that you would use chop strand mat?

As mentioned before I notice in Europe there is a Laser clone (with altered transom) used in lots of sailing rental places, its half the cost of a Laser.

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On 5/10/2020 at 7:02 PM, tillerman said:


@sosoomii  - that's very unfair.  Sometimes @Xeon's posts are three or even four sentences. 

All very true . But still better than just making the came point over and over and over again . In the the hope of getting the same people to disagree with you , over and over and over again . 
This thread is the forum version of Groundhog Day and perhaps if more people started being more concise and only posted a few sentences, it would be a better place .:D

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1 hour ago, Xeon said:

All very true . But still better than just making the came point over and over and over again . In the the hope of getting the same people to disagree with you , over and over and over again . 
This thread is the forum version of Groundhog Day and perhaps if more people started being more concise and only posted a few sentences, it would be a better place .:D

Good post.

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In retrospect the Laser clones from the eighties certainly helped keep down the price of the laser at the time it was starting to get traction.

There was the German Vario (Leo Bruckner), another german singlehander by Klepper, the spanish Estel (Roga) the Japanese Seahopper by Yamaha (this wan built really seriously, at least for the hull) , the soviet / russian Luch and in France when lanaverre failed to strike a deal to produce lasers in Europe, their in house designer Christian Maury , teamed with french finn medallist Serge Maury launched the X4 withfull support of the french national Authority FFV (there were some 10 or 20 X4 moulds dispached in french sailing clubs for whoever wanted to self build his own X4 plus 5 professional boatyards as well...but there were horrendous quality issues (mast steps breaking, belcobalsa sandwich soaking in water and rotting...). Huge differences in weight , in spars and sails (different sailmakers) most amateur built boats were too heavy some were ultralight and a handful cheated by using Kevlar and carbon or non class compliant sailcloth...

When the Laser finally outstripped them all at the end of the eighties the Laser  retail price went skywards (for no apparent reason???):D

 

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Friend with some training in marheting told methat there are three ways of setting a retail price for the consumer.

First is taking in considering the manufacturing costs, marketing costs and add a modest profit margin.

Second is by taking in consideration the price of similar products made by rival firms on the same segment of the market

 Third is by estimating the customers "willingness to pay" and stretch the price to  the highest possible price.

 

Guess what is the approach of today Laser: ILCA builders :rolleyes:

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On 5/16/2020 at 7:37 AM, Wess said:

 

Pics or it didn't happen Robbie! 

Here's one for you.  These boats MIGHT have 3 days of sailing on them but look FULLY LOADED to me and are LESS than the NEW LPE boats West Coast has in stock.  More to come on pricing guys....  What say you BlatentEcho?

 

 

Cvane_PSABoatPriceList (1).pdf

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23 hours ago, tillerman said:

 

 

Sorry for the late reply Tillerman.  I was busy sailing this distance course in my ILCA this past Saturday.  25 miles, 2 rest stops, 2 bottles of water and 4 beers.  4 hrs total sailing.  15+ East wind and big swell from Arthur which was scooting by.  Offshore was interesting.  The track on the map is from a previous weekends trip on a SW breeze.  There were some "cruising" boat that also went.  3 Hobie Waves and 1 Hobie 17' ,(looked like a big wave with a jib).

Around_Morris_Island_Route..jpg

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