Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

Curious2

Anarchist
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) It was set up as a strict one design and the uber-conservative culture of the class prevented any significant change to hull, foils etc. How could you have had a Laser with a hull half the weight of the original Laser and still sail old and new hulls in the same one design class?

But a lot of us like vintage cars and vintage wines and vintage songs. Why should we not sail vintage boats?

The Laser sailors I've known have won Moth worlds, done the America's Cup on an AC75 foiling cat, won cat Olympic medals, won 18 Foot Skiff "worlds" and nationals, built their own boats, and done just about everything else in sailing. So class "culture" isn't uber-conservative because the sailors know no better, but because we know that we sail Lasers because we DON"T want to get stuck into a gear race.

It's not conservatism per se but logical conscious choice.
 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
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The Laser sailors I've known have won Moth worlds, done the America's Cup on an AC75 foiling cat, won cat Olympic medals, won 18 Foot Skiff "worlds" and nationals, built their own boats, and done just about everything else in sailing. So class "culture" isn't uber-conservative because the sailors know no better, but because we know that we sail Lasers because we DON"T want to get stuck into a gear race.

It's not conservatism per se but logical conscious choice.
I think we are in violent agreement. "Uber-conservative" was not meant to be a criticism of the Laser class; It was meant to describe what I consider has been one of the major strengths of the class over the decades.
 

Curious2

Anarchist
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I think we are in violent agreement. "Uber-conservative" was not meant to be a criticism of the Laser class; It was meant to describe what I consider has been one of the major strengths of the class over the decades.

Sounds good to me; it's just that some (other) people assume that anyone who likes a strict OD is a luddite in all ways.
 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
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England
Your comparisons are facile, to use your term. Hockey sticks, even for the elite, cost as much as a Laser tiller and extension - and have changed about as much over the same period. Vaulting poles cost less than a mast, and Laser masts have changed just as much as vaulting poles over the same period. Footballs are very cheap.

So the items you use for comparison are vastly cheaper than a Laser and don't appear to have changed any more than comparable Laser bits.

If the class had changed to the new rigs, I think it would be dead around my neck of the woods. How on earth could anyone p*ss all over the kids who cannot afford to upgrade rigs, and effectively throw them out of the entire sport? Who on earth would want to win in a typical club fleet with about one or two new rigs and everyone else on old ones?

The other boats with worldwide coverage are the 420 and Optimist, neither of which has changed much. The major class that has changed most of all (Mistral windsurfer) went from about 65,000 craft to zero. Seems to be a lesson there.
You totally miss understand and have totally missed my point .1) I NEVER said the new rigs should replace the ali ones in the short to medium term if at all. 2) The new rigs were considerably bigger ( so faster ) and therefore you could never ever sail them in the same fleet .
What I suggested was the class could have adopted them as separate options and let people decide for themselves ( which was the route the class was going before the LP [email protected]@t storm started ) . And yes I do understand the possible problems in your part of the world but in my part of the world it wouldn’t have caused any .

Let’s be honest , the Laser mast has always been [email protected]@t . The difference between a 1970s ali mast ( never mind the laser two piece one) to a modern 21 century carbon mast is night and day it terms of gust response and ease of use when used on boats without standing rigging .
You don’t have to believe me, just ask , Finn,Ok,Europe,Megabyte, Byte and Lightning 368 sailors .
Plus all Aero and Zero sailors , most of which started out as Laser sailors . 😀
 
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tillerman

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You totally miss understand and have totally missed my point .1) I NEVER said the new rigs should replace the ali ones in the short to medium term if at all. 2) The new rigs were considerably bigger ( so faster ) and therefore you could never ever sail them in the same fleet .
What I suggested was the class could have adopted them as separate options and let people decide for themselves ( which was the route the class was going before the LP [email protected]@t storm started ) . And yes I do understand the possible problems in your part of the world but in my part of the world it wouldn’t have caused any .

Let’s be honest , the Laser mast has always been [email protected]@t . The difference between a 1970s ali mast ( never mind the laser two piece one) to a modern 21 century carbon mast is night and day it terms of gust response and ease of use when used on boats without standing rigging .
You don’t have to believe me, just ask , Finn,Ok,Europe,Megabyte, Byte and Lightning 368 sailors .
Plus all Aero and Zero sailors , most of which started out as Laser sailors . 😀
Are you saying that a Laser sailor will be faster if he/she upgrades from the aluminum masts to the "modern 21 century carbon masts?"

Asking for a friend.
 

breaqnaway

New member
28
11
Montana
I really like all the local races both weekends and weekdays throughout the USA, not to mention the world, across a wide age range. Not sure how a carbon mast or laminated sails or a traveler would improve on this...
 

Bill5

Right now
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Western Canada
Yep. Larger jibs/genoas are a common mod on one design classes. Larger kites too. One thing I have observed is that there have been windy decades and quieter decades, and in the quieter decades classes tended to increase sail area.
Common? Lots and lots? So far we have the Byte and 49er. Please name a few more that are sailed more than regionally. And I am talking about a radical change such as:
1664990181848.jpeg
 

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
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Going through the WS International Classes I can think of 49er, 505, Byte, GP14, Moth, Star and Tasar as having had significant rig changes at some time.
 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
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England
Are you saying that a Laser sailor will be faster if he/she upgrades from the aluminum masts to the "modern 21 century carbon masts?"

Asking for a friend.
Tbh no idea for sure , but ever other class that’s done this has . A larger sail on a mast with better gust response normally means more speed .

If your ‘ friend ‘ really want to know the he had better message that well known sailing god/designer and sometime poster, a certain J.Braithwaite 😀😀
 

Bill5

Right now
2,900
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Western Canada
Going through the WS International Classes I can think of 49er, 505, Byte, GP14, Moth, Star and Tasar as having had significant rig changes at some time.
The 49er and Byte were mentioned. Tasar? Don’t think so - just went Mylar. GP14 is UK only. Moth is open - unless you are talking the British Moth which is UK only. And what changes did the Star and 505 have that were as radical as the Laser rig above?
 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
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Tbh no idea for sure , but ever other class that’s done this has . A larger sail on a mast with better gust response normally means more speed .
As I understand it the move from aluminum to carbon Laser spars does not require a change of sail size. Does the switch to carbon by itself improve performance?
 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
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630
England
As I understand it the move from aluminum to carbon Laser spars does not require a change of sail size. Does the switch to carbon by itself improve performance?
If you are replacing like for like not really. I used to own a Lightning 368 which used a 1970s soft ali mast originally designed for the Europe. When they changed mast to carbon there was no real change in speed because the spec was so similar . The thing is a 1970s Europe mast is very sophisticated piece of kit compared the Lasers scaffold pole mast 😀

BUT the new rigs started with a clean piece of paper and if I remember the original press release correctly l am sure it said each of new rigs would carry more sail.
If I am remembering this incorrectly , I will withdraw all my comments.
This being SA I am sure someone who cares more than me will go back and check the original information. 😂😂😀
 

Crooked Beat

Member
327
24
No reason at all thousands of people do this in local class all over the uk . The difference is these are all local classes with a small number of boats each.
The Laser/ILCA is probably the only boat with world wide coverage. So let’s look at other world wide sports , do golfer play with hickory clubs, do pole vaulters still use bamboo poles, do football players use 1950s heavy leather balls, the list can go on and on. Sporting equipment changes end of and that’s all a Laser/ILCA is .
The argument that the spec of it has to be set in stone for every and every is just facile. Often given by people that think the Radial should not exist either.

And for the record if the class had allowed the the new rigs to be used , I would still be sailing a ILCA .
But looking back everything has turned out for the best , the ILCA class is stronger than it’s been in decades and I am very happy sailing the Zero. 😀
Since when did golf, pole vaulting, football, etc. become One Design? Your comparison is not valid.

And I think the Radial should exist! And the 4.7 as well.
 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
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England
Since when did golf, pole vaulting, football, etc. become One Design? Your comparison is not valid.

And I think the Radial should exist! And the 4.7 as well.
And I think the new rigs should have been allowed as separate classes , so what’s is the difference.
 
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Curious2

Anarchist
670
246
You totally miss understand and have totally missed my point .1) I NEVER said the new rigs should replace the ali ones in the short to medium term if at all. 2) The new rigs were considerably bigger ( so faster ) and therefore you could never ever sail them in the same fleet .
What I suggested was the class could have adopted them as separate options and let people decide for themselves ( which was the route the class was going before the LP [email protected]@t storm started ) . And yes I do understand the possible problems in your part of the world but in my part of the world it wouldn’t have caused any .

Let’s be honest , the Laser mast has always been [email protected]@t . The difference between a 1970s ali mast ( never mind the laser two piece one) to a modern 21 century carbon mast is night and day it terms of gust response and ease of use when used on boats without standing rigging .
You don’t have to believe me, just ask , Finn,Ok,Europe,Megabyte, Byte and Lightning 368 sailors .
Plus all Aero and Zero sailors , most of which started out as Laser sailors . 😀

But if you can't sail the new rigs in the same fleet then you lose the fleet racing that most Laser sailors want. "Letting the sailors adopt them if they want" is still going to lead to major problems - the fleets are cut into two.

The new rigs were slated to cost around $3500 AUS if I recall correctly, which is probably significantly more than the typical Laser is worth. Their market appeal was "tested" in suburbs where the average house price is around $4.5 million, so the test market was hardly representative of the norm - and only one side of the issue was being promoted on SA. My understanding from the continental rep is that the class heard the voice of the average Laser sailor and knew that we didn't want the new rigs.

This is not just a problem in "my part of the world", but in almost all parts of the world where the Laser is sailed. In most of the world, one design racing is the usual format and UK-style mixed fleet racing is unusual. The idea that you are happy to stuff around the class in the rest of the world to advance it in your country is a definite concern.

I've been using partly carbon masts since 1984 and full carbon ones for a couple of decades, and like them. But I've got a stack of stuff I used to like to sail - which all go much faster than an Aero - that never leaves the shed because there's no one to sail it with. In a world where there are production dinghies like the Waszp, moving to an Aero to "update" is like buying a 1980 car to experience modern driving.
 
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Curious2

Anarchist
670
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Going through the WS International Classes I can think of 49er, 505, Byte, GP14, Moth, Star and Tasar as having had significant rig changes at some time.

The Byte's rig change didn't seem to do much good for class numbers; they don't seem to have had a worlds since 2017 or earlier and they claim Australia, where there is no active class, as a major country in their WS report. I wonder how they would have gone if they'd moved the other way and really slotted in to work with the Laser, for example whether they could have adopted the 4.7 and Radial rigs so kids could have moved from the Opti to a "Byte 4.7", then a "Byte Radial", and then switched to Lasers and taken their good Radial kit across.

As you know, of course, none of the other classes changed their entire rig at once apart from the Star about a century ago. The Tasar, for example, used the same mast and the performance change with the new sails was small enough to allow dacrons to remain fully competitive at club level and to finish top 5 or so at championships and interclub events of 15-40 boats. That's very different to the speed and technique change those who want to "update" the Laser are talking about.

Having been in one class that had a major upgrade (which I supported from the outset) with vast success it's obvious that it can be done, but I'd say that if it was expensive and/or makes old kit uncompetitive and does not have the immediate strong support of the grass roots, it's almost always destructive. If you need to work hard to sell the concept to the grass roots then you arguably don't understand them and under-estimate how well they know what they want and need. The manufacturers should also arguably be prepared to make a significant loss selling the stuff to existing members, who are the ones who make the class and the ones who will take a financial hit.
 
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JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,188
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South East England
Oh yes, in many ways the Laser is a poster child for ballsing up change. The CA should have made rule changes to stamp on the stupid low profile tillers and the loops and knots in the control lines as soon as they appeared. If they'd done that there'd surely be nothing like the level of rig problems there are now that have led to needing new spars. Either don't change at all or make change properly. And if you're the most popular class in the world because of your all boats identical ethos you sure as hell should come down hard on anything that messes that up.
 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
1,104
630
England
But if you can't sail the new rigs in the same fleet then you lose the fleet racing that most Laser sailors want. "Letting the sailors adopt them if they want" is still going to lead to major problems - the fleets are cut into two.

The new rigs were slated to cost around $3500 AUS if I recall correctly, which is probably significantly more than the typical Laser is worth. Their market appeal was "tested" in suburbs where the average house price is around $4.5 million, so the test market was hardly representative of the norm - and only one side of the issue was being promoted on SA. My understanding from the continental rep is that the class heard the voice of the average Laser sailor and knew that we didn't want the new rigs.

This is not just a problem in "my part of the world", but in almost all parts of the world where the Laser is sailed. In most of the world, one design racing is the usual format and UK-style mixed fleet racing is unusual. The idea that you are happy to stuff around the class in the rest of the world to advance it in your country is a definite concern.

I've been using partly carbon masts since 1984 and full carbon ones for a couple of decades, and like them. But I've got a stack of stuff I used to like to sail - which all go much faster than an Aero - that never leaves the shed because there's no one to sail it with. In a world where there are production dinghies like the Waszp, moving to an Aero to "update" is like buying a 1980 car to experience modern driving.
But the class cannot split in two because of new rigs if your argument is correct as you have said the vast majority want to stay with class racing and will stay will ali rigs . If your correct all it would mean at worst is some 8’ rigs would have been sold into the uk for old gits like me to use py racing .

Don’t get me wrong I love strict one design boats, after all I am still sailing one ( just one with less vices ) .
BUT the Laser classes attitude ( summed up my most of your posts) to any kind of change however minor ( or inexpensive)to simply remove some of the laser vices is why I left the class after 20 years.

The bottom line is eventually all boats have to adapt/ change or die.
What we should be arguing about is the rate of change and how much change.
Not whether it should change at all .😕
 

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