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

jgh66

Anarchist
As CEO of LPE you only have two routes you can go: Either fight as hard as you can, pay more laywers, try to sue anybody and lose customers cause everybody hates you or play nicely and cooperate with these "crazy" sailers.. and lose customers. Just my 2 €ct.
Gouv: if you ever talk to Mr Rastegar, and tell him about my crazy idea that he should think about supporting the class rule change:

maybe I'm not even right in what I said about selling fewer boats.

Old story of Hobie Cat Europe the commercial director once told me:

In the late 1980s a new catamaran builder (KL, builder of KL15. 5, later SL16 ISAF youth in worlds catamaran) was established, and they sold quite a lot of boats in France, making a big competition to Hobie. Normally you would think that Hobie must have sold fewer boats. But it was just the other way, Hobie sold more boats than before..

Same happened with the rise of F18 class. The more builders joined the competition on the water, the more boats were sold by everybody. 

It may make more sense to fight on the water, the more dealers and builders are involved the bigger the market gets. If you fight in the courtroom only the lawyers get rich, and the market crashes, cause too much money and energy is getting lost. Better use that energy and money to promote your brand and sell boats.. 

 
-OQT : manufacturer code ( Laserperformance LLC acc to the british marine register)

PK4Y9: serial number the manufacturer can choose

J: month of manufacture ( october)

8: year of manufacture (2018)

19: model year
TRIVIA, compared to our main topic of discussion here, but... that may well be the current European Union system, but it wasn't always the norm. The FAQ item "How do I determine my sail number and boat year?" on the "drLaser.org" website (still partially available on web.archive.org) used to note that:

For post-1973 Lasers: In North America, the 3 characters usually formed the builder's ID. and the rest of the numbers identified the hull. 

In North America, these 3 characters might be:

  • PFS = Performance Sailcraft Corp.(1971-1974) (Montreal, Québec, Canada: still manufacturing 29ers, Bytes, 420s and Optis.)
  • ZFS = Performance Sailcraft (1974 [as per hulls 16950-51626]-1985) (Pointe-Claire, Québec)
  • PSC = Performance Sailcraft (19??-19??)
  • PSL = Performance Sailcraft - San Rafael, CA, USA (Owner Don Trask, 1971 through 1981)
  • PSI = Performace Sailcraft International (South Africa, until 1989)
  • ZID = Laser International (Ontario 1984-1991) Reincarnation of original Laser builder. (Also known as Performance Sailcraft Canada.)
  • PSB = Pearson Small Boats (1989-1991) (RI) 
  • SLI = Sunfish Laser Inc (1991 to March 1997) New manufacturing facility.
  • OQT = Vanguard Sailboats Inc., RI (March 1997 to present) Initials stand for Quarter Moon Inc. Production continued in SLI facility which Vanguard purchased. Personnel was the same. Later purchased by PSE.

Next 5 digits were the sail number. If the sail number is great than 99,999, then the first digit is a character, where A=10, B=11, C=12, D=13, etc., and that letter was followed by 5 digits.

Last 4 characters indicated when the boat was built and the model year. Usually 1 letter followed by 3 numbers, and occasionally 1 letter, 2 numbers, followed by another letter (see below).

In the 1 letter, 3 numbers case, the letter indicates the month of manufacture (according to Sunfish/Laser Inc.):
A=Aug, B=Sept, C=Oct, D=Nov, E=Dec, F=Jan, G=Feb, H=Mar, I=April, J=May, K=June, L=July.

The next digit indicates the year the boat was built (not model year!), followed by a 2-number model year. Eg.
D494 = Built Nov (D) 1994 (4) for 1994 model year (94).
F697 = Built Jan (F) 1996 for 1997 model year (97)

For example:
SLI F1234 F494 = Sunfish Laser Inc, Sail number 151234, Built in January 1994 for Model Year 1994."

 
Does the sales pitch for continued Olympic participation include the local fleet success stories of other Olympic boats? 

The Nacra 17 fleet has doubled in size here in the last 3 years, (admittedly from a small base of 1).

In all seriousness though, continued Olympic participation is , on balance, a good thing for the Laser.

Does the sales pitch include the financial success enjoyed by the various FRAND builders of other Olympic boats?

McKay reputedly makes an okay living. Rondar and Ovington are both successful financial builders who also build Olympic classes. BUT Nobody makes a lot of money building the OMOD Olympic Classes

Does the FRAND Olympic  pitch include the thousands of boats sold to thousands of sailors by current FRAND Olympic boat builders? 

FRAND does not grow a modern class

Has any SMOD sailing class adopted a FRAND policy and subsequently enjoyed a boom?

Not in recent history

Has any FRAND class since 1975 rivaled the success of the top  SMOD classes? Hobie 16, Sunfish, Laser, J-24, Catalina 22, Melges 24, 

F18

Why is anyone campaigning to abandon the successful laser formula? 

Because WS has adopted a FRAND policy

( Note: removing the brand name and certifying only one generic builder in any region is not like FRAND) 
We covered this ground earlier.  WS has decided to exclude SMOD boats from the Olympics.  These are the cards that Laser sailors are dealt with. We can and should debate that decision elsewhere but its not the fault of Lasers...its WS decision.

By the way, I dont buy the excuse that WS were forced to adopt OMOD FRAND licensing agreements by EU competition law....but that is debate for elsewhere.

 

jgh66

Anarchist
TRIVIA, compared to our main topic of discussion here, but... that may well be the current European Union system, but it wasn't always the norm. The FAQ item "How do I determine my sail number and boat year?" on the "drLaser.org" website (still partially available on web.archive.org) used to note that:

For post-1973 Lasers: In North America, the 3 characters usually formed the builder's ID. and the rest of the numbers identified the hull. 

In North America, these 3 characters might be:

  • PFS = Performance Sailcraft Corp.(1971-1974) (Montreal, Québec, Canada: still manufacturing 29ers, Bytes, 420s and Optis.)
  • ZFS = Performance Sailcraft (1974 [as per hulls 16950-51626]-1985) (Pointe-Claire, Québec)
  • PSC = Performance Sailcraft (19??-19??)
  • PSL = Performance Sailcraft - San Rafael, CA, USA (Owner Don Trask, 1971 through 1981)
  • PSI = Performace Sailcraft International (South Africa, until 1989)
  • ZID = Laser International (Ontario 1984-1991) Reincarnation of original Laser builder. (Also known as Performance Sailcraft Canada.)
  • PSB = Pearson Small Boats (1989-1991) (RI) 
  • SLI = Sunfish Laser Inc (1991 to March 1997) New manufacturing facility.
  • OQT = Vanguard Sailboats Inc., RI (March 1997 to present) Initials stand for Quarter Moon Inc. Production continued in SLI facility which Vanguard purchased. Personnel was the same. Later purchased by PSE.

Next 5 digits were the sail number. If the sail number is great than 99,999, then the first digit is a character, where A=10, B=11, C=12, D=13, etc., and that letter was followed by 5 digits.

Last 4 characters indicated when the boat was built and the model year. Usually 1 letter followed by 3 numbers, and occasionally 1 letter, 2 numbers, followed by another letter (see below).

In the 1 letter, 3 numbers case, the letter indicates the month of manufacture (according to Sunfish/Laser Inc.):
A=Aug, B=Sept, C=Oct, D=Nov, E=Dec, F=Jan, G=Feb, H=Mar, I=April, J=May, K=June, L=July.

The next digit indicates the year the boat was built (not model year!), followed by a 2-number model year. Eg.
D494 = Built Nov (D) 1994 (4) for 1994 model year (94).
F697 = Built Jan (F) 1996 for 1997 model year (97)

For example:
SLI F1234 F494 = Sunfish Laser Inc, Sail number 151234, Built in January 1994 for Model Year 1994."
interesting. The former Euro code until 2018 was GB-PSE....

But you only mentioned the north american builders and SA. Do you also have an overview on  international builders like PSE, PSJ PSA ? The older euro boats did not have a HIN as far as I know, only the sail number under the bow fitting, but it would be very interesting to have a history on all builders worldwide.

 
Gouv: if you ever talk to Mr Rastegar, and tell him about my crazy idea that he should think about supporting the class rule change:
What I would do if I was LP now.

Surprise everyone by coming out all in favor of option 2. Announce that it is in the best interest of sailors that the sailors control their own destiny. Encourage Laser sailors to vote for the rule change.

- Surprise everyone even further by announcing that LP has voluntarily decided that it will be working with ILCA and WS to identify additional builders ... and that LP will be voluntarily licensing those builders  to use the Laser trademark. ..those licensing agreements will be bilateral between LP and the licensed builder. Each licensing agreement will be negotiated on its own merits.  They will be fair and non-discriminatory.

-
We agree!

My second point, is with the rule change passed, LP could walk away from the negotiations on a blanket license for its trade mark and focus on a few select bilateral negotiations.

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
image.png

The "truth" is out there?

From LP's FB page:

image.png

From the response in the court case:

image.png

...however the global aspirations is little more than projection of Mr Rastegar's own ambition:

image.png

2013. SailLaser is a part of Rastegar's global vision.

image.png

In 2019, SailLaser has two sailing centers, on in Germany, one in Italy. SailLaser in the UK was closed down in 2013.

January 2019. Some of the positions held today are unusual. What is consistent is the blame.

image.png   

I have been speaking to ex employees of MacLaren and LaserPerformance.

---

If there is any truth to the notion that ILCA is part of a conspiracy with PSA or GS, then I can't find it.

---

Yet LP endorses the policy?

image.png

That is only possible because ILCA supports LP to be a builder.

So which is it? Is ILCA getting rid of LP or has ILCA endorsed LP as a builder?

Also, LP boasted that ILCA and LP have reach an agreement with the use of the Laser trademark. If ILCA was truly wanting to change the name, why would they bother?

 
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Wess

Super Anarchist
We covered this ground earlier.  WS has decided to exclude SMOD boats from the Olympics.  These are the cards that Laser sailors are dealt with. We can and should debate that decision elsewhere but its not the fault of Lasers...its WS decision.

By the way, I dont buy the excuse that WS were forced to adopt OMOD FRAND licensing agreements by EU competition law....but that is debate for elsewhere.
I heard you and agree right up to that debate is for elsewhere.  Kinda thinks its here.  Because that is the excuse driving this vote. And this is a vote to drive out a builder - make no mistake about that. 

I am not into ethical or not... its legal or not... so if everyone (or majority) wanted LPE gone as most of those in US do then OK, if it ain't illegal its game over and I am fine with that.  But here we have (it seems not confirmed) a majority (in Europe) that don't want that outcome and the use of bogus rationale and well... I don't want to get into the rest or how this vote got worded and watered down to hide intent... but if I am an EU Laser sailor that is happy with LPE... I don't know what to say except they have every reason and right to be really ticked at the class. And really good people in the class.  I can only liken this to when one you your really good friends goes through a really bad divorce and you just watch them make bad / unethical / sad (??) decisions because they are so trapped in hatred.

I really don't get this ILCA. Even if you win you lose.  Pass the vote and eventually the smoke clears and you end up with a fractured class, more expensive boats, and you et dragged into court and have to use sailors dues to defend pay lawyers instead of advance sailing.

I am not racing the boat anymore so really shouldn't care - and for sure I will find the coming legal sagas interesting on a professional level - but it makes me kinda sad.  Like watching those friends go through a divorce.

 
The older euro boats did not have a HIN as far as I know, only the sail number under the bow fitting, but it would be very interesting to have a history on all builders worldwide.
You are right. The FAQ also notes that:

"European Lasers
UK manufacturer has occasionally etched the sail number only under the bow eye, with no additional stamping on the transom. In cases where the etching under the bow eye has special codes (such as "GHN067"), there is also an aluminium sticker riveted into the back wall of the cockpit, and the sail number is etched on the sticker. (Confirmed examples include UK-made hulls with the numbers 10423, 30648, and 67225.)

On the other hand, it is also reported that some European Lasers do come with sail number stamped in the transom gelcoat, in the area between the upper and the lower gudgeons. (An example is sail #46438 built by PSE in the UK in 1977.)

NZ Lasers
Until early 1990s, Performance Sailcraft in New Zealand also manufactured hulls with the sail number stamped on the transom, without any manufacturer codes or manufacturing year identification. NZ hull number 132524 is such a hull. Later, a manufacturer's ID was used: number 156749 had both a manufacturer ID stamped on the transom as well as the sail number.

SA Lasers
There is one report that in the early eighties, Performance Sailcraft International (South African manufacturer until early 80's) used a hull number ending with "SA". It may be that for a while, manufacturers worldwide tagged the manufacturing country to the end of the hull number."

   This FAQ item was a living document back in early 2000s. It was being revised as new information trickled in from Laser sailors worldwide. (Back then, there was no hull number or sail number data published on Laser manufacturers' websites.)

 
I heard you and agree right up to that debate is for elsewhere.  Kinda thinks its here.  Because that is the excuse driving this vote. And this is a vote to drive out a builder - make no mistake about that. 

I am not into ethical or not... its legal or not... so if everyone (or majority) wanted LPE gone as most of those in US do then OK, if it ain't illegal its game over and I am fine with that.  But here we have (it seems not confirmed) a majority (in Europe) that don't want that outcome and the use of bogus rationale and well... I don't want to get into the rest or how this vote got worded and watered down to hide intent... but if I am an EU Laser sailor that is happy with LPE... I don't know what to say except they have every reason and right to be really ticked at the class. And really good people in the class.  I can only liken this to when one you your really good friends goes through a really bad divorce and you just watch them make bad / unethical / sad (??) decisions because they are so trapped in hatred.

I really don't get this ILCA. Even if you win you lose.  Pass the vote and eventually the smoke clears and you end up with a fractured class, more expensive boats, and you et dragged into court and have to use sailors dues to defend pay lawyers instead of advance sailing.

I am not racing the boat anymore so really shouldn't care - and for sure I will find the coming legal sagas interesting on a professional level - but it makes me kinda sad.  Like watching those friends go through a divorce.
Hey Wess,

Would your concerns be addressed if

1. ILCA announced that LP has agreed to allow facility inspections and if the rule change is approved, LP will be reinstated as a class legal builder for a minimum of 5 years?

2. LP announces a 10% price reduction in the RRP of a Laser in North America.

 
By the way Wess, I dont agree with WS disallowing SMOD boats in the Olympics.  I'm just suggesting we can still bake a good cake even if we dont have all the ingredients.

As a gesture of good faith that perhaps LP, PSA and ILCA can rise to...

If all the builders and ILCA find common agreement on either the rule change or a trademark licensing agreement before August 1st and....... PSA and LP settle their disruptive law suit before August 1st......then I will publish the infamous flapjack recipe and waive all copyright, intellectual property and trade secret rights in said recipe. 

Further I will send a batch of flapjacks to Bruce in New Zealand.

How is that for setting an example of peace making.

 
if the rule change is approved, LP will be reinstated as a class legal builder for a minimum of 5 years...
What is the connection here?

LPE should be reinstated if the facility inspection results in "no fault" manufacturing processes at LPE, not because the rule change is approved or denied. 

And why should LPE, if approved, should be approved for 5 or 10 (any independently specified number of) years? LPE should be approved for exactly as long as however long any other builder is approved following facility inspections.

These are rhetorical questions. I'm not really asking "why". I' just suggesting LPE should NOT be granted any special treatment.

 
What is the connection here?

LPE should be reinstated if the facility inspection results in "no fault" manufacturing processes at LPE, not because the rule change is approved or denied. 

And why should LPE, if approved, should be approved for 5 or 10 (any independently specified number of) years? LPE should be approved for exactly as long as however long any other builder is approved following facility inspections.

These are rhetorical questions. I'm not really asking "why". I' just suggesting LPE should NOT be granted any special treatment.
You are right of course Doc.  LPE should not be granted any special treatment.

The connection in my mind is because several Laser class members especially in Europe seem to fear that this rule change is all about terminating LP.  If the vote fails it will be because (i) Many European members dont want LPE terminated (ii) Many Laser sailors dont want the Laser name dropped.    It takes a lot of careful study to discover that the vote is separate from any decision on LP and the name brand Laser can still be used. Most Laser sailors will get more influenced by social media than taking 20 minutes to read and understand the FAQ.

So if ILCA really wants the rule to pass, they should clearly and categorically announce that LP will be reinstated as a builder provided it complies with the LCM and allows facility inspection.   It has to reappoint LP anyway according to WS FRAND policy because LP is certainly a "qualified builder" and it would be discriminatory not to reappoint them if they comply with the LCM.

LET ME BE CLEAR.......what I am writing is not biased in favor of LP. (Bruce ;) ) I am trying to be objective here.   

Reading WS's FRAND policy it would be almost impossible not to reappoint LP if LP agrees to inspections etc

So if ILCA wants to pass the rule, why not make a virtue out of necessity??

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
The connection in my mind is because several Laser class members especially in Europe seem to fear that this rule change is all about terminating LP.  If the vote fails it will be because (i) Many European members dont want LPE terminated (ii) Many Laser sailors dont want the Laser name dropped.    It takes a lot of careful study to discover that the vote is separate from any decision on LP and the name brand Laser can still be used. Most Laser sailors will get more influenced by social media than taking 20 minutes to read and understand the FAQ.
Agreed. The following comment was made in response to ILCA calling for a vote.

image.png

LET ME BE CLEAR.......what I am writing is not biased in favor of LP. (Bruce ;) ) I am trying to be objective here.   
And in my view you have succeeded. (Not that you need my approval).

 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,098
1,604
Meanwhile, thousands of Aero sailors have been reported lining up to join the Laser class and vote against the rule change. 

a-long-queue-of-people-on-penzance-pier-waiting-to-join Laser Class.jpg

 

jgh66

Anarchist
We agree!

My second point, is with the rule change passed, LP could walk away from the negotiations on a blanket license for its trade mark and focus on a few select bilateral negotiations.
Yes, I agree!

Boat can stay in the Olympics.

Rastegar keeps his trademark and company and especially the not racing related business, gets support from being Olympic class.

Everybody else builds the "Kirby 14" under his own brand. Competion between dealers builders could increase the number of boats sold even for LPE.

WS and ILCA control maufacture

Everybody could be happy, stop fighting and selling boats.

I also fully agree with Gouv that this business is only working as a team._Builders, Classes, Designer, MNA, WS, Coaches, Clubs, Sailers. Everybody needs to come together, and work together. In my opinion Mr Rastegar has shown in the past that he just did not understood how this game works. Not paying royalties: Fighting against designer. If he wins the courtcase his main product is "open source". If he loses he loses complete building rights. Not clever. Fighting against the class, trying to get the class under control: You fight against the people that would normally be your biggest supporter. Not very clever. Either try to learn from what happens and start to understand the business. Stop fighting, sell boats. Work nicely with all parties, and everybody will support you and buy your boats. Or go on fighting and destroy your own business. Fighting against your clients and supporters is commercial suicide, I believe.

 

Board skiff

Super Anarchist
1,606
672
What is the connection here?

LPE should be reinstated if the facility inspection results in "no fault" manufacturing processes at LPE, not because the rule change is approved or denied. 

And why should LPE, if approved, should be approved for 5 or 10 (any independently specified number of) years? LPE should be approved for exactly as long as however long any other builder is approved following facility inspections.

These are rhetorical questions. I'm not really asking "why". I' just suggesting LPE should NOT be granted any special treatment.
Approving builders is not FRAND. Anyone, subject to payment of a license fee agreed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms should be able to build, sell and supply Lasers (or whatever they may be called). It is not for ILCA, GS or WS to “approve” or deny permission.  This is a really important point with far reaching consequences. 

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
4,856
2,310
Rhode Island
Meanwhile, thousands of Aero sailors have been reported lining up to join the Laser class and vote against the rule change. 

View attachment 313228
LOL. I must admit it crossed my mind to rejoin the Laser class just so I could vote.

But $50 for one vote is a bit steep. 

So I will just wish all my Laser friends well and hope you manage to keep your boat in the Olympics. God forbid that the RS Aero should get entangled in all this FRAND nonsense. 

SMOD for ever!  

 

 
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